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CHRIST the best Husband : Or an earnest Ina
vitation to Young Women to come and see CHRIST.
Preached to a Society of Young Women, in
PSA L M xlv. 10, II. Hearken, O Daughter, and consider, and incline thing Ear: Forget also thine own People, and thy Father's House : So shall the King greatly defire thy, Beanty: for he is thy Lord, and worship thou him.
HIS psalm is called the song of loves, the most pure and
spiritual, the most dear and delightful loves'; namely, those which are between CHRIST the beloved, and his church, which is his fpoufe; wherein is set forth, first, the LORD JESUS CHRIST in regard of his majesty, power, and divinity, his truth, meekness and equity : And then the spoufe is set forth, in
regard of her ornaments, companions, attendants-and pofterity; and both in regard of their comeliness and beauty. After the description of CHRIST, an invitation to his espous sals
, is given the children of men, called by the name of daughter; and therefore, particularly applicable unto you, my dear fifters, as being the daughters of men, yet not so as ex cluding the sons of men.
Í hall now, therefore, consider the words, as spoken to you in particular, and containing this doctrines
That the LORD JESUS CHRIST doth invite the daughters of men to be his spouse; and is exceeding desirous of their beauty; who, forgetting their people and father's house, de Vol. V.
hearken, consider and incline to his invitation, and join themselves to him in this relation.
I thall shew,
1. How CHRIST doch efpoufe himself unto the children, but, more especially, unto the daughters of men.
The LORD Jesus CHRIST, doth espouse himself unto the children of men, in this world, but the public solemnization of the marriage, is reserved until the last day; when his spouse shall be brought forth to him, in white robes, and a raiment of perfect righteousnessy more rich and curious, my dear Gifters, than any of your needle-work; and the marriage feast will be kept in his Father's house, in heaven, where they shall be received into the nearest and closest embraces of his love. The marriage knot is tied here, in which are included four things : Firf, Mutual Choice,
1 Secondly, Mutual Affection. Thirdly, Mutual Union. Fourthly, Mutual Obligation.
First, My dear fifters, there is a mutual choice, which is 'not only in CHRIST, as Mediator, but also by Christ as the eternal Son of God, yea, God himself; notwithstanding all that the polite Arians and Socinians fay to the contrary. The LORD Jesus CHRIST, my dear fifters, doth chuse you merely by his free grace; it is freely of his own mercy, that he brings you into the marriage covenant: You, who have fo grievously offended him, yet, the LORD JESUS CHRIST hath chosen you; you
did not, you would not have chosen him; but when once, my dear fifters, he hath chofen you, then, and not till then, you make choice of him for your Lord and Husband. 5. The LORD JESUS CHRIST when he first comes to you, finds you full of fin and pollution ; you are deformed, defiled, enslaved, poor, miserable and wretched, very despicable and loathsome, by reason of fin; and he 'maketh choice of you, not because of your holiness, nor of your beauty, nor of your being qualified for them; no, the LORD JESUS CHRIST puts those qualifications upon you, as may make you meet for his embrace; and you are drawn to make choice of this LORD Jesus CHRIST because he first chose you. . 3
Secondly, In this espousal of your's, my dear fistérs, there is à mutual affection ; this doth accompany the choice. Your hearts are drawn out after Christ; your souls pant and long for him ; you cannot be at rest until you are engaged to this JESUS: You are ready to cry out continually, none byt CHRIST, none but CHRIST: this is the language of your hearts, if you are truly sensible of your need of him, The more acquaintance you have of this LORD JESUS, the more pleased you are with your choice, and the more your affections are drawn towards him. And where can you place your affections better than upon that Jesus who shed his blood for your sakes? Surely he deserves both your loves and affections: Go on, go on, my dear fifters, that your affections may grow Itronger and stronger.
Thirdly, There is not only mutual choice, and mutual affe&tion, but likewise mutual Union : And here doth the martiage lie chiefly, in this union; CHRIST and souls are contracted, and the knot is tied so fast, that neither men on earth, how great soever they be, nor devils in hell, though they should combine all their wrath and rage together, ftill they cannot dissolve, they cannot untie it; no, my dear sisters, it is indiffolvable, for the union is, by the spirit, on CHRIST’S part, and by faith on your's: By the fpirit, Christ doth lay hold on you; and by faith, you do lay hold on him; and thus the match is made; CHRIST becomes your's, his perfon, portion, and all his benefits are your's; and you become CHRIST's, your persons, your hearts, and all that you have is resigned up unto him; and that they may be so more and more.
