The door of salvation opened
Τ Η Ε
or, a loud and shrill
VOICE from HEAVEN
Unregenerate Sinners on Earth.
The Neceſſity of opening your Hearts, that the King of Glory may enter in; or elſe, he will open Hell's mouth to devour you.
2 Theff. i. 8. For he is coming, (faith the Apoſtle) in flaming fire, to take vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the goſpel of Jeſus Chriſt.
By D. 7. Miniſter of the Goſpel.
Printed and ſold by J. & M. ROBERTSON
Τ Η Ε
Everlaſting Door of Mercy and Salvation Opened.
Rev. iii. 20, Behold. I ſtand at the door and knock: If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and ſup with hint, and be with me.
IT hath pleaſed the moſt wiſe diſpoſer of all things, out of the riches of his free grace, to tender Jeſus Chriſt to poor loſt and undone ſinners, and alſo it pleaſed the Lord Jeſus not only to die for ſinners, to redeem them from death and the curſe of the law, that he might open a way for loſt ſinners to return to God: but is pleaſed to ſtand knocking at the door of their hearts, to entreat their ſouls to be reconciled to God. And therefore as you love your ſouls, as you love your bodies, as you would not bring damnation to yourſelves, hear and fear, and do no more wickedly, but open your hard and ſtony hearts, that the King of Glory may enter in. O ſinner! now Chriſt is ſtanding and calling to thy ſoul, If thou wilt hear and open, I will come in unto thee. Now Chriſt is ſaying, 'I know thy work: I know well enough that thou haft been a blaſphemer, or a drunkard, or a whoremonger; yet I ſtand at the door this day and knock, I will receive thee into mercy, I will forgive thee all thy ſins, I will accept, I will heal, I will ſave thy ſoul, if thou wilt open thy heart this day unto me, and let me in.' O brethren, for Chriſt's ſake, refuſe not Chriſt; do not reject nor neglect ſo great a ſalvation, leſt you periſh.
1. Conſider the neceſſity you have of him; Give me children, or elſe I die, ſaid Rachel: O give me Chriſt, or elſe I periſh for ever. Can you be ſaved without Chriſt? And if you may have Chriſt but for opening the door, Then while it is called to-day hear and open to me If the door of grace ſhould be ſhut, thou would'ſt be ſhut up with a vengeance for ever.
2. Conſider what anſwer thou wilt be able to make at the great day, if thou wilt harden thy heart, and not open: Why, what wilt thou? What canſt thou plead for thyſelf at the day of judgment? Wilt thou ſay, The goſpel never offered thee Chriſt? Why, thou haſt heard this day, If any man will hear and open, I will come in and ſup with him: Wilt thou ſay, I would have opened my heart, had it not been for the love of ſin, or for eaſe, or liberty, or honour, or friends, or companions? Oh how will men and angels hiſs at you! This is the perſon who for luſt's ſake forſook his mercies, who for a little vanity rejected his own ſalvation : O how wilt thou curſe thyſelf for nothing! Nay for that which is worſe than nothing, thou haſt put off Chriſt and his ſalvation: Therefore men, brethren and fathers, hearken unto me, as Moſes ſaid to the Iſraelites, ſo this day I propound unto you Bleſing and curſing, life and death! Salvation if you open to Chriſt, and damnation if you refuſe Chriſt.
For the Lord's ſake chuſe not curſing, but bleſſing; chuſe not death, but life, chuſe not hell, but heaven; chuſe not ſin, but Chriſt; tho' you have formerly ſlighted him, if you will now regard him; tho' you have formerly contemned him, yet if you will praiſe him; tho' you have formerly reſiſted, if yet you will yield, if you will conſent, if yet you will become willing to open unto Chriſt, Chriſt will be yours, mercy will be yours, ſalvation will be yours.
And what would you have more? What! will not all this do? Will not mercy allure you? Will not love conſtrain you? Then give me leave to reprove you, and affright you (if it be poſſible) out of thoſe depths of Satan, into which you are fallen. However, I am reſolved, whether you will or not, and the Lord faſten it upon your ſouls.
