Chapter 16

Of Mr. John Hunt’s 14th and 15th Disparagements of Christ.

The 14th Disparagement of Christ is likewise a Disgrace of his Redeeming Efficacy, in mismatching Prayers and Tears with Christ’s Sacrifice. It is set forth in his heterogeneal or foreign gloss upon the author’s own observation, though he hath set it forth so in specious words, as may deceive the hearts of the simple, thus “and observe {says he,} it is said there remains no more sacrifice for sins; that is, when Christ, the great and only sacrifice, is refused, prayers and tears will avail nothing in this case.”

I do confess, that in some cases, as Mr. Hunt seems to imply, that where Christ, the only Sacrifice, is refused, prayers and tears do avail notwithstanding. For under the Old Testament, at what times the True Worship of God was cast off, Hos.8:3, neglected, Isa.43:24, changed, Jer.2:11, or corrupted, Ezek.23:11; at those times and in those instances, Christ, the great, and only Sacrifice, was refused; as among the ten tribes, when they followed the idols of Jeroboam, and in the Apostasy of her treacherous sister Judah, when she went and played the harlot also, Jer.3:8, that is, fell off to idolatry. Nevertheless, the Lord who foresaw this, had fixed it as a Positive and Absolute Rule of Providence among the body of that people, as long as they should continue in their country, that in some cases he would have a direct regard to the Prayers and Tears among them. {“And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.” Mal.2:13.} See Exodus 22:22,23, “ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry.” Relief in their oppression was a natural and common Mercy, which the Lord would vouchsafe in all times of their cry, and appeal to God, only as the Living and True God. {“But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an Everlasting King.” Jer.10:10.} How many wicked widows and wicked poor fatherless children might there be in Israel and Judah, in the times of common Apostasy! And yet God would look upon their cry, and revenge their oppressions, in the common Justice of his Providence. And we may falsely conclude that he goes by his own same Rule still, among the Gentiles, and especially where the greatest Light of the Gospel comes. The reason was and is the same; because though man in his common miseries and common mercies eyes not the Great and Only Sacrifice, yet God always did and always will respect that Sacrifice Alone, as the Ground of his regarding the Prayers and Tears of the oppressed, in bestowing on them the common mercies of Deliverance. God looks to Christ in all common grants, I say, even in all common Mercies granted, though the supplicant looks only to his prayers, and the penitent only to his tears, as the particular ground of obtaining from God the thing he wants. Though men don’t eye Christ in their prayers and tears to God for what they ask or need, yet God always eyes Christ in bestowing everything he grants them, and that is only their outward mercies on all the world promiscuously, or, as the Nations, Languages and People are mingled one among another.

Now this which I have said plainly proved that Mr. Hunt has openly mismatched the Great and Only Sacrifice, and made a disparaging conjunction of prayers and tears therewith, in the great matters of God’s Eternal Glory, and the Salvation of the elect by the Knowledge of Jesus Christ, and Faith in him, among all that are capable of receiving him by the Preaching of the Gospel; I mean, the adult elect in all nations, as distinguished from elect infants. What have prayers and tears to do in the proper matters of the great and only Sacrifice? The case is nothing here as it is in common mercies. In the matters of Salvation by Christ, the Spirit of God effectually calling by the Gospel preached, gives Grace to the creature, as his own child, to become a New Creature, openly, by Influences, through Christ, according to the Pattern of God’s Fore-knowing and Fore-loving him so, secretly, in Christ, by his Grace from Everlasting; and so makes this New Creature see all his Salvation and help to be laid up in Christ, according to what I showed in the last chapter, “he that sees the Son and believes on him, hath everlasting life.” Jn.6:40. Now then since the case is thus, and can never stand otherwise, I shall prove it to be a disparagement of Christ, to join prayers and tears in the matter of Salvation, as Mr. Hunt hath done, in the form I have represented his own words, with Christ, the Great and Only Sacrifice. It is a disparagement of Christ for these following reasons.

1. This very language in our ears naturally tends to carry off a man’s thoughts, either in whole or in part, to prayers and tears; that is to say, to carry them off to these in the same end and efficacy with Christ. Such language finds it easy; we being all prone naturally without it, to run off our thoughts with our praying and weeping to the same design, and mix them in one common end with the Death of Christ. It has a tendency in the very conjunction of words, in such a frame as the proposition condemned puts them, to set men a looking after God’s grants upon the same kind of footing, granting for prayers and tears, as when he grants for Christ! And therewith secretly suggesting, that God gives out Salvation upon prayers and tears, together with his granting it upon Christ’s Sacrifice! Which is utterly false; and supposes that the Father conjoinedly eyed prayers and tears with his eyeing Christ for the Spiritual Blessings and Eternal Life to men! And this is as the Papists too affirm, who built Heaven and Salvation in their belief partly upon Christ, and partly upon prayers and tears. Mind his form, and see if it does not tend naturally and obviously to mislead us; as I will set out the misconduct of it by some illustration. His form of wording it is this “when Christ the great and only sacrifice is refused, prayers and tears will avail nothing in this case.” Now to show how naturally this tends to mislead us, take an illustration or two in the same form; when the three first miles from High-gate towards London are refused by the traveler, the last mile through Islington will avail nothing to bring him into town. Who does not see here that the fourth mile at last is a piece of the same way with the three first miles? So in the debt of one hundred pounds, when ninety nine pounds, the near part of the debt-sum, is refused payment, the hundredth pound, or the last twenty shillings, will avail nothing in this case; as who does not see that the last pound is money of the same value with all the other ninety nine? Why, so when a man tells me, “when Christ the great and only sacrifice is refused, prayers and tears will avail nothing in this case,” who is there in whom it does not naturally tend to beget a false apprehension, that when Christ, the chief part of the way, Jn.14:6, when Christ, the main part of the sum, is refused, prayers and tears, the rest of the way; prayers and tears, the residue of the sum, will avail nothing? Now if any man replies, I take him wrong, he did not mean thus; I answer, let him mean what he will in reserve, he hath corrupted the text, and laid the thing down very wrong in Exposition; for which cause if it be taken up obviously, as we are all prone to understand and take it up by nature, we must take it up by the illustration, as he hath laid it down in the gloss, and there he hath made it a very great disgrace of the fulness of the Redemption that is in Jesus Christ, as it tends so naturally to carry off our thoughts from Christ to ourselves, in the matter of this Great and Only Sacrifice. “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness; that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Rom.3:24-26.

2. When Christ, the Great and Only Sacrifice, is refused, you must suppose it to be refused, either by the elect, known only to God, or by the non-elect, known only to God; if it be refused by the non-elect, pray, what will the consideration in the gloss avail towards the, Rom.11:7, non-elect? Are these ever likely to believe in Christ and be saved, by telling them the danger of refusing the great sacrifice? Or, will God change his thoughts of them and towards them? {“For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” Mal.3:6.} Will he give them, Rom.9:15, this Faith and Salvation by his Son? {“Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive; for the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” Acts 28:25-27.} On the other hand, if you suppose that Sacrifice to be refused by the elect for a time, I Pet.2:10, as the Apostle plainly supposes it; then ‘tis an open disparagement of the Redeeming Efficacy of Christ, to join the non-availment of the prayers and tears of the elect with the refusal of the Great and Only Sacrifice; when yet I know there is a virtue and efficacy in the naked Sacrifice without the prayers and tears of the elect, that will cure their refusal, and work them over to an after-acceptance thereof. “The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion…thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.” Psal.110:3. Who were ever more hardened against this Great and Only Sacrifice than the Jews that crucified Christ? Peter tells them that they had taken, crucified and slain him with wicked hands, Acts 2:23, yet there were of the same number, they that gladly received the Word, who met with comfort from Jesus Christ upon the spot; and the same day the Lord added to the Church such as should be saved. Acts 2:41,47. Again, he tells us that they “denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted” to them, “and killed the Prince of Life.” Acts 3:14-15. Now “there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven,” Acts 2:5, and out of this Collection of the Jewish Nation gathered together from all the distant parts of other tongues and languages, this great Conversion was effected. Accordingly, at another time the number of the men which heard the Word and believed was five thousand, Acts 4:4, here was a fruitful womb of the morning in the beginning of the Gospel-day, upon the first motions of the Sun of Righteousness, Mal.4:2, which arose there in the East upon Mount Zion, at and after the Day of Pentecost; to all which ready and effectual Conversions, founded in the Efficacy of this Great and Only Sacrifice, the same Promise, “thy people shall be willing in the day of thy Power,” hath, and bears a plain Relation. Though they were thousands who had stood it out till the Day of Calling them; yet the same persons individually were all made a willing people, out of Election, and through the Virtue of Redemption applied by God the Spirit to them; they being to a man of them, so far as Effectually called, Effectually drawn home to Christ by his own Effectual Sacrifice, in the hand of God the Comforter. “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee; for, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee; and the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” Isa.60:1-3.

