Joseph Hussey — {1660-1726}

GLORY OF CHRIST UNVEILED — 1706

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Introduction to the Book

An Exposition of the Mystery which was kept secret since the world began; wherein the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity is manifested in the Glory-Man, the Lord JESUS, and that Christ’s bearing the Iniquity of our Sin in his Sufferings was the Atonement he made to God for the Elect; set forth against the Socinian and Neonomian triumphs, and against some other Cowardly Professions. It is likewise demonstrated that an Interest in Christ is built alone upon the Free, Absolute and Everlasting Love of the Father, Son, and Spirit, towards an elect Remnant in Christ Jesus, against the Arminians. And therein is some account given of the Mystery of the Elect and their Union in Christ Jesus before the Foundation of the World; proving that their Free Grace Union according to God’s Ancient Settlements was never, as to the Comprehensive and Supreme Relation of the elect in Jesus Christ destroyed by their Subordinate Nature-Fall in Adam. To these things are added a Vindication of the Excellency of God’s Free Grace against the whole Arminian Scheme. And lastly, the Spiritual Operations of the Holy Ghost are Vindicated, as the Immediate Spring, Life and Source of all True Religion.

Antinomianism

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.

Antinomianism

Now don’t we see the same things oftentimes among the very Preachers, Pharisees and Professors? The Gospel converts them not, but angers them, as God said he would deal with the Jews by the Gospel. They know they must be emptied, ashamed, and most of what they have said and written and made a stir about, must go down, one time or another, if the Gospel be true; and this goes against the grain of flesh and blood. And as it was among the Jews, what they had been used to in Religion must go down if the Gospel was received, and nature could not buckle to the Gospel; so that they heard and heard, but gainsaying all for Antinomian that was Anti-Jewish. Why thus it has been among the Gentiles, and is so among us at this day. For are we better than they? Rom.3:9. As the Apostle says, no, in no wise. It is branded with Antinomianism if we preach the Gospel faithfully, discriminately, and leave it in the Spirit’s hand to carry it to the particularly redeemed with a Distinctive Efficacy, even to Salvation of their souls, among our hearers; and if we don’t offer Christ to all, without regarding Scripture Distinctions in limiting our message, and discriminating our doctrine, we fall {they pretend} into an Antinomian error. They are afraid that all holiness will go down, if it be not set up in their legal way; whereas I know holiness of truth {as distinguished from the cheat} actually does go down, so far as holiness is set up in their Arminian way.

Arminianism

The natural free will is put by Arminians to act above its own sphere, spiritually, while it is but a natural will. Making use of Christ as a Physician, believing, repenting, &c., are looked upon by Arminians to be in the power of every natural man; and these are spiritual, supernatural acts, or acts that do arise from the bestowment of grace, which raises the agent in those proper acts to act above nature. {Phil.1:29, Eph.2:8} Man’s will hath a natural freedom for natural acts, as he is a reasonable creature; but he hath no free will for spiritual acts, though he be a reasonable creature. For these are acts above his capacity as a natural man. {John 6:44} The will of man in unregeneracy is a dead will, a hard, stony, inflexible will. The wills of all natural men are at enmity with God. Their wills cannot freely bow to will that which God wills. No will can say, without eminent sanctification, not my will, but thine be done. {Luke 22:42} The will of the creature is of itself a blind, enslaved, disobedient faculty; and for this will to be put immediately upon making use of Free Grace, and coming to Christ as he is the Great Physician, is putting it to act spiritually before it is made spiritual. It is bid to discern and look while it is blind. To come, while it is tied and bound with the chain of its own sin. Vitally to look to Christ before it is quickened by Him. Now sinner let me not flatter thee, but in faithfulness give thee more encouragement, thy dead will must be quickened by a being born from above, life and motion of another kind than what thou hast from Adam to hear, and pray, and read, and give alms, must be put into thee by a supernatural power, even by the Holy Ghost Himself, given to be and dwell in thee {I Cor.3:16, II Tim.1:14;} so that this dead will of thine must be quickened by the Divine will, and willingness of Another. {James 1:18, John 3:8} The quickening of this will and freeing it must be Pure Grace! These things must proceed in the will and act of God, and do so, before a vital act of faith. For a dead will cannot believe, because faith on the Son of God is a living act. Deut.29:2, John 6:44. The will must be taught of the Father, by sending down the Holy Spirit before the will goes to Christ.

Arminianism

We must preach the Gospel so as it is fitted, under the exalted Operations of the Spirit, to beat down the practical Arminianism of all our natures. We are ready to think that Arminianism lies only in the book, or the apostate churches; and that if we profess or protest against the ‘Acta Synodalia Remonstrantium’ {a book compiled by the Remonstrants in 1620, in explanation and defence of their five articles against the decisions of the Synod of Dort} against the Canons of the Synod of Dort all is well. But this is just another mistake. Arminianism is the universal nature of mankind. It is by nature everybody's principle; and there is no more religion in it than reasonable nature under corruption. It is our own state by nature; and I find it as natural in me to be an Arminian, as it is to breathe. I will own it, that every man before the Power of Grace changes him, hath free will, or rather slavish will to be an Arminian by nature. We were all born so, and without the Power of Grace we die so. Now we that are Ministers under that power, must preach the Gospel so as to beat down Arminianism. If we lay down the Gospel in a Gospel way of Truth, we are delivered from the abominations of the Arminians; neither is there room for their subtleties to bring men into such labyrinths, as the things have been stated against offers of grace in this treatise of Gospel Truth. {Is.30:1,2} I must here profess my sorrow and burden for some of our present day Non-Conformists, who have lost so much ground to serve the Gospel in their learning, as well as in their zeal for orthodoxy, {Rom.10:2,} that they seem at this day to be mere strangers to everything in the Arminian controversy, but the bare name of it.

Arminianism

Until I felt God's work graciously and most sweetly wrought upon this heart of mine, thereby slaying the enmity, I found all these points of the Arminians, as naturally growing up with my pride to stand upon mine own wooden legs, and with the swellings of my heart that then arose against God {Rom.8:7 with Eph.2:16,} as I have found it an easy thing to breathe. {Every man is by nature an Arminian if the books of the Remonstrants be read, and diligently compared with the rotten book of our hearts!} This was my old nature. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots; then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” Jer.13:23. I have experienced at one time or another what the Arminians experience; only the Arminians cannot experience, while such, as I have experienced from the Lord. Oh; the particularity, efficacy, and unchangeableness of Grace that I have found, since the first saving work of God the Spirit on my heart! What power, life, and communion hath been often felt through God's rich and special bestowment since! What conveyances in these points have arrived unto more faith and understanding through the Riches of his Grace! Well, I have believed, and therefore have I spoken. {II Cor.4:13} And blessed be God, there are thousands in this nation that have been led into the experience of supernatural, effectual, free, special and particular grace upon the foundation of God's electing love, choosing their persons in Christ before the foundation of the world. {Eph.1:4} It is this same doctrine in the hands of the Mighty God that hath quickened me to every good word and work {II Thes.2:17;} without which doctrine of Eternal Grace I am nothing, and can do nothing, spiritually good and acceptable in the sight of God {I Tim.2:3} through Jesus Christ. And this I have testified to the praise of the Glory of God's Grace against the flood of open Arminianism come in upon this poor perishing nation. Oh; that the Lord would be pleased, for His elects sake to pour down His Mighty Spirit from on high upon men of all persuasions, till the unclean spirit of Arminianism is purged out of the land. {“And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered; and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.” Zech.13:2} Now as sin is sin and abomination, wherever it is found, so this luxuriant spreading of sin and abomination, called Arminianism, ought to be resisted through the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, which any of us receive, whether this spirit of Arminianism be a remainder of this corrupt nature in ourselves, and so we ought under the workings of influential grace to fight against it at home in our own hearts; or, whether it breaks forth amongst the professors of religion in word or writings. And if so, we should be zealously affected {Gal.4:18} in a good matter {for God's Effectual Grace is not my opinion, but my life,} and should fight against Arminianism; not the party, but the detestable error, contending earnestly for the Faith which was once delivered to the saints. {Jude 3} Again, the more secretly this poison and drug of Arminianism is infused into specious labors, and not commonly discerned under the promising titles of some books, the more conscientiously should it be laid open by such as God hath delivered from those snares and dangerous obstructions of their Ministry, whilst that veil hung upon their minds.

Arminianism

In Arminianism men sin against every one of the Commandments. They sin against the First Commandment; for they make a divinity of man's power to use God's Grace, they deify the creature's workmanship into a man's own original choice of himself for happiness; not confessing God's sovereignty and antecedent choice, before creature obedience or disobedience, and so contrary to the First Commandment have other gods before Him, to His very face. In Arminianism men sin against the Second Commandment in bowing down to the supreme idol of man's power that they have carved, adorned by reason, reading, disputes, corruptions of a man's own heart and ways, and then set up, using it as a piece of religious adoration that will help a man to set out for heaven, and if used well will in due time bring him thither, as if it was the very same thing to go to heaven, as to go to London, or Amsterdam. How do men bow down to the grand idol Freewill, whilst they use their utmost natural powers to bring God over to them, by exalting the creature in those very things where the Lord alone should be exalted; and where by true saints the Lord alone is exalted {Ps.118:28} at this day, according to the Promise, without any regard to Freewill. “The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.” - “And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low; and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.” Is.2:11,17. The Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. It is twice mentioned. In that day, when? He tells us in verse 11. When “the lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down;” and verse 18, “and the idols He shall utterly abolish.” I argue therefore, if it must be thus, when He pulled down {Rev.6:15,16} pagan idolatry, bodily idolatry; how much more, when He is pulling down anti-Christian and Arminian idolatries; then how much more should men cease from these, and cease to plead for these idolatries in the hearts and spirits of such as profess His Name!

Arminianism

Along these same lines is his sixth error against Election in these words, “let me exhort you then to give up your selves to him, to cast your care upon him, that so you may have an Interest in him.” {Page 193} Can any man that believes the Gospel think the resignation of men’s selves to Christ, the casting their care upon him, doth go before their Interest in Christ? What should influence them to this? It must be the Root as it stands by some Communications proper to the Root, or the Root can’t communicate. Now let nature be supposed the Root, will nature communicate influences to put on Christ? If it be Grace, as a Root that communicates, I am in it before the communication. What is wilder crab-fruit than this, that nature give up itself to Christ? That nature casts its care upon Christ? Believe it not, “that which is born of the flesh is flesh,” Jn.3:6, and shall a man have the Spirit for being flesh, and acting like flesh? This is crab-tree all over. Any thing will please men of this Persuasion rather than the Gospel Truth of Antinomian-Union before Faith. All Interest in Christ is passive, as it begins with Election-Interest, Lk.10:20, goes on to Redemption-Interest, comes home to Regeneration-Interest, or Influential engrafture by the Spirit’s Vital Quickening from Christ the Vine-Stock. How then do men get Interest in Christ by their own Acts and Duties? Benefits of Communion indeed they get, when from influential Interest precedaneously, they give up themselves to Christ, cast their care on Christ, &c., but it is mere topsy-turvy, to exhort men to do all this, that so they may have or obtain an Interest in Christ. {“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” I Jn.5:12. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life – believing as the evidence, consequence or result that he already hath Everlasting Life in Christ – and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Jn.3:36. “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life – again, believing as the evidence, consequence or result that he hath Everlasting Life in Christ – and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” Jn.5:24.} He that hath not an Interest in Christ before he casts his care on Christ, will never have an Interest at all, nor cast his care on him as the Scripture speaks, so long as he lives in this world, his doing all according to the Gospel rises out of the Gospel, Phil.4:3, and not his Gospel-Interest out of all or any of his doings. {“Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God, for our Gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.” I Thes.1:4-5.}

Arminianism

His seventh error against Election is the duplicate motive, “a motive to get an Interest in Christ, and a motive to beg of God to Interest you in Christ &c.” {Page 195} Why now if people are only serious, and not spiritually enlightened, Eph.1:18, this is looked on as brave Divinity, a sweet Exhortation to sinners, &c., and really it is but a cheat to the soul, in a spiritual robbery of the Honor and Work of the Glorious Persons in God interested by Gift, to take away the true Interest, and hide that being in Christ which these glorious Persons in Jehovah do jointly give; and all to suggest a creature-hand and power of interesting men in Christ, which neither Election and Redemption of their persons, nor Regeneration of their natures, do secure. ‘Tis a strange fantasy to think I was chosen in One, and yet that choosing me was no interesting me in the One in whom I was chosen. Why did Christ redeem me if I had no Interest in him by Election? {“As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” Jn.17:2.} Christ never thought separately from the Father that his Death should save me, nor the Spirit separately that the work of Sanctification alone would save me. The Father’s thought of me was his Counsel in choosing me; and Christ came forth from God upon that Foundation, for he tells me, “I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me,” Jn.6:38, and “my sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me,” Jn.10:27; here is their Interest in Christ, as they are sheep belonging to their Shepherd, and from that Interest-Relation of their being sheep they hear his voice. Aye, but what saith the motive? {He lays the work more upon my begging act, than upon God’s choosing act; and so plainly sets up with the Arminian, a mere temporal Salvation.} “Get an Interest in Christ?” Proud worm! What, will not the Interest which the Father hath given the elect, to have Mystically in Christ, be allowed to be, or taken for an Interest, if the sinner be not a sent a fetching one on his own accord? “Get an Interest in Christ?” Ungrateful worm! What, will not the Interest Christ hath wrought efficaciously to maintain and secure, notwithstanding Sin’s Entrance, be taken for any sort of Interest, but the sinner must be sent all over the land of Egypt to get straw, and make into brick, Exod.5:11-12, to build his foolish pyramids of pride and vainglory which he calls an Interest in Christ, raised out of the materials of dust and clay? “Get an Interest in Christ?” Conceited worm! What, will not the Interest the Holy Ghost gives influentially, be taken for an Interest in Christ, when yet he is the very bond and seal of it in his work, but the sinner must be sent out and off from the Spirit into nature’s field to be getting an Interest in Christ. {“Are ye so foolish; having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” Gal.3:3.} Aye, and saith the other motive, a motive to beg of God to Interest you in Christ; as much as to say, “pray for an Interest in Christ” and “beg that God would Interest you in his Son.” He means thus; and then I say rather, pray for the eye-salve to open the eyes, Rev.3:18, of poor blind preachers, that the blind don’t lead the blind, Mt.15:14, and so both fall into the ditch. Oh! What fervent prayer is that {because the prayer of Faith} which rises out of Interest? But what Interest in Christ is it that ever rose out of begging God to Interest the Sinner in his Son Jesus Christ? Why must we pray to God for that which is not to be asked, but hath been already granted, {if we belong to Christ,} and has been bestowed to make way for all new grants that are still proper to come down, and to come on through Christ by Prayer.

Assurance in Christ Alone

“I shall {says he} only mention three special marks and signs of our being interested in Christ, and they are not only peculiar to some strong Saints, but common to all that are united to him; yea, so common, that such as want them can never make out {from Arminian principles} their interest in Christ. As first, a cordial reliance on him. Secondly, a dear love to him. Thirdly, sincere desires and endeavors after a universal conformity to him.” {Page 132} Here he thinks he has hit it, but most certainly he has missed it in this triple imagination. For, let anyone tell me {and be sure that I look for it from himself in the number} why there is not the mark laid down that concerns the principle faculties of the soul? And these are the Understanding and Conscience. {“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” Heb.10:22.} Here is a mark for the will, reliance; for the affections, love and desire; but where is anything for the Understanding? {“The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting; give me understanding, and I shall live.” Psal.119:144. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me; seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” Hos.4:6.} Again, where is anything thought on to purge the conscience, and wash the heart in order to a pure love? These things were forgotten, and without them the others are not worth remembering. Did not the Israelites of old {strangers to their own hearts, as well as incapacitated as to any true knowledge of the LORD, Deut.11:16,} show forth their sincere desires and endeavors after universal conformity to God, when they told Moses, “all that the Lord hath spoken we will do?” Exod.19:8. And when they cried out zealously at another time, “God forbid that we should forsake the LORD.” Josh.24:16. And yet Joshua seeing their blindness would not take up this as a mark of grace, but beats them all from it, and discourages them from resting here, with a notable repulse, “ye cannot serve the Lord.” {“And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD; for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.” Josh.24:19.} You endeavor after a universal conformity to him! You don’t know what you say. You are ignorant of God’s Righteous and Holy Nature, Deut.7:21, and so long as you come to him in your own blindness, and your ignorant sincerity, ye cannot serve the Lord; for he is an Holy God; he is a Jealous God, he will not forgive your transgressions, nor your sins, in the blind way you expect your pardons. {“Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.” Ezek.36:22-23.} Hath God the Spirit wrought a reliance upon the Person of Christ? How has he wrought it in thy soul? For the passive {the effectual work of the Spirit in Divine Quickening apart from any exertion on the part of the Sinner} includes the active {the response of the Sinner, under the Influence of Divine Grace} and secures it. If the Holy Ghost hath infused and wrought the reliance-grace, there shall be, by the effectual work of the Holy Ghost, the reliance-act. Eph.1:11. The passive doth not go without the active; only the deceit is, there is often an active, such a one as ‘tis {and ‘tis the Spirit must discover it a counterfeit} without the passive. There’s the man relies, and pretends it is cordial, that he does it with his heart; but all the while it may be the Holy Ghost hath never opened his eyes, and shown him what in Christ to rely upon distinctly. Professors commonly put themselves off with a mere cheat; and too many ministers help to propagate the deceit.

Assurance in Christ Alone

How can a man know any one of these marks and signs of an Interest in Christ, but by Christ Himself, who is the true Light, and given me of the Father, by the most Absolute Grace, antecedently to all these marks themselves? {“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Jn.8:12. “I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles.” Isa.42:6. “And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” Isa.60:3.} What does it avail me to lay me down clouding marks of an interest in Christ? Secondary, marks, when all the primary ones, the gift of the Father, the Spirit of the Son, the translation into the Kingdom of God’s dear Son, Col.1:13, the calling out of darkness into marvelous light, I Pet.2:9, the seal of the Holy Spirit of promise, &c., II Cor.1:22, are all left out? The word saith in another case, marks and signs shall follow upon Christ; {“these signs shall follow them that believe,” Mk.16:17;} and so here, ‘tis a man’s first being in Christ, and then all things becoming new. {“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” II Cor.5:17.} Whereas the usual way of our marks-men and signs-men is to put marks and signs first, and make Christ and an Interest in Christ follow upon marks and signs. I Cor.6:5. Union is first, the new creature, as the fruit of that Union, is next, and all things becoming new last of all. Now I can never judge of the Last but by the First. If otherwise, I am deceived in the matter, Job 10:15; whereas I can judge in the light of Christ of the first thing by its own marvelous shine. Why should men act so preposterously, as to give me their marks which are but clouds to hide Christ, and their evidences as a false gloss to represent him, when Christ himself is to be seen and known in the soul only by his own light? {“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” II Cor.4:6.} Let the Father’s Gift of Christ to me be discerned in the Faith of the Spirit’s Operation in my soul, and I have an essential mark of an Interest in Christ. {“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son.” Gal.1:15-16. “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; the eyes of your understanding being enlightened.” Eph.1:17-18.} Who can trust Christ with a Supernatural Reliance, who never discerned the Mystery of his Person, and the Grace of God in and with him by a supernatural eye? Who can love Christ that does not see him given of the Father to be mine or thine? I can’t love a stranger {“I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed,” II Tim.1:12,} with that kind of love wherewith I love an intimate. {“And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, the LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, &c.” Exod.34:5-7.} I declare I could not find in my sinful soul that I loved Christ, till I was made to see him by Faith of the Holy Ghost; and by the Gospel-sight of him I was brought to believe by the same Holy Spirit, that the Father had given me Christ, and in that Gift had admirably revealed Christ to and in my soul. {“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” I Jn.5:11-12.} I could not perceive the love of God, but wrath, quarreling, a murmuring at God, shutting out what now I find most pleasant to my soul, till my fearful heart was made strong to take God at his Word. My first sign lay in discerning Christ, seeing the Son of God, and discerning things as God hath laid them out in order, by his Grace, before the eyes of my soul, according to what he hath made things to be, in Christ, before the Foundation of the World. {“And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.” Isa.29:18-19.} Therefore let a man cordially rely upon a Christ whom he never saw by Faith of the Operation of God, Col.2:12, and his cordial reliance will prove but a piece of old Adam’s flesh set a-strut; and the more cordially such a soul relies, the more ignorantly he is a zealous hypocrite. {“The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so; and what will ye do in the end thereof?” Jer.5:31.}

Assurance in Christ Alone

Objection: The denying of marks and evidences of Grace in Sanctification is a sad mark of an Antinomian, both in this and in former days! Answer: We do not absolutely deny marks and signs of Grace in Sanctification, but we absolutely disown the unapt way and disorder {for it is every jot of it corruption} in which men have commonly laid them down. {“How is the gold become dim; how is the most fine gold changed; the stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street.” Lam.4:1.} And I can see the common way of marking to be no more than the spots and shame of the men who have left their mark behind them. For, I cannot see from the Word, how there can be any of the Holy Ghost’s Evidences, but such as are presented in the true Light of Christ. {“But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” I Jn.2:20. “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” I Jn.5:20. “Evil men understand not judgment; but they that seek the LORD understand all things.” Prov.28:5. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.” Jn.16:13.} Now our acts are none of the Holy Ghost’s Evidences, nor Christ’s Light, in which our Evidences from the Operations and Evidences of the Holy Ghost are seen. {“But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him; even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” I Cor.2:10-12.} The Holy Ghost hath laid down many things in the Word, which he also works up the saints unto spiritually, II Cor.5:5, such as reliance, dear love to Christ, desires after conformity unto him, &c., which yet the Holy Ghost did never intend as marks of an Interest in Christ. Marks are Impressions of the Truth under the Spirit’s sealing them up unto the soul. Gal.5:22. Now there be many Truths of the Word which he works up the heart to, which yet is no ways congruous to his Office to seal up as a mark, because his Office is not to mark and seal up from our acts but from Christ. {“He shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine; therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.” Jn.16:14-15.} He is the Comforter from Christ, not the Comforter from us. So that as to acts of Sanctification, we take them up as Truths revealed in the Word, and therein warranted by the Holy Ghost, and through Grace can bless God for the Holy Ghost’s work at the bottom of our acts. But yet we dare not say, the Holy Ghost seals up any of our acts, as the marks and signs of our Interest in Christ. Oh! No such matter, for I dare go by none of these confidences. They will not bear me out. They are neither God, nor Christ, nor the Spirit; nor are they God’s own Operations sealed upon my heart in my Gospel views of Christ. What are marks and signs in that which is spiritual without the Spirit of Christ? Oh! How do men cheat themselves in the common way of marks and signs! The usual procedure of men in trying their state by the common marks {and yet they call these special ones} must be found to be a grand disappointment. {“Take heed that ye be not deceived; for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near; go ye not therefore after them.” Lk.21:8.} This may fully enough be proved by comparing their marks with the Scripture-marks. {“He that is of God heareth God’s words; ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” Jn.8:47.} For, men usually go by their marks separately, with a total exclusion and sinful neglect of the Marker, the Holy Ghost Himself. {“The God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified.” Dan.5:23.} But thus the Scripture in marks and signs does not. “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” Eph.1:13-14. The Apostle here does not try interest in Christ by separate trusting, but discovers how the Faith of God’s elect is prepared to receive the seal of Christ upon the heart by the Holy Spirit of promise. So, II Cor.1:20-22, “for all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” Another preacher than the Apostle should perhaps of made my separate reliance upon the promise the mark of my interest, without any notice of my reliance upon the Promise in Christ, founded on Christ, built on Christ, and so the promise only yea and Amen in Christ. {“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Eph.1:3.} Likewise Christ is our Establishment, who founds the Promise and bears up all the Word. I find that good men often proceed upon their marks very indiscreetly. For they proceed likewise without a due regard to the marked, either in the antecedents, or acts of marking them; not confining to those whom the Scripture confines, or determines to be the marked ones, viz., the elect, the justified, the adopted, the regenerate ones; but they run to marks that are common to thousands of others. Whereas the Spirit of Christ is the guide of all the children of God. ‘Tis a sign of being God’s, by our being led by the Spirit of God, Rom.8:14, “for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Children of God, and guidance, or conduct by the Spirit of God, do at last meet in One. Objection #2: I must have the marks of my Justification from my Sanctification; for I cannot know secret things but by more apparent. Answer: It matters not so much whether thou knowest them, as whether the things be. Job 23:8-10. For let a man go by what marks he can, as suppose love, prayer, attendance upon gospel-means, denying a man’s self, &c., yet if a man be not born from above, all those things are mere shows, images, deceitful representations, a fair show in the flesh, Gal.6:12, and the whole scheme of it not able to present one true mark. They are all wrong ones, for want of spiritual life, and that life derived from Christ by the Spirit of God, and so a want of true holiness, or holiness of truth communicated from Christ in these marks deceitfully assumed. {“Be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Eph.4:23-24.} And all true, solid, essential and infallible marks of Grace are peculiar to the elect, the justified, the adopted, the new born ones; but that which men run upon in the common marks of Sanctification can make no true discovery of Grace.

Assurance in Christ Alone

Now it is strange, that when the soul comes thus naked to Christ, and Christ accepts it for nothing, and clothes it for nothing; I say, ‘tis strange the soul {if we go this way to work in stating Justification} should see nothing, feel nothing, taste nothing of interest by all this in the Lovely Saviour, till it stays out it’s time for judging of interest by conformity to the Law of God, which is a thing, too, quite of another nature, than the Free Gift, or the Righteousness of Christ. Alas; the Righteousness of Christ in the applicatory work of the Spirit, comes home to me with such virtue by the Promise of the Father; {Lk.24:48;} that, blessed be God for Free Grace, I can judge {if spiritual senses may be believed in spiritual things, as natural senses are in things natural} sweetly upon the spot my salvation interest, by seeing Him in whom I have now believed on. I need not stay to take comfort until I have time to put in practice my preachers set of directions; for he gives them all to a base end. Blessed be God, I know something of this. I can see something; I say, feel something, be assured of something, when I am brought to believe on Christ without the works of the Law; {Rom.3:28;} yea, to believe on Him, though I am the chief of sinners; {I Tim.1:14;} for I am no dead one, no senseless one in the Spirit’s hand.

Believer’s Walk in Christ

Gospel fruitfulness the world cannot judge! They value us more when we bring forth wild fruit, than when we bear the proper fruits of Christ's own planting; for the world never could, nor ever shall relish and delight in these. They delight not in the Fruit of the Vine, except it be of that vine of which they can be drunk, or now and then, sitting over a bottle of wine, be cheerful. Christ is the True Vine, and the wine he produces, since he was trod in the wine-press, is the Spirit {Zech.9:17,} with the which God's people to be fruitful are to be filled, and not drunk with other wine wherein there is excess. {Eph.5:18} Doth a spiritual man talk of fruitfulness, and refer to only that part of his life which the world is able to judge of? Alas! They can judge only of our leaves, not of our fruit. And here we ought, and are able, to bring forth leaves to men from common engrafture, or at least open engrafture into Christ; but though we ought, yet we are not able to bring forth fruit unto God {Hosea 14:8,} but by the life of God the Spirit in us. Saints are not fruitful in a Gospel sense, when their feet are kept from falling, and they do not slip before the wicked. Besides, if the Saints walked in the Spirit {Gal.5:25,} as Christ walked in the world, the world would be more upon them for that walk {because then there would be so much of the anointing in it from Jesus of Nazareth, Acts 10:38, so much of the Spirit, that the world could not bear, Ezek.33:30,} then they would be upon them for all their faults. Christ's walk was such that he would not bear the profession of the times, he preached more against the Church and the Chapel {Mt.23:13, 24:1,2,} than against the taverns and ale houses, and more against the sons of Zion, the Pharisees, than against the Philistines and the Romans. But now let a man do so in the fullness of the Spirit of Christ {for without Him in our souls, we sneak, and truckle under, I Thes.2:5, and fall in with the company, and are as bad as others,} let the Spirit of Christ carry out a man bravely against the preaching, and praying, and the Temple marks and signs of these times, and see what the world will say of this fruitfulness in good works.

Blessings in Christ

The promises are not offered unto us, but are given {Gal.3:18} us, and Christ keeps the gift in his own Hand for us, and so manages it as serves all the gracious ends of the Donor. Gifts are for the elect, and are received by One Chosen for them, {Ps.89:19,} even by their Head, before they are accepted by themselves who are the members. As the Holy Ghost saith; “thou hast received gifts for men.” {Ps.68:18} They are effectual gifts, inasmuch as they are received by Another, even the Lord that hath chosen Zion, {Ps.132:13,} the Lord Christ for them. Thou Oh Son of God hast received gifts in the Man Christ Jesus, the chosen of God, {Lk.23:35,} as the Head of the corner, {I Pet.2:7,} for every one of the members; and so in Christ for all the elect of God. Thus Christ himself the Son of God is a gift of God for us; that is, for his people to know and believe on, in the time God hath set. This truth will appear in Scripture under a double branch of donation. As to God's gift of Christ for; “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all;” {Rom.8:32;} gave him for us all. This act of God in giving Him to the cross for us was effectual in Him that was so given; for he was “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” {Phil2:8} Also; as to Christ's gift of Himself for, in point of saving benefit, as the preposition signifies. This also was an effectual act. “He gave himself for our sins.” {Gal.1:4} He gave himself for them to be above the reach and power of our sins, although he was to bear them as a heavy burden, or as a porter {I Pet.2:24} bears away his load, as the word ‘borne’ {Is.53:4} signifies. He gave himself to come under the imputation of them. Here was an operation of Divine grace. So says Paul, “the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” {Gal.2:20} He gave himself for me to be above the reach and power of my own sins in particular. And also; “Christ loved the Church, and gave himself for it,” {Eph.5:25,} even for the Church to sanctify and cleanse it with the washing {Heb.10:22} of water {or with the abundant gift of the Holy Ghost} by the Word. Likewise, “who gave himself for us,” namely, for this end, “that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people zealous of good works.” {Tit.3:8} And “the good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep;” for this end, that the sheep may be saved {Is.53:6} into the life of grace here, and into everlasting life and glory hereafter. {John 10:11} And then, “who gave his life a ransom for all,” as saith that Scripture, {I Tim.2:6,} for all who have their election of God. {I Thes.1:4} In point of substitution and Suretyship; the Son of man came to give his life a ransom for many; or in the stead of many, or in the room and place of the many. Gifts are unto them in Christ. {“For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” II Cor.1:20} The meaning is that gifts in Scripture {touching the Gospel or the Good News about the kingdom of God} are effectual and discriminate. They come so unto, and on the behalf of the person, as that he is by special grace singled out from every creature left. The elect are given unto Christ by an act of God within Himself from everlasting. Neither is there any other Head, or Savior, trusted with them but He, in whom God's soul delighteth. {Is.42:1} This was the absolute gift of their persons to Christ, without any qualifications fore-viewed {Eph.1:5} to incline God unto the choice; and so was done immediately by a gift of God the Father. “Thine they were, and thou gavest them me.” {John 17:6} Christ is given unto the elect; unto them, so as that there is a conveyance of the grant and purchase. {II Tim.1:9} He is given in his Person to be a Head over all unto the Church which is his body. {Eph.1:22}

Blessings in Christ

All blessings are bestowed in Christ Jesus before the world began, as well as they are again bestowed through Him at Effectual Calling. {Eph.1:3-6, 2:7, Acts 10:43, John 20:31} Otherwise it is not blessing the elect in Christ, according as God hath chosen them in Him, for his choice made in Christ was made before the world began, as the text says. All blessings were so originally bestowed in Christ. So was the Father's justifying us in Christ, the Father’s sanctifying us in Christ distinctly, before the world began. But men will not learn of the Spirit of Christ to distinguish between the Father’s sanctifying in Christ Jesus, {Jude 1,} and the Spirit's sanctifying through Christ Jesus. Nor indeed can these things be understood, nor sanctified unto any man that meddles with them, to discourse or write of them with any holy savor, till the Holy Ghost hath taught him {apart from leaning upon the staff of his authors} humbly to submit to his own Revelation of the Truth of the Gospel, as it is distinguished to be in Christ Jesus first, by Him next, and through Christ Jesus last of all, in the Spirit's own applicatory work to the called of God.

Brook Cedron

This Cedron, or Brook of Kidron, runneth in the Valley of Moriah, at the bottom of the Temple Hill at Jerusalem. Into this brook continually ran all the filthiness and dung of the sacrifices for sin and for uncleanliness, the filth of the excrementitious ashes, and unclean parts of the sin offerings were washed down thither, after they were brought away from the Priest’s Court of the Temple, and disposed of as the Law required. {Lev.16:27 & Ex.29.14} And as the uncleanliness of the sacrifices were washed into Kidron, so the very sins and idolatries of the people, their worst sins were cast in thither. “The altars that were on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the LORD, did the king beat down, and brake them down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron.” II Kings 23:12. So likewise in the Reformation made by Hezekiah. “And they arose and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast them into the brook Kidron.” II Chron.30:14. Again, “and the priests went into the inner part of the house of the LORD, to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of the LORD into the court of the house of the LORD; and the Levites took it, to carry it out abroad into the brook Kidron.” II Chron.29:16. Thus for idolatrous uncleanliness. “And also concerning Maachah the mother of Asa the king, he removed her from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and Asa cut down her idol, and stamped it, and burnt it at the brook Kidron.” II Chron.15:16. All these places show how unclean this brook was by reason of the uncleanliness cast into it and accursed idols brought and burnt therein. Over this unclean brook Christ passed in his suffering way, when he went into the Garden with his disciples, and there his pure soul lothed our iniquities put into his bitter cup, represented by a drought of this black and nasty Kidron. Cursed brook, for he was made a Curse for us. {Gal.3:13} He was also sore amazed, very heavy and exceedingly sorrowful even unto death. {Mk.14,33,34} Why? Because such contradictions to his Holy Nature, as our defilements were then being carried over to Him; and although it was impossible that he should be defiled with them, being an Infinite Person, as God; and so a Man too of pure eyes than to behold iniquity without abhorrence, yet he was still able enough to save us, as the Man stood in the Second Person of God, yet under the drinking of this black and bitter cup astonied. {Jer.14:9} The words are more emphatical in the original than in our common Translations. Now it was not pain, or torture abstractly in the bitter drought, but pollution, the dregs of our sins; Sin being the only impure thing in God's Account and so the spot of sin, the filth and pollutions of sin that were Imputed to Him by his Father, and put upon Christ's account, and mingled with his wormwood cup that it made his holy soul to tremble! I will be bold to say, that nothing but the Father's laying of sin upon him in all its formidable colors and abominable filthiness could have made Jesus Christ amazed! {Mk.14:33} Oh! This was the wine of our astonishment! {Ps.60:3} – And so our sins must put Him unto grievous pain distinctly from the operation of God's wrath for the guilt of them, and that upon the account of his abhorrency of the filthiness and loathsomeness that is in all sin; and having no principal, {Jn.14:30,} in his holy soul to mingle with it, or receive it with the least delight, but with an absolute, unspeakable detestation of what He drank down in his mingled cup of our sins and God's wrath in Punishment. Aye, and more a punishment to his righteous soul, than the extension of his body, and the nailing him to the tree of the cross, could be a torment to his flesh and bones. Oh amazing love of our Redeemer! What heart is not melted when the Holy Ghost shows us this manner of his love! And yet all that I have said, cannot be saying so much of it, as the Holy Ghost hath said, in his saying that, “he was made sin for us,” {II Cor.5:21,} which makes me amazed at the audaciousness of some interpreters who give the Holy Ghost the lie in removing the old landmarks; and saying, it was but a sacrifice for sin. Oh! It was the bitterness and loathsomeness itself of sin which came into his soul, yet without infecting it, but tormenting him in a way proper to pollution, and the dregs of his sin cup. It was for this cause he fell under deep amazement; yea, they were these ingredients of our sin and guilt mingled, that were the inexpressible part of his sufferings.

Cleansing Virtue of the Blood of Christ

The Gospel answers the figure by opening the true design thereof. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.” {Jn.3:14} Now Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness to be looked on by the stung Israelites under the contagion of their wounds; “even so must the Son of man be lifted up,” crucified to be viewed, discerned and received into our souls by faith, under all the filthiness of that sink of sin which our souls have been wallowing in; and at all times when we contract new filthiness, we must still come unto his blood in the lively motions of faith, wrought by the Holy Ghost, and believe into that blood whereby there is cleansing; and again, it follows for our encouragement, “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” {vs.15} We are to take all God bestows with Christ not only for time, but for eternity.

Conditionalism

Come all ye religious cheats, whoever ye are, that deceive your own souls, and other men’s; bring out all your rank insinuations against the Righteousness of Christ, and the Pardoning Grace of God, after the Gospel has been preached so many years in England, before any of our present day were born, and tell me, was that Gospel perfected, Prov.4:18, to come up to the Scripture-Pattern in Two Ages? Hath it not required more time to build up God’s Temple since the darkness and smoke, the dust and ruins of the Papal Interest among us? And are we got no farther in this Generation, as to the point of the Remission of our Sins, Lk.1:77, than to blaze it abroad from mere sparks, Isa.50:11, of our own kindling, {never taken off the Altar, Psal.118:27, where God’s own Sacrifice provided was bound and laid on,} to condition the Forgiveness of sins upon our willingness to part with them, in saying that “there is no just cause for thee to fear thy sins are too great to be pardoned by Christ, if they are not too dear {for there lies their greatness in this argument, their dear greatness, or their great dearness} to be parted with for him?” Are we got no farther into the Greatness of Pardoning Grace at this Day, than to be at a stand with it upon the greatness of our sins, too dear to be parted with for Christ? What do we make of the Great God all this while? What do we make of the Great Price, I Cor.6:20, that was not too dear to be parted with? And will we now at last go about to make people believe this must stop Christ’s Kingdom, in finding out and bringing in the elect, if these elect ones have sins too dear to be parted with for Christ? What stuff is this! What confusion and turning things topsy-turvy! Thus ye see, I take in the “greats” and “dears” of both sides. If I am great and dear in God’s Account, {greatly beloved and dearly embraced in Christ,} not only as to Pardon but Adoption, I say, if this be the case, my case or thy case; then we are too great and dear to God for God to part with us for dirt, who hath bought us with a Price! {“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.} And as God is greater than ourselves, ‘tis not our sins too dear for us to part with, that must go and frustrate the Eternal Purpose of God, Gal.2:21, of his Covenant-Faithfulness in Redemption; that God must part with us, because we have sins too dear to part with for Him. No; for the LORD has his Effectual Way at last to make us all agreed to cut off root and branch every sin, Heb.12:1, and to part with them, as dear as they are, and use us in his Service to confess Conquering Grace in Christ, {“nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” Rom.8:37.} {“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” II Cor.7:1.} Let another cast it upon the Prevalency or Sweetness of great sins too dear to be parted with for Christ; I dare not but lay the final Prevalency over Sin upon the Absoluteness of the Spirit’s Effectual Work, according to his own Gracious Covenant-Obligation to the other Persons, the Father and Christ, to come down upon and into every one of the elect in a Special way of Grace, applying God’s Grace in a harmony with what the Father and the Son have done therein; and so make it to be Grace Experimentally in my soul, reigning through Righteousness unto eternal life. {“That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rom.5:21.} Thus, I take and lay all these great and dear things of both sides, in my Examination of the matter, and lay them one against another, to show my readers which is the greater. Accordingly, you see here is great upon great, and one dear thing weighed against another dear thing. Moreover, I love to take up the Great Things of Christ and his Gospel upon the Certainties which the Holy Ghost hath laid them down by in the Word, and weigh them against other Certainties, all my certain Sins and Corruptions; and then I don’t know among all the elect of God, I profess to men, where to find sins too great either to be pardoned or to be parted with. I am clearly for issuing of things upon Gospel-Principles, and not upon Conditional yeas and nays, ifs and buts; for I am for going upon Fundamental Efficacies and Assurances, and not making all the main things of the Gospel Doubtful. {“But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea. For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” II Cor.1:18-20.}

Conditionalism

This is a way now wherein men discover they are much Ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. Oh! But how shall I know it to be the Gospel of Christ, if another man, a good man be not agreed in it, especially, if the Ministers constantly blow upon it? Know it, says Paul? Know it by the Power of God, an in-wrought Power in your own souls that brought you to all your right Grace-Faith in Christ. This is the way to know it, “for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth,” Rom.1:16, “for our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance,” I Thes.1:5, therefore do I discerningly perceive {am I convinced by spiritual sight and affection too} that it was the sheer Power of God unto Salvation that makes me believe the Truth of the Glorious Gospel of Christ, I Tim.1:11, against natural principles, against common persuasions, against my own righteousness, above my own frames at other times, above my own enlargements, above all the ordinances in their own common nature; yea, even above the Scriptures, which without Christ are a killing letter in my hands, II Cor.3:6, in a task of so many chapters a day, or such a portion of them to be read in a constant round, {without examining the Scriptures, Jn.5:39,} morning and evening? Do I discern this, I say, and feel this, in a matter where I go much alone? Other men’s sins therein are too great to be parted with? They won’t be beaten off their old way for Christ way. Which side now shall I believe about this one point? Which are the sins too dear to be parted with, and which are not? Shall I shut my own eyes in all the light God hath by Sovereign Grace allotted me, and determine the Matters of God upon the votes of the people? Away with them, for they will not deal with me by Gospel-Arguments and giving me any Account how God brought them to Christ. Or shall I believe the Lord of Glory, who hath in abundance of things we have been apt to take up for Religion and Truth, spoken against us all; and discovered that there are many things we have mistaken for Grace, which really after all the demonstrations of humility and modesty, are deadly Pride, and become the very sins which indeed are too dear with us to be parted with, for Christ? The Lord makes nothing of it to give it against your good men, as he did against those three good men in the case of Job, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. Job 42:7-9. The Lord hath spoken against me too, in everything where I have not hearkened unto the voice of his Word and Spirit in Conjunction; for ‘tis sad to see how men generally divide these, and look to the Word without the Spirit, or the Spirit without the Word. Now if I believe God, if I experience his Power going forth with his Word in my soul, and find this power loosening my heart from my sins, whenever, or upon what case soever, this Power comes into act in my soul; why now, I can confess and sit down thereby, and be assured, though all men, for my trial, were to stand by and contradict me, that there is no Gospel-Believing one moment, without a touch upon the heart from Heaven by this Power. It is a dead Faith {if Nature do prevail to heave it up at all} when Divine Power is not Sovereignly Dispensed and Asserted to set Faith into Motion. Again, I see and can through the same Grace find it thus in my own soul, that there is no Non-Believing, where the Power of God unto Salvation comes. Here are no too great sins to be parted with where the Power of the Most High is put forth, which is the bringing in, and the only means of bringing in, every one that believeth. And these are to be found nowhere but amongst the elect. Oh! I hate to mince the Gospel, as if the Gospel freighted me, and we were got into a Doctrine fit to scare men out of their wits! When I know, as I know the sweetness of my food by a hungry appetite, that the Revelation of the Grace of Christ is the sweetest Doctrine under the sun; and is that which hath put its sweetness into all the rest of the Doctrines of the Everlasting Gospel. Rev.14:6. What, shall I believe Election, an Election of select number of Adam’s race into a number of believers, and yet raise a doubt upon the Righteousness of Christ imputed to every one that believeth, only upon the absurd Condition that I part with them in order to get Christ? How dare I come and flutter it over thus with creature performances? As if the creature was above God and his Grace; and God and his Grace must stand by, in anticipation to see whether or not an Elect Vessel of Mercy will barter or exchange his sins for the Righteousness of Christ; and that in the day of Christ’s power too? {“Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.” Psal.110:3.} Yes, it should seem so by this toxic admixture of Truth with Error! Oh! Contradicting spirit of this preacher that sets the matter out with a vulgar face, as if God and Christ could do nothing by the Holy Spirit to purpose, till they find worm-creature free to part with his sins and agree with God about the Pardon. {“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Heb.13:20-21.} Come, come, O my soul, believe him not, {“O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united, &c.” Gen.49:6,} this is this preacher’s lie wherewith he hath been wont to make the heart of the righteous sad, whom the Lord hath not made sad, and has strengthened the hands of the wicked {by a mixed Gospel} that he should not return {by the pure Gospel} from his wicked way, by promising him Life upon conditions, qualifications, if’s, and I know not what else; and not suffering the Justified to rest upon the Righteousness of God alone, though he be Jehovah our Righteousness, Jer.23:6; to rest upon him for Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, Redemption, I Cor.1:30, and All, as well as Pardoning Grace. {“Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life; therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations; for I will deliver my people out of your hand; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.” Ezek.13:22-23.} Besides, how unfruitful are these sort of preachers in a Day when the Gospel is risen more upon England, for the Lord will not make use of the same sort of men in every Age, and in every Day of Grace alike! For my own part, when I make inquiry how the Work of God goes on, I can hear of no body that parts with their sins among the blockaders of Free Grace and Righteousness, Interest, Pardon and Acceptation with their ‘ifs’ and ‘ands.’ But I take notice that these preachers are sure to hold their sins of self-righteousness fast; for I can discern that their sins are too dear to part with for Christ, and that these good-men-preachers are in a worse condition, and a far greater sinners by propagating spiritual wickedness in high places, Eph.6:12, than their poor hearers, whom they charge to part with their sins and come to Christ! Oh! What a dreadful disappointment will it be, when such a great company of our zealous Reformation Preachers against profaneness and corporal wickedness, shall be found Enemies of the Cross of Christ! Phil.3:8. And that their spiritual sins in warm Sermons and sharp Exhortations {I mean all their soul-ruining way of Preaching, whilst they represent the Mighty Gospel as a bugbear to the people} are sins too dear to be parted with for Christ. This is the heart-life of their Anti-Antinomian Doctrine, and their Anti-Union Gospel, “thy sins are not too great to be pardoned by Christ, if they are not too great to be parted with for Christ.” I observe these men believe all they believe in the dark, and will have nothing, no, not so much as a candle with them in the dark to make any thing of God’s work upon the soul clear. 

Conditionalism

Seventeen Hundred Years ago the way of Conversion was by drawing. "No man can come unto me, except the Father which hath sent me draw Him." {John 5:44} It is the Father that draws - why? Because all must spring from the Everlasting Love of the Father, who is the Fountain of the Deity; but since the days of the Pelagians, since the days of Popery, since the days of semi-Pelagianism, since the days of Arminianism, and since the new schemes of some of the Non-Conformists, the matter hath fallen otherwise. Men often preach and dispute, sometimes with, and sometimes without provocation, as if no man came to Christ without driving; driving into the duties of the Gospel, in order to partake of the privileges of the Gospel; or driving them to fulfill the Conditions of the Covenant, as they sinfully call obedience to the duty-part. But the Lord open their eyes where any of them belong to the Election of Grace {Rom.11:5,} and give them to know, that this invention was never the order of things, to begin with the duties, and postpone the privileges; it was never the order either in the Decrees, or their executions of the Blessings of Christ and Obedience of Him, instituted and revealed under the Light of the Gospel. Thus it is, when men have shut out God the Spirit in Divinity, and set up their own and other men's guides, they run into confusion. This is the fruit of their preaching, to overthrow all order and settlements of Father, Son and Spirit from Everlasting to the Elect; and all to serve the vain ends of their own Babel, or confusion! All this is not Christ! Let us look above, and expect His coming down from Heaven, as our way thither to the Father, and ask for the old Paths Solomon had been describing {Prov.8:22,23,} about this Messiah; who had written of the glorious Paths, the ancient paths of Love, long before Jeremiah. Stand now, see and enquire for these, and see how far you are wandered, and got quite out of the way.

Conditionalism

Aye, but you must repent. True; but these ministerial hirelings never drove me to the Repentance of the Gospel. {Acts 11:18} For lo; they drive themselves to fulfill the conditions of the Covenant of Grace for their Peace in Repentance. Well; says one, but though they aim at fulfilling the conditions, they come up, we hope, to a sincere Obedience, and this God accepts, and this will bring us safe to heaven than all your 'Antinomian fooleries.' {I use the term which mine ears once heard a popular preacher of the City - now flourishing - call the great things of Christ and the Gospel.} Well; says I, remember sincere obedience is not enough for you, except it be the sincere Obedience of Christ, who was obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross! Take heed that your sincerity be not the sincere cheat of old Adam, for there is nothing which comes from old Adam which is accepted with the only wise God; for He knows no sincere obedience but what proceeds from the Tree first made good. {I Tim.1:17, Matt.7:18} The hasty conditionalist will drive me to a conditional Christ; and if any secret guidance from the Word would incline me right, {if it be not strong and effectual, but a mere motion without new Principle} this Jehu, this furious and dangerous one will drive me, and drive me {II Kings 9:20,} till he has got me off from the Motion, and Way too, that I must not dare to venture upon the Doctrine of Love-Union before Faith; nor venture so far neither by Faith, as to venture in after my absolute Fore-runner, who is for me entered, without any Condition I am to fulfill, within Veil. {Heb.6:20}

Conditionalism

Others have set up with conditional offers, with conditional proposals, and with conditional tenders. That is, you shall enjoy heaven and salvation, if you repent and believe, and perform sincere obedience to the Condition of the New Law. And thus the Neonomians interweave a coarse thread of Popery {out of which the terms of New Law and Conditions first arose} which runs through all their fine cloth they make up for heaven, out of other men's spinning, into the reformation of manners, and sincere obedience. But how short is this of the fine linen, white and clean, and the white raiment, {Rev.3:18,} which is the Imputed Righteousness of Christ put upon the ungodly, and therein made the righteousness of Saints, as the Holy Ghost calls it, “and to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” Rev.19:8.

Conditionalism

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, by telling 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, tend to make them believe? No, no, God in Christ and the Holy Spirit have far other means to bring home the elect than this poor way as taken up in this scarecrow. When did Christ or his Apostles ever preach Eternal Salvation to the elect by any argument of this import? ‘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 that 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 Day of Special Revelation Grace and Effectual Calling. And in these cases wherever there is a such 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 efficaciously brought in to Christ. 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! Just thus hath Mr. Hunt exalted our own righteousness above the Righteousness of Christ in this last scandalous reflection!

Conditionalism

Either we are all {‘Antinomian’-wise} cleansed in Regeneration, by the Washing of the Holy Ghost before we believe by Christ’s approaches to us, and so in the sight of God through Christ, as to our grace-portion in Christ we are clean before faith; or {Arminian-wise} we are not clean until after we believe. If we are cleansed before, then the mystical cleansing and Gift of the Holy Ghost too depend not on the antecedency of our going to Christ by faith, as the Arminian is wont to lay it upon faith, and presses sinners to believe, and then they will have all, and without believing they receive nothing at all; and there is nothing mentioned in regards to Regeneration and Washing of the Holy Ghost towards motion-faith, but all the emphasis is upon getting an ‘interest in Christ’. So the Arminian lays it all out in creature-acts in his exhortation to sinners; and shows that sinners have nothing before they give up themselves to Christ; consent to receive Christ; get an interest in Christ; receive Christ; give up themselves speedily to Christ; flee to Christ; come to Christ; believe on Christ &c., thus it goes on and on; as if all regeneration followed these acts, and not as if Regeneration was a State of Grace that infallibly produced them. Thus the Arminian intermingles such frights and threats with his exhortations as can be executed upon none that pass under Regeneration. “If you die out of Christ you will find yourselves miserably mistaken.” Why, if born again, how can they die out of Christ? If not born again, how can they perform the acts that he exhorts them to? By all this it appears that the Arminian makes no more of the Cleansing in Regeneration than he doth of the Life thereof.

Confession of Sin

Coming to Christ with our Sins, or in the Apprehended Pollution of our Adam-Nature, is a putting him in remembrance, as the Word says, how these very Sins that we bring to Christ confessedly, were once laid upon him judicially. “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Put me in remembrance; let us plead together; declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.” Isa.43:25-26. Thus, I say, we come before him, or to him in our filthiness laid open, and so in our Sins confessedly, and in this Grace of access through the Spirit, Eph.2:18, Christ hath Communion with us, and his blood still by fresh supplies of Application in the very Communion with us, cleanses us from all unrighteousness, I Jn.1:9; even to a sight of our Absolute Perfection as we stand in Him, and yet consistent with our Daily Pollution, so far as our natures derive from, and relate unto Old Adam. {Our State is in Christ, but our Nature is within our selves. Our State in Christ is not Sinful, whilst our natures in ourselves are so. For ‘tis by Nature in ourselves that we are children of wrath even as others, Eph.2:3; not by State in ourselves, much less by our State in Christ. So that upon this Distinction of State differenced from Nature, it is evident the soul comes to Christ in a justified State, yet with a filthy nature. Thus, the soul in coming to Christ, and venturing on him, brings the filthiness of its present nature to Christ, even whilst it is absolved from all Condemnation, as to its Standing in Christ, and there in that very act of the souls coming to Christ, and flinging it’s self - committing it’s self freely into the Ocean of Christ’s Blood, finds a full virtue of cleansing in that Infinite Ransom-Love!} Christ is well pleased to see a soul come Confessedly unto him, and lie down before him in the strength of his Omnipotent Grace, acknowledging the very Pollution of his Sins upon his own nature-self, now by Grace in the dust before the Lord, and there depending on the Mediator, for fresh, experimental sprinklings of his blood against his Sins, to wash them off again sensibly. “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through Sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ; Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” I Pet.1:2. And it is impossible for a soul to come to Christ, and not come thus, in and with his Sins and Uncleannesses upon him in his own eyes; for the virtue of Christ’s Righteousness sometimes stops influentially to me, as to my nature, though it never ceases in its virtue to God for me, touching my State and Condition to Eternity. God sees me in Christ still without spot. Rev.14:5. Yet I often can look no higher influentially than to see myself in and under the sensible Operations of Old Adam. Nevertheless, sometimes under Mighty Grace, I can see myself in Christ, what God sees me to be in Christ without spot. Thus, if I look upon my Condition in Christ, my Grace and Holiness I have mystically in Himself, I see myself every way complete, Col.2:10; but if I look upon Grace and Holiness itself derived from Christ upon me; as soon as that but comes to shine through my nature, it is quite another thing in me, then it is in Christ. Grace itself is discolored, and much of my filthiness in my very graces every day appears to me. My help therefore is in the name of the Lord, Psal.124:8, and I am sensibly relieved in and to myself, by looking unto Jesus under the Spirit’s Operation. Thus I and my Grace in Christ have no spot, but in me it is mixed with much Corruption, in which I daily come to Christ by Faith.

 Confession of Sin

He that can’t be too guilty in his person, to come, or go to Christ by Faith, can’t be too filthy in his nature, to go of Faith unto him. But the elect of God are not too guilty in their persons to go to Christ by Faith; therefore they are not too filthy in their natures to go by Faith unto him. And again, he that is too filthy to go to Christ by Faith is too guilty to go to Christ by Faith likewise. For Guilt and Pollution go in couples, so far as the elect are related in their nature-part to Adam. This evidently appears in the type of the two goats, Leviticus 16, provided both for the Guilt and Uncleanness of the people too. For, after the goat of the sin-offering for the people, upon which the Lord’s lot fell, was offered up for a sin-offering, verses 9,15, and Atonement made with it, verse 16, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, ‘tis expressly said thereof, verse 21, that “Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness;” what was this but coming with the guilt and filth of sin both, included in that phrase, “their sins,” and separately called “iniquities and uncleanness”? Who was it a coming to in the Mystery and Intendment of that type, but Christ? Heb.9:9-14. Atonement was to be made for their uncleanness, and their transgressions in all their sins, verse 16, both being coupled and laid together in that provisional Sacrifice looking unto Jesus, Heb.12:2, the Author and Finisher of our faith. “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else.” Isa.45:22. So that as guiltiness and filthiness in sin go by couples, and ample provision is made in bestowing Christ against both, the elect are quickened to this end that they should immediately look towards Christ with both uncleanness and transgressions, and then go to him with both, fiducially and confessedly, putting him in remembrance, Isa.43:26, upon faiths viewing him, that both of these have been laid upon him; and if I can’t act thus in respect of the filth of sin, I can’t act thus neither in respect of the guilt of sin. “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Put me in remembrance; let us plead together; declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.” Isa.43:25-26. For we see how they go together, and how the matter is still to be taken up through Christ for time, according to the Settlement-Patterns of the Grace of God in Christ before Faith or time either; because I love to eye the language of one text in the light of other texts, consistently. Furthermore, know that all sin is Abomination in the Sight of God. Guilt of sin or Filth of sin, let men distinguish it as they are wont, under this form, ‘tis utter Abomination still, as a hateful thing in God’s eye. If there be never so little of it that men think remains, when they diminish it into the remainders of sin, {which the Scriptures make out to be the abode and indwelling of sin,} that same pollution is abominable, and that same iniquity, whatever low measure flesh and blood may reduce it to in the Estimation, is abominable defilement in the Pure Eye of God. And is there any child of God in the world which can go to God without sin in the relation of his nature-part to Adam? Again, can any sin be clean? Is it not contrary to the nature of sin to be so? Can the stains which the last sins committed, it may be the greatest and blackest offenses of the number, have left behind them in the soul, be found a clean thing? And the heart in which they have lodged, be influentially clean by communication of Grace, before the time which that Communicating Grace, according to the Mystery of Grace, enables the heart practically to deal with Christ? So that if the soul goes at all, it goes with its abominations to the Son of God manifested to take away our sins. I Jn.3:5. How does a man go to the water but dirty? Whether he hath much or little dirt upon him, ‘tis filth and dirt still; and to the water he goes with that defilement. And is it not too with all the pollution he hath? And if they are torrid defilements must he stay till they cool upon his fingers? No; let him hasten immediately and wash, for the sooner the better. Is it not dirt that a man carries to the basin, with confidence the water will fetch it out? And then why not spiritually go to Christ in the Fountain of his Blood with our great and many abominations? Why not with many, why not with all our filth, as well as all our moral fineness? The LORD hates all abomination alike! Sin is sin, as that which is brought out of an unclean thing is unclean too; “that which is born of the flesh is flesh,” Jn.3:6, and “the flesh profiteth nothing.” Jn.6:63. So be assured from the Authority of Holy Scripture, that none were ever forbid to come to Christ, because of filthiness; that is, to come to him in Faith, which must be distinguished from coming to him in other Ordinances; and therefore I boldly conclude upon the evidences of Supernatural Truth revealed, that there are none too filthy to come to Christ by Faith. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me {but what if he comes in his filth? If he does, the text excludes none that so comes to Christ. Him that cometh unto me, says he,} I will in no wise cast out.” Jn.6:37. If in no wise, why then it must be in this case he will not among other cases, though a man come unto him in the filth of sin. I will suppose a man had no other objection, and it is enough, if he does not look on it in the light of the Glorious Gospel, II Cor.4:4, to object and say, oh! I am unclean! I am filthy! How shall I come to him of pure eyes? Hab.1:13. Yet if the Holy Ghost give him Faith, or in the work of the New Life put him upon coming after all, and the soul ventures with this filth sticking in his conscience, here’s nevertheless an “I will in no wise cast out.” So that ‘tis in Unbelief men are shut up, and restrained from going to Christ with their filthinesses, as Mr. Hunt all along in the matter of his opinion about going to Christ in filth hath pleaded the cause of Unbelief, in opposition to the Faith of the Gospel. ‘Tis want of strength shuts them up, not want of holiness. Life and pollution are consistent with motion, but unbelief, or spiritual death and pollution are inconsistent with it. Life in Faith wrought is one thing; this opens our spiritual graves, as the voice of Life did for Lazarus. So that if the Lord gives me Faith to come to Christ with the filth of sin, or go unto him compassed with pollutions, ‘tis not uncleanness shuts me up; for having Liberty and Boldness through the Spirit, II Cor.3:17, I go unto Christ with the same pollutions laid open. This Faith of the Operation of God is a Power to go to Jesus Christ under defilement, as discerning Faith views the encouragements so to do. There is no State and Condition a sinner can be in, but if the Holy Ghost gives him Faith {for it is his own mighty work} he may go by that Faith in the same Condition to Christ with all his filth immediately, and all his guilt too. Motion-Faith goes by the Power of God, not the principles of nature, or the persuasions of other men. If I see my grounds, and feel my under-girding strength, then sin does not fright me, nor the disputer of this world trouble me; for I see a holiness in Christ engaged on my side that outdoes all my own Pollutions.

Confession of Sin

We do lay our sins upon Christ by Faith, based upon the certainty that they were once laid on Him Judicially. That is, when we come before Him with our pollutions, or in our filthiness, we do by faith and holy confession in trust put Him in remembrance; {“put me in remembrance; let us plead together; declare thou, that thou mayest be justified,” Is.43:26;} as the Word bids us; that is to say, making mention of them, {after it hath been in our poor souls for some time through our own unbelief, as if God had forgotten us,} how these pollutions of ours were once laid upon Christ by an act of the Father judicially by Imputation. So that the foundation of our going forth {Heb.4:16} is Christ who completed the work that the Father had given him to do. And in our act we do but with a fiducial heart confessedly declare it, which is our laying sin upon Christ reflexively by faith, and not directly. Nothing that Christ hath done is rendered hereby imperfect, but the foundation of all is actually made use of and built upon, for if sin be thus fiducially and confessedly laid on Christ, by acknowledging God's mercy to ourselves in his past laying iniquity upon him by Judicial Imputation, and so pleading this with an eye to Christ for fresh supplies and communications out of his once bearing our Sins, and this is honoring to the Satisfaction of Christ as to the design and virtue thereof, both in reference to Justice and Holiness. Accordingly, though Christ bore our sins and took our sins away, it was by the Federal boundary set thereunto by God's Will, {Heb.10:7,} which excepted the remainder of sin in our natures though born again, and so left room to designate us upon the same account sinners, as to pollution in this present life for the glory of God the Spirit in our daily sanctification, though not to remain on our persons, after this new birth, to condemnation in the present life.

Contending for the Faith

Oh! but the Canaanite dwells in the Land, Gen.13:7, and what will he say? Aye, these be your Israelites indeed! Do but see how they write one against another. Be it so; for our writing one against another, I Kgs.13:18, argues, we believe ourselves spiritually interested in that which attends upon the Main. Now that’s above all carnal party-interest. It argues that we are concerned so as to take pains in the Bible, Dan.12:4-13, when God the Comforter quickens up our thoughts and hearts to pursue these Everlasting Interests. It is likewise evident that we must spend less time in other things that divert the flesh and the mind. It’s a good Argument to prove that we will not, as the manner of some is, merely dress up an easy chat by the walls, Ezek.33:30, against the Injures of Truth, and there leave our Eternal Interests. “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.” {I Tim.4:15} This becomes none who receive “the Truth as it is in Jesus.” Eph.4:21. When I see mine own and others’ Eternal Interest in the things of the Gospel assaulted, it becomes my duty to awake and rise as Christ gives me light, Eph.5:14, and reply in the Vindication of the Cause, like David. “And David said, what have I now done? Is there not a cause?” {I Sam.17:29}

Contending for the Faith against Arminianism

Where are the men upon earth that should be valiant for the Truth? “And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies; but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the LORD." {Jer.9:3} Even for that Truth of God which most stumbles and hardens the Arminians? Shall we trim it, conceal our principles, give up truths, and alter them to gain a better esteem of our doctrine among the Arminians? {The Truths of the Gospel are to be preached first of all absolutely, as matters of God's Glory.} Away, Away! Lord help me to stand fast in those glorious liberties wherewith Christ hath made me free! {Gal.5:1} Since Arminians will be hardened at the doctrine of God's Grace, let it be so; for “if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.” {II Cor.4:3} And better all the Arminians in the world were hardened, who strike at God's Grace and Christ's Righteousness, and plainly declare that they have no work of God's Spirit upon them above nature, and wrought in them to bow to God's Sovereign Grace, than that one of God's righteous, little ones, under the Imputation of that Righteousness, should be made sad, offended, injured, or entangled and bewildered.

Contending for the Faith against Arminianism

Quotation – “If then you would be truly beautiful, if you would have the better part of comeliness in God's sight, then throw away your paint, and make use of the Rose of Sharon.” Here is a project; and a woeful one, to set on foot, to make you truly beautiful, and the better part comely in God's sight; and all done by your own act and deed! No operation of God so much as minded, but all free will, and more free will; as if it were all in your own hand. The operation of God the Father shut out! The operation of God the Son not thought upon! The operation of God the Spirit, in the language of this natural advice, hath nothing to do but stand still and wait, whilst this free-willer transforms himself into all this beautiful piece of work! Ah, vile piece of stuff, when set in a true Gospel Light, and not wrapped up in the natural darkness of the aforesaid exhortations. Souls, throw away Mr. Hunt's book, and under the lively breathings of the Holy Ghost, being sanctified by Christ's blood, as he is the Great High Priest over the House of God that sprinkles you in drawing near, so approach, and in sweet communion, a branch of your everlasting grace union, looking forwards to the appearing in bloom of his open Glory Kingdom. Making use of this Rose of Sharon? What man, is there that can make himself truly beautiful in God's sight? “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots; then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” {Jer.13:23} And yet when the Arminian books are set forth, we are told that we must not print against them. ‘If you think’ says one, ‘that there are any weak passages in Mr. Hunt's book, in my opinion it would be better and more regular to write unto him in a spirit of love, than to appear in print upon this occasion.’ “Love the truth and peace,” says the Spirit of Christ. {Zech.8:19} Let us not then be cajoled out of our Vindications of the Truth by such ‘sons of peace,’ as the adhering to their advice will bring down War from God upon our Consciences. Hath the Truth done so much for me, and can I refuse under God's call to do so little for the Truth, as to stand up and maintain a good warfare in defending it. When God’s Truth is openly wronged, what rule of Christ hath this persuader given me to put my pen in a corner? Why is a man's name dearer than Christ's? Why must a man be given liberty to abuse our Savior in print and I allowed none to vindicate him in print thereafter? What if the Spirit of God will stir up a man to this work, what hath any man to do to “kick against the pricks,” {Acts 9:5,} and pretend to peace, when he fights against God? How many poor souls are pinched when the truth is set in stocks, and who can be set at liberty when the Gospel is bound? And when the Glorious Gospel of Christ is seen to be thus mixed and blended by unskillful workmen, why should not I, though a poor worm, set upon this work in the Lord’s strength?

Conversion to Christ

Conversion to Christ is no blind motion {Acts 16:14, 14:27;} though conversion to all other objects, conversion to parties, to churches, to professors, to duties, to ordinances, to preaching and hearing the Word itself, is all, without conversion to Christ, above and beyond them, blind enough. {Rev.3:17} Indeed; when I went no further than to come to Ordinances, and there stuck, thinking in my very soul that coming to them seriously was coming to Christ, I went then all upon the peradventure as others do {I Kings 20:31, Gen.32:20;} but when I came home to Christ, it was otherwise. {Is.45:24} I did not come to him upon any persuasive If’s {if I come, satisfaction to God is made for all my sins – if bring my penitence, Jesus Christ will bring my pardon – No, when I came home to Christ, I did not come thus;} but I came upon positive drawings to the Object, God-Man, in clear and distinct discoveries {Job 33:23,24} of his Person, Righteousness and Grace to my poor soul! I felt his Power after I beheld his Fullness! He had opened himself unto me. The certainty of it in my views {Ps.119:130,131, Is.40:31} made me run, for I received more ground {Is.45:22} now in one single consideration than I used to get under a whole set of motives and directions! Oh; Gospel faith is no blind faith, no melancholy faith, no roundabout faith! I see full Satisfaction made, and all in Christ's hands for me! And Gospel faith in the believing act {Ps.36:9} hath the view of its Object as distinct and certain.

