Encouragements to faith Drawn from severall engagements both of Gods Christs heart to receive pardon sinners. By Tho: Goodwin, B.D.
Goodwin, Thomas, 1600-1680.

The words of the Text opened.

NOw these words of my Text do hold forth the full willingnesse of both these two persons, both of God and of Christ:

1. Of Christ, he here professeth himself willing to entertain all that will come to him, [He that will come to me, I will in no wise cast out.] Which words are not to be understood, as if spoken only of casting out them that are already come unto him, as if they were only a promise against being cast off after being received; and so intended against feares of falling away: but they are chiefly intended as an invitement to all that are not yet come, that they would come to him, and so, to expresse how ready and willing he is to enter∣tain all commers, as one who sets his doores open, keeps open house, and beats back none that would come in, [Him that commeth to me, I will in no wise cast out.] And though it may seem to be but a slender and sparing expression of his readines to entertain such, to say only [I will not cast them out,] yet though he speaks with the least, yet he will do with the most, he being abundant in goodnesse and truth, and one that is better then his word in the performance. As when he sayes, he will not despise a broken heart, is that all the Page  5 esteem he will manifest to such a heart? Oh no, it is the most welcome thing, and endeared frame of spi∣rit that can be in any creature. His meaning is to shew what he elsewhere sayes of a meek spirit (which is all one with a broken heart) that, with God it is of great price, for so in Isaiah he expresseth himself, I that inha∣bit eternity, with whom will I dwell? with a spirit that is broken and contrite. He useth also this expression of not casting them out, in relation, and for a more di∣rect answer unto the feare which he knew usually possesseth the hearts of poor sinners when they are a∣bout to come to him; they fear he may reject them, they know not their entertainment, their welcome. To meet with this Scruple, he sayes, [I will not cast such out] choosing rather thus to remove the doubt that is in their hearts, then to expresse the fulnesse of his own: the Scriptures speaking potius ad cor nostrum quam cor suum, rather unto our hearts, then fully what is in his own, (which can never be done.)

And yet even in this diminutive expression, there is that inserted, which argues not only a willingnesse and readinesse, but a resolvednesse joyned with the greatest care and faithfulnesse that can be, [〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉] I will [in no wise] cast out. We may see his heart through this little crevis: he doth herein as a faithfull man, who to give the more full assurance puts in some binding word into his promise, as [I will at no hand, or in no wise faile you.] Thus does God also in that known Promise, Heb. 12. 5. (to the hornes of which sanctuary many a soule hath fled for refuge) I will ne∣ver leave thee, nor forsake thee, where there are no lesse then five negatives to bind and assure it, I will not, in no wise, (&c.) leave thee.

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Now this willingnesse of his, on his part, Christ shewes by two things:

First, by that great journey he took, from heaven to earth, and that to no other purpose but to save sin∣ners. For this (sayes he) did I come down from heaven. Great actions of one who is wise, must answerably have great ends; now this was the greatest thing that ever was done, that the Son of God should come from Heaven. And when there can be but one end of an action so great; that end must needs be accom∣plished, or else the action is wholly in vain. Now in comming down from heaven, he could have no other end but the saving of sinners, he could have no other businesse to do, that he did here; therefore the Scrip∣tures put his comming into the world wholly upon this, to seek and to save that which was lost, and do attribute his taking upon him the likenesse of sinfull flesh to have been [for sin] so Rom. 8. though other ends might be supposed, and were accomplisht by the assuming mans nature, yet he had no other end of taking fraile flesh, especially there could be no other end of his dying, but meerely and only for sin: Iohn 12. 24. he sayes, If he had not fallen to the ground and dyed, he had then remained in Heaven alone, and no sinners had come thither: that therefore they might ascend to heaven, he descends from heaven, I came down from heaven, &c.

Secondly, He demonstrates his willingnesse by this, that his Father had sent him on purpose to receive and to save sinners: I come (sayes he) to do the will of him who sent mee: and Iohn 8. he sayes [I came not of my self, but (my Father) he sent me] And if he were Page  7 sent by his Father to this end (as he affirmes he was, and as by the coherence appeares, for he makes it the reason why he will cast none out) then certainly he will faithfully do the work he was sent for: In Heb. 3. 1. he is called the Apostle of our profession [Apostle] that is, one sent, so the word signifies; and what fol∣lowes? who was [faithfull to him that appointed him. Now upon these considerations, Christ tells you that you may build upon him, that you shall certainly find him willing.

2. For his Fathers willingnesse, he tels us we may be much more confident of it: for he puts his own willingnesse and all upon that: Him (sayes he) that the Father gives me, shall come to me; and him that com∣meth to me, I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me: and this is the Fathers will that hath sent me, &c. In which words you may observe both wherein he declares his Father to be engaged, and how much.

First, Wherein: and that by two things:

1. That he sent him to that end, and so, it is his Fathers businesse more then his own. So also Luke 2. 49. he expresseth himself: [Shall I not do my Fathers businesse?] as elsewhere in Isaiah he is called his Fa∣thers Servant in it, and Iohn 5. 36. he makes it his Fa∣thers work.

Secondly, that he in a solemne manner gave unto him them whom he would have to be saved, with charge to lose none [All that the Father hath given me shall come unto me:] and this is his will, that I should lose none, but give him an account of every soul of Page  8 them at the last day. They are given him as jewels, and as his Beniamins, to look to, and see to bring back and keep from destruction. Now whom he so so∣lemnly gave to Christ to save, he will never cast a∣way, when they shall come unto Christ.

Then 2. he shewes how much, and how deeply, his Father is engaged, and makes it his Fathers will ra∣ther then his own: [I come not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me:] The meaning whereof is, not to shew that he came unwillingly, or receives sinners unwillingly, but that his Fathers will was first in it (as I shall shew anon,) and so much in it, that (if you will resolve it into its first principles Christs comming was principally to please his Father. It is such a speech, as that in Iohn 5. 22. [The Father judg∣eth no man: but hath committed all judgement to the Son, &c.] Not that God is not a Iudge as well as Christ, (for Heb. 12. 23. he is termed the Iudge of all men) but because all judgement is visibly committed unto Christ, therefore the Father is said to judge no man. So here, because the Fathers will is chiefe, and first in it, Christ therefore sayes, he came not to do his own will, but the will of him that sent him.

And so you have the meaning of the words.