Chapter 17

Of Mr. John Hunt’s Four Last Disparagements of Christ; his Three Open Disparagements of Christ’s Worth and Fullness; and his One Disparagement of Christ’s Possessions.

I shall begin this Chapter with his 16th Disparagement, the words of which are these, “there is not so much spoken in Scripture to set forth the Glory and Excellency of Christ, but there is as much spoken to set forth the Vileness and Odiousness of Sin.”

I observe that he does not say, as often spoken of the Vileness and Odiousness of Sin, as the Scriptures sets forth the Glory and Excellency of Christ, but as “much” spoken. Now it need not be wondered that he durst disparage Christ so much in his pleas of things for Help from Christ, by pleas short of Christ’s Fulness, Isa.28:28, whereas he has treated the Fulness of Christ here, as to what is spoken of him in the Scriptures, not only with Neglect, as there, neglectful disgrace, but with a very Dogmatical, Positive, and Bold affront. I hope to disprove his Assertion briefly with a few Arguments.

In general, the Scripture do speak very much of the Vileness and Odiousness of Sin; but yet they do not speak as much of it, as they speak of Christ; they do set forth the aboundings of Sin beyond all we have in our nature-selves, to deal with it, or subdue it; but they nowhere set forth the aboundings of it, II Cor.12:9, above or beyond Christ. Let me enter into this proof by these steps.

1. The Scripture do not speak as much of the Vileness and Odiousness of Sin at its Entrance from the Beginning, as they do speak or set forth the Glory and Excellency of Christ from the Beginning. Adam’s Original Sin is not set forth, as Christ’s original Glory is declared in the Holy Scriptures.

2. The Scripture do not leave it doubtful, in the account they give us of the Progress of Sin, which is the Greater? Sin’s Vileness and Odiousness, or Christ’s Glory and Excellency? Therefore they do not set forth the Vileness and Odiousness of Sin, as much as they set forth the Excellency and Glory of Christ; for then I should doubt which of these two was the greater; and by this means as the object of my doubt would be inconsistent with the Object of my Faith in saving me; so the nature of my doubt would be utterly repugnant to the nature of my Faith in Apprehending; nay, in discerning Christ who saves me by Himself, to God, in the Powerful Office of his Blood. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot; who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.” I Pet.1:18-21.

3. The Scriptures have sufficiently provided us wherewith to make a determinate Judgment quite of another nature; even in this, that they do set forth the Glory and Excellency of Christ much more, I Jn.1:7, than they do set forth the Vileness and Odiousness of Sin. The Scripture do set forth what will over-balance it on Christ’s side, in respect of the Glory and Excellency of his Person and Sacrifice, and that greater, than it sets forth sins Vileness and Odiousness on the other side. There was a glorious Fulness and Excellency of his Sacrifice of the Human Nature in Union with the Son of God, when he gave Himself for our sins, Gal.1:4; whereas sin’s Vileness and Odiousness in the human nature is only in union in the nature of men, the creature, never the Creator-Redeemer Himself.

4. The Scriptures show us how Christ is an ocean that Covers, Drowns, Overcomes and Takes Away Sin forever. “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger forever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.” Micah 7:18-20. The Sea buries all that is thrown into it; and so does the Ocean of God’s Grace and Mercies prepared for us, gathered together into Christ’s blood. Whereas, if Christ was not set forth in his Glory and Excellency, as spoken of in the Scriptures, greater than the Vileness and Odiousness of Sin, we could not see how his blood could wash away Sin; at least, not contract a sinful tincture in the very act of cleaning us from it. {“Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” Rev.1:5.} For ‘tis natural and necessary, that stains and foulness should go out of one thing into another by mixtures, or adhesion, where there may as much be said of that which defileth, as there is of that which cleanseth. His notion must strike at full Pardon and Purification in Christ, and so deny it in the Complete, Col.2:10, Gospel-way, if it be held up. ‘Tis most certain, if Christ was not set forth Greater in the Scriptures than Sin is set forth in those writings, we could have no Foundation to believe that Christ was able to take away Sin by the Sacrifice of himself, Heb.9:26, and so by his Blood bring the soul, and present it unto God without spot. There must be more of the Power and Greatness of Christ spoken against Sin’s Vileness and Odiousness than there is of the Power and Greatness of Sin’s Vileness and Odiousness against Christ; because what is spoken of Christ in the Scriptures is above Sin, and more than Sin, but what is spoken of Sin’s Vileness and Odiousness, is not above Christ, and more than Christ. Nay, if there were but as much spoken in the Scriptures of the Abomination in Sin, as there is of the Glory and Excellency of Christ, then we might ascribe as much to Sin from corrupt nature, as we could ascribe to Christ from Free Grace; but the Scripture by no means allows us to ascribe as much to Sin from corrupt nature, as we must ascribe to Christ from Free Grace; therefore the assertion I oppose is false. “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound; that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through Righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rom.5:20-21. The Scripture here directly brings in a “much more” on the side of Christ {for the scope of the chapter is to set out Christ’s Aboundings and Open Predominance to Sin, after the entrance of it by the Law, for where there is no law, there is no transgression;} the Scripture does not bring in a “much more” on the side of Sin.