Conversion & the Sovereignty of God

God is Sovereign to convert whom he will; but let men know that God is just in converting them, {Is.53:11,} when it comes immediately to the work thereof in bowing the soul to Christ. It is certainly thus although his immediate justice be founded upon his original sovereignty, his sovereignty never thwarts his justice, but reconciles that upon his own appointed way. {Rom.5:21}

Conversion to Christ

Let us as wise and understanding as to what the will of the Lord is, {Eph.5:17,} look at a right Conversion to the Kingly Office of Christ. For all sound Christians of any standing, in conversion to Christ, must more or less, at one time or another, be convinced by the Holy Ghost of this, and to what distinct end from true saving Conversion to Christ. This Conversion to the Kingly Office and Government; {and to talk of your humble, holy walk without this, is no more than mere branches of moral virtue, that make useful to men, but not at all serviceable to Jesus Christ;} I say, this Conversion to the Kingly Office and Government of Christ can never be brought about in the soul and life before Conversion to the Priestly Branch of the Mediator. Though it is done by the Power of the King to dispense the Grace of God, in the light of the teaching office, or what we call the Prophetical Office of Christ, under the virtue of the healing in his wings, {Mal.4:2,} or his Priestly Office in the Gospel, to which as our Object in the Person of Christ we must be first turned. For Conversion, or the act of turning, is always to do again, and be repeated, after every act of departure from the Living God, {Heb.3:2,} though it be but a departure from Him in our thoughts, although Regeneration was wrought at once in the same instant. And when we are brought to new acts of conversion, or turning again and again {I mean from self, from sin and all natural help} to eye Him and receive Him as our Gospel Salvation, still the same, after every day’s sinning, we must out of Regeneration, or the first principle of our New Life in Christ, be turned, or influenced, excited and fresh drawn again from all to Christ. And to that in Christ which at our first conversion of all we were turned to {when turned right,} even his Priestly Office, {Ez.6:13,} the Office of Christ in the matters of his Righteousness and Blood, whether sacrificed on the Cross, or pleaded in advocacy on the Throne. In the light of this we discern his Teachings by the Holy Spirit; and in the peace and love thereof shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given unto us, {Rom.5:5,} we are prepared to turn to Him as our King and Husband under his own sweet and easy laws suited to our new Relation by the Holy Ghost, for all newness comes in to us, and upon us, by the effectual workings of the Holy Spirit.

Death & Resurrection of Christ

The Rose of Sharon {Song 2:1} is a Representation of Christ not as slain, but as alive. Christ, as he died for our iniquities, being set forth in the fittest representations of it, by things appointed in the Law to prefigure and shadow forth his Sacrifice, especially the Lamb slain. {Rev.13:8} And in the extreme sufferings of the human nature his strength was dried up like a Potsherd {Ps.22:15,} as the prediction of his sufferings hath declared; and ‘tis added, “thou hast brought me into the dust of death.” Look, 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, if we look to the man abstractly, exhausted; that we might look still more to the fullness of his Person God-Man, both Priest and Propitiation Sacrifice in one Gospel mystery of the Person, through the union of the two Natures. It must therefore be Christ as alive again {Heb.13:20,} or, being brought again from the dead, 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 spouses condition, as a spouse.

Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD

“There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” - No more Law sacrifice for sins, no more Gospel sacrifice for sins either, if we refuse or reject the Lord Jesus Christ. There remaineth no more sacrifice of the Gospel, because as there is no other Messiah than Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, to be the Gospel Sacrifice, so that same Messiah sacrificed is to be offered up no more. {“We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Heb.10:10} Again, there remains no more sacrifice of the Law, because the sacrifices of the Law, which typified Christ, have all lawfully ceased in this most Perfect Sacrifice, and can be no more renewed forever. Therefore, says he, upon rejecting Christ’s {once and for all perfect} Sacrifice, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins; but, says he, there remaineth “a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” {Heb.10:27} The direct meaning of the Apostle in this, that the unbelieving Jews, thinking to mend themselves by going back to Judaism, should be mistaken; and that they should pay dear for this Relinquishment of Christ, the Gospel Sacrifice. For, instead of meeting with opportunity to go on with the abrogated sacrifice in the Temple at Jerusalem, as their forefathers had been accustomed to do, when they continued the legal sacrifices, they would but go and mingle themselves with the adversaries, who should be utterly ruined in the calamities of that provoked nation. The visible judgment of the Righteous Lord {Ps.11:6,7} should even swallow up their Temple, Country and Commonwealth, and openly destroy the Jews, even in this world. And how that hath come to pass, hath been known to all the Earth. {“And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.” Ez.22:48} The Apostle spake thus to the Hebrews, as hoping it would be a means to fix the elect, and resettle the wavering of that number, and make them prize the mercies of the Gospel more, and not be afraid of them that upbraided them for their steadfastness, by setting forth the sad condition of the adversaries, which would issue finally upon none but the non-elect; and being encouraged to believe this Hebrew Epistle would be mightily blessed, as a means to prevent an open relapse {whatever might be the present, corrupt inclination} of the elect number, if not to convert some of the then uncalled elect of the Jewish nation, who might read the same, because of its subscription to the Hebrew people. Now as the Apostle had predicted of the adversaries, it came to pass. There was fiery indignation that devoured them; as they were swallowed up in a gulf of fire. This was more visible and literally executed upon such of the Jews as presumed to continue sacrificing in the Temple against all belief of the One Offering of Jesus Christ before them; their blood, as Christ had also foretold, was mingled with their sacrifices, {Lk.13:1,} in the horrible siege of Jerusalem by Titus Vespasian, when there was such a mighty slaughter made of them upon the very pavements of the Temple at the destruction of that city by the Romans. And the fiery indignation as foretold by the Apostle Paul to these Hebrews, came upon them literally, in the destruction of their Temple, and burning that House of Sacrifice over their heads, for going on to kill the ox, whilst those who sacrificed the ox were the very Jews {“he that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations; I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear; but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not,” Is.66:3,4} that slew the Man, the Man Christ Jesus, {I Tim.2:5,} as the prophet hath clearly prophesied of the Hebrew people, at the time of God's rejecting them after Christ. The same fire which burned the Temple devoured the very adversaries of our Dear Lord Jesus, at their devotions therein. {“For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” Mal.4:1} Oh! It was that Day of the Lord which did burn as an oven, whilst all the proud scoffers at Jesus Christ, going about to establish their own righteousness, had not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God. {Rom.10:3} Yea, with those proud, all that did wickedly, not only rejecting Christ, but blaspheming him, were, to a very great number of them, got into the idolized Temple for shelter and sanctuary from the Romans in their storming of Jerusalem, {Ez.13:13,14,} whilst Christ was a Hiding Place to the elect of God, {Is.32:2,} who had seasonably retreated upon Christ's own warning {Lk.21:20} being given unto them. The rest were blinded as before, {Rom.11:7,} and so were but run from the Sword to the Flame of devouring fire. These soon found the Temple to be a Fiery Oven in the time of God's anger, even as was foretold by the Psalmist, “thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger; the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.” {Ps.21:9} This particular threatening against the Jews in that Psalm is purposely penned by the Holy Ghost there among the recorded Victories and Triumphs of the Lord Christ, to set forth his Righteous Vengeance, even the vengeance of the Temple {Is.66:6} in his devouring Fire, upon his personal enemies, the Jews, who crucified Him, in revenging his despised blood upon their children, on whom the wretched parents had imprecated the dismal curse, {Mt.27:25,} even whilst Jesus, that he might sanctify the people {of God} with his own blood, suffered without the gate. {Heb.13:12} And whilst the burning Temple was thus a fiery Oven, the Jews in it became as a handful of stubble cast in to be devoured in the flames, both parents and their children! {Mal.4:1} That, as the prophet shows us, it did neither leave root nor branch, as many of them as were burnt in this oven, to get out from the fiery Temple, and a fiery Law, alive. {Deut.33:2} And as that Temple had been a Type of the Human Nature of Christ, so at that time when it was thus clothed with devouring fire that burnt up the adversaries, it was a very terrible and solemn Emblem of the second coming of Christ burning with indignation against the wicked, “when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” {II Thes.1:7,8} Now says the Apostle to these Hebrews, what would ye get by relapsing into the old bosom of your Temple, if God doth not prevent it by giving you the true and everlasting faith in Christ? What will the sacrifices of the Law advantage you, when God shall reckon with his adversaries for despising Christ, and shall burn the willful sacrificers with their empty sacrifices together, and fire down the house of their vain oblations too, {Is.1:13,} and pile them all up in one monument of His Kindled Wrath together? What will then become of all the Jew’s expectations in setting Moses up against Christ? What apostates, what temporizers, what compounders {or admixtures of Christ and Moses} will then escape, whose zeal for the Law shall but hurry them on faster to be devoured in this fiery indignation? The more haste they make, in a blind zeal and devotion, to sacrifice in their Temple, the more guiltily will they be consumed in the same Sinai-House on fire. Now all this soon thereafter came to pass upon that miserable, infatuated and befuddled people, as the Scriptures of the Old Testament had plainly enough foretold the Jews. {Heb.12:18 with Ex.19:18, Jer.4:22, Ez.20:46,47} And as the New Testament epoch-annals of time, together, with the different pens of historians, have made the truth of devouring the adversaries this way to appear. And indeed the execution of the threatenings have been obvious. It's plainly beheld in comparing the prophecies and events together. All sacrifices being necessarily destroyed with the Destruction of the Jewish Temple. “There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” It must be remembered that the Apostle wrote to the Hebrews. These were Jewish professors of Christ, who at length were many of them wavering, and began to think they had made a false step in forsaking Moses to embrace Christ. Hence some of them seemed ready for absolute apostasy, others seemed ready to compound the matter, and ignorantly join Judaism with Christianity; and both were destructive of the True and Evangelical Sacrifice. The main scope of the Apostle in this Epistle, when he had advanced in it so far the Worship of the Gospel, was to prove the complete abrogation of these bloody sacrifices for sin, and that the typical worship of the Law was done away by the Death of Christ, the true Gospel-Sacrifice, and that an Evangelical and Spiritual Worship was introduced, adequate to and consistent with the Resurrection and Glory of this One sacrifice for sins, and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ, upon the heart and conscience of every Believing Worshiper.

Divine Revelation - Instructed in the Gospel of Christ

I am not against a Doctrinal opening of the Holy Scriptures, nor Practical writing; but let every man, as the Holy Ghost saith in Paul, “take heed how he buildeth” on the Foundation; the Foundation is Christ, I Cor.3:10, and it must be Spiritual building upon Jesus Christ. Let us not then be carried away with carnal reasonings, as the opinions of men, which the Scripture calls the “traditions of our fathers.” I Pet.1:18. “But I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols; I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them.” {Eze.20:18-19} Let us not be put off with following in the tread, and steps, and notions, and language one of another, and call this, a building upon Christ; for ‘tis no meet building. Such stuff doth not suit with the One Foundation which is a rich and costly building; or rather, a being “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.” {Eph.2:20} Doctrinal and Practical writers are not to pin one upon another, as generally they have done all along, to the no mean disservice of the Gospel. Let me see things belonging to the Scriptures solidly made out by the Holy Ghost’s own arguments there, {“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received.” I Cor.11:23. “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ,” Gal.1:11-12,} and not by the Council, the Classis, the Fathers, the Quotations; nor, in short, by the Authority and Opinion, the Subscriptions and Prevailing Notions of the Times; the adhering to all which hath unanimously thrust out God’s Holy Spirit, and miserably stopped the progress of the Everlasting Gospel, Rev.14:6, in its business with the souls of God’s people. “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran; I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.” {Jer.23:21-22} For we see manifestly, in spite of all the learning, that learned men, I Cor.1:20, have been building up a Babel of Confusion to lay their notions under everlasting Disputes; the Lord having confounded their language, Gen.11:7, and several opinions, till they understand not, nor believe one another! After all is said and done, it is the poor that receive the Gospel. “Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” {Lk.7:22-23} Oh! Therefore none like the Holy Ghost to make out his own meaning in the Word. I prefer God’s giving me the Holy Ghost, before all the men and books in the world, to understand the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make me wise unto salvation. II Tim.3:15. Let interpreters of the Word show me what they have seen from God, not what they have seen from one another. “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.” {II Tim.2:7} - It is needful to rely upon the Lord’s all sufficiency to bestow wisdom, diligence, holy zeal, and a thorough heart for Christ {not a divided heart, as Hosea 10:2, not a heart and a heart, one heart for his glory, and another heart for our own names} for undertaking it. And this is the more needful, if we love our Lord Jesus Christ, and the souls of men, or take any due care about the field, which “the Lord hath purchased with his own blood,” Acts 20:28, and fenced round by enclosures of Free Grace, to distinguish it from the world besides.

Duty Faith and Repentance

Their Leaders err, and cause others to err. How? They'll preach duty, that's well; but not well to preach it in their own way. Tis not well to neglect preaching duty in Christ's way, upon whose shoulders is the Government of Grace. How many preach duty and performances that will not endure to found them upon the Rock? For then they must be their own conceited Antinomians, and begin with Christ; for that which foundeth is always before that which is founded. How many preach duty and performances, that hate to hear that they must be spiritualized with the Holy Ghost? How many press them and give you whole sets of directions to come up to them, who will never believe, that to make men serve in the newness of the Spirit, and not in the oldness of the Letter, they must be all influenced by the same mighty power that gives the New Birth? In short, let these poor souls flatter themselves in their own iniquity, {and much of that iniquity, I know to be their own sincere obedience they rely upon,} yet their sin will find them out. The Holy Ghost never as a Living Principle stirs along with them in the common way, although he doth and will as a Righteous and Judicial Agent. But as they have left the Holy Ghost's counsel in their way of preaching duty, so the Holy Ghost hath quite left them. And if we speak against this, and write against this, we are Antinomians presently; the Lord judge between us and them.

Effectual Conversion to Christ

This expression ‘getting of Christ,’ to set forth the Creature’s Act, is an ill phrase of speech; it ought to be receiving Christ. John 1:12. “As many as received Him,” for He was not given to everyone that received Him. “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven,” John 3:27; says John the Baptist upon this very article of receiving Christ. To talk of getting Him is profane; as if Christ were like a common pledge, stake or wager, or ordinary sort of merchandise, wherein everyone who gets the wager, or wares, doth all in it himself, and perhaps none else is concerned whether he get or lose the money or goods. Whereas election of Christ to be our portion is the provision and care of a Father to lay up estate, bread, clothing, &c., {Deut.32.6;} and all for His children; so that when He comes to bestow Christ at last by the Spirit, He doth not lay it upon their getting, but upon His own free imparting, what He hath as freely made ready. Also, He gives them, as their Father, His effectual blessing with Christ, and that is His Spirit which seals up every good thing with the gift of Christ; as faith, repentance, sanctification, joy in the Holy Ghost, delight, increase of grace, and perseverance therein unto the end. {Rom.8:32} So that this is an expression very much against election. As if God had not elected Christ freely to be received, nor elected our faith, to as many of us as received him, nor elected the mission of His own Spirit to work that faith; but as if all depended upon the prosperous advances and successes of our creatureship, thus shutting out grace in the gift according to election, and putting in a man or woman's nature in the getting. I am sure there is no getting an interest in Christ {Rom.9:16,} if it be not gotten for me, and gotten in Christ already. An interest in Christ is a passive work, ‘tis gotten for me by Another, ‘tis wrought upon me, and not to be done by me, to interest me in the operations of the Spirit of Christ which are part of my interest in God. It is God's work for me and then upon me, and so passes from getting Christ to receiving Christ, when it is brought down by grace so far as a practical work of the soul.

Effectual Conversion to Christ

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. ‘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.

Effectual Conversion to Christ

To answer the rest of it about opportunities to get Christ not lasting always. It had been more to the purpose, if he had given God the glory of the Truth of His promise made to Christ, “thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power” {Ps.29:2; 110:3;} then to run on like the Arminianism of the Times among your ‘good’ men, who tell sinners, “that now whilst the day of grace lasts God is offering, and tendering, and wooing them with grace; but if they don't accept of mercy now, it will not be long before the wooings and beseechings of God will be over, and the day of grace past. Mr. Hunt, in the matter I am canvassing, is of the same piece with this Arminianism barefaced. And the whole strikes at Election, and therefore never makes use of the doctrine of Effectual Grace. But the Truth is this, so long as there is an elect number {Rom.9:27 – I John 5:19 – John 13:18} to be gathered out of the world by the preaching of the Gospel, their opportunities of receiving Christ shall be continued and prospered. If opportunities should totally cease, I would say the elect in such times and places were totally gathered; for this is consistent with election, I mean determinate, everlasting and unchangeable election, but the other is inconsistent with it. {II Tim.1:13, Eph.1:4, Rom.11:4,5} Therefore because the elect are not all gathered, nor to be gathered in one place or another to the end of the world, their opportunities last as long as the Gospel lasts, and that shall be as long as the world lasts. “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” {Mt.28:20} If Christ be with the Apostles doctrinally, authoritatively and influentially, always, even unto the end of the world, wheresoever and whensoever the Apostlic doctrine is preached unto souls, then the opportunities of the elect to receive Christ do last alway, even to the end of the world likewise. {Acts 2:42} The Gospel continued so long in the East and South, to wit, in Asia and Africa, as until the elect were gathered, and then both of those Continents, where the Gospel had been preached, were given up to the Curse, and have become a staple for the horse of Mahomet. But this was only because He who lay in the manger had gathered in all his harvest thereabouts. The Day of Grace was not over so long as there was one soul intended to be saved. The elect are all gathered before the season ends. This argument therefore is against the doctrine which hath so often frightened the elect in the days of their ignorance, telling them the Day of Grace may be over if they do not close with Christ this evening, and if a sinner repents not today, he may sin away his time, and find it too late tomorrow. This they hold, not distinguishing between the elect, whose opportunities are secured to their Effectual Conversion to Christ, and the rest who have no opportunities to believe and be saved, so long as they remain in this world, {Mark 4:12;} because the Spirit’s presence with the Word which makes the opportunity effectual to salvation, is, and must be, restrained from them. And the Truth is, all these love to have it so, when they come to hear what the Spirit and his work is. Therefore diverse Preachers go about to promote conversion most un-skillfully.

Eternal Union in Christ

Let men snarl at this Love of God from Everlasting to the Elect in His Son Jesus Christ, if they dare. There is not a holy man amongst them under the Sun who ever shall see the Face of God for himself, but such a one shall be found to be brought into Christ, and with Him to stand into God {as the Greek is in John 17:23} upon this One Foundation of their Everlasting Union in the Christ. This Union I am speaking of tarries for or depends upon no man's Faith or Works; and that Union is put into the One-Love wherewith God loved Christ. This love, this union-love is the only frame that holds, in Christ Jesus of God, all the Branch-unions of it consequent in time, and following other things which stand before it in the same everlasting Frame. Thus Christ standing in God, and Love pitching upon our persons in Him; faith and works too in their place and frame can never fly in pieces, or be lost out of this settlement. The settlement of them is the only means in the hand of God in Christ, that Faith, Repentance, Holiness of Life; as well as Holiness of Heart, can never fall, or fail; but secures them every One. Here I pitch through Grace, on this I live, with this I choose to die.

Everlasting Love of God in Christ

Must God’s love be suspended till the sinner’s faith? Does not God delight in my person in Christ, even whilst He pities my condition in Adam? God's pity indeed is one of the sweet points of the Gospel; for “great are his compassions towards us,” {Lam.3:22, Ps.117:2,} and as the heavens are higher than the earth, so is His mercy, coming from this everlasting love in heaven towards them that fear him {Ps.103:11, Is.55:9;} and as His mercy is the supernatural and influential cause of that fear, so His everlasting love, founded in His own will, is the first cause of that mercy shown. Nevertheless; this distinction, that God loves the elect with a love of pity before they believe, but not with a love of delight till after they believe, is a very pitiful and empty distinction in the sense of the schools. And our school men might be ashamed to take up this distinction, to apply their notion to God's elect. For though the distinction be the Papists, yet the use and application of it is rendered by too many of our Nonconformists, in Conferences, Books and Sermons, for it mightily takes.

Everlasting Love of God in Christ

Now I come to the Everlasting Love of the Father to the elect, yet still with our eye upon Christ the beloved pattern. See John 17:23. “And hast loved them as thou hast loved me.” From hence it is thousand times more consistent to believe God's everlasting love to us {Jer.31:3,} upon the foundation of His loving Christ, as Christ, than to believe that God's love to us begins with our faith, repentance, obedience and earthly qualifications. I say, God's Everlasting Love! How consistently does God's everlasting love that is spoken of in Jer.31:3, {“the LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee,”} fall in with all those texts that speak so much of God's love to Christ; before the production of His works of old, than to date God's love to my person from my yesterday's faith, repentance, and my day to day holiness and good works, as the Arminians do.

Everlasting Love of God in Christ

This is that everlasting love which hath been from God's eternal settlements. That love wherewith the Church has been loved everlastingly before she was drawn and therefore is she at last drawn by the fruit of it in open loving-kindness. It is expressed thus; “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” It is neither ‘I will love you’ with an everlasting love; nor ‘I do love you’ with an everlasting love; but that I have done it! It is not I will, because it was about a deed of Settlement; and to have said ‘I will love thee’ with an everlasting love, had argued the thing yet to be settled, founded and made sure; but that same love could not be wanting, for ‘twas done. That love was not to be settled with God hereafter, but was settled already; and from thence inclusively upon this lasting bottom of the Love, the everlastingness of it that hath been, is to be continued and perpetuated the everlastingness of the same love hereafter. It is not ‘I do love you’ with an everlasting love, for the same reason; but I have, to show that it is by grace, and not by present or future faith, repentance, works of righteousness, holiness etc. He hath loved Jacob, and hated Esau, before they have done good or evil. Observe, the Love of God is the glory of His Grace; it is the top and quintessence of all His mercy to the elect, even whilst they lie dead in trespasses and sins. The fall being decreed subserviently to exalt the riches of God's grace and love towards the elect. Eph.2:4,5.

Everlasting Love of God

Men speak out of ignorant fear, and not experimental trial of the Holy Ghost's Power {I Cor.2:14-16,} who think this doctrine a licentious doctrine. I would fain know what Doctrine of the Gospel is not licentious which the Spirit leaves in our hands! I have found the contrary doctrine, the doctrine of the Law, the most licentious {Rom.7:7,} doctrine to me, even to a hating of God, and wishing there had been no religion in the world! The doctrine of their Sincere, instead of Perfect Obedience brought me to it. Sincere! I saw nothing I had, nothing I did was sincere. I could never believe this Doctrine of Everlasting Love to be a licentious doctrine, when the Spirit took it into hand! It is not what doctrine I will choose for the Holy Ghost to use upon me to make me holy, that must do it; but it is that doctrine the Holy Ghost will choose by application for me, that sanctifies me; and it is as consistent that men in their unchanged nature should stumble at this doctrine, as that they should stumble at Christ's Incarnation. "This Child is set for the falling as well as the rising of many in Israel, and for a Sign that shall be spoken against." Luke 2:34. How seldom do our poor meal-mouthed ‘brethren’ that often name Christ {Oh; that they oftener preached Him!} tell the people this. Accordingly, I see it clearly, and must therefore say it, God's Everlasting Love to the Elect in His Son Jesus Christ is set for the falling, and dashing, and quarreling, and despising in many of our Professors, {Rom.9:32, Matt.21:44, Gal.4:16,} and for a Sign, a Mark, and Infallible Sign of Grace that shall be spoken against. This I look for, and am never surprised, nor angry when I see it come! God's Word must be fulfilled. - Oh; blessed be God for Everlasting Love to the Elect in His Son Jesus Christ. Oh; this same Ancient Grace is Efficacious Grace!

Everlasting love of God in Christ

Christ's love of His spouse is as God's love. “I and my Father are one.” {John 10:30} One in love, as well as one in Being. Whatsoever is said of God's love in the Person of the Father, proper to the Father, is said also of God's love in the Person of the Son, proper to the Son. What is it that is said of God's love in the Person of the Son, the Bridegroom this spouse’s Husband? Why, that Christ's love of the spouse rises up into a comparison with God's love of Christ. “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you.” {John 15:9} That is, as the Father hath a love to me in the everlasting union and loved you with an everlasting love, in the everlasting relation unto me, so have I loved you. Thus, Christ's loving the spouse will compare with God's loving Christ, and with God so loving her too in a relation unto Him. “And hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” {John 17:23} From hence it is thousand times more consistent to believe God's everlasting love to us upon the foundation of his loving Christ, as Christ, than to believe God's love to us begins with our faith, repentance, obedience and qualifications upon earth. I say, God's Everlasting Love. For I am not yet come down from the Supralapsarian mount. How consistently does God's everlasting love spoken of in Jeremiah 31:3, fall in with all those texts which speak so much of God's love to Christ, before the production of His works of old, than to date God's love to my person from my yesterday's faith, repentance, and my today's holiness in good works, as the Arminians do. It is expressed thus; “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” It is neither, I will love you with an everlasting love; nor I do love you with an everlasting love. But I have done it. It is not I will. Because it was about a Deed of Settlement. And to have said, "I will" love thee with an everlasting love, had argued the thing yet to be settled, founded and made sure. But that same love could not be wanting – for ‘twas done. That love was not to be settled with God hereafter, but is settled already. And from thence inconclusively upon this lasting bottom of the love, the everlastingness of it that hath been, is to be continued and perpetuated the everlastingness of the same love hereafter. It is not I do love thee with an everlasting love for the same reason; but I have, to show that it is by Grace, and not by present or future faith, repentance, works of righteousness, holiness, &c., he had loved Jacob, and hated Esau, before they had done good or evil. Observe, the love of God is the glory of his grace; it is the top and quintessence of all His mercy to the elect, even whilst they lie dead in trespasses and sins - the Fall being decreed subserviently to exalt the riches of God's grace and love towards the elect! “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace ye are saved; and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Eph.2:4-6. I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have loved and never hated. “I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us?” {Mal.1:2,3} Wherein says he? In Election, and in all that belongeth to everlasting settlements. And love you so as never to hate you, which I have not done to others whom I have hated. Was not Esau Jacob's brother, saith the Lord; yet I loved Jacob and hated Esau. I have loved you anciently, you my chosen, I have loved you before the foundation of the world. Come into time, and I have loved you always. Whatever I have been doing to the world, I have been doing nothing that should ever hurt you. Whatsoever plagues I have brought on mankind, be it what wrath or hatred soever I have at any time executed, and spoken to the nations in my hot displeasure {Psa.2:5,} yet I have always loved you. I have loved you anciently, I have loved you always, I have loved you only. I have made and preserved all, but I have loved none but you. It is the mystical Body of Christ that God hath loved with the same everlasting love, wherewith he hath loved Christ the Head of that body. I have loved first, and brought it about, upon an everlasting security, that you have loved next. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us.” {I John 4:10} Loved us before we loved Him, and even when it came to sending Christ, as in the next words, he sent his Son before we were ready to receive him. Therefore, be sure, “if any man love God, the same is known of him.” {I Cor.8:3} He that loveth is known of God antecedently to any man's loving him; and known of God influentially before his faith thus brought by love. “We love him because he first loved us.” {I John 4:19} The Father chose us to love before we loved; the Son ransomed us to love before we loved, that we might love upon His own love. The Holy Ghost renewed us to love before we loved the Lord. The love of God in settlements from everlasting, the love of God in regeneration, is the love that in every way precedes us. I have loved before drawing, therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee, because I have loved thee with an everlasting love. In the very supralapsarian settlements, in the appointment of things upon the pre-ordination of the Fall, love is still before conversion. The love of God is towards sinners, before sinners are converted. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” {Rom.5:8} It was as free to God to love us before the world was, as to love us yesterday in our blood, or a few years ago when we were yet ‘sinners,’ and had not believed through grace, nor were brought home to God in Christ. O, the prevailing of this ancient love, when God comes to open it up, and to bring it forth in time. It was this thought that hath drawn my soul first and last to Christ. It was this that drew my soul to Him upon reading Mr. Charnock's discourse of God's being the Author of Reconciliation, in the Covenant of Redemption before the world was made.

Exaltation of Christ in the Salvation & Cleansing of Poor Sinners

If the Church’s Righteousnesses are as filthy rags; how filthy then is her Adam-Nature that pollutes all her services; and this after she is brought to Christ. Therefore what poor notions have we got of saintship, and holiness, and churches, when we look home to ourselves, and make our own saintship an object to take comfort in! Alas, says the Church better taught; “we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” {Is.64:6} As when the body hath a running sore, it issues forth and defiles the garment, especially when our garments are next to the sore, and nothing comes between; so corrupt and unclean nature {Job 14:4} defiles all duties that touch it, and that it issues forth upon; especially when we go to make a plaster of this running sore of our own performances, and stick our righteousnesses unto them {as the Church now in this place was made sensible she had done} instead of washing our wounds in the blood of Christ. As David in the 38th Psalm says of himself, “my wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness;” {38:5;} thus all our righteousnesses are filthy rags that must be burnt, or thrown out to the dunghill, because we have stuck them upon unclean nature and trusted therein. Now by our righteousnesses naturally unclean from ourselves, we see how unclean we must be, and yet must we not come to Christ notwithstanding our uncleanness? Yes, and believe also, that while we are so unclean in one respect, as our nature stands related to Adam in this world, we are also without spot to God {Cant.4:7} in another respect, as we are absolutely related to Christ over and after Adam. We stand unchangeably related to Christ as to our eternal state and condition of our persons and natures. Hence in the exaltings of grace under assistance we are saved by grace, and in the very cloudy pillar we have hope, {Rom.8:24,} good hope through grace, even when we lack assurance, and in the worst of times do wait for the hope of righteousness {Gal.5:5} by faith. In all our filthy relation unto nature, we come to Christ, and come to Christ boldly with a holy confidence in his blood, of our pure relation by grace.

Faith of the Operation of God

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 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. 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.

Faith of the Operation of God

Gospel Faith is not wrought but by the Gospel Author. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” Heb.12:2. ‘Tis a Faith which so receives Christ by an act of the new nature, or the evangelical workmanship of the Holy Ghost, “that whosoever believeth in him” {in this life-principle of the Holy Ghost} shall have Everlasting Life in the world to come. Therefore ‘tis spiritually a seeing the Son, and believing on him. “And this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone 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. Hence it comes to pass, that the other Faith was, as to the elect, inchoatively, or in some begun sense, Jn.20:5, Gospel-Faith, viz., in the Object; but this latter, Evangelical Faith, is completely so. The other Faith had its external assistances, Jn.2:23 – Jn.6:2, 26, and nature was to work upon them; whereas this Faith has its internal Creation, and is made to act towards Jesus by the Spirit, when all the external assistances of the other Faith are withdrawn. I Pet.1:8 – Jn.20:29. The one sort of Faith had its evidences in the Works of the Son, the other sort hath all its evidences in the Works of the Spirit. One was no other Faith than what required visible miracles to produce it, and the other a Faith that depends upon an Invisible Power to work it, and maintain its being. ‘Tis for this reason the Apostles do magnify the Holy Ghost in the Evangelical Faith, and discover that in their own Gospel-believing {as well as it was so in other Saint’s believing} they had the Spirit of Faith, II Cor.4:14, as the Author and Indwelling Cause of all the Grace of God in them. It must be the Spirit who is the inward Spring and Root of this Faith, for nature Faith in the other branch of the distinction, suits not an Exalted Jesus; inasmuch as nature can’t behold him since he is passed into the Heavens, though it was fitted to behold Jesus in his humbled state at the sight of miracles, and was fitted thereupon to a consent that he was the true Messiah, the Christ of God, that should come into the world. To speak so slightly of Faith, in concealing the Holy Spirit from it, as if it was but some external work of obedience, Jn.6:28, as the Jews looked upon working the works of God to be; and as if Gospel Unbelief was no more than a mere refusing to believe in Christ, as the Jews of old refused the nature-believing on Him in the time of his nature-state on earth. Zech.6:12. Nature-unbelief is a principle of dead nature in men, and Spiritual Faith, Psal.71:17, in Christ {in opposition to that unbelief} is more than a dogmatical receiving of Christ, and beyond, Mk.16:16 – Eph.1:19, an assenting to Him doctrinally with the heart and will, which is the only Faith Christ pressed upon his countrymen, the Jews, and which they refused to exert towards Him. Jn.5:40. The Mystery and Power of Faith, as it falls under a work of God the Holy Ghost, is entirely excluded, {in Mr. Hunt’s book,} and no regard had to it. Nothing of it opened, not of the difficulty of it laid forth, none of the mistakes and cheats in it by counterfeit faiths obviated, none of the Holy Ghost’s guidance of it, by the narrow way, through the strait gate, Lk.13:24, the Accomplishments of Christ, to Eternal Life. If Mr. Hunt had intended to set out the true Faith of the Gospel, he should have insisted on the Exceeding Greatness of the Power, necessary towards this sort of Believing, and therein have exalted the Holy Ghost in a man’s going altogether out of himself to Christ by sheer Faith. How does the Apostle magnify it! Take the description of it as it lies in Ephesians 1:19-20, “and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenlies, &c.” The Apostle sets the ground of an Evangelical Faith right. He had fixed it in the work of the Holy Ghost, in the Spirit of Wisdom and Internal Revelation, verse 17, and is there praying for more of this Spirit for these Ephesians in the daily work of the Holy Ghost opening their eyes to behold, “the eyes of their understanding being enlightened,” verse 18, and so are made, by Another, to behold, in all that they see of Gospel-Mysteries. He knits and couples this of Faith with the greatest of Evangelical Mysteries he had insisted on in, verse 18, and which the eyes of their understanding were enlightened by the Holy Ghost to see. The Apostle calls the Reason and Internal Cause of Faith in the saints, Power, distinct from Light and Vision, “power to us-ward who believe.” Power to us that have the Distinguishing Faith of the Gospel. Power to us in our coming by that Faith and receiving it. ‘Tis the Power of God; for any other power is too low and too short to work the lively Faith of the Gospel. Faith is wrought by the Power of God, the Greatness of his Power. He puts forth great Power, Eph.3:16, to work that Faith which is led into Great Mysteries. He works by the Greatness of his Power to us-ward who believe. Nay, that’s not enough yet, the exaggeration, and heaping up one word upon another, till it becomes like the great mountains, Psal.36:6, runs higher still; even to Exceeding Greatness of his Power. He will put in enough and enough of his own great Power, and the Greatness of it, infinitely to out-do all the strength of sin that dwelleth in us, Rom.7:20; and put down all the contrary principles of the Law in our members, Rom.3:27, that the law of Faith shall prevail above it. And more emphasis still, “according to the working of his mighty Power.” A power in motion, a power going forth in the utmost activities of the Spirit of God and of Grace; and that in the most raised and noble wonder of the whole Creation! In the highest, greatest and most amazing instance of Power, wherein the Power of God was ever shown! Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead! It was a mighty working of his power, I Pet.3:18, to raise Christ from the dead; because as he died a Public Person, representing all the elect of God in Himself, so God’s power raised Him from the dead as a Public Person too, that all the elect rose with Him and in Him mystically complete, the Foundation of all influential completeness through Him to our persons. And this after all our sins had lain on Him to press Him down, and to keep Him down, both Naturally and Legally, had he not fully paid our debt. I Tim.3:16. Oh! Mighty power raises him! And it is the same working of the Mighty Power of God, the Holy Ghost tells us, works Faith, while the Exceeding Greatness of His power is to us-ward who believe into Him. Oh! What nonsense do men make in Religion by their shutting out the Spirit of God thus! Why are men afraid of the Spirit? There’s our comfort in the Comforter. The Spirit is as infallible in securing His own work, I Pet.1:2, and as much interested in it, and as tender about it, as the Father, and the Son are, in and about their Effectual Operation. The Holy Spirit reconciles me to that Light which else offends me {such is my natural enmity to Christ} if that Light don’t shine in me, that yet I am told is so near me. Men love darkness, Christ says, Jn.3:19, rather than light {all men do by fallen nature} because their deeds {in one kind or in another} are evil. Now what cause makes men out of love with their own darkness, and in love with the Light, Christ, and the Light of Christ in all the Doctrine of the Gospel, but the Mighty Spirit working in them by this Light, Christ, before they walk to Christ in it? The Spirit brings home the light to you, I Jn.5:6, sinners, before you come to Christ, believing on the same Light, in a motion-Faith to him. The Spirit heals you by this enlightening virtue. “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” Zeph.3:17.

