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النشر الإلكتروني

SERMON CXLII.

The DAY of EFFECTUAL CALLING, a levelling Day Or, The HEIGHTS from which Sinners come down in the DAY of EFFECTUAL VOCATION.*

LUKE xix. 5.

-Zaccheus, make bafte, and come down.

OUR

UR Lord Jefus Chrift is fuch a wonderful Phyfician, that he has a falve for every fore, a remedy for every malady, and a cure for every cafe, that any finner on earth can poffibly be in. In the close of the preceding chapter we find him miraculously healing Bartimeus of his bodily blindness; and here, in the beginning of this ohapter, we find him curing Zaccheus of his fpiritual blindness. Bartimeus was a poor man, fitting by the way-fide, begging; and he is mercifully raised up to be effectually cured of his difeafe. Zaccheus was a rich man, fitting very high on a tree by the way fide, gazing; and he is mercifully brought down to be effectually cured of his disease. Whether people be in low or high circumftances, there is fuitable help and relief in the Lord Jefus Chrift.

Now, this Zaccheus is here described in the context. fix different ways.

1. By his nature and nation, ver. 1. He was a Gentile, and a man of Jericho; a place once deftroyed and

*This fubject was handled in two difcourfes, on a facramental foJemnity at FALKIRK, May 20th, 21ft, 1750. The firft on the Sabbath, the fecond on the Monday.

curfed

curfed by Joshua: yet, even in this very place, as there was a Rachab to be faved, fo there was a Zaccheus to be converted, by the Lord Jefus. The basenefs of a place does not hinder Chrift from calling his chofen. Heaven is open to one place as well as another therefore, wherever minifters of Chrift go, they may open up their heavenly commiffion, and preach the golpel to every rational creature under heaven, not knowing where a bleffing may light. The cross of Chrift, if we may allude thereunto, had four corners, inviting the four quarters of the world to come to him. If we confider the body of Chrift upon the cross, we may learn how every part of him bids welcome to all comers: his feet fixed on the crofs, to wait and expect all paffengers; his arms ftretched out and fpread abroad, to embrace all that come to him; his head being down to found into finners ears, "Behold the "love of a Saviour!" his blood gushing out like a ftream, to refresh all that come; and none fhall be excepted, but thefe that except themfelves. But, again,

2. He is defcribed by his profeffion and occupation, ver 2. He was a publican, and the chief among the publicans. They were perfons detefted by the Jews; for, after the Jews were fubject to the Roman empire, they received the tribute-money; and they were Romans and heathens and he being the chief of the publicans, it is probable alfo that he was a notorious finner; for, we find frequently that publicans and finners were joined together. When Chrift would defcribe a notorious and incorrigible finner, he fays, Matth. xviii. 17. "Let him be to you as a heathen man, and a publican." Now, this Zaccheus was a publican, and fo hated by the Jews; a finner, and fo hated of God, who is angry with the wicked every day; but Chrift came to call finners to repentance, and fo bring them into favour with him, as all that belong to Chrift will be, they being loved in him with an everlasting love. Let no finner then defpair of mercy through Chrift. It is true, if they go on in fin, and live and die, in a finful, Chrift less state, they have ground to defpair; and everlast

ing horror and defpair will be their latter end: but if they come down with Zaccheus to the Lord Jefus, and fo leave off their finful courfe, as he did, they fhall meet with the fame welcome. Defpair of the mercy of God in Chrift, which is infinite and flowing, is one of the moft prodigiously aggravated fins: Cain finned more in defpairing of mercy, than in killing his innocent brother. Judas finned more in hanging himself, thro' defpair, than in betraying his Master, thro' avarice. It is dangerous to pass a peremptory fentence upon any man's final ftate-here is a publican called.

