September 21, 2014

The Bold Proclamation in William Greenhill (1598–1671)

I have not seen enough in Greenhill (a Westminster divine) to definitely classify him as a moderate Calvinist, but he does read like one in his sermons. I will tentatively say he was a moderate Calvinist. Here he is making the "bold proclamation" (or saying that Christ died and shed His blood for all of the lost listening to his sermon):
Secondly, Consider two things of Christ.

First, Consider the very end of Christ's Incarnation, the end of his coming, the end of his being here in the world:--why did Christ come, I will show you two or three places of Scripture; Matt. 18:10. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost: If any be a lost creature, Jesus Christ is come to save that which was lost; I hope then he is come to save me a lost creature, I am a lost sheep, a lost Son, I am a lost Goat: surely if Christ came to save that which was lost, he came to save Me:--So in the 19 of Luke 10. you have it a little more full; For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost; he is come to seek it out, he seeks out the Goat, seeks out the lost sheep, he seeks out a lost sinner, as he did the man at the pool of Bethesda, Wilt thou be made whole? O Lord I would fain be made whole, but I have none to help me; well, saith Christ, be thou whole; Now see what use Paul makes of it, 1 Tim. 1:15. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief: O Lord, doest thou come to save sinners, here's a good tyding indeed, Lord it's a faithful saying, and it's worthy of all acceptation, it's worthy  you old ones should receive it, you young ones should receive it, you afflicted ones should receive it, you that are conceited of your own righteousness, that you should receive it, Jesus Christ came to save sinners, what sinners soever they be, great sinners, old sinners, that have lived many years in a height of wickedness such as Paul was, persecutors, injurious persons, &c. If you seriously weigh this, it will make you willing to have these waters of life.

Secondly, Consider in Christ how sweetly he doth invite you to take these waters of life: If an enemy would give you water when you were thirsty, would you not take it, Give thine enemy to drink if he thirst; But if the dearest friend you have in all the world should say, O friend, you are athirst, come here's water, here's wine, here's milk, here's any thing you would drink, you would take this well which is offered willingly: Now have you a better friend in heaven and earth then Jesus Christ, who laid down his life, and shed his blood for you, saith Christ, who ever will let him come, take water, even water of life, poor soul, I have taken thy nature upon me, I have born the wrath of God, I have satisfied the Law, I have laid down my life, I come awooing to thee, and do entreat thee, do not damn thy self, do not throw thy self into hell, poor soul take hold of me, come I'll lead thee to the water of life, come I'll give thee pardon, I'll give thee peace, I'll give thee my Spirit, I'll give thee my blood; why doest thou drink puddle water, and poison water? why doest thou not follow me, but follow the Devil, the Beast, and thine own lusts? Thus the Lord Jesus Christ doth entreat us to take water of life in the 7th of John: Christ stood up after a great feast and makes a Proclamation, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink; You have been drinking wine, water, and such things as do not quench the thirst of your souls; But if there be any one man among you that is athirst for the waters of life, let him come unto me, my arms are out, the waters are ready to give forth unto him, let him come and drink.
William Greenhill, Sermons of Christ (London: Printed by R. I. for Livewell Chapman at the Crown in Popes-head-Alley, 1656), 231–233. See also what seems to be Greenhill's unlimited use of John 3:16 on page 195. On page 202 he says Christ "loves sinners, and laid down his life for them, and would wash them in his blood." Greenhill always seems to use "sinners" in these sermons in an all-inclusive way, not just for the elect alone. Page 225 says "God hath provided Christ" for those that perish of themselves.
These sermons [by Greenhill] offer some fine material on spiritual thirsting, the willingness of Christ to save sinners, and the free offer of the gospel.
Joel R. Beeke and Randall J. Pederson, Meet the Puritans (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2007), 300.


No comments: