RPM, RPM Volume 18, Number 18, April 24 to April 30, 2016

Sermons on John 17

Sermon XVIII

By Thomas Manton

And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.— John 17:11.

Fourthly, We are now come to the fourth circumstance, the person for whom he prayeth, 'Those which thou hast given me.' Some ancient copies read, \~d\~ \~dedwkav\~ \~moi\~, 'thy name which thou hast given me;' but I will not trouble you with that Most read as we do, \~duv\~, 'those which thon hast given me' But who are they? and what is meant by God's giving us to Christ? and why is it mentioned here? The phrase is often repeated, and used in many verses of this chapter.

I shall now explain it once for all.

1. Who are the persons that were given to Christ?

I answer—Generally the elect, particularly the apostles. The elect are and may be comprised within the expression; for, ver. 9, it is put in contradistinction to the reprobate world, for whom Christ will not pray: 'I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them that thou hast given me, for they are thine.' But in the principal scope of this verse, the disciples of that age are intended, and among them chiefly the apostles, who are \~eklektwn\~ \~eklektoteroi\~, the elect of the elect; for he doth principally pray for others afterward: ver. 20, 'Neither pray I for these alone, but for those which shall believe on me through their word.' But after that again, both the disciples and all others that belong to the purposes of God's grace are folded or bound together up in this one expression: ver. 24, 'Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory.' All which showeth that this expression,' those which are given to Christ,' is a character proper and peculiar to the elect, and so Christ meaneth it in this place. Nothing can be objected against this, but that in the verse next my text, ver. 12, 'Those that thou gavest me, I have kept, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition.' So that either we must take this giving in a larger sense, or allow that some of those given to Christ may be lost. I answer [Pg. 314]

I might take the word in a larger sense indeed, as it is sometimes used in scripture, for those given to Christ only by way of reward, though not by way of charge, as I shall distinguish by and by. Hypocrites, because of their external vocation, are said to be given to Christ by way of ministry and service, but not by way of special charge. And it is notable what Christ saith of Judas, John xiii. 18, 'I speak not of you all, I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture might be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lift up his heel against roe;' where he showeth plainly that one of them was not of the number of the elect, and should not receive the privileges of his special charge; though he was chosen to the calling of an apostle, yet not to eternal life, but only given by way of ministry and service. But this would seem to cross the constant use of the phrase in this chapter. I answer therefore by interpreting the phrase, \~ei\~ \~mh\~ \~o\~ \~uiov\~ \~thv\~ \~apoleiav\~, 'but the son of perdition;' the words are not exceptive, but adversative, and must be thus construed,' None of them which thou hast given me is lost, but the son of perdition is lost.' And mark it, we do not render it except the son of perdition, but but the son of perdition; it is not nisi, but sed; there is no exception made of Judas, as if he had been given to Christ, and afterward had fallen away; but when he had mentioned their keeping, he would adversatively put the losing of Judas. This phrase or manner of speech is often used in scripture. So Rev. xxi. 27, 'There shall in nowise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they that are written in the Lamb's book of life,' \~ei\~ \~mh\~; where the words are not exceptive, for then it would follow that some that work abomination were in the Lamb's book; but adversative— They shall not enter, but others shall enter. So Mat xii 4, 'David entered into the house of God, and did eat the shew-bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests,' \~ei\~ \~mh\~; it is not exceptive, as if they were of David's company, but adversative—It was not lawful for them to eat, but it was lawful for the priests.

2. How are they said to be given to Christ? Persons are given to Christ two ways—by war of reward, or by way of charge.

[1.] By way of reward, and so more largely all nations are given to him: Ps. ii. 8, 'Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thy inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession;' and John xvii. 2, 'As thou hast given him power over au flesh.' This donation taketh in elect and reprobate. Nations are his heritage, as well as the church; only in this giving by way of reward, there is a difference; some are given to Christ at large, to be disposed of according to his pleasure; others are given to him for some special ministry and service, as hypocrites in the church; and thus Judas, amongst the rest, was given to Christ, though' a son of perdition.' And again, others are given to him by way of special and peculiar interest, to be members of his body, subjects of his kingdom, children of his family. So only the elect are given to him: John xvii. 6, 'Thine they were, and thou gavest them me, and they have kept thy word.' The great bargain that Christ made for his Father was only an interest in souls.

[2.] By way of charge. This again is only proper and peculiar to [Pg. 315] the elect; they were given to Christ by way of charge, to be redeemed, justified, sanctified, glorified; given, not by way of alienation, but oppignoration, laid at pledge in his hands, so that none of them can miscarry. I shall name some places to prove this way of giving: John vi. 37-39, 'All that the Father giveth me shall come to me,' &c.; where you see they shall surely and infallibly be brought to grace, and as infallibly be conducted to glory; and when they come, they cannot miscarry: 'This is the Father's will that hath sent me, that of all that he hath given me I should lose nothing.' Christ hath received a charge, he is to look to all God's flock, not to lose a leg, or a piece of an ear. So John x. 28, 29, 'I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hands. My Father which gave thorn me is greater than all; and no man shall pluck them out of my Father's hands.' Where see Christ's power and faithfulness is engaged by the Father's gift for the preservation of the saints. So that we see what it is to be given to Christ, to become his reward, his charge.

3. A third question yet remaineth. Why is it mentioned here? The phrase, as I said, is often used in many verses of this chapter; but the repetition is not needless: it is not an empty tautology, but repeated for the more ample consolation and instruction of the apostles, that in the midst of their troubles they might look upon themselves as given to Christ, and so the more interested in a sure preservation; for God is bound to make good his grant, and Christ his trust Christ pleadeth his own faithfulness: ver. 12, 'While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those which thou gavest me I have kept.' He made good his trust, and therefore now pleadeth with the Father that he would make good his grant: 'I am no more in the world, do thou keep them;' and he useth the same argument,' Those which thou hast given me;' that swayed with him to keep them, and he knew the Father would take care of them for the same reason.

Well, now, having laid this foundation, let me

Observe that this is a ground of solid consolation and establishment to the elect» that they are by the grant of God the Father given and committed to God the Son as his purchase and charge. The point is genuine, for this giving is by way of gift and charge; and this giving is proper to the elect, as we have proved; and it is here urged as a ground of establishment and consolation. Christ expresseth the elect by such a character,' Those which thou hast given me.' not only to specify the persons, but to declare the ground of audience—Keep them, because they are those which thou hast given me.

Therefore, in following of it, I shall use this method:

1. I shall more largely explain the manner of God's grant and donation to Christ.

2.1 shall show you how it is a ground of establishment and consolation.

3. I shall enforce all by application.

First, To open the nature of the grant, let us again resume the distinction of giving by way of reward and charge. These two answer to one another, as work and wages. Christ taketh upon himself a charge of souls, and all his reward is that he may have an interest in them. Let us begin with the charge, the work first, and then the wages. [Pg. 316]

1. They are given to him by way of charge. What his charge was will be opened by considering what the Father proposed concerning the elect, and how the Son undertook it.

[1.] What the Father proposed. The words of heaven are \~arrhta\~ \~rhmata\~, 2 Cor. xii. 4, 'Words which it is not lawful for a man to utter.' Those secret ways of discourse and communication between the Father and the Son are to be adored with reverence and deep silence, were it not that the Spirit of God hath put them into such forms as are suitable to the transactions and intercourse which pass between man and* man. It is usual in scripture to put the passages which concern God and Christ into speeches: Ps. xl. 6-8, 'Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire, mine ears hast thou opened: burnt-offering and sin-offering hast thou not required. Then I said, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God; year thy law is within my heart;' Ps. ii. 8, 'Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession;' Ps. cx. 1,' The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.' The Father came to Christ, and did, as it were, say to him, Son, I am loath that all mankind should be lost, and left under condemnation; there are some whom I have chosen to be vessels and receptacles of my mercy and goodness; and because I am resolved that my justice shall be no loser, you must take a body and die for them; and afterwards you must see that they be converted to grace, justified, sanctified, guided to glory, and that not one of them doth miscarry; for I will take an account from you of them. It were easy to prove all these things out of scripture, to wit, that there are a certain definite number whom God chooseth to be vessels of mercy: 2 Tim. ii. 19, 'The foundation of the Lord standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth those that are· his.' There is no lottery nor uncertainty in the divine decrees; the-number is stated and sealed, none can add to it, nor detract or takeaway any one person. And that Christ received a command to lay down his life for them, and for them only: John x. 15, 'I lay down my life for my sheep;' and ver. 18, 'This commandment have I received of my Father.' The description is a limitation; it is for his sheep. God would have none of Christ's blood to run waste. That he is to do this, that the honour of justice may be salved, and so mercy have the-freer course: Rom. iii. 25, 26, 'Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. To declare, I say, his righteousness; that he may be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.' The Son was not only to use entreaty, but to make satisfaction; not that God by any necessity of nature required it; the exercise of justice is free, and falleth under no· laws; but it was most convenient to preserve a due sense and apprehension of the Godhead. That Christ was to see them converted, it was the express will of God: John vi. 38, 39, 'For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will that hath sent me that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise them up again at the last day;' and by conversion, to be possessed of all the privileges of the [Pg. 317] gospel; and without miscarrying to be guided unto glory: John x. 28, 29, 'I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father that gave them me is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Fathers hand.' They are one, and act by joint power and joint consent And after all this, he is to give an account of bodies and souls: John vi. 39, 'That of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise them up again at the last day.' Which accordingly he doth when he presents the kingdom to the Father, and appeareth before him with all his little ones, as a prey snatched out of the teeth of lions: Heb. ii. 13, 'Behold, I and the children which God hath given me.'

[2.] What Christ undertook; the whole proposal of the Father was accepted: Ps. xl. 7, 8, 'Lo, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart.' Christ consented to all the articles of the treaty and eternal covenant, not only to take a body to die, but to take a particular charge of all the elect. As Judah interposed for Benjamin, so doth Christ for all the souls committed to him: Gen. xliii. 9, 'I will be surety for him, of my hand shalt thou require him; if I bring him not to thee, and set him safe in thy presence, let me bear the blame for ever.' So doth Christ say concerning all the persons that fall under his charge. If I do not see them converted, justified, sanctified, saved, count me an unfaithful undertaker, and let me bear the blame for ever.

2. By way of reward. As in a covenant there is not only a duty incumbent, but a benefit accruing to the party that contracteth; so Christ in this eternal treaty dealt with God by way of bargain and purchase; his aim was to get a special interest in, and relation to believers, as mediator. This was all the gain he reckoned of: Isa. liii. 10, 'When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.' And therefore by virtue of this purchase he hath many relations to them; they are given to him as subjects of his kingdom, as scholars of his school, as children of his family, as the spouse of his bosom, as the members of his body. All these relations I shall insist upon; for this was the honour granted to Christ upon his obedience; I mean, he counted it an honour, and bought it at a dear rate, and yet was contented with the purchase. Alas! nothing could be added to the greatness of his person, who was equal with the Father in glory and power; the privileges of the incarnation were but as so many milder humiliations; but he was so tender of souls that he was pleased to take it as a gift from his Father, and a reward of all his services. Mark it, nothing else could bring Christ out of heaven into the manger, the wilderness, the cross, the grave, but to get an interest in your souls: Isa. liii. 11, 'He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.' What did he gain by all his expense of blood and sweat, his temptations, agonies, taking our nature, bearing our burden, but to see you safe in the arms of mercy, that he might be your king, your prophet, your priest, your head? Next to the title of the Son of God, Christ valueth that of being head of the church. And see how [Pg. 318] the relations are diversified, that he might come nearer and closer to us: a king is a more large relation, a master hath a more particular inspection; a master may be faithful and careful, but he hath not the bowels of a father; a father is very tender, but the greatest intimacy is between husband and wife, we are the wife of his bosom; if husband be a relation too remote, because the union is civil, he comes nearer to us yet, he will be our head, we his members, where the union is natural. Let us go over these severally.

[1.] We are given to him to be subjects of his kingdom. Christ is lord of all the world, but he prizeth no title like that of king of saints, Rev. xv. 3. No throne to him like the conscience of a humble sinner; the heart is his best presence-chamber, there is his throne of state set He had an eternal right, together with the Father and Holy Ghost, but he would come and suffer, and be crowned with a crown of thorns, that he might have a new right as mediator, and have the crown of glory put upon his head in the church. Therefore it is said, Acts v. 1, that upon his resurrection, 'God hath exalted him to be a prince and a saviour, to give repentance unto Israel, and forgiveness of sins.' The grant was made long before, when he first contracted with Christ about the salvation of the world; but when the price was paid, then it was made good. There is never a subject Christ hath, but he is bought, and with the dearest price, his sovereign's own blood: Mat xx. 28, 'The Son of man gave his life a ransom for many,' \~lutron\~ \~anti\~ \~pollwn\~. In other kingdoms many subjects die, that the prince may be seated in the throne; but here the prince dieth for the subjects sakes, that he may govern his spiritual realm with peace and quietness. And as the price was great, so the Father hath made him a large grant. Christ's empire is universal; properly he is the catholic king, there are no bounds and limits of his kingdom; first or last, in all the habitable parts of the earth there are or shall be some that acknowledge his sceptre: Isa. xlix. 12, 'Behold, these shall come from far; and lo, these from the north, and from the west, and these from the land of Sinim.' From the east, west, north, south, Jews, Gentiles; the Jews that are now his enemies shall acknowledge his sovereignty: Hosea ill,' Then shall the children of Judah, and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land.' As the tribes flocked to Hebron to crown David, so shall these to crown Christ; and this royal garland shall Christ wear to all eternity. It is true it is said, 1 Cor. xv. 29, 'He shall resign up the kingdom to the Father.' I answer—In kingly dignity there are two things—regia curo and regius honor—kingly care, by which he ordereth and defendeth his subjects against enemies, that shall cease; but the kingly honour which he receiveth from his subjects shall be for ever and ever; he shall always be honoured as king and mediator of the church. He shall resign the kingdom; that is, that way of administration by which he now governeth; for when the elect are fully converted and sanctified, and enemies destroyed, there will be no need of this care. Now after he hath bought us out of his Father's hands by his merit and purchase, he is forced to recover us from the devil by his power and conquest The word is the rod of his strength, the sacraments are our oath of allegiance; in prayer we [Pg. 319] perform our homages, by alms and acts of charity we pay him tribute, and praise and obedience are the constant revenues of his crown. This is the first grant.

[2.] We are given to Christ as scholars of his school. He is the great prophet and doctor of his church; certainly Christ loveth the honour of this chair. He hath also obtained this title, Acts iii. 22, 'A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up to you from among your brethren; him shall ye hear.' Christ came out from the bosom of God to show us his heart and mind. So he is called, Heb. iii. 1, 'The apostle of our profession.' Christ doth so love a relation to his church, that you see he taketh the titles of own officers; though he is Lord of the church, yet he is 'the apostle of our profession;' he counteth it an honour to be a preacher of the gospel. The Son of God is first in the roll of gospel preachers; he is God's legate a latere, an apostle: he laid the foundation of the gospel when he was upon the earth, and he teacheth us now he is in heaven: he doth not teach the ear, but the heart; he doth not only set us our lesson, but giveth us a heart to learn it; the scripture is our book, and Christ our great master; and when he openeth our eyes, we shall see wondrous things in his law. Other teachers teach for hire, but he bought this liberty of God, that he might open his school, and become a light to Jew and Gentile.

[3.] We are given to him to be children of his family. The only thing propounded to allure Christ to the work of redemption was, Isa. liii. 10, 'He shall see his seed,' that he might have a numerous issue and progeny. He delighteth in us, though we are all Benonis, sons of sorrow. Though he died in the birth, yet he is wonderfully pleased with the fruitfulness of his death; as a woman delivered after sharp and sore sorrow, forgetteth all her past sorrow for joy of the birth. At the last day this will be Christ's rejoicing and crown, to see the multitude of his little ones all brought together: Heb. ii. 13, 'Behold, I and the children which thou hast given me.' It is a goodly sight, when Christ shall rejoice in the midst of them, and go with them, as a glorious train, to the throne of God the Father. Jesus Christ is our brother and our father; by regeneration and the merit of the cross he is our father; but in the possession of heaven he is our brother, for we are co-heirs with him.

[4.] We are given to him as the spouse of his bosom. This is another of Christ's honours, to be the church's bridegroom. The epithalamium is in Canticles and Ps. xlv. There the nuptials are celebrated. Ministers, they are, as John Baptist was called,' Friends of the bridegroom.' Look, as a father giveth her whom he hath begotten to another for a spouse and wife, so doth God give his elect to Christ Indeed Christ hath bought the church at his Father's hands; other wives bring a dowry, but Christ was to buy. As Saul gave his daughter to David, but first he was to kill Goliath, and to bring the foreskins of a hundred Philistines, 1 Sam. xvii. 25; xviii. 25; so God gave Christ the church for a spouse, but Christ was to redeem her with his blood, the infernal Goliath was to be slain. Yea, ere Christ did obtain this honour, he gaineth our consent by the power of his Spirit, working with the entreaties of the word: Hosea ii. 14, 'I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak [Pg. 320] comfortably onto her;' and ver. 19, 20, 'I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving-kindness, and in mercies; I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness, and thou shalt know the Lord.' First I will allure, then betroth; as David, after he had bought Michal with the danger of his life, yet was fain to take her away from Phaltiel, 2 Sam. iii. 13. The devil hath gotten Christ's spouse in his own arms; he is fain to rescue her, and oblige her to loyalty by the entreaties of his Spirit Hereafter is the day of espousals; now the church is called the bride, then the Lamb's wife. Christ's honour, as well as our consent, is incomplete; then he cometh to fetch her, and present her to God, Eph. v. 27, and bring her into his Father's house. Christ is decking her against that time; we are to accomplish the months of our purification, and to have odours and garments out of the king's wardrobe, Esther i. 12.

[5.] We are given to him to be members of his body. Here is the nearest relation, and that which Christ most prizeth, next to the title of the Son of God, to be head of the church. Oh! what an honour is this to poor creatures, that Christ will take us into his own mystical body, to quicken us and enliven us, and guide us by his grace! To angels he is a head in point of sovereignty and power: Col ii. 10,' And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.' But to the church he is a head by virtue of mystical union. Angels are his ministering spirits, but we his spouse; they are not called his bride, nor the spouse of his bosom, nor the members of his body. In the Ephesians, the church is called 'his body,' the 'fulness of him that filleth all in all,' Eph. i. 23. Poor creatures are \~plhrwma\~ \~Cristou\~; he doth not count himself perfect without us, as if he were a maimed, imperfect Christ till all the church be where he is. He treateth his mystical body with the same respect that he doth his natural; it is raised, ascended, glorified, so shall we. For the present there is some communion between us; he is grieved in our miseries, and we are exalted in his glory. As there is a mutual passage of spirits between the head and the body, so there is a communion between Christ and us by donatives and duties.

Secondly, How this is a ground of establishment and consolation.

1. By this gift we have an interest both in God and Christ: 1 John i. 3, 'That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ;' 2 John 9, 'He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.' God will make good his gift, and Christ his trust God bestowed us upon his Son, to oblige Christ to the greater respect; and Christ hath bought us of his Father, that the gift might be sure and certain. The Son loveth us, because the Father required it; the Father loveth us, because the Son merited it. If Christ be faithful to his Father, or the Father be loving and respectful to Christ, we cannot miscarry. We have an interest in the Father, who is the fountain of mercy; in the Son, who is the golden pipe and conveyance. God made the elect to be members of Christ's body, that he might redeem them; and Christ made them children of God's family, that he might [Pg. 321] love them and bless them. Electing love and Christ's purchase are the two fountains of salvation. God, who is the supreme judge, offended party, first cause and fountain of blessing, he requireth the ß?? to die for us; and Christ hath undertaken it, and made good his word.

2. God hath put the business of our salvation into safe hands. He would not be defeated of his purpose, therefore he hath given the elect to Christ, that they may be quickened by virtue of that power and life which was given to him. He would deal with us upon sure terms, and therefore took order sufficient to attain his end; he would not trust us with any but his own eternal Son. There is a charge laid on Christ, who is a good depositary, of such care and faithfulness, that he will not neglect his Father's pledge; of such strength and ability, that nothing can wrest us out of his hands; for he that doeth it had need of a stronger arm than Christ's, John x. 28, 29. Of such love, that no work can be more pleasing to him; he loveth us far better than we do ourselves, or else tie would never have come from heaven for our sakes. Of such watchfulness and care, that his eyes do always run to and fro throughout the earth. Providence is full of eyes, as well as strong of hand. As the high priest bore the names of the tribes upon his breast and shoulders, so doth Christ the memorial of every saint; he knoweth their names and their necessities; though many thousands in the world, yet every single believer falleth under the care of Christ, as if none besides him; he knoweth them by head and poll, their wants, necessities. They are written in the 'Lamb's book of life.' Rev. xiii. 8. Christ keeps a register of them. There is not only God's book of remembrance, out the Lamb's book of life. He knoweth every distinct sheep by name, and constantly giveth an account of them to God: 'I am glorified in them.' It is grievous to our advocate when he is forced to be an accuser. He taketh a distinct and implicit notice of them: Isa. xl. 27, 'Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God?' Ps. xxxiv. 6, 'This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and delivered him out of all his troubles.' If it were not for this our keeper, we should surely perish; but Christ is our keeper, who is faithful, loving, able, watchful. Qui potest et vult, facit. Christ's own charge cannot miscarry. If the elect should not be saved, Christ would neither do his work, nor receive his wages.

Use. To press us to come under these sweet hopes. There is nothing wanting but the clearing up of our interest, that yon may be of the number of those that are given to Christ. You will know it by God's act towards you, and by your act towards God.

1. By God's act towards you. If we be given to Christ, Christ is given to us. We are given to Christ before all time, and in time Christ is given to us; by converting grace he and we are brought together. God makes an offer in the gospel; are we willing to receive him for Lord and Saviour? Then you put it out of question. Are you moved by the Spirit to receive him upon God's offer. Conversion, it is as it were an actual election. By original election the heirs of salvation are distinguished from others in God's purpose; so by conversion, or actual election, they are visibly distinguished. What [Pg. 322] excitements of grace can you speak of that urge you to come to Christ? All that are given to him come to him.

2. By your act towards Christ. All the Father's acts are ratified in time by believers; he ordaineth, we consent; he chooseth Christ for Lord and king, and 'they shall appoint themselves one head.' So God's giving of souls to Christ is ratified by the believers' act. As there is a double giving on his part, by way of charge and by way of reward, so there is a double act on our part, committing, and consecrating ourselves to Christ

[1.] Committing ourselves to Christ Can we wholly and absolutely resign up our souls into his hands? The Father is wiser than we; he knew well enough what he did when he commended us to his Son. Faith is often expressed by 'committing ourselves to Christ;' it answereth the trust the Father reposed in him: 2 Tim. i. 12,' I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to keep, \~parayhkhn\~ \~mou\~, that which I have committed unto him against that day.' This is not an easy matter, it argueth a sense of danger, a solicitous care about the soul, and an advised confidence. What care hast thou ever taken to lay thy soul safe? What confidence hast thou of Christ's ability? Didst thou think thou couldst be safe without him? Thou wouldst be an unfaithful guardian. Knowingly canst thou venture eternity on thy present state?

[2.] Consecrating ourselves to him: Rom. xii. 1, 'I beseech you by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.' Then walk as his, it is dangerous to alienate things once consecrated: 1 Cor. iii. 23, 'Ye are Christ's." Whatever you nave, you must give up to him for his glory. You have nothing at your own dispose, neither tongue, nor heart, nor estate; as long as a man reserves to himself an interest, he will miscarry. Nabal called what he had,' My bread, and my water, and my flesh,' 1 Sam. xxv. 11. Did you ever make a serious resignation of yourselves to God? Ps. cxix. 94, ? am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts.'

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