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GOD'S GRACIOUS CALL AND PRECIOUS
PSAL. lxxxi. 10. Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
THE great defign of the gospel, and of all gofpel-ordinances, is to make fouls happy, and for this end to bring them to God through Christ, in whom they may find folid and complete fatisfaction. All men defire to be happy; they are conscious to themselves of wants, which the natural defire of happiness influences them to get fupplied. But, alas! they apply to improper quarters, and fuck at thofe breafts which can never fill them, even those of their lufts. Since Adam forfook God for the creature, mankind have been fo intoxicated with creature-fweetnefs, that they stand as it were chained at the creature's
* Delivered at Wamphray, Saturday, June. 30. 1711. immediately before the difpenfation of the Lord's fuppe r there.
door, begging fatisfaction, even after a thousand denials. They cannot lift their eyes to the Lord, they cannot move their feet towards him, till grace break the bands of iron and brass with which they are held.
In the text, the Lord comes to finners as thus fituate, and outbids all others which they in their hearts and lives are following after; and he does this even while they will not look over their fhoulder to him, from their madness on their idols. This is the scope of the text; for in this verse, the Lord pleads the grand purpose of love laid down, ver. 9. which is, that they fhould renounce all others for him, give up with their idols, and take him for and instead of all. And to enforce this, he thus reasons with them: 1. I have done for you what all your idols never did, and never could have done, "I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt." Where were all your strange gods, when Pharaoh refu. fed to let you go? Deut. xxxii. 11. "So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no ftrange god with him." Look to all the real good that ever you met with, and say, Was it the Lord or your idols that did it for you?—2. I will do and can do for you, what they cannot all do for you: Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it abundantly. Many a time you have opened your mouths, and wide enough, to your idols; fo wide that it has been no small pain to get them fhut again; and yet they remain ftill empty for them, they were never filled. But fays the Lord, Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. Where more particularly obferve,
1. That there is an emptinefs fuppofed in poor finners, which needs to be filled. They have loft God, and a thousand worlds cannot fill up his VOL. II. I i
That man who has Chrift in his heart, has enough to fatisfy him, want what he will. And let a man have what he will, if he has not Christ in him, he has not what can fatisfy him. All the devil's trash can never fill the heart; many an empty space is in that heart, where Chrift is not; which plagues them with a dog-like appetite, which is never fatisfied.
2. There is a fill propofed and offered to empty finners. This is a foul-fill; a filling with all the fulnessof God. This is the only thing which can fill the mouth of the foul, which is the mouth meant in the text; for it is an easy thing to find among the creatures a fill to the mouth of the body, which can hold but little; but the whole creation cannot fill the mouth of the foul. The Lord only can fill it, he only can fatisfy and ftill the reftlefs foul, and fo make it, after many years, difappear, and fall asleep in the bofom of God; and after the most pinching straits, to say, “ I have all, and abound."We have,
3. The party communicating this foul-fill to the finner: I, more generally, I the Lord, in oppofition to ftrange gods. That fill you could never get from your idols, you fhall have from me. More particularly, it is Jefus Chrift, the fecond perfon, the great treasurer of heaven, and fteward of the fulness of God. It is plain that it is the fame Lord who brought the Ifraelites out of Egypt; and this was no other but Chrift, who was known under the Old Teftament by the God of Ifrael, Exod. iii. 2.-8. It was he who wrought that deliverance, as a type and pledge of the great redemption. It was he whom the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire did reprefent, even God vailed with 'flefh. He who brought them out of the land of Egypt, he whom they tempted in the wilderness,
wilderness, and this was Chrift: 1 Cor. x. 19. "Neither let us tempt Christ, as fome of them also tempted, and were deftroyed of serpents.”—We have,
4. The finner's duty in order to this communication: Open thy mouth wide. The word here used is, in Gen. xxvi. 22. rendered making room. O the freedom of grace! only make room for a fill, and ye fhall have it. Let the foul only, as an hungry infant, lay its mouth by faith on the breafts of Chrift's confolations, and they fhall flow abundantly. If the spiritual appetite be not wanting, ye shall have a fill; and what can be desired more? unlefs we would have him to force it upon us. Open thy mouth, do not keep it close, and say you will have none of him. Open to receive, and he will give. Open it wide, the wider you open, the more that fouls defire of him, you your fhall get the more. I cannot think the widenefs in the text is intended to straiten the offer, but rather informs us, that there is a fulness in Chrift, fufficient to fatisfy the moft extended defires of the foul. -From this fubject, I take the following
DOCTRINE, That Chrift Jefus can and will fill the
foul whose mouth is opened wide to receive of and from him. For illuftrating this doctrine, Ifhall,
I. SHEW what it is to open the mouth of the foul wide to Chrift.
II. How Chrift fills the foul, fo as no other can do. And then,
III. Conclude with fome improvement.--We are then,
I. To fhew what it is to open the mouth of the foul wide to Chrift.-This opened mouth confifts, In a fight of wants. The foul must be Ii 2
brought to a fight of its own emptiness, ere it will open its mouth for a fill from the Lord: Prov. xxvii. 7"The full foul loatheth an honey-comb : But to the hungry foul, every bitter thing is fweet." The want of this was Laodicea's ruin. She thought herself rich, and increased in goods, and having need of nothing, and knew not that the was wretched, and miferable, and poor, and blind, and naked. When Chrift comes to the foul, he fays to it, as he did to the blind man, "What will ye that I fhall do unto you?" He makes perfons fenfible of their difeafes, before he applies the remedy, that his free grace may thus be glorified. Jefus, by his word and Spirit, gives the foul a view of God in his glory; and then the foul cries, I want peace with God; a Mediator, a Chrift to ftand betwixt me and his consuming fire. He gives the foul-a view of the tribunal of God, before which it muft foon appear: And then it cries, Ah! I want a righteousness, a better righteousness than my own, a complete and everlafting righteousnefs, without which I can never appear with acceptance before this tribunal.-A view of his fins And then he cries, Where fhall I find pardon ?--A view of what the law requires, and of what the finner is in himfeif: And then he cries, Ah! I am all wants. I have nothing of myself good, and can do nothing.--This opened mouth confifts,
2. In a sense of need.. Perfons may fee their want of those things, who are not pinched with felt need, but reign as kings without Christ, and fay unto God, Job, xxi. 14. 15. "Depart from us, for we defire not the knowledge of thy ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit fhould we have if we pray unto him?" But the foul whose mouth is opened wide,