October 15, 2014

William Whittaker (1629–1672) on Slighting God's Glorious Inheritance

2. Consider what we do in slighting and undervaluing this glorious Inheritance.

1. We most unworthily requite the greatest love that ever was or can be imagined. Does God so expostulate with his people of Israel, because of their ingratitude for outward preservations and deliverances, those outward mercies bestowed upon them, 32. Deuter. 6. Do you thus requite the Lord? May not God much more expostulate with us in respect of these greater mercies? do you thus requite the Lord, O foolish and unwise?

Hath God been so gracious to us, as to take care of our souls, and of our everlasting well-fare, and shall we thus requite him? Our engagements for Common mercies are great, but our engagements for these mercies, how much greater are they?

Consider what a mercy it is that there should be a possibility of our obtaining this Inheritance.

We who in our natural constitution are but one step from hell, and everlasting flames; and between us, and it there is nothing but a brittle and uncertain life; What astonishing love is this? God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, 3. John 16, 1 John 3.5.

Now, how disingenuous and unworthy is it in us to slight and undervalue these high discoveries of love.

Again, Consider what a mercy it is not only that heaven is become possible, but also that God vouchsafes us this privilege to discover the excellency of heaven, and his blessing upon the means, that by all we might be made meet to partake of this Inheritance. These are mercies that God doth not vouchsafe to all men, 147 Psal. 19, 20. He hath not dealt so with other nations.

Farther, not only is this inheritance possible, and a discovery made of it, and means afforded for the obtaining it, But God gives us also many encouragements to make use of these means: this Inheritance is not only purchased but proffered and tendered: if we are willing to accept, and do not refuse it, God will bestow it. Nay, God doth not only proffer it but he importunes our acceptance of it: how often doth Christ persuade, and persuade with a great deal of importunity, that you would accept of this Inheritance, I have stretched out my hand all the long to a gainsaying people.
William Whittaker, Eighteen Sermons Preached Upon Several Texts of Scripture (London: Printed for Tho. Parkhurst, and are to be sold under the Gate on London-Bridg, and at his Shop at the three Crowns and Bible in Cheapside near Mercers Chappel, 1674), 64–66. He was the son of Jeremiah Whitaker (1599–1654), the Westminster divine.


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