02 January 2015

If You Knew His Heart, You Would

Goodwin, concluding a discourse on Jesus' words in John 6:37-38:
As Christ is willing, so should we be 'a willing people.' That which keeps men off is, that they know not Christ's mind and heart. . . .

The truth is, he is more glad of us than we can be of him. The father of the prodigal was the forwarder of the two to that joyful meeting. Hast thou a mind? He that came down from heaven, as himself saith in the text, to die for thee, will meet thee more than halfway, as the prodigal's father is said to do. . . .

O therefore come in unto him. If you knew his heart, you would.
As they that crucified him knew him not, so neither do those who believe not in him. If you had been on earth with him, or if he were now here, and had this day preached these things unto you, and uttered these his own desires and longings after you; how you would in troops go all thronging after him when the sermon were done, and each of you come about him, as those that had diseases did, and beseech him to pardon and save you, and not leave him till you have obtained some word of comfort and favour from him!

Let me tell you, he would still be preaching this day, but he had other business to do for you in heaven, where he is now praying and interceding for you, even when you are sinning; as on earth we see he did for the Jews when they were a-crucifying him. Now because he could not for this other business of continued preaching come himself, he sends us his ambassadors, and we in Christ's stead do beseech you. 
--Thomas Goodwin, 'Encouragements to Faith,' in The Works of Thomas Goodwin, 4:223-24

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