The door of salvation opened, or, A loud and shrill voice from heaven, to unregenerate sinners on earth
DOOR OF SALVATION
Or, a loud and ſhrill from Heaven, to unregenerate Sinners on Earth.
Theſ. 1. 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 Mr SAMUEL RUTHERFORD.
Printed and ſold in Niddery's-wynd. 1776.
The everlaſting door of Mercy and Salvation opened, &c.
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 up with him, and he with me.
IT hath pleaſed the moſt wife diſpofer of all things, out of the riches of his grace, to render Jeſus Chriſt to poor loſt and undone ſinners, and alſo pleaſed the Lord Jeſus, not only to die for ſinners to redeemn 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 fouls to be reconciled to God. And therefore, as you love your ſouls, as you love your bodies, as you would not bring damnation on 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 laying I know thy works, I know well enough that thou haſt been a blaſ phemer, or a drunkard, or a whore-monger, or thief, or a ſabbath breaker, or a ſcorner : yet I ſtand at the door this day, and knock, I will receive thee into mercy, I will forgive all thy ſins; I will accept, I will hear, I will ſave thy ſoul, if thou wilt open thy heart this day unto me, and let me in brethern for Chriſt's ſake, refuſe not Chriſt, do not refuſe Chriſt, do not reject nor neglect to great a salvation, leaſt you periſh.
1. Conſider the neceſſity you have of him ; Give me children, or elſe I die, ſaid Rachel or give me Chriſt or elſe periſh for ever. Can you be ſaved without Chriſt? And if you may have Chriſt bat for the opening the door; then while it is called to day, then hear and open to him. If the door of grace ſhould be that thou wouldeſt ſhut up with vengeance for ever.
2. Conſider what anſwer we thou wilt be able to make at the great day, if thou wilt harden thy heart, and not open, why, what wilt thou, what can't thou plead for thyſelf at the day of judgment Wilt thou ſay, the goſpel never offered thee Chriſt? Why, thou had heard this day if say man will hear and open, I will come in and ſup with him. Will thoſe ſay, I would have opened my heart had it not been for love of in[inillegible], or for eaſe, or liberty, or honour, friends or companions? Oh! how will men and angels hiſs at thee? This in the perſon, who for luſt's ſake forlook his mercies: who for a little Vanity neglected his own ſalvation O! how wilt thou curſe thy ſelf, that for nothing you 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 propone un to you bleſſing and curſing life and death ſalva ion 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 Though you have formerly ſlighted him; if you Will now regard him though you have formerly contemned him, yet if you praiſe him, though you have formerly reſiſted, if yet you will yeild, if yet you will conſent, if yet you will be come willing to open unto Chriſt, Chriſt will be our mercy will be yours ſalvation will be your 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 fright you, (if it be poſſible) out of theſe depths of Satan, into which you are fallen ; however, I am reloſved, whether you will or not, and the Lord faſten it upon your ſouls.
In the bowels of love and mercy, let me beg thee to aſk thy ſoul this queftion how long will this life, and the comfort of it laſt? The foul is immortal, and moſt never die, but muſt have a being ſome where to all eternity.
Queſt. 2 What will become of thee, when this life and all the comforts thereof are gone? Oh, hard hearted ſinners! this broad way which thou walkeſt in, will never lead thee to the promiſed land; thy gold and ſilver key will never open heaven’s gate for thee; thy care of this world's good,will never plead for thee before the Judge; all thy friends and acquaintances, with whom thou had ſpent many joyful hours, their good works will ſtand thee no ſtead.
