Chapter 20

Of Mr. John Hunt’s Seven Reflections on the Sufferings, Righteousness and Redeeming Efficacy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

His Eleventh Reflection upon Christ on the matter of his Surety-Sufferings, even whilst he is admiring them, and seeming to raise his value of them. “And as if {says he} to suffer so much from men, and to die, had not been a Sufficient Demonstration of his Condescension and Love to us, he gets yet lower, and engages to be a Surety for us, and bears the Wrath of God due for the Sins of the Elect.” {Page 160}

Under what abstracted notions doth Mr. Hunt propose the Sufferings and Death of Christ? Abstracted I say? For if you abstract his Suretyship for us, and his bearing the wrath of God due for the sins of the elect, what could the Death of Christ be supposed by him to come in upon? If you abstract his Suretyship from his Sufferings and Dying, you must abstract too his Sufferings and Death as the Price of God’s Covenant about it; and what then remains of the true Sacrifice for Sins? Heb.10:26. What an open gap then is here made towards an Invasion of the Truth, for the entrance of that horrid, Socinian cavil, against the Doctrine of the Propitiation, that Christ’s Death, as an example, was a Sufficient Demonstration of his Condescension and Love unto us! Now, as the Death of Christ {wherein all his Sufferings were completed} could come into being nowhere else, but according to the Pre-Determinate Counsels of God in that death, in purposes of Grace of ways and means to effect God’s Absolute end, {according to those Counsels, I say, about it, which were before the Creation opened,} so if his Sufferings and Death had come in this Pre-Determinate way, and not come too in the way of Suretyship, they could have been no sufficient Demonstration of Christ’s Condescension and Love to us in God’s Covenant; because they had wanted Efficacy to pay our debt, according to the Surety-Stipulations of the same Covenant. That could never have made up a sufficient demonstration of the matter which had fallen short of the original stipulation, and Surety-Engagement of Christ to God for us. Nothing but the means of Effectual Grace had been a full Display, or a sufficient Demonstration of Christ’s Condescending Love, according to God’s Counsel and God’s Covenant. The whole matter must be carried according to God’s own will and Christ’s Suretyship Engagement on the behalf of his elect; so that he who supposes Non-Suretyship, at the same time supposes an Exclusion of God’s will, and the introduction of Ineffectual Grace. Christ’s non-Suretyship for all which is necessary to bring the fallen elect to Glory {and yet without this Mr. Hunt proposes the sufficient demonstration of Christ’s love} had been Ineffectual Grace, just such as this rash and ungrounded brother, so often, Socinian-like, makes it, and then tops the creature and creature-acts in the room of Christ’s Surety-Sufficiency; as if his Suretyship was not the Essence of his Mediatorial Constitution, but the mere adjunct.

What a scandal is this brought upon Christ in his Surety-Covenant! As if he engaged in a posthumous bond to be our Surety, after all other consideration of his dying. This separation of the Sufferings and Death of Christ in our thoughts from his Suretyship is quite beside the scope of the Holy Writings; destroys the consideration of God’s Covenant in its proper place; evacuates Christ’s Propitiatory Death; annuls the Glory of his Priestly Office, by destroying the very Foundation of his Advocacy in Heaven in the true and orderly matters of his Blood; and all by this wild relaxation or loosening the Substitutive Portion of Christ’s Bond, which directly and formally lay in the Laws of a Surety-Covenant, Heb.7:22, not shortening Christ’s obligation, in the Everlasting Covenant, from the Payment of our Debt, but to come down from Heaven in his Love-Bonds, as our True and Appointed Substitute, and so both do and die in the room and place of all the elect of God. This is as opposite to the treachery of this Article in the cause of Christ’s blood, as it stands against all the Socinian-tenants, their fraternity have advanced to overthrow the same article. How could that of Christ’s undertaking to suffer and die for the elect of God be a sufficient demonstration of his condescending love, which had been short of Substitution? How could that which was not in the room of the elect of God be Sufficient for them? Or, how could that be Sufficient which was utterly Insufficient to answer the end thereof without it? The All-Sufficiency lay in the Responsibleness of the Person, conjunctively with the Covenant-Obligations of Suretyship in that one Responsible Person’s Undertaking. The thing which this writer makes to be last, even Christ’s Suretyship {after the proposals of his Sufferings and Death for otherwise he knows not what,} he goes, says Mr. Hunt, “yet lower, and engages to be a Surety for us, and bears the wrath of God due for the sins of the elect, was first in the Father’s Commandment, and in Christ’s Covenant.” Jn.10:18, Psal.40:8. And albeit, he does not {in this} with the Socinians deny the Satisfaction of Christ, yet he weakens his own grant of it, by deferring all Considerations of it to the last, and permitting that which gives the Socinians occasion to insist so much upon the subordinate design of Christ’s death as an example, against all due regards to the supreme end thereof in Atonement and Expiation. What can we suppose Christ should have died for at all, had it not been to take away Sin by the Sacrifice of himself? Heb.9:26. And how that could have been thought on without God’s Designing Christ, and Christ’s own Voluntary Agreement to the Covenant of Suretyship, to be and die in the Room and Place of the elect, as well as in the Nature of the seed of Abraham. Let Mr. Hunt be more cautious in determining, than he has been wary in stating it.