3. It is calculated more for Popery and Arminianism than the Gospel, to lay it thus together, “where Christ the great and only sacrifice, is refused, prayers and tears will avail nothing in this case;” as if it was left to the will of man for prayers and tears to bring to the sacrifice of Christ, and not laid upon Christ our Sacrifice brought home unto the will, to change and overcome it. Popery and Arminianism bring in this consideration as the forlorn hope; {“and he said, Ye have taken away my gods which I made,” Jdg.18:24,} so his prayers and tears here are brought in as the forlorn hope, that if these are baffled and disappointed, then all is so. The very form of compiling it is a sign that he makes more of these than he should do in this case; as much as to say, though prayers and tears will not avail me, when the great and only Sacrifice is refused, yet they may avail me by some virtue in them, to bring me to accept this great and only Sacrifice. Thus, he seems to lay that Efficacy upon praying and repenting, towards the Sacrifice, which he plainly withholds from the Sacrifice itself towards these duties. This is an Open Disparagement of Christ. These low things to Christ, prayers and tears, ought not to be mentioned with Christ, “evidently set forth crucified among us.” Gal.3:1. Nor doubtless would they be so, if we were, as we should be, brought to a fiducial Act of receiving him, and experienced the matter right in the Gospel-way of believing on him, before we venture to talk so openly of these things. Furthermore, ‘tis this very notion, so natural to the hearts of men, which has founded that perilous doctrine of the imputation of prayers and tears and every good work, Gal.5:4, together with all acts of faith, and every thing else, to justify us in the eyes of the Lord. Oh! This neglect of the influences of the Great and Only Sacrifice hath done a world of mischief in Divinity, darkening the Honor of God’s Glory, and eclipsing the comforts of the elect, which are secured not by prayers and tears, but by the Person and Righteousness of Jesus Christ alone!

4. Lastly, and mainly, ‘tis a disparagement of the Lord Christ, because it is a plain wresting the text; ‘tis a going in this matter quite off from the Wisdom and Design of the Holy Ghost, in the Force of his Argument to these Hebrews. For when the Holy Spirit speaketh of refusing the Sacrifice, Christ, he doth not aggravate the misery of the refusers, by aggravating it with the non-availment of Prayers and Tears conjoined with the refused Sacrifice; as to say, these can’t avail in this case, for that had been foreign to the argument. But the Holy Ghost aggravates it homogeneally, that nothing of the same kind remains; that is, no such sacrifice remains, “there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” Heb.10:26. It must be remembered that the Apostle wrote to the Hebrews; that these were Jewish professors of Christ, who at length where many of them wavering, and began to think they had made a false step in forsaking Moses to embrace Messiah. Hence some of them seemed ready for absolute Apostasy, others seemed ready to compound the matter, and ignorantly join Judaism with Christianity; and both were destructive of the True and Evangelical Sacrifice. Now is not the sin and case of these Hebrews, that they set up prayers and tears for sin, or to take away sin, against Christ, but they exalted one sort of sacrifices, Heb.10:4, properly so-called, to take away sin, against another sacrifice, properly so-called to take away sin. They set up the sacrifices of beasts for sins, against the One Sacrifice of Christ for sins, Heb.9:29, and were doubting of the Sufficiency of the Christian Religion, because it admitted not of the reiterated sacrificing of beasts, slain at the Temple of Jerusalem, but allowed only the One Proper Sacrifice of the Lamb of God, never to be offered up again for sin. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Jn.1:29. Prayers and Tears were never thought by Jew or Gentile to be proper sacrifices. The Apostle Paul to the Hebrews had been speaking of the bloody sacrifices of the Law, or the shedding of blood which the Law required for Remission. Heb.9:22. They had both of them {Jew and Gentile} known that slain beasts were literal and bloody sacrifices for remission of sins, Acts 7:42, and the main scope of the Apostle in this Epistle, when he had advanced in it so far as the Worship of the Gospel, was to prove the fair abrogation of these Bloody Sacrifices for Sin, and that the typical worship of the Law was done away by the Death of Messiah, the true Gospel-Sacrifice; and that an Evangelical, Spiritual Worship was introduced, adequate to and consistent with the Resurrection and Glory of this One Sacrifice for Sins, in the Sprinkling of the Blood of Jesus Christ, upon the heart and conscience of every believing worshiper. {“Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” Heb.12:24 – “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” I Pet.1:2.} Mr. Hunt therefore in his glossing this Text, and bringing in prayers and tears not availing, instead of no other sacrifice remaining, when the Great and Only Sacrifice, Christ, is refused, hath corrupted the text, and run quite off the design of the Holy Ghost, whose scope is plainly to show, that when Jesus Christ, the Great Propitiation and Only Sacrifice for Sin, is refused, there is left no other Atonement to obtain the pardon of it; because all Pardon through Christ is by the Spirit who deals influentially, at bestowing it, upon the Gospel-Virtue of this Alone Sacrifice. The Scripture saith not, as Mr. Hunt of Prayers and Tears, other sacrifice will avail nothing; for that would have tacitly insinuated other sacrifices had remained for sin, though comparatively ineffectual to obtain the Forgiveness of sins, Acts 26:18, as the Sacrifice of Christ had obtained it; and thus open room would have been left for Mr. Hunt’s insinuated Sacrifice-prayers and Sacrifice-tears {for he too much implies them in the force of his proposition} to have been Propitiatory, or Atoning Oblations, as the legal Sacrifices in their day were, though I may say comparatively of less availment in the Expiation. Aye, but to cut off the expectation of the soul from all future atonements, though never such partial, half, or quarter-atonements, super-induced, or brought over, upon the One Atoning Blood of Messiah, the Sacrifice-Blood of Christ, he expounds himself without difficulty, “there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin.” Thus the Holy Ghost, and why should we corrupt his own interpretation? Mr. Hunt in his gloss perverts the Holy Ghost’s “remaineth not” into an “availeth not,” a dangerous innovation! If the man’s eyes had been open; perverting the True Sacrifice of Christ, and leaving other sacrifices to succeed in the same intent, and so avail in conjunction with, though they avail not severed from, Christ the Great and Only Sacrifice on the Cross. To be sure, the Holy Ghost had his eye upon what was entirely canceled in the Expiations of the Law, by the Complete Sacrifice of the Gospel; and not any eye upon prayers and tears, which though they may be offered up to God in the Name of Christ, and by the Spirit of our God in the way of subjection, among the new born; yet are therein nothing of the scope of the Holy Ghost, or his penman, in this place. And however a man might have been inclined, or seen it needful to divert to the matter of prayers and tears in application of a text, or a practical accommodating it under distinct heads of matter, therein showing it is as dangerous to substitute these in the room of Christ’s Sacrifice, as it was for these Hebrews to forsake Christ’s Sacrifice, and go back to the sacrifices of the Law, or confound them by jumbling both together; though Mr. Hunt does not take pains enough to go fairly to work upon this abused text; yet nevertheless, to enlarge a man’s thoughts into new matter, as prayers and tears, in the explication of a text, which is quite of another nature, and when a man designs too to sum up all his gloss upon the words in one short sentence with a “that is,” {as he does,} is very unaccountable to any man’s understanding who walks by the rules of the Word and its Explication.

“There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” No more Law-Sacrifice for sins, no more Gospel-Sacrifice for sins either, if we refuse or reject the Lord Jesus Christ. There remaineth no more Sacrifice of the Gospel, because there is no other Messiah than Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, to be the Gospel-Sacrifice, so that same Messiah sacrificed is to be offered up no more. “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Heb.10:10.