5. To what has been said, I add, the Scriptures do really make nothing of Sin, where they set forth the Fulness of Christ against it; but they never do so of Christ where they set forth the Fulness of Sin against Christ. To evidence this apart; the Scripture do make nothing of Sin, when they say of the Spouse, “thou art all fair, my love, there is no spot in thee;” Song.4:7; when they say by the mouth of David, “purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psal.51:7. Clean from what? Washed from what? He tells us just before, that it was from the Vileness and Odiousness of Sin, verse 5, for he had said, “behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Yet when washed in the Fountain of Christ’s Overflowing Blood, though his nature was all over a spiritual leprosy, {for he alludes in it to the ceremonial cleansing of the Leper that typified this far purer, and more cleansing Mystery, Heb.9:19, of the blood and hyssop,} the Scripture pronounces him clean, the Odiousness of Sin is gone, and whiter is he than the snow! {“And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, what are these which are arrayed in white robes, and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, these are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Rev.7:13-14.} The Vileness of it is completely done away; as no black or discoloring remains, but all is gone in a thing made whiter than the snow; so no Sin, no Spot, no Vileness, no Odiousness of Sin remains in the soul which is cleansed by the blood of Christ from all, I Jn.1:9, unrighteousness. {“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isa.1:18.} Now if the Scriptures in setting forth the Fulness of Christ against Sin do make nothing of Sin to a faultlessness; but cancel, annihilate, remove and completely destroy it by Christ, Jude 24, even to a Glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, Eph.5:27, but holy, and without blemish; and brought unto the King in raiment of needlework, Psal.45:14, and her clothing of wrought gold, verse 13, through the Efficacy of Jesus Christ in her and upon her; then ‘tis a Disgrace of Christ, who hath such an Effectual Power and Dominion over all Sin, according to the Scriptures, by his dying for our sins, and rising again from the dead, I Cor.15:3-4, to assert, so differently from the Scriptures, “that there is not so much spoken in Scripture to set forth the Glory and Excellency of Christ, but there is as much spoken to set forth the Vileness and Odiousness of Sin.” This is a Vile Scandal! Thus we have seen the Fulness of Christ set against the Fulness Sin as to render Sin annihilated. On the other hand, the Scriptures do make much of Christ, and never annihilate him, when they set the Fulness of all the Sin, which ever entered into the world, Rom.5:12, upon fallen Man against Christ; yet this Fulness of Sin doth not destroy and take away all benefit of Christ from the world, as the Fulness of Christ takes away all Sin from the elect. The whole world lies in wickedness, I Jn.5:19, as the Apostle John saith, and so it hath done from the beginning, from the beginning of a sinful people that have defiled the earth to this Day. Take all the sins and abominations, from the first Sin to the end of the World, and there you have all the Human Fulness of Sin. Set this against Christ, and yet this hath not done away Christ from the world in thousands of benefits they have received to this day, and shall, on to the end of the world, from him! {“And the LORD smelled a sweet savor; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” Gen.8:21-22.} Whereas, on the other hand, the Fulness of Christ set against Sin in the Mystical Body, the Church, takes away finally the very being of Sin from her! All the sins of the world are less than Christ’s Fulness; and Christ’s Fulness can be done away by no Sin. Whilst he is a Ransom-Saviour of the body, {“the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many,” Mt.20:28,} a Propitiation-Saviour {“he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world,” I Jn.2:2,} for the whole body of the elect, {“Christ is the head of the church; and he is the Saviour of the body,” Eph.5:23,} all and every one; he is a Provisional-Saviour, the providing Saviour, of all men, I Tim.4:10; for the earth is “the Lord’s and the Fulness thereof.” I Cor.10:26. Of all the non-elect he is the Provisional Saviour, in all the good things they have; and as to a Provisional Saviour too, in food and raiment, preserving the fruits of the earth &c., {for the Father hath put all into Christ’s hands,} he is the Saviour “especially of them that believe,” in bestowing the creatures upon his own; mixing with them the blessing, sanctifying the use, and taking off the curse, for which they are eminently to return thanks, even for common mercies, where the rest are left but to say Grace. Hence it is eminently to be understood in this sense, “a little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.” Psal.37:16. {Had it not been for Christ, an Esau could not have had the dew of Heaven, and the fatness of the Earth; nor a Saul, a Kingdom; nor a Judas, Apostolic Gifts, &c.} Thus we see that Christ’s Fulness is not destroyed by Sin, as Sin is by Christ’s Fulness. Consequently, the Scriptures do abundantly set forth Christ, and speak of him more than they speak of the abundance of Sin. ‘Tis to out-face the Oracles of Truth to say they speak as much of one, as they do of the other.

6. Lastly, this notion of his tends to destroy much of our Faith concerning the Nature of the Infinite God; and therefore ought by no means to be fathered upon the Holy Scriptures. Christ, as the Son of God, is an Infinite Person, an Infinite Subsistence, an Infinite Relation of the Godhead. But is Sin an Infinite Subsistence, an Infinite Person or an Infinite Being? No. Sin is not Infinite, without bounds set, in men or devils. Only Christ is so! Now if this Infinite Mediator be manifested to take away our sins, do not the Scriptures speak more of the Infinite Redeemer than they speak of Sin? {“And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” I Jn.3:5.} Alas! If they did not, what ground of Faith and Comfort, Rom.15:4, would they yield us, as to the Sufficiency and All-Sufficiency of an Infinite Person? What would the Infinite Person be to me in saving me from my sins, {“and she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS; for he shall save his people from their sins,” Mt.1:21,} if the Scriptures did lay me down in as much in Sin, as to balance the Account God hath given me of his Son, both as to his Infinite Person, and the Everlasting Covenant and Contract God hath made with him for the elect? For though he be an Infinite Person, he hath by the Covenant paid but a limited Ransom. “As for thee also, by the blood of thy Covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.” Zech.9:11. ‘Tis not infiniteness of Worth in Christ, abstractly considered from the Covenant, but Infiniteness of worth joined with Harmony and Consent in the Will of God with the Infinite Person of his Son, do bind the price paid and the purity bestowed, in extending these to the proper Objects among the fallen race of Mankind.

Thus, I have shown how Mr. Hunt’s last mischievous expression about Christ tends to put the poor Soul to a stand, and a doubt, whether Sin or Christ be the greater; and so disparages Christ, whilst he says that which tends to make a cypher of him; and I am sure then whilst a cypher, he disfigures him. And yet still this is the writer who has complimented his reader with Christ the Most Excellent; but in this last Disgrace of the Fulness of Christ makes no more of the King’s Robe, than some foul rag to scrub an oven with. Such conceptions do his words, of the Scriptures setting forth “as much of Sin as they do of Christ,” lead the thoughts of the mind unto. For, if there be as much Odiousness in Sin, as Glory and Virtue in the Robe of Christ’s Imputed Righteousness on the elect, to give them Faith and a New Heart, Ezek.36:26, {for the Spirit of God comes into the soul by virtue of the Righteousness Imputed to and upon every one that believes, Rom.3:22,} than that Odiousness has as much power to alter the robe to a rag, and make it unclean upon me, as that Robe has to alter and remove the same Odiousness. But if there be not as much Vileness and Odiousness in Sin, as virtue in the Righteousness of Christ, wherein much of the Glory and Excellency of Christ consists, why should any man tell me the Scripture speaks as much of my shame, as of Christ’s Glory? Or say, “that there is not so much spoken in Scripture to set forth the Glory and Excellency of Christ, but there is as much spoken to set forth the Vileness and Odiousness of Sin?”

‘Tis in this, as in other cases he has used random expressions to contradict himself. “Grace and Holiness, says he, is in Christ essentially, so is it not in us creatures, whether angels or men.” Now what he says of Grace and Holiness must necessarily prove the Scriptures do set forth the Glory and Excellency of Christ transcendently, that there is not as much spoken of the Vileness and Odiousness of Sin. “Sin is not in us creatures essentially,” then if Grace be in Christ Essentially, and Sin is not in us essentially, himself hath cleared the Scriptures now, that they speak more of the Glory and Excellency of Christ than they do of the Vileness and Odiousness of Sin. For they do speak Grace and Holiness essentially of Christ, and that is more said of the Glory of Christ, than it is said of the Odiousness of Sin. Aye, that is nowhere in Scripture said to belong to the essence of a creature. But the contrary, for God made every thing good that he made. Thus Mr. Hunt contradicts himself.

Again, in another place he pleads a good cause, {page 105,} which Christ suffered in, and this he makes to be his seventh badge of Christ’s Honour, as appears in a chain of connection from page 102 through the same particular. I must add says he, “he suffered all this in a good cause,” page 105. Now, if he makes it a badge of Christ’s Honour that his Cause was good in his Sufferings, why should he make it a disgrace when his cause is good in the Office itself to which he was anointed to? Christ is the Name he bears from his Unction, in the Office of the Mediator. The Vileness and Odiousness of Sin is the creature’s bad cause, but Grace and Holiness in Christ’s Human Nature, the Dignity of his Person, the Merit of his Righteousness, the Treasures and Value of his Blood, are Christ’s own good cause which Mr. Hunt hath sometimes transcendently confessed. Now do the Scriptures set forth the bad cause, in the Vileness and Odiousness of Sin, as they set forth the good cause, in the Glory and Excellency of Christ? Let him look to this, and cohere better in his discourse.

Once more, speaking of Christ, he said, “it was Infinite love and condescension to take any notice of us.” {Page 159} Well then, the Infiniteness of Christ’s Love is more than can be said of Sin. There is no infiniteness in the Vileness of Sin, and no infiniteness in the Odiousness of Sin. That is, bounds are set {“he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment; when he appointed the foundations of the earth,” Prov.8:29,} to all our Corruptions, so far they go in Odiousness, and Vileness, but no further, Job 38:11; not so far as Grace and Holiness and Love, in Christ; for if they did, Christ had not conquered, nor we in him, and all manner of sins, circumstances and aggravations of sinning, as well as in all manner and circumstances of affliction, been more than Conquerors, and on this Foundation in himself, are so through him that loved us. {“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us,” Rom.8:37, “now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ.” II Cor.2:14.} Thus now again, in this Infiniteness of Love and Condescension of Christ, there is more acknowledged by our author examined to be spoken in the Scriptures {if he hath spoken in his acknowledgments what he believes to be according to them} of the Glory and Excellency of Christ, than is spoken and set forth in the Scriptures concerning the Vileness and Odiousness of Sin. Therefore he contradicts himself, when he tells us, “there is as much spoken to set forth the Vileness and Odiousness of Sin, as is spoken to set forth the Glory and Excellency of Christ.”

