Apr 25, 2010

Proverbs 1:24 - William Tant

But we will now proceed to Proverbs 1:24. ` Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded ; but ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my, reproof," &c. Here it is thought by some, Christ is described as offering his salvation to men ; but, because they will not accept of it, he condemns them at the " last great day:" but if we read from verse 10. we shall, I think, discover that there is no " gospel offer" made in this portion of God's word ; and that the allusion is to a period before the great day of God's wrath comes. Let us, then, go through the whole, from verse 10. inclusive.

" My Son," chosen, adopted, and loved in Christ, ".if sinners entice thee," either by false doctrine or corrupt practices," consent thou not." " If they say, come with us," come to our system, come to our religion, join in with us as members of the same society, "let us lay wait for blood," by watching for the falls and blunders of God's saints; "let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause;" let us reproach the lovers of free grace as Antinomians, and so falsely accuse their good conversation in Christ; " let us swallow them tip alive as the grave, and whole as A hose that go down to the pit;" let us do them all the evil we can ; "we shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil," we shall gain a good name among most professors, and a large circle of friends among the respectable. " Cast in thy lot among us, let us all have one purse," let us drop all differences in sentiment, and have as much of worldly dealings with each other as possible. " My son," chosen to form a part of Jehovah's portion, "walk not thou in the way with them," not only do not become one of them, but shun even the appearance of evil ; " refrain thy foot from their path;" do not court their company, nor seek their good word, " for their feet run to evil ;" however pleasing and attracting may be their external appearance, they are earnestly pursuing the path that will lead to hell; and " make haste to shed blood," avail themselves of every opportunity of cruelly persecuting God's saints. "Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird," or as the margin renders it, " surely in vain the net is spread in the eyes of everything that bath , a wing." In vain do they lay snares for those of my people, who have discernment enough to see through them, and strength to resist them. " And they lay wait for their own blood :" while they are contriving to injure the people of God, they are secretly bringing evil upon themselves; " they thus lurk privily for their own lives." So are the ways of every one who is greedy of gain;" such are the ways, plots, and schemes of men to whom gain is godliness, and who will sacrifice principle or truth in order to obtain some worldly ends, " which taketh away the life of the owners thereof:" absorbed with the world, spiritual life is not known by them.

" Wisdom crieth without," the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the wisdom of God in a mystery, crieth or unfolds himself in the preaching of the everlasting gospel. The word crieth, carries the idea of proclaiming, in the manner of an herald, the will of the king: not of offrin the will of the king. Precisely so, gospel ministers go forth, preaching the gospel whenever and wherever the Lord opens a way or door by which they can preach. " She uttereth her voice in the streets," wherever people arefound who will listen to it; " she crieth in the chief place of concourse," in the appointed places for assembling, " in the opening of the gates," in every institution or ordinance of the gospel; " in the city, among the regenerated, called, converted, and believing people of God, who have been, or who are, persecuted as before noticed; "she uttered her words, saying, how long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity?" How long, ye upright ones, who are regularly sitting under the ministry of my word, will ye be dreading the adversary, "and fearing every day be Cause of the fury of the oppressor;" "and the scorners delight in their scorning?" And ye who are persecuting my people, how long will ye pursue this evil? "Turn you, at my reproof." Turn, my people, from your doubts, and fears, according to my word : rely upon my arm for strength, nor fear the enemy ; but I know your weakness, and how incapable you are in yourselves of obeying my commands ; therefore " I will pour out my spirit unto you," and thus work in you to will and to do of my good pleasure. And, ye scorners, turn from persecuting and reproaching my people, for, "God is jealous and the Lord revengeth ;" they possess the power of divine things in their souls, but you do not. I will defend them, and their enemies shall not go unpunished. In order, therefore, that you may know my pleasure, " I will pour out my Spirit unto you," I will make known to you, by the preaching of the gospel, the mind of my Spirit concerning the well-being of my people, and the confusion that shall seize their foes. And then, we must consider the judgments of God, overtaking the foes of his people either in providence, by disappointments and losses, or by a stinging guilty conscience, or in pains of body, the same as in the cases of Cain who slew his brother, Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon, the men who cast Shadrach, Zleshach, and Abednego, into the furnace, Daniel's enemies, Saul King of Israel, Herod who was eaten of worms, and the Jews engaged in the crucifixion of Christ, who lost their city and temple as the consequence. All this I say must be considered as implied, then the words which follow will come in Because I have called" you to desist from injuring my people, "and ye refused," " I have stretched out my hand" to shelter my children, "and no man regarded," none changed from his cruelty to them. " But ye have set at nought all my counsel" concerning my delight in them, and not in you, " and would none of my reproof for their protection :" I also will laugh at your calamity, I will mock when your fear cometh. When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind, when distress and anguish cometh upon you." Here then I find nothing to establish " an offer system," but much that goes against it.

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