Faith of the Operation of God

Faith is an eye in the soul, a spiritual eye, and the Object is let into the soul through it. Hence that plenteous phrase of the New Testament – “through faith,” Rom.3:25, Acts 3:16, II Tim.3:15, Col.2:12, Rom.3:30,31, Gal.3:8,14, I Pet.1:5, Phil.3:9, and often in Hebrews 11. Is it now through faith; then justification is established in Christ above faith {II Tim.1:9} and before it {Rom.8:33,} because it is clearly conveyed through faith into the soul. Establishment of a Deed in the whole of its articles must be before the conveyance of it; though the conveyance too must necessarily be after the establishment and fixing of the several articles. Faith is a beholding the Glory and Divinity of Christ's Person. {John 1:14} Now this discerning and beholding of Christ is as the Object is let in upon the eye of the soul through the Workmanship and Operation of God the Spirit. {Eph.2:10} In spiritual vision there is {after the manner of corporal vision} a fixing of the rays, or species of the Object by a gracious irradiancy upon the very retina {as is known in optics} or the inmost fine wrought part of the eye of faith. {Ps.139:14} Thus through faith, the eye of the newborn soul, Christ is let in, or Christ is received. {John 1:12,29} This a receiving of Him by the eye, as we receive objects in our common eyesight. So it's called at the Lord's Table a discerning of the Lord's body. {I Cor.11:24,29} Men of natural understandings, or of the most physical abilities and enlargements {take them in all their best ornaments, their clearest parts and most intellectual studies} yet before Spiritual Renovation {John 3:3,5} are unfit spiritually to discern Christ. {I Cor.2:14}

Faith of the Operation of God

Here must be the Regenerating Work of the Spirit, to believe the Glorious Mystery of the Person and Office of Christ in an Evangelical Way. Why do men put so much of their own, and shut out so much of the Glory of Christ in those very cases where they bring and lay their own? The reason is manifest from this text. ‘Tis because they believe not that Jesus is actually the Christ. {“And thou shalt call his name JESUS; for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matt.1:21.} Take them in their thoughts of the Great Mystery of Godliness, I Tim.3:16, and their understandings do not behold Christ by a Work of the Spirit. Take them in their assent and consent, and yet their wills do not bow to him by a Work of the Spirit. Their hearts are not filled with him by a work of the Spirit; and so they rather believe that Jesus is a Jesus after their own fashion; that is to say, he becomes their Jesus, their Saviour, by their own faith, by their own repentance, by their own obedience and good works. {“For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” Rom.10:3.} And all the great matters they look for from this fabricated Jesus are, even so far as there is a great deal of their own to make him up a Jesus to them. And herein they do but think him to be such a one as themselves. For, as they believe they can’t save themselves without him, so they believe he can’t save them neither without themselves. {“These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself; but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.” Psal.50:21.} Now this is not believing that Jesus is the Christ. They don’t in all this believe as born of the Spirit, in a supernatural way, but believe without it in a natural way. Acts 8:13. Therefore in their believing they look but into the surface of the matter, not into the Substance of the Truth of Christ. {“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.} For they don’t see the Father’s Commission in his Office, the Father’s Unction of the Mediator, in anointing in the Human Nature of Christ, {“for he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God; for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him,” Jn.3:34,} so as that he is every way fully and completely, before themselves, without themselves, above themselves and against themselves, their own corrupt selves, as well as for their elect selves, the Christ of God. Lk.9:20. And so they do not believe, according to the Holy Ghost’s own special mark of assurance, as born of God. “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God,” I Jn.5:1, or born of the Holy Ghost, who is God. {“Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed; and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” I Cor.12:3.}

Faith & Repentance

There is a world of difference between the seasonable exhortations practiced in the Holy Scriptures {Ez.21:2} after the Holy Ghost is given to the elect - and between the common mode of exhortations to faith and repentance by way of legal precept. {Mal.2:8} The former is quick and evangelical, {Acts 15:31,} the latter dead and legal. Now in the dead preceptive exhortation, they make the nature of the act of faith to extend to so low a thing as the effect of moral suasion; and this separately standeth in the wisdom of men, as the Apostle says, “that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” {I Cor.2:5} Now such a low, moral sort of faith as this, never goes out of a man's self to fasten on the Promise. True faith under the Spirit's efficacious work goeth out of a man's self into the Person of Christ, where the promise is Yea and Amen - into the Person of Christ as doing, dying, and as his soul was made an offering - a sin offering, in the room and place of the sinner! And so faith goeth into righteousness, as Grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. {Rom.5:21} Now this same going out into the Person of Christ {for faith is rather a going to Christ, than a coming to Christ, since Christ is at God's right hand, Col.3:1} is far beyond a going forth into the report, though to do that too, where ignorance, prejudice, etc., are removed, the arm of the Lord must be revealed. {Is.53:1} But men commonly make faith of coming to Christ {to use their phrase} so low, as that there is indeed no necessity of the supernatural work of the Spirit {Eph.1:19,20} for it. And so while they make it to rise out of unrenewed reason and the old nature, there is no such need of Power for it above the human will, {John 5:40,} as there is for that faith of coming to Christ, or rather {as I have said} going to Christ, which is created out of the virtue of Christ's Ransom blood, {Mt.20:28,} and which is wrought by the Power of God.

Faith & Union with Christ

Many 'Christians' would, notwithstanding their own principles of Christianity, scandalize and blind us, if God left us under their trial, by their beating down a Union-Christ, an Interested Christ before believing. And this is their main delight to rob Christ, and 'young' Him in His interest; whereas His interest in the Church is the Oldest Interest in the world; He was in it before Adam, and all interest is reciprocal and relative; that is, it commenced with God of both sides together. If Christ has had an interest in me older than the world, I have had an interest in Christ too, secretly with God, before the world was. And my youthful interest by Faith is not my only interest, by Grace that caused Faith. It is but the breaking out of what I had before in Christ, and the communication of what I had not before in myself. I am for that Union, for that Salvation, for that Heaven, for that Love, the source of all, which were all Mine by Eternal Settlement, and then Communicative Donation, and both ways by Pure Grace before I believed, or before I raised a finger in believing!

Forgiveness of Sins in Christ

There is a notable comprehending phrase in Acts 26:18, “that they may receive forgiveness of sins.” This goes deep into the mystery of the Pardon of Sin. For it takes in forgiveness, both as prepared, {Rom.4:25,} without which could not be forgiveness, and forgiveness bestowed without which it could not be received. Receiving it implies clearly that the thing received {forgiveness} was made ready in the fullness of Christ, and had a being in Christ, as ours by free grace, before the creatures receiving it. Besides, if things {or if all the blessings wherewith we are blessed in heavenly places in Christ} be in Christ before they are by him and through him, then sure they must be in Christ, before there can be faith on Christ, or before what the Holy Ghost calls faith into Christ.

Full Pardon in Christ Alone

To issue it, this is the Doctrine, through Grace, I abide by with my soul, and venture into Eternity with, that ‘tis the Great Pardon applied in the Virtue of the Righteousness and Blood-shed of Jesus Christ which determines my parting with the great sins, otherwise too dear to corrupt nature to be departed with for Christ; and not this wild notion that parting with the great sins and the dear and darling corruptions is that which determines the Great and Full Pardon. ‘Tis the Greater that must influence the less, not the less that influences the Greater. ‘Tis not so much for me to part with my sins, as for God to Pardon them. When I, as a wicked wretch, in my thoughts and ways, am helped in the New Creation to part with them through the Virtue of Real Pardon, the Pardon still opens, and I see what I saw not, more and more of the Glory thereof, breaking up into my views in a Pardon more abundantly, according to Isaiah 55:7, “let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” God accounts every man a wicked man that is not brought off from a Mixed Gospel. {“Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul; be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD’S vengeance; he will render unto her a recompense.” Jer.51:6.} For so long as he stands or seeks to stand in his own Righteousness, together with a notion of Christ’s Righteousness mixed, he is a wicked person, and is in his own way, not God’s way of saving him; he is an unrighteous man, that has thoughts of Religion and Salvation and Preaching and Catechizing, that must every one be changed, {though yet he finds his sinful thoughts in these ways of his righteousness too dear, his righteousnesses being his very sins, to be parted with for Christ.} Nevertheless, if the Gospel-way of Pardon he strikes at, changes his own way and thoughts, it must be by a pre-occupation of his heart with the real virtue {not the notion} of Christ’s Righteousness imputed to his person; for the Spirit falls with it into the heart, whilst this Righteousness comes upon the whole man from Christ by Real Imputation, and all done openly to Faith of the Spirit’s Operation in that Revelation Time by Divine Quickening, as beams of Gospel Light follow the rising of the sun immediately, and all according to the Secret Pattern of the same works of Grace wrought, as the Father had viewed the elect in and by Jesus Christ before the Foundation of the World. Christ in his Gospel-Righteousness hath a power to change the heart and nature by the Spirit, as well as Justify and Absolve the whole person by Authority from Condemnation. The unrighteous man in his way and thoughts of Pardon strikes at Christ, if he steps in with his Pardon before the soul is ready for it in Conditions fulfilled and Qualifications attained. His notion is, if I believe first and come to Christ for my Pardon, I may have it. Aye, but this poor Notionalist is yet in prison, {and who but the Spirit of Christ can make him believe that, so long as he finds he has liberty to ascend the pulpit?} Nevertheless, when the Pardon comes home, and is issued out to begin his first Spiritual Convictions about it, it will come and find him in Prison, a stronger Prison than New-Gate, shut up under the Works of the Law, Gal.3:23, and there demonstratively will convince him, he never did or could come to his Pardon, but his Pardon arrived, and shined into him; viz., in the openings of things according to the Everlasting Settlements of them before time, through Redemption-Operations which came in between their Settlements and Application. Aye, but till God come in by his Mighty Power thus, he will continue to strike at the Gospel, and all in a zeal to maintain what he calls Justification. What do ye think the wicked man in his way, and the unrighteous man in his thoughts will give Justification the preference to Faith? No, he will set Faith, as the elder, {as a prerequisite,} before Justification. Faith which he acts before Justification that God acts.

God's Efficacious Providence Regarding Sin

The entrance of sin into the world was ordained to be the means of bringing Christ into the world, as the Mediator of Redemption, and that to the elect, as to what they were involved in by Adam’s relation in the garden. And upon the Father's comprehensive provision of Christ, {Col.1:19,} a supreme, mystical and transcendent Head, Christ enters {Psa.89:3,} federally and freely, and everyway fully into this world to be the Savior of the elect body fallen. This effectually recovers them, in the supreme, mystical and transcendent union, from all obstacles in the way of God's love to them.

Gospel Invitations

Ministers are called to divide the Word aright, {II Tim.2:15,} to give to everyone a proper portion, and not invite promiscuously dogs to eat of the children's bread {Mt.15:26,} and call this an improving the means of grace that they may be saved. Ministers are called to be the savor of death unto death in them that perish {II Cor.15:16,} and not to flatter and coax them, to get their own interest and worldly names up among them, as if all that heard them were universally redeemed, and so those that perish might improve the ‘means of grace’ and be saved. Justice must be glorified in the condemnation of the wicked {and wicked here are such as Christ will say he never knew in any sense righteous, Mt.7:23, not before their so-called faith in Christ, and therefore never after their ‘faith’} as well as mercy in the salvation of the upright, or those whom Mercy makes upright. I will tell them that which is otherwise crooked cannot be made straight. {Ecc.1:15} This is the Truth, the other is the mere dream of a universal redemption. They are no ministers of Christ like to be graciously prospered {I say like to be graciously prospered} in this Gospel Day, who have a sort of Universal Grace to buoy up all the sons of Adam with a hope. And yet sad to be spoken, and because true, more sad not to be spoken; he has become a notable divine now that is most artful at preaching as a trade, to please men {Gal.1:10,} and so cog the dice, as to make grace as universal as nature!

Gospel Precepts

When the Apostles were taught to give rules, I find they were for saints outer and after-acts, to adorn the Gospel, {Tit.2:10,} in the form of Christ's Government, as that form is to be kept outwardly distinct from all other forms, according to the form of sound words, {II Tim.1:13,} and they were not given for their first inward acts, much less to obtain interest in Christ and Gospel benefits by them in the life and spirituality of Christ's Government. {Is.28:5,7}

Holy Spirit of Truth

The Apostle John speaks of the Truth's sake which dwelleth in us. Doubtless this is one of the titles of the Holy Ghost who is spoken of, whom the faithful were enabled to call by the name of Truth in that daring generation of professors, who in their blasphemies of the Holy Ghost, and also of the Son of God; for no doubt they counted and called this Indwelling of the Holy Ghost in the Saints as their Principle of life, a lie. {“The anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you; but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” I John 2:27} To do the Spirit honor therefore in the face of that generation, the Apostle calls him the Truth, and professeth his love to the elect {II Jn.1,2} wrought on by the Truth of the Gospel, and was knit to them for the truth's sake which dwelleth in us. Yea, it's expressly the Spirit's Title, “the Spirit is Truth.” {I Jn.5:6} And God “dwelleth in us” {I Jn.4:12} as the Principle of our life, and of our motion and obedience unto Christ. Likewise, {I Jn.4:15,16,} God dwelleth in him that confesseth that Jesus is the Son of God; it being in that erroneous day which the Apostle bent his style against, esteemed a dangerous point to hold. And it cost the Saints much to be faithful to Christ in that age; and it seems not one in that day was able to come up to this sound, holy and bold confession that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, {Rom.10:9,} but what had God the Holy Ghost dwelling in them, and becoming the principle of the same confession. And “he that dwelleth in love” {for in that day too the faithful were hated, I Jn.3:13, for holding supernatural Truths} dwelleth in God, and God in him.” {I Jn.4:16} He that dwelleth in love therefore of the Truth, and of them that hold it, dwelleth in God as his Principle, and God dwelleth in him, as his possession and heritage forever.

Humility & Pride

I find spiritual pride, if the Spirit makes discovers of myself to myself, where another finds humility. I see that to be pride, if I see it by the Spirit, which another sees to be humility by the Flesh. If the Lord rips me every day, and upon every occasion, I cannot say that I am humble, because still by the Spirit I have my eye, and ought to have it, upon the proud part. Nevertheless, if I am humbled, as the Lord himself {not I} will judge of me by his Grace, in making me in myself what I do not see myself to be; why, it’s that I shall look on that humility, and I shall see nothing of it, to take the least comfort from it, but as it is in Himself, and I too in Himself perfected. He will show me more of my pride in myself, to keep me humble, whilst he shows me my Perfection in Himself to keep myself believing.

Imputation

We must preach the Gospel as it always stands with the Reconciliation of Sinners to God, through the gift by grace in the Imputation of the Righteousness of God in Christ to them. {Rom.5:15} Let me begin and make out the doctrine of Imputation from Romans 4:22,23. “And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him.” ‘It?’ What was this ‘it’? Abraham's act of faith say some. No; I answer, the ‘it’ was the Object of that act of faith. The Scriptures do everywhere in the analogy of faith, lay the stress of the matter upon the Object; that is to say upon Christ, upon his Righteousness and Blood to justify; and therefore that Object must be the matter of the imputation here meant. If any will attempt to show it to mean faith; for we read that Abraham “against hope believed in hope;” {Rom.4:18;} also vs.19 speaks of his “being not weak in faith;” and vs.20, of his staggering “not at the promise of God through unbelief;” and likewise of his, “being strong in faith;” and vs.21, of his being “fully persuaded,” {Heb.11:13,} all which speaks faith, and so they reason that it is this ‘faith’ which was imputed. To which I still say that faith was not the ‘it’ which was imputed. One place must be expounded by many, not many places by one. Therefore the ‘it’ {which was imputed} is to be understood of that Object {I Cor.1:30} in his eye; as if I should say, ‘my sight tells me,’ the meaning would be, the object seen tells me. So if this faith which is the spiritual eyesight of the soul be interpreted among any to be that ‘it’ which was imputed, it must be understood according to soundness in the faith; that it was the Thing which was imputed {II Cor.5:21 – Jer.33:16} to Abraham, which his faith, that spiritual eyesight of his, discerned. And that Thing must be the Object which Abraham believed into. This was Christ and his Righteousness. Besides, there is enough to allow us in the interpreting it of the Object, though it had been said of the act of faith, that it was imputed. This appears by the common instances of a catachresis {misapplication of a word} in the Word, or a figure of speech which signifies the use of a word beyond the common acceptation. As in Jer.46:10, “the sword shall devour;” here to devour, which is the property of a living creature with teeth, is catachrestically applied to the sword. So Rev.1:12, “I turned to see the voice that spake with me;” it's seeing the voice, which by this figure is used for seeing Him that uttered it. Ps.137:5, “let my right hand forget her cunning;” here forgetting is applied to the right hand, as in the same way of speech it's put for the memory failing. Likewise; Hos.4:8, “they eat up the sin of my people;” sin properly cannot be eaten; but the meaning is, they live upon the idols table, or they eat the sacrifices that are offered up to false gods. Well then, after the same manner, if faith be understood to be that ‘it’ that is imputed for righteousness, it is but characteristically spoken, by ascribing the imputation to the Act which strictly belongeth to the Object of that Act; namely, the imputation of what faith discerned and laid hold on of a justifying nature in Christ. This is the ‘it’ which in the faith of Abraham was imputed to him. But then it is expressly spoken of the promise in the verse before, {Rom.5:20,} that “he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief;” and what was this promise about? {Gal.3:22 – Rom.4:16} The seed, or Messiah, “so shall thy Seed be.” {Rom.4:18} Which seed is Christ. “He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of One, and to thy seed, which is Christ.” {Gal.3:16} Christ is the Head with all his numerous members, of the faith of Abraham, more in number than the stars. {Gen.15:5} All this was promised Abraham to come to pass in his Seed, or in, by and through Christ. And the meaning then of those words, “and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform,” {Rom.4:21,} must be about the promised Righteousness of the Seed, Christ, and resolves the ‘it’ of {vs.22} that which is imputed, {II Pet.1:1,} namely the Righteousness of God which had been promised in this Seed; and so plainly expounds that text in Genesis {15:6} from whence the other in Romans is first derived. {“Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” Ps.32:2} And Abraham believed God {in his promise at verse 5} and ‘it’ - the promised blessing in the Seed Christ was counted to him for righteousness. It, not the faith, but what the faith beheld; so it is in the Seed promised. {“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Gen.3:15} It “shall bruise thy head,” as Elohim threatened the serpent in the victory to be obtained over him by Christ, who should “bare our sins in his own body on the tree.” {I Pet.2:24} This ‘it’ that's imputed is Christ. It's plainly meant of the Imputation of the Righteousness of this promise, or the Righteousness of God in Christ that is lodged in the bowels of this Promise. - See also Gen.15:6, “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness,” compared with Gal.3:6 & 6, “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” Faith there is the Gospel, as verse 8, “and the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed;” and in Gal.1:23, “but they had heard only, that he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith {Gospel} which once he destroyed;” and all that’s meant is Christ, who is the Promise or the Thing {Object} promised; “that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the Promise of the Spirit through faith;” {Gal.3:14;} “and now I stand and am judged for the hope of the Promise made of God unto our fathers; unto which Promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come.” - Then further, whereas they lay so much stress upon the act of faith, the Scripture foreseeing the disorder in men's thoughts hath quite shut the mention of faith out of Rom.5:9; and described the whole of Justification to the Blood, {Rev.1:5 – I Pet.1:19,} where the virtue of the mystery lies. “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Here the Object of Faith is expressly mentioned apart from the act. The blood that paid our debt, while neither our eye beheld it, nor our hand received it. This now governs our construction of the matter, and well explains the ‘it’ to be meant of the blood of Christ, wherein his consummate Righteousness which paid our debt lay. It's the blood that hath all the virtue upon our faith, and our faith no virtue, or influence at all upon that blood. It is justification by his blood, {Rom.5:9,} and faith not at all expressed. Aye, but you'll say, no doubt but it's implied; for in Romans we read of those who were justified by faith. Then is not Justification by the Blood implied as well, where yet it is expressed justified by faith? And is not the blood again implied, {I John 1:7,} where it is said, it is imputed for righteousness? Certainly one must be as much implied as the other. And we justly conclude that what is expressed of faith {Rom.3:25} is but to open and lead to more of the mystery of what is expressed of the blood elsewhere; and all to signify that the Holy Ghost under the Imputation of the Righteousness of God in Christ {Ps.89:16} hath wrought faith in the blood of Christ, by which blood we are justified. Isaiah 54:17 plainly speaks for the Imputation of the Righteousness of God. “Their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” Of me, {I Cor.1:30,} and so comes upon them by Imputation; and faith comes in the virtue of the blood through the Righteousness of God, as it is witnessed. {II Pet.1:1} And it is not the righteousness of God which comes in the virtue of that faith. Thus, to preach up the fruits of Imputation, is to advance the grace of God, and show poor sinners how one piece of Free Grace streams out of another {Rom.8:29,30} to them. “That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” {Tit.3:7} The imputation of righteousness takes away all iniquity; {Hos.14:2;} and to preach thus to sinners advances Imputation Grace. {I Jn.2:12} Wherever the Righteousness of God is imputed the Spirit of God is bestowed; and in this way saving grace is given to all the elect of God.

Imputation

What had become of us upon this transaction, the Father’s laying of sin, and therein the loathsomeness of our sins upon Christ, had he been only a Holy Man, and not the Holy God too? Why if he had not been God, he must have been absolutely changed upon this Transaction, and the very filth of sin have defiled him. But being God, this was impossible, by reason of the close Union of the Natures, or the Man in God, to be in the least spotted with our defiling sins. Oh herein is the mystery of amazing Righteousness and Grace! Take all the Deluge of Corruption that hath flowed down upon the elect of God from Adam, and shall do so to the last man, yet all this sea of filthiness to us, is but in comparison with his Infinite Power to subdue Sin a drop of water to a vast ocean, as large as the whole universe. {Is.4:4} Such a mighty nature and power had Christ in him to resist the infection and stain of sin, not contracting it, {I Jn.3:5,} whilst he bore our sins in his own Body on the tree. {I Pet.2:24} Whatever it be, I know that this similitude is imperfect to set out the matter, in the deep mystery of this Gold tried in the Fire, {Rev.3:18,} or the Person of Christ in his sufferings, the greatest of which was the Father's Imputation of our sins unto him; yet in all that Fire of Wrath which seized him, the Divine Nature did unspeakably sustain the Humanity, or upheld the Son of Man. Neither doth aforesaid illustration, though enough to stop the mouth of cavil, unbelief and corrupt reasonings against the contrary, nevertheless set it out so evangelically and sweetly as Faith transcendently receives the point. For in the representations of it that are made to faith, faith sees how it was done. For Christ “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” {Heb.4:15} Now one point is, that we are tempted with the pollution of our sins, some in one way and some in another, almost to question whether we have true Grace, because of so much filth and strong corruption. Yet when Christ was tempted {though after what manner that temptation of Christ wrought I know not,} he was without sin, without sin entering, contracted, or leaving any stain upon him, that his nature and act of bearing our sins, could be never rendered sinful by them.

Imputation

The types in the Old Testament upon which sin was laid were unclean because finite; {Lev.16:21-24 & 26;} but the Anti-type upon which sin was laid was evermore Pure, because an Infinite Person, and not to be altered by our impurities. Again, if he was infinitely able to be made sin, and yet not sinful, why not infinitely able then to be charged with our pollutions, and yet not spotted in the Imputation? The Father carried it over to an Infinite Person, the Son of God, and as one Infiniteness is the same in the Son as in the Father, so the Son could be no more defiled under the Imputation, than the Father could be defiled by the Act of imputing it. Besides, the Socinians are wont to ask us, how could guilt be imputed to Christ, and Christ not an unjust one under the Imputation? And they ground their query upon a denial of the Infiniteness of his Person. And we answer it by the Infinite Accountability of our Engaging Surety. Our own answer is impartially firm, that as he was, and continued to be the Just One, though he bare our sins and our guiltiness, and in the act of bearing them was a Righteous Person, because of his Infiniteness in ability to lie under the Imputation of them, whilst in his Sufferings; so he was and continued to be without spot, the Holy One {for just and holy are not to be separated in the matter as appears in Acts 3:14,} though he bare our sins, and in the act of bearing them was an undefiled Person, because of his infiniteness to lie under the imputation of the pollution without contraction of the least stain. By Faith of the Operation of God I firmly believe the full Mystery of the Imputation in each of the branches thereof, guilt and pollution; and satisfaction being made to God's holiness in Christ bearing our pollutions, as well as the Satisfaction that was made to God's Justice in Christ's bearing our guilt upon Himself; and so iniquity was laid upon Christ not by mere Sovereignty but Contract, according to the Eternal Laws of Holiness and Justice; for it pleased the Father as a Righteous Legislator, and not only as an Absolute Sovereign to bruise Christ.

Infinite Virtue of the Blood of Christ

This mystery of receiving Christ by faith, and our handling the Word of Life, {I Jn.1:1,} thinking that foul hands would defile Christ in the meddling with him. Aye, but it is not so with the Mediator, who by reason of Absolute Perfection hath a Fullness that cannot be shadowed out unto us. There is that in our Redemption which is far above metaphor. The Infinite Nature in the Person of Christ, as it preserved his Humanity from the contagion on Earth, and gave efficacy to the Righteous Blood of Christ, dying on the cross a sacrifice for all the sins of the elect, and bearing away by his Infinite Virtue our defilements, when carried over to him in his being smitten of God and afflicted; {Is.53:4;} so he ever living to transact for us in this Infinite virtue to God, having his cleansing blood, with which he is entered into Heaven {Heb.9:12} to plead, can never be defiled with those defilements, with which in some respect; {as our natures are related to Adam;} we at all times are contaminated with, sin sticking to us in our approaching unto him; the merit of his Infinite Sacrifice never wastes or spends away its Virtue; and therein as he still bears away our guilt, as fast as we come and confessedly lay it upon him, saying, ‘this was once laid to thy charge,’ and by the Infinite Virtue of the Ransom Blood he carries it clean away into the land of forgetfulness, confess we never so much our daily trespasses over the head of this Glorious Scape-Goat; {Lev.16:21;} made sin for us, and yet knew no sin. {II Cor.5:21} As to the filth or pollution of sin, {however men in the language of the Scribes divide them, they are in the Word and in the nature of the thing inseparably connected,} he bears all away, that not her guilt, nor pollution, can ever follow them, {I am speaking of the children of God,} in the trace of his Blood into Heaven. No, nor whilst we are here, make us cease to be complete in Him. {Col.2:10} And blessed be God, being continually made sensible of my pollutions, I so far live daily in the power of this faith of going in the pollution of my sin to Christ, that this is the life of my soul to God; God having laid our pollutions upon Christ judicially, and shall we be afraid or beaten off, under a mask of false zeal opposing it, to go and lay our pollutions on Him confessedly? If God had not done thus, there had been no provision in the way of Righteousness, {Rom.3:26,} consistent with the Justice of God's proceedings for exalting the Glory of his Gracious Name, to communicate his own holy nature to us in sending his Holy Spirit who is God's nature to be in us and amongst us. - God looks more at his Son's Blood than he values your ashes that you throw upon yourself to make you look odious, which alludes to that foul way of sorrowing and repenting, when they mourned and repented in the times of the Old Testament, casting dust upon their heads and repenting in sackcloth and ashes. Oh then; how is it that we daily come, even after daily defilements upon us, - that in and of ourselves we may be ashamed to look up to God; {Ezra 9:6;} yet God hath appointed that in this sad pickle we look not on ourselves to be too filthy to go unto his Son notwithstanding!