God’s Word gives us a better thought thereof, “even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Matt.20:28. “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. And was this a thing now of a latter consideration, when the nature of his Death is set forth in God’s Word, neither as a Martyrdom, nor an Example, but a Sacrifice and a Ransom? This abominable gloss of his upon Christ’s Death, putting the consideration of Christ’s Suretyship after the proposal of a sufficient Demonstration of the Condescension and Love of Christ in the Death of Christ without it, tends to weaken all those texts of Scripture which say it was for our sins, as the Impulsive Cause of Christ’s death. “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” Rom.4:25. “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” Gal.1:4. “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.” I Cor.15:3. Now, was it sufficient to demonstrate his Condescension to die for us, and not to die for our sins, according to the will of God, and our Father? And how could he die for our sins, Gal.1:4, and not die in the Room, Place and Stead of us sinners? 2. His wild supposition enervates all those texts of Scripture which insist upon his Substitution, or the appointing Christ to die in our room, by saying it was for us. “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. In the room and place of us all. “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep,” Jn.10:11, for the sheep, in their room and stead; so verse 15, “I lay down my life for the sheep.” Not only, as the Socinians will admit, for the benefit of the sheep, but in the very Place and Stead of those sheep. Again, I Peter 3:18, “for Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.” “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Rom.5:6. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom.5:8. For the ungodly, and for us is in the Room and Place of the ungodly, and in the Room and Place of us. ‘Tis the same in Titus 2:14, “who gave himself for us,” with I Pet.2:21, “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps;” where the Suretyship of Christ is first, and the Example of Christ last. To propose therefore, a sufficient demonstration of the Condescending love of Christ, before he comes to the engaging as a Surety for us, according to God’s will and Covenant, wherein the main sufficiency of the Engagements, next to the Responsibleness of the Surety-Person, lay, is an astonishing piece of this authors Orthodoxy and anti-Socinianism.

His Twelfth Reflection is an enhancing and raising the price of our own righteousness, above the price of Christ’s Fulness to enable the soul to receive him in the Day of Grace. His words are these, “so now Christ is preached to you, as one in whom all fulness dwells, as one that is able to supply all your wants; but if you refuse him, this day will soon be over, and then no buying, no, not with Money or Price.” {Page 23}

