George Cokayn

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To all those that live godly in Christ Jesus. Precious Hearts; it is your honor, above many professors in the world, to seal in your sufferings the most refreshing and ennobling truths of Christ. Your life which is hid with Christ in God is that spark of glory which hath always attracted the most venomous envies of those men who make the flesh their residence. Be confident of this, that did you live in yourselves, you should live more quietly in the world; were you lower as saints, you should be higher as creatures. Never expect to build peaceably upon earth, while you lay not your foundation in the dust; the carnal mind cannot but be enmity against that which is the basis of your principles, suitable to that expression of our Saviour, “the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” {Jn.17:14} It hath ever been the policy of usurpers, to keep down those which can justly prove their decent from the royal blood, lest they and their ill-gotten glory fall together; so those that have unduly invested themselves with the title of saints, presently contend for a room in the seat of the scornful to disparage and destroy those who can clearly show their communion with a higher blood than their own; where Christ doth most sweetly and clearly reign, there the flesh will most presumptuously and cruelly tyrannize. However {saints} though it be your Father’s pleasure to allot you the valley of the shadow of death for flesh to walk in, whilst your condition is in its infancy, yet know, that your glorious union with the Son of God shall be more than enough in this state to refresh and secure you; the world may outrun you, and come first to the top of their glory; but surely in the end, the inheritance will be yours; their first shall be last, and your last shall be first. Esau out-wrestles Jacob in the womb, and comes first into the world, and according to the signification of his name, he is a great doer, a cunning hunter he was; but Jacob that comes forth last, takes the game; Esau was the first-born, but Jacob goes away possessed of the birth-right and blessing also. Thus doth your Father deal with you to make your latter end in brightness to outshine your beginning; neither will your God deny your bread here in the midst of famine; heaven rains manna in a wilderness, the rock gives water in the heat of drought. Believe it {you Gospel Christians} your Beloved shall be all to you in the want of all; that possession which he hath in you, will forever entitle you, “a spring shut up, and a fountain sealed;” he will be in you an Everlasting Head for your supply to all expenses in all conditions, when the moisture of everything below Him shall be exhausted by the creatures, which suck all they have from thence, even then, and so to eternity, shall Jesus Christ be to you in the height of his fullness. I know nothing you have that is long-lived but Jesus Christ. Earth, more grossly carnal, and the heavens more refinedly carnal, shall pass away; even the kingdom of heaven, so far as it is made up of forms and administrations, shall wither and die; but the kingdom of God within you shall never be shaken. That divine nature which hath swallowed you up shall forever satisfy you with variety of contentments. Let not therefore your hearts be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in Christ; you are satisfied, that the fullness of all things dwells in God, be also convinced that Jesus Christ, by his Father’s appointment, is made partaker of the same fullness; “for it pleased the Father, that in him should all fullness dwell.” Now, whatever Jesus Christ hath as a Mediator, you, in your measure enjoy; for it is the great ordinance of God, that all the saints should be sharers and partners with Jesus Christ; we are fellow-citizens with Him, and so interested in the immunities and privileges of the same charter with Him; that as in our first estate we had all which Adam had, so also in our second, we have all which Christ hath; why then doth paleness appear in your faces, and trembling sit upon your lips? As if in the frowns of the creature all your felicity was buried. Oh remember you are one spirit with Him, whose presence is a constant spring, in a vision of whose glory your beauty will be always lovely. I leave it as my humble request to you, that you would not forget your resting-place; for the least ignorance of that will make you apprehend every condition full of anxiety. This was that which was the bottom of Israel’s misery. “They have {saith the text} forgotten their resting-place;” {Jer.50:6;} or, their place to lie down in, as the original will bear it. If you make the creatures, or your ordinance privileges, or your duties, or your own righteousness to be your resting-places, the least disturbance in the pursuit of all, or any of these, will be very grievous