Irresistible and Sovereign Grace

It is his gracious yielding to me that is my sole comfort; for my yielding to Him is but my duty, and the fruit of that comfort; and I am assured of this Truth, and can say that I truly experience it; that is, I never yielded up my heart to Christ, till Christ yielded down his Hand to my heart; for I always found the spiritual part of the work impossible; nay, I could not spiritually put forth one act in it, till the Grace began of His Side. {The Lord’s sovereign prerogative in His initiating and irresistible work of bestowing grace and favor through Christ by the Spirit!} My heart was a heart of stone contrary to yielding, until his hand was a hand of Love, in the time of love, contrary to disobeying, and fully reached my heart. {“Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness; yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.” Ez.16:8} The Word is plain according to Ezekiel chapter 36; for herein we find cleansing of my person before the softening of my nature. The whole applicatory work of the Gospel begins with God’s effectual calling us at the first work of Influential Grace, and sprinkling clean water on us; that is, washing, which is pardoning us by the Spirit shed {“which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour,”} down upon us, {“such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God,” I Cor.6:11,} and this makes way for the rest; for then, after the washing, there comes the softening virtue, before anything of the hearts yielding. It is first of all, “I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean.” Then, {as a distinct and next thing in order,} “a new heart also will I give you; and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.” This follows the cleansing part. And then lastly, here are the principles of yielding to the Kingly Office. “And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” {Ez.36:25-27}

Justification in Christ Alone

The virtue of Christ’s Beautifying Righteousness is great upon me towards God in the way of his Justifying me through Christ by the Spirit, as he saith, I Cor.6:11, “justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” Ye are “now” says the Apostle, justified by the Spirit in the name of the Lord Jesus, who were not {experimentally} justified through Christ by the revelation/application work of the Spirit prior to this sealing work of Grace. {“Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” II Cor.1:22.} So, Rom.5:1, “therefore being justified by Faith,” {the Spirit’s work in the soul,} we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ;” for it is an equal matter to have peace with God by Faith, as to be justified by Faith, because some perhaps are for reading it with their early comma, therefore being justified, by Faith we have peace with God, &c., for which I could never see any solid reason in the connection of the fifth chapter with the last words of the fourth. So, Gal.2:16, “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law.” We will not evade the force of this text, but duly consider the scope of the Holy Ghost in it to intend Justification through Christ, by Faith of Effectual Calling, and yet ‘tis as plain that the Holy Ghost’s scope is but to give us a part of the Mystery of Justification, and the open manifestation/application part too, not the secret basis or fundamental part of the Mystery in that text, to wit, as it resides in Christ. So it injures not that at all, only builds upon it. Again, Gal.3:26, “for ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Ye are the Children of God by that piece of Adoption-Grace which is a fruit of the Spirit’s Work in Regeneration; that is, a Quickening of the soul in the vital Union to the Faith in Christ Jesus, opposite to the dead Faith of the world in Old Adam. Now this does not speak of all the Mystery of Adoption {for I bring like texts to illustrate} but of that particular branch of Adoption which only belongs distinctly to the Third Person in God; so neither do the texts men usually bring for Justification and insist on {because they would beat down the truth of being justified before Faith} take in the whole Mystery of it, only one branch of it {which we do all grant} as to the work of the Holy Spirit. Again, Jn.3:18, “he that believeth on him is not condemned;” that is, he is justified in Christ; and thus his Faith is an evidence of his Justification by Christ. So that what is thence obvious is, that on a Person’s believing in Christ, the believer passes from his nature-state in Adam to his gracious-state in Christ, which now becomes influentially to him, because of the Spirit given him in the Grace of God and the Virtue of Christ’s Righteousness, a State of Justification through Christ, to come up by the Spirit of our God to the soul’s Justification in Christ before {under that comprehensive word, Grace in Christ Jesus, II Tim.2:1,} as the secret Pattern of Justification through him. The same for, Jn.5:24, “he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me {saith Christ} hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” Here we are to take notice that this Life here spoken of comes in through Christ by the Spirit in a way of Believing, and so is to be understood of the Open Life of Justification {Experimental Justification} flowing through Christ, to bring it up to the Secret Life of my Antecedent Justification in Him. What now do men gain of their point, when they bring these texts, and cry, you see this, and you see that, and you see how it is all laid and conditioned upon a person’s believing; when as all their running of texts together doth but confound, muddle and entangle the Doctrine of Justification, which ought to be kept in all its parts distinct? This further appears by their pressing of Isaiah 61:10 & 45:25 into their service against all Justification before believing; whereas the Righteousness of Christ there spoken of is that portion of their Justification in the Christ. {“In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.” Isa.45:25.} For, it is not only said “shall be justified” for all the elect seed of Israel are now justified in Christ {as a full reward of Christ’s suffering} together, and in this they glory. {“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil.2:9-11.} The Scriptures ought to be brought and opened distinctly, and not texts rent asunder from one another, and removed from the harmony of Divine Revelation, and all huddled into the same branch of the Article of Justification, as the ignorant manner is by the sound and chime of the words, without weighing the Argument. Justification in Christ, and by Christ, and an open Justification with Christ do in each of those parts of Justification vastly differ from that intermediate branch thereof, for it is all substantially but one and the same Justification, but is so diversified in Scripture that all of Justification is never put by the Holy Ghost into one text, though men harp never so much upon the sound of words. Then besides, the Virtue of Christ’s Beautifying Righteousness is so great in me towards Christ in the way of my help to apprehend Christ and his Righteousness as my own, Phil.3:12, that the Spirit of Christ working in and by the Righteousness of Christ imputed, Rom.4:6-7, {I say efficaciously working} on my soul, creates Faith in me towards Christ, Rom.4:16, that very moment; by which Faith openly laying hold on the Person of Christ as my own through God’s Free Gift, or in God’s Present Bestowment of him by the Comforter, I am then by a transient act of God justified, according to the Pattern of his Immanent or Eternal Act antecedently, {and if men must have a school-distinction for it, inasmuch as they run to the schools for their six causes in Justification, and will not be content, as I am, with the Scripture-Distinctions of “in” Christ, “through” Christ and “with” Christ.} For, on the spot I may feel my Justification by his Mighty Spirit in my peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Rom.5:1. I am justified influentially, I Cor.6:11, that is to say by Faith, as the Holy Ghost’s work, and likewise evidentially, Gal.2:16, as to my own perceiving it upon the Fundamental Patterns of justifying me in Christ before time, and before Faith {for the justified state is in Christ, whilst the fall in nature state is in Adam} because of the Everlasting Covenant, {beyond the Decree,} and then next, because of the Mystical Resurrection of all the members in the Personal Resurrection of their Covenant Head. Faith is Evidence of things not {otherwise} seen. Heb.11:1. ‘Tis Life and Righteousness I have in Christ, Isa.45:25, before my eating of his flesh and drinking of his blood, that is, before my believing on him, as in John 6:53. For there is nothing against it which that text says, only very distinguishingly ‘tis declared not to be until then, that is, until believing, life in me. ‘Tis not my life in me before, but ‘tis my Life in Christ before, and before I can say ‘tis so.

Law & Gospel Distinctions

The Gospel promise is not about writing the Law in the heart, as it was the Law of God written in the heart of Christ, “I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart;” {Ps.40:8;} but about writing the Laws of Christ in the hearts of the justified, as the phrase in the singular number in Jeremiah, {Jer.31:33,} is expounded by the Holy Ghost in the Hebrews. {Heb.8:10 & 10:16} The Gospel promise, or the promise, “I will put my Law {singularly} in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts;” is explained in the plural, “I will put my Laws {plurally} into their mind, and write them in their hearts;” and so Law is made Laws plurally, distinct Laws from the Law of God by Moses. Consequently, Christ’s Laws as means to carry on communion in that interest {one’s secured interest in and by Christ.} These Laws of Christ {being supernatural religion, under a continued and further work of the Holy Ghost, after conversion to the Person and Righteousness of Christ} none but true believers “without the deeds of the Law,” {Rom.3:28,} the Sinai Law; or, without conformity in the true Law sense, do find written in their hearts. It is not the Law of God at large, for that is men’s gross mistake to call it the Law of God, as if it was so at large, and make no distinction. It is something Evangelical in the very Institution; Christ’s Laws are gracious laws of Government, Worship and Ordinances that serve the Gospel. These come in the very nature of them after the Gospel. They are not natural commandments or moral precepts, as Mount Sinai’s Law was. The Gospel promise is first, and the Laws of Christ promised to be written in the heart are next. These come after the Gospel to serve it. Now still my comfort comes in by the Gospel portion which the laws of Christ wait on, not by the duty part which serves, and is to be all my lifetime gathering up. However, says this inquirer further, {after he hath set up the Law of God, and confounded it with the Laws of Christ, written in my heart,} “and art thou conforming thereto in all things in thy life?” No Sir, my answer is ready in the negative. I have not conformed to the Law of God written in my heart in any one thing, as the Commandment means; so far am I from conforming thereto in ‘all things in my life’ that I have conformed in nothing. And yet, through Grace, I take comfort! I take comfort exceedingly! I take comfort unspeakably! I am not able to set out in the words the comfort that I receive, which is full of glory! {I Pet.1:8} And yet I am conformed to no one thing of this Law of God written in my heart, otherwise, than I am conformed thereunto in and by my Surety! God’s being all in all to me in Glory to Eternity is effectually secured by Christ’s becoming all in all to me in his Grace here. Art thou conforming thereto in all things? What did the man mean, if not to etch out a Tuesday’s Lecture for Salter’s Hall, in which Lecture the Everlasting Antinomian-Gospel {for I speak the language of the times, as Paul did, when he calls Gospel preaching the “foolishness of preaching,” I Cor.1:21,} is excluded! And yet this inconsistent man hath yet other strokes that are against the consent of that Tuesday’s pulpit; for he says, “art thou conforming thereto in all things in thy life? If so, thou hast reason to take comfort, as one that is interested in this lovely Jesus; but none else,” says he. Here is Christ struck out with one dash by the stroke of a hasty and inconsistent pen! Besides, if this conformity lie in all things, then no man can take comfort until he comes to die, and is assured without any hesitation that he hath conformed to all the Law of God written in the heart, for the words of this test are absolute conformity thereunto. Now, until a man hath finished that which he derives his comfort from, he may not; that is, he cannot take this comfort. All my comfort I take from Christ’s {II Cor.5:21, I Cor.1:30} conformity to the Law of God written in his heart, rising out of his finished work, that I am not to do over again and spoil! So by this scheme of projected consolation, it is impossible that I should have any real consolation in all this life. But I bless the Lord for this; that I know no Door that lets in comfort into my soul, but that which lets in Salvation; and I know no Door that lets in Salvation which shuts out the comfort of salvation, less or more. And as I am saved by Grace, {Eph.2:8,} I am comforted by Grace, and am spiritually refreshed in no other way. Well, throw this man’s divinity, in point of this test of assurance, out of doors, and hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches, as the Foundation and Encouragement of my constant opposition to this assurance test laid down, “comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins.” {Is.40:1,2} Here the Lord comforts his people upon their receiving Christ {upon Christ being revealed and making Himself known in a way of salvation glory} in his Person and Righteousness, which is the double, these two going always together in genuine Gospel Faith. It is receiving Christ, both as to what Christ is, and as to what Christ hath done, even unto Death. As to what he is; God in our nature manifest; as to what he hath done, a Surety Righteousness in our stead accepted. The ground of her comfort lay all together in what she hath received, and God hath finished for her; not at all in what she hath done, and conformed to. The foundation of this comfort, and speaking comfortably unto her, is laid in no creature-conformity to the Law of God written in her own heart, but it is laid in Christ. No, she was not to be comforted from required doings, nor to take it up from conforming to his Laws, though her duty lay in conformity thereunto. The laws of Christ are latter, and when they come, they are pointed to another end than comfort; her comfort was founded upon all that God did for her without her, in breaking off her warfare, and in accomplishing that for her which should no longer oblige, wherein she had always failed. God would put her no more to contend for the Sacrifices and Worship of the Old Testament, {Ps.40:6,} which she had almost in every age corrupted; she would miscarry in her efforts to keep up Temple purity of Instituted Church Worship; for she had turned aside, and turned back in the day of battle, and lapsed in the times of apostasy; {Ps.78:9,57} she had, instead of standing out vigorously to resist idolaters, and corrupters of the ways of God, instead lost her ground in the field of battle. The carnal Jew revolted, and yet now her warfare is accomplished! Jerusalem had contended coldly for the Truths of God; her weariness of the conflict for the very worship of a prophesied Christ, her standing up for types and shadows of good things to come, {Mal.1:13, Heb.10:1,} was now completely over, and summed up in this one Word of grace, “her warfare is accomplished.” And though she had spoiled all her Law work, yet she should have an evangelical reward of grace, {the prize of grace in running to obtain that which was already attained for her by Christ Himself. “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” I Cor.9:24. Note: the prize was already won, the battle accomplished – the race as pertaining to salvation already finished by Christ – and He Himself the ultimate prized possession thereof,} and experience of precious soul comfort in receiving Christ and his Righteousness, as the better things intended by those Sacrifices and Worship. This was of the Lord’s doing for her; not her own, to put an end to this warfare. Again, she was to take comfort in this, that her iniquity was forgiven her. This was still of the Lord’s doing, as the open Foundation of it in the Cornerstone discovered. {Ps.118:22,23} And both these, the accomplishing of her warfare, and the pardoning her iniquity, were works of grace without her that God had done for her; and all the work of God’s grace within her brought her under observation for the taking up her comfort, was her being enabled by the Holy Ghost to received the gift of God, the Lord’s Christ at the Lord’s hand. {Lk.2:26} And upon this the voice cries, “comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.” Thus, when he helps me to take my comfort, it is altogether in the views of my Object, and not the mere exercise and putting forth of my own acts towards Him. I am under the conduct and management of God the Comforter in my every comfort. He doth not leave me to take up my own comfort; nor when Himself takes it up for me, doth he bear Witness of Himself {immediately,} and of his own work in me, but he begins with bearing witness of Another, in whose Name he comes.

Law & Gospel Distinctions

Doth not that Light of Christ {John 3:19} which, in the Preaching of the Gospel, discovers, that doing the will of Christ's Father {Mt.7:21,} is believing on Him whom the Father hath sent {John 6:29,} like as other obedience is obedience to Christ, He having all Power given Him {Mt.28:18} of the Father to appoint and command it, distinctly, set the bold Neonomians to corrupt the Faith of the Gospel, and the same practical Antinomians to trample upon the Order of the Gospel? As one, they cannot bear the Light of the Gospel, and as the other, they cannot bear the heat of the Gospel, in the Government of Jesus Christ, of the Increase of whose Government there is to be no end. {Is.9:7} I'll tell any man plainly, it is the Gospel, in the bright splendor and glory of it; that splendor which very few of all sides can endure, but brand {with ignorance enough} for Antinomianism {Acts 14:2,} which was the only thing that ever drew me with the bands of Love into the strictest order of Fellowship, in breaking of Bread and in Prayers. {Acts 2:42} On the other hand, in the carnal and confident way of pressing to the duties of the Gospel, before acquaintance with, and experimental interest in the Privileges of the Gospel; I mean, absolute Pardon of Sin, Holiness of Nature from Christ, Peace of Conscience, Joy in the Holy Ghost, and so forth; I say, before an Experimental Acquaintance with these, I was always a very great hater of the strictest Saints and Churches, and yet then a Preacher! {Jer.23:21} And so it had been in my soul to this day, both against the Government of Christ, his Gospel, and all Obedience to Him in it, {Mt.11:29,30,} if the Lord had not preached down all such {Preachers} as misted me! And that, by bringing His mighty Grace {Eph.1:20} into my soul, and turning all their way and scheme for doing the will of God quite out of doors! Blessed be Jehovah forever, I am now alive to Christ {Ps.72:18,19, Rom.6:11, 7:4,} and dead to their way of doings. Hence; the brighter Christ is, the more we find multitudes of Professors, of most Persuasions, fight Him, and run back to Old Adam!

Lion of the Tribe of Judah

The world cannot forbear encroaching upon the prerogatives of the King of saints, as the alone Head of that Body of which he is the Savior. He hath made His spouse to be in all things subject to Himself {Eph.5:24, I Cor.11:3} as her Husband; and how incongruous is it for the wife, as subject in all things to Christ, to make her own laws that concern her Husband; especially, when her Maker is her Husband {Is.54:5,} and she believes the Second Commandment, that the Lord her God is a jealous God! {Ex.20:5} This power therefore in the ordinances, as she durst not usurp, so neither dares consent to in the usurpations of others; for which steadfastness and perseverance in her loyalty to Christ, she hath in most ages under the reign of Antichrist been barbarously persecuted by the world. No wonder then, if He, the Man, the Man Christ Jesus, 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 in his heart; though these wretches think or say what they dare, being given up to think as ill of Him under their plagues, when the judgment of Babylon is come, as they will. {Is.63:4, 59:17,18, Rev.16:21} 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, that he is represented and set forth by the Holy Ghost, according to this terror in Judah, as the Lion of that Tribe. {Ez.32:27,28} 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 over his Church, and the opening of the reign of the Lord God amongst His own. 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, by terrible and bloody revolutions. And thus his Name stands, the Name by which he is known in his opening the book of Providence and Events. “Weep not; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” Rev.5:5.

Lion of the Tribe of Judah

Lion is not taken separately from the prediction in Genesis {49:9} 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. And so he stood upon Mount Sion 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.

Living in the Spirit

The Spirit leads us through Christ to the Father in all Acceptation of what we are, or do. As we cannot go to the Father but as we are led through Christ, so we cannot be led thus spiritually, but by the Spirit of Christ. Eph.2:18. Moreover, as there is an acceptance of what we are, so likewise of what we do through Jesus Christ. Eph.1:6. The acceptableness of the most spiritual performances {or the acceptableness to God of all our living in the Spirit} is founded alone in union to Christ, together with an interest in the complete Surety-Righteousness of Christ. Phil.3:9. Union in Christ; for union to him does not reach this mystery. The branch is in the stock, so the soul is in Christ which lives in the Spirit, and therein finds favor with God through Christ. Jn.15:2-5. Also, this Union in Christ is together with an interest in the Complete Surety-Righteousness of Christ. Gal.1:4. And as the woman in marriage wears the husband’s name, and therein loses her own last name she had before her husband married her, so it is with the Gospeller in the Gospel-Righteousness. {“In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Jer.23:6. “In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.” Jer.33:16.} This same Acceptableness with God, you’ll say is a great thing, which they who live in the Spirit attain. But how is it evidenced to the soul by living in the Spirit? Why, it is for God to hold out his Free Grace to you in the Faith of Christ, as your spiritual eye of Faith is kept up upon what he hath done for you in Christ. ‘Tis for God by the Activity and Power of his Spirit to descend upon your hearts, kindling up the life of the Spirit in you into more flame, into more ardent love to Christ. Lev.9:24. ‘Tis for God by his coming down {from the Advocacy of Christ in Heaven} upon your hearts, and there Efficaciously swallowing up all those things before you that were wont to be your main regard in Worship, you ever kept in your eye. I Kings 5:30-38. Secondly, the nature of living in the Spirit is more especially, 1. To live out of ourselves in Christ, by another Faith than the Common Faith of the world. Gal.2:20. 2. ‘Tis to live above in the views and enjoyments of Christ who is above. Phil.3:20. Psal.73:25. 3. ‘Tis to live under a constant maintaining of the Spirit’s own work by Himself from Christ. Phil.2:13. 4. ‘Tis a conscious experience of living by the Spirit according to our Complete and Transcendent Relation above the natural. Our relation Mystical in Jesus Christ is above all our remaining nature-relation unto Adam. The victory is always from the transcendent relation above the natural. Rom.7:25. Thirdly, the concomitant is walk in the Spirit. This is to walk with God in Christ by the same Spirit from whom we spiritually live. And of this Enoch, Gen.5:22, was a rare instance of in the times of the Old World. Heb.11:5. Moreover it is to walk with God in Christ by the Spirit of love, joy, peace, &c. Gal.5:22. Nevertheless, it may be here inquired, how a gracious walk is spiritual, and when it is so? A gracious walk is spiritual by the Indwelling of the Spirit, I Cor.3:16, as the Apostle speaks, “but if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Rom.8:11. Likewise, a gracious walk is spiritual by the Daily Operation of the Spirit. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” Eph.3:20. When is a man’s walk with God spiritual? Why, it is so, when the eye is always towards the Lord above forms and carnality. “I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” Psal.16:8. {“Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD.” Psal.16:4. "Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.” Psal.123:2.} The eye of the soul by Faith and Heavenly Expectation. “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.” Psal.62:5. Furthermore, ‘tis when Christ is our Principle by the Spirit, of his being our Example by the same Spirit. Also, when Christ is our life by the Power of the Holy Ghost. {“For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear.” Col.3:3-4.} Uses: Take heed, if you live in the Spirit, that you do not fulfill the works of the flesh. “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Gal.5:16. Fall into them you will, even at unawares, from a corrupt nature-principle; but let everyone take heed how he deliberately finishes them. “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Rom.8:13. Then, take heed of sinking below the natural excellences of a moralist, you that live in the Spirit. Jer.35:16. Would not one think this was needless? Yet the truth is, it cometh to pass, we have need to give nature-directions, in nature-points, to even very gracious men. I don’t mean nature-directions for men to come to Christ savingly, like your blind preachers; but nature-directions to walk honestly among men, that spiritual walking with God may not be reproached for your sakes. Rom.2:24. {For, coming to Christ savingly is a Supernatural Work of the Spirit.} 2. Walking honestly agrees with the light of nature. This does not make you Christians, but to be Christians makes you to walk honestly. {“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” I Jn.1:7.} Never take up your righteousness to men to be your righteousness towards God; lest God make your heart sick of the plague he loathes. Psal.38:5. Therefore, if you live in the Spirit expect that that Spirit will soon give you experiences from wicked men and carnal professors, of the outward Reproaches of Christ. {“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.} Lastly, a few words to the Unconverted, if the Holy Spirit will bless the instructions to them. 1. If ever God take hold of your hearts it must be by His Spirit. Jn.16:8. 2. You cannot sit under the Gospel, but you will resist the Spirit, if the Spirit does not conquer you. {“But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. - And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord; and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” Acts 13:45,48.} 3. If the Spirit works savingly in any of your souls, he will discover a thousand times more in Christ for you, than there is in Sin, Satan and the World against you. {“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God.” I Jn.5:4-5.} The Spirit exalts the payments of Christ against all your own debts. He has paid all, yet is not one whit lessened in the stock. {“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.} The Spirit exalts the Holiness of Christ, and sets it against all your own deformity and defilements. {“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.} The Spirit shows you this. As the Spirit is given to you for your turning to the Lord, so it is the work of his Office to show you, in order to it, that all that is in Christ is for you. {“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine; therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.” Jn.16:13-15.}

Non-Elect Dogs & Swine

One reason I exhibit against this absurd notion that the children of God were once of the “family of hell,” {prior to Conversion,} and “near of kin to Satan,” is, that when God speaketh of “the rest,” {“the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded,” Rom.11:7,} he never calls them sheep, {“but ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep,” Jn.10:26,} children of God, his people, or the like, in all the New Testament; but serpent’s seed, and that is, devil’s seed, and Christ calls them serpents, a generation of vipers, and Peter sets them out by dogs and swine; names that as they are inconsistent with present Grace, so they will not stand with future Grace, or their ever having any interest in the Grace of God at all. I begin with Genesis 3:15, “and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed.” Between thee, the devil, who hath made use of the body of the serpent of the earth, to deceive the woman, and the woman so deceived, who shall be the parent of an elect head and company distinctly; and between thy seed; the wicked brood that are personally cursed as soon as propagated, having lost the Man Christ’s Nature-Image in the loins of their sinning, deceived parents; and her seed, the woman’s seed apart from the serpentine race of wicked men; “to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ,” Gal.3:16, as is elsewhere said of the seed of Abraham. {“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” I Jn.2:19.} And saith the LORD, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed.” Thou shalt hate the woman, and the woman shall hate thee; and the wicked that shall be thy offspring shall hate the righteous. I will also give a new nature and principle by the woman’s seed, which is Christ, that shall be enmity to the serpent’s seed, and will leave this corrupt, serpentine nature incurable to be enmity to Christ, and all that belong unto him. Thus we see how in this text the non-elect, or those who had not Grace and Glory given to them in Christ Jesus before the world began, II Tim.1:9, are called by the Holy Ghost upon their Fall, the seed of the serpent; and so in the very article and joint of the Fall, they belonged to the family of hell, were limbs of Satan, and near of kin to the devil; and have remained such ever since, and upon all occasions do more and more open and discover themselves to be what they are; nor do Sermons and Exhortations ordinarily make these a jot the better visibly, unless now and then in some points of Humanity. As for the Gospel, there is nothing in them that can receive it, it being foolishness unto them, I Cor.2:14, and they being a rational sort of mankind, many of them of fine wit and great understanding, and so do bark most furiously at the sacred truths of Election, Imputed Righteousness, Regeneration as the sole work of the Spirit, &c., the Holy Ghost never altering the thoughts of their minds, but wholly leaving them in all these matters to their own blind and wretched dictates. To the same purpose, next you have Matthew 23:33, “ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” Serpents, here was the proper brood of the devil, as the old Serpent. {“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world.” Rev.12:9.} These belong to his family, and as he is a serpent, so they are serpents too. He was the old serpent, and they were the young serpents, hatching up and bringing on, under the incubation of the devil, from cockatrice-eggs, and never to become any better thing than vipers. “Ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” Whether should the young brood of serpents and vipers go but to the old one? As is his case, so is yours, ye Pharisees, and how can you avoid it? This was the Doctrine which our Lord, the meek and holy Saviour to his own, preached to the devil’s sect, who belonged to outer darkness. For being vipers how can ye not deserve hell? Again, Matthew 12:34, “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?” How could the Viper act other ways than the nature of the Viper, and he who had the sting cease to hurt therewith? Accordingly, says Christ, John 8:44, “ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.” You are of that murderer, and therefore you will do all you can to murder God’s New Image in the Head of the Election, just as your father the devil murdered God’s Natural Image in Adam. For, as to those Eternal Settlements in Christ, the Nature-Image was communicated {from him by pattern} to Adam the head of all mankind. “You will {absolutely} do,” for Christ as God saw this murder as absolutely done and finished, Acts 2:23, as if the thing had been openly done and finished to mankind. There was to be no preventing, no stopping them from going on, no repentance to be given them when they had done it, and therefore no saving them from their sins, as in the former case; but they were to sin on, and be damned for it too. {“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” Rev.22:11.} “The said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins; whither I go, ye cannot come.” Jn.8:21. These now were the children of hell, and they labored to bring in others and make them worse than themselves. “Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.” Mt.23:15. Here now was a child of hell in the kind, such a one as was to continue so finally; and children of hell, or belonging to the family of hell, of the same kind that influenced them. All the children of hell are the proper children of it in relation, but all of them are not children of hell alike in degrees of wickedness, under that relation to it; nor are they alike in relation to the degrees of condemnation, Mk.12:40, appointed unto them who belong unto the family of hell, and are near of kin unto the devil. On the footing of this, according to the good Pleasure and Justice of God, that the Pharisees in Matthew 23, who labored diligently to make their proselytes {or professors of the strictest sect of the Jews} into that doctrine, which taught that every man must keep the Law to be saved by it; and so directly struck at the Person and Office of Christ, both as the Lord our Righteousness in his Person, Jer.23:6, and as he is made of God unto us Righteousness, I Cor.1:30, in his Office, unto every one that believeth, Rom.1:16, were a generation threatened to receive the greater damnation, verse 14, “therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation;” that is, greater damnation than other sinners; but “greater damnation” for what? Not for cursing and swearing and whoring; for they seemed to be moral men that commendably hated these vices; and lived up high to the light of nature, they prayed, sought God, went to Church, &c., but they should receive greater damnation for not believing into the Doctrine of Revealed Religion, slighting Christ, and setting up a false righteousness to make them accepted with God; making long prayers to cheat poor souls with a belief that without abundance of long praying the Law is not kept, and so as if no flesh could be saved but by that way. And yet these men in their zeal of prophesying did make a man twofold, Mt.23:15, more a child of hell than themselves. The meaning is this, they searched all corners {for they compassed sea and land} to find out a man of parts, and when by article in religion they had made him a man of zeal too, zeal for their way; why this latter man, this last {most recent convert} Pharisee of the sect, partly by his learning and cunning, and partly by his zeal for the way, after they had fixed him, did twice as much mischief against Christ, in setting up that cursed notion in the world, {that a man must be saved by his own doings,} as the other Pharisees had done, and would carry it on with that blind, bloody activity, as to take everybody out of the way, Christ and all, that taught another doctrine. Thus the proselyte became twofold more a child of hell than the Pharisee. Now as to these Pharisees who saw Christ, we do not read of one of them that was personally converted. As for Paul, who, after the strictest sect of the religion of the Jews, Acts 26:5, lived a Pharisee, he never saw Christ, till he saw him Glorified appearing to him as he was going to Damascus; and so that instance, Acts 9:3, of a Pharisee converted makes not against this Observation, from whence it’s plain, that Paul belonged not to the family of hell. But those Pharisees personally of whom Christ thus speaketh, were a company of serpents, and vipers, Mt.23:33, that for their very kind’s sake must display their poison and their stings, and be taken off too for their kind’s sake, and because of the necessary propensity {or inclinations} of their unrestrained nature to do mischief, as noxious and hurtful creatures of God’s creation, that are not properly in their “own place,” Acts 1:25, till with Judas and the devils they are cast into hell. To the foregoing texts let me add, Matthew 7:23, “and then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Here Christ never knew them in the Grace-Relation, nor ever knew them of the Glory-kin. He knew them in the nature kind, but they have lost that by iniquity. Now if Christ thus never knew them, then the family of hell are a distinct kind of creatures, and the near of kin to the devil are such as were never known in Foreknowledge of Grace, in Election Grace, Settlement-Grace, Union-Grace, Redemption-Grace, Regeneration-Grace, Communion and Experience-Grace. I never knew ye as sheep; I never knew you as the seed of the woman; I never knew you as the children of God; I never knew you as my people; I never knew you under any work of Grace; “depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” The non-elect are also called dogs and swine; says the Holy Ghost by Peter, “but it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, the dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” II Pet.2:22. {“His watchmen are blind; they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand; they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.” Isa.56:10-11.} And so John in the Revelation by the same Spirit tells us, “without are dogs,” Rev.22:15, without the Holy City, all those that bark at the ways of Christ, have a peculiar way of scoffing and sinning against the Spirit, which elect sinners are kept from arriving to; these dogs are excluded from the glory of the New Jerusalem; not one of them shall ever come into it, as the dogs are without. And saith the Holy Ghost by Paul, “beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision,” Phil.3:2; carry it cautiously with staff in hand; be armed with God’s Word; if you are in your own spirit and carelessness, they’ll fly upon you before you are aware of it. So too the unbelieving Jews and Gentiles, the Romans and the people of Israel that crucified Christ, are called dogs; Psal.22:16, “for dogs have compassed me; the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me; they pierced my hands and my feet;” both the Sanhedrin-power of the Jews, and the mob, have enclosed me, they pierced my hands and my feet; that is, they crucified me; and so in other places. Again, “give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine,” Mt.7:6, now the elect of God before calling were among these, Lk.15:16, but not made any of these. Objection: Christ calls the woman of Canaan a dog, and yet she was an elect person; therefore this does not hold. Answer: So ‘tis generally taken in that Matthew 15:26-27, “but he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, truth, Lord; yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Nevertheless, the common interpretation is an oversight-gloss, for Christ called not the woman dog. This is plain, because he does not say “dog” in the singular number, as he should, if he had called her, dog; but using the plural style, “dogs,” our Lord called the non-elect Canaanites, her country-folk, so; and proposes it to her under that term of reproach, “dogs,” to lay open how her faith should take it well, and not to be offended with Christ. It’s certain that nature can’t delight to have its kindred, country, religion, &c., though for Christ’s sake, yea, by Christ himself, blasted; but she being no dog, but a sheep, belonging to the Shepherd, whom he knew by the secret mark, {“and the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite; let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity; Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary,” Ezek.9:4-6, “and it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal – mark – of God in their foreheads,” Rev.9:4, “and I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads,” Rev.14:1,} though she did not then know her own relation in Christ, and therefore let it go as generally taken, and worshipped Christ never the worse for it all, being secretly wrought upon by Converting Power.

Offers of Grace

Have our men got wiser doctrine than infallible election? When they are quite run from this glorious article to lay all shamefully at this day upon ministerial offers of grace, and terms of grace, which are but human endeavors. Offers of grace? Terms of grace? I'm afraid this looks like designing gibberish to reconcile men to a party, or at least to ward off the pseudo-nomian’s blow at what they'll please to call the root of mental error. Offers of grace, terms of the covenant, and man's choice under the preaching of any parts of the Gospel, instead of the gift by Grace, and the gift of God from God's choice of his own settled number in Christ, do all proceed from a shutting of God's choice out. This notion of offers of grace is no way suited to the firm belief of the doctrine of election, and non-election of persons, to obtain, and not obtain mercy. It is not fitted to a firm belief of election, and the other similar doctrines that are built upon it, because here it is grace given, under the positive work of God the Spirit, coming in where the gospel is preached to the elect of God, not grace offered. An offer lays the thing only before me under invincible impediments of reaching it, as holding out my hand with money to a poor prisoner that looks through a grate, and begs, but can't come near me; he sees what I offer, but he cannot step forth to me, nor touch the money I expose and lay before him. But if I go up to him, and give it him, he hath it presently. Again, this doctrine of the offers of grace is in no ways fitted to a firm belief of the doctrine of a non-election of persons. Can they do more than the elect to take offers of grace? This is utterly repugnant to the notion of a non-election of some. And yet abundance of our book-zeal and sermon-zeal is wrought up to an Arminian strain. They preach and write, not as if there were any vessels of mercy, or vessels of wrath distinctly; but as if offers were believed by them, as election is received by us, and as the Spirit of God, as the Comforter, is believed by us, and absolute fruit of election to be given to all the elect of God, sooner or later, under the preaching of the gospel. They in their offers preach and write, just as if they believed there were no non-elect, or else had a hope and arm to save them. This must proceed at least in unstable and ungrounded thoughts, as to God the Father's operations about Predestination, election &c., of Head and members, of Christ and His church. I am sure they can never firmly believe election to keep it in their eye, as it is Scripturally stated, to go and preach offers of grace as they do. How can I steadfastly believe particular grace, as lodged in the hands of the Spirit to bestow it on none but the elect, when I offer this grace to all within the sound?

Offers of Grace

The preaching of Free Grace, as the mystery of the doctrine is laid open, makes them presently reply against God, and quarrel with the Most High; and say, “Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?” {Rom.9:19,20} As it did there in the Ninth to the Romans. It soon touches them, especially when the points of Sovereignty or Absolute Grace, Irresistibleness, Discrimination, Passiveness, &c., are preached; for men cannot pretend to offer a sinner these pieces of grace; they being points of operation, and not of offers. The Doctrine of Grace is such an enemy to their carnal wisdom, that their carnal wisdom must be a principal of enmity {Rom.8:7} to the doctrine; for the doctrine is an enemy to their self-love, carnal interests, carnal ease, &c., inasmuch that preaching the true Gospel agonizes wicked men and irritates their minds, {Lk.4:28,} eats into the frame of their spirits, gnaws upon their inward pride and fills them with rage. {Acts 5:33} As Stephen’s hearers “gnashed upon him with their teeth,” {Acts 7:54,} when they heard the doctrine of Truth preached. Stephen did not offer them Christ, for they might have laughed that to ridicule, but he Preached Christ notably, and this preaching enraged them. For preaching either kills, {Acts 24:25,} or cures, if it be right; and makes a notable discrimination in the auditory. {Acts 28:24} So that non-elect refusers of the Father’s Christ, or open rejecters of the doctrine of Free Grace preached according to the Spirit's Revelation of it in the Word, can't stand before Gospel Preaching. How doth it enrage the Jews at Antioch, and that immediately to contradict and blaspheme! The apostles preached and it upset them without more excitement, Acts 13:45, so when Paul preached Jesus and the Resurrection, Acts 17:18, it presently touched the philosophers of Epicurus and the Stoicks to the quick, and stirred up their wisdoms to encounter him. If he had stood offering them terms, they would but have laughed him to scorn, and thought it not worth their while to have urged an argument against him. But this preaching set them upon a philosophical prating; and the account given of the cause of their opposition, is not that Paul propounded the Offer, but he was {as they thought} a Teller and Celebrator {as the word in the Greek signifies, which we read a “setter forth”} of strange gods. How ignorant were they and prejudiced together! Accordingly, Noah preached in his day {II Pet.2:5, Gen.6:3} home to the disobedient spirits that in the Apostle’s days {long after} were in the prison of hell. {I Pet.3:19} The doctrine of Preservation in the Ark was preached and not offered. Again, the Ark was built for Noah and his house, {Heb.11:7,} it was not prepared for, nor tendered to the old world.