‘Tis dismal blindness to run on and reflect, after this inconsistent manner, upon the fulness of him that filleth all in all, Eph.1:23, I mean the Mystical fulness of Christ. That fulness is the Mystical Church, or the elect of God, the Body of Christ. Dare any man that believes Gospel-Election fright the elect with their refusal, and think to bring them into God and Christ by a lie, Job 13:7, told them of the Day of Grace soon over? As if Christ would as soon part with the members of his Body, mystically planted in him by Settlement-Grace before the world was, as these idle words of unstudied preachers, or words they utter without labor in thinking, {as the original of Matthew 12:36 imports, “but I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment,”} tend to make them believe? No, no, God in Christ and the Holy Spirit have far other means to bring home the elect than poor Mr. Hunt has taken up in this scarecrow. When did Christ or his Apostles ever preach Eternal Salvation to the elect by any argument of this import? Therefore this argument {and all others of this nature} sets forth the temporal benefits under the Gospel, which the non-elect sin away. God hath fore-appointed the very shortening of their lives, and the abridging of many temporal mercies, as a Vindictive Acquittal of their Persecutions, and other Open Sins against the Gospel, a part from their not receiving the Gospel into their hearts. ‘Tis sad, when men incogitantly utter a matter of the Sanctuary, before they have weighed it at the Sanctuary on the Fundamental Balance. As if Jerusalem’s temporal calamity foretold by Christ, Lk.13:34-35, to come upon the non-elect citizens and countrymen of our Lord, ought to be leveled at the Everlasting Destruction of the elect for mis-improving and neglecting the Day of Grace! Foolish builder to daub thus with untempered mortar! If he had but read the Arminian Controversies, he would have seen all the woof of his argument, akin to this single thread, and as fairly unraveled by the whole set of the Anti-Arminian writers.

‘Tis a more dismal blindness to run on and reflect at this rate upon the personal fulness of Jesus Christ. That fulness which is in Christ by treasure of the Father’s Grace, is enough for all the elect to be brought in and receive Christ, before their Day of Grace can possibly pass away. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but Christ’s words shall not pass away, Mt.24:35, who has said, “all that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” Jn.6:37. So when he speaks so inconsistently regarding Election, and shows no regard to the Influences of Jesus Christ’s Righteousness in the hand of the Spirit, he comes on at last to a downright reflection upon the Value of the Righteousness of Christ, by enhancing the price of our own, beyond all due bounds, upon the Supposition of refusing him, and the “Day of Grace soon over,” in these words, “and then no buying, no, not with money or price.”

This naturally tends to beget some thoughts of transcending worth in our own doings, above the Righteousness of Christ. The saucy language too plainly speaks this, no buying, no not with my own righteousness. For ‘tis my own righteousness, excellencies and moral qualifications which are the money and price, in opposition to which Christ is bestowed freely upon the poor creature, who is made to see by the Holy Ghost that he hath none of these. “No buying, no, not with money or price?” Who sees not, but my righteousness, by this, must be supposed to have a purchasing virtue; only in this case it happens, I have slipped my time, and the commodity is not to be had? It must certainly be so, for if he will suppose Christ by his Righteousness and Blood hath not absolutely bought Eternal Life for me, on the account of my temporal alienation by nature through Sin’s Entrance, Eph.2:1; I say, if he will not suppose it, then there should have been the full stop; for it is vanity to tell me that “now it is too late,” if before it was not my Special Season. And in these cases wherever there is a Special Season, Effectual Grace steps in and prevents the refusal, and the too late, and the Day of Grace to a chosen vessel, Acts 9:15, over, and yet that vessel not brought in. I say this is infallibly prevented, let my spiritual liars tell me what their spiritual delusion dictates. Isa.66:4. If the Lord had not intended me for Christ’s fulness, Mr. Hunt should have put the full stop at Christ’s fulness, and not have flattered me with a comma, and the danger of a refusal, as if the Staff of Authority was in my hands, and the Key of David, Rev.3:7, at my creature-disposal! Oh! Worm Pride! Humble Wickedness! Proud Humility! Puritanical Uncleanness! No, rather than put the stop at Christ’s fulness according to God’s will, and let me know it was not to be had beyond the bounds of God’s will; he’ll rather set up a New Market with my own righteousness in not refusing, and by mine own diligence not slipping the Day of Grace, and tempt me by a mere creature trick to look to it in time, without any regard to the Spirit’s Obligation to God and Christ, and sink to prevail and bring me in by a headstrong argument that has neither the reason of Law nor Gospel in it; that if it be not secured now, it will not be done afterwards with money nor price. {“What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded; according as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear; unto this day.” Rom.11:7-8. “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” Rom.9:16.} Oh! How this tends to draw out the mind of man to hanker after that in obtaining Christ, as having a natural efficacy of our own in it, to work wonders towards it which the Scriptures take no notice of! These say without money and without price. It is not said in God’s Word, “with,” nor “for” money. It is never brought in thus! But he says, no, not with money. Whereby he evidently enhances the money still, only acknowledges the commodity is not to be had. As if I should say, such a thing {whatever it be} is a rare thing, and if it be not bought such a Day, it will never be had, no not for Gold. Let any one now tell me, whether I undervalue gold when I say thus, or, rather, whether I do not in such a speech put the higher value upon gold, and speak more of it than I do of all other coin? Just thus hath Mr. Hunt exalted our own righteousness above the Righteousness of Christ in this last scandalous reflection!