Then thou wilt be ready to cry, Oh, where is the Chriſt that I have deſpited? O, where is the Jeſus that I have reſiſted ? Will he plead for me? No ſurely : but go to the gods whom thou haſt choſen O, what will become of me? muſt I not die? O whether 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 way of pleaſure, or worldly profit, the broad way of the world, is not the way to tranſport me to heaven and everlaſting happineſs. Say, O ſinner, to thy ſoul, What, muſt I be taken from all glory and greatneſs, from all the dilligence, and thrown, like Luſifer ſon of the morning, from all thy brightneſs, into blackneſs and darkness for ever? When death hath cloſed up my eyes muſt I awake in everlaſting flames? ſinner, thou, 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 bear and open thy heart now, be aſſured the devil will open his mouth for thee. What will be the end of theſe joys, which now make ſo glad thy heart? You are now in the broad way in diſtruction, and utter ſeperation from God's preſence for ever; thy pleaſures here we may judge of: but Oh! who can tell the thouſand part of theſe fiery torments, which thou art liable in the other world? whilst thou dieſt, thou ſhalt be a damnest creature? Whilſt thou liveſt thou art fed like a beaſt by common providence, and are a mere ſtranger to feeding promiſes. If thou looketh upwards. God is frowning and his wrath is revailed from heaven againt thee, Rom i 18. The heavens and their hoſt are ready every moment to diſcharge God's curſes like thunder bolts againſt thee If thou lookest downward, thou mayeſt ſee hell gaping and opening it mouth to ſwallow thee up quick; many dangers attend thee every day: many miſeries every moment; legions of the devils ſtand about thee, watching thee, and waiting 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 captain death ſtrikes, whole armies of wolves will fall upon thee? Look to it, and remember, thou were once warned leſt thou die eternally. St Auſtin's prayer was O Lord rack me, hew me, burn me here, but ſpare me hereafter. As long as thou refuſeſt to hear Chriſt's voice, thou has a hell upon earth as it is not the multitude of companions that to thither ſhall any whit leſſen thy torments, but rather increaſe them; thy life, that have been full of worldly joys, ſhall end in daily Woe.
All you, into whoſe hands 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 that out of heaven, out of bleſſedneſs for ever: aſk your hearts theſe queſtions. Can I burn? Can I endure the vegeance of eternal fire? Will boiling 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 their too much pain in that? Thou art ready to ſay, I cannot bear a croſs nor any affliction, a leoff, or a reproach: talk thee, of crucifying the fleſh, of parting with thy worldly companions, of entering in at the ſtraight gate: O theſe are hard ſayings, who can bear them?
But how wilt thou do, to dwell in with devouring fire? How wilt thou do to 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 feeeſt thyſelf wrapped in the flames of it, and not a drop of water to cool thy tongue ! think on hell, O, ſoul and then think on Chriſt, and conſider, if a Redeemer from ſuch miſery be not worth the ac cepting of. Think on hell, and think on ſin and carnal pleasures and delights, conſider how they will reliſh with thee, whe thus falted 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, and ſins 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 bold on him before that it be too late.
Oh, poor ſoul! haſt thou kept Chriſt out of a long time, and art thou not yet relolved to open thy heart to him? What ſhall I ſay to thee? Let me ſay this? Chriſt wait ſtill for thee: the why, wilt thou undo thyſelf, by neglecting ſo great ſalvation? Let the conſideration of the meſſage Chriſt brings you, of the errand he comes on excit you, (it is no 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 ſouls take, receive him! Oh, ye fools! when will ye he wiſe? Come unto Chriſt, and he will have mercy on you, and heal all your backſlidings, and love you freely
But ſome poor ſoul 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 to long against him. For anſwer to this, give me leave to give you ſome directions
1. Ah, poor ſoul, art thou willing to come to Chriſt! Then will Chriſt in no wiſe caſt thee out, if thou comeſt to him poor, miſerable blind and naked; O ſinner, come not to him in this ſtrength, but come thou and ſaw, 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, 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 ſee no way to eſcape the fearful wrath of God hanging over thy head catch thou then, at ſuch a time faſt hold on Chriſt. Oh 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, help thou my unbelief. And the auſwer, which the Lord will give thee will be thus: Be it according as thou wilt. Let Chriſt be in your hand, and the promiſe in your eyes and no doubt, thou haſt been a rebel a traitor, yet Jeſus Chriſt having received the gifts for the rebellious, will ſhew mercy on thee, and receive thee.
Direct. 3. Come to Jeſus Chriſt, by repenting and forſaking all thy ſins. Thou canit never ae[inillegible] to the wedding ſupper, without wedding garments: the old man muſt be taken a way before all things can be made new, iii. 24. 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.