Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, in his Works, vol. 1
Remedy (9). The ninth remedy against this device of Satan is, seriously to consider, That it is no disparagement to you to be first in seeking peace and reconcilement, but rather an honor to you, that you have begun to seek peace. Abraham was the elder, and more worthy than Lot, both in respect of grace and nature also, for he was uncle to Lot, and yet he first seeks peace of his inferior, which God has recorded as his honor.
[Footnote: They shall both have the name and the note, the comfort and the credit, of being most like unto God, who first begin to pursue after peace]
Ah! how does the God of peace, by his Spirit and messengers, pursue after peace with poor creatures. God first makes offer of peace to us: ‘Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.’ 2 Cor. 5:20. God’s grace first kneels to us, and who can turn their backs upon such blessed and bleeding embracements, but souls in who Satan the god of this world kings it? God is the party wronged, and yet He sues for peace with us at first: ‘I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name,’ Isa. 65:1.
[Footnote: Behold me! Behold me! It is geminated [doubled] to show God’s exceeding forwardness to show favor and mercy to them.]
Ah! how does the sweetness, the freeness, and the riches of his grace break forth and shine upon our souls. When a man goes from the sun, yet the sunbeams follow him; so when we go from the Sun of righteousness, yet then the beams of his love and mercy follow us. Christ first sent to Peter that had denied Him, and the rest that had forsaken Him: ‘Go your ways, and tell his disciples and Pater, that He goes before you into Galilee: there shall ye see Him, as He said unto you.’ Mark 16:7. Ah! souls, it is not a base, low thing, but a God-like thing, though we are wronged by others, yet to be the first in seeking after peace. Such actings will speak out much of God with a man’s spirit, etc.
Appendix, p. 146-148
Remedy (2). The second remedy against this device of Satan [that you are not prepared and qualified to receive Christ] is, solemnly To dwell upon these following scriptures, which do clearly evidence that poor sinners which are not so and so prepared and qualified to meet with Christ, to receive and embrace the Lord Jesus Christ, may, notwithstanding that, believe in Christ; and rest and lean upon Him for happiness and blessedness, according to the gospel. Read Prov. 1:20-33, and Prov. 8:1-11, and Prov. 9:1-6; Eze. 16:1-14; John 3:14-18, 36; Rev. 3:15-20. Here the Lord Jesus Christ stands knocking at the Laodicean’s door; He would fain have them to sup with Him, and that He might sup with them; that is, that they might have intimate communion and fellowship one with another.
Now, pray tell me, what preparations or qualifications had these Laodiceans to entertain Christ? Surely none; for they were lukewarm, they were ‘neither hot nor cold,’ they were ‘wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked’; yet Christ to show his free grace and his condescending love, invites the very worst of sinners to open to Him, though they were no ways so prepared or qualified to entertain Him.
Remedy (3). The third remedy against this device of Satan is, seriously to consider, That the Lord does not in all the Scripture require such and such preparations and qualifications before men come to Christ, before they believe in Christ, or entertain, or embrace the Lord Jesus. Believing in Christ is the great thing that God presses upon sinners throughout the Scripture, as all know that know anything of Scripture.
Objection: But does not Christ say, ‘Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’? Matt 11:28. To this I shall give these three answers:
(1) That though the invitation be to such that ‘labor and are heavy laden,’ yet the promise of giving rest, it [the promise] is made over to ‘coming,’ to ‘believing’.
(2) I answer, that all this scripture proves and shows is, that such as labor under sin as under a heavy burden, and that are laden with the guilt of sin and sense of God’s displeasure, ought to come to Christ for rest; but it does not prove that only such must come to Christ, nor that all men must be thus burdened and laden with the sense of their sins and the wrath of God, before they come to Christ.
Poor sinners, when they are under the sense of sin and wrath of God, they are prone to run from creature to creature, and from duty to duty, and from ordinance to ordinance, to find rest; and if they could find it in anything or creature, Christ should never hear of them; but here the Lord sweetly invites them: and to encourage them, He engages Himself to give them rest: ‘Come,’ says Christ, ‘and I will give you rest.’ I will not show you rest, nor barely tell you of rest, but ‘I will give you rest.’ I am faithfulness itself, and cannot lie, ‘I will give you rest.’ I that have the greatest power to give it, the greatest will to give it, the greatest right to give it, ‘Come, laden sinners, and I will give you rest.’ Rest is the most desirable good, the most suitable good, and to you the greatest good. ‘Come,’ saith Christ, that is, ‘believe in me, and I will give you rest;’ I will give you peace with God, and peace with conscience; I will turn your storm into an everlasting calm; I will give you such rest, that the world can neither give to you nor take from you.
