September 30, 2014

Nathanael Ball (1623–1681) on Despising Christ's Offers and Messages of Love

But now when a man shall look upon all that Christ offers to him, as nothing, and set himself to despise and disgrace his invitations, as if Christ had done him no kindness in sending all his messages of love to him; and let Christ go where he will, and his salvation go where it will, for his part, he does not care for them. This is a great ground of fear, that such a person will never close with the Offers of Grace. See Matt. 22:3. Those who in the Parable were called to the Marriage-Supper, it's said, first they would not come: then ver. 4. being invited again, ver. 5. they fell a slighting of it, or, as in the Greek, they set it all at nought: and ver. 6. they dealt with his Servants, as if he that had sent them had been their Enemy. Why, see ver. 7. what becomes of these persons; they were destroyed, and their City burnt; and compare with it, Luke 14:24. for 'tis all to the same purpose: they were not to taste of the supper.
Nathanael Ball, Spiritual Bondage and Freedom (London: Printed for Jonathan Robinson, at the Golden Lion in St. Pauls Church-yard, 1683), 46–47.
2. You are guilty of unthankfulness. What! to make such a sad requital to Christ for all his kindness towards you, as to prepare such good things for you, and now to have none of them! Why, than he not deserved better at your hands then this? Was there no love, nor no mercy to your souls in what Christ hath done for poor sinners? Nay, did you ever hear of the like love, or the like mercy? Is it not beyond all comparison, and beyond all expression? Did you ever hear of a Saviour that delivered from so great danger? Did you ever hear of a Surety that undertook to pay such great Debts? Did you ever hear of a Physician that healed such great Diseases? What, and shall this be all the thanks he shall have now, to be rejected? If God will take it ill at your hands, to pass by those mercies that are but for the comfort of your bodies, without thankfulness; how much more will he be displeased with you, for passing by the offers of those mercies that are for the salvation of your Souls? Why, Sirs, you that refuse Christ, where is your sense of God's goodness? where is that acknowledgement that he should have from you? Hath he done you no courtesy in sending his Son? Is the very hopes and possibility of being recovered out of your lost condition, a thing not to be at all affected with? If a man doth but offer you his help in your need, you'll thank him, and you'll show that you are taken with his kindness, by accepting of it; and you'll tell him how much you are beholding to him, and that you shall own him for your Friend as long as you live. Why, where is your thankfulness to Christ then? why don't you own him for your Friend?
Ibid., 68–69. 


Credit to Travis Fentiman for bringing Nathanael Ball to my attention.

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