September 26, 2014

William Greenhill (1598–1671) on 15 Arguments for Christ's Earnest Desire to Save Sinners

"Doct: 1. That the Lord Christ is very desirous that sinners, thirsty sinners should come to him for relief, that they should be saved, that they should have refreshing virtue from him, Grace, pardon, peace, and whatsoever will do their souls good. Let him that is athirst come.

Now because it lies in the hearts of all sinners to question the willingness of God and Christ to save them, and to do them good; Therefore I shall insist the more upon this and make it out fully to you.

You know the Leper in the Gospel said, Master if thou wilt thou canst make me clean: I know thou hast power, but if thou wilt, there lies the stick, and here lies that which sticks with sinners, to question the willingness of God and Christ: Now the Lord Christ is very willing that sinners should come unto him; and this I shall make out several ways.

First, from the Consideration of Christ's laying down his greatness, and his Glory which would dant and discourage sinners, when one appears in majesty; when a judge comes into the Country with his greatness, it makes your Delinquents and Malefactors afraid; But now Christ lays down his Majesty, and his greatness and Glory, and whatsoever is dreadful and terrible unto us. John 17:5. And now I Father, Glorify thou me, with thine own self, with the Glory which I had with thee before the world was; Christ had laid aside his Glory when he came down into the world, & he came in the form of a servant, in a mean and low condition: When a Prince shall lay aside his greatness, and come and converse with beggars and sinners, then they can the more freely come unto him, and speak to him: the Lord Jesus Christ hath laid aside his Glory and greatness, and came and conversed with sinners here in the world, which is a great Argument that he was willing to do sinners good, that they should come unto him and be saved by him.

Secondly, Consider how the Lord Christ hath fitted himself to receive sinners, Christ hath endured a great deal of hardship, suffered heavy things, he trod the wine-press of his Father's wrath alone. You know Corn that makes bread and drink, endures the heat & the cold, endures the stale[?], and the Mill to be Ground, and so the bread and the drink are made thereof.

The Lord Christ hath endured all that the Father required of him, that so he might be bread of life, and water of life to us, he hath suffered bitter things, and accursed death: in the 12th of Luke saith Christ, I have a Baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straightened till it be accomplished? I have a Baptism of Blood to be baptized with, and how am I straightened till it be accomplished? I thirst to lay down my blood that it may be drink for the world, as much as any in the world do thirst for my blood, and to drink of that; I and more then all the world. The Lord Jesus hath suffered Circumcision, he hath suffered whipping, crowning with Thorns, spitting upon, reproaches, revilings, cursing, suffered the displeasure of his Father, dissertions, temptations by Satan, suffered Death, and all that he might be fit, and fitted to save us, that he might be bread for us, and drink for us, relief for us; Is not Christ willing think you now, that you should eat of his flesh, and drink of his blood, that you should come to him, and have the benefit of his sufferings? I am straightened, saith he, till it be accomplished; I thirst, saith Christ upon the Cross, and now it's finished.

Thirdly, From the very end of Christ's coming, it is evident that Christ is very willing and desirous that sinners should come unto him, and be saved by him, and be refreshed by him: what was the ends of Christ's coming, Matt. 18:11. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost: were not all lost in Adam, are not all sinners under the curse of the Law, are not all children of wrath by nature, are not all enemies of God through wicked works in their minds? The end now of Christ's coming was to save that which was lost: and in Luke 1:10 you have it more fully; For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost: It might have been said, It's true, Christ will save that which is lost, if it will come to him; I but Christ is come to seek out them, to seek and to save that which is lost; this is the good Shepherd that goes and seeks out the lost sheep, and takes it up upon his shoulders & brings it home: A Shepherd when his sheep are scattered, some in one lane, some upon one common, some in one field, some in another, he goes and seeks out the sheep and brings them home: so the Lord Christ came for that very end, to seek out, and to save that which was lost; art thou a poor thirsty, sinful soul, art thou lost in thine own apprehension, art thou at the gates of death and hell, the Lord Christ came to save thee, and seek out thee, he is willing, forward, ready to do it, he came for that very end.