(3) I answer, No one scripture speaks out the whole mind of God; therefore do but compare this one scripture with those several scriptures that are laid down in the second remedy last mentioned, and it will clearly appear, that though men are thus and thus burdened and laden with their sins and filled with horror and terror, if they may come to Christ, they may receive and embrace the Lord Jesus Christ.
Remedy (4). The fourth remedy against this device of Satan is, to consider, That all that trouble for sin, all that sorrow, shame, and mourning which is acceptable to God, and delightful to God, and prevalent with God, flows from faith in Christ, as the stream does from the fountain, as the branch does from the root, as the effect foes from the cause. Zech. 12:10, ‘They shall look on him whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him.’ All gospel mourning flows from believing; they shall first look, and then mourn for him.’ All gospel mourning flows from believing; they shall first look, and then mourn. All that know anything know this, that ‘whatever is not of faith is sin,’ Rom. 14:33. Till men have faith in Christ, their best services are but glorious sins.
The fourth device that Satan has to keep poor sinners from believing, from closing with a Savior, is,
Device (4). By suggesting to a sinner Christ’s unwillingness to save. It is true, says Satan, Christ is able to save you, but is He willing? Surely, though He is able, yet He is not willing to save such a wretch as you are, that has trampled his blood under your feet, and that has been in open rebellion against Him all thy days, etc.
The remedy against this device of Satan is, briefly to consider these few things.
Remedy (1). First, The great journey that He has taken, from heaven to earth, on purpose to save sinners, does strongly demonstrate his willingness to save them. Matt 9:13, ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ 1 Tim. 1:15, ‘This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.’
Secondly, His divesting Himself of his glory in order to sinners’ salvation, speaks out his willingness to save them. He leaves his Father’s bosom, He puts off his glorious robes, and lays aside his glorious crown, and bids adieu to his glistering courtiers the angels; and all this He does, that He may accomplish sinners’ salvation.
Thirdly, That sea of sin, that sea of wrath, that sea of trouble, that sea of blood that Jesus Christ waded through, that sinners might be pardoned, justified, reconciled, and saved, does strongly evidence his willingness to save sinners, 1 Cor. 5:19,20.
Fourthly, His sending his ambassadors, early and late, to woo and entreat sinners to be reconciled to Him, does with open mouth show his readiness and willingness to save sinners.
Fifthly, His complaints against such as refuse Him, and that turn their backs upon Him, and that will not be saved by Him, does strongly declare his willingness to save them: John 1:11, ‘He came to his own, and his own received Him not.’ So in John 5:40, ‘But ye will not come to me, that ye may have life.’
Sixthly, The joy and delight that He takes at the conversion of sinners, does demonstrate his willingness that they should be saved: Luke 15:7, ‘I say unto you, That likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over ninety and nine just persons that need no repentance.’ God the Father rejoices at the return of his prodigal son: Christ rejoices to see the travail of his soul: the Spirit rejoices that He has another temple to dwell in; and the angels rejoice that they have another brother to delight in, etc., Isa. 53:11.
The Unsearchable Riches of Christ, in his Works, volume 3
Use 4. If Christ be so rich, Oh! then, open to Christ when He knocks. Christ knocks by his word, and He knocks by his rod; He knocks by his Spirit, and He knocks by his messengers, and He knocks by conscience. Oh, open to Him! for He is very rich. Though you shut the door against a poor man, yet you will open it to one that is rich; and why not then to Christ, who would fain have entrance? Rev. 3:20, ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to Him, and will sup with Him, and He with me.’
[7.] Seventhly, Get this principle rooted in you, That it is the delight of Christ to give poor sinners an interest [legal right] in Himself.
He is not only able to do it, but it is his delight to do it. Christ’s soul is in nothing more. Witness his leaving his Father’s bosom; witness his laying down his crown; witness those many sufferings and deaths that He went through in this world; witness those gospel acclamations, Mark 16:16, Rev. 22:17; witness those persuasive exhortations and gracious impetrations [obtaining by asking or petition] and entreaties, Isa. 53:11, Matt 11:28, 2 Cor. 5:20; witness divine injunctions and comminations [threatening of divine vengeance], 1 John 5:23, Matt 11:21; witness those pathetical lamentations, Matt 23:37, Luke 19:42, Ps. 81:13; and witness the inward motions and secret excitations of his blessed Spirit, Gen. 6:3, all which speak out his great willingness and delight to save poor sinners; so in Ps. 40:7,8, ‘I delight to do thy will, O my God; thy law is in my heart;’ or, as the Hebrew has it b’tok m’ee, ‘It is in the midst of my bowels.’ Now mark, the will of the Father was the salvation of sinners. This was the will of the Father, ‘That Jesus Christ should seek and save them that are lost,’ Matt 18:11. Now says Christ, ‘I delight to do thy will, O my God;’ it is the joy and rejoicing of my heart to be a-seeking and a-saving lost sinners. When Christ was an hungry, He went not into a victualling house [a house of eating], but into the temple, and taught the people most part of the day, to show how much He delighted in the salvation of sinners, etc.
[Footnote: Christ did so much delight, and his heart was so much set upon the conversion and salvation of the Samaritans, that He neglected his own body to save their souls, as you may clearly see in John 4.]
vol. 2, p. 77, as quoted by Erroll Hulse
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
“Now, pray tell me, what preparations or qualifications have these Laodiceans to entertain Christ? Surely none; for they were lukewarm, they were ‘neither hot nor cold’, they were ‘wretched and miserable and poor, and blind, and naked’, and yet Christ, to show his free grace and his condescending love, invites the very worst of sinners to open to him, though they were no ways so and so prepared or qualified to entertain him.”
Apples of Gold, from his Works, vol. 1
Ah! young men! young men! shall Satan take all opportunities to tempt you? shall the world take all opportunities to allure you? shall wicked men take all opportunities to ensnare you, and to undo you? and shall Christian friends take all opportunities to ensare you, and to undo you? and shall God’s faithful messengers take all opportunities to save you? and will you, will you ‘neglect so great salvation’? Heb. 2:3. Plutarch writes of Hannibal, that when he could have taken Rome he would not, and when he would have taken Rome he could not. Many, in their youthful days, when they might have mercy, Christ, pardon, heaven, they will not; and in old age when they would have Christ, pardon, peace, heaven, they cannot, they may not. God seems to say, as Theseus said once, Go, says he, and tell Creon, Theseus offers thee a gracious offer. Yet I am pleased to be friends, if thou wilt submit; this is my first message; but if this offer prevail not, look for me to be up in arms.
p. 204, 206
[It is clear from both this passage and later in the chapter under Motive 5 that not all the persons Brooks was speaking to were Christians. Rather, this was an evangelical address to all youth.
Regarding the passage below, it is highly doubtful that Brooks was an Amyraldian, and that he meant that Christ paid for the specific sins of the unconverted people he was speaking to. It is more likely that he means that Christ’s full and sufficient payment for sin was intended for these people and their sins.
While Limited Atonement implies that Christ only made an actual satisfaction and expiation of the sins of the elect by God’s secret, effectual decree, it is does not negate that this atonement, by God’s revealed will, is, in a certain sense, for the world. Not every phrase that connotates purpose should be read as speaking of God’s decrees. That is, God’s will is inclusive of more than his decrees.
Thus Brooks uses the language of purpose regarding Christ’s sufferings and death as being for the people he is indiscriminately speaking to, as a motive for them to come to Christ.]
I shall now hasten to the main use that I intend to stand upon, and that is an use of exhortation to all young persons.
Motive (2). Secondly, consider, Christ loved poor sinners and gave Himself for them, when He was in the prime of his age (being supposed to be about thirty and three), and will you put Him off with the worst of your time?
Ah! young men, young men, Christ gave Himself up to death, He made Himself an offering for your sins, for your sakes, when He was in the prime and flower of his age; and why then should you put off Christ to an old age? Did He die for sin in the prime of his age? and will not you die to sin in the prime of your age? Did He offer Himself for you in the prime of your age? Did He offer Himself for you in the spring and morning of his years? and will not you offer up yourselves to Him in the spring and morning of your years? Rom. 12:1,2. Oh give not Christ cause to say, I died for you betimes, but you have not lived to me betimes; I was early in my suffering for you, but you have not been early in your returning to me; I made haste to complete your redemption, but you have made no haste to make sure your vocation and election, 2 Pet. 1:10; I stayed not, I lingered not, but soon suffered what I was to suffer, and quickly did what was to be done for your eternal welfare; but you have stayed and lingered, like Lot in Sodom, Gen. 19:16, and have not done what you might have done in order to your everlasting good. In the primrose of my days, I sweat for you, I wept for you, I bled for you, I hung on the cross for you, I bore the wrath of my Father for you; but you have not in the primrose of your days sweat under the sense of divine displeasure, nor wept over your sins, nor mourned over me, whom you have so often grieved and pierced, Zech. 12:10. I could not be quiet nor satisfied till I had put you into a capacity, into a possibility of salvation, and yet you are well enough quieted and satisfied, though you do not know whether ever you shall be saved.
Ah, sirs! how sad would it be with you, if Jesus Christ should secretly thus expostulate with your consciences in this your day.
