December 4, 2014

Several References to God Begging in John Murcot's (1625-1654) Works

"I will but add one word more, and that is this; It is no indifferent thing, whether you close with this invitation or no? there is a necessity lies upon you to come to the Marriage-feast, except you resolve upon it to perish for ever; God was wroth, and sent forth his armies to destroy, &c. Ah what gnashing of teeth will  there be to poor sinners in hell, when they shall see their neighbors, who heard this Gospel with them, sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob at the table of Christ in his kingdom, and themselves cast out! Ah brethren, I beg for you a believing heart, you must either feast with Christ, or starve forever with Satan and his Angels, and then not a drop will be had to cool your tongues; now flagons are tendered you, now wine and milk without money and price, now rivers of pleasures at God's right hand, and fulness of joy is promised you, is held out to you, cometh a begging to you; Ah then, then brethren, shall you beg for a drop, and shall not have it; rivers of burning brimstone will be your bathing, when the Saints are swallowed up of those rivers of pleasure at his right hand; then will you be chewing upon your gall and wormwood, then will you be breaking your teeth upon your gravel, when the Saints are drinking this new wine in the kingdom of their Father with Jesus Christ. Ah think of it brethren, think of it; you have now your good things, many of your eyes stand out with fatness, you spend a world upon your lusts, live like Epicures, wantonizing in the abundance of your enjoyments; how woeful will that sentence be! Son, remember, thou in thy life time hadst thy good things, and now thou art tormented; hadst thy wine and drinking unto drunkenness, now the stings of it abide upon thee; the Saints have their worst first, and the best kept until the last; but you have your consolation in this world, and the wine of astonishment will be your portion for ever, if you will not be persuaded. Therefore take your choice brethren, I set life and death before you, and consider of it, How will you escape, if you neglect this great salvation? you may now be received to the Feast, the door stands open, it will not always be so, it will be shut against you. O how will you answer it another day before the Lord Jesus, if you now trample under foot his blood, and precious offers of his Grace, though by the hand and mouth of a poor worm like yourselves?"
John Murcot, "The Parable of the Ten Virgins," in Several Works of Mr. John Murcot (London: Printed by R. White, for Francis Tyton, at the three Daggars in Fleet-street, near the Inner-Temple Gate, 1657), 357-358. This work was published by Mr. [Samuel] Winter, Mr. [Robert] Chambers, Mr. [Samuel] Eaton, Mr. [Joseph] Caryl, and Mr. [Thomas] Manton.
"Thirdly, It may serve to convince us of our folly herein: folly is a thing we cannot endure the imputation of: But what greater folly is it, then brethren, to dis-join the end from the means, specially where the end is so necessary to be had to happiness, and the means so absolutely necessary to that end? surely then this is gross folly: he is a fool that would have health and strength, and yet will not eat, nor drink, nor sleep, nor recreate, will not use the means: well, brethren,  you would have heaven, every one of you, you would have this blessed state after death, we are carried to it with a natural impetus, the end is necessary, we must enter or perish forever. 2. This means is as absolutely necessary to come to Jesus Christ, when the door stands open, while his bowels and bosom are open and ready to receive us, for when the door is shut, there is no remedy; we may enter, if we come while the door is open, afterward we cannot. Now is not he a fool in grain, that will trifle when the door stands open, and even goeth a begging to poor sinners, and yet think to enter when the door is shut? Ah Brethren, this folly fills every sinner's heart: What is the reason else so few are persuaded, while it is called today, to come, to seek him early, that they may find him? You are wise for the world, and men will speak well of you, if you do well to yourselves; but you are fools in God's account, in the account of Saints and Angels, they speak not well of you; witness the Fool in the Gospel, that spent himself for vanity, and neglected his soul, which that night was to be taken from him. O that the Lord would so convince us, that we might not dare to linger and trifle away our day of Grace, lest when we come to cry, the door be shut against us."
Ibid., 390-391.