His Thirteenth Reflection falls next upon the Redeeming Efficacy of Jesus Christ, together with a poor blind Popish notion of desires after Heaven without any love to Christ. His words follow, “therefore {says he} if thou hast no love to him, yet if thou hast any desire after Heaven and Happiness, give up thyself speedily to him, since it is impossible, without doing the one, that thou shouldest partake of the other. {Page 197}

What a Mad Exhortation is here! What infatuated Counsel is this to one alienated by nature, and under the present power of that alienation, to “give up thyself speedily to Him that thou hast no love to;” when yet the very Foundation and Influences of that surrender are nothing else but love! The Exhortation is a piece of the foolish builder without a Foundation; for it is not built upon Christ to change the sinner’s act, but is built upon the sinner’s act, as if it was within his power to change Christ, and cause him forthwith to surrender up Heaven and Happiness upon this mad article of giving up one’s self to Christ without any love to him, but only love to an imaginary Heaven and Happiness separated from Christ himself! Alas! The enmity in the heart and nature must be slain, before any can give up themselves to Christ. Aye, that piece of enmity, the true spirit of old Adam, before any poor creature can give up himself to Christ must die. Old Adam, corrupt nature, has no kindness for Jesus Christ; and therefore Christ’s blood must slay it, and work love in the room of it, or else, he who thinks to give up himself to Jesus Christ will always find that he cannot, so long as corrupt nature hangs in the way. Is this setting out Christ as the Most Excellent? Is this representing him amiably as the desire of the new born, to represent him only as a Person that old Adam’s image has no love to? What thrusting of Christ is here into a corner of Heaven by himself! Abominable doings! What an empty bringing forth is there in this passage of Heaven and Happiness, as in a vain show to the eye of the soul, apart from Christ! Oh! The scandal of putting up this stuff in the Saint’s Treasury, as he calls his book at large! What stuff? Why, this saucy Reflection upon Christ, “if thou hast no love to him, yet if thou hast any desire after Heaven and Happiness, give up thyself speedily to him?”

Now I come to the other branch of the reflection, and that is upon the Righteousness of Christ. Here he works foully, and lays the Partaking of Heaven and Happiness upon Faith, or giving up one’s self speedily to Christ. He exalts Faith where he should exalt Christ. He puts Faith where he should put Christ. Here he makes more of Faith than he makes of Christ. He will give Faith a notable encomium, but now his pen is silent in the praises of Christ. And how does he set up Faith? “It is impossible, says he, without doing the one, that is, without giving up thyself speedily to Christ, that thou shouldest partake of the other, that is, partake of Heaven and Happiness.” Here he sets Faith up as a Creature-Righteousness to obtain Heaven and Happiness. The reason is, he shuts out the whole of Christ’s Righteousness, and hath here nothing to say upon that Article. He wholly excludes Christ’s Righteousness in all the Merit, Influence, and Cause of that Participation of Heaven and Happiness. And so here is more of the true genius of the Conditional Doctrine, which in essence is, if I do my part, God will do his! Such “great swelling words of vanity,” II Pet.2:18; which instead of bringing the Glory unto God due unto his Name, hardens such poor wretches as take up the hopes of Heaven upon their prayers and their endeavors; for ‘tis all of one and the same piece of old Adam. The tendency of Mr. Hunt’s motive to this exhortation {for if ye analyze his expression it must fall into these two parts} encourages any one that believes this sorry Doctrine to take in Christ into Salvation only as a Partner with the Creature. It cannot be denied of this Error of his I am exposing, as to its Offense against Christ’s Righteousness, that the author of it doth therein lay more stress upon the Creature-Act {of giving up one’s self speedily to Christ} towards partaking of Heaven and Happiness, than he doth upon the Virtue of the Blood of Christ for that act, or for Heaven either. Christ’s Righteousness is again laid aside by him as a dead thing; and indeed, when our Experiences in Grace can no more tell than they do, how the Righteousness of Christ hath brought about our actions, it is no wonder, that we turn it over thus to be exposed and reasoned down by the world, as a thing merely useless; though still men dare not but retain the sound, notwithstanding it is an open proof how far they are Degenerated from the Faith of their Ancestors and Predecessors; for, I can never believe, if preceding ages had the same Principles with the Arminians, Neonomians, &c., of this Age, that they would ever have chosen so inconsistently to express the same Faith in a language and form of expression that overthrows it. And therefore if men will not believe themselves are degenerated, they do therewith prove their Ancestors were a company of Fools, and knew not how to express their own thoughts {Orthodox, or not Orthodox in this is not the point, but} significantly; but Articles of Faith, Janus-like, {two-faced} must look upon King James the First’s Declaration against Arminians, and the Remonstrants of the Synod at Dort, with two faces. I mention this, as Mr. Hunt hath given occasion to the men of the world from his own Anti-Gospel to reason down our Faith; though at the same time when they are reasoning it down, I interpose the preceding consideration to embarrass the Disputer of the World. I Cor.1:20.