His 17th Disparagement continues upon the same head with the former, disgracing the Worth and Fullness of the Lord Jesus Christ. His undue words are pinned down at page 207, thus; “if praise is due to God for anything more than other it is for Christ.” Thus he makes an “if” of it.

When this Proposition is examined, sometimes it looks like a doubtful “if” and stumbles his reader that way. As Gamaliel sets it forth doubtfully, “if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought; but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it, &c.” Acts 5:38-39. The doubt with them there in that Counsel against the Apostles, was, whether the Apostle’s Doctrine of Christ and their Miracles, were Truth or an Imposture? Whether they were the counsel and work of men, or the Counsel and Work of God? This was the doubt. Now all that Gamaliel was certain of in the matter was this, the counsel and work of men would come to nought; the Counsel and Work of God cannot be overthrown. How does Gamaliel propose it now, to answer both his doubtfulness and his certainty? Why in part doubtfully with an “if” in the state of the proposition, and in part certainly with a consequence in the close of the Proposition. If this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought; but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it. In the very same manner is the Proposition I am discussing, or shaking off from the Excellency and Glory of Christ. “If praise is due to God for anything more than other it is for Christ.” Now I say, this sometimes looks like a doubt. And the doubt of the proposition is, whether praise be due to God for anything more than other? And so in general the form of the Proposition including every thing, takes in this particular along with it, whether praise be due to God for Christ more than any other thing? For all the certainty this Proposition will allow us to gather out of it is this, that if praise be due to God for any thing more than other it is for Christ. And so the very certainty of it Christ-wards must come off precariously.

Secondly, at best it looks but like a supposition “if” in the room and place of a positive proposition. And what a disgrace is it to bring down Christ from his positive Glory and Excellency to supposition of any other thing! See an instance of this supposition “if” in Scripture, as the Spirit of God hath congruously adapted it {I will say one instance for all} to matters where the supposition fits, and runs even among the things themselves, to the Honour of Christ, and not unto his Disgrace. The place of Scripture under mine eye is Philippians 4:8, “if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” He had said, “finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report,” then out of these things forms his exhortation with a supposition “if,” “if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Now observe; the Apostle does not put his “if’s” in the room of what is positive, but in their own place of what can be but only supposed. The positives are, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report. That is, whatsoever things are in themselves so, and so therein lies the positive. Now there may be no necessity for me to think on any of these things in their universality of instances; a thousand truths, things that are true in speech, true in Providence, or the like, these may have no such virtue, praise or commendableness in them fitted to my case and circumstances, as to bring me under any obligation to apply my thoughts to them. And so in a thousand things that are honest, just, pure &c., it may be the same. The Apostle therefore brings in his “if,” not in what was positive {the things afore laid which will fall out somewhere or other} but in what only could be supposed, if the Virtue and Praise of these things lie at my door, and are united to my proper case and circumstances, that I ought to appear in or apply my thoughts to any of the matters aforesaid; if it be so, says he, “think on these things,” according to the prescribed model, “of whatsoever things are true &c.”

But now it falls out quite otherwise in the matter of praise to God which Mr. Hunt has laid down with his supposition “if,” {taken at best hand,} “if praise is due to God for any thing more than other it is for Christ.” To make a Supposition that Praise is due to God for one thing more than another, in a matter that must be positively acknowledged, is quite beside the Scripture Precedent I have just now examined it by. What can be more positive, plain and clear than this, that as praise is due to God for everything we receive at his hands, so praise is due to God for some things he bestows more than for others; more praise is due to him for the Gospel, than for trade; more praise is due to him for the health of the body, than for a meal’s meat, or a suit of apparel. Thus, to make a supposition so general and indeterminate as to reach any thing, like this instance, “if praise is due to God for any thing more than other it is for Christ,” is certainly to misplace it in the room of this positive proposition that Praise is due to God for Christ more than any other thing, and so in the transcendency of Praise to God for all things we receive at his hands, as Christ alone is the way of conveying them, whether they be blessings in Heavenly or blessings in Earthly matters, it is to be determined to be mostly due for Christ alone. See God’s Word.

“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Rom.8:32. The ground and pattern here of these gifts, or bestowments, directs us into the very Nature and Preference of our praises to God for Mercies, according to the Ground and Nature of what he does bestow. As his own Son is bestowed First, and bestowed Principally, and all other things upon this Foundation of God’s Free Grace in bestowing Christ, are freely given us into the same Grand Endowment with him; so it is plain, that for this First and Principal Gift, Christ, Isa.42:6, the very Substance, Life and Cause of all our Covenant-Mercies {I say, our Covenant-Mercies} in Nature, Grace and Glory, Praise is positively due to God more than for any other thing, and an “if” spoils it.