"Secondly, In that the Lord Jesus like a Son of righteousness indeed, doth not stay until the poor sinner, the patient do send for him, do come to him, but he is the first in the motion; you know physicians of eminency and worth, do not use to go up and down to bespeak their patients, to proclaim it up and down who hath any work for them; no, they are too hi[blot on page] that: if any will have to do with them, let them find the[blot on page] out, let them wait upon them; Mountebanks use to do so, they must hang out a bush, else it will not be known that they profess they can do anything; pardon the comparison, for our Saviour compareth his coming to the coming of a Thief; and if a Mountebank be no better, yet the comparison is tolerable by that of our Saviour himself, I say, he will rather come to sinners then that they shall miscarry[?]; he came to seek and to save that which was lost: for alas, the lost creature never will seek him, but wander, and loseth itself more and more, therefore we are compared to wandering sheep, We all like sheep have gone astray, yea, the very Saints themselves when once they have been found, yet will lose themselves again, as David, I have gone astray like a lost sheep, seek thy servant; else we should never find the way to Christ again; dogs and such kind of creatures, if lost, will find the way home again, but a sheep will not; so when we are utterly lost, Repent, for the Kingdom of God is come unto you, saith our Saviour; O repent and turn, for the Gospel, and the grace of the Gospel is come to you; the Kingdom of heaven goeth a begging, as I may say, cometh and knocketh at this door, and that door; at this family and that, to see if they will give entertainment to Jesus Christ, whether they will be healed, this day is Salvation come to thine house, saith the Lord to Zacheus; it came to him before he came to Christ; though he did indeed run a little for curiosity sake before Christ, to see his person, yea, our Saviour inviteth himself to him, he invited himself to come to his house; so, did not the Lord Jesus come to seek Paul, and where did he find him but in blood, up to the ears, even the blood of the Saints? may we not set to our seals to the truth of this? That he is found of such as never sought him; may we not say truly, that alas, our own souls, and our own families were poor, dark, ignorant, hard-hearted creatures, that never thought of Jesus Christ, until he first came and brought healing to us; the Son doth not stay until he be called up, but he riseth of his own accord upon the world; Brethren, the Lord Jesus this day, though by the mouth of a Babe, and uncircumcised creature in heart and lips, doth invite you, all is ready, and then he calls, this is a part of the message I have from Christ this day, and it is a sweet one, to invite every poor wounded Sinner, very poor diseased creature to come to Jesus Christ for healing; and O that I could bespeak you, as he himself would bespeak you, were he upon earth, with such a melting heart and sense of your condition. O why will ye die? is the expostulation of the Lord Jesus; why will you die of your wounds, of your plague-sores? here is balm for you, here is healing for you, if you will but accept of it; O do not slight it, do not run away from the Physician; Hath the Lord Jesus been all this pains to procure a medicine, and shall we cast it away, and slight it?"
John Murcot, "Christ the Sun of Righteousness, Hath Healing in His Wings for Sinners," in Several Works of Mr. John Murcot (London: Printed by R. White, for Francis Tyton, at the three Daggars in Fleet-street, near the Inner-Temple Gate, 1657), 458.


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

Augustine, Hugh Latimer (Early English Reformer), Isaac Ambrose (Puritan), Daniel Burgess (Puritan), Jeremiah Burroughs (Westminster divine), Richard Baxter (Puritan), Joseph Caryl (Westminster divine), Thomas Case (Puritan), Stephen Charnock (Puritan), John Collinges (Puritan), John Flavel (Puritan), Theophilus Gale (Puritan), William Gearing (Puritan), Andrew Gray (Puritan), William Gurnall (Puritan), Robert Harris (Westminster divine), Thomas Manton (Puritan), George Newton (Puritan), Anthony Palmer (Puritan), Edward Reynolds (Westminster divine), John Richardson (Puritan), Samuel Rutherford (Westminster divine), John Shower (Puritan), Richard Sibbes (Puritan), Sydrach Simpson (Westminster divine), William Strong (Westminster divine), George Swinnock (Puritan), John Trapp (Puritan), Ralph Venning (Puritan), Nathaniel Vincent (Puritan), Thomas Watson (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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