Fourthly, Christ's willingness and readiness to this work will appear, if you consider the Cures that he wrought when he was here in the world; did not Christ heal all diseases, the blind, the lame, the sick, the dumb, the deaf, the possessed of Devils? did not Christ show compassion towards them all and heal them; Mark 4:23. And Jesus went about all Gallilee, teaching in their Synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of diseases among the people; And his fame went through all Syria, and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with Devils and those which were Lunatic, and those which had the Palsy, and he healed them. Is not Christ willing and ready to do good to sinners, he doth not forbid them to come to him, let the disease be what it will, and the party diseased be what he will:—And its conceived when Christ healed their bodies, he healed their souls too, Christ healed all diseases. In Matt. 8. you have two or three remarkable passages; there comes a Leper to Christ, and saith, Lord if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean; he did not come believingly, but he came doubtingly to Christ; and what follows; Jesus put forth his hand and touched him, saying, I will, be thou clean; why doest thou question my will, saith Christ I am more willing to heal thee then thou art desirous of it, I will, saith he, be thou clean; here Christ presently shows his willingness, and cures the man with a word; with a word and a touch he healed him.

Then afterwards in the Chapter, there comes a Centurion to him, and solicits him for his servant, and saith, Master speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed: saith Christ, I have not found so great Faith, no not in Israel, as in this Centurion: and v. 12. saith Christ, Go thy way, and as thou hast believed, so be it unto thee; here Christ heals one with a word.

And then thirdly, he comes to Peter's house, and there his wife's mother lay sick of a fever, and he touched her hand, and the fever left her. Christ did but touch her hand, and says nothing, and the fever left her: Christ is willing to cure sinners, and he can easily do it, with a word, or a word and a touch, or a touch only.

Christ is so forward, that before it is desired he does it: John 5:6. when Jesus saw the impotent man lie there, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, wilt thou be made whole? The man did not ask him the Question, Lord wilt thou heal me; But Christ comes and finds him out; and saith, Man wilt thou be made whole; O Sir, I have none to put me in, when the Angel stirs another steps in before me, saith Christ, Take up thy bed, and walk. Christ asks him the Question, prevents him, and heals him: Oh! Christ is willing to do sinners good, & to save sinners.

Fifthly, This appears from the Command of Christ, when a thing is commanded, those that command would fain have it done; now the Lord Christ commands men to come unto him, commands them to believe: John 14:1. Let not your hearts be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me. Believe in me, there's the ease, there's rest, there's refreshing, there's deliverance, there's salvation for you: Believe in me: and in the 1 John 3 latter end; This is his Commandment that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ. This is the Commandment of the Father that we should believe on the name of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ; and this is the Commandment of the Son that we should believe in him. When the Father commanded his Son to go to the Vineyard and dig there; the Father was very willing the child should go and do it: And so when God the Father, and Christ the Son, commands us to believe, they are very willing we should. When Princes send out their Commands to the people to do such and such things, they are very desirous they should be done: So when God gives out his Commands in the Gospel, and Christ commands in the Gospel to come, saith Christ, Let him that is athirst come; I command you to believe; It's an argument there is a strong will in him for it.

Sixthly, Doth not Christ sweetly invite you, use sweet Invitations and allurements to draw sinners to him, can there be more sweet Invitations, then what you have from Christ upon this account: in the 11th of Matt: 28. Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest: oh! you poor sinners of the earth, you that travel under the burden of your sins, you that are heavy laden, you that are ready to sink into hell through fear of wrath, come unto me, come unto me, he doth not say why have you broken Moses' Law, why have you offended my Father, why have you lived so basely and vilely? no, come unto me you that are weary and heavy laden, you that are ready to sink and perish, and are hungry and thirsty, and know not which way to turn your selves now for relief, come unto me.

So in the 55 of Isaiah, see what a blessed Invitation there is, Ho every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat, come buy wine and milk without money, and without price: Wherefore do you lay out your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which satisfieth not; hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness: Is not here a sweet, a gracious, a blessed Invitation now to poor sinners, unto such as we are here this day: The Lord Christ is a speaking unto you this day, Ho every one, every one that thirsteth, young or old, rich or poor, learned or unlearned, of whatsoever condition you be, are you athirst, would you have mercy, peace, grace, the Spirit of Christ, would you have anything to do your souls good, come, come unto me, Come unto the waters.