“He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.” Deut.10:21. Mark it, here were great and terrible things done before Israel, as an occasion for Israel’s Praise. Next, Moses tells this people, “thine eyes have seen” these great and terrible things; and this made the occasion of that people’s Praise to God the more obvious; nevertheless, he tells them the subject of their praise still transcends all those great and terrible things themselves which their eyes had seen; and that is God in Christ; he is thy praise, and he is thy God, and there thy praises are due to God for Himself, beyond all thy praises to him for other things. The case is not the same in the Gospel, God gives himself in Christ, we see many other things he does, many other blessings he bestows, but none rise up into an equality with Himself bestowed upon us in the Lord Jesus Christ. ‘Tis by Christ we have God in his Covenant, know him by his Spirit, find him in his Gospel. Now if by Christ all these things flow in upon us, he is our Praise, even the God from whom, and the Rock through whom they come. And if he be the Matter of our praise, as well as the Object, Psal.68:4, of our Praise, he ought to be the particular argument of our praise, even when we are praising of God for Mercies that are not Christ; consequently, praises are due to God for Christ more than for any of the other Mercies, that are the Covenant-Blessings in and with him.

“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” II Cor.9:15. Oh! Says Paul, I have been by some arguments stirring you up, “O ye Corinthians,” II Cor.6:11, to a bountiful alms, touching the Ministering to the saints, II Cor.9:1, and I bless the Lord, I have been able to make use of your forwardness, verse 2, which you have showed in this Service a year ago, and boast of it to them of Achaia; for your zeal in this matter hath provoked many, and made them willing to follow your Example. But all this, says he, comes from Christ; ye have given your money, this is worth thank you. Yea, praise is due to God for this, “working in you to will and to do of his good pleasure,” Phil.2:13; for this comes, every penny of it, along with Christ. Oh! Thanks be unto God, says he, “for his unspeakable gift.” Christ is a Gift that can’t be equaled, in all the variety of his creatures, and a sum bestowed beyond what we can tell over.

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” II Pet.2:9. The Holy Ghost pitches upon the praises of him who is the Caller, not the praises of the Call; and so teacheth us that Praise is due to God more for Christ calling us, than for the call itself out of darkness. Consequently, that praise is due to God more for Christ than any other Mercies. The reason is, a call out of Darkness is as great a Mercy as any under the Pardon of Sin, II Tim.1:9; and yet when God comes to be praised even for Effectual Calling, it must be by showing forth the praises of Him who has called you. Praise therefore must be due to God for Christ above all our under-fall bestowments; they that are even able to bring gold and incense must look beyond their offering, and “show forth the praises of the Lord.” Isa.60:6.

“Being filled with the fruits of Righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” Phil.1:11. Now as Praise and Glory rises out of the Fruits of Righteousness among the saints by Jesus Christ, which redounds to God, Christ being the Author of those fruits, Jn.15:5, and his Spirit the Indwelling Principle, I Cor.3:16, Rom.8:11, Eph.5:9, of them in the saints; so God is to be praised more for Jesus Christ, from whom come the Principle and Fruits, than he is to be praised for the fruits themselves they bring forth. This is still more agreeable with Christ the Most Excellent, when we state it categorically, and say that Praise is due to God for Christ more than any other thing; than when we state it, as Mr. Hunt has done, hypothetically, to say, “if praise is due to God for anything more than other, it is for Christ.”

Now, inasmuch as I have shown that Mr. Hunt’s state of it makes the proposition to be, at the least, in its self doubtful, whether the saints are bound to praise God more for Christ, or Graces, for Christ, or Creatures, as the Proposition itself is abstracted {for so all sound propositions will stand true by themselves abstracted} and as I have by proof out of the Holy Spirit of Christ in the Scriptures shown the necessity of making the state of the question absolute, and therein rescued it both from doubt and hypothesis, I shall dismiss it with two or three turns upon this divided man for contradicting himself. He contradicts himself by the force of a reason which he renders for his ill laid proposition, in the next words. “If praise is due to God for anything more than other it is for Christ, since, says he, he is so incomparably excellent.” {Page 207} His argument fights against his proposition. The argument is absolute; Christ is Incomparably Excellent. The proposition it serves is supposed, at best, if not doubtful, if praise is due to God for anything more than other it is for Christ. Doth he in his argument set Christ in Excellency above compare, {incomparably excellent,} and yet in words immediately preceding does he suppose praises due to God for Christ upon a comparison, and allow no better word than an “if” to bring in his “more” for Christ than other things? This makes his last words to fall foul upon his first, they box the author on the ear, and give his own unthinking brain the reprimand. His more praise due to God for Christ being supposedly stated with an “if,” as his own absolute and flat repulse for it in one reason grounding the debt of Praise to God for Christ; to wit, he is incomparably excellent.

Again, his words in another place are these, “as there is nothing {says he} in this lower world comparable to Christ, so the love of the Father does in nothing so discover itself as in giving Christ to us.” {Page 155} How un-heedfully hath he knocked down this excellent proposition in about some two or three and fifty pages run off after, by this blow, “if praise is due to God for anything more than other it is for Christ?” {Page 207} In the former we have open certainty, in the latter the reader is left to stumble on it, and beholds a doubt made. In his first inference, the gift of Christ is absolute; in his first exhortation to Saints, praise due to God for Christ more than other things is staved off upon a low supposition.

