Flavel, Fountain of Life, File 35.
( ...continued from File 34)
Sermon 35. The sixth excellent Saying of Christ upon the Cross, 
John 19: 30. 
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is 
finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. 
    It is finished. This is the sixth remarkable world of our Lord 
Jesus Christ upon the cross, uttered as a triumphant shout when he 
saw the glorious issue of all his sufferings now at hand. 
    It is but one word in the original; but in that one word is 
contained the sum of all joy; the very spirit of all divine 
consolation. The ancient Greeks reckoned it their excellency to 
speak much in a little: "to give a sea of matter in a drop of 
language." What they only sought, is here found. I find some 
variety, (and indeed variety rather than contrariety), among 
expositors about the relation of these words. Some are of opinion, 
that the antecedent is the legal types and ceremonies; and so make 
this to be the meaning; It is finished: that is, all the types and 
prefigurations that shadowed forth the redemption of souls, by the 
blood of Christ, are now fulfilled and accomplished. And, doubtless, 
as this is itself a truth, so it is such a truth as may not be 
excluded, as foreign to the true scope and sense of this place. And 
though it be objected, that many types and prefigurations remained 
at this time unsatisfied, even all that looked to the actual death 
at Christ, his continuance in the state of the dead, and his 
resurrection; yet it is easily removed, "by considering that they 
are said to be finished, because they were just finishing, or ready 
to be finished: and it is as if Christ had said, I am now putting 
the last hand to it", a few moments of time more will complete and 
finish it. I have the sum now in my hand, which will fully satisfy 
and pay God the whole debt. 
    It is now but bow the head, and the work is done, and all the 
types therein fulfilled. So that this cannot exclude the fulfilling 
of the types in the death of Christ, from their just claim to the 
sense of this place. But yet, thought we cannot here exclude this 
sense, we cannot allow it to be the whole or principal sense: for 
lo! a far greater truth is contained herein, even the finishing or 
completing of the whole design and project of our redemption, and 
therein of all the types that prefigured it. Both these judicious 
Calvin conjoins, making the completing of redemption the principal; 
and the fulfilling of all the types the collateral and less 
principal sense of it. 
    Yet it must be observed, when we say, Christ finished 
redemption-work by his death, the meaning is not that his death 
alone did finish it; for his abode in the grave, resurrection, and 
ascension, had all of them their joint influence therein; but these 
being shortly to follow, all are included in the scope of this 
place. According then to the principal scope of the place, we 
    Doct. That Jesus Christ has perfected and completely finished 
    the great work of redemption, committed to him by God the 
    To this great truth the apostle gives a full testimony, Heb. 
10: 14 "By one offering he has perfected for ever them that are 
sanctified." And to the same purpose speaks Christ, John 17: 4. "I 
have glorified thee on earth! I have finished the work thou gavest 
me to do." Concerning this work, and the finishing thereof by Jesus 
Christ upon the cross, we shall enquire what this work was; how 
Christ finished it; and what evidence can be produced for the 
finishing of it. 
    First, What was the work which Christ finished by his death? 
    It was the fulfilling the whole law of God in our room, and for 
our redemption, as a sponsor or surety for us. The law is a glorious 
thing; the holiness of God, that fiery attribute, is engraven or 
stamped upon every part of it; Deut. 33: 2. "From his right hand 
went a fiery law." The jealousy of the Lord watched over every point 
and tittle of it, for his dreadful and glorious name was upon it; it 
cursed every one that continued noe in all things contained therein, 
Gal. 3: 10. Two things, therefore, were necessarily required in him 
that should perfectly fulfil it, and both found in our Surety, and 
in him only, viz. a subjective and effective perfection. 
    First, A subjective perfection. He that wanted this, could 
never say, It is finished. Perfect working always follows a perfect 
Being. That he might therefore finish this great work of obedience, 
and therein the glorious design of our redemption; lo! in what 
shining and perfect holiness was he produced! Luke 1: 35. "That holy 
thing that shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God." 
And indeed, "such an High-priest became us, who is holy, harmless, 
undefiled, separate from sinners," Heb. 7:26. So that the law could 
have no exception against his person; nay, it was never so honoured 
since its first promulgation, as it was by having such a perfect and 
excellent person as Christ to stand at its bar, and give it due 
    Secondly, There must be also an effective perfection, or a 
perfection of working and obeying, before it could be said, It is 
finished. This Christ had; for he continued in all things written in 
the law, to do them: He fulfilled all righteousness, as it behaved 
him to do, Mat. 3: 15. He did all that was required to be done, and 
suffered all that was requisite to be suffered; he did and suffered 
all that was commanded or threatened, in such perfection of 
obedience, both active and passive, that the pure eye of divine 
justice could not find a flaw in it; and so finished the work his 
Father gave him to do; and this work finished by our Lord Jesus 
Christ was both a necessary, difficult, and precious work. 