and distracting; but if the Spirit enables you to remember Christ to be your rest, who is the rest of God, trouble upon any of your enjoyments below Himself will not have an uncomely influence upon you. To see a man fretting and vexing, that whilst he was riding his journey, noises did keep him waking, would evince our reason to believe that this man had forgotten that his resting-place was somewhere else; so to see you, whilst you were in your travel, discontented at that unquietness wherewith you are infested, would bring you under this suspicion, that you had forgotten your resting-place. Israel expected beds in the wilderness, when God had appointed Canaan to be their rest, and this was the ground of all their murmurings against God’s dispensations. Oh that the Spirit therefore would always in the midst of sin and misery, lead you to the Rock that is higher than yourselves, or anything you esteem above yourselves. Many, as they create troubles, so also create remedies; even such, which God never sealed; many times we sin, and then endeavor to make use of sin for a cure; we break a command of God, and then call upon some duty or other fix below Christ, to make up that breach; and thus we bring a double pain and vexation upon ourselves. When a wound is made by a weapon, a contrary plaster applied, makes it more incapable of cure than it was before; so it is with all distempers in your souls, by reason of sin; if you look upon any beside the brazen Serpent, your distemper will return with double vigor upon you. But certainly, one vision of Jesus Christ will bid defiance to the stoutest of your lusts, and all the powers of darkness combined with them, and in an encounter will more than conquer them. The host of Israel was very great and well prepared for the battle, but if ever the day be won, David must come into the field. Our fastings and prayers appear a huge host, but they will rather gaze upon than engage against an enemy, if Jesus Christ be not in the field; but the very countenance of Jesus Christ doth soon still the enemy and the avenger, and makes all the issue of sin in the soul to prove abortive. The marrow of this you have clearly laid open in the demonstration of the Spirit, in the following Sermons, which I am confident, to all that are led by the Spirit, will be a full vindication of the truth of Christ, and of the worthy Author from those base aspersions cast upon both by pride and ignorance. You shall find the sum of this Work, to be the sole exaltation of the Lord Jesus in saints and duties, and the debasing and trampling upon all flesh that shall aspire to the seat of Christ; the reviving and encouraging of drooping hearts, by presenting Christ, not themselves, in all his accomplishments to them. Now, if the world shall baptize this doctrine Antinomianism, the Lord grant that all the doctrine preached throughout the world, may deservedly be called by that name. Ye that know Christ, be not afraid, notwithstanding all the censures of the world, to read the book, and receive the truth; be assured it is not presented to thee as a bait, which is an introduction to a snare, but if the spirit of Christ accompany it, thou wilt certainly say, as Christ did, “I have meat to eat which ye know not of.” I should rather cloud the work, than honor it, if I should proceed to a further commendation of it. I leave it therefore to the Spirit to make out the worth of it to the spirits of the saints, and am concluded under this faith, that all the malice and carnal wisdom of this generation shall never be able to interrupt the course of it. As for the Author, though he never was known to me, yet those writings of his which I have perused, do encourage me to believe that whilst he lived in the world, he lived in God, and now his earthly tabernacle being dissolved, he is taken up into that fullness which he only saw in part whilst he lived here; and though whilst he was upon earth, it might be his portion, with his Lord and Master, to be mocked and buffeted in the High Priest’s hall, yet now sits with him in the fruition of that glory for which he was then a sufferer. What now remains, but that ye which through the Spirit have tasted the sweetness of his ministry in the same spirit, look up to our Father, and beg of him, that those who survive in the work of the gospel, may go on where he left, and in the plentiful effusion of the Spirit, the glorious truths of Christ may be amongst the saints, as the sun in its height? And among the rest, forget not him {though unworthy to be numbered with them} who is ambitious of nothing else, but to be All in Christ, and nothing in self. George Cokayn {Preface to the Works Of Tobias Crisp, Christ Alone Exalted, 1646}


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Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle
and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus. Hebrews 3:1