Again, there remains no more sacrifice of the Law, because the sacrifices of the Law, which typified Christ, have all lawfully ceased in this most Perfect Sacrifice, and can be no more renewed forever. Therefore, says he, upon rejecting Messiah’s Sacrifice, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins; but, says he, there remaineth a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour the Adversaries. The direct meaning of the Apostle is this, that the Unbelieving Jews, thinking to mend themselves by going back to Judaism, should be mistaken; they should pay dear for this Relinquishment of Christ, the Gospel-Sacrifice; for, instead of meeting with opportunity to go on with the abrogated sacrifices in the Temple at Jerusalem, as their forefathers had been wont to do, when they continued to be the Legal Sacrifices, they would but go and mingle themselves with the adversaries, who should be utterly ruined in the calamities of that Provoking Nation. The visible Judgment of the Righteous Lord, {“the righteous LORD loveth righteousness,” Psal.11:7;} should even swallow up their Temple, Country, and Commonwealth, and openly destroy the Jews, even in this world. And how that hath come to pass, has been known to all the earth. {“And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.” Ezek.20:48.} The Apostle spake thus to the Hebrews, as hoping it would be a means to fix the elect, and re-settle the wavering of that number, and make them prize the Mercy of the Gospel more, and not be afraid of them that upbraided them for their steadfastness, by setting forth the sad condition of the adversaries, which would issue finally upon none but the non-elect; and being encouraged to believe this Epistle would be mightily blessed, as a means to prevent an open relapse {whatever might be the present, corrupt inclination} of the elect number, if not to Convert some of the then Uncalled-Elect of the Jewish Nation, who might read the same, because of its superscription to the Hebrew people. Now as the Apostle had predicted of the Adversaries, so it came to pass. There was Fiery Indignation that devoured them; they were swallowed up in a gulp of fire. This was more visibly and literally executed upon such of the Jews as presumed to continue Sacrificing in the Temple, against all belief of the One Offering, Heb.10:10, of Jesus Christ before them; their blood, as Christ had also foretold, was mingled with their Sacrifices, and the horrible siege of Jerusalem by Titus Vespasian, when there was such a mighty slaughter made of them upon the very pavements of the Temple, at the destruction of that City by the Romans in 70 AD; and the fiery indignation, foretold by the Apostle Paul to these Hebrews, came upon them literally, in firing their Temple, and burning that House of Sacrifice over their heads for going on to kill the ox, whilst yet the sacrificer of the ox, were the Jews that slew the Man, the Man Christ Jesus, I Tim.2:5, as the Prophet hath clearly foreshowed of the Hebrew people, at the time of God’s rejecting them after Christ. {“Thus saith the LORD, the heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; where is the house that ye build unto me, and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD; but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear; but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.” Isa.66:1-4.} The same fire which burned the Temple devoured the very Adversaries of our Dear Lord Jesus, at their devotions in it. Oh! It was that Day of the Lord which did burn as an Oven, whilst all the proud scoffers of Jesus Christ, “being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness,” had not submitted themselves to the Righteousness of God, Rom.10:3; yea, with those proud, all that did wickedly, not only refusing Christ, but blaspheming him, were, to a very great number of them, got into the idolized Temple for shelter and sanctuary from the Romans in their storming of Jerusalem, whilst the Man was a hiding place, Isa.32:2, to the elect of God, who had seasonably retreated upon his own warning, Lk.21:20, given them. {“For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” Mal.4:1-2.} The rest were blinded as before, Rom.11:7, and so were but run from the sword to a flame of devouring fire. {“Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even rend it with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in mine anger, and great hailstones in my fury to consume it. So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered morter, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered morter, and will say unto you, the wall is no more, neither they that daubed it; to wit, the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace, saith the Lord GOD.” Ezek.13:13-16.} These soon found the Temple to be a Fiery Oven in the time of God’s Anger, even as was foretold by the Psalmist, “thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger; the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.” Psalms 21:9. This particular threatening against the Jews in that Psalm is purposely penned by the Holy Ghost there among the personal Victories and Triumphs of the Lord Christ, to set out his Righteous Vengeance, even the Vengeance of his Temple in this devouring fire, upon his personal enemies, Isa.66:6, the Jews, who crucified him, in revenging his despised blood upon their children, on whom the wretched parents had imprecated the dismal curse, Mt.27:25, even whilst Jesus, that he might sanctify the people of God with his own blood, suffered without the gate! Heb.13:12. And whilst the burning Temple was thus a Fiery Oven, the Jews in it were as a handful of stubble thrust in to be devoured in the flames, both parents and their children! Mal.4:1. That, as the Prophet shows us, it did neither leave root nor branch, as many of them as were burnt in this Oven, to get out from the fiery Temple, and a fiery Law, Deut.33:2, alive. And as that Temple had been a type of the Human Nature of Christ, so at that time when it was thus clothed with devouring fire that burnt up the Adversaries, it was a very terrible and solemn Emblem of the Second Coming of Christ in his Human Nature burning with Indignation against the wicked, “when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” II Thes.1:7-9. Now says the Apostle to these Hebrews, what would you get by relapsing into the old bosom of your Temple, if God doth not prevent it by giving you the True and Establishing Faith in Christ? What will the sacrifices of the Law advantage you, when God shall reckon with the Adversaries for despising of Christ, and shall burn the willful Sacrificers with their empty sacrifices together, and fire down the House of their vain oblations too, Isa.1:13, and pile them all up in one Monument of his kindled wrath together? What will then become of all the Jewish Expectations in setting Moses up against Messiah? What Apostates, what Temporizers, what Compounders {or Mixers of Christ and Moses} will then escape, whose zeal for the Law shall but hurry them on faster to be devoured in this Fiery Indignation? The more haste they make, in a blind Zeal and Devotion, to Sacrifice in their Temple, the more guiltily will they be consumed in the same Sinai-House on fire. Heb.12:18 – Exod.19:18. Now all this quickly after, came to pass upon that miserable, infatuated and Sottish people; as the Scriptures of the Old Testament had plainly enough foretold the Jews; and as the New Testament Epoch-Annals of Time, together with the different pens of Historians, have made the truth of devouring the adversaries this way to appear. {“For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding; they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.” Jer.4:22.} And indeed the Execution of these threatenings have been obvious; as it is plainly beheld in comparing the prophecies and events together. {“Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; as the vine tree among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so will I give the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And I will set my face against them; they shall go out from one fire, and another fire shall devour them; and ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I set my face against them. And I will make the land desolate, because they have committed a trespass, saith the Lord GOD.” Ezk.15:6-8.} This is the naked scope of that place in the Hebrews. Our new Glossator therefore must, no doubt, have been tampering with one Interpreter, or another, that hath very notoriously misled him from the design of the place, about the sacrifices, into his mismatched and disparaging gloss of prayers and tears not availing, instead of the Holy Ghost’s no more sacrifice remaining; all sacrifices being necessarily destroyed with the Destruction of the Jewish Temple; and so much for this.

His 15th Disparagement of Christ is his building the soul upon self-pleas, and shutting out the Advocacy of Jesus Christ the Righteous with the Father, I Jn.2:1; yet still it must be remembered, all this neglect of Christ, and make-much of so many things below him, runs on in a book he hath forced into quite another strain in the Title. For, in the title of every left-hand page, after the first, it is Christ the Most Excellent; and in every right-hand page, it is the Glory of Christ Unveiled. This title is almost continually affronted by the book! And now once more disgraced by confronting creature-pleas, where we would in a sameness with the Title have found the Doctrine and Efficacy of Christ’s own Advocacy in Heaven, to wit, his Intercession at the right hand of God, Rom.8:34; and where the very superscription should have led the author of the book, if he had believed it, to have treated of the Advocacy of the Mediator, under such broad day light, as Christ the Most Excellent; or, the Glory of Christ Unveiled; and not have brought in such foreign pleas as he does; and then magnify these urged pleadings when he hath done.

Mr. Hunt’s words are these following. “Christ is gone to receive a kingdom, with a promise after some time to return; meanwhile he gives the soul a charge to watch against sin, and to shun all temptations; the poor believer does so, but by-and-by temptations beset the soul, and sin lies at the door ready to get in upon every occasion; the believing soul being sensible thereof, and fearing he should be overcome, seeing himself surrounded on every side, begins to make most pitiful moan, and earnestly, and with many tears, sends up strong cries for help. Saith the poor soul, I can go nowhere, do nothing, but I am in danger of being overcome by sin; if I am but employed in my trade, in buying or selling, and there meet with a temptation to lie or to deal unjustly; LORD HELP! If I see or hear sin committed by others, instead of reproving for it, and being vexed and grieved for it, my wicked heart is ready to be pleased with it; LORD HELP! If I hear myself but reviled by others, though for Jesus sake, instead of rejoicing that I am counted worthy to suffer shame for his name, I am tempted to revile again, or else study to be revenged upon them; and instead of forgiving them, am ready to rejoice at any evil that befalls them; LORD HELP! If I find Providence smiling upon me, and worldly wealth increasing, instead of loving God the more for his goodness, and improving my spare-time for his glory, and in his service, I am ready to be too much in love with these things, and to grow fat and cold in my love to God, and in the performance of his service; sweet JESUS HELP! On the other hand saith the soul, if I want but such things as I see others enjoy; if I am poor, and others rich, instead of being thankful for what I have, and being contented in my present state; instead of believing all things shall work together for good, and that God will never leave me, nor forsake me, I am ready at once to envy others, and to have such thoughts of God as I ought not to have; Son of David, HELP! If God lay but his heavy hand upon me in some affliction, as pain, or sickness, though in love to my soul, yet instead of being patient under his rod, as knowing he hath afflicted me less than mine iniquities have deserved, I am like a heifer unaccustomed to the yoke, and ready to faint when tried; LORD HELP! If I excel but others in grace or parts, though I have nothing but what I have received, yet instead of being thankful to God who made me to differ, I am ready to disdain others, and to have high-swelling thoughts of myself; sweet JESUS HELP! If I go to an Ordinance, and there hear a sermon powerfully preached, enough to break a heart of stone, yet I sometimes come away cold and dead, and forget almost all within a few hours, and remain an unprofitable hearer; LORD HELP! If worldly concerns crowd in, I am ready to omit some duties, or to be hasty in the performance of them, and to make the greater concerns give way to the lesser; LORD HELP! If I see {saith the soul} a dark cloud gathering over the Church, and that I am like to be called to a suffering condition, I am ready through unbelief to be at my wits, for fear I should never hold out; Son of David HELP! And yet after all these cries for help, the poor soul is overtaken by sin; but will Christ cast off such a soul? No, surely; for though such pleas would avail nothing under the Law, yet much under the Gospel, which takes notice of what is good, but overlooks what is evil.” Thus far Mr. Hunt, pages 143-145.

Before I speak of the Disparagement of Christ in his closing statement, where he lays such stress upon all these pleas, short of the Glory of God, Rom.3:23, in eying the Advocacy of Jesus Christ with the Father, I shall make some brief remarks upon the general current of the whole speech; or observations upon this model and form of Mr. Hunt’s pleas.

The relief he gives a poor soul against sin is no Cure. “Christ is gone to receive a kingdom, with a promise after some time to return; mean while he gives the soul a charge to watch against sin, and to shun, all temptations.” Now, it is not the Kingdom which Christ is gone to receive that is a relief to the soul set against all his urgent cry, “Lord help; Lord help &c.” ‘Tis more a discouragement and a terror to my soul than any relief, that I am here first of all in my object set down with Christ, as a King. I have rebelled, says the soul, against this King, and if I have not my Pardon clear, I am a dead man in Law! What can I plead? How can I maintain my own cause with the King, whose name is the Lord of Hosts? Jer.46:18. Besides, I want clothing, I want to be endowed with riches {sure, thinks the soul} from this very King! When he went, says the poor soul, he left me no tokens of his favor, as a King; and will the King mind me a beggar? If there had been something of the Priest in this, that he had sprinkled me with his Blood, I had hope; if he had gone away as my Husband, I could have been bold, and have sent my cries after him! {As Christ’s Priesthood and Sufferings were the means to accomplish his Glory and Throne; and as he first laid down his Life, or shed his Blood, and then assumed his Kingdom; so our order is to take hold of his Blood, and then distinctly of his Sceptre.} But I durst not be so bold with the King, who is none of my Husband! If he had left me his Love when he went away, as the seal of my own Relation by mere Grace unto him, I could have had help enough from him in my pleas with him, as he is a King. But alas! As the matter stands, my preacher hath set me to work quite at the wrong end! Besides, this King is at a great distance; he is gone, my preacher tells me; for here is not a word of him in his Office, as Mediator, and so present, making Intercession in me by his Gracious Spirit, and lifting up my soul towards his own Intercession for me. He is gone; aye, says the soul, that’s my trouble! Again, he will return when he has received his Kingdom. There is no relief against sin in this. Ah! Will he return? And how am I like to be provided to receive him? Oh! This is still my burden, he’ll come, he’ll surely come, before I am provided! My sin is not cured by calling out for distant help; I must be able to set the Lord always before me, Psal.16:8, that is, always able to see him nigh and present with me, if I hear his answers; for as the matter stands under this distance, I call, Lord help! Lord help! Lord help! As my preacher hath done it for me, but I can hear no Answer! Either this King doth not regard me, or I am so far from him, now he is gone, that I can’t hear one kind word return. Ah! Poor soul! No wonder, the reason is, thou hast forgotten his Advocacy! And Jesus Christ, though he be thy Husband, always keeps up the Honor of his Blood to send down every Answer in. He is gone to be a Priest upon his Throne, and therein is still present in all the Believing Pleas rising out of his Blood, and in every Answer that comes swimming down in it. {“Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” Zech.6:13.} It is his Blood that is the Atonement for thy sin, and his blood is the cure of it, in the hand of his own Mighty Spirit from the Father. {“For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” Lev.17:11.} ‘Tis the Holy Ghost, whom Christ’s own pleas send down into thy soul, sets the soul to plead below, agreeably to what Christ pleads above; and thereby the Answer is secured, if ever Help comes. There is not the least thing, which the fore-mentioned plea takes hold of, of an Evidence, that that pleader had the Blood of Christ in his eye, as the only Relief against Sin, when the Spirit uses it upon the heart, whilst his zeal spurred him on to draw up that ignorant plea-form. What, doth he make the charge which Christ gives the soul to watch against sin, and to shun all temptations, a cure of sin, and a relief against it? Alas! Christ does not cure sin, nor prevent it, by a Kingly Charge {such is the inward and universal corruption of our natures;} but by his Blood and Spirit that makes way for all Obedience to the Charge. He sanctifies us, as he is a Priest, and then bids us look to his Word, as he is a King. There is nothing in all the form afore laid down of those Lord-helps fit to set against the tide of natural corruptions, or to take away the strong current of them!

2. This plea-form, instead of searching out Sin and curing it, daubs it over, and skins the wound without healing it. It denies the fact of sin, making as if a readiness to the Sin was no Sin; for Mr. Hunt’s Law-pleading is only help against it, no Gospel-Pardon of it by the Spirit through the Blood of Christ, which is done in time, upon the Foundation of all Pardon granted before time in Christ, by Grace. Now this is contrary to the Spirituality of the Law, whereby in the Sight of God, looking upon anyone according to Nature in and through Old Adam, readiness to sin is the very heart-fact. Yet he goes on in his mincing-plea thus. “Sin lies ready to get in upon every occasion. My wicked heart is ready to be pleased with sin. I am ready to rejoice at any evil that befalls them who revile me. I am ready to be too much in love with these things {of the world,} and to grow flat and cold in my love to God, and in the performance of his service. I am ready to envy others, and to have such thoughts of God as I ought not to have. I am ready to faint when tried. I am ready to disdain others, and to have high, swelling thoughts of myself. I am ready to omit some duties, or be hasty in the performance of them, and to make the greater concerns give way to the lesser. I am ready to be at my wits end, for fear I should not hold out.” Thus, he owns not the fact in any one of these; but comes on easy, and brings it all off with the mince; “I am ready to this, and I am ready to that, &c.” {Readiness to do all this, &c., yet to do Nothing of it is strange. Rom.7:20.} I, but if a soul was convinced thoroughly, as the Spirit convinces of indwelling Sin, I should see this readiness to the sin to be the Sin of that kind, already committed in my heart, or the Duty already omitted in my heart, that Duty of the same kind, whatever it be. Paul, measuring himself by the Spirituality of the Law, acknowledged the fact, what he did in the eye of the Law, and the Duty, which he omitted, and does not put off this Confession of the Sin of his nature so slightly, as owning only a readiness to commit evil, and omit good; but he absolutely owns the fact. “For the good that I would I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do.” Rom.7:19. Besides, a natural conscience may run over all those things which Mr. Hunt reckons up, and for the most part does so, where the Holy Ghost may be the Author of the Conviction by the Law to terrify the Conscience, and yet never the Principle of the Conviction by the Gospel, to wash the Conscience. {Note: The Holy Ghost, because of his condescending Obligations in the Everlasting Covenant to apply the Ransom, never terrifies the Elect in Wrath, but in Experience to their due Conviction.} All these general cries look to me no more than the frights and horror of a guilty conscience in the un-renewed; and for my own part, I can see nothing but Natural Grace in it all, no Spiritual, Distinct and Supernatural work. We are mighty prone of ourselves to value ourselves upon our cries. Mr. Hunt need not blow the trumpet to them, and set them out thus in brave colors; for they are all nothing to him upon whom Christ lifteth up an Ensign; in whose Name, and not their own humble-proud pleas, the Gentiles are called to trust; and they are too much in a man’s own conceit, without being prompted, and led into the cheat from the pulpit and officious press. {“And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek; and his rest shall be glorious.” Isa.11:10. “And again, Esaias saith, there shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.” Rom.15:12.} Why must I be set in the way of stocking myself thus with pleadings all upon natural discoveries? Here’s nothing of Supernatural Conviction.