I but I have no money; It matters not, come without money, come here's wine, here's milk, and here's bread, and marrow, and fatness, here's that will make your souls live, here's virtue in Christ to make your souls live forever. So in the 23 Prov: 26. My son give me thy heart; o my son, saith God, give me thy heart; Christ is the Everlasting Father, and he saith, my son, give me thy heart, come to me. One place more in the 3rd Revelation is worth your observing; Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him, and he with me: Behold I stand at the door and knock; I came down from heaven into mine Ordinances, I knock at the door of your hearts and consciences, if any man will open now, if any many would have water of life from me, if any man would have bread of life from me, if any man would have communion with me, let him but open and receive me in, and I will sup with him and he with me: what sweet Invitations have we from Christ, how forward, how ready is the Lord Jesus to do poor sinners good.

Seventhly, This appears in that the Lord Christ hath instituted and appointed his Officers, his Messengers, his Ministers, and sent them to woo, entreat, beseech, and to draw men in unto him: The Lord hath set up in the Church Officers purposely to make known his forwardness and readiness to receive sinners, and to go forth in his Name, and to get them to come to Christ; 'Tis our work to beseech you Brethren, to entreat you to hearken to the Lord Christ, to come in to him, to come and taste of his dainties, to receive righteousness, grace, strength, salvation, to receive pardon; this is our work, to get men in to Christ, to fetch you in to the Fold. In the 14 of Luke 16. A certain man made a great Supper, and bade many; and sent his servants at Supper time to say unto them that were bidden, Come for all things are now ready: Christ is the great Man, and he makes a Supper in the time of the Gospel, and he sends out his servants, he sends out the Ministers to Invite, and call men, saying, Supper is ready, and all things are ready. Christ hath satisfied Divine Justice, Christ hath laid down his life, and shed his blood, he is risen from the dead, he hath overcome the world, overcome the Devil, hath opened heaven, all things are ready for you to feed upon, o come; But they all made excuse; Then the Master of the house being angry, said to his servants, go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the City, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, the halt, and the blind; and the servants said, Lord it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room: and the Lord said unto the servants, go out into the high ways, and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. Go ye (saith he) my Apostles, my Disciples, my Ministers, my Servants, go fetch in men and women from high ways and hedges, from lanes and streets, & from all parts; o bring them in to the Gospel, bring them into my house, bring them into the kingdom of heaven, tell them of the dainties there, tell them of their danger abroad. This is the great work now of the Ministry: which is a clear demonstration that the Lord Christ would have sinners saved, he would have his house filled, he stands not upon what they be, let them be blind, maimed, naked, poor, wounded, bring them in saith Christ, let them taste of the dainties of the Gospel, let them hear of mercy through me, of pardon and forgiveness through me:—So in the 9 Prov: Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out seven pillars, she hath killed her beasts, she hath mingled her wine, she hath also furnished her table, she hath sent forth her maidens, she cryeth upon the highest places of the city, who so is simple let him come in hither, as for him that lacketh understanding she saith to him, come eat of my bread, and drink of the wine that I have mingled: Forsake the foolish and live, and go in the way of understanding:—This is spoken of Christ, and the times of the Gospel, and the Ministers are said to be maidens, who are sent forth to allure and to draw poor souls in to Jesus Christ. So that the great work of the Ministry is to make known the willingness of Christ, and to bring sinners unto Christ, that they may have mercy from him:—In the 2 Cor. 5:19–20. God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them: and hath committed unto us the word of Reconciliation; now then, we are Ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us, we pray ye in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God: Saith Paul I am an Ambassador of God, and God doth beseech you by us, God doth beseech sinners, and therefore we beseech you saith he, we beseech ye for the Lord's sake be ye reconciled to God, do not stand out with God and Christ any longer, but come in to God, and come in to Christ, and so God will receive you, and Christ will receive you: God doth beseech you by Ministers, God doth entreat you. The Commission was, Go teach all Nations: he commands them for to teach all nations, to acquaint them with the riches of Grace by Christ, & the wonderful love and kindness of God in Christ, and what's to be had by Christ, that people might come to him, and have mercy and relief from him.