    First, It was a necessary work which Christ finished upon the 
cross; necessary, upon a threefold account. 
    Opus necessarium ex parts Patris; It was necessary on the 
Father' account: I do not mean that God was under any necessity, 
from his nature, of redeeming us this or any other way; for our 
redemption is opus liberi concilii, an act of the free counsel of 
God; but when God had once decreed and determined to redeem and save 
poor sinners by Jesus Christ, then it became necessary that the 
counsel of God should be fulfilled; Acts 4: 28. "To do whatsoever 
thy hand and counsel had before determined to be done." 
    Secondly, Ex parte Filii. It was necessary with respect to 
Christ, upon the account of that precious compact that was betwixt 
the Father and him about it. Therefore it is said by Christ himself, 
Luke 22: 22. "Truly the Son of man goes as it was determined," i.e. 
as it was fore agreed and covenanted; under the necessity of 
fulfilling his engagement to the Father, he came into the world; and 
being come, he still minds his engagement, John 9: 3. "I must work 
the works of him that sent me." 
    Thirdly, Ex parte nostri. Yea, and it was no less necessary 
upon our account that this work should be finished; for, had not 
Christ finished this work, sin had quickly finished all our lives, 
comforts, and hopes. Without the finishing this work, not a son or 
daughter of Adam could ever have seen the face of God. Therefore it 
is said, John 3: 14, 15. "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the 
wilderness, so [must] the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever 
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." On 
all these accounts the finishing of this work was necessary. 
    Secondly, As it was necessary this work should be finished, so 
the finishing of it was exceeding difficult: It cost many a cry, 
many groan, and many a tear, before Christ could say, It is 
finished. All the angels in heaven were not able, by their united 
strength, to lift that burden one inch from the ground, which Christ 
bare upon his shoulders, yea, and bare it away. But how heavy a 
burden this was, may in part appear by his agony in the garden, and 
the bitter outcries he made upon the cross, which in their proper 
places have been opened. 
    Thirdly, and lastly, It was a most precious work which Christ 
finished by his death; that work was dispatched and finished in few 
hours, which will be the matter of everlasting songs and triumphs to 
the angels and saints to all eternity. O it was a precious work! The 
mercies that now flow out of this fountain, viz. justification, 
sanctification, adoption, &c. are not to be valued; besides the 
endless happiness and glory of the world to come, which cannot enter 
into the heart of man to conceive. If the angels sang when the 
foundation-stone was laid, what shouts, what triumphs shall there be 
among the saints, when this voice is heard, It is finished! 
    Secondly, Let us next inform ourselves how, and in what manner 
Jesus Christ finished this glorious work; and if you search the 
scriptures upon that account, you will find that he finished it 
obediently, freely, diligently, and fully. 
    First, This blessed work was finished by Jesus Christ most 
obediently, Phil. 2: 8. "He became obedient to death, even the death 
of the cross." "His obedience was the obedience of a servant, though 
not servile obedience." So it was foretold of him, before he touched 
this work, Isa. 1. 5. "The Lord God has opened mine ear, and I was 
not rebellious, neither turned away back;" i.e. My Father told me 
the very worst of it; he told me what hard and heavy things I must 
undergo, if ever I finished this design of redemption; and I was not 
rebellious, i.e. I heartily submitted to, and accepted all those 
difficulties; for there is a Meiosis in the words; I was content to 
stoop to the hardest and most ignominious part of it, rather than 
not finish it. 
    Secondly, As Christ finished it obediently, so he finished it 
freely. Freedom and obedience in acting are not at all opposite to, 
or exclusive of each other. Moses' mother nursed him in obedience to 
the command of Pharaoh's daughter, yet most freely with respect to 
her own delight and contentment in that work. So it is said of 
Christ, and that by his own mouth, John 10: 17, 18. "Therefore does 
my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it 
again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself: I have 
power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. This 
commandment have I received of my Father." He liked the work for the 
end's sake. When he had a prospect of it from eternity, then were 
his delights with the sons of men: then he rejoiced in the habitable 
parts of the earth, Prov. 8: 30, 31. And when he came into the world 
about it, with what a full and free consent did his heart echo to 
the voice of his Father calling him to it; just as you shall 
sometimes hear an echo answering your voice two or three times over, 
Psal. 40. "Lo, I come: I delight to do thy will: thy law is within 
my heart." He finished the work freely. 
