Come and Welcome
Written By J O H N.B U N Y A N,
Author of "THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS."
"And they shall come which were ready to perish." –Isaiah 27:13.
L O N D O N,
Published seven years before John Bunyan's death.
[FIRST, THE TEXT TREATED BY WAY OF EXPLICATION.]
[THE EXTENT OF THE GIFT.]
ll that the Father giveth me." This word all, is often used in Scripture, and is to be taken more largely, or more strictly, even as the truth or argument, for the sake of which it is made use of, will bear. Wherefore, that we may the better understand the mind of Christ in the use of it here, we must consider, that it is limited and restrained only to those that shall be saved, to wit, to those that shall come to Christ; even to those whom he will "in no wise cast out." Thus, also, the words all Israel, is sometimes to be taken, although sometimes it is taken for the whole family of Jacob. "And so all Israel shall be saved" (Rom 11:26). By all Israel here, he intendeth not all of Israel, in the largest sense; "for they are not all Israel which are of Israel;" "neither because they are of the seed of Abraham, are they all children; but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed" (Rom 9:6-8).
This word ALL, therefore, must be limited and enlarged, as the truth and argument, for the sake of which it is used, will bear; else we shall abuse Scripture, and readers, and ourselves, and all. "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth," said Christ, "will draw ALL men unto me" (John 12:32). Can any man imagine, that by ALL, in this place, he should mean all and every individual man in the world, and not rather that all that is consonant to the scope of the place? And if, by being "lifted up from the earth," he means, as he should seem, his being taken up into heaven; and if, by "drawing ALL men after him," he meant a drawing them unto that place of glory; then must he mean by ALL men, those, and only those, that shall in truth be eternally saved from the wrath to come. "For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all" (Rom 11:32). Here again you have all and all, two alls; but yet a greater disparity between the all made mention of in the first place, and that all made mention of the second. Those intended in this text are the Jews, even all of them, by the first all that you find in the words. The second all doth also intend the same people; but yet only so many of them as God will have mercy upon. "He hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all." The all also in the text, is likewise to be limited and restrained to the saved, and to them only. But again; —
The word "giveth," or "hath given," must be restrained, after the same manner, to the same limited number. "All that the Father giveth me." Not all that are given, if you take the gift of the Father to the Son in the largest sense; for in that sense there are many given to him that shall never come unto him; yea, many are given unto him that he will "cast out." I shall, therefore, first show you the truth of this; and then in what sense the gift in the text must be taken.
First, [ALL cannot be intended in its largest sense.] That ALL that are given to Christ, if you take the gift of the Father to him in the largest sense, cannot be intended in the text, is evident —
1. Because, then, all the men, yea, all the things in the world, must be saved. "All things," saith he, "are delivered unto me of my Father" (Matt 11:27). This, I think, no rational man in the world will conclude. Therefore, the gift intended in the text must be restrained to some, to a gift that is given by way of speciality by the Father to the Son.
2. It must not be taken for ALL, that in any sense are given by the Father to him, because the Father hath given some, yea, many to him, to be dashed in pieces by him. "Ask of me," said the Father to him, "and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession." But what must be done with them? must he save them all? No. "Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel" (Psa 2). This method he useth not with them that he saveth by his grace, but with those that himself and saints shall rule over in justice and severity (Rev 2:26,27). Yet, as you see, "they are given to him." Therefore, the gift intended in the text must be restrained to some, to a gift that is given by way of speciality by the Father to the Son.
In Psalm 18 he saith plainly, that some are given to him that he might destroy them. "Thou hast given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me" (verse 40). These, therefore, cannot be of the number of those that are said to be given in the text; for those, even ALL of them, shall come to him, "and he will in no wise cast them out."
3. Some are given to Christ, that he by them might bring about some of his high and deep designs in the world. Thus Judas was given to Christ, to wit, that by him, even as was determined before, he might bring about his death, and so the salvation of his elect by his blood. Yea, and Judas must so manage this business, as that he must lose himself for ever in bringing it to pass. Therefore the Lord Jesus, even in his losing of Judas, applies himself to the judgment of his Father, if he had not in that thing done that which was right, even in suffering of Judas so to bring about his Master's death, as that he might, by so doing, bring about his own eternal damnation also.
"Those," said he, "that thou gavest me, I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the Scripture might be fulfilled" (John 17:12). Let us, then, grant that Judas was given to Christ, but not as others are given to him, not as those made mention of in the text; for then he should have failed to have been so received by Christ, and kept to eternal life. Indeed, he was given to Christ; but he was given to him to lose him, in the way that I have mentioned before; he was given to Christ, that he by him might bring about his own death, as was before determined; and that in the overthrow of him that did it. Yea, he must bring about his own death, as was before determined, and that in the overthrow of him that did it. Yea, he must bring about his dying for us in the loss of the instrument that betrayed him, that he might even fulfil the Scripture in his destruction, as well as in the salvation of the rest. "And none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the Scripture might be fulfilled."
[Second, Those intended as the gift.] —The gift, therefore, in the text, must not be taken in the largest sense, but even as the words will bear, to wit, for such a gift as he accepteth, and promiseth to be an effectual means of eternal salvation to. "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." Mark! they shall come that are in special given to me; and they shall by no means be rejected. For this is the substance of the text.
Those, therefore, intended as the gift in the text, are those that are given by covenant to the Son; those that in other places are called "the elect," "the chosen," "the sheep," and "the children of the promise," &c. These be they that the Father hath given to Christ to keep them; those that Christ hath promised eternal life unto; those to whom he hath given his word, and that he will have with him in his kingdom to behold his glory.
"This is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day" (John 6:39). "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand" (John 10:28). "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. Thine they were, and thou gavest them me, and they have kept thy word; I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them." "Keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are." "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world" (John 17:1,6,9,10,24).
All these sentences are of the same import with the text; and the alls and manies, those, they, &c., in these several sayings of Christ, are the same with all the given in the text. "All that the Father giveth."
So that, as I said before, the word ALL, as also other words, must not be taken in such sort as our foolish fancies or groundless opinions will prompt us to, but do admit of an enlargement or a restriction, according to the true meaning and intent of the text. We must therefore diligently consult the meaning of the text, by comparing it with other the sayings of God; so shall we be better able to find out the mind of the Lord, in the word which he has given us to know it by.
[FIRST, THE TEXT TREATED BY WAY OF EXPLICATION.]
[SECOND, THE TEXT TREATED BY WAY OF OBSERVATION.]