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warm and zealous in the exercife of grace, and difcharge of duty; but lukewarm, indifferent, unconcern'd about her own condition, and the honour and interest of Jesus -Chrift, a frame of foul very disagreeable to Chrift; and therefore, to thew his refentment of it, he threatens to spue her out of bis mouth, as men do that which is ungrateful to them; which defigns fome chastisement or affliction, and that in order to bring her to a sense of her prefent condition, and out of it; for certain it is, he had a love, an unchangeable and everlasting one, to many in this church; wherefore he fays, -As many as I love, I rebuke and chaften; be zealous therefore and repent, ver, 19.
NUMB. LX. Rev. iii. 20.
Behold, I ftand at the door and knock: If
any man bear my voice,
and open the door, and will fup with
ROM hence it is concluded, that Chrift ftands and knocks at the hearts of unregenerate finners by the miniftry of
4 Belarmin, de gratia & b. Arbian. 1 1. c 11, Be monftr. in Cell Hay, Art. m, A. & 254 wbby.
the word, and that they have fufficient grace -and strength to open their hearts unto him, or elfe he knocks in vain; for what wife man would ftand at another's door and knock, if he knew there were not any within that could open to him? and fince it is required of men in converfion, to open their hearts to Chrift, it follows, that the work is not performed by an irrefiftible power, or without the confent and co-operation of the will of man. But,
I. It should be proved, that the ministry of the word is ever fignified by knocking at the hearts of unregenerate finners, or that God, or Chrift, are ever faid to knock at mens hearts by the miniftry of the word. Men can strike the ear, God only can reach and frike the Yeart; which is done when the gofpel comes not in word only, but in power, and in the Holy Ghost; and when God does this, he does not knock and rap, and then wait till entrance is made from within; but he ftrikes home, and at once opens the door of the heart, as he did Lydia's, by his powerful and efficacious grace. It should also be proved, that God, in converfion, does com
and and require men to open their hearts unto him; neither of which can be proved, either from this text, or from any other in the whole Bible: Nor is it in the power of unregenerate men, being dead in trefpaffes
and fins, nor in their will, inclinations, defires and affections, their carnal mind being enmity against God and Christ, to open their hearts and let them in. And fuppofing that these words do reprefent Chrift standing and knocking at the door of mens hearts, by the external miniftry of the word, has he not the key of the boule of David, with which be opens, and no man shuts? and lets himself in by the power of his grace, without offering any violence to the wills of men, fince his people are made a willing people in the day of bis power: Hence his knocking is not in vain, fince to his elect not only fufficient, but efficacious grace is given, by which the door of their hearts is opened to him, and others are left inexcufable, who are ready to make fuch shifts as these; had he knocked, I would have opened; had I heard, I would have believed; had I known, I would have done this and the other thing. But,
II. These words are not spoken to, nor of unregenerate finners; nor have they any reference to the opening of mens hearts in converfion, but are directed to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans, and to the members of that church, perfons that profeffed the name of Chrift; who, tho' they were not hot, yet were not cold, and for whom Chrift had a regard, though they were in this lukewarm state; and therefore takes every pro
per method to bring them out of it; which was much the fame with the church in Cant. v. 2. I fleep, but my heart waketh: It is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my fifter, my love, my dove, my undefiled; a place parallel to this text, and which is the only one befides, in which Chrift is faid to knock, and require any to open to him. Now his ftanding at the door, may either mean his near approach to judg ment, fee James v. 8, 9. This church of Laodicea, being the last of the churches, reprefents the ftate of the church in the last times, which will bring on and conclude with the general judgment; or elfe his attendance on this church is meant, which fhews his continued love, care, condefcenfion and patience towards it: His knocking at the door is not by the miniftry of the word, but by fome afflictive difpenfation of providence, perhaps perfecution. This church was in a fleepy, lukewarm, indifferent, fecure frame of fpirits as appears from ver. 15, 16, 17, 18. Chrift will not fuffer her to continue fo; and therefore takes his rod in his hand, ftands at her door, and gives fome fevere knocks and raps to bring her to her felf, and out of this indolent, fupine, and felf confident ftate and condition fhe was in; which fenfe is confirmed by the preceding verfe; as many as I love, I rebuke and chaflen; be zealous therefore and repent. The promise
he makes to fuch who bear his voice, that is the men of wisdom who bear the rod, and who bath appointed it, when the Lard's voice crieth, to a city, or a church, and open co him, that is, by the lively exercise of faith and love, and which is owing to his putting in his band by the bale of the door, is, that he will come in to them, and jap with them, and they with him; which may, in general, defign commotion and fellowhip in his house and ordinances, or in particular, the marriage jupper of the Lamb, to which they who are can, ire pronounced Bjel