    Thirdly, As he finished it freely, so he finished it 
diligently; he wrought hard from the morning of his life to the end 
of it: he was never idle wherever he was, but "went about doing 
good," Acts 10: 38. Sometimes he was so intent upon his work, that 
"he forget to eat bread," John 4: 30, 31. As the life of some men is 
but a diversion from one trifle to another, from one pleasure to 
another; so the whole life of Christ was spent and taken up betwixt 
one work and another: never was a life so filled up with labour: the 
very moments of his time were all employed for God to finish this 
    Fourthly, and lastly, He finished it completely and fully. All 
that was to be done by way of impetration and meritorious redemption 
is fully done; no hand can come after his; angels can add nothing to 
it. "That is perfected to which nothing is wanting, and to which 
nothing can be added." Such is the work Christ finished. Whatever 
the law demanded is perfectly paid; whatever a sinner needs, is 
perfectly obtained and purchased; nothing can be added to what 
Christ has done; he put the last hand to it, when he said, It is 
finished. Thus you see what the work was, and how Christ finished 
    Thirdly, In the last place, let us consider what assurance or 
evidence we have that Christ has so finished redemption-work: and if 
you pursue that enquiry, you will find these, among other plain 
evidences of it. 
    First, When Christ died, redemption-work must needs be 
finished, inasmuch as the blood, as well as the obedience of Christ, 
was of infinite value and efficacy, sufficiently able to accomplish 
all the ends for which it was shed; "and that not by divine 
acceptation, but upon the account of its proper value." This effect, 
viz. the finishing redemption-work meritoriously by Christ, does not 
exceed the power of the cause to which we assign it, viz. the death 
of Christ. And if there be a sole sufficient cause in act, what 
hinders but the effect should follow? There was certainly enough in 
Christ's blood to satisfy the utmost demand of justice: when that 
therefore is actually shed, justice is fully paid, and, 
consequently, the souls for whom, and in whose names it is paid, are 
fully redeemed from the curse by the merit thereof. 
    Secondly, It is apparent that Christ finished the work, by the 
discharge or acquittance God the Father gave him, when he raised him 
from the dead, and set him at his own right hand. If Christ, the 
sinner's surety, be, as such, discharged by God the creditor, then 
the debt is fully paid. Now Christ was justified, and cleared at his 
resurrection, from all charges and demands of justice; therefore it 
ix said, 1 Tim. 3:16  that he was justified in the spirit, i.e. 
openly discharged by that very act of the Godhead, his raising him 
from the dead. For when the grave was opened, and Christ arose, it 
was to him as the opening of the prison-doors, and setting a surety 
at liberty, who was confirmed for another man's debt. To the same 
sense Christ speaks of his ascension, John 16: 10. "The Spirit 
(saith he) shall convince the world of righteousness," i.e. of a 
complete and perfect righteousness in me, imputable to sinners for 
their perfect justification. And whereby shall he convince and 
satisfy them that is so? Why, by this, "Because I go to the Father, 
and ye see me no more." There is a great deal of force and weight in 
those words, "because ye see me no more:" for it amounts to this 
much; by this you shall be satisfied I have fully and completely 
performed all righteousness, and that, by my active and passive 
obedience; I have so fully satisfied God for you, as that you shall 
never be charged or condemned; because, when I go to heaven, I shall 
abide there in glory with nay Father, and not be sent back again, as 
I should, if any thing had been omitted by me. And this the apostle 
gives you also in so many plain words, Heb. 10: 12, 13, 14. "After 
he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on the 
right hand of God." And what does he infer from that, but the very 
truth before us, verse 14 that "by one offering he hath perfected 
for ever them that are sanctified?" 
    Thirdly, It is evident Christ has finished the work, by the 
blessed effects of it upon all that believe in him: for by virtue of 
the completeness of Christ's work, finished by his death, their 
consciences are now rationally pacified, and their souls at death, 
actually received into glory; neither of which could be, if Christ 
had not in this world finished the work. If Christ had done his work 
imperfectly, he could not have given rest and tranquillity to the 
labouring and burdened souls that come to him, as now he does, Mat. 