Offers of Grace

Offers abuse the Redeemer; for they enlist all upon the acceptance of the sinner, but not at all upon the Redemption of Christ, as Christ hath procured the conveyance. For its in this very conveyance purchased that the acceptance must come to thee, and be wrought by the power of God in thee. A proffer of Christ doth not go as the things are conveyed by Christ, and as all obstacles are done away by Christ, but as the things are accepted by the sinner, and the last rub in the way taken out of the way by the sinner's own acceptance. A tender of salvation to all or any that come under the sound of the Gospel advanceth the reception of it more as it comes in by the creature, than it advanceth the procurement, as the conveyance was wrought out by Jesus Christ, in redemption for all the elect of God. God hath appointed the purchased conveyance of it to them, and not propounded the offer of a common grace unto all, as the doctrine of the offer teacheth, resting in an arm of flesh. {Jer.17:5}

Offers of Grace

Offers exalt not God's Supreme Will. {Is.46:10} Preaching the Gospel is preaching glad tidings in an effectual Sovereignty of Grace to the Israel whom God hath chosen; {Is.44:1;} and the Blessings of the Gospel, as in Matthew; {5:1-10;} in the hearing of the multitudes, are pronounced and conveyed to the poor whom He hath chosen rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom. But proffering the Gospel debaseth the Sovereignty of God, instead of exalting it. How abject and precarious is it in the Great and Glorious Name of Jehovah, {Deut.28:58;} to stand up and say, ‘here sinners, I offer you Christ, why don't you take him?’ Ah! It's a taking of God's Name in vain, and the perverting of God's Message, if the man be God's Messenger. Preaching is supreme, it breaks in upon a man by authority; offers are servile; they make parleys, and debase Majesty, and so cannot be the same thing with true Gospel Preaching that exalts it.

Offers of Grace

While men therefore are making offers of an unrevealed and unseen Christ, let them not think it is a preaching the Gospel in the Salvation and Glory thereof at all. Preaching the Gospel deals with the elect of God in order to the change of their nature, answerable to the settlement of their relation in Christ, and so to bring them, for the making of their calling and election sure, to an evangelical communion with Father, Son and Spirit; by more spiritual and fixed believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, through the indwelling and consolatory operations of God the Comforter. Accordingly unto this end, preaching the Gospel is mightily owned by the Spirit of God to change the sinner, and elevate his capacity under sanctification of the Spirit in the new nature to the supernatural Believing and supernatural Communion. The Scriptures do speaks so much, and almost constantly of the Holy Ghost, either as to his Person or Work upon the soul in passive phrases, whether it be expressed of spiritual believing or its spiritual concomitants of repentance unto life, love, joy, &c., or its fruits, called the Fruit of the Spirit, that the ministers of Christ are plainly put in trust with the Gospel, to use all such meet words and passive phrases of exalting the Spirit and his Work, as are fitted to bring up the report of the Gospel to the honor and glory of God the Spirit, {Is.53:1,} in the practical Mysteries of Christ. An offer is in word only, but preaching is in power. “The Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” {I Cor.4:20} And effectual preaching is the stretching forth of the Rod of that Kingdom. {“The LORD shall send the Rod of thy strength out of Zion; rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.” Ps.110:2} Men's preaching the Gospel is an act in Christ's name and in Christ’s Spirit.

Offers of Grace

The word ‘offer’ is not to be found in Scripture in any other sense than to sacrifice. {It is a straying from the Sacred Text to corrupt it with foreign phrases. Mal.2:7,8} And be sure when men ‘offer’ Christ, they don't mean that they sacrifice Him. Having therefore quite another meaning of the word, they do express their conceptions in the case, as they turn it towards the preaching of the Gospel. And there they speak sometimes by ‘offers of grace,’ sometimes by ‘proffers of Christ,’ sometimes by ‘propounding the offer,’ sometimes by ‘proposal of the Gospel offer,’ sometimes by ‘tenders of the Gospel,’ and sometimes by ‘tendering salvation.’ Blind and Scriptureless forms! Methinks, if men had meant preaching the Gospel by these phrases, yet it's an intolerable assault upon the Sacred Text of Both Testaments to word it so untowardly. The Oracles of God have an elegant variety of expression to set forth the preaching of Jesus Christ. As for example; speaking – I Cor.2:7,13, speaking the word – Phil.1:14, preaching – Acts 20:25, preaching the Gospel, Luke 20:1, preaching glad tidings – Is.61:1, preaching the Kingdom of God – Acts 28:31, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom – Mt.4:23, teaching – Rom.12:7, Col.1:28, teaching the Word of God – Acts 18:11, teaching the things that concern the Lord Jesus Christ – Acts 28:31, showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God – Luke 8:1, declaring glad tidings – Acts 3:32, showing by the Scriptures – Acts 18:28, bringing glad tidings of good things – Rom.10:15, and the like. But never once in all this variety of expression do the Scriptures call preaching the Gospel by the other names and phrases such as that of an offering, proffering, propounding and tendering grace, Christ, salvation and glad tidings. How conceited then must some men be of their own, or other men's wisdom, {I Cor.1:19,} who notwithstanding that they have so little to say for their very phrases, are resolved to keep them up. Whereas this very hint, that the phrases are scriptureless, {“if any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” I Pet.4:11,} and their meaning unable to justify a right managery, or make an agreeable signification to befit {“and to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,” Acts 15:15} the Gospel; for if no more could be said it is enough to make poor, humble, modest souls drop these expressions; even such of the children of God, who are sensible that their mouths are not filled with Gospel sweetness, unless as they have experienced it in the opening of their mouths wide, the Lord himself filling them. “I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt; open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” Ps.81:10. Now if men find as great a sweetness in phrases of human imagination, and in the defense of them, as they find in the Holy Spirit’s language of the Bible, which hath plentifully spoken the same things, and far better to instruct us, it's a sign they don't open their mouth’s wide, nor can it be any argument that Christ fills them. For he hath used expressions enough to fill a man's mouth, when he speaks of the preaching of the Gospel, so as that he shall have no need to use these aforementioned phrases, into which the tongs of so many preachers have been dipped and sunk.

Offers of Grace

How are offers fitted to a translation out of darkness into the Kingdom of God's dear Son; {Col.1:13;} and out of “darkness into his marvelous light?” {I Pet.2:9} How do offers suit with a work that's above all created power; for so is faith declared to be. {Eph.1:19,20} The offer doctrine is in a style and way of preaching more fitted to things done by us in weakness and common profession, than to things done upon us by the infinite grace and Power of Jehovah. It is not fitted at all to passives, nor the efficacy of the Holy Ghost therein. It agrees better to the agency of the old man, than to the formation of the new creature in Christ. More to self-justification, than to justification by grace. More to a disposal of our own goods upon proposals made, than to the adoption of sons by grace. {Gal.4:5} More to an ordering of our own faculties, than to the shedding of the Holy Ghost upon us. More to an act of morality, than to a sanctification of the Spirit. {II Thes.2:13} More to the signing of some personal treaty, than to the writing itself which is called the Epistle of Christ; {II Cor.3:3;} or than its fitted to the supernatural style of the Holy Ghost in putting Christ's laws within our hearts, {Jer.31:33,} and giving them an heart to know the Lord. {Jer.24:7} {“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” – “And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God; for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.”} In a word, man's offers are not fitted to exalt God's Operations. Free Grace is Effectual Grace, and never sinks on the Foundation into a free offer. This would be the way to debase the true Glory of the Spirit’s efficacy in his passive work on sinners. The Lord humble us more and more, that we may lie in the dust, and never open our mouths again to tell sinners how we offer them Christ, since there is such a large theme of Effectual Grace to preach life both into saints and sinners, of the elect of God, by exalting Christ!

Offers of Grace

I believe that an experimental and enlightened believer in Christ led into the Mystery of God, and having a living communion with God in his soul, never hears the ‘offer’ drop in a Sermon, but it's in a certain frame and spirit of the minister while he lessons all he hath said. Offers of ‘grace’ are not fitted to exalt God in his Person, Grace and Operations. And is this Good News? Then never preach thus, to follow the multitude into their offer language. {Ex.23:2} Offers are more fitted to bring glory to the creature, and so to make the creature boast of himself {contrary to Ps.32:11, which commands the new creature to be glad in the Lord} than they are fitted to venerate Jehovah the Spirit, and to give thanks to God the Lord for faith as the Scriptures teach us to glory. “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly,” {II Thes.1:3,} “we give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus,” {Col.1:3,4,} “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.” {Rom.1:8} How was this faith wrought? By Divine Power. Then what was exalted? The Power of God, not offers. Thanks were rendered for Divine Operations of the Spirit whereby the faith that was spoken of came.

Offers of Grace

It is there commonly when we come to Gospel application that we break the Second Commandment and bow down to other gods before Him. {Ex.20:5} Offers nod towards the creature, as a superstitious ceremony-monger bows towards his altar. Offers entangle and unravel the Spirit's work, in those parts of a discourse especially when they are called application. Now we should preach the Gospel as the Spirit delights to work within us Himself, even in bringing us to our duty. {Zeph.3:17} Away then with your offers in exhorting repentance, whilst concealing {Ps.40:10} the loving kindness of the Lord, and how the Spirit delights to work this repentance from an exalted Christ, {Acts 5:31,} and to make it sweet by operations of Gospel repentance, and not bitter as your offers do. So again; offers put a slight and neglect upon all this delightful work of the Spirit; so that you can never imagine by offer preaching that the Spirit took any delight to create faith in you, or took any delight to work repentance in you. Thus do offers eclipse and injure the Spirit's work.

Offers of Grace

Offers are no institution of Christ, but debase that institution into an invention of the creature. Preaching is an appointed proclamation, not an un-commanded proposal. Now proclamations come forth in the Name of the Sovereign with authority, but proposals creep forth without any due advancement of the Son of God in the royalty of his Grace and Scepter. As we come in Christ's name, so in preaching the Gospel we are to exalt the Power of Christ to conquer sinners, and not beat the parlay in an offer to compound with sinners. {For it’s clearly a pity that free grace doctrine should ever be plucked down and all knocked on the head by free will application.} I am to preach to saints and sinners in one invariable piece of Free Grace.

Offers of Grace

The evil is, there have come preachers who wind up their sermons in a way of free-will application, {Gal.3:3,} or what too much looks that way, that as much exalts the sinner for believing, as our way exalts the blood of Christ for remission. The frame of their discourse doth, and all the contexture of that kind of exhortations which they affect, doth exalt a man’s self in the business of faith; which kind and way of preaching, Jehovah the Spirit will more effectually pull down in time to come, and will not lose the things he hath wrought. {II John 8} The Spirit is Jehovah, as appears in Isaiah 48:17, compared with I Cor.2:13. He is God, Acts 5:3,4; he is the Lord the Spirit, as the original of II Cor.3:18 testifies. Consequently; “his glory he will not give to another,” {Is.42:8,} in the winding up of sermons by a company of dead, blind and ineffectual offers, and what are called grace offers.

Offers of Grace

If the Spirit was duly honored, as we walked in the light of Christ, the Gospel offer/proposal would never be spoken of, and God the Holy Ghost working in us from the Father and Christ, of God's own good pleasure, be altogether concealed. The light, if we “walked in the light as he is in the light,” {I Jn.1:7,} would secure us from this blindness; and we would have fellowship one with another; that is, {as the plain coherence lies,} God with us, and we with God; God with us by the virtue of Imputed Righteousness, or through it, {Rom.5:19,} and the communion of his Spirit under it; and we with God under the same Righteousness of God, in a holy delighting in God, to set up the glory of his grace, and with the small rain of his blessing in the dews of his Spirit to lay in the dust that which proud flesh has raised before our eyes, by using men's mouths to the offers of Christ, which should be filled with the praises of Christ's Operations. I am certain, it is not my carnal judgment, it is not my dead opinion, but it is my life, my experience {as God's Word and God's Work have met together in my soul} that the mighty Operations of God renewing the faculty, {Jer.33:6,} elevating the understanding, strengthening the will, purifying the conscience with the blood of Christ do leave no room in our thoughts to offer Christ; {Ps.119:118;} and why should we not employ all our light, influences and clearest experience to speak of the things of God as we have found them upon our own souls under the Spirit's work; {Ps.73:28;} so that if I go forth upon my Master's work, under the operations of this glorious Spirit, and also in his work do believe that Christ's Spirit is with me, {having both his Word and Work for it meeting in my heart, Jer.15:16,} to what purpose should I, in seeking to reach the souls of the elect, and using means to convert them, stand to pitch so low and poorly in the dark, blundering upon nature, as to talk of Offers of Christ; whereas I come forth and preach Christ crucified {I Cor.1:23} in the Light and Operations of the Everlasting Gospel. {Rev.14:6}

Offers of Grace & Arminianism

Offers are fitted up to divers pieces of old Adam in the Arminian way, far beyond what any can pretend they are suited to in any one piece of new Adam; though men are loth that this should be known, because it disturbs them in the easy way. Howbeit; offers are fitted to creature power, to self strength, as it is partly, if not purely, or rather impurely our own strength. Offers do not argue the necessity of a New Birth, that “except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God;” {John 3:3;} as they do argue a necessity of ‘closing’ with Christ and accepting him, whether a man be born, or be not born from above. What then is the offer fitted to but Arminianism at the best? Offers to men in the flesh to accept of Christ unto salvation, do more argue that they who are in the flesh can please God, than they do argue that they who are in the flesh cannot please God. {Rom.8:8} Is not this Arminianism then? When men remain under such large pieces of the veil of Arminianism on their natures that they cannot see Arminianism in their principles, nor propositions!

Offers of Grace & Arminianism

Offers of Christ to unregenerate sinners are suited to creature cooperation, and creature concurrence, and so to Arminianism. {A sort of Neonomian quill pen dipped in Arminian ink, and cast abroad into natures blot, on purpose to confuse the people about the true Preaching of the Gospel.} They tend to form up the preacher's counsel, exhortations and persuasions into a joint-cause, as Arminians call it, with the Spirit of God. Thus the creation work upon the soul, which hath no concurrence, is tactfully denied, and all that is spoken is suited to Arminianism to a hairs breath. Where is the Single Operation of Effectual Grace as managed by God the Spirit insisted on among men that offer Christ? I do not find it. Are offers more fitted to exalt God that “worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure,” {Phil.2:13,} than they are fitted to exalt the agreement of the creature with God's grace to accept these offers? The Scripture tells me, “be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength.” {Ps.21:13} Here is no cooperation of strength; for it is all God's own that he must be exalted in. Here is the pride of all flesh that must be stained {Is.23:9} when he comes to rain down righteousness in the blood of Christ, {Hos.10:12,} so as that the Lord alone shall be exalted! {Is.2:17} Man's righteousness he has made such a flutter about is stained when God reigns down his own righteousness. And man's wisdom is stained, as soon as he comes but to see it in the light of God's Spirit through his Son. {“The LORD of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth.” Is.23:9 - “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” Hos.10:12 – “And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low; and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.” Isa.2:17.}

Particular Effectual Atonement

The Truth is, as a proper Satisfaction was made to God by Christ, so that proper Satisfaction or Atonement and full Sacrifice was an infallible, particular one, for all the sins of the elect, to include severally every thine and mine throughout all the sins of the whole mystical body given to Christ their Head, and settled in Him, by the secret and mystical union from everlasting. This is the Doctrine of the Scriptures. This state of it defended makes out the most complete defense against Socinians and Arminians, it being the most opposite to them. Moreover, my encouragements in Christ, and the comfort I reap in that doctrine, under and against all sinnings, are raised thereon and received therefrom accordingly; and they are the necessary antecedents of my coming to Christ, when I have strength from the Holy Ghost to walk, if ever I come to Christ with the mine eyes open. My fundamental comfort in the doctrine is founded upon this, that Christ's Satisfaction to God for the sins of all the elect is so founded upon {Heb.10:7} God's will, and Christ's covenant mediation as {Heb.7:22 – Gal.2:20} my Surety, the {Isa.9:6} responsibleness of my Surety is founded on his Deity, as the Son of God, and the qualifications of his sacrifice, or the {Heb.8:3} offering to pay my debt is founded upon his Covenant, as Mediator, and particularly the Man in God, and {Ez.36:22-32} either way hath no precarious relation to my willingness, or unwillingness, to my heart or lack thereof. This is suspended or advanced upon none of this creature footing. Here my first and fundamental comfort in the doctrine of Christ's Satisfaction.

Prayer

‘Tis praying with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit. Ephesians 6:18. All sorts of prayer; invocating the Person, Titles and Names of God in the Name of Christ; confessing Evangelical Mercies; confessing also Sin {because there is the remainder of it, even after Mercy received} and especially our birth-sin, the Sin of our fallen natures, and the nature-guiltiness and pollution of our state, so far as it lies in Adam; supplicating in these humble views for blessings and good things to be conveyed through Christ, according to the Pattern how that God has secretly blessed us with them already in Christ; comprecating for more and more of these things to be so conveyed, as we find God raising our hearts to behold them in Christ, and implore them at this Throne of Grace; deprecating evils from ourselves and all the elect of God, with submission to His Supreme Will; imprecating evils upon those whom the LORD Himself knows to be His own implacable enemies, Psal.139:21; thanksgivings for particular mercies received, &c. This is praying with all Prayer and Supplication. Even as he hath buckled on our armor; and this is the Gospel-begging; and so is the work of a regenerate man, and not Mr. Hunt’s unconverted beggar in his exhortation to sinners; as he puts an unconverted man to do more without the Spirit, than the saints themselves find they are able to do with the Spirit of Christ. They must pray in the Holy Ghost, Jude 20, as to viewing of their state, and by the Holy Ghost as to their assistances; for otherwise, they know not what to pray for as they ought. Rom.8:26. There must be light in prayer before heat, a sight of the Object, as an Advocate with the Father, I Jn.2:1, to receive our prayers, together with the Spirit of Supplication to be the Principle of life in our prayers; or else, in the matters of the Gospel, what are they all worth?

Prayer

Is not a being possessed of Christ, if I am a true believer, though I am poor, and want such things {at least, have not such things} as I see others enjoy, a fitter argument to be pleaded with God, that he would from thence make me by his Spirit thankful for what I do have, and to be contended in my present state, than any confession otherwise of the contrary fault is able to make me so? {“As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” II Cor.6:10.} It is not a naked confession and acknowledgment of my sins, but a faith wrought of God in my Supplies that are all treasured up in Christ, {“for all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” II Cor.1:10,} and there laid ready for me, upon the footing of Everlasting Grace, which is the effectual fervent and availing prayer of the righteous man. {Js.5:16} For, can I believe that the Lord will hear my prayer, if I ask for what I do not believe he hath ready in his Hand for me, to be granted upon the Foundation of God at my own asking. {“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his.” II Tim.2:19.} To which purpose I have the Spirit given unto me, as a Spirit of Grace and Supplications, {“and I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications.” Zech.12:10,} in order both to my own plea, and my Redeemer's Grant built upon his Intercession and opened at my own. Is not Communion in the soul with Christ's Treasures better able to make me believe that all things shall work together for good, and that God will never leave me, nor forsake me; than it is likely to avail me to regard and eye only the plea of my sin and utter helplessness.

Prayer

Who is it but God that justifieth? And that he does according to His own pleasure and covenant with Christ, in the application of Gospel Righteousness. And what is it but the virtue of this, in the application thereof, which sets the heart a asking through Christ, what the eye {by a work of the Spirit} certainly sees to be it's own in Christ. For whatever is not of faith is sin. “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” {Mt.21:22} The person who asks believing is the only petitioner who receives what he asks. For, if I believe not my own interest in Christ secured, I can never in faith ask that it may be done. The reason is, God can never alter His councils {Mal.3:6,} if it be not done in Christ already it will never be done in Christ by begging it. Therefore knowing already ‘tis done in Christ, I am to ask believingly that it may be done through Christ upon me influentially, from a sight that it is done in Christ for me in election settlements federally.

Prayers & Supplications

Though man in his common miseries and common mercies eyes not the Great and Only Sacrifice, yet God always did and always will respect that Sacrifice alone, as the ground of his regarding the prayers and tears of his oppressed people. The neglect of the influences of the Great and only Sacrifice hath done a world of mischief in divinity, darkening the honor of God’s Glory, and eclipsing the comforts of the elect, which are secured not by prayers and tears, but by the Person and Righteousness of Jesus Christ alone! Though men do not eye Christ in their prayers and tears to God for what they ask or need, yet God always eyes Christ in bestowing everything he grants. What have prayers and tears to do in the proper matters of the great and only Sacrifice? The case is nothing here as it is in common mercies. In the matters of Salvation by Christ, the Holy Spirit of God effectually calling by the Gospel preached, gives grace to the creature, as his own child, to become a new creature, openly by influences, through Christ, according to the pattern of God’s fore-knowing him so, secretly in Christ by his Grace from Everlasting; and so makes this new creature see all his Salvation and Help to be laid up in Christ.

Prayers & Supplications

This very language in our ears naturally tends to carry off a man’s thoughts, either in whole or in part, to prayers and tears; that is to say, to carry them off to these in the same end and efficacy with Christ. Such language finds it easy, we being all prone naturally without it, to run off our thoughts with our praying and weeping to the same design, and mix them in one common end with the Death of Christ. It hath a tendency in the very conjunction of words, in such a frame as the proposition condemned puts them, to set men a looking after God’s grants upon the same kind of footing, granting for prayers and tears, as when he grants for Christ; and therewith secretly suggesting, that God gives out salvation upon prayers and tears, together with his granting it upon Christ’s Sacrifice! Which is utterly false; and supposes the Father conjointly eyed prayers and tears with his eying Christ for the spiritual blessings and eternal life to men! And this is as the papists also affirm, who build heaven and salvation in their belief partly upon Christ, and partly upon prayers and tears.

Prayers & Supplications

If you trace the plea, you shall find in it much creature emptiness, and nothing of Christ’s Gospel fullness. I would ask any man truly taught of God, and led into the knowledge of Christ and himself too, whether he doth not see more of the creature, in creature discerning, {for he runs upon natural, providential and common discernings,} than he can find of Christ’s teachings {for though he began with the King, he hath quite shut out both the Priest and Prophet} either to live by faith upon Christ, or to pray in faith unto Him? {Heb.10:38} Is there one quarter so much in all the pleas said of Christ, as there is of religious self? Now, if all these mischiefs be ever redressed in self, it is Christ, not a man’s own dead nature pleas that must do it. Again, if the soul be spiritual, under any true work of Christ by his Spirit in the Gospel, is it not strange, that such a heavenly soul should not be led throughout, to fasten upon any one argument, from the fullness treasured up in Jesus Christ? “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.” {Col.1:19} What, no fullness in Christ’s blood to eye, nor plead? Strange, that soul tears and strong cries must take up all! Alas! What is the souls most pitiful moan to Christ’s Intercession in Heaven; aye, or to his strong crying and tears, when he offered up prayers and supplications in the days of his flesh. {Heb.5:7} Where is that preacher’s own living upon Christ the most Excellent, who frightens a poor soul with the danger of being overcome by sin? Is not Christ as able, is not Christ as willing, is not Christ as present, do not I feel it so, if I am raised into any sweet experience, if I have any quickened communion with Him in the true Gospel, and am enabled by Grace to venture upon throwing off this mixed Gospel, to keep me graciously, {or any true believer,} from being overcome with sin, wheresoever I lawfully go, and in whatsoever I lawfully do, as the same Christ was able, willing and present to keep his disciples at sea from being drowned in the storm? Where’s that man’s faith, joy and confidence in God through Christ, who can’t trust the Lord in one place he comes, nor in one step he takes? What, was none of Christ’s sufficiency in this case fit, or thought upon to be pleaded? It is a poor crying to God without it.

Preaching Christ

It had been wiser work if you had preached God's Everlasting Settlements of Christ for poor Sinners, than their own palsy-acts of Faith to build Christ on for their help. It had been better you had preached Election in Christ, the Riches of God's Grace and Merits in Redemption, the Spirit's Efficacy in Regeneration, and the several Branches of the Government of Christ in Gospel-Order; that the New-born being converted to Jesus Christ, and freely giving up themselves to His Scepter and Ordinances, might know to behave themselves in the Church of God {I Tim.3:15,} than to use worldly policy for preventing their going off from your ministry, and press and pull them into Churches under early stirrings, before they are ripe to sit down in the Kingdom of God. {Mt.8:11} You insist much in the applicatory part of preaching, upon Coming to Christ; but I profess I could never find one of such as you, understandingly and discreetly lay open the Springs of that motion. It is under Efficacy of Doctrine, and not the force of press that the soul is drawn to Christ. Wisdom has graciously done the work, if God owns it at all.

Preaching Christ

How do some of you open the Scriptures to lead into the mysteries of the Love of God? Into the Glory of Faith? Do you open them from Men? "Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my Words everyone from his neighbor. Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith." Jer.23:30,31. Do you go to open them without judgment and experience? Experience of the Word built upon sound Judgment? "Thus saith the Lord GOD; woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit {not opening the scriptures by any judgment or experience of the Spirit of Christ in the Word itself; but their own spirit in evident mistakes by natural sound of the words, or by some other misunderstanding of the text and Coherence,} and have seen nothing.” Ezek.13:3.

Preaching the Gospel of Christ

The doctrine of the Cross of Christ, or the doctrine of Salvation, {II John 10,} in which salvation is brought to the elect alone, is a doctrine that must be preached even to them that perish; {II Cor.2:15;} or else, how will the wisdom of God in it appear to be foolishness unto them that perish? So Paul in preaching the doctrine of Christ to the very enemies in the Synagogue, “increased the more in strength, and confounded {by the wisdom of God in the Old Testament} the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.” {Acts 9:22} The synagogues opposed him, but he had strength from Heaven to confound them all. {Acts 9:20} We read of none converted there at Damascus. What then? The Gospel nevertheless is preached, and the end of it there is attained, namely God's Wisdom glorified, while the Faith is preached which once Paul destroyed. The Wisdom of God must be preached to sinners, and the report made, though not one soul be converted by the Grace of God in all that Synagogue. The net must be let down into the waters, {Mt.13:47,} though the fish may not lie where the net comes, {Ez.47:10,} and a man may toil all night {Lk.5:5,} and take nothing. This is a mighty argument for preaching the Doctrine of Christ, where the Salvation in the Doctrine doth not at all belong.

Preaching the Gospel of Christ

We are to preach the New Birth, the Washing of Regeneration, and the Renewing of the Holy Ghost; {Tit.3:5;} as men are born from above, {John 3:3,} and therein born of the Spirit. {John 3:5} We should preach the Gospel as consistently with the praise of the Spirit's work in Regeneration Grace, {I Pet.1:23 – John 1:13,} as we ought to preach it consistently with the praise of the Father’s act in Electing Grace; and yet I am sure that very few do. We are to preach the new man, {Eph.4:24,} the hidden man of the heart, {I Pet.3:4,} the inward man, {II Cor.4:16,} the inward and hidden parts, {Ps.51:6;} all which tells us, it must be Divine Operations of Grace, not offers of grace, that are to be used of God and exalted of man. {Jer.18:12} We must preach the circumcision of the heart, {Deut.30:6, Rom.2:29,} the new nature, {John 3:6,} the new heart, {Ez.36:26,} a clean heart, {Ps.51:10;} all which passive phrases in a great door and effectual opened of the Lord, {I Cor.16:9,} though there be many adversaries, are fitted to set forth Operations of Grace. It is our work in the ministry of Christ to preach the efficacy of Divine Grace in begetting the soul in an Evangelical sense, and begetting a people to God above the work of nature. “In Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.” {I Cor.4:15}

Preaching the Gospel of Christ

The preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom is the preaching of so high and heavenly a Dispensation in the hands of the Lord Christ, that it's above all human, secular and temporal interests in the world. {John 18:36} The Gospel of the Kingdom of God is above all methods, ministrations, and the wise and learned ways of preaching. It consists not in humanity, which now passes for Divinity; nor in offers which jostle out the gift of God, and exalt not the Operation of the Spirit. Whatever is the way of man wide from the paths of wisdom, man left to himself in the pride and stoutness of his mind, {Is.9:9,} will adhere unto it, until God hath hedged up his way with thorns, {Hos.2:6,} or broken him to pieces, either by humbling him, {I Sam.2:6,8,} or silencing him in the dust! The Gospel belongs to a high Kingdom, and shall give way to none on earth; but all interests and dominations, wisdoms, ways and forms under heaven shall stoop, or be broken by our Lord Christ's Scepter in the efficacy of his mighty Spirit. All our pride and wisdom, thoughts and ways that are not God’s, {Is.55:8,} must stoop, and shall give way unto the Gospel! This is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. {The kingdom of God to the non-elect is not Grace proposed, but Dominion and Subjection imposed, because they are under the Law, Rom.6:14, and not under Grace. They disobey upon Christ's right to govern, and will be crushed under the Scepter of the disobeyed Prince for their daring rebellion!} The preaching of the Gospel therefore is not only to save men's souls who belong to God, in Him who is Elect, precious; {I Pet.2:6;} but it's also to set up Christ's greatness in the Work, and as a piece of the travail of his soul {Is.53:11} to see the saved brought into Gospel Order. For, Order ultimately in the Glorious Kingdom, as well as intermediately in the spiritual and established Kingdom of ordinances and open worship in these present times, as Christ present Kingdom is not of this world, {John 18:36,} but differs from all kingdoms of this world; so this order is, and is to be, a special Fruit of the Gospel. {Is.9:7} Consequently, the Government and Spiritual Kingdom of Christ under the success of the Gospel is to be propagated everywhere among the elect of God, and in the face of men though they persecute it; for the Gospel is to be preached on the behalf of God's elect to all people, to all sorts of sinners, and under the whole heavens, wheresoever there is an opportunity to utter the joyful Sound.

Preaching the Gospel of Christ

Men’s rational powers have been made to stoop to the witness of the Lord Jesus, whom God “hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.” {Heb.1:2} And a community of men have been made providentially subject to the Mediator through teaching and preaching the Word of the Lord in every city {Acts 15:35,36} where the Word of the Lord hath been sent to be preached, {how powerfully did the Preaching of the Gospel discriminate the elect from the non-elect at Jerusalem; it presently severed them into two companies, breaking their carnal union. “Then I cut asunder mine other staff, even bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel,” Zech.11:14,} though there hath been but here and there of the hearers the elect of God {for indeed the elect lying hid, the Salvation of the Gospel belonging to them} to be made spiritually subject to the Lord Christ. {Jer.3:14,15} Besides, it must still be so, for he is King of all, and hath a right to govern all by his Rectoral Scepter. And that, as he is both Lord and Christ {Acts 2:36} the Anointed One, or the Messiah, appointed for the Rule and Government of all in the natural parts of religion, as well as Messiah under the special unction of Jehovah, or anointed for the Salvation of the Church alone. The Gospel is Free Grace to the elect {as the Spirit works in them savingly to believe on Jesus Christ, and guide them to this eternal life in Him,} and the full prerogative both to them and all the world besides. Thus the Lord our Righteousness {Jer.23:6} will carry it on among the world, even his Gospel, as the proclamation of an Overpowering King, and a High Magistrate who will have his own laws stand, and will make all other laws do, and give way to His. We must preach Christ thus, and this is Good News indeed to the elect {hid for some time among the rest} to strengthen their hearts. Now will any ask me, ‘how must we preach the Gospel to sinners, if we do not offer the salvation thereof unto them’? I'll answer them; ‘here is enough about the Gospel of the Kingdom to preach to all. Here is the good news of the Scepter, {Num.24:17,} a Scepter of Righteousness and Power, to make as many as the Lord pleases outwardly bow to the pure Gospel, and so to be providentially helpful to the elect who receive the Salvation of the Gospel. This is some of the fruit of preaching the Gospel to all sinners.

Preaching the Gospel of Christ

This natural receiving the doctrine of the Gospel, and the temporal fruits of it in the Divine Providence, hath been much like the natural repentance of Nineveh at the preaching of Jonas; {Mt.12:41;} and may be compared unto the sparing of that great city {Jon.4:11} some considerable space of the forty years, which are meant by the forty providential days in that message, “yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown;” {Jon.3:4;} at the end of which days, or years, Nineveh was appointed to be overthrown, for the wickedness that had passed already. And albeit the Ninevites took the limits of the prediction for forty natural days, in which space the threatened overthrow not coming to pass, as they apprehended it at forty days end, they returned to their customary wickedness; and so Nineveh was destroyed to purpose, according to the true indictment of the Lord in the preaching of Jonas; even at the end of forty providential days; which destruction we read of in the first and second chapters of Nahum, containing the substance of the fearful overthrow of that city. A common reception of the truth of the Gospel hath sheltered nominal Christians from the ruinous seizure of the Infidel Nations, and hath been blessed to an expulsion both of the Turks in Germany and of the Moors in Spain.

Preaching the Gospel of Christ

The doctrine is to be preached with an eye to God's Justice upon despisers. {Acts 28:26} It’s also to be preached boldly, as Paul preached at Damascus. {Acts 9:27} We are to bear a testimony of the Word of the Lord, though it bring justice upon men for their refusing. Our work is to testify of Christ to men. The doctrine and witness of Christ comes to all, and principally comes on the errand of Salvation to God's elect, to bring the true efficacy of that Eternal Redemption which is in Christ Jesus; {Heb.9:12;} but yet derivatively from the main Fountain of God's purposes, other ends obtain. And while men refuse and bespatter glorious Truths, such Truths as most exalt God in Christ, and most debase man in himself, some of the other ends, as purposed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ are seen. It was once said of Christ himself, for the glorifying of the Justice, as well as setting forth the mercy of God; “this Child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against. {Lk.2:34} For which cause, non-elect wranglers and refusers of the said doctrines, in which salvation comes to a “Rufas chosen in the Lord,” {Rom.16:13,} or to an “elect sister,” {II Jn. 13,} are righteously condemned for the “hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” {Jude 15}

Preaching the Gospel of Christ

We must preach the Gospel as it comes to the elect of God through Christ, {Rom.6:23 & Eph.2:7,} and not preach the Gospel merely concerning Christ as the common way is. We may speak many things of Christ, but if we do not advance the Holy Spirit's work, which is all wrought through Christ, {Acts 13:38,} our preaching fails in point of usefulness through shutting out God the Spirit. “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things; to whom be glory forever.” {Rom.11:36} All things through him in the applicatory pursuits of Grace by Jehovah the Spirit, as well as all things of him, or from him, as Jehovah the Father, and all things to him as Jehovah the Mediator; for he and the Father are one; {John 10:30;} and he that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. {John 5:23} When the Spirit is given to be the Worker and Principal of our faith in Christ, then it is that in believing we have life through his name. {John 20:31}

Preaching the Gospel of Christ

In Regeneration the Truth is said, to be a form of doctrine whereto ye were delivered, {Rom.6:17,} as the Greek reads that text passively of the converted, into which type or style of doctrine ye were delivered; though the translation, not seeing the mystery, is contended to read it passively of the form itself, as to say the form of doctrine which was delivered to you. He likewise, who hath the love of God dwelling in him, {I Jn.3:17,} hath far more than the Orthodox doctrine of the love abiding in him; and this indwelling love, because of the Spirit of Christ, {Rom.5:5,} who upholds it is a strengthening experience in the soul concerning God's Grace; and so will cause a true believer faithfully to prefer God's honor in the Gospel to all other interests. God's thoughts and ways are honorable, while they debase our own thoughts and ways. And he that is practically in his own heart lead into the Truth of God, will see a large field of the doctrine of Christ to preach at all times faithfully, and will be contended to preach the doctrine, and not trust in lying words that cannot profit. {Jer.7:8} We have a field-room enough in doctrine to deliver all our holy errands, if the Lord be pleased to make us wise to know, and faithful to keep our own bounds. The Lord guide the steps of his ministers, so as they may not err in vision, nor stumble in judgment. {Is.28:7}

Preaching the Gospel of Christ

What present practical use then, you will say, doth that text, “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,” {Acts 16:31,} now serve for, if sinners are not immediately to be commanded from it to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? I answer, that the Ministers of the New Testament ought from hence to open the Object of Faith, the Lord Jesus Christ, whom God the Father hath appointed, sent, accepted, raised, exalted, heard and is always hearing as Advocate with the Father, and Intercessor at the right hand of God for all the elect of God unto salvation; and next to open the renovation act of believing, as caused by the Spirit's Power and Grace in Regeneration from and under the Father's Christ. {Phil.1:29}

Preaching the Gospel of Christ

Let me a little state the doctrine of exhortations according to the Scriptures. {And this is the more needful, since Popery and Arminianism have made such sad work with our Bibles in confounding spiritual and moral acts.} Exhortation should not be legal, such as a Jew in the Synagogue would be content to hear. It is said of Paul and his company at Antioch that, “after the reading of the Law and the Prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.” {Acts 13:15} Implying that, ‘we have read the Law, now you may exhort the people to the keeping of it.’ The Jews and Jewish Christians too, were for exhortation to keep the Law. {Acts 21:20,24} The Jews were for exhorting to some natural duty belonging to the fear of the true God. They did not see any need of a Salvation by Christ to be sent to them; {Acts 13:26;} because they feared God, and trusted to that. And they thought whosoever of them feared God, it was enough; that this religious fear would bear them out, and they should be happy by it in another world. {Mt.19:16} And so they thought they wanted nothing but a little whet to this same fear in an exhortation. They were for no instructions about the way of Salvation by Christ; besides, were altogether ignorant of it, nor could endure to hear anything of God in Christ. {Acts 7:57} But all their lurry was an exhortation! An exhortation; thought Paul preached the necessity of a Revelation of the Gospel, an Instruction into the Mystery of Christ to make you believers! And {thinks he} now I have gotten leave for this Exhortation {as they'll have it;} I'll take the opportunity, under the Lord’s Operation, to preach the Gospel among them here in the Synagogue; and so he stands up, {Acts 13:16,} and preaches the Gospel Evangelically in that Synagogue at Antioch. He there commences by telling them what God had done in the Old Testament to make way for Christ, {John 5:39,} and how he had sent Christ into the world; as also how they that dwelt at Jerusalem crucified him, and therein fulfilled the Scriptures in condemning him. {vs.27} He preaches his Resurrection {vs.30,} and declares Glad Tidings to the Antiochian Jews. {vs.32} He preaches to them forgiveness in his Name; {vs.38,39;} and he concludes with a prophetic sort of caution, lest that blindness and judicial hardening spoken of in the Prophets come upon them for open contempt, hatred and persecution of the Gospel. Here now was the Apostles Doctrine; {Acts 2:42;} and no doubt but the rulers of the Synagogue would have been glad to have seen all this instruction, or declaring and showing of the Gospel turned into legal exhortation, according to what they had first of all moved to be spoken to the people. But blessed Paul would disappoint them all!

Predestination

An interest in Christ begins at Election, at God’s choice of the persons of a remnant, viz., as the objects of Electing Love, viewed and considered apart, and so distinguished from conditional objects, or persons if they do so and so, &c., from false propositions, such as he that is holy shall be Happy, he that repents shall go to Heaven, he that believes shall be Saved, &c. These propositions were chosen secondarily for elect persons, and not elect persons, elect as viewed in the primary decree, elected under the view and truth of the secondary, and under-fall Decree in these propositions. Again, their persons chosen, as distinguished from qualifications good or dis-qualifications bad; from motives to get an interest, and the like. It is absolutely the person in the over-fall decree, {the Supralapsarian Decree prior to the Fall,} and not the proposition that the one who is saved walks in Gospel ways, for the “Lord knoweth them that are his,” II Tim.2:19, and all such who name Christ in truth do depart from iniquity, and not in order to obtain righteousness, but because their righteousness resides in Christ. This we have absolutely pitched upon. The text for it is Romans 9:11-13, which I need not open again, having done it in my 29th Chapter already. I will here only answer to the Arminian evasion in this proof. You must know the Arminian Remonstrance have devised a new plan of their own, to evade the strength of those texts brought against them in Romans 8; 9, and the eleventh chapter, by perverting them to an Election of the good things of this life, {as in Acts 17:25, Matt.5:45, Rom.2:4, &c.,} and that according as God foresees man’s behavior to be good or evil. But nothing can be more odd than such an evasion. For that question, 9:14, “what shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God,” disproves this new Excogitation and Device of theirs. The Apostle in the question doth obviate the objection which does naturally arise out of men’s hearts against God’s Supreme disposal of the everlasting states of men by a Decree from Everlasting. {“Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.” Psal.135:6. “But our God is in the heavens; he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.” Psal.115:3. “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” Isa.46:10. “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, what doest thou?” Dan.4:35.} This is certainly the matter which unregenerate men grumble at, and therefore this is the Doctrine the Apostle was defending by this question, “is there unrighteousness with God?” Men can make a shift to be pretty quiet {though not altogether easy} under the Decrees of Providence, that the Lord would make one poor, while another was made rich in this world; one low, while another is great and exalted; they are not so apt to quarrel that all be not Kings, Lords, Dukes, Magistrates, Knights and Gentlemen, I Sam.2:6-8, as they are to find fault with the Decree of Predestination, that one is chosen to Everlasting Life, and another left to drop of his own accord into Everlasting Destruction, without any primary {though there is a secondary} consideration of Sin or Holiness. This is that which almost hath set all the world a grumbling, Rom.9:19-20; to this therefore, which is most reasonable to interpret, the Apostle is speaking, in the question put; as if he had said, what of all this? “Is there unrighteousness with God?” Supposing it had been spoken of an Election to the things of this world; yet works are expressly excluded, as having any Influence or Motive with God towards this getting an Interest in Christ; and {to argue from the less to the greater} will not this overthrow the Arminian sense of the Decree, wherever they themselves will allow it to be spoken of Election? For if the children there, verse 11, without any consideration of their works are chosen to good things here, and God will not so much as look at earnings for the bread of this life that perishes, Jn.6:27, can we think that God would go by it in the bread that endureth unto life eternal, and decree to give his Christ and Happiness and Glory with him upon the foresight of man’s works?

Preservation in Christ Alone

Oh; says the Apostle, now it is, that when so many of the tribes are parceled out, some divided one way, some broken off another, some divided to the Roman conquests, others divided to diversity of factions, and standing it out upon their own defense; yet some are divided into Christ’s Lot, and parceled out by Free Grace! Some of them are gone forth into the World, others are departed to the Devil; still {I, Paul} am one of the Tribe {Benjamin} divided out to Christ! One of the little Benjamin {Ps.68:27} saved alive in, by, through, and for Christ! In Him, because it began with Election {Eph.1:4;} by Him, because it went on to Redemption; through Him, because it came down to Sanctification; and for Him, because it now appears in Gospel fruit, and breaks out in Christian service. Ah; as to ourselves, we do not know what our Ancestors have been; no, not in the 4th, 5th & 6th Generations from ourselves. Nor, if not called by Grace, how preserved by Providence; though all this Mystery will be opened to us hereafter in the Glory Kingdom, after the Resurrection of the Body. Nevertheless, this we may know at this day – they were preserved for our sakes; for “God hath not cast away His People whom He foreknew,” but we are alive, and are brought into Christ at this day.

Priesthood of Christ

Jesus Christ, though he be thy Husband, always keeps up the honor of his blood to send down every answer in. He is gone to be a Priest upon his throne, {“and speak unto him, saying, thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD; even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both,” Zech.6:12,13,} and therein is still present in all the believing pleas rising out of his blood, and in every answer that comes swimming down in it. It is his blood that is the atonement for thy sin, {“for the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul,” Lev.17:11,} and his blood is the cure of it, in the hand of his own Mighty Spirit from the Father. It is the Holy Spirit, whom Christ’s own pleas sent down into thy soul, sets the soul to plead below, agreeable to what Christ pleads above, and hereby the answer is secured, if ever help comes. Christ doth not cure sin, nor prevent it, by a Kingly charge; {such as the inward and universal corruption of our natures;} but by his Blood and Spirit that make way for all the obedience to the charge. He sanctifies us as he is a Priest, and then bids us look to his Word, as he is a King.

Propitiation

As to Gal.3:1; “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” The word for ‘set forth’ is a word that signifies fore-written, and graphically described in the doctrine of his blood and sufferings. This was no offer of Christ, but an emblem of Christ, as we also behold it livelily represented in the ordinance of our Lord's Supper. That he may be looked on, conversed with, fed on, delighted in, and enjoyed in his Word and Ordinances, as the great Gospel Object of faith unto those souls who have the Spirit of God working in them from and towards this Object. So in Rom.3:25; “whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” The word is not ‘set forth,’ but it is fore-ordained, as the original language tells you. Now fore-ordaining or fore-appointing was an act of God purposing, fixing, setting and settling it in Christ the Mercy-Seat, how and after what manner the doctrine and preaching of Christ should be made effectual; namely, as God's fore-ordination of Christ is an Object of truth spiritually conveyed into the soul through the eye of the new creature, faith, faith in his blood. “Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.” {I Pet.1:20} I observe that the next word translated ‘propitiation’ is not the word that is used for propitiation in I John 4:10 & 2:2, where there it signifies a thing accomplished in the Death of Christ; but the word here is a Mercy-Seat, which the Apostle likewise calls a Propitiatory in Heb.9:5, {“and over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly,”} and signifies the mysterious way of accomplishing salvation in the sufferings of Christ through the Human Nature of God-Man; and so is a close allusion to the typical figure of the Human Nature of Christ in the mercy seat. {Ex.25:17} For indeed the Holy Ghost in this text of the Romans hath used the same word which the Septuagint has used to express the Mercy-Seat there in Exodus 25 in their translating the Hebrew word ‘mercy seat.’ Now the mercy seat in Exodus was an effectual gift of God's love, so far as then to be a positive type of a greater Mercy-Seat, which God had within himself long before in his certain pre-ordination of the sufferings of the Human Nature of Christ as the way of our Justification by Grace.

Providential Reign of Christ

As for the Creation, though marred by Sin, yet in Him, and because it consists by Him {"who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power," Heb.1:3,} it is not fallen in pieces in Him. As to the elect part, it is as He stands in God, so they do stand in Him. As to the rest, still He is the Foundation of their natural standing {I Tim.4:10,} that all do not fly to pieces in a moment. God looked upon this draught at first, and would hold all together by Him in whom He drew it, and after framed it openly. By Him they stand to this day, notwithstanding the constitution of mere creature-frailty {in all the beings of the world made by Him} and notwithstanding the entrance of sin upon the more noble parts of the Creation, and the reign of it in the lusts of men. Still by Him they all consist and hold together. God doth always look upon this glorious pattern of His works; He evermore beholdeth this Alpha. “I was daily before Him,” says Wisdom, in the days, or dates of Everlasting. God is provoked to wrath in the world by sin; as He early was, so He always is. God is angry with the wicked everyday {Ps.7:11;} and yet they shall not be cast into outer darkness {Mt.8:12,} sooner than the time, having to continue until their allotted time. “The rich and poor meet together; the LORD is the maker of them all.” {PV.22:2} God has underpropped the world by His Son that He bears up the pillars {Ps.75:3,} of it as the Mediator, into whose hands all things are put, and God governs the world in no other ways than by Him. Thus God hath put all His works into a steady frame by Him. “And He is before all things, and by him all things consist.” {Col.1:17} He hath brought them out of nothing for His Son, in the glorious ends He will bring about unto Himself by Christ. There is mercy to His own in Christ. There is fiery indignation to the strangers, and still by Christ, {Heb.10:29;} who in the utmost conclusion shall devour His adversaries. Thus in the sense of providential latitude, to provide temporal good things for, and prolong eternal evil things for the wicked, in conjunction with the purchase and conveyance of eternal salvation for and to the elect, that He is the Saviour of all men, and especially of them that believer, {I Tim.4:10,} and it is no other sense whatsoever that He is so. So that now for Christ’s sake, who is the Image of the Invisible God, subsisting in the Son of God, God carries the world, and all things as they are, till the time of the end is come, {Dan.8:17;} for as God hath always looked to the end of all that He hath begun by Him; so all things are ordered by Him and stand together, till the Great White Throne of the last judgment of all comes, and He that {in the vision} sat upon it, from whose face, the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was found no more place for them. {Rev.20:11} And thus we see how by Him all things consist. How they hold together, being made or originally by and for this most noble draught of Wisdom - Christ. Hence, they do not dissolve by innumerable burdens of sin, nor crumble into pieces, and fall into annihilation {being reserved for the glorifying of mercy and justice forever, that they cannot fall out of being into nothing again} by past and present provocations. Because the Wisdom-Image, by which they are consolidated and held together, stands in God forever!

Reconciliation & Peace through the Blood of Christ

“Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” {Isa 27:5} The truth of this text will appear by seeing into the foundation of all peace with God, {Is.9:6 – Is.53:5,} and of that peace brought into the soul in the strength of God. “Let him take hold of my strength;” or rather, thus saith the Lord, ‘let that sinner be wise, and take hold of Christ who is my strength, and in Salvation as revealed to be the Strength of God.’ Let him take hold of God in Christ who speaketh in righteousness through all his petitions {Heb.7:25} for sinners, and is mighty to save. {Is.63:1} Then it follows without a ‘that,’ which is not found in the Original, and which entangles and corrupts the sense thereof; “he {he; that is, Christ, who is my strength,} may make peace with me.” It is not an attribute of strength in God that is spoken of, but a Person {Ps.19:14} of strength in God, a personal strength. Even He who is mine Anointed {Christ,} says the Father, on whom I have laid help. {Ps.89:19} This Strength of mine, says the Father, in the very battle fought against sin by my wrath and justice in the conscience of a sinner, is what I behold; this engagement of my Son, who is my Strength, and that even as he lay under the legal Imputation of sin unto Him, {Is.53:6,} is that indeed that shall stop the outgoings of my wrath in the sinners conscience; for upon the account of this Atonement made, “fury is not in me.” {Is.27:4} He shall make peace by the efficacy of his blood, because by Covenant from Everlasting he is my Strength. He, says the Father, my Christ, the Strength of God, engaged his heart, as God-Man to approach unto me, and so he shall make peace. {Jer.30:21} Accordingly, he ever liveth, being God's strength, to make intercession to the uttermost for all that come unto God by Him. {Heb.7:25} The Old Testament language was thus, “he may make peace - he shall make peace.” For having received a special Commandment of the Father to go and lay down his life, {John 10:18,} he stands engaged, saith the Lord, as the Surety of the better Covenant {Heb.7:22} in my strength that cannot lie, {Tit.1:2,} to do so, and confirm the Everlasting Compact. And it shall become unto all intents and purposes through the laying down of this life in the greatness of my strength, {Is.63:1,} a full, a clear, and a most effectual Ransom in the very fullness of time. “He shall make peace.” “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” {Dan.9:24} And thus by going from “faith to faith,” {Rom.1:17,} now at last in the supernatural change, the sinner having had a sight of armed justice in his conscience, and next a view of Christ engaging {Jer.30:21} that justice for the sinner, the sinner feels Effectual Grace that turns his heart in upon this Strength; and so he is sweetly brought by an act of Omnipotent Grace {Eph.1:13} to an act of holy believing, in taking hold of this Divine Strength in the Person of a Crucified Savior, {I Cor.1:23,} and he finds the promise of his peace sure, that this strength hath made his peace with God in a way of sprinkling his conscience, {I Pet.1:2, Heb.12:24,} even as Christ hath established this peace, in a way of atonement {federal justice} with God. Hence it is the poor souls now can sing, “I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.” “My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day.” {Ps.71:15,16} “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake.” {Ps.115:1} Now this interpretation of Isaiah 27:5 is the clear Gospel, free of the Arminian muddying, and agrees with the whole scope and analogy of Faith. But the translation by a ‘that’ hath so muddied the stream, and preachers still going over it one after another in the Arminian footsteps - obscure the true Gospel in the text, for there is many a poor sinner that hath thought under some natural convictions to clap in themselves believing and repenting, as their own mediator between God and them, so as to make peace; and from hence likewise hath sprung that ignorant and common question out of the natural Popery and Arminianism of men's hearts amongst us, ‘have you made your peace with God?’ So that the Mediator is thrown out and made to stand by for a cipher; and no wonder the people throw Him out of their thoughts, when the preacher so often throws him out of the Text. The sense must be carried thus, of a Covenant Declaration of the Undertaking of Christ in the latter part of the verse; because it is according to the scope of what follows in verse 6, “He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root.” A glorious promise!

Regulative Principle

He who makes One Proposition that hath not its Basis in God's Word, to be a Measure either in his Catechism or his Canon, {Phil.3:16,} will not scruple, if he sees a fair occasion, to make another so, and another; and then by the same pattern of transgressing, or leaping over all bounds of Divine Revelation, a Heretic {Tit.3:10} might plead for a whole Body of Doctrine to be compiled; and by this instruction begun, he should expose the Bible to contempt, and discard the mysteries of its Sacred {Acts 7:38} Oracles!

Repentance & Faith

It is a blessed thing to be taught of God to discern what is the fit matter and manner of an exhortation to unbelievers. It is a blessed thing likewise to be enabled to distinguish of the Faith, and of the Repentance we inquire about in the matter of the exhortation, for there lies the point. Which faith or what repentance are men referring to? What faith, and what repentance do they think the Spirit of God intended in John the Baptists doctrine? It must no doubt be meant of such a repentance and faith, as was consistent with the day, wherein the Spirit was not yet given, {Mt.3:11, Jn.7:39,} to work anything in Reformation of manners, above the oldness of the Letter; {Rom.7:6;} and consistent with a state of unregeneracy. What kind of exhortation {Mk.1:15} was John’s exhortation to sinners? Was it not an exhortation toward their putting forth a natural and rational act of faith into the report of a Christ at hand, and so about the accomplishment of a redemption {John 1:29} by Christ's incarnation, obedience and sufferings to be shortly made appear? {Lk.24:26, Jn.3:33} Was it not into the Witness and Testimony of Jesus, {Acts 4:12,} and so into the Witness and Testimony of Salvation by Him according to the Scriptures? All this sort of faith, and so a repentance that answers it, a man not born from above might be brought unto; for which cause John's ministry might well be an exhortation in that day hereunto; and what could it be else? Now all this natural repentance and faith, whether in the elect of God or the non-elect, is nothing to our purpose, where the common faith and belief of the report is settled. {Acts 20:21} As to the non-elect it's not to the purpose, because the same natural and rational faith now in them, as at that day when John preached faith and repentance, is no coming to Christ for salvation; it's no believing into the Person of Christ, but a believing into the testimony of Jesus Christ. Then; as to the elect of God, the repentance and faith in John’s doctrine the people were exhorted to, was such as afterwards was changed into Spirituality and Power, and from faith and repentance {Rom.1:17} belonging to the nature fullness of Christ, and received from thence without a saving change, went into another faith, and was raised into a faith and repentance of a higher species {Acts 5:31, 11:18} and that belonging to the Grace-fulness of Christ, and received from thence in, by and under a saving operation of God the Spirit. A natural and rational repentance and faith, though it be included in and connoted with the Gospel repentance and faith of the elect of God, is very distinct from it, and is swallowed up in it; and this Gospel faith and repentance swallowing up the other that's a natural and rational or a faith and a repentance transcendent, exalted, spiritual, supernatural, wrought and raised in men according to the Spirit of the Gospel, as it lies above nature under the mighty work of the Lord the Spirit.

Representative Union in Christ

Though in our nature-selves we are polluted, yet faith given by the Spirit of Christ according to our grace-relation and glory-relation elevates the soul to an act that enters into Christ or into that within the veil, {Heb.6:19,} following Him into heaven without any pollutions, but soaring in pure faith to Jesus in whom we are perfect in the heavenlies, for no unclean thing shall enter therein. {Rev.21:27} So with the first look of faith we look on our nature-selves and see the Adamic part, and there we are defiled creatures; nevertheless though filthy, yet not discouraged thereby to magnify it into despair, that we are too filthy to go to Christ by faith, but being enabled of the Holy Ghost to use Christ’s blood in the next act of discerning, we then in another act of faith ascend pure to Christ, so far as we indeed ascend and enter into heaven to Him with our spirits, coming up in that faith out of his blood in none of the nature-filth, but in the grace and glory-relations to Himself, and so are like a flock of sheep that cometh up from the washing, and do go in to Him with a holy boldness, where in our relation to the heavenlies {there} we sit together with him in glory, {Eph.2:6,} having not so much as the least spot upon ourselves, but are there without fault {Rev.14:5} before the throne of God.

Righteousness & Pardon in Christ Alone

Objection: Why do you allow yourself to call such as hold this Doctrine that Faith is a prerequisite for Justification wicked and unrighteous? Most of our worthy divines have done this; and so is it fit to call, or account these wicked and unrighteous? I answer, the Text spares none, whose way and thoughts are not God’s way and thoughts, as the 8th and 9th verses do expound the 7th. {Isa.55:7-9} It must be laid upon God’s way and thoughts, and not upon the worthy divines, if ever God own it. Besides, a man, many a man at this rate, may slip by in the crowd who is a wicked man to God, that hath all along passed for a good man to men; so there is many an Unrighteous Man to God who is a Righteous Man to men. And lastly, the best of men, so long as sin dwells in them, have abundance of wickedness in them, and unrighteousness in their thoughts towards God, and there is nothing takes it off that we ought to esteem them righteous for, towards God, except the Righteousness of Christ alone. And for confirmation of this, I have taken notice, even among your worthy divines, that when they have come to die, God has so effectually convinced, and touched some of their hearts upon this point, as it has caused them to renounce their own way and thoughts therein, having seen abundantly beyond it, as the Foundation of their parting with those sins, which before had been too dear to part with for Christ. They would not hear of that upon a death-bed, which they had zealously pressed as the main of all at other times. Oh! Says a poor creature under a little natural Christianity, or the Gospel molded and fashioned by men after the common ideas of nature in them that receive its notions; you must believe first and come to Christ for Pardon, and then when you have closed with him upon Gospel-offers, {and be sure to do it now, before your day of Grace is past,} then God begins to Pardon and Justify you and not before; here’s now the unrighteous man’s way and thoughts to be forsaken. And turn to the Lord, says he, and ye shall obtain Pardon; aye, but God says in the turning to the Lord Christ, to Jehovah our Righteousness, God will more abundantly Pardon. {“In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Jer.23:6.} He will lead into that Pardon that hath not only begun with me to make me forsake my way and thoughts, but opens so increasingly upon my thoughts {swallowed up in God’s thoughts of the matter} that now I am led into Pardon more abundantly, and then beaten off from all my old dead thoughts of the way of obtaining it. The Gospel is that Pardon in the Application of it, that it comes first without Faith in a strong virtue into my heart for Faith; and then in the virtue of it brings me the Spirit to discern and receive it, and come to Christ, with Christ, out of the Virtue of this Righteousness upon me. Now so long as in the Judgment of God’s Word, a man is wicked in his way, and unrighteous in his thoughts, this man does not only run on in his notion, and keeps his way and thoughts, but if there be opportunity and occasion given to show his Zeal, then he lays you open to what he verily thinks with himself he ought to do. {“I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.” Acts 26:9.} Oh! Says he, we must not bear with these Antinomians! Here’s a way of Justification indeed! This is such a presumptuous coming to Christ, that ‘tis the ready way for the soul to be turned off and not pardoned at all. Hold, hold, brother-zealous, {for whatever you are to God, I’ll brother you, according to what you appear in your best to men,} you are mistaken. This text, “and let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly Pardon,” must be opened in the light of all other texts, where the Foundation of Pardon in God is laid firmly within himself; as to say, individually to a man all known to God, Acts 15:8, who every one of these persons are for. Accordingly, this text being but Superstructure, must be carried according to the gradual openings of the whole Mystery in all the Futurities {the Purpose of Grace within the LORD himself} and successive advances of those Acts accomplished in God, and then down again afresh from God by the First Patterns proceeding down to our Knowledge and Experience thereof, by Application of the Holy Ghost, as his Superstructure through Christ upon God’s Foundation. {“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his.” II Tim.2:19. “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Eph.2:19-22.} So then, let him turn to the Lord in the virtue of what hath already made him forsake his own way and thoughts; and let him turn to the Lord upon the Truth and Certainty of the contrary Evidence of the things to what he hath thought, as they lie in Christ, and to our God under these Evangelical Discoveries {for the best of them in Isaiah’s time had but stood upon legal points} for he will {in the openings of things, even in Demonstration of the Spirit and of Power, I Cor.2:4,} abundantly Pardon. The other way in which I took up my notions of Pardon, the other thoughts in which I conceived of Pardoning Grace, made it a dead, distant thing in the Apprehensions of my soul; for Pardon lay all then rolled up, and I could see nothing, and yet the Scripture insists so much upon seeing the Son, Jn.6:40, &c. Pardon that way never opened, never enlarged itself, never filled my soul or engaged my mind with fresh and glorious thoughts, never raised up my soul into wonderful Truths, nor came near any Gospel Conceptions of the Abundant Entrance into the Everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. {“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.” I Pet.2:9.} Aye, but now under these Unveilings of Grace in the Foundation of God I am amazed! Now it is I have an abundant Pardon! Oh! How it grows upon my thoughts, whilst it can be never increased in itself! Now I see the Glory, Influences, Life and Encouragements of it grow upon my poor heart, every day, and I am led in more into the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Oh! This is the life of my soul! Now strike at this all you of the other side of the hedge, and my heart shall rejoice still in God my Saviour, for he hath remembered me in my low estate, having long humbled me for my pride in way and thoughts of setting up your way and thoughts of Righteousness and Pardon. Alas! When I part with my sins, it hath been through the Virtue of my Antecedent Pardon. In parting with my Sins under his Mighty Pardoning Grace that took off the Condemnation before I believed, I did but the duty I was bound to, Lk.17:10, but when he pardoned them, he did so upon such a Glorious Foundation within himself, originally {according to the Rise and Order of the After-Fall Dispensations of Unconditional Grace,} as took the start of my Believing, even in the very Order of the Holy Ghost’s applying; and then in the Eternal Original {or the Before-Fall Decrees of Absolute and Total Grace} how free was the LORD in Himself, and not bound to connect such a chain of matchless wonders in the varieties of his Proposed and Settled Grace for me! {“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.} Therefore this Greater on the side of Grace, must and will Influence and Compel me to part with my Sins; as it is both impossible to effect, and preposterous to suppose it, that the less should influence the Greater; that is to say, my parting with my Sins influence his Pardon of my Sins. And I am also sure, where the Influence precedes; there the Pardon precedes my act. “When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers; hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more.” Jn.8:10-11. She had not parted with her sins, for she had been just then taken in adultery in the very act, 8:4, yet Christ condemned her not, but bid her go, and, upon that Declaration of Pardon and Non-Condemnation, mend, and sin no more.

Righteousness of Christ & Gospel Fruitfulness

What can be sounder to give us interest in pardon, than Christ's righteousness imputed to us; and what can be more unsounded to give us evidence of pardon, than shutting out the virtue of that righteousness through Christ, by the work of the Spirit applying it on the heart, to bring unto obedience, through sanctification of the Spirit, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ? {I Pet.1:2} How reflecting is it upon the righteousness of Christ imputed, to fall presently upon abstracted obedience, in doing what Christ commands, as our evidence of interest in this Righteousness, without any due regard, or notice taken of the virtue of that same righteousness, unto the gift of the Holy Ghost for it? For our evidences must certainly lie in the virtue of the Righteousness of Christ imputed, as our pardon lie there. It can never be proved that Paul hath called his inherit righteousness a garment at all. He never speaks of putting on inherent righteousness as a garment, but as the new man, after the image of God. {Col.3:10, Eph.4:24} Inherent righteousness is a new creature, the hidden man of the heart {I Pet.3:4;} and this is a distinct thing from putting on righteousness as a garment. Putting on Christ {Gal.3:27, Rom.13:14} is putting on both under the work of God's Spirit, when we are made by gracious acts to put on Christ outwardly in our profession, answerably to Christ's own putting on his righteousness upon us in our condition. The righteousness of Christ is put upon us, as our garment to God, and in the virtue of this we are graciously brought in holy walking to put on Christ in the exercise of such and such outward graces, from the Spirit as our inward principle; which outward graces are our garments in the face of men, that cover and adorn us in our profession of the Gospel, as we live among them. Neither of these sort of garments are our inherent righteousness. This is no garment that covers and adorns us in the sight of God or men. Inherent righteousness, though an ornament in the sight of God {I Pet.3:4,} as all spiritual beauty in the Saints is, through the virtue, the transforming virtue of the righteousness of Christ, yet is no garment in God’s sight, in which the justified are found; so God will have no garment upon them but the Righteousness of Christ. Again, inherent righteousness though it is the principle of open good works and of a becoming conversation in the sight of men, {Is.61:3, I Pet.2:12,} yet inherent righteousness is not the garment of the saints in the sight of man, because a garment is an open thing upon me, but inherent righteousness is a hidden principle of grace within me. Therefore as I have one garment alone in which I stand before God in Christ, though many ornaments, so I have distinct garments, or more garments than one, as I make an open profession of the transforming power of Divine Grace in the sight of men, none of which are imputed righteousness, the garment alone in which I stand before God {that is, openly clothed, whilst all my shame is hid, as taken away, and cast behind His back in a gospel sense – Is.38:17} nor inherent righteousness which is hid from men. My several garments to men are open things, distinct from inherent righteousness. My garments to men are things I am seen in amongst them. It is not my inward sanctification, which they cannot see, and which is neither my garment to God, nor my garments to men. But it is my outward sanctification working among men from my inward principle through the Spirit of God which creates and maintains it, quite hidden from the view of all the world. Accordingly, saith the Holy Ghost by John, under the pouring out of the sixth vial, Rev.16:15, “behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” His garments, it does not read his garment; so it is all his garments; and these are all of them outer garments and no inherent graces. Of these garments of the believer, his garment, singly considered, is the Righteousness of Christ. {Lk.15:22, Is.61:10}. This is a spiritual garment between Christ and the believer in which he is found before God. This garment of the righteousness of Christ, in the doctrine of the free and full Imputation of it to and upon all {Rom.3:22} them that believe; for their believing comes out of the virtue of it imputed, and not the imputation of it out of the virtue of their believing. Whereas, if this doctrine be let go, and the soul of the believer doth not watch about it to keep it from all doctrinal admixtures, but gives way to them that would throw this garment of his out of place and use, this believer will quickly walk naked, he will so discover himself that men will see his shame and scandal upon him. This is that which must give life and virtue to all he openly hath and doth in his profession. All that I am to God, in the righteousness of his Son, that I may not be an empty professor to men, and scandalous, but a credit and an honor to the holy Gospel in the very face of the world; I shall, if I am under the virtue of Christ's righteousness {my garment to God} watch, as to the outer parts of my Sanctification {my garments to men} having the image and principle of true Gospel Sanctification {Gal.5:16,} or inherent righteousness within; that is, the fruit of my garment open to God, which is the righteousness of Christ upon me.