Fourthly, There is a mutual Obligation between CHRIST and his spouse. CHRIST obliges himfelf to love you here; he will hot, indeed he never will leave you, he will protect you from the malice of the Pharisees of this generation, he will provide for you in all difficulties; he will live with you here, and at Taft he will take you to himself, to live with him for ever. And you are engaged to him to be loving, loyal, faithful, obedient; and you are to stick close to hiin as long as you ļive; and then you will find yourfelves to be married to the þest advantage, both for soul and body, for time and fieri eternity.
:II. CHRIST doth invite all of you to be his spouse.
And it is on this account that he fends forth his minifters to preach. It is this, that makes me thus come among you; that you would accept of this invitation, to which, in the name of the LORD JESUS CHRIST, I do call and intreat you to take him, on his own terms. He calls all of you, my fifters, whether elder or younger, whether married or unmarried, of higher degree, or of the meaneft quality, the poorest servants, yea, the rabble of this world, as the world, calls yoụ, who are willing to be espoused unto the LORD JESUS CHRIST. I say, the poor are as welcome to be CHRIST's fpoufe as those that are rich. He regardeth not the rich more than the poor: he chose a mean virgin, espoused to a; carpenter, to be his mother; and he chuseth and calleth all such to be his spouse; then be not discouraged at your being despised in the world; for if you are but loved by CHRIST, and espoused to him, it will be an over-sufficiency for all the trouble that you have met with here,
III. Those who would be espoused unto CHRIST, 'must hearken, consider, and incline to his invitation, and forget even their father's house.
Such as would be espoused unto CHRIST must hearken. « Hearken, O. daughter.” Many amongst you, my fifters, stop their ears against the calls of the gospel; they shut their cars like the deaf adder, which will not hearken unto the yoice of the charmer, though he charm never so wisely, You will not hearken unto the invitations of CHRIST : you can hearken unto the vanities of the world, and be delighted with the espoufals of the world, but never think, or are delighted with the espousals of CHRIST.
It was by the ear, that the temptation of fin was received by the first man, when he departed from God; and by the ear, the invitation to be CHRIST's spouse muft be received, before the heart will be opened to receive JESUS CHRIST in this conjugal relation.
If you would, my dear sisters, be espoused to CHRIST, you muft confider CHRIST's invitation. It is not a night or bare hearing of Christ's invitation, which will be of any service
to you, or make up the match between CHRIST and your souls; no, you must receive Christ in the heart; you must consider the thing itself, the advantages of it, the difference between Christ's invitations and the devil's temptations, or any of the world's proffers.
Those who would be espoused to Christ, must be inclined to accept of Christ's invitation. “Hearken, o daughter, consider and incline thine ear:" This is to incline your hearts!' You must consent with you wills; there must be a compliance to the motion of Christ, and you must have de fires after Christ, and then your hearts will say,, LORD, let us be thy spouse, and be thou our beloved.'
You must likewise forget your father's house." Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and forget thy father's house." You are not here to cast off all affections unto natural rela
you must forget all relations, so as to be ready to forego'all their favour, when it ftandeth in competition with that of the LORD JESUS CHRIST ;'and do not let your carnal friends and relations hinder you from closing with, and espousing the LORD Jesus. I earnestly beseech you to füffer the loss of any thing, rather than to lose his favours; you must indeed forget your own people, that is, you must forget all your evil customs which you have learned in your father's house, and forsake all your vain conversation, your reading of plays, novels, or romances; and you must keep from learning to fing the songs of the drunkard; for CHRIST, if you are his spouse, hath redeemed you.
Such of you, my dear sisters, as are espoused to the LôRD JESUS CHRIST are very beautiful. I do not mean in respect of your bodies ; you may have less of external comelinefs than others, in respect of your bodies, but as to your souls you will exceed in beauty, not so much in the eyes of man, as in the eyes of God; such have the most beautiful image of ĠOD Aamped upon them, none in the world, beside them, have the least spark of spiritual beauty. Such as are not married to CHRIST, are unregenerated, they are not born again, nor brought from fin unto God, which must be done before you be espoused to CHRIST.
And the LORD JESUS CHRIST defreth to see this Beauty in his spouse, for he cries out, si O my dove, thou art in the