November 26, 2014

Nathanael Ball (1623-1689) on the Three Great Suitors Seeking Us

"All three Persons are concerned in the Freedom that comes by Christ: why, then consider,

1. That there was not a word spoken in Heaven against the recovering of poor Sinners out of their lost condition; not a word against showing Mercy to them. You know, there be many great things upon Earth that come to a Proposition, but then they meet with an Opposition, and such an Opposition, that the thing propounded is dashed all to pieces. But it was not so in Heaven: there every one was for it; the Father was for it, the Son was for it, and the Holy Ghost was for it; and yet every one might have been against it. And Oh, how much might have been said to have spoiled all; there was enough might have been alleged, to have turned all their hearts against us: but every one was willing that the business of our Redemption should go forward, all went on our side. You may therefore be fully assured, that though there was none but the second Person that did visibly appear in the Work of our Redemption, yet that they are all well-wishers to it. Here's no place left for doubting, whether their hearts be as inclinable towards your Salvation, as Christ did express, by word of mouth, that his heart was in the days of his Flesh: for, they do all, by mutual consent, unite together in this Design of doing your Souls good, and the voice of one, is the voice of all. And when Christ did invite and call poor Sinners to come unto him, and declared so much readiness to receive and embrace all that were weary and heavy laden; you must know, that he did not only do this to show his own kindness and good-will to the Children of Men, but also to show what kindness and good-will the other Persons had in their hearts towards them too. And if you look into 1 John 5:7. you shall find them all joined together in this matter of Salvation by Christ, compared with ver. 11. What an engagement then is it to us to accept of this Salvation, when we have, as I may say, three such great Suitors seeking us; the Father sending his Son, and the Son coming from the Father, and now Christ by his Spirit knocking at the door of our Hearts for an entrance. Oh, that as they are all willing that we should be saved, we were all willing to close with this Salvation!" 
Nathanael Ball, Spiritual Bondage and Freedom (London: Printed for Jonathan Robinson, at the Golden Lion in St. Pauls Church-yard, 1683), 168-170.


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

Compare the following:

Thomas Halyburton said:
"O sinners! what hearts have ye, if ye can refuse the desire, the supplication, the intreaties of a whole Trinity? All the love of the Father, all the grace of the Son, and all the blessings that are enjoyed by communion with the Holy Ghost, all plead with you for your compliance."
Jonathan Edwards said:
"All the persons of the Trinity are now seeking your salvation. God the Father hath sent his Son, who hath made way for your salvation, and removed all difficulties, except those which are with your own heart. And he is waiting to be gracious to you; the door of his mercy stands open to you; he hath set a fountain open for you to wash in from sin and uncleanness. Christ is calling, inviting, and wooing you; and the Holy Ghost is striving with you by his internal motions and influences."
Nicholas Clagett wrote:
"Was there any need for God to stoop to offer you a Covenant of Salvation, wherein the whole Trinity doth humble themselves? The Father, so much as to have thoughts of grace to relieve and succour lost sinners; the Son that humbled himself to an obscuring incarnation, a life of sorrows, spotless obedience, a bloody death the price of Redemption. The Holy Ghost to come into vile sinners, to plead the acceptance, and improvement of the Father and Son's love. O inconsiderate sinners! of what a scarlet tincture is your unworthy slighting of the Trinity's kindness, your treading under foot the blessed God's acts of grace!"

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