Eighthly, This willingness of Christ to do sinners good, will appear yet further, in that he doth accept of the least, and lowest degrees of Faith, and will not discourage the weakest soul that comes unto him: Matt. 12:20. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth Judgement unto victory: Christ will be very tender of bruised reed, very tender of smoking flax, he will not break one, he will not quench the other, he will not deal harshly and roughly with them, but he will send forth Judgement unto victory: He will give them power over all their corruptions, over all their fears & doubts: he will make them to judge all their Enemies, and be victorious over their Enemies.—So in the 45 Isa: 22. Look unto me and be ye saved all the ends of the earth: Look unto me and be saved: If I have but a good look from you, saith Christ, I will entertain you: look unto me but with the weakest eye of Faith, though it be a dim eye, be but half an eye, look unto me and be saved:—In the 40 of Isa: 11. He shall feed his Flock like a Shepherd, he shall gather the Lambs with his Arms, and carry them in his bosom, and shall Gently lead those that are with young. See how tender the Lord Christ, the good Shepherd will be of those that are weak; He will gather the Lambs with his Arms, as a Shepherd when he goes abroad, and a Lamb is newly yeaned, and it's weak and feeble, and the weather is cold and frosty, he takes up the Lamb in his Arms, and carries it home, and gives it milk; So the Lord will deal by a poor weak feeble soul, he will carry it in the Arms of his providence, in the Arms of his Spirit, in those Everlasting Arms of his that never fail, he will carry the Lambs in his bosom, and Gently lead those that are with young: Thus will he deal with them: Hence he saith in the 14 Rom: Him that is weak in the Faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations: Receive him that is weak in the Faith, if there be never so little Faith receive him, if there be but one dram of Faith receive him.

Ninthly, The willingness of the Lord Christ to do sinners good appears in this, That he shuts not up this water of Life, though he knows but few will come unto him for it; and those of them that do come unto him, they do oft abase it, and abase him too: People do hasten more to the waters for their bodies, to the Bath, Epsum, Tunbridge, and to new drinks that they have now, they flock to have these for the body, and can magnify them, and speak wonderfully well of them, but few come to Christ, and when they do come, they will hardly drink, as I have told you before; they speak evil of those doctrines he gives them; these are hard sayings. Peter himself denies Christ his Master, denies him once, twice, thrice. Thus Christ is dealt withal by sinners, and notwithstanding all this, Christ doth not shut up the water, nor lock up the water, but the waters stand open for any to come, let whosoever will come, let him come and drink of the waters of life freely. If Christ had not had a mind we should have these waters, he would have taken a course to deprive us of them, he could soon dry up the waters, dry up the Gospel. But the waters are not dried up, they are not taken from us, there is freedom for any to come, notwithstanding they have abused the waters.

Tenthly, It is strong Evidence that the Lord Christ is willing to save sinners, and to do sinners good, In that he is grieved, troubled, and affected very much, that sinners will not come to him for these waters; o Jerusalem, Jerusalem, saith Christ, weeping over it, how oft would I have gathered thee as a hen doth her chickens, and ye would not: o Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that thou hadest known in this thy day the things that belong unto thy peace, but now they are hidden from thine eyes:Christ is grieved at the heart that men and women do not come to him, though they have no money, though they have nothing to buy the water with, yet that they will not come and fetch the water, Christ is grieved and troubled at the very heart to see it: O that these public places should be so empty upon a Lord's day, so empty upon a week day: there's water of life, and none will come and drink the water; how oft, how oft, may Christ say, would I have saved such a town, such a nation, such a people, and they would not; Christ weeps over souls and families, and cities.

