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believer hath his answer ready; it is, “ Lord, that I may " be ever with thee, where thou art;" as David said, Psalm xxvii. 4. of God's house on earth. This I infer, If thy love be set on being with Christ where he is, be assured that Christ's love is set on the same blessing for thee; yea, thy desire after it, flows from his desire of it for thee.
4. Are you willing, yea pleased and delighted, to hold your title to eternal glory, by the will and testament of Jesus Christ? Are you willing to have and hold the crown by this tenure only, that it was bought by his blood, and willed to you by his testament ? Every believer would be in heaven, because Christ is there; and is pleased to get
and · keep his place there, as willed to him by Jesus Christ. Heaven is a lovely name, and a more lovely thing ; but not at all known by many, and but little by the best; but yet believers look for it, and expect it, as the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord, Rom. vi. 23. They plead for it as such ; at last they receive it as grace, and eternally weat the crown as a crown of grace, as well as a crown of glory: The glorified saint, as soon as he receives this crown, casts it át Christ's feet, Rev. iv. 10. or sets it on Christ's head, as if ashamed to wear a crown, where Christ the only Worthy is. Upon Christ's head are many crowns, Rev. xix 12. His F.ther puts a crown on him, Heb. ii. 9. crowned him with glory and honour; his mother, the church, crowns him, Cant. iii. 11. with a crown of salvation ; and every saved person puts on Chrise's head the crown of the glory of their particular salvation.
To conclude : They that are not willing to give the flory of all salvation to Jesus Christ, shall never receive any salvation from him. But for you that are willing to receive all from him, and are delighted to render the glory of all to him, his heart is towards you; his best wishes are for your good; and he will give you what he hath prepared for you, which is exceedingly above all that can be told you.
JOHN xvii. 24.
Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be avith me
where I am; that they may behold my gbry which thou hast given me : for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the
world. THOSE great and saving words of our Lord Jesus Christ, have been taken up into two heads.
1. The manner of Christ's praying : I will. Of. this last day.
HEAD II. The matter of Christ's proyer.
And therein I sook up four things, 1. The persons he prays for ; they whoin thou hast given me. 2. The blessing he prays for to them ; that they may be with me where I am. 3. The end our Lord prays for this blessing to them for ; that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me. 4. The argument our Lord presseth this suit by; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
The first of these I would now speak to : The designation and name of the persons Christ here prays for; They whom thou hast given me.
No man but Jesus Christ, who is more than a man, dare say in prayer, I will; nor pray for this name as Christ did. All our prayers are to be out of one book; and we pray without book in a bad sense, when we go beyond it. The only book I mean, is God's written will in the holy scriptures. By this we are taught what to pray for, and how we should pray; and beyond this we cannot lawfully ask any thing ; neither need we more for direction, but only the same Spirit that writ them, to assist us in the using of them, Rom. viii, 26.; that we may pray in the Holy Ghost, Jude, ver. 20. and in the Spirit, Eph. vi. 18. But our Lord Jesus Christ could not only pray, out of God's revealed will in the scriptures, (for he testified of the scriptures, as they do of him, John v. 39.); but he could, and did pray out of
thie book of God's secret will. He prayed out of the book of life, and was acquainted with the original of the covenant. And thus he prays here for them that were given hiin.
From this I would raise three doctrines, and speak to one of them at this time.
Obs. 1. There is a select company of the children of men given by the Father to the Son.
Obs. 2. This company given by the Father to the Son was, ana is fully and exactly known by Jesus Christ.
Oes. 3. That Jesus Christ is neurly concerned about their elernal salvation; as his praying for it here witnesseth.
Obs. 1. There was a select company of mankind given ly the Father to his Son Jesus Christ, to be saved by him.
This truth is several ways declared to us in the word; and yet more by Jesus Christ himself, than by any other; and yet more in this prayer, than any where else by him. And, if we may so conceive, this great depth of God was specially fit to mentione:!, when the receiver of them is speaking his heart about them to the giver of them. This is named six times in this short chapter. In ver. 2. As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life 10 as many as thou hast given him. In ver. 6. we have it twice: I love manijested thy name urto the men which thu pavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest ihem mé ; and they have k pt thy word. In verse 9. I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me, for they are thine. Ver. 11. Holy Father, keep through thine own name, these wliom thou hast given me. And here again in ver. 24. They uliom thou hast given me. There is a twofold giving of men to the Son by the Father. One is eternal, in the purpose of his grace; and this is mainly meant here. The other is in time; when the Father by his Spirit draw's men to Christ, John vi. 44, 45. All the elect are given from eternity to the Son, to be redeemed by his blood; all the redeemed are in due time drawn by the Father to the Son, to be kept to eternal life.
