December 4, 2014

George Newton (1602–1681) on Christ Begging and Beseeching

All unbelievers do dishonor Christ exceedingly in this respect, that they do not close with him; That when he is proposed and offered to them in the Gospel, they do not take him, and receive him on the terms that he is offered, but put him off with a denial. This is a great dishonor to the Lord Christ. It is no less than an implicit scorning and despising of him. As if he were so poor a gift that he were not worth the taking. Ah, my beloved, do but think upon it, that after Christ hath undergone so much as he hath done for our salvation, and after comes a begging to our own doors, beseeching us that we will entertain him, and receive him, and accept of him, and that not for his own advantage or profit that accrues to him, but merely for our own good; That he should stoop so low, even by entreaties to impose himself upon us, and we should be inexorable to him, and basely thrust him quite away from us, and refuse to meddle with him. Oh what a horrible indignity is this to Jesus Christ? What an unspeakable debasing of him! Yet thus all unbelievers use him. All, I mean where Christ is preached. And that may be applied to them which the Evangelist affirmeth of the Jews, John 1:11. He came unto his own, his own friends, his own Kindred, his own acquaintance, his own nation, yea people of his own Country: But though they were his own, they would not own him nor embrace him. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. And so he comes to these men, and that with obsecrations, and entreaties too, and they clap the door against him, and shamefully give him the repulse. They tell him in effect that he may go to those that need him, and look after him, or care for him. For their parts, they will none of him, then which there cannot be a viler, or more ignominions usage in the world.
George Newton, An Exposition with Notes, Unfolded and Applied on John 17th (London: Printed by R. W. for Edward Brewster, and are to be sold at the Crane in Pauls-Church-yard, 1660), 38–39.


Other men within the Augustinian tradition who use the metaphor of God begging are the following:

Augustine, Hugh Latimer (Early English Reformer), Samuel Rutherford (Westminster divine), Thomas Manton (Puritan), Jeremiah Burroughs (Westminster divine), John Trapp (Puritan), Sydrach Simpson (Westminster divine), Joseph Caryl (Westminster divine), Robert Harris (Westminster divine), Theophilus Gale (Puritan), William Gearing (Puritan), Richard Baxter (Puritan), Isaac Ambrose (Puritan), Stephen Charnock (Puritan), John Richardson (Puritan), John Flavel (Puritan), Thomas Watson (Puritan), Thomas Case (Puritan), Nathaniel Vincent (Puritan), Richard Sibbes (Puritan), Anthony Palmer (Puritan), John Shower (Puritan), John Collinges (Puritan), William Gurnall (Puritan), Andrew Gray (Puritan), George Swinnock (Puritan), Ralph Venning (Puritan), Daniel Burgess (Puritan), Samuel Willard, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Solomon Stoddard, Samuel Davies, Ralph Erskine, Charles Spurgeon, Thomas Chalmers, Walter Chantry, Erroll Hulse, John MacArthur and Fred Zaspel.

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