I quoted earlier from one of Robert Traill’s sermons on the ‘throne of grace,’ where he gave those four pieces of advice: ask mercy, receive mercy, make mercy your plea, and hope in his mercy.
This is the part which I didn’t have space to include last time.
Receiving is easier than asking. Asking requires some pains; receiving is but a consent of the heart to take what is offered. Asking presupposeth a great and needful blessing, that he that wants it would fain have, and therefore he begs it. Receiving implies that this great blessing is in his offer freely and fully, and therefore he must accept it.
Here is the state of things betwixt God and men in the gospel. The Lord brings his mercy near to them, offers it to them, bids them take and receive it; but many will not. God offers quarter to rebels in arms against him; but they stand upon their sword, and will not take quarter. Ministers’ work is, to entreat and beseech in Christ’s stead, 2 Cor 5.20; God only can prevail with men.
Mercy comes prepared and ready for men. It is prepared in the purchase of Christ; it is prepared in the well-ordered covenant; and as prepared and ready, it is tendered freely to sinners: all things are ready, come to the marriage, Matt 22.4. All things are ready. God himself is ready to give mercy. Christ is ready; he is slain for us; let us come and keep the feast, 1 Cor 5.7-8. The Holy Spirit is ready to seal you to the day of redemption, if you will accept of God’s mercy in the Redeemer. Heaven is ready, the way is plain, and all hindrances of law and justice are removed, Heb 10:19-20. The city of refuge is ready, and its gates are open continually, to receive and give entrance to all that flee for safety, Heb 6:18.
Alas! all things are ready, but men are not willing. There is not a moment’s time needed to ripen God’s mercy for men. No perishing sinner, that seeth his need of God’s mercy, and is willing to receive it, needs stay a moment, till mercy be ready for him, or he more ready for it: Rom 10:6-8. …
There never was such a treaty made in the world. We can fetch no similitude fully like this amongst men. Thus the Lord pleads with men in the gospel: ‘You are already undone with sin and misery lying on you, and you are every hour sinking into greater: let but my mercy in my Son enter in, and it will cure all that is past and present, and prevent all the misery that is coming on you.’
And will not miserable sinners receive God’s mercy? Are you afraid of saving mercy? will it hurt you? why do ye not give it entrance? It is one of the greatest demonstrations what monsters sin hath made men, that they are unwilling to be saved by free mercy, in Jesus Christ. Open a door for God’s mercy, by a free receiving of it, or else you will find the door of his mercy shut against you, when you need it most. …
More along the same lines here by John Flavel if you didn’t see it last time round.