11: 28. Conscience would still be hesitating, trembling, and 
unsatisfied, and had he not finished his work, he could not have had 
entrance through the vail of his flesh into heaven, as all that 
believe in him have, Heb. 10: 19, 20. If he had but almost done that 
work, we had been but almost saved, that is, certainly damned. And 
thus you see briefly the evidences, that the work is finished. 
    Inf. 1. Has Christ perfected and completely finished all his 
work for us? How sweet a relief is this to us that believe in him 
against all the defects and imperfections of all the works of God, 
that are wrought by us. There is nothing, finished that we do: all 
our duties are imperfect duties; they come off lamely, and 
defectively from our hands. It is Christ's charge against the church 
of Sardis, Rev. 3: 2. I have not found thy works "pepleromena" 
perfect, or filled up before God. O there is much impudence and 
vanity in the best of our duties: but here is the grand relief, and 
that which answers to all the grounds of our doubts and fears upon 
that account; Jesus Christ has finished all his work, though we can 
finish none of ours: and so, though we be defective, poor, imperfect 
creatures, in ourselves, yet, notwithstanding, we are complete in 
him, Col. 2: 9, 10. Though we cannot perfectly obey, or fulfil one 
command of the law, yet is "the righteousness of the law fulfilled 
in us that believe," Rom. 8: 4. Christ's complete obedience being 
imputed to us, makes us complete, and without fault before God. 
    It is true, we ought to be humbled for our defects, and 
troubled for every failing in obedience; but we should not be 
discouraged, though multitudes of weaknesses be upon us, and many 
infirmities compass us about, in every duty we put our hand to: 
though we have no righteousness of our own; yet of God, Christ is 
made unto us righteousness; and that righteousness of his is 
infinitely better than our own: instead of our own, we have his. O 
blessed be God for Christ's perfect righteousness! 
    Inf. 2. Did Christ finish his work with his own hand? How 
dangerous and dishonourable a thing is it to join any thing of our 
own to the righteousness of Christ, in point of justification before 
God. Jesus Christ will never endure this; it reflects upon his work 
dishonourably; he does not (in this case) affect social glory: not 
I, and my God; I, and my Christ, did this; he will be all, or none, 
in your justification. If he have finished the work, what need of 
our additions? And if not, to what purpose are they? Can we finish 
that which Christ himself could not? But we would fain be sharing 
with him in this honour, which he will never endure. Did he finish 
the work by himself, and will he ever divide the glory and praise of 
it with us? No, no, Christ is no half Saviour. O it is an hard 
thing, to bring these shroud hearts to live upon Christ for 
righteousness: we would fain add our penny to make up Christ's sum. 
But if you would have it so, or have nothing to do with Christ, you 
and your penny must perish together, Isa. 50 ult. God gives us the 
righteousness of Christ, as he gave manna to the Israelites in the 
wilderness. It is said, Deut. 8: 16. "That he fed them with manna in 
the wilderness, that he might humble them." The quality of the food 
was not humbling, for it was angels fools, but the manner of giving 
it was so: they must live by faith upon God for it, from day to day. 
This was not like other food, produced by their own labour. 
Certainly God takes the right way to humble proud nature, in calling 
sinners wholly from their own righteousness to Christ's for their 
    Inf. 3 .Did Christ finish his work for us: Then there can be no 
doubt, but he will also finish his work "in" us. As he began the 
work of our redemptions, and finished it: so he that has begun the 
good work in you, will also finish it upon your souls. And at this 
the apostle saith, "He is confident," Phil. 1: 6. Jesus Christ is 
not only called the author, but also the finisher of our faith, Heb. 
12: 2. If he begin it, no doubt but he will finish it. And indeed 
the finishing of his own work of redemption without us, gives full 
evidence that he will finish his work of sanctification within us; 
and that because these two works of Christ have a respect and 
relation to each other; and such a relation, that the work he 
finished by his own death, resurrection, and ascension, would be in 
vain to us, if the work of sanctification in us should not in like 
manner be finished. Therefore, as he presented a perfect sacrifice 
to God, and finished redemption-work; so will he present every man 
perfect and complete, for whom he offered up himself, for he will 
not lose the end of all his sufferings at last. To what purpose 
would his meritorious impetration be, without complete and full 
application? Be not therefore discouraged at the defects and 
imperfections of your inherent grace: be humbled for them, but be 
not dejected by them: this is Christ's work, as well as that: that 
work is finished, and so will this. 
    Inf. 4. Is Christ's work of redemption a complete and finished 
work? How excellent and comfortable beyond all compare, is the 
method and way of faith! Surely the way of believing is the most 
excellent way in which a poor sinner can approach God, for it brings 
before him a complete, entire, perfect righteousness; and this must 
needs be most honourable to God, most comfortable to the soul that 
draws nigh to God. O what a complete, finished perfect thing is the 
righteousness of Christ! the searching eye of the holy and jealous 
God cannot find the least flaw or defect in it. Let God or 
conscience look upon it; turn it every way; view it on every side; 
thoroughly weigh and examine it, it will appear a pure, a perfect 
piece, containing in it whatsoever is necessary for the reconciling 
of an angry God, or pacifying of a distressed and perplexed soul. 
How pleasing, therefore, and acceptable to God must be that faith, 
which presents so complete and excellent an atonement to him! Hence 
the acting of our faith upon Christ for righteousness, the 
approaches of faith to God with such an acceptable present, is 
called the work of God; that is, the most grateful, acceptable, and 
well pleasing work to God that a creature can perform; John 6: 29. 
"This is the work of God, that ye believe." One act of faith pleases 
him more, than if you should toil all your lives at a task of 
obedience to the law. As it is more for God's honour and thy 
comfort, to pay all thou owest him at one payment, in one full sum, 
than to be paying by very small degrees, and never be able to make 
full payment, or see the bond cancelled; so this perfect work only 
produces perfect peace. 
    Inf. 5. Did Christ work, and work out all that God gave him to 
do, till he had finished his work? How necessary then is a laborious 
working life to all that call themselves Christians? The life of 
Christ, you sees, was a laborious life. Shall he work and we play? 
Shall a zealous, active, working Christ be reproached with idle, 
negligent and lazy followers? O work, and work out your own 
salvation with fear and trembling, Phil. 2: 12. 
    Object. But if Christ wrought so hard, we may sit still. If he 
finished the work, nothing remains for us to do. 
    Solut. Nothing of that work which Christ did, remains for you 
to do. It is your commendation and duty to leave all that to Christ: 
but there is other work for you to do; yea, store of work lying upon 
your hands. You must work as well as Christ, though not for the same 
ends Christ did. He wrought hard to satisfy the law, by fulfilling 
all righteousness. He wrought all his life long, to work out a 
righteousness to justify you before God. This work falls to no hand 
but Christ's: but you must work, to obey the commands of Christ into 
whose right ye are come by redemption: you must work to testify your 
thankfulness to Christ, for the work finished for you: you must 
work, to glorify God by your obedience: let your light so shine 
before men. For these, and divers other such ends and reasons, your 
life must be a working life. God preserve all his people from the 
gross and vile opinions of Antinomian libertines, who cry up grace 
and decry obedience: who under specious pretences of exalting a 
naked Christ upon the throne, do indeed strip him naked of a great 
part of his glory, and vilely dethrone him. My pen shall not English 
what mine eyes have read. Tell it not in Gath. 
    But for thee, reader, be thou a follower of Christ, imitate thy 
pattern; yea, let me persuade thee, as ever thou hopest to clear up 
thine interest in him, imitate him in such particulars as these that 
    First, Christ began early to work for God; he took the morning 
of his life, even the very beginning of it, to work for God: "How is 
it (said he to his parents, when he was but a child of about twelve 
years old) that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my 
Father's business?" Reader, if the morning of thy life be not gone, 
O devote it to the work of God as Christ did: if it be, ply thy work 
the closer in the afternoon of thy life. If a man have any great and 
necessary business to do, it is good doing it in the morning; 
afterwards a hurry of business and diversion comes on. 
    Secondly, As Christ began betime, so he followed his work 
close: he was early up, and he wrought hard, so hard, that "he 
forget to eat bread." John 4: 31, 32. So zealous was he in his 
Father's work, that his friends thought "that he had been beside 
himself," Mark 3: 21. So zealous that "the zeal of God's house eat 
him up." He flew like a seraphim, in a flame of zeal, about the work 
of God. O be not ye like snails. What Augustus said of the young 
Roman, well becomes the true Christian, "whatsoever he does, he does 
it to purpose." 
    Thirdly, Christ often thought upon the shortness of his time, 
and wrought hard because he knew his working-time would be but 
little. So you find it, John 9: 4. "I must work the works of him 
that sent me, whilst it is day; the night comes, when no man can 
work." O in this be like Christ: rouse your hearts to diligence with 
this consideration. If a man have much to write, and be almost come 
to the end of his paper, he will write close, and thereby put much 
matter in a little room. 
