Monday, March 26, 2012

Puritan Mondays: Assure Yourself

"Wherefore, I beseech you, revoke this your erroneous opinion, and contradict the word of truth no longer; but conclude for a certainty, that it is not the righteous and godly man, but the sinful and ungodly man, that Christ came to call, justify, and save: so that if you were a righteous and godly man, you were neither capable of calling, justifying, or saving by Christ; but being a sinful and ungodly man, I will be bold to say unto you as the people said unto blind Bartimaeus, 'Be of good comfort; arise, he calleth thee (Mark 10:49) and will justify and save thee. Go then unto him, I beseech you; and if he come and meet thee, (as his manner is) then do not you unadvisedly say with Peter, 'Depart from me, for I am sinful man, O Lord! (Luke 5:8; but say, in plain terms, O come unto me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord! Yea, go further, and say as Luther bids you, Most gracious Jesus and sweet Christ, I am a miserable, poor sinner, and, therefore, do judge myself unworthy of thy grace; but yet I, having learned from thy word that thy salvation belongs unto such a one, therefore do I come unto thee, to claim that right which, through thy gracious promise belongs unto me. 
Assure yourself, man, that Jesus Christ requires no portion with his spouse; no, verily, he requires nothing with her but her mere poverty: 'the rich he sends empty away' (Luke 1:53); but the poor are by him enriched. And, indeed, says Luther, 'the more miserable, sinful, and distressed a man doth feel himself, and judge himself to be, the more willing is Christ to receive him and relieve him.' So that, says he, in judging thyself unworthy, thou dost thereby become truly worthy; and so, indeed, has gotten a greater occasion of coming to him. Wherefore, then, in the words of the apostle, I do exhort and beseech you to 'com boldly unto the throng of grace, that you may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need' (Heb. 4:16)."

--The words of 'Evangelista' in Edward Fisher's The Marrow of Modern Divinity (Christian Heritage, 2009) p.149.

No comments: