Chapter 31

Of Mr. John Hunt’s four last errors against the article of Election.

His Eleventh Error against Election runs on thus. “One will not leave his drunkenness; another will not leave his swearing, and uncleanness, though they are separated for those things from Christ forever. See that you honor him more for the time to come, lest everlasting shame and confusion do at last cover thee.” {Page 150, 151}

Cannot a man preach against drunkenness, swearing and uncleanness upon the One Foundation of the building, I Cor.3:11, but he must preach against it beside the Foundation? As if every man for his negative holiness, {his abstinence from drunkenness, swearing and uncleanness, &c.,} should on that account dwell with Christ forever. {“For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Mt.5:20.} Alas! Alas! A man may leave all these things and be a heathen or a hypocrite, having no portion, Matt.19:20, in God or Christ forever. An interest in Christ does not come by leaving off sin, but by God’s giving us to Christ before the world began, and his giving Christ to us in time. {“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” I Cor.1:30.} If men in Election-Union had been first united, Christ and the Comforter had stood for them that they should never have been separated for these things, but because of these things should have been sanctified from them. {“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.} A child that paddles delightfully in the dirt is not disinherited for it, but therefore whipped and made clean. Election-Union secures influential union as the fruit thereof. {“Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Rom.8:30.} For God the Spirit doth as certainly sanctify a child of God, as he creates him in his mother’s womb. The Spirit of God by this child of God, and his not leaving off certain sins, is no more prevented from sanctifying and seperating him from these sins, than God the Father, or God the Son, upon the foresight of what this child should be, or do, were prevented from choosing or redeeming him; and secretly adopting him into Divine Favor. {“Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand; I will work, and who shall let it?” Isa.43:13.}

‘Tis pitiful ink therefore which he hath stained his next paper with. “If Christ will save them in their sins he may, but if they cannot have Christ but they must part with their sins for him, then farewell Christ.” {Page 150} What could any Arminian upon the point have said more? Whereas the elect of God are not to be left and given up thus, as he puts it, to themselves; that it must come to a parting, a separation between Christ and them. Rom.8:35. There’s a Secret Union upon Antecedent Grace, which this poor man is a stranger, if not an enemy, to the Doctrine of. Nevertheless Christ hath hold of the elect, and will not part with one of them so, even whilst they have no hold of Christ. Here we come again to Union before Faith, which makes such a separation of the elect from Christ in it impossible. Union is the fruit and result of Election-Acts, therefore I call it Election-Union. He who passeth immediately from Election into Faith, without any notice of intermediate union in Christ between these two, quite slips the joint. The blessings of the Gospel lay hold of a person in this Union, before the person can lay hold of the blessings. {As a man is a Goat before he rejects Christ, so a man is a Sheep before he receives Christ.} For I would query of our brethren who deny any sort of Justification before Faith, whether they think a sinner doth believe, in order to his Justification, as he is in Christ, or as he is out of Christ, for the union lies plainly in the being in him, as the branch is in the stock? If they will have it, that the sinner out of Christ, in order to his union into Christ, and Justification by him, believes; then the tree brings forth good fruit, {“for a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit,” Lk.6:43,} the good fruit, Faith, before it is a good tree grafted into Christ, contrary to Matthew 7:17-18 and Ephesians 2:5, in his Quickening with Christ, or Quickening in the same Head mystically, and then influentially, wherein he was chosen. On the other hand, if our brethren grant, that a sinner believes not, Jn.10:26, till he be apprehended of and in Christ Jesus, {as surely he does not,} then the case must stand thus in the influential union, as we Antinomians, for in this Mystery the Law hath nothing to do, hold it. Christ in apprehending us doth first by Himself unite the person secretly to Himself, and in that act he gives the Spirit, in that same instant the Spirit works life, and in due time that life issues forth in Faith, and joins the will to Christ, from a Power of believing to lay hold on the Person and Righteousness of the Son of God. Now by virtue of Christ’s act passing upon me, the Spirit works under that act, apprehends and renews my will to believe that the whole Righteousness of Christ is thereby, or in that act of Christ that has passed, cast upon my person, and that in this Righteousness alone now discerned, I am justified, and stand complete before God in Christ, whom I receive, though I have ever so much sin in and of my Adam-self. “Therefore being justified, by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Rom.5:1. Where the preposition manifests that Faith hath no proper antecedency to what is done in Christ, but is only a means of receiving from and through Christ by the Spirit, what God hath done of mere Grace for the poor sinner. “Tis upon this bottom, the interest God and Christ have in the elect, that the Conversion of the elect is secured, ‘tis not secured by freighting them, nor effected by telling them that without this or that they will be separated from Christ forever; “and see that you honor him more for the time to come, lest everlasting shame and confusion do at last cover you.” The Spirit of God, who is the Spirit of Truth, Jn.16:13, will never work by this way of a lie. How! Separated forever! And everlasting shame cover you! How do these things stand with a firm belief of Election of all those that are saved? Mr. Hunt will never be able to reconcile it. And did he think this fright, on the other hand, would convert any vessels that were chosen, when God has chosen Christ the way, Jn.14:6, which is quite another way, to convert them? For instead of pronouncing Damnation upon them whom the Lord knows to be the non-elect, even Damnation upon these for their sin, he chides the same persons, whilst he sees them under a prospect of being separated forever, to believe in Jesus Christ. If he had not this prospect, but a hope the fright might work upon them as elect, he hath taken the wrong course. For they who preach to fright nature, and not the Gospel to heal nature in the elect, are but bug-bears in Divinity, and instead of calling the children in, scare them out of doors. Mt.12:20. ‘Tis the nature of the Gospel, that it lets out a discovery of the Excellency of Christ to raise and work the heart into a persuasion of interest, where the discovery of the Excellency of Christ Jesus our Lord converts, knits, draws and brings the heart in to Christ sweetly and efficaciously. Acts 16:31 & 2:38-41. Indeed ‘tis a brave thing, a desirable experience, when this rich discovery weans it upon a sight, and makes the heart esteem Christ more than all the world besides. ‘Tis in the power of Christ I am persuaded, in the light of Christ I am ravished, with the cords of a Man I am drawn, with the arms of the Mighty God I am held; if I am tempted, yet through Christ Jesus I am succored more. It makes me feelingly to let all go indeed, when God will try me and fetch it all away. If I must part with my goods, yet let me never part with Thee, who art Gold tried, Rev.3:18, in the fire. Let me rather put off a whole globe at once, than put off Thee who art a greater portion than Heaven and Earth, Psal.73:25, and than millions of worlds to me! This indeed is honoring him. But if thou canst not honor him thus, yet elect soul and precious to Jesus still, I tell thee thou hast so strong security in this Rock whilst thou seest it not, believest it not, as never to be dashed against a stone before thee! Everlasting shame shall cover the non-elect. There’s not one of these will ever have their wills stand to put on Christ, Gal.3:27, but will love to go to a Heaven of their own, and in their own clothes; but the elect are hid in Christ, and ‘tis the daily work of the Gospel, that they may be found in Christ.

His Twelfth Error against Election is this. “Christ will surely vindicate his own people” {for I bring in the good to show how the bad is connected} “in the utter ruin and destruction of such as have been their persecutors, except they repent.” {Page 153} Persecutors that repent of their sin from an Exalted Jesus, Acts 5:31, and not from the works of the Law, are secretly such men as belong to God, and being Mystically Related in the Covenant of Grace, shall be brought to that Repentance. Persecutors ruined and destroyed except they repent? Sure if a man had believed Election, he would have used the Relation, “except they belong to God,” not the act, “except they repent.” He would not have laid it upon the Persecutor’s Act, but the Pardoner’s Grace, from whence the penitent’s act arises. Paul, when he speaks of himself as a persecutor, speaks first of his obtaining Mercy, and how the Grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, I Tim.1:13, and then speaks, in the time and place, of his own Acts, Faith and Love, springing out of that abundant Grace which is in Christ Jesus. And sure then, Paul would not mention his own act of repenting, instead of God’s Grace, verse 14, abounding. Again, when Christ speaks of the creature’s act, Luke 13:3, “I tell you, Nay; but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish,” twice insisting on it, verse 5, ‘tis in another case than Mr. Hunt hath used it. Mr. Hunt means persecutors will be damned except they repent, and if they repent they may be saved; thus he speaks of a Spiritual Act to go to Heaven after it; but none beside the elect repent thus and are saved, II Thes.2:13, where their Repentance and Salvation ought to have been laid passively upon Grace, and not actively expressed by the creature’s own performing. This is against a firm belief of Election, as the First Cause why a persecutor is not utterly ruined and destroyed, but repents. Whereas, Christ spake of a natural act in the place alleged, Lk.13:1-5, to prevent a temporal judgment, very consistent with a non-elect company, such as they were to whom Christ spake for ought appears to the contrary; and of whom elsewhere Christ seeing their hardness, and knowing their relation, positively adds, ye shall die in your sins, Jn.8:21; which came to pass after the manner of the death of those Galileans slain in the temple, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices, Lk.13:1, the body of the Jews being slain by the Romans on the very pavements of their Temple. In a word, if persecutors stand in God’s Counsel for Mercy, they shall stand in God’s paths with Repentance, but not else.

His Thirteenth Error against Election is this, “motive to believe in Christ is this, he is not only able, but willing, to save such as come to him.” {Page 201} But I will tell you an Antinomian Doctrine, and give it you for Truth, that Christ is both able and willing to save such of the elect as yet do not come unto him. If the elect do not come today, they shall be brought tomorrow, or hereafter; for they are already taken into hands that will look after them, use means upon them, and make the Word effectual unto them. {“I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not; I said, behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.” Isa.65:1.} And therefore they shall come “look unto the LORD;” and “wait for the God” of their Salvation, Mic.7:7, till God hath done his work spiritually. {“And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you; for the LORD is a God of judgment; blessed are all they that wait for him.” Isa.30:18. “The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.” Lam.3:25. “It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.” Lam.3:26.} Take it otherwise, and can any man tell me, what would have become of God’s Glory in the Salvation of the elect? The Glory of his Sovereignty who saith, “I will and ye shall?” The Glory of his Wisdom, Power and Faithfulness in the Mediatorial Covenant of Grace, if Christ is able {whereas God laid help upon One, Psal.89:19, that is mighty, Isa.63:1, to save} must have stopped till we were willing? What is the meaning of all the Father’s promises to him in that Covenant-Transaction, “I will give thee for a light to the Gentiles,” Isa.49:6, if that light must have been withheld from shining till the Gentiles are of themselves willing to receive it, and come to Christ by it? We see {I do at least by sad experience} the light without men scares people, scares many of your good men and your good preachers, and, for ought I see, Mr. Hunt amongst the number, if the light does nothing answerably within men. And this inward work of opening the eyes is only according to the good pleasure of God. Rom.9:16. {“For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake; because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people.” I Sam.12:22.} I speak matter of fact, and so far I speak within the bounds of Truth. They measure light by books, authors, commentators, old Puritan-sermons; and too many good men do make Westminster and the Savoy Confessions, the only and infallible Standards of the Sanctuary, rather than appeal entirely to God’s giving of Christ for a Light to the Gentiles; especially, when the light comes on nearer to a perfect day, Prov.4:18, and discovers abundance of errors among your good men that are gone to Heaven; for I take far more delight in them as they are in Heaven, and as I am come to the spirits of the just made perfect, Heb.12:23, than I take delight in their inconsistent and theological ramblings in books. God would take his own staves of beauty and bands, Zech.11:7, and break them when they stood in Christ’s way, verse 10 & 14; let men therefore take heed of glorying in men; but let “he that glorieth, glory in the Lord.” I Cor.1:31. I take up the light God hath given me, from this Light of the Gentiles, in the pure Word. So long as I went by an author, I was unwilling to take it up any other way, than by the author; if another man had said it, though never proved it from the Foundations of Truth in the Scriptures; if the book in my study contained it {which therefore hath been my end in many years of buying and reading of books to confute them from God’s own book} I was a great many years ago confident it was right. Why? The book said it; the Annotations went this way; the marginal notes vouched it to be a truth, or the contents of the chapter dictated from infallibility. In short, if mine author had it, presently I received it as an angel of God, or a Revelation from Heaven. Well, but now give me light with power of the Holy Ghost from the Word, Rom.15:13; for as the light broke in upon my soul, I was brought off from all the superstition of our blank traditions, I Pet.1:18, which we had received from our Fathers. And why did the light break in upon me? I was unwilling to receive it; unwilling of myself to choose any thing, which would deviate from my author; afraid to acknowledge it; and a thousand times more afraid to own and publish it. Oh! The reason of the light breaking in with a nevertheless, lay wrapped up in that word, God looking not at my willingness or unwillingness, but as his own willingness in the power of that Word to Christ, “I will give thee for a light to the Gentiles.” {“We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly. Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea. Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.” Psal.106:6-8.} Otherwise, if mine author had been spiritual, I could not have taken him in, and received the light from him spiritually with some of the same light upon my soul, with the light that had shined upon that instrument, but my soul had been left caviling, doubting and rejecting all. But that same willingness of God in Christ against my unwillingness, “I will give thee for a light to the Gentiles,” cured it all. To what purpose doth God call his servant, Jesus, his Salvation unto the ends of the earth, Isa.49:6, if the willingness of the end of the earth must be consulted, without effectual measures taken to cure it according to God’s Dominion to subdue all in Christ, and make his elect willing, Psal.110:3, in the Day of his power? For otherwise, he should be sure to meet with a parcel of blind, obstinate and gross idolaters, that desired no innovation, or alteration of the practices of their forefathers; and such were we in England at this end of the earth, Isa.48:20, when the Gospel first came among us.

And how many refined, blind and willful idolaters have we still, that idolize men and gifts of learning, books and authors, and depend more upon such men {in their breaking the Second Commandment, answerably to the day in which we live} and talk of them more as their helps, and bow and yield to them, and fetch more from them in Faith and Justification, than they do from Christ at this day. And whereas some dedicate a house, a hospital, a cathedral, to St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Bartholomew, St. Mary, &c., we have got men who will not by way of appellation so much as say St. Peter’s, St. Paul’s, &c., Acts 28:11 with 17:22, who yet scruple not to build their very Faith upon some of the saints of the last age; and will run down a truth of Christ merely because Mr. Such a One and Dr. Such a One were great enemies to the Antinomians, and wrote against them.

Why doth the Father say to Christ, that he would give him for a Covenant of the people, Isa.42:6-7, for a light of the Gentiles to open the blind eyes, if Mr. Hunt’s new article he hath found out, Arminius-like, to mend the Covenant, and if his notion that “Christ is not only able, but willing, to save such as come unto him, to have their eyes opened,” be grounded in Truth; as if recipients of Salvation-Grace were only placed in a savable state upon condition of their willingness to come to Christ. He was given to come to them by his Human Nature in the Humiliation-state, as they sat still in darkness; he is given to come to us, as he was given by his Spirit in the Exaltation-state of Christ. {“The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.” Mt.4:16.} {Note in Isaiah 9:2, ‘tis walking in darkness, may be walking in religious duties without Christ, and is no better than sitting still, and doing nothing; as ’tis all darkness; and therefore if “the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” Mt.6:23.} He is given to come thus to the elect in darkness, even whilst they don’t so much as move towards God nor Christ, nor understand, nor think of these “heavenly things.” Jn.3:12. ‘Tis poor encouragement to Sinners to tell them that Christ is able and willing to save such as come unto him blindfold. Blind Arminianism! A rich man at London is able and willing to maintain a poor blind man at Northampton if he will come to him, whilst he is also a cripple and bedridden. Aye? And who is it believes but that the rich man at London who hath a Commission for this from a higher person, will send to fetch this person in a litter, and order abundance of care for this person to be safely removed, without consulting whether the man be willing; for the counsel and method taken is the way to make him willing to it, when the man apprehends it. But now suppose a power could be used in human means, to give this blind man sight, as he lay, and a friend sent him whom now his eyes saw; a Physician, or infallible Doctor, that made him a sound and whole man at Northampton, and all suitable accommodations to bring him away forthwith to London, and there provide for him bravely all his days; can any man believe now that all this which should be effectual to cure him, should be ineffectual to persuade him to come up to Town? And this is the case in Christ’s power and love towards elect sinners, which Mr. Hunt, like a young Arminius, is afraid to exalt. Christ sends the Spirit to all whom the Father hath given Him. Christ is able and willing, not only by his own responsible Person, but by the Articles of his Father’s Covenant in Election-Grace to save into Faith, as well as into Heaven through Faith. Christ by his Spirit quickens, inclines them to come; Christ by the Spirit guides them, not by authors, but by Himself; and if he is in any of them, ‘tis still by himself above them and beyond them; ‘tis he Himself is the way to God, and the Life Everlasting, aye, and the way of Faith to these. Consider, if this be not rather Christ the Most Excellent, or, the Glory of Christ Unveiled, than poor Mr. Hunt’s abused Rose of Sharon, which he hath cheated his reader in by the title? For, whereas his demonstration of Christ’s being the Most Excellent rises no higher than this, that Christ is able to save such as come to him; but the Vindication of Christ the Most Excellent saith, Christ is able to save such as are given to him of the Father, Jn.6:37, for “all that the Father hath given me shall come unto me.”

Objection: What need exceptions to Mr. Hunt for this? Hath he written like an Arminian, in saying Christ is able to save all that come unto him? Then sure it must be thought by the Cambridge-Vindicator, that Paul wrote like an Arminian to the Hebrews, when he told them, Heb.7:25, “wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him.” What difference is there in the scope and sense of Paul himself against Mr. Hunt?

Answer: ‘Tis evident to them that know the scheme of the Arminians, that the account they give of Christ’s ability and willingness to save, is stated as Mr. Hunt hath laid it out; that is, they say that Christ is able and willing to save all that come unto him; and it would be a hard thing to conceive, the Orthodox should write against that state of the case, and prove that Christ was able and willing to save the elect of God, antecedently to the elect’s being comers unto Christ, namely, able and willing to save them into Faith, which is not of themselves, but the gift of God, Eph.2:8; if these Orthodox had judged the true state of it, and the sense and scope of Hebrews 7:25 to be both one and the same thing. The distinction of coming to Christ and coming to God by Christ are two things. {“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.} The one is before the other. Coming to Christ is believing on his Name in the Motion-Faith, by venturing in the strength of Christ, {and that strength is often felt in the soul under Ordinances} by the Holy Ghost. {“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” Jn.1:12. “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” Jn.6:35.} This adventuring is going out of one’s self, and casting one’s whole self, without any excellency or qualifications of our own, upon Christ’s Person and Righteousness, in the fulness of this Person and way of Grace to save us, Phil.3:7-8; and this is before coming to God; or before believing into God’s well-pleasedness with us through Christ, and resting our souls upon God’s accepting us for Christ’s sake. {“Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.” Psal.115:1.} Now it comes to pass, that after the initial work, or that same coming thus to Christ hath been wrought in the soul, there are strong temptations arise, and break in upon the soul, making it to doubt if it be not mistaken, and whether it does not make too much of Christ, Gal.1:6, and whether there be not some other way wider, and more safe to go to God for Acceptation and Eternal Life, than to go thus all in a narrow way, Mt.7:14, along by Christ alone to God; and hence upon these temptations and doubts in the soul, there are diminishing thoughts of Christ, and new jealousies grow up, and a thousand fears torment the soul, Lk.24:25, and suggestions from Satan and Unbelief, what if I am wrong! What if I have committed myself into hands where there is less power than I have thought! Heb.10:23. Oh! What if I am out of the way that leads to God! Now these apprehensions rising up in the heart do weaken Faith, and overthrow all the further motions of it in the soul; for the heart is as it were killed upon the spot under these temptations. {“And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul.” I Sam.27:1. “For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; in returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength; and ye would not. But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses.” Isa.30:15-16.} It does not know what to do, or think of it; and this was the case of these Hebrews after Faith. {“Now the just shall live by faith; but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” Heb.10:38.} They had believed, but at last were afraid they had done wrong in leaving the Law, as the Jews held it, for Justification, and in relinquishing Moses, the Temple and Sacrifices, Acts 6:14, and began to think of coming to God some other way than by Christ; and thought surely, this same Gospel with such new Doctrine, and the other doctrine that we have been used to of so long standing in the Church, that they now doubted of Christ’s Ability to save them without the works of the Law, and began to make a sad stir about this. To take it off therefore, the Apostle magnifies the fulness of Jesus Christ in this chapter from the fulness of his Priesthood above that of Aaron’s; {“if therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, for under it the people received the Law, what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron,” Heb.7:11,} therein he shows, that as he had been able to them-wards to carry out their hearts to himself already, so he was able God-wards to give them acceptance for the sake of his own Righteousness; and they had no reason to doubt of it in any case whatever, and so encourages them to come to God by him, this Man being still the Mediator between them; and encourages them to maintain their boldness towards God, Heb.10:19-22, in all their worship of him by the worship of the Gospel, on earth, so long as they had this full and Glorious High Priest at the right hand of God to make Intercession for them in Heaven; and as many of them as belonged to God, Heb.6:9, were, by the virtue and ability of this High Priest, made willing again to come to Christ, and to go on boldly through Christ to God, and rest upon Christ, and believe the love of God to them in and through the well-beloved. {“And lo a voice from heaven, saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Mt.3:17.} Thus he plainly shows that the Foundation of their coming to Christ by the Influences of the Gospel was by the Father’s Gift of their persons to Christ, Jn.17:2, 6:39, 10:29, and therefore too upon that Foundation that God had begun with them, and given them to the Man, and trusted them upon his Abilities, being his own Son, there was no doubt to be made of the other thing they questioned, and that is his Ability with God to save all that come unto God by him, if they viewed their very coming to him upon this Foundation of love in God, {“nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his,” II Tim.2:19,} conjoined with the Power and Influences of their Mediatorial High Priest. This now is directly laid both against the Arminian state of the matter, and Mr. Hunt’s coincidence {or falling in} with their argument.

His Fourteenth and last Error against Election is this. “If now God hath given thee a heart to believe in Christ and to apply this Rose of Sharon, thy sickness shall not be unto death, but for the glory of God. Therefore let me add this for the encouragement of such as labor under a sense of sin, and are heavy laden; though thy sins are many and great, yet if thou dost not add this sin to all the rest, of refusing to believe in him, thou canst not miscarry, or be finally lost.” {Page 70} If now God hath given thee a heart, and what if not? Shall any that belong to God, Tit.1:1, therefore die and be damned? The soul finds it is not so now. ‘Tis burdened, heavy laden, sick and cannot believe. He talks like a young, raw doctor that never saw the patient, nor studied the malady in all his life. God gives an impotency to believe {for everybody naturally looks upon Faith to be easy work, only living well is the great difficulty} before he gives the Power to believe. {“Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, he hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.” Jn.12:39-40.} He doth this partly that the soul may feel the vanity of deceitful preachers, who make moral doing to be so hard, and Faith to be the easy point. Whereas the awakened soul finds morality to be easy, strictness of living easy, and what men call holiness in their conversations easy, but Faith is the hard knotty point, as so much impossible, in comparison with a way of duties unto feigned holiness of life. {“Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Mt.19:26.