1. In the bowels of love and mercy, let me beg thee to aſk thy ſoul this queſtion, How long will this life and the comforts of it laſt? Thy ſoul is immortal, and muſt never die, but it muſt have a being ſomewhere to all eternity.
This world's happineſs, is it everlaſting? No ſurely: thy money, thy corn, and thy land, will do thee no good in the great day: O! What haft thou done for hereafter? What haft thou laid up for the world to come? Is the door of thy heart open to Chriſt? Alas! is thy poor ſoul unarmed all this while?
Queſt. 2. What will become of thee, when this life and all the comforts thereof are gone? Oh, hard-hearted ſinner! this broad way which thou walkeſt in, will never lead thee to the promis'd land, thy gold and ſilver key will never open heaven's gate for thee: thy care of this world's good, will not plead for thee before the Judge; all thy careful friends and acquaintances, with whom thou haſt ſpent many joyful hours, their good words will ſtand thee in no ſtead.
Then thou wilt be ready to cry, O where is the Chriſt that I have deſpiſed! where is the Jeſus which I have reſiſted! Will he plead for me? No ſurely; but to go to the gods whom thou haſt choſen; O what will become of me? Muſt I not die? O whither will death carry me! into which of the regions of the world will death land me, either of light or darkneſs? To which of the two regions am I now travelling; Certainly the day of pleaſure or wordly profit, the broad way of the world, it is not the way to tranſport me to heaven and everlaſting happineſs: I ſay, O ſinners! to thy foul, what, muſt I be taken from all my glory and greatneſs, from all my delights and dalliances, and be thrown like Lucifer, ſon of the morning, from all my brightneſs into blackneſs and darkneſs for ever, when death hath cloſed my eyes, muſt I awake in everlaſting flames? Ay, ſinner, thou ſhalt, without remedy, unleſs thou open to the Lord Jeſus Chriſt.
Queſt. 3. Aſk thy ſoul on which hand thou art like to ſtand on the day of judgment, on the right hand, or on the left among the goats? If thou wilt not hear and open now, if thou wilt not open thy heart now, be aſſured the devil will open hell's mouth for thee: What will be the end of thoſe joys which now make ſo glad thy heart? You are now in the broad way to deſtruction, and utter ſeparation from God's preſence for ever. Thy pleaſures here we judge of: Oh! but who can tell the thouſandth part of theſe firey torments, to which thou art liable in the other world!
When thou dieſt, thou ſhalt be a damned creature? whilſt thou liveſt, thou art fed like a beaſt by common providence, and art a mere ſtranger to feeding promiſes: If thou lookest upward, God is frowning, and his wrath is revealed from heaven againſt thee, Rom. ii. 8.
The heavens and their hoſt are ready every moment to diſcharge God's curſes, like thunderbolts againſt thee? If thou lookeſt downwards, thou may'ſ ſee hell gaping and opening its mouth to ſwallow thee up quick; Many dangers attend thee every day, many miſeries every moment, legions of devils ſtand about thee, watching for thee, and waiting only for the leave of God, to drag thy ſoul into the lake of fire.
Ah! when thou dieſt man, what muſt thou then do! When the captain, death ſtrikes, whole armies of wolves will fall upon thee. Look to it, and remember thou waſt once warned, for if thou dieſt, thou dieſt eternally, Saint Auſtin's prayer was “O Lord, hack me, hew me, burn me here: but “ſpare me hereafter.” As long as thou refuſeſt to hear Chriſt's voice, thou haſt a hell upon earth: it is not the multitude of thy companions that go thither, ſhall any whit leſſen thy torments, but rather increaſe them. Thy life that hath been full of worldly joy, ſhall end in deadly woe.
All you into whoſe hand this little book ſhall come, let me beg you to conſider in thoſe bowels of love you have to your own ſouls; how your hearts can endure to think of being ſhut out of heaven, out of bleſſedneſs for ever: aſk your heart theſe queſtions, Can I burn? Can I endure the vengeance of eternal fire? Will boiled oil, burning brimſtone, ſcalding lead, a glowing oven, a ſcorching furnace, be an eaſy lodging for me? O! why my ſoul, wilt thou not be perſuaded to repent? Is there too much pain in that? Thou art ready to ſay, I cannot bear a croſs, nor an affliction, a ſcoff, or a reproach: Talk to thee of crucifying the fleſh, of parting with thy luſts, with thy worldly companions, of entering in at the ſtrait gate; O theſe are hard ſayings, who can bear them?
