Sect. II.

Use. SEE hence what cause of thankfulness to all the people of God, that the Lord should make their souls the vessels (which he might easily and justly have dashed in pieces) to receive and preserve this eternal anointing; I do not believe there is no man that knows the bitterness of sin, the plague of his own heart, but when he sees Christ is his, yet it makes him mourn that there should be so little suitableness between the Lord and him, so little likeness between his life and Christ’s; what though the Lord love me, and yet my heart weary of him? What, though the Lord bless me, and make my heart abuse him? And hence this makes it thankful, Rom. 7:24,25. This so far from dishonoring grace, as that the apostle makes this the matter of admiration of God’s grace, Eph. 2: 3,4, “God who is rich in mercy, when dead in sins has quickened us:” Not only quickened our head (for hence is cause of eternal praise), but us; and hence he has us set up, “in heavenly places in him.” This is the state of all men, they cannot do one spiritual act; now that the Lord should help when all creatures left us, is wonderful; but that it should be with such a life, even the life of Christ Jesus himself; for the same Spirit that raised him from the dead dwells in us, 1 Pet. 5:1. This mercy indeed that he should not only die for us, and live in heaven for us, but that he should love so dearly, as to come and live in us; that when our sins had slain him, he should not only come and dwell in our houses, not only pay his head in our bosom, but live in our hearts, where he finds such poor welcome, and ill entertainment at our hands. I tell you this is wonderful, to make his habitation in us, that before we go to live with him, he should live in us: let them that never knew what this meant refuse to be thankful, but if you will find it so, forget not this love, John 14:17, “I will send the Spirit whom the world cannot receive, because it knows him not.” The Lord sends the Spirit in common graces, and the world does not receive that also in prophetical and miraculous gifts, and it does not receive that; but this Spirit which God pours on the thirsty, this Spirit with which God fills the empty, they cannot receive this. O that you should receive it, when as they know it not.

Thomas Shepard, The Parable of the Ten Virgins Opened and Applied: Being the Substance of Divers Sermons on Matthew xxv. 1-14. The Difference between the Sincere Christian and the most refined Hypocrite, the Nature and Character of Saving and Common Grace (Falkirk: Printed by T. Johnson, For R. Johnson, the Publisher, 1797), 1:369-370. [Some reformatting; some spelling modernized; and underlining mine.]

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 14th, 2011 at 4:00 pm and is filed under God is Gracious: Common and Special Grace. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Comments are closed at this time.