September 22, 2014

William Pinke (c.1599–1629) on Christ's Fair Offers of Salvation

You have heard the first part of his burden, who in the light of the Gospel does not really love Christ Jesus, to wit, that he has no part in Christ & therefore all the curses of the law belong unto him. One would think there needed no more to be said to prove him accursed, who loves not Christ Jesus, seeing his having no part in him includes more horrors and terrors then it's possible for the brain of man to shape the ideas of. But I must tell you, that as heavy a doom as this is, yet is it but light in comparison of which I shall describe unto you in a second consideration, to wit, whosoever he be that is Catechized and brought up in the Christian profession, and yet doth not heartily and sincerely affect Christ Jesus, besides all the curses due unto his sins against the Law, he treasures up unto himself a far more complete vengeance for his disesteem and contempt of the Gospel. It were well, beloved, if when Christ Jesus comes unto man, and that man receives him not, if he left him in no worse case then he found him, though that were unconceivably miserable: But it's never so. For if he entertains not Christ as Saviour, he is sure to have him henceforth his accuser, and if he will not admit him ad salutem, he shall have him whether he will, or no, ad Testimonium. It's true which our Saviour told Nicodemus John 3:17. that God sent not his Son into the World to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. Christ doth not knock at any man's heart with that intent that he may have the more advantage against him, if he let him not in, no he comes with purpose and desire to bring in salvation with him, but if he and his salvation be so little regarded that we entertain him only with a few cold compliments at [the] door, as I may say, and so dismiss him. O then he goes away in a rage, complains to his Father that for such ungrateful wretches he shed his dearest blood. And therefore though God sent his Son into the World [not] to condemn it, yet it follows in the next verse, he that believeth not is condemned already, because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God. Condemned &c. he believeth not: Why? the Law had sufficiently condemned him before. True, but now God offers him a pardon by his Son to exempt him from condemnation, which seeing he scorns, or cares not to accept, God will now not only have the other condemnation to continue its force against him, but will load him with another more heavy, which shall never be reversed by any pardon. This is made more plain by the verse following, This is the condemnation, that light is come into the World, and men love darkness rather then light, that is; For this is that great and final condemnation, which can never be remitted, as that of the Law may, that Christ is come into the World, bringing redemption with him, and men are so little sensible of it, so dully affected with it, that they care not for making any use of him, but had rather continue Satan's prisoner still, then come forth into his marvelous light. So that the neglect of Christ Jesus and his Gospel, is that which makes a man completely Anathema Maranatha, because if we pass by him there remains henceforth no more sacrifice for sin, but a fearful expectation of Judgment, Heb. 10:26. Mistake me not beloved, when I say there remains no more sacrifice for sin to those who have passed by Christ Jesus, I mean such as have passed him by for good and all, such as are not entirely incorporated into him before they are snatched out of this life. For indeed we have a redeemer so sensible of our infirmities, that when he comes a wooing unto our souls, he will not be driven away at the first denial. Alas! if he should be so touchy, there would hardly ever any soul be espoused to him, seeing all of us naturally hang back, find excuses, and make many pauses, and demures, before we give our consent. But our Saviour is so patient towards our follies, that for all his repulse he will vouchsafe to come again and again, wait our leisure, take all opportunity, solicit the business by his Holy Spirit. But here is no ground for presumption. For whoever denies him so often, or so peremptorily, that he is forced as if it were to leave off his sute [suit?], during the life of the party; or whosoever dallies so long with him, that he is called out of this life (as who can promise himself an hour) before the match be made up: I say whosoever shall slight his Saviour, or neglect him after this manner, it had been a thousand times better for him, that Christ had never been born into the World, or at least that himself had been born in such an obscure corner of it, that he had never heard of him. For his outward profession of, and with all the prerogative of it, with which he contented himself without any hearty love unto him, the fair offers of salvation which he had, are made nothing of, shall press him more heavily at the day of Judgment, then all his sins against the law, though they were murders, when for these very reasons it shall be easier for Turks, Americans, and Virginians then for him.
William Pinke, The Trial of a Christian's Sincere Love Unto Christ, 5th edition (Oxford: Printed by W. Hall for John Forrest, 1659), 22–26.


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