Satisfaction of Christ

Faith is a very Orderly Grace in the Spirit’s Workmanship, though, as preachers for the most part ignorantly and carelessly lay it down, I Cor.3:10, it is a most disorderly and confused thing, without the Holy Ghost’s Distinctions. There is a great deal of Old Adam’s coming to Christ, Acts 8:13; I know {not only by the way of experimenting it, but I discern to be in others} by their Old Adam’s way of preaching it, Acts 21:18-24, which {though propagated by zeal, yet} never rose out of the Discerning which the Holy Ghost works in all who are efficaciously brought to Christ, the New Adam. Faith there is of the wrong kind; ‘tis but nature’s blunder, fancy’s dream, the creature’s gospel; but nothing of the Holy Ghost’s work, who begins it with an Opening the Eyes of the Understanding. {“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know, &c.” Eph.1:18. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” II Cor.4:6.} I am led positively to know by the Holy Scriptures to whom this Satisfaction was made. Psal.40:6-8 – Heb.10:5-10. It was made to God who hath received it certainly, and discovers it in the same Certainty by the Pure Gospel, when his children are brought off from the Mixed Gospel. Gal.1:6-7. And these Preachers of the Mixed Gospel, II Cor.11:13, think because Duty is much neglected, and that there is more of a need of Preaching Duty, {and so there is; but ‘tis only among such as have genuine faith to receive it, and walk accordingly thereunto; yet they think,} they have nothing so much to do as to jump presently into preaching duty; but let a poor worm tell these ministers, that themselves have too little of the Practical Mysteries of Faith in Discerning and Coming to Christ broke into their own souls, Tit.3:5-7, to be yet ripe enough for the Duty-Portion of the Holy Scriptures or skillful enough in their proper Gospel-Application. The Pure Gospel, when it shines out of Darkness by the Holy Ghost in my heart shows me, that as Satisfaction was certainly made to God, so in that Certainty it was made for me, II Sam.7:18 with 23:5, and thus engages my heart to come. II Cor.4:6. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me.” Jn.6:37. “It is written in the prophets, and they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” Jn.6:45. Whereas if my heart must be somehow cleansed first, before I can declare a Satisfaction on my behalf, under the Spirit’s work begun in opening mine eyes, ‘tis a mere labyrinth, a maze, and a bewildering me, and making nothing, Isa.53:3, of all which Christ has done for me; I am speaking still of a soul under the Holy Ghost’s Discerning Work in opening the eyes of Understanding-Faith, Eph.1:18, to “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God” in the Person of Jesus Christ, II Cor.4:6; {so far am I from laying the foundation of nature’s presumptuous claims on the one hand, or a real enthusiasm, I Jn.4:1 with II Cor.11:14, which cannot be accounted for by those who experience it, on the other.} Whereas in going the other way, by the heart to come to Christ, with no vital Discernings of Christ, Jer.33:3, before the heart comes, there’s no way left for me to know, whether the Satisfaction Christ has made to God was made for me, or not? For, if it was uncertainly and indeterminately made to God for any sinner who hath no heart to come, and the Determination of it to any one must be known by the posture of that heart; ‘tis a mere deception to think it must be so known to me, as it was never known to God, Acts 15:18, in the Order of the thing. My heart must be determined under the Satisfaction made, II Cor.5:18, not the Satisfaction made determined under my heart. For, if the Satisfaction itself does not determine it for me above and beyond my heart, I have poor encouragement to trust a deceitful heart, Jer.17:9, when it comes. What ground the more could I have to discern it, determinedly made for me, and taking notice, and finding I had a heart to come, if mine eye was inwards to mine heart, and not outwards to the Object of my heart? Isa.65:1. A man may have a heart from natural desires to possess that which is not to be had; neither can I have any evidence that the desires are Spiritual, and a true work of the Holy Ghost, because they come before Discernings of Christ, what he is in Himself, and what he hath, and possesses, certainly, by Settlement and Donation of the Father, for me; and so is a greater argument against me to keep me back from Christ, than any argument for me to move me to come unto him. “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.” Mt.11:27. Such a blind heart rather argues I would come to that which is not, the Satisfaction of Christ for me, than do that which is, the Satisfaction of Christ for me. God forbid therefore, that I should go by man’s heart, and not God’s heart, as he determines and guides me by his Spirit and Word in this important matter. “Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name; and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake.” Psal.79:9. Again, when God gives me this heart to come to Christ, ‘tis because he has provided Satisfaction for me; and here he does only renew the first Assurance or Earnest of my personal interest in the Satisfaction of Christ I had by discerning it, to embolden and authorize my Motion-Faith to Christ. “Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.” II Cor.5:5. For, I have already had the first Ground of Interest-Hope in the Objective Evidences, I Tim.1:15, of the Spirit’s Testimony, or Revelation, working in me and upon me by and from the Word, viz., from the Doctrine of Satisfaction, or the Atonement in itself, Rom.5:11; or from some other Objective Word as it pleases the Holy Spirit to unveil the beauties of Christ to my enquiring mind and ravished heart; then the second ground of encouragement which was for me, is, that it is so powerfully revealed to and in me, Gal.1:16, so that I can no way disprove it to be for me, though I do not yet come to Christ, but still feel a hard heart, and a captive soul. {“Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God; for our Gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.” I Thes.1:4-5.} This may be thy case; though peradventure, thou art the soul, who canst not yet come for thy bonds, Exod.2:23, and venture thy Self and Condition entirely upon Jesus Christ; thou art yet straitened with abundance of ensnaring self-matters, Lk.9:59, 61, and canst not get out of thy prison of self and these shackles of thy own imprisonment, to come to Jesus with that Gospel-Freedom, as both Lord and Christ, Acts 2:36, which thou seest other Saints have done. The Lord hath opened thine eyes to see thy full remedy, and thou hast tasted so much that the Lord is gracious, I Pet.2:3, as though thou dares not question but his Satisfaction was made for thee; and yet such hardness in thine heart still, as thou wantest, Mk.9:24, a coming power added unto thy seeing eye, to come and venture all that thou art and hast, Sin and Grace, upon Jesus Christ; that the One {sin, guilt and condemnation} cannot hurt or displease him if thou comest with it to him; and that the other {Grace in its perception} has lain dead and useless in thy soul, ever since thy first Awakenings, because you have set up Inherent Grace in thy thoughts, and bowed down in thy soul unto it; and then no wonder if thou are bowed down in thy soul for it! {“For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Jer.2:13.} Thou hast bowed unto it, and honored Grace in thy soul, as if Grace was Christ; as if frames were Christ, Psal.36:9 with I Cor.1:30, as if dawnings and stirrings and hopes begun were Christ; and thus, poor soul, thou hast been kept at home in self-graces, {in essence, working out thine own righteousness, Rom.8:4,} and wantest a heart, Hos.6:6, yet to come to Christ. Poor soul! What must I say unto thee? Mine errand is this. Hear what the Spirit saith unto them that mourn in Zion. “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” Isa.61:1-3. Come poor soul, mind the next Discoveries; see, if the Spirit doth not show thee more in Christ than thou hast seen in meekness; more in Christ than thou hast seen in patience; more in Christ than thou hast seen in the law of love and kindness written upon any heart of flesh; {“for all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD; but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word,” Isa.66:2;} see if there be not more in the “still small voice,” I Kngs.19:12, passing by before thee, and proclaiming “the LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth," Ex.34:6, when the Spirit shows you Christ’s Glory, than thou hast seen all thy days, of Christ, by reflection, looking into thine heart, and poring on your graces. “Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.” Mic.7:7. Come then, poor soul, at the Lord’s Proclamations of thy release in Christ; yea, without thy money and without thy price, Isa.55:1, and freely give up all your charters, Isa.45:13, into Christ’s, the Lord Christ’s hands! And see, there is a more excellent way, I Cor.12:31, than making so much of, and trusting so much unto, inherent grace. Give it all up at one word, at one mighty lift of the Spirit of Jesus, Phil.1:19, into Christ’s hands, and live upon Jesus Christ alone. {“How excellent is thy loving-kindness, O God; therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life; in thy light shall we see light.” Psal.36:7-9.} ‘Tis the way too to have more Grace than ever; for thus, hast thou been kept at home in self-graces, and wantest a heart {till thou hast a heart for this} yet to come to Christ. How ignorant then is that notion of the Satisfaction of Christ made to God for all thy sins which reacheth not, Mt.9:28, the Doctrine of the Satisfaction of Christ made to God for all your sins, before thou comest to him, and by Motion-Faith believest on him? How ignorant is that conceit which teaches you to receive and take up his Satisfaction, as a mere speculative notion, if you come unto him. II Tim.2:1,13. For, it is most certain that Christ made Complete Satisfaction to God for all my sins, even before I came to Christ! Though mine unbelieving, treacherous and conceited preacher would never tell me so. Mine unbelieving preacher; for, he did not believe this a way to direct me out of the Discerning Faith, and so on by the Motion-Faith home to Jesus Christ Revealed; when yet I was by such a way converted. My treacherous preacher! {“For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it; neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him; but it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.” Psal.55:12-14.} To betray me deeper into sin and snares, through the ignorance he kept me under, in the very way of instructing me. My conceited preacher! {“And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.” Rom.2:19-20.} For he conceives still within himself, that if this Free Way of Grace comes out among the people, and the old bondage-faith {I call it old, because so much of old Adam is in it, before we put on the “new man, which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of Him that created him,” Col.3:10, thus he seems concerned that his old Legal-System} goes down, and his confused notion of coming to Christ be overthrown; then farewell all Faith, Neh.6:8, what need the sinner believe, if the Satisfaction be made to God by Christ for him, whether he believes, or whether he believes not! And farewell all holiness, and all duties of profession at this rate; for thus he conceits; now can there be a more conceited preacher than this? {“The proud have forged a lie against me; but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.” Psal.119:69.} Let a wise and experienced soul, I Cor.10:15, judge by seeing him in his conceits, his farewells, and conceited way of taking leave of everything that’s good, if we admit the Free Gospel, Rom.3:31 with Rom.6:15, whether this Preacher be not a thing hugely conceited? “But ye are forgers of lies, ye are all physicians of no value.” Job 13:4.

Satisfaction of Christ

Away with your blind faith {Ps.38:10} upon acts of coming to you don't know whom or what! The Lord to be pleased to give me {John 6:68,69} Gospel faith, discerning faith upon Satisfaction made, and made for me, and made for my sins already, not to be made at this day, before I set out of doors. And though I cannot bring my heart to come, yet the Satisfaction {Rom.5:11} which Christ hath made for my sins can and doth bring me to come to the Glory of God by Christ. I there see the prevalency of the Satisfaction made, and the propriety of the Satisfaction sealed and settled in the Lord’s Covenant to be for me, I must see this by Gospel light of God the Spirit {I Jn.1:1, 4:13,14,} if ever I come to Christ, I say, with mine eyes opened, and not as the preachers do generally teach me to come to Christ blindfold {Rom.12:6;} for they make no distinction in the acts of believing, as if all faith lay in one act, or, in the act of coming. Away with all your precarious satisfactions, your precautious consolations! I look to what I see, the positive, proper satisfaction made by Christ. {Eph.1:7 or 2:7} I find encouragement to accent to this proposition as true, the satisfaction of Christ made to God was for me, in order to procure a believing heart to come {II Cor.5:15, I Cor.6:20 & Jn.10:10} - and rest my soul on Christ, because I have the discoveries already which were procured by the same satisfaction. By faith I saw his righteousness and blood were for me {Ps.49:15} in particular, and when I came in motion faith adventuring it was because I had this sight {John 6:40} distinctly before I came. For when I came, I came to Christ upon a {John 1:16} certainty discovered – a satisfaction made.

Sin & Confession

In my relation to my sin by Adam I am a sinner; as in relation to my grace experienced through Jesus Christ, I am nevertheless at the same time, in this different way of relation a gracious person too. Moreover, the gracious person in respect of Christ and the grace of God Quickening him, doth by virtue of that grace come to Christ, notwithstanding his other polluted relation, in respect of the body of this death. {Rom.7:24} And so far as the polluted relation, or relation to sinful nature, which is pollution remained, so far I remain all my days after the New Birth a poor Sinner. Neither can I come to Christ, believing on his Name, but all that sin dwelling in me is brought along with me. I know of no saint on this side of Heaven, but he daily comes as a Sinner to Jesus Christ, if he comes daily to him. Don't flatter the Saints to make them think of themselves in their nature relation to old Adam better than they are. They come to Christ with both pollutions and derived graces too. Pollutions which are spread before the Lord for more influential sanctification, with graces in begun sanctification, but above all with the Spirit of Grace to carry on their communion with Jesus Christ. Sin and Corruption in Saints do make them as really, though not so specifically {for I cannot hit upon a clearer word to express it,} Sinners, as any drunkard or swearer in the world are sinners. They are therefore as truly filthy in that body of death, or in their corrupt natures related to old Adam, as they were truly filthy, though not so measurably filthy, before their first washing. The old Adam part never alters the relation so long as it keeps its being, and that is as long as the children of God are in this world. Oh what work is there and must be for God the Spirit, as Comforter, to come and act upon the Foundation of God the Father and God the Son! It is God that worketh in us {through} God {from} God. {Gen.19:24 – the LORD from the LORD.} Now under a Work of God the Spirit they are Quickened from the dead and quickened by, as well as co-quickened, or mystically quickened together with Christ for that end; and yet they come not to Christ with their sins that Christ might have communion with their sins; but that he might influentially convey pardon of the sin, purgation of the faculty, and communion with the Person.

Sin & Confession

I will shut up this prolonged chapter with some account of the nature of this practical part of the Gospel, and of my own experimental going to Christ with my sins. An elect vessel of God having the heart changed by the Spirit of Christ ought to go, and accordingly, and by the operation of the Holy Ghost doth go to Christ with all his sins which are seen in his own heart and ways. Herein he transacts with Christ confessedly and fiducially in the use and under the virtue of this One Sacrifice, {Heb.9:28,} about his once bearing our sins for purgation and conveying of his Holy Spirit, by his lying under their pollution, as well as in that act for pardon by his lying under their guilt. This elect chosen vessel transacting thus by the Faith of the Operation of God {Col.2:12} towards Christ, comes in that lively change made in the soul, in the Day of the Lord's Power; {Ps.110:3;} then he comes I say, and with the most humble admirations of the Riches of Grace, {Eph.2:7 & 1:7,} and as one of the peculiar people of the Most High, {I Pet.2:9,} called out of darkness into his marvelous light, in the joy of faith; {Phil.1:25;} saying, “Lord, all this filthiness and uncleanliness in my heart and life, of which thy Holy Spirit hath convinced me of, to be inherently in my own nature, the sin that dwelleth in me, as by nature related to the first Adam, was by Judicial Imputation of the Father once laid upon Thee, Lord Jesus Christ; that through thy Precious Blood shed I might receive the purifying; and thou by the Infiniteness of thy Own Self bearing away all my sins, guilt and filth, with power of Ransom; and rinsing me in the glorious Laver, I am made clean mystically in Thee, in the Infinite Fountain of the Blood of Thee, the God-Man, and in this Once mystical cleansing me from all, I stand mystically in Thee my Head, without fault before the Throne of God; and though personally in myself I am now spotted as to time, and by nature black and uncomely, yet under the strengthening Virtue of thy Redeeming Blood, I wait for the Hope of Righteousness by Faith to be hereafter personally without spot, and blameless with Thee the Lamb forever.” This in the substance thereof, I go by faith to God daily. In this Faith by the Holy Spirit I perform all the acts of my ministry. In this Faith I daily die to Sin. In this Faith I live above the world. In this Faith I am careful to maintain good works. In this Faith I have peace. In this Faith I have communion, and sometimes joy unspeakable and full of glory. In one word, in this Faith I delight in the Second Coming of my Lord, and breathe to see Him upon the solemn throne, with many crowns upon his Head, and Judgment; when all Christ's work designed both on me and others, under his own Grace, shall be completely finished. Thus, as through God's Spirit I'm set for the Defense of the Gospel, so by him I firmly contend for the same, as a piece of our most Holy Faith once delivered to the Saints.

Sin & Temptation

Can I suppose that the believer who has to do with Christ as the Pearl of Price, having been given grace to part with all his church-riches for Him, his natural praying, his natural reading, his natural hearing of sermons and lectures; it may be, his writing and repeating them in the family, what things were gain to him, those he counteth loss for Christ, is yet the man who in his trade in buying and selling, is not got above that sensual temptation to lie or to deal unjustly? Certainly, there is such an influence and pleasure upon, and in that soul from Christ, who dealeth in this One Pearl of Great Price, {“who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it,” Mt.13:46,} that such gross temptations shall not by and by beset his soul.

Supralapsarian Glory of Christ

This Consideration of the WORD, and the WORD of God, Jn.1:1; Rev.19:13, which is the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Apostle John’s Writings, doth manifestly speak of Him as Mediator, though of him as One that was God before he was Mediator. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.” {Jn.1:1} “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; and his name is called The Word of God.” {Rev.19:3} It is a Name that sets out the Son of God, as he was designed to be our Teacher and Prophet from the written Word, to instruct us in that Mysterious Way of Salvation by Himself that lay {up and down} hidden in the Old Testament, which men might otherwise read so often, and not see to be the Way of Christ. “Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.” {Isa.48:17} “And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.” {Isa.54:13} “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye.” {Psa.32:8} {See likewise, Psa.71:17; Isa.2:3; Psa.119:102; Psalm 25:8-12, and many other places &c.} It is for this reason that he is styled the WORD; as much as to say, the whole WORD of God is fulfilled in and by Him; and therefore, says the Holy Ghost, he shall go by that Name from his making out the Old Testament so clearly to us in all God’s Mind about the Gospel. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son.” {Heb.1:1-2} “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” {Lk.24:27} Likewise, as it was said of him, he was called the WORD. {So ‘logos’ is from ‘lego’ in the Greek; that is, to tell, to say, to speak.} “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, a prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.” {Acts 3:22} Again his Name, the WORD, suits with him as Mediator; because, it is written of him, as the Psalmist saith, “in the volume of the book it is written of me, &c.” {Psa.40:7} The Word was God, Jn.1:1, there is all his Mediatorial Person, Rom.9:5; namely, God and Man too, or God-Man; for he was God before he was the WORD. He was the WORD, because the Word hath made Him appear to have been setup from everlasting, Prov.8:23, and therein covenanted with from the beginning, to be Mediator. And so it was He, the WORD, according to this Covenant from everlasting, that in Time was made flesh. “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” {Psa.33:6} “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” {Jn.1:14} Now, says John, “the WORD was God.” What is that, but plainly to reveal to us, that he was God before he was the WORD, or before he was set up to be Incarnate Mediator, though setup thus from everlasting; or, as the Holy Ghost further explains it, “in the beginning, before his Works of old;” or, “in the beginning of his way, or ever the earth was.” Prov.8:22-23. Compare these verses from the Proverbs, with those in John 1:1,2, and you will find that same phrase, “from everlasting,” to be brought only up to this, which he calls a beginning; {“in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God;”} namely, a beginning with Christ-Mediator, before his works of old; all his works being designed in an absolute subserviency to His Glory, {“the LORD hath made all things for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil,” Prov.16:4;} under this Settlement of His about the Mediator; He first ordained his Son in the Settlement to be a Man, Col.1:15, then ordained us Men, and presented a number of them to his Son; {set up the Man-Wisdom;} then ordained their creation under {Deut.32:8, Eph.1:11} one Common Head of a promised multitude, children and strangers, yet both without sin; then ordained the Fall of every One in that Common Head of Nature; then ordained the Restoration of the Children by this Elder Brother, and passed over all the strangers, or such whom he never appointed to acquaintance with these things. “Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God.” {Lk.8:10} “The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant.” {Psa.25:14} Thus one thing fell in upon another in this same from everlasting, which though we cannot take in without a succession in our thoughts, yet they all lay together, though in the most perfect Order, in the Divine Mind. We behold successively, but God saw them all at once.

Supralapsarian Glory of Christ

Christ was in this same beginning of God’s ways, before his open Works, the WORD by Appointment, and therefore called the WORD by Revelation, according to that Appointment; because so he was the Mediatorial WORD, Rev.3:14, before the Word written was written, and before he had said, his Son should be Shiloh, the sent One, {“the sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be,” Gen.49:10,} before he was foretold to be Immanuel, God with us, Isa.7:14, {expounded by Matt.1:23,} and before he was declared to be Messiah, or Christ, the Anointed One, as his Name there in Dan.9:25, is discovered; and fulfilled in the Unction, when the Holy Ghost came upon him, as in the Evangelists, and anointed him, as we read in Acts 10:38, “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power.” “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself.” {Dan.9:24-26} Consequently, the Apostle tells us, because he should lose nothing of the Glory of his Essence, by this Name of his Office, the WORD, he had the same creating Power with God; God and he being ONE, Jn.10:30, in making all things out of nothing. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” {Jn.1:1-2} The meaning is, that in the Beginning of all God’s Works he was with God, as the Con-Cause, to co-create them, and was God the SON, the co-worker of them with his Father. So it follows, “all things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” {Jn.1:3} Insomuch, that although these texts substantially prove the Godhead of Christ, both as he is the True God, and as he created all things; yet they prove, very cogently too, that this Excellent Person, as the WORD, is shadowed out in that Name, as Mediator, while it goes along with other proof, how antecedently he had a relation to God, above it all, and that is to be God in One Person, with God in another Person. It is evident then that the Name WORD, points us to Christ, as God-Man. He had never been called the WORD, if he had never been appointed to reveal the Word, and execute the Office of Mediator between God and us.

Supralapsarian Glory of Christ

Christ Himself entered into a federal obligation with the Father to secure the elect in, before and after their fall in Adam. This federal obligation of their mystical, transcendent Head limited their fall, that it could be extended no further than their nature relation to Adam, and not to their Grace and Glory relation to Himself. Also, in that federal obligation Christ stood for their redemption, as the Spirit stood for their regeneration, from their fall in nature Adam, to raise them above the obstacles that stood in the way of God's communion love, in the conveyances of grace, and foretastes of glory here. And hereby though they fell, yet on this account they could not fall but with a secret discrimination. Accordingly, in the federal and mystical Union they were preserved for the influential and conjugal union, which the family of hell, and they who are near of kin to the devil were never capable of. Hence, when the apostle is setting out these two companies excellency in Jude, he tells us, the elect were preserved in Christ Jesus, then that must be in this mystical and transcendent union, above all open nature relation to Adam, and secured in a secret union and relation to Christ. For it is in Christ Jesus, and then called, Jude 1. So God and Christ had the elect in their eye, even at and before the fall in Eden, according to Eternal Purposes and Settlements.

Union to Christ before Faith

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 a separation of the elect from Christ 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.

Work of the Holy Spirit

How can I be in the Spirit; {Rom.8:9;} or live in the Spirit; {I Pet.4:6, Gal.5:25;} or pray in the Spirit; {Eph.6:18;} and pray in the Holy Ghost; {Jude 20;} or, how can I worship God in the Spirit, or in the Holy Ghost; {Phil.3:3, John 4:24;} if the Holy Ghost be not the principle of my life, {Gal.3:3,} of my praying, of my Gospel worship? For the text tells me, “God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” {John 4:24} What is the meaning of that phrase in Spirit? Why, the meaning is, that to worship God in Spirit is to worship him in the Holy Ghost. The Spirit of God is the principle of the worship, wherever the worshiper is brought to a full participation of the mystery of true Gospel Worship. “The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” Such? Whom? Why, such as must have the Spirit to be their principle in worship, whereby to know whom they worship. {John 4:22} And thus it is that they have the “spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge” of Christ, {Eph.1:17,} while the true worshipers have Christ together with the Father for the Object of their Gospel worship. It's this Spirit of wisdom, the Holy Ghost himself, who is also the Spirit of Revelation of the Object, who is the Spirit in which also God is rightly worshiped, as in the principle thereof. How can I be, and live, and pray, and worship in the Spirit, if God the Spirit be not my principle in and from which, through Christ, I live in the Spirit, and pray in the Spirit? So the Spirit given us to be an earnest in our hearts, is God’s bestowing {Ps.16:5} Himself upon us through Christ by the Spirit, in giving us of the same kind of blessedness, which he will bestow upon us in Heaven.

Work of the Holy Spirit

As the righteousness of God in Christ abides on a sinner; {Rom.8:33;} so in this righteousness abiding there is a foundation of God's Free Grace Justifying, upon which the Spirit doth not only work renewing grace; as faith, repentance, humility, watchfulness, and the whole of sanctification, {I Pet.1:2,} joy and comfort, as likewise stability and increase of faith, with perseverance therein; but the Spirit abides in the soul as a continual Principle of Grace. {I Jn.4:13} He dwells there secretly, silently, surely, faithfully and federally, {Is.59:21,} even while he suspends his gracious Operations; at those times that he resents our follies, and corrects our disorders in this life; and at what time he will be grieved {Eph.4:30} to a ceasing of his joyous Operations, and his glad witness with our spirits, {Rom.8:16,} and thereby putting us to grief, and making our hearts sad, by the Testimonies, Texts and Arguments, which he brings against our follies; whilst He changeth the theme that he normally insists upon, and alters his Voice in the Gospel into heavy tidings, which will make any new creature to be sad in heart, and full of grief and heaviness! Forasmuch then as he is the principle of this grief in the soul, {II Cor.7:9,11,} he Himself is said to be grieved in the provocation of it. For which cause, he further convinceth us of the sin of quenching the Spirit {I Thes.5:19} in his work.

Work of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit Operation in all these respects; as follows, on the Gospel, on the heart in moving the faculties towards the Object, both as the Worker and the Principle of the motion, and all under the Righteousness of God through Christ, depends upon a Cause, and so will work Salvation by nothing that is below the true means in the hand of that Cause. The Cause of the Spirit's working salvation is jointly the Father and the Son. The preacher then ceaseth to preach the Gospel, for by sinking in his offers he ceases to ascribe glory to God in the joint cause of the Spirit's operation. Now that cause is fore-ordination of the elect to salvation by an act of the Father, and redemption of the elect to that salvation by an act of the Son, and fore-operation of the Spirit upon the means of that salvation in his Applicatory Work, while he is pursuing salvation from the Father and the Son, who have certainly begun it, and advanced it in and by Jesus Christ. Salvation as it is managed by the Holy Ghost, depends entirely upon the joint Cause, of it in the Father and the Son, as to what hath been wrought long time ago by God and Christ towards the ability of the sinner in the work of faith. These carry the work of salvation by the Holy Ghost still on further from the beginnings thereof. The Spirit works all his works in salvation by the Father's Pattern {John 5:17;} accordingly, the Spirit works them in salvation upon all the elect alone, as well as in Providence for the elect's sake, {Mt.24:22,} according to what the Father and Christ have done. The Spirit operation is a new creature in the work of faith, which is called the operation of God. {Col.2:12} So that God and Christ do cause salvation to be wrought by the Spirit’s pre-operation upon fit means. {John 9:6} And salvation in believing is wrought through the Spirit’s working effectually on the Gospel, to make it a right preaching from the joint Cause thereof. And then it is He formeth Christ in the soul, {Gal.4:19,} or lets in the Object of faith through the eye of faith, fall in directly upon the newborn soul, that hath this ability created in it to discern Christ. And so Christ is formed in the heart, after the manner which any outward object is formed in the eye. When I say I have such a man or object in my eye, it is not meant that the man, or other object are in my eye locally, that's impossible; but they are in my eye objectively, as I see them. So Christ formed in us, or Christ in us the hope of glory, {Col.1:27,} is not to be understood that Christ at the right hand of God is locally and substantially formed in us, or is so in us the hope of glory; but it speaketh, that Christ who is at the right hand of God is the Object of faith, the substantial Object, let in spiritually to the soul born from above, that the soul sees Him by a living act of faith, as he is represented in the Word. And this is Christ formed in us. When we come spiritually to have a complete sight of Christ in the glass of the Gospel. It is the Spirit's work from a cause to form Christ in the soul. He produceth faith as an eye to discern God in Christ, and especially by discerning Christ's Person and Righteousness.

Work of the Spirit to Glorify Christ

"I am the Lord thy God that teacheth thee to profit." Herein is His Prophetical Office, still under the Holy Ghost's Anointings. God teacheth by Christ, and Christ teacheth by the Holy Ghost. If God doth not teach us by the Mediator, there's no other Doctor that can teach our souls to profit; and the prophetical office of Christ, whereby we are taught of the Mediator, depends, by reason of the Covenant of Redemption-Grace, upon the unction of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of the Lord God, says he, is upon me to preach the Gospel {Is.61:1,} as he says elsewhere in this glorious Prophesy of Isaiah, which leadeth thee by the Way that thou shouldest go. There's his regal Office, the ruling and conducting part of His mediation; his Office as a Leader and Commander {Is.55:4,} and the Captain of our Salvation {Heb.2:10,} that still goes before us, under the same Divine Unction of the Spirit of God. For 'tis the Lord God, and His Spirit hath sent me, he tells us. And this of the Spirit here is that for which I produce the Text to give the emphasis of all in the present matter before us. His Spirit hath sent me. He hath sent me for the Church's sake, he hath sent me as Redeemer for them; he hath sent me as Teacher for them; he hath sent me as Leader for them, to bring them up out of great Tribulation {Rev.7:14,} and make way for the Spouse to bring her up out of the Wilderness, leaning on Her Beloved {Song 8:5,6;} he hath sent me under his own anointings, to bring her up with all the powders of the merchant {Song 3:6,} and go before the glorious company in the Head of all the train. He hath sent me into the execution of my whole office, He, together with the Father, hath done it for the Church; in undeniable argument that the Holy Spirit was jointly in the Council and Constitution of all before the World was; or, from Everlasting; and so cogently enough proves the Everlasting Love of God the Spirit to the Church, for whose sake all the Supralapsarian; or, before-fall measures of these ways and means, were taken up with God too, before the world began. Tis to this purpose our Lord Christ hath spoken those last words of John 15:9, “Continue in my Love.” Christ had told his Disciples in the foregoing words {I have opened} how the Father loved Christ, and how Christ his Disciples, and therein and therewith the Elect; for it is all the same Love of one Spouse, Christ hath no divided Love towards her. And here is now how the Spirit comes in and joins the Love-Wonder! He is the Bond of this union by continuing it. “Continue ye in my love.” There’s the Spirit, the efficient Bond of this everlasting Spouse-Union. So that “continue ye in my Love” is not mere bidding them to continue, but blessing them into continuance, as the settlements of the Grace-Union, on the Holy Ghost’s part, are provided for continuance under subordinate counsels, that work out the steadfastness of the elect after calling, against the creature’s mutability. Continue ye in my Love is blessing them with receiving the Holy Ghost {John 20:22,} in order to continue in the Love of Christ. {John 16:14,15} For, as the Spirit takes and shows us Christ’s Love, so he holds us sweetly there. Continue in it; it is not a Direction, and so a Freewill Continuance, as to say, do you so of your own nature, and creature Freewill; continue thus to please my Father {John 10:30} and me {nevertheless it is your nature duty so to do;} it is no direction unto self-power and readiness; but it is a donation, it is given you of my Father, and I will send the Comforter unto you from the Father, for that End. {John 15:26} The Holy Ghost shall come down upon you for this continuance, and you shall be kept faithful in your love to me, and so by Him abide in my Love. Here’s my Father’s hand for it, He hath loved you {John 17:23;} and here is my own Hand besides, as He hath loved me I have loved you {for you see I interpret the “place of the Scripture,” Acts 8:32, by laying this and another text together;} and; says he, the Spirit loves you; He has a will {John 16:7} co-equal, as the Spirit, with the Father’s will and Mine, though as Comforter, I will send him from the Father; and when the Comforter is come He will sweetly hold you to it, and make it fall easy.

Work of the Spirit to Glorify Christ

Now all those things, naming Him Christ, calling Him Messiah, revealing Him to be the Lord's Anointed, forming Him in the womb, and anointing Him in the open face of men, was all done in relation to the Church. If Christ had not had a Church given Him, the Father had never sent Him, the Son had never given Himself in the Incarnate Union, the Holy Ghost had never formed that Flesh, nor created that reasonable human soul, nor had anointed the Man Jesus Christ in that wonderful Union God-Man. This evidently proves the Love of the Holy Ghost to the Elect for the sake of whom Christ is thus a Saviour. As the Holy Ghost reveals His Names anciently, and all as suited to the mediatorial Office and Relation of Jesus Christ, before He was an made manifest, and gives Him one and the same sort of Names, before, as after, tis plain the Spirit had an eye upon us, loved us in Christ before we believed, before we were born, before the New Testament began, all through the Old Testament, and then, because God, why not as well from the Dates of Everlasting?

Universal Ruin in Adam & Particular Effectual Restoration in Christ

All fell, but all fell not alike. The elect of God fell as certainly in Adam, as the rest, all being alike Adam’s natural seed, yet still they fell discriminately in the secret eye of God. {Eph.2:4,5} They all fell into the same openly poor and miserable condition, but not all fell into the same secret condition, nor at all into the same relation, farther than the corrupt relation of their nature part in Adam. {Eph.2:3} All fell towards hell, but not all to it. All fell by the Devil’s craft, but all fell not to be integrally of the Devil’s company, or constitutively, to be one moment of the Devil’s number. And blessed be the Lord, I find so much evidence of this doctrine in the Scriptures, and so much comfort of this doctrine in my own soul, that I can through grace meditate upon the reverse, or that which is written upon the backside of this doctrine, I mean the terror of it, and yet whilst mine heart stands in awe, {Ps.4:4;} not afraid, according to that gracious promise made unto the Church, Isaiah 33:18, with verse 17. “Thine heart shall meditate terror” - “thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty; they shall behold the land that is very far off.” ‘Tis not the black doctrine of Calvin, as hath been represented, but the beautiful doctrine of Christ, as hath been experienced. {Rom.9:11,14,15,18,21,22} These non-elect fell so as they were never restored to this day; but the elect, notwithstanding their fall at the same time, and in the same natural head, yet fell within the bounds of effectual restoration.

Note: The majority of these extracts are from Hussey’s GLORY OF CHRIST, though a few extracts from his next work, {published only one year later in 1707,} GOD’S OPERATIONS OF GRACE, are also interlaced throughout.