Sermons and Treatises by Samuel Ward, 1636, reprinted in 1862 by James Nichol
Secondly, But, forsooth [indeed], you will be more mannerly than so [than to comply]. With Peter, you will not suffer Christ’s precious hands to wash your foul feet. Take heed your modesty turn not into pertinacy [stubborness, persistency], lest He swear in his anger you shall have no part in Him, if you stubbornly refuse his gracious offer. He liked well the humility of that Canaanitish [woman] that bore the term of dog, but better her confidence that [it] would not be said nay [no] of the crumbs of his table. And shall you not ten times more honor Him and please Him in trusting his mercy, and sealing to his truth, than in fearing his justice, and dreading his power? Take heed of pride in the clothes of humility. Be not deceived; it is pride, and high pride, not to come when you are called. Faith is obedience, and obedience is more acceptable than courtesy and compliment. The sooner you come the better welcome. It is rudeness, and not good manners, not to do as you are bidden to do, yea, so often and earnestly charged to do. To do the work of God is to believe in Him (John 6) whom He has sealed and sent to be your Savior.
Study, strive, endeavor to believe, as you do in a difficult point to conceive. Pray for a faculty, and for the act of believing. Be not ever believing, and never a believer; ever beginning to live, and never living. Live to-day, to-day is salvation offered, step from death to life, and write this day your birthday, and number from hence the days of your life, in which, of a child of perdition, you are made the son of God through faith, and so made forever. Do you believe this with your whole heart? Drive on the chariot of your life with joy and rejoicing till you come to the mark.
And let all such know, that in all the former discovery of this poison I have only aimed to cause them feel their sting, and that they might with earnest eyes behold the brazen serpent, and seriously repair to Him for mercy and grace, who is perfectly able to eject even this kind, which so rarely and hardly is thrown out where once He gets possession. This seed of the woman is able to bruise this serpent’s head. Oh, that they would listen to the gracious offers of Christ! If once there be wrought in your soul a spiritual thirst after mercy, as the thirsty land has after rain, a longing appetite after the water that comes out of the Rock, after the blood that was shed for you, then let him that is athirst come, let him drink of the water of life without any money, of which if you have took but one true and thorough draught [drink], you will never long after your old puddle waters of sin any more. Easy will it be for you, after you have tasted of the bread and wine in your Father’s house, ever to loathe the husks and swill [kitchen refuse for pigs] you were wont [accustomed] to follow after with greediness. The Lord Christ will bring you into his mother’s house, Cant. 8:2, cause you to drink of his spiced wine, of the new wine of the pomegranate. Yea, He will bring you into his cellar, spread his banner of love over you, stay you with flagons, fill you with his love, till you be sick and overcome with the sweetness of his consolations, Cant. 2:4. In other drink there is excess, but here can be no danger. The devil has his invitation, ‘Come, let us drink;’ and Christ has his inebriamini [Latin: ‘you all drink’], ‘ Be ye filled with the Spirit.’ Here is a fountain set open, and proclamation made; and if it were possible for the brutishest drunkard in the world to know who it is that offers, and what kind of water He offers, he would ask, and God would give it frankly without money; he should drink liberally, be satisfied, and out of his belly should sally [rush forth] springs of the water of life, quenching and extinguishing all his inordinate longings after stolen water of sin and death.