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4. and lastly, To raise your thoughts of the greatness of this favour, of having a throne of grace to come to, consider what rich provisions are made at this throne for sioners, This the text speaks of, and we shall in order handle them, We shall only now say a few words. There is no court in all God's dominions that a sinner can come to, and find any mercy or grace, but only at this throne of grace. If you talk of law, or justice, or equity, these are all frightful courts to sensible sinners. They know their cause and case is bad; and that if they come to any bar but that of the throne of grace, they must be cast. But at this throne of grace, they that have nothing, may get all things; they that deserve nothing, may get every thing; they that deserve wrath, may obtain
mercy; they that are cast and condemned at the court of justice, may be acquitted and freed from all sentences, and be adjudged to eternal life, by the grace of God in Christ Jesus. All that is needful to salvation, is dispensed at this throne. Yet all that is given, is old in the purpose of grace from eternity, old in the everlasting covenant, old in the purchase of Jesụs Christ: only it is newly given according to the sinner's necessity: 2 Tim. i. 9. Who hoth saved us, and called us with an holy calling, (this was done as yesterday; but how came we by this saving and this calling?), not according to our works, but according to his own pur. pose and grace, (Paul still opposeth works to grace, and grace to works, in the matter of justification and salvation; and so doth his Lord and Master that taught him, and so do all that know either grace or works rightly), which was given us in Christ Jesus, before the world began. Let this be still kept in mind, that whatever you can need, there is a suitable and abundant supply to be had at this throne of
grace. I shall conclude this exercise, with naming two sorts of people that will be specially welcome to the throne of grace.
1. They that come to the throne of grace soon and early s I mean, young people, children, that begin betimes to be courtiers and attendants at this throne: Prov. viii. 17. I love them that love me; and those that seek me early, shall find me, saith the King on this throne of grace. O that young people would try and use this throne of grace betimes! They would find Christ very gracious to them. He would discover his
beauty, and give them of his love, that would cool their thirst after sinful pleasures. They might grow rich and strong in grace, before they be old; or if they die young, they should be transplanted to a better soil, and be nearer the Sun of Righteousness, than they can be in this world. Never did a saint got safe ashore in heaven bewail his arriving there too soon,
2. They that come to the throne of grace to get, and not to give. Take heed to your spirits in this matter. When you come to the throne of grace, come to receive out of Christ's fulness, and come not to bring grace with you to add to Christ's store. He loves to give, and glories in giving; but he scorns to receive grace from you; and in truth you have none but what he gives. Bring your wants to him to supply, but bring not your fulness to brag of. Spread your sins before this throne with shame and sorrow, and plead for a gracious pardon; but take heed you bring not your sorrow, tears, and repentance, nay, nor your faith itself, as a plea for that pardon. How abominable is it to Christians ears, and how much more unto Christ's, to hear a man plead thus for pardon: “ Here is my repentance; “where is thy pardon? Here is my faith; where is thy “ justification ?” I know men abhor to say so. But take good heed, lest any thought bordering on it enter into thy heart. Faith is the tongue that begs pardon? faith is the hand that receives it, it is the eye that seeth it; but it is no price to buy it. Faith useth the gospel-plea for pardon ; but itself, neither in habit nor act, is the plea itself. That is only Christ's blood. Christ's blood goes for the remission of your sins, if ever they be forgiven: and is the only plea to be heard at the throne of grace. There are too many like the Pharisee, Luke xviii. 11. It would seem by Christ's words, verse 14. that both came for justification. The Pharisee slood, and prayed thus with himself; God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men aré, or as this publican. Poor wretch! The publican was à far better man than he, as Christ testifieth. He came to the throne of grace, like a man that would carry something away. It is a rule of this court, Luke i. 59. He hath filled the hungry zrith good things
but the rich he hath sent empty away. According to this
HEB. iy. 16.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may
obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
2. How shall
blessings are comprehensive of all things needful to make a sinner happy.
To the first of these I began to speak last day, That God hath erected a throne of grace in the gospel, to which men are invited to come. What this throne of grace is, is spoke to; and that this throne of grace is to be distinguished from all other thrones of God spoken of in the word. The throne of his essential glory is unapproachable by all creatures. The throne of his justice is dreadful to all sinners. should pray against our coming before this throne, Psalm cxliii. 2. He must be a proud ignorant fool that would offer to come and plead at its bar; for here all acts and sentences pass according to strict law and justice; and the law is an everlasting condemner of all sinners. There is also the throne of the Judge at the last day. But this throne is not yet set, though it will surely be; and we know not how soon, and should prepare for our appearing before it, 2 Cor. v. 9, 10.
But this throne of grace is the gracious manifestation of God in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, 2 Cor. v. 18, 19. This is the light of the glory of God's grace shining in the face of Jesus Christ, 2 Cor. iv. 6. And to coming to this throne of grace, and to God in Christ dispensing his grace from it, we are here exhorted and encouraged.
In pursuing of this exhortation, I would,
I. Prove that all should come,
I. That all ought to come to the throne of
grace. All sinners that hear of it, should improve this great privilege, and seek the enjoyment of God's grace and mercy in Jesus Christ,
1. Because God is not otherwise, approachable by men in accepted worship. No man cometh unto the Father but by me; saith Christ, John xiv. 6. The light of nature teacheth all men in some measure, that there is a God, and somewhat of his eternal power and god-head, Rom. i. 20.; aid that this
God should be worshipped. Therefore some sort of worship is performed by all sorts of heathens, who are yet without God, and that because without Christ, and therefore without hope in the world, Eph. ii. 12. Never was there, nor will there be, nor can there be, any gracious approach unto God, nor any address received favourably by God, but at this throne of grace. Therefore whatever may be said of the zealous devotion, and of the moral principles and practices of the heathens, yet never any of them did, nor could offer up an acceptable prayer unto God, nor obtain a gracious answer from him; not only because they worshipped an unknown God, Acts xvii. 23. Gal. iv. 8. but mainly because they worshipped not at this throne of grace; for there can be no communion with God, there can be nothing graciously given by God to men, nothing done by men that can be accepted of God, but at this throne of grace.
2. All should come to this throne, because all men have need of the blessings dispensed at this throne of grace. Where there is an universal urgent necessity, and only one place of supply discovered, men are called to betake themselves thither. The blessings dispensed at the throne of grace, are equally needed by all. Every man, every woman, young or old, rich or poor, are equally needy, because all are unspeakably needy of the mercy and grace of God. Some indeed have a greater sight and sense of their wants than others, and that is mercy); but the real necessity is common to all. Every unpardoned man needs a pardon at this throne of grace; but few, if any, value a pardon till they get it, or value the grace of God till they feel it. Do you
feel your need of what is given and got at this throne ? Come then. The law thunders and roars against you, that you may see your need of coming bither for what the law cannot give, nor hinder you from receiving, nor rob
of when received. Do you think in your heart, that you are the most needy person in all the world ; that you need all the grace and mercy,
or more, than ever any sinner received ? Then come the rathes, come the sooner. The neediest soul, the hungriest Hinner, the person most greedy of the grace of God, should come first to Christ's door, and beg loudest,