"You that are in spiritual distress, do not ye expect comfort presently; God cometh in a seasonable time: it may be you made Christ wait a long while upon you for your conversion, for your longing and thirsting after him: he hath cried from heaven to thee many a time, How long? how long? when shall it once be? How long will it be ere this hard heart of thine be broken? this proud heart of thine be humbled? how long ere thou wilt begin to enquire and seek after me. O when wilt thou seek me? And it is just with God to make thee cry to him, how long Lord! when wilt thou come in, and sup with me, and make thine abode with me, and manifest thyself unto me? When wilt thou give me to drink of the waters of life? May not the Lord say of thee, as of the barren fig-tree? These three years came I seeking fruit, and found none: and may not God justly requite thee, and say, now for these many years thou shalt seek me, ere I will be found of you: I waited a long time for the fruits of thy repentance, and now thou shalt wait a while for the fruit of my mercy: Because thou hast rejected the Lord tendering himself to thee, therefore now he stands at a distance from thee: many proffers did he make to thee, but thou slightest them; many calls thou hast from him, and wouldst not hear them; many knocks hath he given at the door of thy heart, and begged for entrance, but thou keptst thy heart shut still against him. Is it not equity that God should suffer thee to lie at the door of mercy awhile knocking before he opens to thee? Shall the great God wait on thee, and thou not wait upon him? Brethren! God will humble us for our delays, as well as for our other sins, he will humble us for the neglect of his proffers, for the refusal of his grace so long; he will humble thee for they Stubbornness, for thy pride, for thy contempt and forgetfulness of him, and then he will comfort thee in his own time and way."William Gearing, The Love-sick Spouse, or the Substance of Four Sermons: Preached on Canticles 2.5 (London, Printed for Nevill Simmons, Book-Seller in Kederminster, 1665), 15-16.
"2. Consider that Christ doth as it were wooe poor sinners to seek and sue unto him; he doth as it were put up his bills unto us, when we go to prayer, that we would earnestly pray to his Father, that he might be given to us, which is a manifest proof that he will freely bestow himself upon such as thus seek for him: God calls to us in this manner, Call upon me in the day of trouble; ask and you shall receive; seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you: What are these but wooing commands? and begging commands? it is a remarkable phrase. Cant. 2.14. O my Dove that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice, for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely. Lo here he takes pleasure in beholding his people praying to him, mourning and lamenting after him; therefore he wooeth his Spouse with prayers, requests and petitions to pray unto him: the prayers of his people are his delight: the praises of Angels and Saints in heaven, and the prayers and praises of the Saints on earth, is all the music Christ delighteth in: so in the answer of Christ to the woman of Samaria, John 4.10. If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith unto thee, give me to drink, thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water: Christ there did, as it were, beg of her to seek him for living water: he manifested to her, what he was, what he would give unto her, and give it her he would, if she would but ask it of him. The same in effect he speaks to every one of us; if you would ask of me, I would give you living water; Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it, open thy heart wide, open thy desires wide, and I will fill thee with mine hidden treasures." Ibid., 38-39.
Among the other sovereign grace advocates who use the metaphor of God begging are the following men:
Augustine, Hugh Latimer [Early English Reformer], Samuel Rutherford [Westminster divine], Thomas Manton [Puritan], Jeremiah Burroughs [Westminster divine], John Trapp [Puritan], Sydrach Simpson [Westminster divine], Joseph Caryl [Westminster divine], Robert Harris [Westminster divine], Theophilus Gale [Puritan], Isaac Ambrose [Puritan], Stephen Charnock [Puritan], John Flavel [Puritan], Richard Sibbes [Puritan], John Shower [Puritan], John Collinges [Puritan], William Gurnall [Puritan], George Swinnock [Puritan], Ralph Venning [Puritan], Daniel Burgess [Puritan], Samuel Willard, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Solomon Stoddard, Samuel Davies, Andrew Gray, Ralph Erskine, Charles Spurgeon, Thomas Chalmers, Walter Chantry, Erroll Hulse, John MacArthur and Fred Zaspel.