3. He was defcribed by his quality; he was rich, ver. 2. It is hard for a rich man to enter into heaven, when he makes his wealth his ftrong tower: and hence, "Not many rich and noble are called;" but fome there are. Riches, in themselves, are not hinderances to Chrift. One obferves, concerning Jofeph of Ari. mathea, he was a great man in the eyes of the world, but a greater in the eyes of God: the wife men that came out of the east to worship Chrift, were both rich and honourable. Neither the poverty of blind Bartimeus, nor the riches of this man, Zaccheus, did hinder the Lord Jefus Chrift from fhewing favour and mercy towards them. Let rich and poor, high and low, and all forts of finners here, "Look unto him, and be faved," and feek after a fight of him, as Zaccheus here did; who is defcribed,

4. By his prefent difpofition and intenfe inclination, ver. 3. "He fought to fee Jefus." It would feem, from the event, that it was fomething more than curiofity that prompted him to feek after a fight of Jefus. It is probable, that by this time, the Spirit of God had convinced Zaccheus that he was a finner, a great finner; and now he hears the report of Chrift as a Saviour fent from God: and while the convinced finner is hearing of a Saviour, even before effectual calling, he may be under fuch impreffions, by the common motions of the Spirit of God, as tend to carry him out toward a blind, yet ardent defire after a yet unfeen and unknown Jefus though yet thefe convictions, impref

fions, and defires may have nothing in their nature faving however, in the elect of God, they may be faving evidentially, by virtue of the divine decree connecting them in the iffue with his faving work. Thus Zaccheus, while other rich men were defpifing Chrift, and would not give a farthing for a fight of him, is filled with an earnest defire after a fight of Chrift, even before Chrift manifefts himself to him. It is a hopeful thing, that some faving good is to follow, when a fecret defire is wrought in the heart, after a fight, even of a yet unknown Chrift; and when the report of Chrift, works in a people a defire of acquaintance with him. But here you may obferve the impediments which hindred Zaccheus from getting a fight of Chrift; and there are two mentioned: the firft was outward from the people, namely, the prefs; the fecond was inward from himself, namely, that he was of little ftature. Hence we may observe, That when people defire to see Christ, and win near to him, there are manifold impediments to hinder it, both from without, and from within. From without, the hinderance may be a prefs; preffing bufinefs, preffing company, pref fing crouds of worldly incumberances, that tend to divert them from Christ, and spiritual things. From within; as Zaccheus was of little ftature, and could not get a fight of Chrift; fo in fpirituals, they are of little ftature, having little affection to Chrift, little conviction of their need of Chrift, little fenfe of fin and wrath, and of the dreadful curfe they ly under, while they are without Chrift; the ftature of the good inclinations may be fo little, and low, that they cannot fee over the head of the preffing multitude of their outward worldly vocations; yea, from within, there are not only privative but pofitive impediments, not only little good about them, but much evil, especially an evil heart of unbelief. However, Zaccheus purfues his defire to see Chrift, notwithstanding of the impediments. And fo,

5. He is defcribed by his endeavours that backed his defire, and the measures he took for attaining his defire, ver. 4. He ran before, and climbed up a fycamore

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tree, to fee Chrift, because he was to pass that way.” O but it is good for people to caft themselves in Chrift's way! though there be no infallible certain connection, by divine promife, between natural and faving grace : yet the poor beggar, that keeps the way-fide, where the king paffes, is certainly wiler and nearer his purpofe, than the man that fhould go up to a diftant mountain where the king never comes. It is good to be about God's hand in the ufe of means, even though we fhould miftake the right manner of ufing them: for, the Lord may fend a word of power to direct them to the right way of entertaining him, as here he did Zaccheus, who here manifefts his ardent defires to fee Chrift, by climbing the tree that was in the way where Christ was to pafs his defires were attended with endeavours; "The fluggard defires, and has not; for, his hands refufe to labour:" but here the defires of Zaccheus fet both his hands and feet a-work, to climb up the tree. Rich men are generally proud, and would scorn to climb up upon a tree before a multitude; and reckon it mean and below them to expofe themfelves at that rate but here Zaccheus, though he was rich, and a kind of prince, and chief among thefe that were of his order and office; yet he is not afhamed to climb the tree like a child, which, perhaps he would have blushed to do, had any earthly prince been paffing by: but now, he values not the fcorn of the multitude, might he get but a fight of Christ.

Remark, "That they that truly defire a fight of "Chrift in ordinances, will not regard the reproach "and fcorn of a wicked world." Many in our days, especially of the rich fort, think fhame to be feen climbing the trees of duties and ordinances, for fear their neighbours gaze and laugh at them, and mock them; but that is an evidence that there is no fecret heart-defire to fee Chrift excited within them, otherwise they would despise the reproach of fools.

6. Zaccheus is defcribed, by his effectual vocation, ver. 5. where our text lies. Where you may observe two things. 1. The means. 2. The manner of his vocation, or effectual calling.

[1.] The

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