    Fourthly, He did much work for God in a very silent manner: he 
wrought hard, but did not spoil his work, when he had wrought it, by 
vain ostentation. When he had expressed his charity in his acts of 
mercy and bounty to men, he would humbly seal up the glory of it, 
with this charge; "see ye tell no man of it", Matt. 8: 4. He 
affected no popular air. All the angels in heaven could not do what 
Christ did, and yet he called himself a worm, for all that, Psal. 
22: 6. O imitate your pattern; Work hard for God, and let not pride 
blow upon it, when you have done. It is hard for a man to do much, 
and not value him self for it too much. 
    Fifthly, Christ carried on his work for God resolvedly: no 
discouragements would beat him off, though never any work met with 
more from first to last. How did Scribes and Pharisees, Jews, 
Gentiles, yea, devils set upon him, by persecutions, and reproaches, 
violent oppositions, and subtle temptations; but yet, he goes on 
with his Father's work for all that: he is deaf to all 
discouragements. So it was foretold of him, Isa. 42: 4. "He shall 
not fail, nor be discouraged." O that more of this spirit of Christ 
were in his people: O that, in the strength of love to Christ, and 
zeal for the glory of God, you will pour out your hearts in service, 
and, like a river, sweep down all discouragements before you. 
    Sixthly, He continued working, whilst he continued living: His 
life and labour ended together: He fainted not in his work: Nay, the 
greatest work he did in this world, was his last work. O be like 
Christ in this, be not weary of well doing: Give not over the work 
of God, while you can move hand and tongue to promote it, and see 
that your last works be more than your first. O let the motions of 
your soul after God be, as all natural motions are, swiftest when 
nearest the centre. Say not it is enough, whilst there is any 
capacity of doing more for God. In these things, Christians, be like 
your Saviour. 
    Inf. 6. Did Christ finish his work? Look to it Christian, that 
ye also finish your work which God has given your to do: That you 
may with comfort say, when death approaches, as Christ said, John 
17: 4. "I have glorified thee on earth, I have finished the work 
thou gavest me to do; and now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine 
own self." Christ had a work committed to Him, and he finished it; 
you have a work also committed to you: O see that you may be able to 
say, it is finished when your time is so: O work out your own 
salvation with fear and trembling; and, that I may persuade you to 
it, I beseech you lay these considerations close to heart. 
    First, If your work be not done before you die, it can never be 
done when you are dead. "There is no work nor knowledge, nor device 
in the grave, whither thou goest," Eccl. 9: 5, 10. They that go down 
to the pit cannot celebrate the name of God, Isa 38: 18. Death binds 
up the hand from working, any more; strikes dumb the tongue that it 
can speak no more; for then the composition is dissolved. The body, 
which is the soul's instrument to work by, is broken and thrown 
aside: the soul itself presented immediately before the Lord, to 
give an account of all its works. O therefore, seeing the night 
comes, when no man can work, as Christ speaks, John 9: 4. make haste 
and finish your work. 
    Secondly, If you finish not your work, as the season of 
working, so the season of mercy will be over at death. Do not think, 
you that have neglected Christ all your lives, you that could never 
be persuaded to a laborious holy life, that ever your cries and 
entreaties shall prevail with God for mercy, when your season is 
past: No, it is too late, "Will God hear his cry, when troubles come 
upon him?" Job 27: 9. The season of mercy is then over; as the tree 
falls, so it lies: Then he that is holy shall be holy still, and he 
that is filthy shall be filthy still. Alas, poor souls, you come too 
late: "The master of the house is risen up, and the doors are shut," 
Luke 19: 42. The season is over: happy had it been if ye had known 
the day of your visitation. 
    Lastly, If your work be not finished when you come to die, you 
can never finish your lives with comfort. He that has not fished his 
stork with care, can never finish his course with joy. O what a 
dismal case is that soul in, that finds itself surprised by death in 
an unready posture! To lie shivering upon the brink of the grave, 
saying, Lord, what will become of me! O I cannot, I dare not die! 
For the poor soul to shrink back into the body, and cry, Oh, it were 
better for me to do any thing than die. Why, what is the matter? Oh, 
I am in a Christless state and dare not go before that awful 
judgement-seat. If I had in season made Christ sure, I could then 
die with peace. Lord, what shall I do? How dost thou like this, 
reader? Will this be a comfortable close! When one asked a Christian 
that constantly spent six hours every day in prayer, why he did so? 
He answered, Oh, I must die, I must die. Well then, look to it that 
you finish your work as Christ also did his. 

(continued in file 36...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-09: flafn-35.txt