The very point I am examining in Mr. Hunt at his 197th & 198th pages, he hath condemned, as usually, in himself, at page 204. The first place he hath is this, “when God, says he, saves any soul, he will do it in such a way as shall most magnify the Riches of his Free Grace; and therefore does it not upon the account of anything done by us, or any worthiness in us, for so to do would eclipse the Glory of his Grace; but he doth it purely and alone upon the Account of the Worthiness of Christ.” Page 204.

Mind, “when God saves any soul, he will do it in such a way, as shall most magnify the Riches of his Free Grace.” But now, suppose God saved a soul that “had no Love to Christ, in the giving up himself unto him,” when as his own Love and Free Grace is able to work this Love to Christ, in order to the soul’s giving up himself to Christ; {but, I say, suppose God did not save him this way,} would this way of saving a soul, without the Power of God’s love, be thought such a way as did most Magnify the Riches of his Free Grace? Yet this very way Mr. Hunt hath proposed it yonder, against the present state of the matter here. Again, now he tells us that “God does it not upon the account of any thing done by us, or any worthiness in us, for so to do would eclipse the Glory of his Grace;” yet there he bids the soul, “if thou hast no love to Christ, if thou hast any desire after Heaven and Happiness, give up thyself speedily to him, since it is impossible without doing the one, that thou shouldest partake of the other.” Doth not he eclipse the Glory of God’s Grace and Christ’s Righteousness now, or the Worthiness of Christ, who proposes to the soul the giving up of himself speedily to Christ, upon bare desires after Heaven and Happiness, with no love to Christ?

Once more, saith Mr. Hunt in another place, “there is such a virtue in Christ, this sweet Rose of Sharon, that never any missed of cure to whom it was applied.” {Page 69} Now what a Contradiction is it to this Proposition of the Gospel, to propose a soul’s giving up himself to Christ without love to him! Doth the Rose of Sharon heal and cure the nature of the soul where it is applied? What room then can there be to suppose the giving up one’s self to Christ without love to him? What inconsistency is this! Again, is there such a virtue in Christ to heal all whom his Righteousness or Worthiness is applied to? Why then, doth it not cure the soul of that abominable pride in the reflection cast upon the Righteousness of Christ, of depending upon the Partaking of Heaven and Happiness from an act of giving up itself speedily to Christ, and at the same time not mentioning one word of Christ’s Righteousness or Worthiness, towards Efficacy, either in his Person or Obedience, for such a gracious act of surrender? Oh! What experience or views can such poor dead ministers declare for themselves, or show to any poor souls, laying open, how they did ever give up themselves to Jesus Christ, and after what manner they have desired Heaven and Happiness? Oh! Why are they not faithful and honest, to show us their own soul-plunges? And when, how, and where Free Grace hath brought them off? And woe is unto them, if it hath been done in the flattering hypocrisy of their own hearts, and not in true love to Christ from the virtue of his own Righteousness applied. For if any man give up himself to Christ in the way Mr. Hunt hath proposed it, with desires after Heaven and Happiness, and no love to Christ, his surrender is wickedness; and “if any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.” I Cor.16:22.

