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COME AND WELCOME
AND THEY SHALL COME WHICH WERE READY TO PERISH.-Isa. xxvii. 13.
EXPLANATION OF THE TEXT.
ALL THAT THE FATHER GIVETH ME SHALL COME TO ME; AND HIM THAT COMETH TO ME
I WILL IN NO WISE CAST OUT.-John vi. 37.
A LITTLE before, in this chapter, you may read that the Lord Jesus walked on the sea to go to Capernaum, having sent his disciples before in a ship, but the wind was contrary; by which means the ship was hindered in her passage. Now about the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came walking on the sea, and overtook them; at the sight of whom they were afraid. Note, When providences are black and terrible to God's people, the Lord Jesus shows himself to them in a wonderful manner; which, sometimes they can as little bear, as they can the things that were before terrible to them. They were afraid of the wind
and water; they were also afraid of their Lord and Saviour, when he appeared to them in that state.
“But,” he said, “it is I, be not afraid.” Note, that the end of the appearing of the Lord Jesus unto his people (though the manner of his appearance be ever so terrible), is to allay their fears and perplexities.
“ Then they received him into the ship, and immediately the ship was at land whither it went." Note, When Christ is absent from his people, they go on but slowly, and with great difficulty; but when he joineth himself unto them, O how fast they steer their course; how soon are they at their journey's end !
The people now among whom he last preached, when they saw that both Jesus was gone and his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. And when they had found him, they wondering asked him, “ Rabbi, when camest thou hither ?” But the Lord Jesus slighting their compliment, answered, “Verily, verily, ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves and were filled. Note, A people may follow Christ far for base ends, as these went after him beyond sea for loaves. A man's belly will carry him a great way in religion ; yea, a man's belly will make him venture far for Christ. Note again, They are not feigning compliments, but gracious intentions, that crown our work in the eyes of Christ; or thus, It is not the toil and business of professors, but their love to him, that makes him approve them. Note again, When men look for friendly entertainment at Christ's hand (if their hearts be rotten), even then will they meet with a check and rebuke. “Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.” Yet observe again, He doth not refuse to give, even to these, good counsel. He bids them “labor for the meat that endureth to eternal life." O how willingly would Jesus Christ have even those persons
that come to him with pretences only, come to him sincerely, that they may be saved !
The text, you will find, is after much more discourse with and about this people, and it is uttered by the Lord Jesus, as the conclusion of the whole, and intimateth, that since they were inquirers in pretence only, and therefore such as his soul could not delight in, as such, that he would content himself with a remnant that his Father had bestowed upon him. As if he should say, “I am not likely to be honored in your salvation; but the Father hath bestowed upon me a people, and they shall come to me in truth, and in them will I be satisfied.”
The text therefore may be called Christ's repose ; in the fulfilling whereof he resteth himself content, after much labor and many sermons spent, as it were, in vain. As he saith by the prophet, “I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for naught and in vain. Isa. xlix. 4. But as there he saith, “My judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God;" so in the text he saith, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." By these words, therefore, the Lord Jesus comforteth himself under the consideration of the dissimulation of some of his followers. He also thus betook himself to rest under the consideration of the little effect that his ministry had in Capernaum, Chorazin, and Bethsaida. “I thank thee, O Father,” said he, “ Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes; even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight.” Matt. xi. 25; Luke x. 21.
The text, in general, consists of two parts, and hath special respect to the Father and the Son; as also their joint management of the salvation of the people of God. “ All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”
The first part of the text (as is evident) respecteth the Father and his gift; the other part, the Son and his reception of that gift.
First, For the gift of the Father, there is this to be considered, namely, the gift itself; and that is the gift of certain persons to the Son. The Father giveth, and that gift shall come. “And him that cometh,” &c. The gift then is of persons; the Father giveth persons to Jesus Christ.
Secondly, Next you have the Son's reception of this gift. And that showeth itself in these particulars: 1. In his hearty acknowledgment of it to be a gift: “The Father giveth me.” 2. In his taking notice, after a solemn manner, of all and every part of the gift: “All that the Father giveth me.” 3. In his resolution to bring them to himself: “ All that the Father giveth me shall come to me.” 4. And in his determining, that not any thing shall make him dislike them in their coming: “And him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
These things might be spoken to at large, as they are in this method presented to view. But I shall choose to speak of the words, 1. By way of explanation. 2. By way of observation.
First, By way of EXPLANATION. “All that the Father giveth me.” This word, all, is often used in scripture, and is to be taken more largely, or more strictly, even as the truth or argument, for the sake of which it is made use of, will bear. Wherefore that we may better understand the mind of Christ, in the use of it here, we must consider, that it is limited and restrained to those only that shall be saved, that is, to those that shall come to Christ; even to those whom he will win no wise cast out.” Thus also the words, all Israel, are sometimes to be taken, (though elsewhere taken for the whole family of Jacob.) And so, "All Israel shall be saved. Rom. xi. By “all Israel,” here, he intendeth not all of Israel in the largest sense. MEANING OF “ ALL” AND “GIVETH.”
“For they are not all Israel which are of Israel; neither because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children; but in Isaac shall thy seed be called; that is, they who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”
This word, all, therefore, must be limited, or enlarged, as the truth and argument for the sake of which it is used will bear; else we shall abuse the scriptures and readers, and ourselves and all. “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth,” said Christ, “will draw all men unto me.” John xii. 32. Can any one imagine, that by “all,” in this place, he should mean all and every individual man in the world, and not rather that all that is consonant to the scope of the place? And if, by being “lifted up from the earth,” he means, as he should seem, his being taken up into heaven; and if, by drawing all men after him, he meant a drawing them into the place of glory; then must he mean by "all men,” those, and only those, that shall in truth be eternally saved from the wrath to come. Again. “God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.” Rom. xi. 32. Here again you have “all,” two alls; but yet a great disparity between the “all made mention of in the first place, and that “all' made mention of in the second. Those intended in this text are the Jews, even all of them, by the first “all” that you find in the words. The second sall” doth also intend the same people; but yet only so many of them as are living at that promised time, when God will have mercy upon them. “He hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.” The “all” also in the text, is likewise to be limited to the saved, and them only. But again,
The word giveth, or hath given, must be restrained, after the same manner, to the same limited number: “all that the Father giveth me.” Not all that are given, if you take the gift of the Father to the Son, in the largest sense; for