On this giving of men to Christ, I would speak a little.
1. As to the nature of it. This giving of ment the Son to be reddemned and saved, is the sime thing with clecin and predestination, Eph. i. 4. Hi hat's chosen us in Christ befire the found stion of the world. Ver. 5. Having prutiestivated us unto the ad.ption of children by Jesus Christ to himself. And ver. 11. In whom also we have obruined an inderitance, being predestinated aicording to the purpose of him wło workedhe cill things after the counsel of his own will. The difference betwist these words is very small. L'ecliun pints at the distinction of the perso:is on whom this grace full from cternity. Predertiene tion sixeth the end they were appointed to, 1 Th.55. v. I. Giving them to Christ, points forth the grand trustce with this great charge. The meaning of this word, giving of men to Christ, so oft used by our Lord, and hallowed by lisains of it, hath these five things in it :-
1. That there were divine trarsicions bruger on the Fade and Son about the saving of niell. Ther. 14.15 a coursel of piace between t'iem both, Zech. vi. 13.; bit and psy revealed is the woril, yet a mystery unsearch ible io ...man, but firnily to be believedl, reverently to be awred, and cautiously to be improved by us.
2. That there was but a select company of imao kind that . this counsel was about. Our Lord, who hleiv them bust, still speaks thus of them, especiilly in this prayer; as hith been dicli red. He still speaks of them b; ita is dit:1.1.0 from the world. Whatever men may say civicdempion, curely wiversal election is a contradicium in words. Electio: must be of a fixed determinate number. There is no eliction, if there be no pissing by. If all butikell, thcre are none chosen. If there be and eliit.cn, tire is a rist, a remnant (and this rest is a multitud), Rom. xi. T. Huw great this number of the electis, Christ and Lis Father kneir; and the last day will declare, when they shall be brought all together, and obtain the kingdom our fir them from the foundation of the world, and be adjudged to it by Chris, as they are the blessed of his Futher, Matth. xxv. 31.
3. 'That this counsel about their salvation was from eternity. Time-election is as great a blunder as universal election. How oft is the eternity of it asserted in the word? Eph. i. 4. 2 Thess. ii. 13. 2 Tim. i. 9. Election is an immanent act of God about creatures; not on them, nor with them. It is in a transaction betwixt the Father and the Son, about men that were not, but were only to be; and to reap the benefit of it in time and to eternity.
4. It follows, that this grace of election must be unchangeable, immutable, and unalterable. It never changeth, it never fails of its designed effect. All God's counsels are so : Isa. xxv. 1. Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. His coun. sel stands for ever, the thoughis of his heart to all generations, Psal. xxxiii. 11. He is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doth. For he performeth the thing which is appointed for me, Job xxiii. 13, 14. Now, of this number of the elect given by the Father to the Son, there is no paring from it, no adding to it. The book of life admits of no corrections, blotting out; no additions, no new editions.
5. It is also implied, that in this giving of men to the Son, the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, hath a special interest. Thereby they are made his charge; and he the Captain of their salvation, to bring these sons of election-grace to eternal glory, Heb. ii. 10.
II. Of the ends of this giving of men thus to Christ, by the Father. It is a glorious act of God, and it is on glorious designs and ends. Of some of these, from the word, I would speak in these four particulars :
1. Herein is a most clear displaying of absolute'sovereignty in Jehovah. The glorious God is most zealous for the glory of this name of his sovereignty, as what most nearly concerns the glory of his Godhead; and proud vain men are most averse to the owning of it. The apostle Paul is on this same doctrine in Rom. ix. and builds it on this same foundation, ver. 11,-19. He starts two strong objections against it ; as carnal minds are fertile in vain arguings against divine counsels. And o that all advocates for them had been satisfied with