3. The whole form of the Plea hath nothing to do with Christ in his Gospel-Fulness. Here is the poor believer set up doing, but not one word of Exalting Christ in his Receivings for it. Christ gives a soul a charge, says he, to watch against sin, and to shun all temptations; and says he, the poor believer does so. But by what Means, by what Strength, by what Influences and Fresh Supplies, by what Grace does he do this, I must not be allowed to know one syllable of it in all this Plea. However, as I learn by the form of the plea, this poor believer, {he tells me of,} is but a natural believer, such as in time of Temptation falls away, Lk.8:13, as Christ tells us of the stony ground hearers. For neither his Faith, nor his Pleas; no, nor his Christ, so for as I can see by the sequel, secures him. For after all his cries, his tears and his moans for help, {for he puts in all,} his reiterations, Lord help! Lord help! Lord help! Sweet Jesus help! Son of David help! Lord help! Sweet Jesus help! Lord help! Lord help! Son of David help! Vainly repeating, Mt.6:7, the help ten times over; instead of an Answer to the Prayer of Faith, James 5:15, you have a frustration, a disappointment not only of the Prayer, the Cries, the pitiful Moan, but of the Prayer-Maker {which deeply argues the hypocrisy, Gal.4:21, both of his cries and prayers} after all these cries for help {says he} the poor soul is overtaken by sin.

Does he Exalt Christ now in succoring? No. Does he exalt Christ’s saving unto the uttermost all that come unto God by him? Heb.7:25. No. Aye, but if his believer had been right, from Election unto the New Birth, he should of told him how that Christ took up his pleas, filled his answers, as well as have told him how Christ will not at last cast off his person; for the former is included in his saving to the Uttermost, as well as the latter is open, as if expressed in so many words therein. The Lord will hear and answer in such a day of soul-trouble, as his form of crying for help would make you think the soul was in. “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” Psal.50:15. Aye, but in Mr. Hunt’s project, where all the Gospel-Fulness of Christ is excluded, there is a day of trouble and no deliverance; there is a being overtaken with sin {and Mr. Hunt does not tell us one word of recovery out of that sin neither} instead of a Glorifying the Lord Christ for this Deliverance from the Temptation, and from the Sin which had been the subject of its moan, in its pretended day of sorrows. For true natural sorrow for sin can but pretend to be, whilst it is not, the right spiritual sorrow, which is no enemy to the Joy of the Lord, Neh.8:10, which is our Strength. In the Fountain opened, Zech.13:1, there are supplies; but in this wide mouth opened, where there is no Evidence of an eye, or an heart open towards the Fountain, there is no pleading upon the Fulness of Christ; and therefore yet it seems to be a mouth {nature} opens wide, because contrary to the promise, grace never fills it; but is confessedly by the pen, if not the mouth of my author, a mouth that shuts up praying with iniquity; the last word you hear of it in our form-plea is Sin, and not Prayer. If you trace the plea, you shall find in it much Creature-Emptiness, and nothing of Christ’s Gospel-Fulness.

I would ask any man truly taught of God, and led into the Knowledge of Christ and himself too, whether he does not see more of the Creature, in Creature-discerning {for he runs on upon Natural, Providential and Common Discernings} than he can find of Christ’s Teachings {for though he began with the King, he hath quite shut out both the Priest and Prophet} either to live by Faith upon Christ, Heb.10:38, or to pray in Faith unto him? Is there one quarter so much in all the pleas said of Christ, as there is of religious Self? Now, if all these mischiefs be ever redressed in self, ‘tis Christ, not a man’s own dead, natural-pleas which must do it. Again, if the soul be Spiritual, under any true work of Christ by his Spirit in the Gospel, is it not strange, that such a Heavenly Soul should not be led throughout, to fasten upon any one argument, from the Fulness, Col.1:19, treasured up in Jesus Christ? What, no fulness in Christ’s Blood to eye, nor plead? Strange, that soul-tears and strong cries {as he lays down in the vehemency of the plea} must take up all!

Alas! What is the soul’s most pitiful moan to Christ’s Intercession in Heaven, aye, or to his strong crying and tears, when he offered up Prayers and Supplications in the days of his flesh? Heb.5:7. Where is that preacher’s own living upon Christ the most Excellent, who frightens a poor soul with the danger of being overcome by sin? Is not Christ as able, is not Christ as willing, is not Christ as present, don’t I feel it so, if I am raised into any sweet Experience, if I have any Quickened Communion with him in the True Gospel, and am enabled by Grace to venture upon throwing off your Mixed Gospel, to keep me graciously {or any other true believer} from being overcome with sin, whithersoever I lawfully go, and in whatsoever I lawfully do {for Mr. Hunt seems to confine his instances where the matter of things is lawful} as the same Christ was able, willing and present to keep his disciples at sea from being drowned in the storm? Mt.8:26. Where is that man’s Faith, Joy and Confidence in God through Christ, who can’t trust the Lord in one place he comes, nor in one step he takes? What, was none of Christ’s Sufficiency in this case fit, or thought on to be pleaded? ‘Tis poor crying to God without it. What poor sort of believer is it the plea has singled out for these cries?

Can I suppose that that Believer who has to do with Christ as the Pearl of Price, having been giving Grace to part, Phil.3:7, with all his Church-Riches for him, his natural praying, his natural reading, his natural hearing of sermons and lectures; it may be, his writing and repeating them in the family, what things were gain to him, those he counted loss for Christ, is yet the man who in his trade in buying and selling, is not got above that sensual temptation to lie or to deal unjustly? Certainly, there is such an influence and pleasure upon and in that soul from Christ, who deals in this one Pearl of Great Price, Mt.13:46, that such gross temptations shall not by and by beset the soul. I am assured that the thorn in Paul’s flesh, II Cor.12:7, is always of quite another nature. It makes me therefore shrewdly suspect Mr. Hunt’s fair believer is but one washed over with his fair colors in Divinity.

Again, am I a Believer who deals with Christ, as the Wisdom of God, Lk.11:49, in the Office of his Teachings, if I see or hear sin committed by others, who no ways regardeth to distinguish of the time, place, sinner or circumstance, whether I am called to reprove it, or no? There is a great deal of Sin committed by others {for he makes no distinction, as the Word doth, between a stranger to God, Mt.7:6, and a brother, I Jn.5:16, to the believer} which God will have men go on hardened in to their own Destruction. So that if he would plead for his Believer, let it not be for a blind one, lest we have an Unbeliever for a Believer, and a dead child laid in the bosom of the mother for the living child! I Kings 3:20. If he will plead, let it not be in a blind way. He should rather have pleaded before his believer out of Christ’s Mediation to instruct and guide him with his eye. {“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye.” Psal.32:8} “But thou, O son of man, behold, they shall put bands upon thee, and shall bind thee with them, and thou shalt not go out among them; and I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprove; for they are a rebellious house. But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, thus saith the Lord GOD; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear; for they are a rebellious house.” Ezek.3:25-27.

But above all, what Believer am I into Christ’s Fulness of Influential Sanctification {which I always distinguish from men’s Notional Sanctification) if, as he supposes of his believer, “instead of reproving for sin, and being vexed and grieved for it, I have a wicked heart ready to be pleased with it.” Alas! He should have pleaded for the Fountain set open, Zech.13:1, to wash in for sin and for uncleanness to have washed this wicked heart. He should have pleaded for a clean heart, Psal.51:10, for Christ to dwell in, before he had opened his mouth in pleading the backwardness of his believer to reprove sin, if he saw or heard it committed by others. Oh! Poor believer, hope poor pleader for him!