Oh! how terrible would it be with you, if Christ should thus visibly plead against you in his great day. Ah! young men, young men and women, who but souls much left of God, blinded by Satan, and hardened in sin, 2 Cor. 3,4, can hear Jesus Christ speaking thus to them: I suffered for sinners betimes, I laid down a ransom for souls betimes, I pacified my Father’s wrath betimes, I satisfied my Father’s justice betimes, I merited grace and mercy for sinners betimes, I brought in any everlasting righteousness upon the world betimes, etc.; I say, who can hear Jesus Christ speaking thus, and his heart not fall in love and league with Christ, and his soul not unite to Christ and resign to Christ, and cleave to Christ, and for ever be one with Christ, except it be such that are forever left by Christ? Well, remember this, Quanto pro nobis vilior, tanto nobis charior, the more vile [or cheaper] Christ made Himself for us, the more dear He ought to be unto us.
Ah! young men, remember this, when Christ was young, He was tempted and tried; when He was in the morning of his days, his wounds were deep, his burden weighty, his cup bitter, his sweat painful, his agony and torment above conception, beyond expression; when He was young, that blessed head of his was crowned with thorns; and those eyes of his, that were purer than the sun, were put out by the darkness of death; and those ears of his which now hear nothing but hallelujahs of saints and angels, were filled with the blasphemies of the multitude; and that blessed beautiful face of his, which was fairer than the sons of men, was spit on by beastly filthy wretches; and that gracious mouth and tongue, that spake as never man spake, was slandered and accused of blasphemy; and those hands of his, which healed the sick, which gave out pardons, which swayed a sceptre in heaven and another on earth, were nailed to the cross; and those feet that were beautiful upon the mountains, that brought the glad tidings of peace and salvation into the world, and that were like unto fine brass, were also nailed to the cross: all these great and sad things did Jesus Christ suffer for you in the prime and flower of his days, and oh! what an unspeakable provocation should this be to all young ones, to give up themselves betimes to Christ, to serve, love, honor, and obey Him betimes, even in the spring and morning of their youth.
Let the thoughts of a crucified Christ, says one, be never out of your mind, let them be meat and drink unto you, let them be your sweetness and consolation, your honey and your desire, your reading and your meditation, your life, death, and resurrection.
Motive (4). The fourth motive to provoke young ones to be really good betimes is, to consider that The present time, the present day, is the only season that you are sure of.
Time past cannot be recalled, and time to come cannot be ascertained: ‘To-day, if you hear his voice, harden not your hearts,’ Heb. 3:15; ‘Behold, now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation,’ 2 Cor. 6:2. Some there be that trifle away their time, and fool away their souls and their salvation.
[Footnote: The whole earth hangs on a point; so does heaven and eternity on an inch of opportunity.]
To prevent this, the apostle beats upon the ‘ta nun’ [Greek for ‘the now’], the present opportunity, because if that be once past, there is no recovering of it. Therefore, as the mariner takes the first fair wind to sail, and as the merchant takes his first opportunity of sowing and reaping, so should young men take the present season, the present day, which is their day, to be good towards the Lord, to seek Him and serve Him, and not to post off the present season, for they know not what another day, another hour, another moment, may bring forth. That door of grace that is open to-day may be shut tomorrow; that golden sceptre of mercy that is held forth in the gospel this day may be taken in the next day: that love that this hour is upon the bare knee entreating and beseeching young men to break off their sins by repentance, ‘to return to the Lord, to lay hold on his strength, and be at peace with Him,’ may the next hour be turned into wrath, Isa. 27:4,5.
Ah! the noble motions that have been lost, the good purposes that have withered, the immortal souls that have miscarried, by putting off the present season, the present day. Paul discoursing before Felix of righteousness and temperance and judgment to come, Acts 24:25, and in this discourse striking at two special vices that Felix was particularly guilty of, he falls a-trembling, and being upon the rack to hear such doctrine, he bids Paul ‘depart for that time, and he would call for him at a convenient season.’ Here Felix neglects his present season, and we never read that ever after this he found a convenient time or season to hear Paul make an end of the subject he had begun. So Christ made a very fair offer to the young man in the Gospel, ‘Go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven,’ Matt 19:21-24. Here Christ offers heavenly treasures for imperfect treasures, satisfying treasures for unsatisfying treasures, lasting treasures for fading treasures; but the young man slips his opportunity, his season and goes away sorrowful, and we never read more of him.
Direction (4). Fourthly, if you would be good betimes, if you would seek and serve the Lord in the spring and morning of your days, then take heed of engaged affections to the things of the world.
The young man in the Gospel took many a step towards heaven: ‘All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?” Matt 19:16-24. Christ makes a very fair offer to him in the next words: ‘Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come and follow me.’