He has his third contradiction laid down by himself against the 17th of his own disparagements of Christ, and that in several very excellent expressions laid together. “Such was the Father’s love, that for our sakes it pleased him to bruise his Son. Isaiah 53:10. O boundless love! O bottomless ocean! That God should give his Son, his own Son, his only Son, his dearly beloved Son, his dutiful Son, and that was so incomparably excellent and glorious, and that to such unworthy dust and ashes as we are.” {Page 158} How inconsistent now is it after all these brave words spoken of the Son of God to set him down at last with this disgrace, “if praise is due to God for anything more than other it is for Christ!” It is pity the man undertook to write upon these matters till the Lord had given him clearer eyesight, and a better hold-fast in point of judgment, to have looked to himself, that he lost not, II Jn.1:8, those things which he had wrought. For to speak so very dividedly of the same Christ, can be nothing else, but when the Glory of Christ has been unveiled, to go and veil him over again.

The 18th disparagement of Christ is likewise touching his worth in these words, “no less mysterious is it to the unbelieving world, that the many thousands of Israel should be nourished out of the dead Lion of the tribe of Judah.” {Page 62}

I am doubly obliged to refute this expression. As it is a calumny, and as I vehemently suspect myself being the occasion of misleading him into the use of it, by an ill passage in my first book, entitled, the Gospel Feast. The offensive period is this. “We may say of the Lion of the tribe of Judah, as Sampson did of that young Lion, Judges 14:5, that roared against him by the vineyards of Timnath, out of the eater, verse 14, came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness.” {Page 128} My own expression is wrong in alluding to a dead Lion, and implying a dead Lion; inasmuch as that Lion was slain before those words, “out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness,” could have their proper application. The passage, I say, as brought up and applied to Christ is naught; Mr. Hunt manifestly varies I confess from my form in the expression, perhaps thinking to mend it; however, he hath made it worse. For, as my applying it to Christ hath plainly inferred the Dead Lion, his variation has openly expressed the Dead Lion, and called the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, in so many words, the Dead Lion. I have reason not only from the coincidence of matter in the two expressions, his and mine, to judge he had in this been ensnared by the said book to wander in his fancy; but especially, because I can elsewhere prove {almost to a demonstration} his tampering in that kind, by several open parallels of heads and form of matter, which I may lay before the reader in a distinct section near the end of this Vindication of the Excellency of Christ. Whatever it be, the passage is scandalous, and I shall examine it gradually.

‘Tis strange {if we abate what has been above suggested} how the Dead Lion could be thought on in a close pursuit of the subject on the Canticles. Nevertheless, it was thought on and among several pages together too, which insist upon Gospel-Nourishment, where the treatise hath very openly abused the text, “I am the Rose of Sharon.” Here is, without contradiction, a straining the metaphor to the utmost, which had given us his hand for it, to make us believe we were not to expect. What can wander farther than a comparison of the Living Rose of Sharon to the Dead Lion of Sampson? For, let us both remember the Lion of the Tribe of Judah was no dead Lion, as I shall prove by-and-by. There can be nothing but my own disparagement of Christ in that passage of the Gospel Feast, which I can think of, could fasten upon his mind the vicious tincture.

The Rose of Sharon is a Representation of Christ not as slain, but as alive. Christ, as he died for our Iniquities, is set forth in the fittest Representations of it, by things appointed in the Law to prefigure and shadow out his Sacrifice, especially the Lamb slain. Rev.13:8. And in the extreme sufferings of the Human Nature {still in union in the Son of God, which founded the communication of properties, and made it to be the Sufferings and Death of the whole Person, God-Man} his strength was dried up like a potsherd, as the prediction of his Sufferings hath declared, Psal.22:15, and ‘tis added, “thou hast brought me into the dust of death.” Behold, here was withering, and drying up the radical force of the Human Nature in the dust of Death, or the Grave; all the Creature-sufficiency of the Man Christ Jesus, if we look to the Man abstractly, exhausted; that we might look still more to the Fulness of his Person God-Man, both Priest and Propitiation-Sacrifice in one Gospel-Mystery of the Person, through the Union of the Two Natures. For, otherwise we see, all that he had in the same kind and image {or Humanity of Soul and Body} with our selves, was not of itself wherewithal to help us. But Infinite Love, Infinite Wisdom, Infinite Power in God himself was All-Sufficient derivatively upon us, to save us unto the utmost, Heb.7:25, in coming unto God by Christ; because self-sufficient originally in the Glorious Undertaking. The Man for Sacrifice assumed into open Union, in the Person of the Son of God, was upheld, though substantially the same Created Nature with our own, and so, notwithstanding the humiliation infirmities of that Nature, persevered in the same Personal Union. This is a brief account of him, as a Lamb slain, which the Law provided; a Mystery of Grace far enough removed from the notion of a Dead Lion. By all it appears, it must not be understood in the Canticles, Christ as dead, when he saith, “I am the Rose of Sharon.” It must therefore be Christ as alive again, or, being brought again from the dead, Heb.13:20, and seated in his Glory-State in Heaven to pursue all the ends of his Efficacious Death towards the Church, every way here befitting the condition of the spouse, as a spouse; and so ‘tis the Mystery of his Glory-Love in Communion, the fruit of his Death, as a Sacrifice; but not the Death in any of its own Nature, which is there shadowed forth in the verse of Solomon, his Regal not his Priestly type, under that expression of his match with the Spouse-Lily, “I am the Rose of Sharon,” as the other had married Pharaoh’s daughter. I Kings 3:1. “I am the Rose of Sharon,” says Christ there Mystically; as much as to say, I have Excellency enough in my Person now in Heaven to adorn thee, and refresh thee abundantly as my Spouse, the Spouse-Lily in Communion with me, the Bridegroom-Rose. I am wherewith, and I have wherewith to ravish thy senses, and make it a sweet and happy thing to enjoy me, risen from the Dead, and “be with me where I am.” Jn.17:24. ‘Tis therefore a disgrace of the Glory-Bridegroom to depart from his own metaphor, and then slander him in another, by calling him the Dead Lion of the Tribe of Judah.