} It is quite upon another Foundation altogether, {“nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his,” II Tim.2:19,} and by quite another Heavenly Principle asserted, {“the power of God unto salvation,” Rom.1:16,} that Faith ever comes upon a new Capacity of Grace Experienced and Truth Discerned. After I am emptied of all good {self-righteousness in mask,} and capacitated for all fulness in Christ, {“it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell,” Col.1:19,} and only then to believe on the Son of God. {“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” I Jn.5:13.} And now all that which I once looked upon to be the basis of my belief, I find quite upturned; for I now see that Faith must flow from the Fountain of Election-Grace, {“and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed,” Acts 13:48,} “the Faith of God’s elect,” {Tit.1:1;} the Faith that discerns the true Mystery of Godliness; {“God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth,” II Thes.2:13;} Faith that receives Christ; Faith that is of the motion-kind to come to Christ; and then ultimately to come to God by Christ; and Faith in all these which is of the Operation of God, {“the faith of the operation of God,” Col.2:12.} Never then let preachers talk of Faith in that loose manner with this error of Mr. Hunt that I am confuting, as if Election had not provided the Faith of God’s elect {“according to the faith of God’s elect,” Tit.1:1,} to be in God’s time, but merely left it upon the soul to believe of its self just now, or else it’s sickness must be unto death; and so never look to the Grace which hath impelled the person of the sinner to Christ, as a Security for the Application of Christ to the person of the sinner. This is therefore just as the Arminians that hate Election of Faith infused, as well as of persons discriminated, and love to set a man astride upon Free Will. “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus,” Phil.4:19, says Paul’s Faith by the Holy Ghost, before his pen by the Holy Ghost wrote the same unto the Corinthians. II Cor.9:8. And is not Faith a need and vital necessity? God hath given Christ freely; and how shall he not with him freely give us all things! Rom.8:32. What strange encouragement is that to make brick to such as labor under a sense of sin, when they find they haven’t any straw! Exod.5:7-16. Miserable consolation! What, leave Faith under a Covenant of Works! And turn a man over with a spiritual burden to spiritual work, the work of Faith, which I have elsewhere proved from Matthew 11:28 that Christ did not! On the other hand, when I speak to men under spiritual burdens, as Christ in the place cited did to men under natural burdens, ‘tis consolation to tell them there is a Certain Election of Grace, and then, soul, why not a lot for thee? Wait under the Gospel “in hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began,” Tit.1:2, and see how the lot will devolve, and fall in a supernatural distribution, to make that Faith shortly easy to thee which is now perhaps impossible. For my own part, through the Lord’s Rich Grace, I have been comforted by this, very many times, under a sense of impotency to believe, more than by telling me I could not miscarry, if I did not refuse to believe. Oh! This raw Preaching without Gospel Experience makes sad work at this day in Congregations! I profess I have not met with a dozen lines of any experience that reaches a soul in the true Mystery of Believing, though there’s talk so many scores of times concerning Faith, through all this book in its 217 pages together! Alas! How often do the elect add this sin to all the rest, of refusing to believe in him, and yet do not miscarry, nor can be finally lost. For after their refusing, and refusing, and refusing over and over, and instead of believing into Christ, will be believing into themselves when left to themselves, resting in themselves, living upon their own marks, and encouraged so to do by this preacher and many others, that Jesus Christ is shut out, and marks, signs, frames, self-holiness, duty and zeal are taken in. Aye, love to the Party, and this called love to the brethren, when yet they could even kill an Antinomian, or any brother that hath so much light and courage in the Gospel of Christ as to exalt Christ alone, and beat down their false hopes. Ah! Till men are brought off from all the brave things they have wrought, let preachers flatter them never so much, I see no fruits of Election, I Thes.1:4, in all the common stir and stirrings, till men see they are nothing, and can do nothing, and believe least of all. This is the first work of God’s Spirit to purpose. Fruits of Election are visible to and sensible in my own soul, when the fruits of those fruits, inward Faith, Hope, Love and Sanctification, do but in lower instances, where things may be visibly counterfeited, open to others on the outside.