August 11, 2007

Thomas Manton (1620–1677) on Sinning Against the Sweetness of Grace

[6.] If it be against former experiences, and that either of the sweetness of grace or the evil of sin.

(1.) Of the sweetness of grace: The Lord takes it ill that you should sin against him after 'you have tasted his good word,' Heb. 6:5. It is a mighty affront to Jesus Christ to go off from him after we have had experience of the sweetness of his ways. The apostle calls this a 'denying the Lord that bought them,' 2 Peter, 2:1; that this, in foro ecclesiae, in the court of the church, and with respect to the outward covenant that is between the Lord and every church member. An apostate doth as it were proclaim to the world that Jesus Christ is no good master; that, after he hath made trial of both, the devil is a better master than Christ, for he seemeth to have known both masters. So we find the Lord contests with his people about their provocations: Jer. 2:5, 'What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanities, and are become vain?' You have gone far from me, and departed from my ways; what is the matter? Did I ever do you hurt? have I ever been a land of darkness to you, or a hard master ? So Micah 6:3, ' O my people, what have I done unto thee, and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me.' When we go off from God, we do as it were proclaim that we have found just discouragement in the ways of Christ, as a man that goeth off from you showeth his expectation is deceived in you.
Thomas Manton, “Sermons on Genesis xxiv. 63,” in The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, D.D. (London: James Nisbet, 1874), 17:330.


No comments: