Choice drop of honey from the rock, Christ, or A word of advice to saints and sinners
OF HONEY FROM THE ROCK,
WORD OF ADVICE
Saints and Sinners.
By THOMAS WILCOCK, D.D.
For I will reſtore health to thee,
and I will heal thee
of thy wounds, faith the Lord.———Jer. xxx. 17
Edinburgh: Printed in the year 1780.
WORD OF ADVICE
A WORD of advice to my own heart and thine: Thou art a profeſſor, and partakeſt of all the ordinances, thou doſt well, they are glorious privileges; but if thou haſt not the blood of Chriſt at the root of thy profeſſion, it will wither, and prove but painted pageanty to go to hell in.
Try and examine every day, on what bottom thy profeſſion and hope of glory are built, and whether is was laid by the hand of Chriſt, if not, it will never endure the ſtorm that muſt come againſt it. Satan will throw it down and great will be the fall thereof.
Glorious profeſſor! thou ſhalt be winnowed; every vein of thy profeſſion will be tried to purpoſe: 'tis terrible to have it all come down, and to find nothing to build upon.
Soaring profeſſor! ſee thy waxen wings betimes; they will melt with the heat of temptations. What a miſery is it to trade much, and break at length; and to have no ſtock, no foundation laid for eternity.
Gifted profeſſor! look there be not a worm at the root, that will ſpoil all thy fine gourd, and make it die about thee in a day of ſcorching; look over thy ſoul daily, and aſk,is the blood of Chriſt to be ſeen upon it? What righteouſneſs is it that I ſtand upon to be ſaved; have I got off all my ſelf-righteouſneſs? Many eminent profeſſors have come at length to cry out, undone, undone, to all eternity.
Conſider the greateſt ſins may be hid under the greateſt duties. See the wound that fin hath made in thy ſoul, be perfectly cured by the blood of Chriſt; not ſkinned over with duties, humblings, enlargements. Apply what thou wilt beſides the beſides of Chriſt, it will poiſon the ſore. Thou wilt find that ſin was never mortified truly; nothing can kill it but the beholding Chriſt's righteouſneſs.
Nature can afford no balſam fit for the cure of a ſoul. Healing from duty and not from Chriſt, is the moſt deſperate diſeaſe. Poor ragged nature, with all its higheſt improvements, can never ſpin a garment fine enough to cover the ſoul's nakedneſs. Nothing is fit for that uſe but Chriſt's perfect righteouſneſs.
Whatever is of nature's putting on, Satan will come and plunder it, and leave the ſoul naked and upon to the wrath of God. All that nature can do will never make up the leaſt dram of grace that can mortify ſin, or look Chriſt in the face one day.
Tho art a profeſſor, and goeſt on hearing, praying, and receiving, yet miſerable mayeſt thou be. Look about thee; didſt thou ever ſee Chriſt to this day in diſtinction from all otber excellencies and righteouſneſs in the world, and all of them falling before the majeſty of his love and grace?
If thou haſt ſeen Chriſt truly, thou haſt ſeen pure grace, pure righteouſneſs, far exceeding all ſin and miſery. If thou haſt ſeen Chriſt, thou wouldſt not do a duty without him for ten thouſand worlds. If ever thou ſaw Chriſt, thou ſaweſt him a Rock higher than Satan or ſin; and this rock doth follow thee, and there will be a continual dropping of honey and grace out of that rock to ſatisfy thee. Examine if ever thou haſt beheld Chriſt as the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truh. Be ſure if thou art come to Chriſt, that thou ſtandeſt upon the Rock of ages, haſt anſwered his call - to thy ſoul, haſt cloſed with him for justification.
Men talk bravely of believing while whole and ſound, but few know it. Chriſt is the myſtery of the goſpel. Grace is the myſtery of Chriſt. Believing is the moſt wonderful thing in the world. Put any thing of thine own to it, and thou ſpoileſt it; Chriſt will not ſo much as look at it for believing. When thou comeſt to Chriſt, thou muſt leave behind thee thy own righteouſneſs, and bring nothing but thy ſin, (O that is hard!) leave behind all thy holineſs, and bring nothing but thy wants and miſeries, elſe Chriſt is not fit for thee, nor thou for Chriſt. Chriſt will be a pure Redeemner, and thou muſt be an undone ſinner, or Chriſt and thou will never agree. It is the hardeſt thing in the world to take Chriſt alone for righteouſneſs; that is to acknowledge him Chriſt. Join any thing to him of thy own, and thou un-Chriſt him.
Whatever comes in when thou goeſt to God for acceptance, (beſides Chriſt) call it Antichriſt, bid it begone, make only Chriſt's righteouſneſs triumphant; all beſides that is Babylon, which muſt fall if Chriſt ſtand, and thou ſhalt rejoice in the day of the fall thereof. Chriſt alone did tread the wine-preſs, and there was none with him. Join any thing to Chriſt, he will trample upon it in fury and anger, and ſtain his raiment with the blood thereof. Thou thinkeſt it eaſy to belive: was ever thy faith tried with a thorough ſight of ſin? Was it ever put to the grapple with Satan, and wrath of God lying upon the conſcience? When thou waſt in the mouth of hell, then did God ſhew thee Chriſt a ⟨ranſom⟩? If then thou couldſt ſay, Oh I ſee grace enough in Chriſt! thou mayeſt ſay that which is the biggeſt word, thou believeſt; but ⟨untried⟩ faith is uncertain faith.
To believing, there muſt go a clear conviction of ſin, and the merits of the blood of Chriſt, and of Chriſt's willingneſs to ſave upon this conſideration merely, that thou art a ſinner: things all harder than to make a world. All the power in nature cannot get up ſo high, in a ſtorm of ſin and guilt, as really to believe there is any willingneſs in Chriſt to ſave. When ſin chargeth ſin upon the conſcience, then charge it upon Chriſt, that is goſpel-like; that is to make him Chriſt, he ſerves for that purpoſe.—To accept his blood and righteouſneſs alone for ſalvation, that is the whole ſum of the goſpel. When the ſoul in all duties and diſtreſſes, can ſay nothing but Chriſt for juſtification, ſancitification, and redemption; not duties, not humblings, not graces, that ſoul hath got above the reach of the billows.
All Satan's advantages are laid in ſelfrighteouſneſs: God purſueth this by ſetting Satan upon thee; this muſt be torn from thee, this alone hinders Chriſt from coming in, and till Chriſt come in guilt will not go out; and where guilt is there is hardneſs of heart.
When guilt is raiſed up, take heed of getting it allayed any way but by Chriſt's blood. Make Chriſt thy peace, not thy duties, thy tears, Chriſt thy righteouſneſs, not thy graces; look at Chriſt, and do as much as thou wilt. Stand with all thy weight upon Chriſt's righteouſneſs, take heed of having one foot on thy own righteouſneſs, another on Chriſt's. Till Chriſt come and ſit on high upon a throne of grace in the conſcience, there is nothing but guilt and terror, the ſoul hanging between hope and deſpair which is an ungoſpel ſtate.
He that fears to ſee the utmoſt hell of his own heart, ſuſpects the merits of Chriſt; Be thou ever ſuch a great ſinner try Chriſt to make him thy advocate, and wilt find him Jeſus Chriſt the rightcons. In all doubtings; fears, ſtorms of conſcience, look at Chriſt continually. Do not argue with Satan, he deſires no better, bid him go to Chriſt and he will anſwer him; it is his office to be our advocate, his office to anſwer the law as our ſurety, his office to anſwer juſtice as our Mediator, he is ſworn to that office; put Chrift uponit; if thou wilt do any thing thy ſelf to give ſatisfaction for ſin, thou renounceſt Chriſt the righteous.
Satan may allege and currpt ſcripture, but he cannot anſwer ſcripture.—It is Chriſt's word of mighty authority: Chriſt ſoiled Satan with; in all the ſcripture there is not an ill word againt a poor ſinner ſtript of his own righteouſneſs; nay, plainly points this man for the grace of the goſpel and none alſe. Believe but Chriſt's willingneſs, and that will make thee willing. If thou find thou cannot believe, remember it is Chriſt's work to make thee beleve. Put him upon it. He works to will and to do; mourn for thy unbelief, which is ſetting up guilt above Chriſt, an undervaluing Chriſt, accounting his blood an unholy, a common and unſatisfying ⟨thing⟩.
Thou complaindſt much of thyſelf, doth thy ſin make thee look at Chriſt, leſs at thyſelf? that is right, elſe complaining is but hpocricy; to be looking at duties and graces, when thou ſhouldſt at Chriſt, that is pitiful; looking at them will but make thee proud; looking at Chriſt's grace will make thee humble. In all thy temptations be not diſcouraged, thoſe ſurges may be not to break thee, but to heave thee off thyſelf, on the rock Chriſt.
Thou mayeſt be brought low, even to the brink of hell, ready to tumble in; thou canſt not be brought lower than the belly of hell; yet there thou mayeſt cry and look towards the holy temple. Into the old temple none might enter but purified ones, and with an offering too. But now Chriſt is our temple, to whom none but ſinners, and that without any offering but his own blood once offered.
Thou thinkeſt, oh. what monument of grace ſhould I be? there are many thouſands as rich monuments as thou:greateſt ſinner did never paſs the grace of Chriſt. When the clouds are blackeſt then look towards Chriſt the pillar of the father's love, ſet up in heaven for all ſinners to look upon continually.
His blood ſpeaks reconciliation, redemption, remiſſion, and nighneſs to God. Not a drop of his blood ſhall be loſt. Stand and hearken what God will ſay, for he will ſpeak peace to his people, that they return not to their folly. He ſpeaks grace, mercy, and peace; that is the language of the Father and of Chriſt. Wait for Chriſt appearing as the morning ſtar; he ſhall come as certainly as the morning, as refreſhing as the rain.
The ſun may as well be hindered from riſing as Chriſt the ſun of righteouſneſs. Look not a moment off Chriſt; look not upon ſin but look upon Chriſt alſo. In every duty look upon Chriſt, before duty to pardon, in duty to aſſiſt, after duty to, Without this it is but carnal and careleſs duty. Do not legalize the goſpel, as if part did remain for thee only to do, and Chriſt but an half Mediator. Let ſin break thy heart, but not thy hope in the goſpel.
In the higheſt commands, conſider Chriſt not as an exactor to require, but as an undertaker to work. If thou haſt looked at duties and qualifications more than at the merits of Chriſt, it will coſt thee dear. No wonder thou goeſt complaining, graces may be evidences, but the merits of Chriſt alone muſt be the foundation of thy hope.
When come to God, we muſt bring nothing but Chriſt with us. Any ingredients or any previous quaLifications of our own, will poiſon faith. He that builds on duties or graces knows not the merits of Chriſt: This makes believing ſo far above nature. If thou believeſt, thou muſt every day renounce thy obedience, thy ſanctification, thy duties, thy graces, thy tears, thy meltings, thy humblings, and nothing but Chriſt muſt be held up; thou muſt take all out of God's hand. Chriſt is the gift of God; faith is the gift of God. Pardon a free gift. Ah! how nature ſtorms, frets, rageth at this, that all of gift, and it can purchaſe nothing with its tears and duties, and that all its workings are excluded, and of no value in heaven.
If nature had been to contrive the way of ſalvation, it would rather have put it into the hands of ſaints or angels, to ſell it, than of Chriſt who gives it freely. It would have ſeta way to purchaſe by doing; therefore it abominates the merits of Chriſt, as the moſt deſtructive thing to it. Nature could any thing to be ſaved rather than come to Chrift, or cloſe with him. Chriſt will have nothing, but the ſoul will be forcing ſomewhat of its own upon him: Herein is that great controverſy. Conſider, didſt thou ever ſee merits of Chriſt, and the infinite ſatisfaction made by his death? Didſt thou ever ſee this when the burden of ſin and the wrath of God lay heavy on thy conſcience? That is grace. The greateſt of Chriſt's merits is not known but to a poor ſoul at the greateſt loſs. High convictions will but have ſlight low priſings, of Chriſt's blood and merits.
Deſpairing ſinner! thou lookeſt on thy right hand and on thy left, ſaying, who will ſhew us any good? Thou art tumbling over all thy duties and graces, to patch up a righteouſneſs to ſave thee.
Look Chriſt, look unto him and be ſaved, all the ends of the. He is a Saviour, and there is none beſides him. Look any where elſe, and thou art undone. God will look at nothing but Chriſt, and thou muſt look at nothing elſe. Chriſt is lifted on high, as the brazen ſerpent in the wilderneſs, that ſinners at the ends of the earth, at the greateſt diſtance may ſee him, and look towards him. He will forgive not only ſeven times, but ſeventyſeven. It put the faith to believe this, becauſe we are hard to forgive, we think Christ is hard.
F I N I S.