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Thomas Jacombe (1623-1687) on the Well-Meant offer

April 22, 2009

Jacombe:

1) 5. I might add, (which indeed will be but a more particular explication of the former head,) this condemnation will be the sadder, especially to such who live under the gospel, because they will lie under the sense and conviction of this, that they have foolishly and willfully brought all this misery upon themselves. For—and their hearts will tell them of it—Christ offered himself to them from time to time, but they refused to close with him; he tendered pardon to them, but they slighted it; and who will pity the traitor that dies for his treason, when his prince offered him a pardon and he scorned to accept of it 1 They might have been saved as well as others, would they but have hearkened to the free, gracious, hearty, often repeated invitations which in the gospel were made to them; how often would Christ have ‘gathered them as the hen gathers her chickens, but they would not,’ Mat. xxiii. 37; and therefore now their souls are lost for ever. O sinner! ‘thy destruction is of thyself,’ Hosea xiii. 9; and the consideration of this will sadly gnaw upon thy conscience for ever ; this is the worm that never dies. The Jews, when they had adjudged a malefactor to die, the judge and the witnesses used to lay their hands upon him, and to say ‘Thy blood be upon thy own head;’ in imitation of which the murderers of our Savior said, ‘His blood be on us and our children,’ Mat. xxvii. 25. Thus Christ, when he shall have passed the dreadful sentence of eternal death upon the impenitent and unbelieving, he will say, Your blood be upon your own heads. Thomas Jacombe, Sermons on the Eight Chapter of the Epistle to the Romans (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1868), 309-310. [Some spelling modernized, underlining mine.] Thomas Jacombe, Sermons on the Eight Chapter of the Epistle to the Romans (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1868), 28. [Underlining mine.]

2) It is to be feared that the greatest part of men (not out of any want of mercy in God, or from anything to be charged upon God, but merely through their own sin and folly) will perish therein. You read of the condemning of the world, Cor. xi. 32; now therefore what are you, or what do you do, that you may be exempted from the general misery? Certainly if you lie in the common state, and live in the common course, you must perish in the common condemnation; think; of it, and make some timely provision against it. Your judge deals very graciously with you; he warns you beforehand, tells you how his terrible sentence may be prevented, nay, he offers life and pardon to you if you will but accept of it. And after all this, will you force him to condemn you? Then it will be condemnation with a witness. I would upon this consideration be the more earnest with you in the present advice, because though this condemnation will be sad enough to all, yet to you it will be superlatively sad. You living under the gospel, where the way of salvation is set before you, where tenders of grace are made to you, if you be not wise and serious in securing the main, this will not only make your condemnation more unavoidable,—‘How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?’ Heb. ii. 3,—but also more intolerable: it will be condemnation with an accent or emphasis to you. ‘This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world,’ &c., John iii. 19. The Scripture speaks of ‘greater damnation,’ Mat. xxiii. 14. It will be great damnation to pagans and infidels, but greater damnation to Christians. According to the different measures of that gospel light and gospel grace which men live under, so will the different measures of their future misery be. If they live and die in impenitency and unbelief Oh how will these aggravate your condemnation! If there be one place in hell hotter than another, that very place shall be yours, whilst others shall mitius ardere. ‘Thou Capernaum, which art exalted into heaven, &c. But I say unto you. That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you,’ Mat. xi. 23, 24. Thomas Jacombe, Sermons on the Eight Chapter of the Epistle to the Romans (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1868), 29. [Underlining mine.]

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