But how wilt thou do to dwell with devouring fire? How wilt thou dwell with everlaſting burnings? Whatsoever thou thinkeſt now, think what hell will be, when the day comes thou muſt deſcend into it: Thou mayeſt drink or laugh away the fear of it, but what will it be to thee when thou feeleſt thyſelf wrapped up in the flames of it, and not a drop of water to cool thy tongue! think on hell, O foul! and then think on Chriſt, and conſider, if a Redeemer from ſuch miſery be not worth the accepting of: Think on hell, and think on ſin, and carnal pleaſures and delights, conſider how they will reliſh with thee, when thus aſſaulted with everlaſting fire: are theſe the price for which thou ſelleſt thy ſoul to hell? Oh! bid theſe luſts and pleaſures be gone, bid your companions in ſin be gone, and tho' you loved them well, and have ſpent your time ſinfully with them, yet tell them, You muſt not burn for them, that you will not damn your ſoul to pleaſe your fleſh.
Having thus briefly as may be, laid down the uſe of terror, which I hope will awaken ſome poor ſouls out of the depth of carnal ſecurity: Now I ſhall proceed to the laſt uſe of encouragement, to encourage poor ſecure ſinners to venture to lay faſt hold on him, before that it be too late.
The U S E.
Oh poor ſoul! haſt thou kept Chriſt out a longtime: and art thou not yet reſolved to open thy heart to him! What ſhall I ſay to thee; Let me ſay this, Chriſt waits for thee: Chriſt is willing ſtill to receive thee, then why wilt thou undo thyſelf by neglecting this great ſalvation ? Let the conſideration of the meſſage Chriſt brings you, of the errand he comes on, it is not a diſmal one he brings, it is no dreadful errand: If Chriſt had come to deſtroy thy ſoul, could he have had leſs welcome than you gave him? Oh for your ſoul's ſake receive him! Oh ye fools when will ye be wiſe? Come unto Chriſt, and he will have mercy on you, and heal all your backſlidings, and love you freely.
But ſome poor ſouls will be ready to ſay, I have a deſire to come to Chriſt, but I am afraid Chriſt will never receive ſuch a wretched ſinner as I, who have ſtood it out ſo long against him. For anſwer to this, give me leave to give you ſome directions.
I. Ah, poor ſoul! art thou willing to come to Chriſt? Then will Chriſt in no ways caſt thee out, if thou comeſt to him poor, miſerable, blind and naked: O ſinner! come not to him in thy ſtrength, but come thou and ſay, "O Lord, here is a poor ſoul not worth a farthing; O Lord, make me rich in faith; O Lord, here is a miſerable ſoul, Lord, have mercy on me; here is a poor blind ſoul, Lord, enlighten me from above: here is a poor naked wretch, O Lord, ſave me, leſt I periſh, for I cannot help myſelf.'
Direct. 2. Come to Chriſt by believing in him; Ay, when thy poor ſoul is ſinking headlong into hell, and ſees no way to eſcape the fearful wrath of God hanging over thy head, catch thou then at ſuch a time faſt hold on Christ; O then apprehend and apply all his benefits to thy ſoul: Come this way, and graſp him in the arms of thy faith; and ſay, I believe in thee, held thou my unbelief: And the anſwer which the Lord will give thee, will be thus; Be it according as thou wilt. Let Chriſt be in your hands and the promiſe in your eyes, and no doubt, though thou haſt been a rebel and a traitor, yet Jeſus Chriſt having received gifts for the rebellious, will shew mercy to thee and receive thee.
Direct. 3. Come to Jeſus Chriſt by repenting and forſaking all thy ſins: Thou canſt never come to the wedding ſupper, without the wedding garment; The old man muſt be done away, before all things can be made new, Jer. iii. 14. O Jeruſalem! waſh thy heart from wickedneſs, that thou mayeſt be ſaved. Which God of his infinite mercy grant we may all do, and be bleſſed for ever, through Jeſus Chriſt our Lord and Saviour.
F I N I S.