Eleventhly, It's wonderful perspicuous and clear, that Christ would do sinners good, in that he doth press them with the strongest Arguments that can be, to partake of the good is to be had by himself: What promises doth he make, what evils doth he threaten? There are two great Arguments that do prevail with all the world, yet will not prevail here, he sets life and death before men, If you will come here's life for you, if you will not come you are dead men: people will not come within doors when these are the Arguments, my life is at the stake, and if I go I am a made man, if not I am a lost man, an undone man. Why will ye die o house of Israel? I am not willing ye should die, why will ye die, why will ye die, turn unto me and live, come unto me and live. In the 55 of Isa: Incline your ear and come unto me, hear and your souls shall live, and I will make an everlasting Covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David; Is not here encouragement enough now to come to Christ, Incline your ear and come unto me and your souls shall live, you shall have everlasting mercies, and everlasting comforts. John 3:16. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life: Here's life and death set before you, Come thou poor sinner and believe in the Lord Jesus, close with him, here's life for thee, everlasting life for thee; Refuse to do it, there's everlasting death for thee, thou shalt perish, how peremptory is the Lord here. In the 16 Mark: 15, 16. Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature, he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned; how round is the Gospel, he that believeth, he that comes to Christ, that's the meaning, he that believeth shall be saved; saved from all his sin, saved from the power of death, saved from the wrath of God, saved from hell-fire, saved from the guilt of his own Conscience, he that believeth shall be saved over and over and over,—he that believeth not shall be damned,—how doth he press men now to come to him? If there be any weight in heaven or hell, it's laid all upon this, your coming to Christ, or refusing Christ; if you come to Christ, all heaven is yours, all the glory, all the joy, all the comfort, all the blessings, all the happiness there is yours: If you will not come to Christ, all the terrors of hell are yours, all the darkness, all the mournings, all the howlings, all the gnashing of teeth, all the misery there will be yours; therefore see how willing the Lord Jesus is, that sinners should come, and that they should be saved.

[12ly] Another evidence of Christ's willingness to save sinners that will come unto him is, The Lord doth venture and hazard the loosing many, by making known his free Grace and willingness to save sinners, for when sinners do hear that Christ is willing to save them, and very desirous also, any they abuse his free grace, this rich mercy, this willingness of Christ to do to their souls good: If Christ be so willing, say they, we will stay awhile, it will suffice hereafter. In the 4th of Jude, it's said, They turn Grace into wantonness, and thousands of scorners turn Grace into wantonness; when they hear Christ died and shed his blood for sinners, that he is willing sinners should come in, that he waits for them, that he entreats, and presses them to come to him; they take advantage from hence to sin more freely, to stay it out to the uttermost. And thus the Lord runs a hazard of loosing many, by making known the riches of his Grace, the freedom of his mercy and loving kindness, which shows there a very strong desire in Christ to save sinners.

Thirteenthly, It is evident that Christ is very desirous of sinners salvation, in that he takes sinners when they are at the worst of all, at the height of wickedness. If a Prince will take into his family those that are sick of the plague, of the Leprosy, and of the worst diseases, 'tis an argument he hath a mind to have them live in his family, and that he is desirous of their company: the Lord Jesus Christ he takes sinners when they are at the very worst; Saul he was at the height of his blasphemy, at the height of murder, at the height of persecution; and Christ saith, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me, thy blasphemies rage, and persecutions are come up to heaven; and Paul saith in the 1 Tim: 1. he was a persecutor, a blasphemer, and an injurious person, but I obtained mercy, even when I was so great and notorious a sinner, Christ came and took him in; it's an argument then that Christ is very desirous of the salvation of sinners, that he will take sinners when they are in the height of their wickedness. When the Prodigal had run out from his father's house, and had spent years in wicked practices, in whoredom, drunkenness, gaming, and running in the ways of the world, when he had spent all, and spent himself; now when he was in the height of wickedness, it pleases God and Christ to call him, to bring him home, and to receive him again: had not Christ been desirous of the salvation of sinners, he might have shut the door against the Prodigal, and said, you shall never come indoors again: had not the Father been desirous for the Son's sake to have saved sinners, he would not have entertained the Prodigal; there is not [only or merely?] a velleity but a strong efficacious desire in God and Christ to save sinners. The Jews when they were at the worst, when they had put that innocent one to death, when they had said, His blood be upon us and upon our Children, when they had mocked him, reviled him, and accused him, even after all this, Christ takes in many of them; three thousand of them converted at one Sermon by Peter; Him whom ye have crucified with bloody hands hath God raised; here is a clear evidence of the earnest desire of the Lord Jesus to save sinners; he takes them when they are at the worst, when they have done the uttermost mischief & spite they can against him, and against his ways.