Was his believing soul {upon whom he puts the case} “if he heard himself but reviled by others, though for Jesus sake, instead of rejoicing that he was counted worthy to suffer shame for his name, tempted to revile again?” And does our pleader see nothing to plead for his reviled Believer in the Dignity of this Name of Jesus, Exalted, Phil.2:10, above every name? What, nothing in the Heavenly Sweetness of this Name? Nothing as an ointment poured forth to refresh the spirits of his believer, if his believer be indeed one among the Virgins, and Followers of this worthy Name of Christ? For, because Christ’s Name is as an ointment poured forth, Song.1:3, therefore do the virgins love him. What, nothing from the Glory-Life of this Jesus at the right hand of God, Col.3:1, to have won the heart of his poor reviled believer! What, nothing of the main plea! Could he make no other plea for him than the syllables, and leave out the fulness of the Name of Jesus? Had he forgotten the Love of Christ towards his own; and a name written in Heaven with the Lamb? Where was the thought of Christ’s Promise to be fulfilled in the Glory-Kingdom, “I will write upon him the name of my God,” Rev.3:12, which will wipe off all the stains and reproaches of Christ, Heb.11:26, forever? Could he see no room for the name of his believer in the engravings of the breastplate of judgment, Exod.28:11, upon the heart of our Great High Priest in Heaven, Heb.4:14, who is entered, Heb.6:20, into heaven for us? {And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually. And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before the LORD; and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.” Exod.28:29-30.} What, nothing of the Believer’s Interest, his Union, his Possessions in and with Christ! Had he none of such like arguments, Job 23:4, to fill his mouth withal, when yet he hath undertook to plead under a Title, Christ the Most Excellent? Did he forget quite to plead Christ? It seems so; for otherwise, his believer in the plea-form, when reviled by others, should have seen upon what Foundation to rejoice, that he is counted worthy to suffer shame for the Name of Christ, Acts 5:41; and upon what Foundation, and by what Influences he doth so rejoice; finding the Temptations do not stick, when he is tempted to revile again.

Alas! ‘Tis his poor lean Preaching, as appears by his drawing up of soul-pleas, that keeps his believer {if he be one} so low in Grace, and so high in Corruptions, as that he can’t follow Christ, go on and pass through the midst of them, Jn.8:59, when they throw stones at him, but he must stoop to his revenge, and be ready to throw stones again. Is there not the Holy Spirit, an Argument to have been suggested, and put into the mouth of these pleas, appointed unto the Believer, and given him to mortify the deeds of the body? {“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Rom.8:13-14.} Such as “reviling, studying to be revenged upon them, and instead of his forgiving them, being ready to rejoice at any evil that befalls them?” And yet this Holy Spirit and Spiritual Fulness in Christ is all shut out, whilst a bare Confession of the readiness of the soul to commit these things which are so gross is insisted on, and taken into the room thereof.

He goes on, “if I find Providence smiling upon me, and worldly wealth increasing, instead of loving God the more for his goodness, and improving my spare time for his Glory, and in his Service, I am ready to be too much in love with these things, and to grow flat and cold in my love to God, and in the performance of his Service; Sweet Jesus help!” Where is the fulness of Christ still that should have been pleaded in the room of this soul-leanness? Where is the Blood and Righteousness of Christ set forth, and the Effectual Purging work of the Holy Spirit? Where is the face of God that should have been seen by a true believer instead of this plea? Is not the face of God in Christ smiling on me, through the sprinklings of his Blood, able {and do not I find it so} to sanctify Providence smiling upon me? It should then have been pleaded for his poor believer, who “instead of loving God the more for his goodness, upon the increase of worldly wealth, is ready to be too much in love with these things.” For, does not Christ’s fulness in the heart and that alone, teach me to do more than love God for his common goodness in worldly wealth increasing? So likewise, is not he who sanctifies my heart able {from what he hath done} to keep me, and order my steps in his Word, and teach me as how to improve my spare time for his Glory, and in his Service? {“Order my steps in thy word; and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” Psalm.119:133.} Why was none of this pleaded for this poor believer? Why does the plea run all upon the Malady, and not one word upon the Nature, Fitness, Fulness and Freeness of the Remedy? What is it more than Natural Religion spiced with the Notion of Christianity, to cry, Sweet Jesus help! Is this the way to glorify God for Christ the Most Excellent? Or, is this blind plea any part of the Glory of Christ Unveiled? {“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy; to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” Jude 24-25.}

The next plea is, “on the other hand, saith the soul, if I want but such things as I see others enjoy; if I am poor, and others rich, instead of being thankful for what I have, and being contented in my present state; instead of believing all things shall work together for good, and that God will never leave me, nor forsake me, I am ready at once to envy others, and to have such thoughts of God as I ought not to have; Son of David help!” Is not a possessing Christ, {the believer’s in possession, for he possesses all things in Christ, his permanent Possession, “therefore let no man glory in men, for all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.” I Cor.3:21-23.} if I am a true believer, though I am poor, and want many things {at least, have not such things} as I see others enjoy, a fitter argument to be pleaded with God, that he would from thence make me by his Spirit thankful for what I do have, and to be contented in my present state, than any Confession otherwise of the contrary fault is able to make me so? ‘Tis not a naked belief of my sins, but a Faith wrought of God in my Supplies Treasured up in Christ, and there laid ready for me, upon the foot of Everlasting Grace, which is the Effectual, Fervent and Availing Prayer, James 5:16, of the Righteous Man. For, can I believe that the Lord will hear my prayer, if I ask for what I do not believe he has ready in his hand for me in Christ, to be granted upon the Foundation of God, at my own asking? {“The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his; and, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” II Tim.2:19.} To which purpose I have the Spirit given me, as a Spirit of Grace and Supplications, Zech.12:10, in order both to my own plea, and my Redeemer’s grant, built upon his Intercession, and opened at my own. Is not Communion in the soul with Christ’s Treasures better able to make me believe all things shall work together for good, and that God will never leave me, nor forsake me; than it is likely to avail me to regard and eye only the plea of my sore.

He hath another plea, “if God lay but his heavy hand upon me in some affliction, as pain, or sickness, though in Love to my soul, yet instead of being patient under his rod, as knowing he hath afflicted me less than mine iniquities have deserved, I am like a heifer unaccustomed to the yoke, and ready to faint when tried; Lord help!” Ah! Poor man! How came he to be forgotten here, who hath told me, that beneath are the Everlasting Arms? Deut.33:27. His Believer pleads like an unbeliever, that sees, nor feels anything of these Arms, but thinks to put his own shoulder to, and at the first crush is sunk into Hell, if it be, as he says, “God’s heavy hand upon him.” And all this sinking in one’s spirit, even to Hell apprehendedly, among God’s children, proceedeth from lack of Faith and Experience of Faith in these Everlasting Arms. He should have put his Believer to have pleaded for the Spiritual Presence of Christ in affliction, as pain, or sickness; and to be led more into the Mysteries of God’s Counsel, that he might have seen in the Gospel, that it was in love to his soul, as the Lord had brought him up from the pit of corruption, and cast all his sins behind his back. Isa.38:17.

He ought to have had regards in his pleas, under God’s girding the believer with strength out of Christ’s Ability, God having laid help upon one that is Mighty, Psal.89:19; and out of Christ’s Abundance, he being able to make all Grace abound, II Cor.9:8, to make one patient under his rod. {“It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy Salvation; and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great. Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.” Psal.18:32-36.} He should have pleaded how Christ was the Man that had seen affliction by the rod of God’s Wrath, as my Surety, and then in the Sufferings of that mighty Person, God-Man, I should have seen the Foundation of what he adds; and not have spent empty words in the formality, whether the pleader believed what he said or no; when he adds, “as knowing he hath afflicted me less than mine iniquities have deserved.” ‘Tis nothing but a Gospel-Sight of Christ’s Sufferings for me that is a true ground in receiving God’s Chastening’s Fatherly; and so his Affections laid upon me to be less than mine iniquities have deserved. He ought to have pleaded for this poor believer, that the Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, nor is weary, and not to have given way to his own succumbing plea thus, “I am ready to faint when tried.” {“Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall; but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isa.40:28-31.}

Besides, it is no part of Gospel-Wisdom to abuse the Holy Ghost, as he hath done, and yoke a strong heifer {in plow or cart} with a poor believer that is ready to faint. “I am like a heifer unaccustomed to the yoke, and ready to faint {says he} when tried.” An un-thought of match indeed, until Mr. Hunt first saw this couple in a yoke!

My pleader isn’t done yet, “if I excel {says he} others in grace or parts, though I have nothing but what I have received, yet instead of being thankful to God that hath made me to differ, I am ready to disdain others, and to have high swelling thoughts of myself; sweet Jesus help!” Oh! He should rather, in a view of all our Dependency upon the Fulness of Jesus Christ, from whence originate all our springs of Grace and Truth, have pleaded it of Him, that he is the Mystery of God, in whom are hid all the treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge, Col.2:3; and have pleaded it of the poor believer, as to all that he seems to excel others in, even as that one cried, when he was axing a beam, and the ax head fell into the water; who cried and said, “Alas, master; for it was borrowed.” II Kings 6:5.

The next zeal of my pleader stands thus, “if I go to an Ordinance, and there hear a Sermon powerfully preached, enough to break a heart of stone, yet I sometimes come away cold and dead, and forget almost all within a few hours, and remain an unprofitable hearer; Lord help!” Here the cry is, “if I go to an ordinance,” but no plea for the Lord of the Ordinance to come and bless me therein. Here’s a cry, I have been at the Sermon! I have been among the people! I have heard a powerful discourse! But where’s the cry after Wisdom under the Word? Anything of a good man’s is ready to go down with abundance that complain they want memory to bring it up again; but the Lord give them judgment. “Yea, saith Wisdom, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.” Prov.2:3-5. God the Spirit puts a child of God upon this. ‘Tis knowledge that is promised, not memory; an understanding heart, and not a strong head-piece. The more ineffectual I have found an Ordinance of Christ to my soul, the more I am instructed thereby to plead with the Lord of the Ordinance for his own Presence. A Sermon powerfully preached may be a powerful deceit, and if you examine what is mostly called so, it is nothing but powerful nature, for, enough says he, speaking of his soul-plea, to break a heart of stone! Aye, it may break the rock in pieces, and yet not melt one piece of that rock, or dissolve a heart of stone! {“Is not my word like as a fire, saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” Jer.23:29.}

Alas! He has raked up poor pleas in Prayer as well, and has shut out all the Foundation-pleas of the Gospel in pleading through him that should not have been forgotten! “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” Eph.2:18. ‘Tis no wonder now, if such a poor ignorant believer, and such a dark pleader {as I have laid open} comes away cold and dead from his Preacher, and forgets almost all within a few hours! For my own part, I do rather suspect that after this rate of going on, he does not retain one argument of the Powerful Preaching a quarter of an hour, but forgets almost all but the powerful sound as soon as he is out of doors! What light hath Christ given him, as he gives those whom he awakes from the dead, Eph.5:14, after their first spiritual sleeping, under all this powerful preaching? There must be an understanding given him to know him that is true, and to know that this hearer is in him that is true, even in his Son {God’s Son} Jesus Christ, I Jn.5:20; or, till then he is like to remain an unprofitable hearer, as long as he goes to sermons. I’ll warrant this same soul will prove a poor thing in his experience, so long as he goes by {his preachers thought of} memory, and shuts out True Gospel-Experience. He’ll be empty enough, if his highest attainments be his complaints about losing the sound of his Preacher, when he is got home, provided he can’t look back to remember any seal of the Holy Ghost, at Worship.

We have not all our pleas up yet, for he adds, “if worldly concerns crowd in, I am ready to omit some duties, or to be hasty in the performance of them, and to make the greater concerns give way to the lesser; Lord help!” Oh! That the Lord may help this pleader to discern that he has omitted some duties, and chief duties which should have come into these pleadings; the duty of pleading Christ’s fitness, the duty of pleading Christ’s fulness, the duty of pleading Christ’s freeness to all whom the Father hath given him, Jn.6:37; the duty of pleading his Person, and Office, his Righteousness and Blood, his Spirit to take these of Christ’s in Light and Promises, and all of the Mysteries of the Word, and show them to his poor believer. Jn.16:14-15. It is a poor plea to go to God with this cry, Lord help! Upon the omitting some duties, and never pleading my neglect of so great Salvation, Heb.2:3, in omitting Christ. ‘Tis hypocrisy to plead hasty in the performance of them, but never plead lingering to rely more upon the Surety-Performer of them, for us, to the Satisfaction of Justice; to secure also our own performance of them under a Work of God the Spirit, to our professed Subjection, II Cor.9:13, in the Government of Christ, Isa.9:6-7, unto the Gospel of Christ. Mr. Hunt has in these things very notoriously {as I have all along through his pleas shown} make the greater concerns give way to the lesser. It is rare to find out a more clamorous inversion than in this plea, wherein I have laid open how he shuts out the greater concerns, and takes in the lesser.

His last plea is, “if I see {saith the soul} a dark cloud gathering over the Church, and that I am like to be called to a suffering condition, I am ready through unbelief to be at my wits end, for fear I should never hold out; Son of David, help!” Aye, no wonder it is so with any soul, who goes about to live in the Abstracted Confessions of Self, and that hath no more of the Light of Christ, nor converseth any more with the Priesthood, Righteousness and Blood of Christ by the Spirit of Jesus, than the plea afore laid down doth. Oh! It is the sum total of the acknowledgment, Jer.3:13, of all my transgressions, Lev.16:21, and all my sins, to believe on Jesus Christ. For, when I have been helped to cast them up severally in my thoughts, if the sum of them at last be not all issued into Believing the Lord Jesus Christ, Acts 16:31, the account is all made up wrong. And then more directly to this last thing in the plea, if I do not see more fulness in the Infinite Son of God, as the Surety-Man in the Personal Union, to confess Mercy from the first spring of Grace; and so issued out in the Communication of it to be Grace to help me in the time of need, Heb.4:16, above Sin, above all Sin, above all Commissions, above all Omissions, than I do see in any, in all sin, or sins, ‘tis most certain, I do not behold enough in the Son of God to bear me out under Sufferings for his Name’s sake.

Thus, I have gone through his plea, and now address to what is worst of all in it, having made the way open and fair to it, that the reader might not think I abuse the author, or mistake him; and must lay open the Disparagement of Christ, which is after all topped upon these pleadings to advance the plea, and set it all up for Acceptance with the Lord, as if it was Christ.

His words are these, “and yet after all these cries for help, the poor soul is overtaken by sin; but will Christ cast off such a soul? No surely; for though such pleas would avail nothing under the Law, yet much under the Gospel, which takes notice of what is good, but overlooks what is evil.”

What a poor thing is all this chain of plea-work, to bear up a soul without any Safe Confidence in the Lord that he shall not be cast off? “Will Christ cast off such a soul,” says he? And then he answers it with a “no surely,” built upon his own plea-work. What a reed is this to lean on, instead of the Rock to build on? Paul lays the Foundation of not casting off the soul, and raiseth up the Superstructure of Consolation in the matter on that One Foundation, quite another way, “I say then, hath God cast away his people? God forbid.” Rom.11:1. And what people does he mean? What people of God? Were they his people that were to come and try out their state by their own pleas? Give me leave here to put in my “no surely,” built upon the Holy Ghost’s own Exposition, verse 2, “God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.” You see he lays it upon God’s own Foreknowledge; upon his Love from Everlasting; in foreknowing them under all the changes of Nature, Grace and Glory, which he designed them to pass through. “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” Eph.1:11. For which cause, God makes all his Providences in the openings of the several Matters and Occurrences of Human Life from the open Beginning to the End, to fall out accordingly. The Apostle gives this, first of all, in the matter of his own case, verse 1, and latter part; as a proof of the doctrine he had laid down, “for I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.” I am an Israelite, and at this day know my self to be such; and that has been from a Preservation of Divine Providence, more in common with all the seed of Jacob, and so it proves myself, says he, to be of the seed of Abraham in the line of the Promise, and the Genealogy of Messiah from Abraham, Heb.2:16, to whom the Assurance of Christ, born according to the Flesh, Rom.1:3, was given. But then moreover, says he, my Preservation in the course of Providence, in the loins of my Ancestors of the tribe of Benjamin, the last of Jacob’s, or Israel’s twelve sons, was more than an ordinary instance of God’s not casting away his people whom he foreknew. {“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Rom.8:29-30.} For our tribe, says Paul, the tribe of which I am descended, was in a manner all cut off for their wickedness, their sodomy, men with men working that which is unseemly, Rom.1:27, like the heathen; and then standing upon their Vindication, and pleading for the guilty, Judges 20:13, refusing to give them up to deserved punishment for their crimes, carried it a while with an outward flaunt of bravery and success, verse 14, won two battles, verses 21,25, of their brethren, but paid dear for both in the issue, verse 35; for the third battle determined the day against themselves; and then it was that the number of eighteen thousand, verse 44, of them were mowed down by the sword, and thereby opportunity was given to glean five thousand more of them, verse 45, and then to cut off two thousand more, verse 45, upon the pursuit; “so that all which fell that day of Benjamin were twenty and five thousand men,” verse 46; almost all the males of that tribe extinct; yet God for seeing his elect to come still out of the loins of that smitten tribe, in Mercy preserved a Remnant of them, even six-hundred men to get off, verse 47, and escape by flight to the rock Rimmon; but indeed, it was under the True Rock, Christ, that they found a Providential Sanctuary.