The Lord Christ is never at all compared in the Scriptures to a Dead Lion, but in those words expressly of the Vision unto John, he is a living Lion {and in what respects he is a Lion at all must be by-and-by shown;} for Lion is not taken separately from the Prediction in Genesis of being so, but falls into the vision correspondently in the Revelation; though to John he appeared not under any such resemblance, but as a Lamb Slain, Rev.5:6, declaring what he was to the Church in the benefit of his Priesthood, a Lamb slain, Rev.5:12; and so he stood upon Mount Zion, Rev.14:1, with his Sacrifice-Blood of Expiation, and declaring Himself in his Relation to the world in the terror of his Kingdom, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Rev.5:5. So that the meaning of the Expression in the Holy Word is, the Lord is risen against his Enemies to be very terrible to the disobedient, throughout all the Earth. He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah in the Righteousness of his Wrath for despising the Righteousness of his Obedience, as a Lamb slain, Imputed to be the Justifying Righteousness of the Church. Hence he is a Lion in Vindictive Righteousness, or, a Revelation of the Righteous Judgment of God. Rom.2:5. And why again? Because the world would never regard him politically, {“for all people will walk everyone in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever,” Mic.4:5;} no, not so much as in the common measures of Prudence, to avoid his temporal strokes for invading his Regal Office in the Church. {“We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” Rev.11:17-18.} The world would never endure, through a contrariety of principle, the showing of Christ’s love unto his own, under the most amiable discoveries, {“if ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you,” Jn.15:19;} but rather presume they were his own, even against his own Love-Authority over his own in the House of God. The world hath wickedly counted it a piece of cruelty and tyranny in the Lord God to keep up his own just Authority, {“but them that are without God judgeth; therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person,” I Cor.5:13,} in planting his Gospel and Government Spiritually about it as a defense, {“and the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for upon all the glory shall be a defense,” Isa.4:5,} in Church-Laws and all Ordinances by Himself, for the Edification of his own elect, upon the Foundation of his own Will and Grace. The world cannot forbear encroaching upon the prerogatives of the King of Saints, {“and they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints,” Rev.15:3,} as the alone Head of that Body of which he is the Saviour. {“Christ is the Head of the church; and he is the Saviour of the body.” Eph.5:23} He hath made his spouse to be in all things subject to Himself as her Husband, {“the church is subject unto Christ,” Eph.5:24,} and how incongruous is it for the wife, as subject in all things to Christ, to make her own Church-Laws that concern her Husband? {“And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect; and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.” Exod.23:13.} Especially, when her Maker is her husband, {“for thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall he be called,” Isa.54:5,} and she believes the Second Commandment, that the Lord her God is a jealous God! {“For thou shalt worship no other god; for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” Exod.34:14. “Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.” Deut.5:9-10.} This power therefore in the Ordinances, as she durst not usurp Divine Authority, so neither dares consent to in the usurpations of others, {“I, even I, am he that comforteth you; who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass, and forgettest the LORD thy maker,” Isa.51:12;} for which Steadfastness and Perseverance in her loyalty to Christ, she has in most ages under the reign of antichrist been barbarously persecuted by the world. {“They shall put you out of the synagogues; yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.” Jn.16:2-3.} No wonder then, if he, the Man, the Man Christ Jesus, I Tim.2:5, whom God the Father hath appointed to judge the world in Righteousness, Acts 17:31, be in his Risen State a Lion, and ready upon his Judicial Throne to execute, according to the Day of Vengeance, Isa.63:4, in his heart; though these wretches think or say what they dare, being given up to think as ill of him under their Plagues, Rev.16:21, when the Judgment of Babylon is come, as they will. {“For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke. According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompense.” Isa.59:17-18.} Thus, it is only in Christ’s Risen and Exalted State, in the terrible part of it to his enemies, destroying them, and as a Lion breaking all their bones, Ezek.32:27-28, that he is represented and set forth by the Holy Ghost, according to this Terror in Judah, as the Lion of that Tribe. It signifies his reigning fiercely over his implacable enemies, Jews, Pagans and Anti-Christians, crushing them to pieces, and getting the mastery over them by subduing them, for the Defense and Propagation of his Church, and the opening of the Reign of the Lord God among his own. {“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia; for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” Rev.19:6.} This, as the Lion of the Tribe, he hath brought on gradually, in his Open Government of the World, under the Irresistible Scenes of his Providence, Prov.8:15, by terrible and bloody revolutions. {“Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever; for wisdom and might are his; and he changeth the times and the seasons; he removeth kings, and setteth up kings; he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding; he revealeth the deep and secret things; he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.” Dan.2:20-22.} And thus his Name stands, the Name by which he is known in his Opening the Book of Providence and Events. See now if ye can find him as a Dead Lion in Revelation 5:5, to Saints, or Sinners. “Behold the Lion of the Tribe of Judah has prevailed to open the book.” This I find to be the only place of Scripture where he is so named. And in this one place it is evident to be Christ’s Life and Reign spoken of, not his Death to be held forth. For opening the Book, or his prevailing to open it, through the Efficacy of his Throne-Intercession with the Father, is a manifest action of the Life, not of the Death, or time of the Death of Christ.

This disparagement of Christ, calling him a Dead Lion out of which thousands are nourished, is going quite beside the scope of the Revelation-Text, Lion of the tribe of Judah; Lion there is put for a Branch of the Government he hath obtained of the Father against his Enemies; not Lion put for nourishment to his people; nourishment being from his Sacrifice, as a Lamb, and not a Lion. ‘Tis therefore diverting into the past fancy of my own pate in the book called the Gospel Feast; as if Sampson’s Dead Lion out of which he took the honey, had been a type of Christ; which is utterly repugnant to the nature of the thing. 1. Because the honey in the carcass of the Lion was a foreign thing from the carcass of the Lion; not rising out of the Substance of the Lion, but gathered by the industry of another animal, the Bee; whereas all nourishment that arises to faith out of Christ Crucified, Gal.3:1, is from the Substance and Efficacy of his own Sacrifice, without adding anything to it from or by any other creature. 2. Because Sampson was the type, not Sampson’s Lion; and the reason of that again is, because all creatures slain that were types must be of the instituted kind for Sacrifice; whereas a Lion is a creature which was never instituted for the Sacrifices, and this destroys no other Sacrifice-Type of Christ, but establishes the same. Samson’s Lion therefore had nothing to do with Christ. Besides, mind, when the Holy Ghost uses the metaphor, Lion {there in the Revelation} applying it to Christ, he expressly describes what Lion, not Sampson’s dead one, in the carcass of which he found the swarm of bees and the honey, Judges 14:8, but Judah’s Living One {metaphorically again resembled} the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Not the Lion of Sampson’s tribe, who was of Dan; not the slain Lion, not the dead Lion; that Lion was in the vineyards of Timnath which were in Dan; but the Lion of Judah in another Tribe. How then was that Lion of the other tribes, to wit, of Judah, described in Jacob’s prophecy? You may see in Genesis 49:9, “Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, thou art gone up; he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?” Here Christ is compared to a Living Lion only, not to a dead one. And the character well agrees with Christ against his enemies; for, look, as a Lion is not afraid of dogs, or other fierce beasts which may be suffered to stand by him, or come near him, but the Lion will choose to lie down near other fierce creatures, which a weaker creature of another kind from these fierce beasts durst not, as the Lion doth; for the Lion can master them at pleasure, as wolves and tigers; and so for a while he spares them; also, when the Lion is lain down no man shall put him to rise up before the Lion is willing; thus Christ is so terrible and strong to subdue all his enemies, that let what adversaries and wicked men soever dare bark, snarl, threaten, look big and angry in his Presence, he will nevertheless lie down in Zion, which is his rest, Psal.132:14, and have Communion there with his people, and that, it may be, a good while before he will destroy his Enemies; and he will bear with them, and forbear them, that all their provocations shall not rouse him up before the set time. All this now in that phrase of “Lion of the Tribe of Judah” there in Revelation 5:5, argues Christ to be compared to Judah’s Lion that was alive, not Sampson’s that lay dead by the vineyards of Timnath. To conclude it, the Holy Ghost hath fastened such a reproach upon a Dead Lion, and made such a comparison of a dead Lion, that the dead Lion must never be applied to Christ. The place is Ecclesiastes 9:4, “for a living dog is better than a dead Lion.” It is a scandalous reflection therefore upon the worth of Jesus Christ, and a reproach to that worthy Name, to affirm that the many thousands of Israel are nourished out of the Dead Lion of the Tribe of Judah.

His 19th and last disparagement of Christ, appertaining to this class, is this, “beyond Christ’s possession there is nothing but Terra Incognita, an Unknown Land.” {Page 88} This is a disparagement of Christ’s Possessions in the bringing in of a nothing beyond them with his exceptive, “but Terra Incognita, an Unknown Land.” Terra Incognita is acknowledged by geographers to be land, though unknown to them, and therefore they don’t describe it in our maps and charts. But beyond Christ’s Possessions there is no land, as well as no land known to us. For though we don’t know all Christ’s Possessions, yet we do know that there is no land beyond them. Mr. Hunt owns it too in the form to be land, only unknown land. However witty he might think this expression to be in his geographical talent; yet it is very unworthy in point of Application to Christ. For if it be land, though unknown land, as Terra Incognita on this globe is owned to be such, about the South Pole, and Northern Parts of America, then the land he speaks of was created by Christ, for God made all things by him, as his Son, Jn.1:3; and if so, then it is no unknown land, but Christ possesses it, as he is God, and fills it, as known; for “known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” Acts 15:18. The truth of the matter to wipe off the reproach is this, that beyond Christ’s Possession there is nothing made, but all things which are made are put into his hands by the Father, as Christ is Mediator. This is safest.

I have now finished my answers to his 19 Disparagements of the Lord Christ.