Fourteenthly, It's an argument that the Lord Jesus is very desirous to save sinners, if you consider, that the Lord takes sinners at the last cast, at the end of their days, when they have no time left to serve him, he takes them at the very first entreaty and begging of mercy. The thief you know that had lived wickedly all his days, when he came to the last cast, and was upon the ladder, or nailed to the cross, and ready to breath out his last breath, saith he, Lord remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom; Christ might have said, Remember thee, why should I remember thee, thou hast been a bloody wretch, a thief and a murderer all thy days, and thou deservest nothing now but death and damnation, and why should I remember thee; No, the Lord Christ saith not so, but he saith, This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise: now when there was no time left for him to honor Christ, and to serve Christ, he only now entreats this favor of him, being on the cross, saith Christ, This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise. And doubtless though we have but this one instance, and so men should not presume to put off repentance till it be too late, yet I do believe, many a soul hath met with mercy, when they have been at the gates of death: I say, many a poor soul that hath been burdened with sin, afflicted in conscience, and ready to sink, in the gates of death they have looked up to Christ, and entreated him to remember them, & Christ hath shown them mercy, which shows the forwardness and willingness of Christ to save sinners: Yet let not any presume to do so, for likely late repentance is seldom true, a deathbed repentance usually is a dead repentance, when fear of hell shall drive men to look after heaven, they may thank hell for looking after God and Christ, but that by the way.

Fifteenthly and lastly, It is clearly evident that the Lord Christ hath a strong inclination to save sinners, by his giving out Scripture in that way and manner as he hath done; the Lord Christ hath given out Scripture so as to Answer all the cavils of their hearts, all the pleas of corruption, and of a guilty Conscience, and of the Devil himself: The Lord hath given out Scripture so as to Answer all that might hinder their coming in unto him. In the 12 of Matt: All manner of sins and Blasphemies shall be forgiven to the sons of men:—What hath a sinful heart here to say, what canst thou object against this? He tells thee, All manner of sins shall be forgiven, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven, Are thy sins beyond blasphemy, are they such as come not within the compass of all manner of sin? Let thy sins be slight or great, let them be old or new, let them be against Law, against Gospel, against promises, all manner of sins shall be forgiven:—Christ saith, The sin against the Holy-Ghost shall not be forgiven: But if thou have a heart to look to Christ for mercy, it's an argument thou art free from that sin, for where that is, there's impenitency, there's hardness of heart, no thinking of repentance nor coming to God: But all manner of sin and blasphemies shall be forgiven: Is not here encouragement enough unto poor sinners:—So here in the next words, Whosoever will let him come and drink of the water of life freely: It's laid down so as to answer all your objections, and to take away all your pleas you have to stave off from Christ. So then you see clear evidences that Christ is willing to save sinners.

But why is Christ so willing to save sinners?

First, from his own experience and sense of what it is to be under the displeasure of God, he was once tempted, he was once forsaken, he cried out in that condition, and he knew what the wrath and displeasure of God meant: And now being full of compassion, he pities all those that are under the disfavor of God; he knows sinners have broken the Law, deserved the curse, the wrath of God, eternal death, and now his compassions being stirred within him, his bowels yearn, he desires that sinners may come to him; if any thirst let him come, let him come, he shall be freed from the wrath of God, from the curse of the Law, from guilt and condemnation, it's a sad condition, I am sensible of it; I was in the share and round of sinners, and I know what it is to be in such a condition.

Secondly, Christ is so desirous, that so he may see of the travail of his own soul, and that men may see the end of his coming to save sinners, was real for if Christ's end was to seek and to save that which was lost, unless he desire and use means to save them, you may say it was not real, therefore Christ to make out that it was really his end, and that he might see of the travail of his soul in suffering, he desires sinners may come in, he gives out the Gospel, he appoints Ministers, he invites them extraordinarily, and ordinarily, he calls upon them and would have sinners to come unto him to be saved.

Thirdly, and lastly, Christ doth this that so the freeness of God's grace, and of his love may appear and may be magnified, Christ is wonderful desirous that sinners should come in, and when they do come in, they will magnify the riches of Grace, then they will stand and wonder at the Love of God, and of Christ, and that he should wait upon the [and?] beseech, and entreat them to come and accept of mercy and favour."
William Greenhill, Sermons of Christ (London: Printed by R. I. for Livewell Chapman at the Crown in Popes-head-Alley, 1656), 149–170.
"These sermons 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.


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