Hence their brethren send peaceably to them, and they are not cut off, but spared on the Lord’s side for the elect’s sake. Judges 21:13. I am of this hazarded tribe of Benjamin, says Paul, and therefore, do know it by Experience, that God has not cast off his people whom he foreknew; for if he had, then there had not been those six hundred men spared upon the Provocation given both to God, and the other tribes; and then what had become of me, I must never have had a being, and from thence a well-being in Christ. Aye, “but God hath not cast off his people whom he foreknew.” Ah! Paul saw it lay there. He doth not lay it upon his pleas. Nevertheless, he had prayed; yea, the Lord had taken notice of it, “behold he prayeth.” Acts 9:11. Well, well, says Paul, be it so, I dare not, like the Pharisee, stand in this case to set out my pleadings, and tell you how my Gospel-pleas have availed, that Christ hath not cast me off. Ah! No, I look beyond it all, or else now, at this Day, that I am alive and able to look back, I had had comfort or safety little enough in my own Eternal State, had it not from Everlasting been laid upon this bottom, that God fore-knew and fore-loved me among his people, and ordered all things accordingly down through the Tribe of Benjamin, that both my first and second Birth might prosper. I tell you, says he, I am a Benjamite! I was once openly {to an eye of reason} upon the visible brink of Everlasting Extinction, and of being prevented to come into Nature, Grace and Glory! But lo! God foreknew me, me, and others of the same tribe; and therefore though in the morning Benjamin ravened as a wolf, Gen.49:27, and two-hundred {of their six-hundred number left} caught two-hundred virgins in their dances before the Lord, or the Lord’s Tabernacle, and Law-worship at Shiloh, at a yearly Feast, Judges 21:19-23, to force these virgins, fury-like, to be made the wives of this Tribe, as Brutes fall upon other creatures, the stronger upon the weaker, and master them, to preserve this one Tribe alive from being extinguished, and their whole race gone, and one Tribe lacking in Israel, Judges 21:3; yet in the Evening he divides the spoil; that is, as if the Apostle had said; now when the tribes are shutting up in darkness, and the main body of the Jews are going forth to be in a night, a long winter’s night, wandering through all the world; yet now in the evening of their day preceding, Benjamin divides the spoil, who in the morning ravened as a wolf, Gen.49:27, to get the prey, and save his tribe alive, by devouring the prey, and turning those virgins they caught for wives to be conjugally one flesh with them, that the fathers of those virgins, Judges 21:22, when they came to complain of these stolen and forced matches of Benjamin, and should think to meet with redress in Israel, could not be able to recover their own daughters again, they being wholly {in a metaphorical sense} swallowed up, as the prey of the Tribe of Benjamin.

Now says he, by this means, Benjamin, that was so nigh extinction, is seen with the other tribes at last; Benjamin continues all day, as well as the other tribes, till evening; yet all his booty in the morning had not been worth the telling, had it not been to set out that God hath not “cast away his people whom he foreknew,” but hath reserved Benjamin throughout the Hebrew-Day, that now in the Evening he divides the spoil! Oh! Says this Apostle, now it is, that when so many of the tribes are shared and differently parceled out, some divided one way, some broken off another, some divided to the Roman Conquests, others divided to varied factions, and standing it out upon their own defense; yet some are divided into Christ’s lot, and parceled out by Free Grace! Some of them are going forth into the world, whilst others are departed to the devil! Still I am one of the elect tribe divided out to Christ! One of little Benjamin, Psal.68:27, saved alive in, by, through and for Christ! In him, because it began with the election, {“according as he hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world,” Eph.1:4;} by him, because it went on to redemption, {“these were redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb,” Rev.14:4;} through him, because it came down to sanctification, {“for by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified,” Heb.10:14;} and for him, because it now appears in fruit, {“being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God,” Phil.1:12,} and breaks out in service, {“how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” Heb.9:14.} Ah! As to ourselves, we don’t know what our ancestors have been; no, not in the fourth, fifth and six Generations from ourselves! Nor, if called by Grace, how preserved by Divine Providence; though all this Mystery will be open to us hereafter in the Glory-Kingdom, after the Resurrection of the Body; nevertheless, this we may know at this day, they were preserved for our sakes. “God hath not cast away as people whom he foreknew,” but we are alive, and are brought in to Christ at this Day. Well, as Paul insisted upon his first Argument to prove God’s own were not cast off, and that from his own single case of the Tribe of Benjamin, out of the two tribes and a half; so he goes on to prove it from a mixed instance, Rom.11:2-4, in the case of others of Old among the Ten Tribes, as the case fell out in the time of Ahab’s Idolatry, and the Universal Apostasy, I Kings 19:14, of that Kingdom, made up of the same tribes; and accommodates it to an Election of Grace out of their tribes at that Day. “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” Rom.11:5. But I dismiss this Consideration, having said enough to clear the Apostle’s main drift in what I have urged and opened. On the whole, we see Paul laid the availment of his being not cast off upon Divine Grace, not upon any human means or pleas. Certainly, Mr. Hunt’s pleas were as good in Paul’s time, as they are now; yet Paul would use none of them in this weighty matter of determining the not casting off of souls. He pleads from the people under Grace, “God hath not cast away his people whom he foreknew;” he argues not from the pleas of that people, “we are so and so, or have done so and so, Lord help!” To conclude, Christ will not cast off! For there are some that will plead more than Mr. Hunt has pleaded for them, who yet will be cast off by Christ, as they who have prophesied in Christ’s name, Mt.7:22, {however, Mr. Hunt rips up the people’s sins in his pleas, but forgot to lay open the sins of the Preacher; and I know not why we should thus spare ourselves;} and again, that in Christ’s Name they had done many wonderful works; and then will Christ profess unto them, “I never knew you, depart from me ye that work iniquity.” {verse 23} And surely, Paul’s arguments for God’s not casting off his people are as good now as they were then; so why should we not therefore lay the Security of the soul upon the Lord Security? For, when we are brought to lay it upon the Lord’s Security, we are nearer brought to lay it too, afterwards, upon the Lord’s Evidences of that Security.

Our plea-worker tells us these pleas avail much under the Gospel. How can that be? They are not the pleas of the Advocate. No, nor the Gospel-Pleas that are put into our mouths by the Gospel, in case of sin, {“the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us,” Rom.8:26;} as the Advocacy of Christ, in the Virtue of his Blood and Efficacy of his Sacrifice, is set forth in the Gospel, as the very Substance and Model of our plea; {that blessed Antinomianism, which in these matters, is so far above all Natural religion!} “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins.” I Jn.2:1-2. Christ is always a Sacrifice sweet in God’s nostrils, even when we have lost our smell! “Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor.” Eph.5:2. “For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ.” II Cor.2:15.

The Gospel is much for Gospel-pleas as they stand in Christ’s Fitness, Fulness and Freeness, to answer all Cases and Necessities of the Elect, as ever the Law was for the Law-pleas to satisfy God’s Justice, and salve the Law’s own dignity, by the Righteousness of our Surety, when made under it. “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the Law, that we might receive the Adoption of sons.” Gal.4:4-5. Now what is there of the Gospel-Plea in all Mr. Hunt’s plea to avail? For, what Supernatural or Spiritual Matter is there in the matter of the plea? {Above Nature, as proceeding from Grace, Rom.8:37 – Rom.5:20.} What is there that goes above and beyond the Nature-Convictions of an un-renewed Conscience? I see nothing to make it appear that the Holy Ghost hath wrought anything in it Spiritually by the Gospel. The reason is, because, he helps a Natural Man to plead, according to the gifts of nature; and helps the believer, to whom he hath given Grace, to plead according to the Gift by Grace. The Spirit’s mere Assistance in Prayer is a natural concurring to the substance of men’s acts in their plea, without an antecedent changing them by New Creation; whereas the Spirit’s own Intercession, Rom.8:26, in our Prayer, putting us upon Spiritual Praying, to fall in with the Matter of Christ’s Advocacy, or Intercession in Heaven, is laid in the Spirit’s Creating Work, or making a New Creature, II Cor.5:17, antecedaneously to that Intercession, together with Assistance, by his own Presence in the heart to sanctify it, as the Immediate Cause and Foundation thereof.

To what distinct Person in God is the plea directed? Is it to God-Man or the Father? If to the Father, why not in Christ’s name? {“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Col.3:17. “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Eph.5:10.} And so why not to him, as a Distinct Person? For this is part of the Supernatural or Spiritual Work of Prayer. If it be directed in the heart to Christ, then how comes all that is in Christ to be shut out of a plea unto Christ? And so much for my answer to his plea-part, as concisely as I could. “Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work.” II Thes.2:16-17.