His Fourteenth Reflection is cast likewise upon the Efficacy of Redeeming Grace, in these words, “the way {says he} to have God remove any cross from us is to be patient under it.” {Page 119} How this reflects upon the Grace of God in the Virtue of the Righteousness of Christ! Sure he had forgotten all the Excelling Virtue of the Rose of Sharon, he had been professing to advance in an earlier section. There he lay all upon the virtue of Christ, here he lays all upon the virtue of Patience. Strange contradiction! Besides, what will he call patience? He says that “Job was not free from impatience entirely.” Was the cross ever removed from any? Were they as patient as Job when it was done? Were they more patient? For Job was not free from impatience entirely. Was the cross ever removed from them by the way of their patience? Mr. Hunt had done it consistently here, if he had given us an account, as to how the cross has been removed in any one instance from himself by the way of his patience. For my own part, I have never had any cross removed from me but by the way of the Lord’s Mercy, Goodness and Free Grace against all my own Impatience. The way to have God remove any cross from us is to be patient under it? How? ‘Tis a duty indeed, and a good rule in the way, but ‘tis not the way. Christ is the way of all spiritual good things. How can Christ be the most Excellent, and yet another way more excellent than he? How is the Glory of Christ unveiled, when Christ is not so much as named in it, but is pleased to stand by, and see the Glory of patience unveiled? For that patience which is supposed the way for God to remove any cross from us, is a thing which, if you can find any such thing with God, as God looks on to be the way, and not Christ alone God’s way in doing it, is a thing supposed therewith to be a way above Christ. Thus, he glorifies Christ in the trimming of his Title, and disgraces him in the body of this stuff. He advances him in the brim of the paper, but forgets to lay him in the bottom of the argument.

His Fifteenth Reflection is a further disgrace upon the Redeeming Efficacy of Christ. He hath interwoven it thus, “to what hath been spoken, let me add, is our distemper spiritual giddiness? He can cure that by that virtue that is in him. Alas, till we are in Christ we all reel to and fro like a drunken man, &c., how many may we see in this giddy age running from one party to another, from one opinion to another, &c., ‘tis for want of being established in Christ; ‘tis a sad sign of a Christ-less soul, &c., the believing soul finds an establishing virtue in Christ, &c., or is our distemper hardness of heart? There is virtue in Christ to mollify that.” {Page 68}

Thus, he shuts it up without Remedy to any but the believing soul. He can cure the one, says he, but it should seem by Mr. Hunt, that he does not cure the other. Christ’s curing Power here is made to be upon the finding of Faith; “it is the believing soul, says he, finds an establishing virtue in Christ;” he does not lay it upon the Spirit’s working of Faith; whereas, the Lord Christ really gives the Faith of the patient as the main part of the cure by the Physician. Who could believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, except with that Faith which will rise up in judgment against them for all their other matters, if it was not given them to believe, Phil.1:29, on his Name? It is to our hardness likewise, who are believers, he attributes the mollifying Virtue in Christ; as if their hardness, even of the Election of Grace, who yet have not received Faith, were unavoidably left incurable, and no means of Grace appointed out to soften them. It is the Redeeming Efficacy of Christ as a Covenant-Ransom for the elect that takes away the spiritual giddiness of all whom the Father hath given to his Son, and which removes the hardness of heart from such, and none but such as are chosen; on which previous Grace their very believing depends absolutely. Moreover, the healing Virtue that is in Jesus Christ, is not only a Power that can cure, but is a Power that does so, and cures the soul into the very making of him a believer, ensuing the very Faith whereby he sees the Son and believes on him. “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” Jn.6:40.

His Sixteenth Reflection disparages the Righteousness of Christ, and casts the slur upon the Efficacious cry of the blood of sprinkling, in these seven words, “Christ’s blood cries as loud as Abel’s.” {Page 67}

As loud? Oh! Undervaluing of the loudest Cry of Blood that was ever uttered! What an advancing of creatures doth Mr. Hunt almost continually make and join with Christ? Here is Abel brought in as Christ, and Christ brought in but as Abel. What reason or foundation had he in the text, Hebrews 12:24, to make such a deliberate understatement of it? To depart from the voice and cry of the text, and make less of it than the Holy Ghost had made to his hands? The Scripture speaks of the Blood of Christ in the comparative degree transcendently, “better things than the blood of Abel;” so how dare then any man diminish the Testimony of God, and bring it down to the positive degree, and ascribe but as good things as the blood of Abel? {Whether by the blood of Abel, he meant his sacrifices of blood he offered up to God, Gen.4:4, that typified and shadowed but the blood of Christ to come? Or his own human blood which Cain spilt in murder, and speaketh to good things as Justice, &c., on the Murderer?} How dare any strike off the transcendency; and substitute or put, in the room thereof, an equality. To say of Christ, that his blood cries as loud as Abel’s, is as if the Scripture had said of the blood of Christ, as good as Abel’s {in the positive, and have struck off the transcendency.} Now whereas the Spirit of God has said of the blood of Christ, which speaketh better things than the blood of Abel, he ought to have kept close to the rule of compassion, and rather have said, which crieth louder than the blood of Abel; though indeed ‘tis speaketh.

Nevertheless, see his own inconsistency in the comparison of another place of his book. ‘Tis when he speaks of the Wisdom of Christ, and the wisdom of man; mind how he there overthrows his speech of the blood of Abel and the blood of Christ. “The difference between the former {says he} being but between finite and finite, but the difference between the latter is between infinite and finite, between which there is no comparison to be made.” {Page 108} Now ‘tis the very same in the blood of Abel and the Blood of Christ, as between finite and Infinite; and yet he hath carried the matter as between finite and finite. And upon the balance of an equality, without any regard to the transcendent voice or cry in the blood of Christ, above that other voice or cry in the blood of Abel. It is a Popish error to join blood and martyrdom with the cross of Jesus. Mr. Hunt sets up creature-sufferings, as well as creature-doings too near the place of Christ; and loves dearly to be inconsistent upon the matter too in creating and degrading the same thing.

His Seventeenth Reflection upon Christ carries it off from the Efficacy of Christ’s Righteousness and Blood to Faith. Seventh motive “to believe in Christ, {says he,} is this, he is not only able, but willing, to save such as come to him.” {Page 201}

First: To divide Christ’s being able from Christ’s being willing to save, when his ability includes his willingness towards all the elect, is so wide from the Scripture-Account of Christ’s Mediatory Office, as it tends to make souls believe that he is able when he is not willing; and so vainly rely upon his abilities, whilst they dare not trust his willingness, for lack of qualifications. Secondly: His ability to save does not consist absolutely in his being God, but Mediator. His ability lies where he hath received a Commission to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him, Heb.7:25, in Obedience to his Father, which the Scriptures do first bring us up to in the Mediator. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” Jn.6:37-40. Christ’s will to save lies under the Father’s Gift, Jn.6:37, “all that the Father giveth {giveth influentially in the very act to enable them; giveth} me shall come unto me.” So that Christ’s ability and willingness in the matter must always be taken up by us in our thoughts together; because Christ saves in his Mediatory Office from and under the Father; so then where Christ is able Mediatorially, that ability is partly his very willingness to save. Thirdly: In the Scriptures, Christ’s ability to save is orderly expressed, not confusedly, as Mr. Hunt hath done, till he hath run it into scandal, as I may show by and by. The order of the Scripture’s expressing things is thus: A coming to Christ in the Father’s giving to Christ, and again a coming to God by Christ; which two are very distinct things. Now, Christ’s ability to save them that come is not put with coming to Christ, but put with coming to God by Christ. The reason is obvious and manifest, for Christ’s Power to save lies not abstractly in his being God, but in his Mediatorial Representation, and so, in the Commandment to save, Psal.71:3, which he hath received of the Father; and therefore mind this distinction, that the Scripture in John 6:37, does not say that he is able to save them that come to him; for if Faith stopped at Christ, and did not go beyond him to God, he would not be able {should not his Righteousness carry them beyond himself, ultimately to God, I say} to save them. But the Scripture in Hebrews 7:25, saith upon the Efficacy of his Righteousness, Blood and Priesthood towards God, as well as the Efficacy of them towards Faith, he is able to save them that come unto God by him. The reason is as afore, he hath a Commandment to save all that come to God by him, under the Authority of his Father. “All things are delivered unto me of my Father; and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” Matt.11:27. Thus we see plainly that coming to Christ, and coming to God by Christ are two things in Scripture. Fourthly: As coming to Christ is the motion-part of Gospel-Faith, so coming to God by Christ is to be understood, as Motion-Faith is especially used in the Worship of the Gospel; and that under the Virtue of the sprinkling, Heb.10:22, of the blood of Christ eyed in all those choice acts by the Gospel-Worshiper. Coming to Christ is venturing one’s self and eternal state in Christ’s hands, and coming to God by him is the fruit of that venture; that though God is the Great and Holy God, a Just God and a Terrible, Deut.10:17; yet I may have Communion with him in and by Christ, and this, by the Spirit, is a seal and proof that he is able to save them that come unto God by him. For, suppose that I am brought under very Awakening Thoughts of God’s Majesty, Holiness and Justice, even so as to tremble at Worship and Ordinances; for so I shall, if I lay aside Christ; and shall not dare to venture so far as God, only find freedom to leave my soul in Christ’s hands, and there rest without going farther. Why now this of Christ in his Mediatorial Office, who is able to save all that come unto God by him, takes off the doubt and painful dread, directing my safe practice farther in coming than to Christ, even encouraging, strengthening and drawing on my coming to God by him. So that under the virtue of Christ’s Priestly Office we come to God himself ultimately by Christ in all Worship, through a sight of Christ’s Presence with God for us, and a taste of this fulness to introduce us, and so maintain still for us and upon us all that is in Salvation to the utmost. “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” Eph.2:18. Fifthly: These things neglected, Mr. Hunt, Arminian-like, hath jumped immediately upon Christ’s Power of Saving, as if that Power might be thought to tarry for and depend upon our coming to him. Whereas, his ability to save the elect is both antecedent to, and influential upon the elect’s coming. ‘Tis a Power to make them come, to make them willing to come, and not a Power deferred till they come, or unconcerned at the secret, all-sufficient ability to come. Christ’s Power in reference to Believing is a Power for coming, a Power in coming, and a Power after coming. Therefore let me oppositely to his Arminian Doctrine put in this piece of accounted Antinomianism, which is that, Christ is able and therein willing to save such of the elect as do not yet come unto him; and that Ability and Willingness of saving them is equally therewithal an Ability to secure their coming to Christ, in God’s time, which it may be shall not be effective till many years hence. So that here is the Reflection upon the Influential Virtue of Christ omitted towards a willingness upon the act of coming, and running it over immediately to the Saving, whilst it leaves the soul utterly un-provided, and in the dark; turning it off without the blood of Christ or the Spirit of our God, to look out and shift for its self in the point of Believing, and provide for its own coming to Christ by Faith.

Yet, see again how he contradicts himself elsewhere, “one great end of the saints calling is, that they should show forth the virtues of Christ.” Again, “I dare boldly affirm, there’s the same virtue in his blood now, that there was when it ran fresh out of his bleeding sides on the cross.” {Page 67} Well then, what, is there such virtue when I have believed, and no such virtue to bring me to believe on Christ? A virtue to save me when I venture, and no virtue to incline and put me on a venturing act? What an inconsistency is it! Pray, how do the saints answer one great end of their calling, if they do not show forth the virtue of Christ to bring them to believe on his Name? What an inconsistent character of the virtue of Christ is it, that Mr. Hunt owns Christ’s virtue to give down himself, and yet by and by carries it, in the matter of Believing, Coming and Venturing, as if all the virtue lay inherently in Faith to give up yourself? In one, he gives it to Christ for Faith, or to Christ to help me to Christ by Faith, {which is Orthodox,} in the other, he gives it to Faith, as if it was to help Christ to save me, and that Christ did not himself by his Blood, Righteousness and Spirit overrule that Faith, and Secure it.