Robert Jeffery

Printable PDF Version


Gospel Truths Stated

TITLE - Gospel Truths Stated; the Bastard-Calvinist detected: or, the Arminian Unmasked. In a letter to the Rev. Samuel Blatchford, at Topsham, Devon. Containing a Fair Refutation of his Sermon Preached to the Western Calvinistic Association, at Bridport, Dorset, 16 May, 1792. Wherein is briefly proved, that some who profess themselves to be Calvinists, when they are nothing but Arminians; and would fain be taken for Gospel-Ministers, and Free-Grace Preachers, while their Ministry abounds with Free Will, Human Merit, &c. who, under the specious appearance of preaching up Creature-Holiness and Righteousness as the Conditions of Life, do sap and undermine the Foundation of the Church of God, and subvert the only Method of Salvation by unconditional Grace, to the Dishonour of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. By Robert Jeffery, Bridport. 1793.

Although the degeneracy of the times in which we live, and on account of the blindness of the teachers of the present day, things are quite altered; for Calvinism, is by the generality of our modern daubers called Antinomianism; and those who believe it, by way of reproach are called Antinomians, persons who hold licentious principles, &c. Words in the mouth almost of every schoolboy who has been at an Academy to be qualified for the ministry; and as for the old Arminian plan, that they now style Gospel, free grace, Calvinism; and themselves Calvinistic ministers, &c., and those who believe it, and contribute to the support of such a ministry are deemed a charitable, candid, moderate, pious, and good meaning people; thus matters are quite turned about; and I verily believe, that it was some Arminian priest or other that first christened or named the Calvinistic doctrines Antinomianism, because they savor so much of Free Grace, and cut off all degrees of boasting from man, or in man; and give the glory entirely to God. Besides, they are frequently calling those who differ from them, particularly on the free grace side, by the name antinomians; though they themselves do not probably know what antinomianism is, nor who the persons are that do really profess to be such; but it is a cant word, promiscuously used by the advocates of free will in order to bring into dis-esteem; and if possible, to blacken in the eyes of others, the persons and characters of those who are the friends of truth. If the Arminians of old have “called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Fear them not therefore; for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.” {Mt.10:25,26} --- Hear ye, therefore, the word of the Lord, ye self-righteous {Pv.30:12;} ye Arminian free-willers, that “except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.” {Mt.5:20} For the generality of mankind judge mostly by outward appearance, and therefore they look more to the preachers dress, learning, and profession, than they do to the subject matter of his ministry, or the doctrine that he delivers, to see whether it is agreeable to the mind of God in his Word, or not, and so are deceived. Hence it is that the different preachers amongst the Socinians, Arians, Arminians, &c., all pass without exception for Christian ministers, Gospel preachers, Ministers of Christ, &c., “and no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” {II Cor.11:13-15} “Take heed therefore how ye hear.” {Lk.8:18} There were many, even amongst the Dissenters, who professed one thing, and preached another, {Pv.27:19,} and who would be as Gospel ministers, and Free Grace preachers, although they legalize and pervert the Gospel into a general and universal command for all and every individual of mankind, to believe, &c., which they make the grand condition, or term, of life and salvation, and upon which eternal life is suspended; upon this they exhort sinners, dead in sins, to believe, or they’ll be damned; so that if they don’t believe, they have no interest in Christ, or his benefits; but if they do believe, then they become interested in Christ, &c., thus faith is not only made a condition of life, but the creature’s own act at least in part; for they say that a man may act or believe if he will; and what is this but Moses in an apparently gospelized dress, or, Do this and live? And as to what they term free grace, it is this; that Christ having by his death purchased certain blessings as the love of God, the pardon of sin, the kingdom of heaven, which are now freely offered to the acceptance of every man upon the terms of the Gospel, namely, faith and repentance, and is as free for one man as another, if they will but accept of it; and this is their free grace, free for everybody without any exception; hence we have been told that “none are excluded from the favor of God, nor the kingdom of heaven, but only such as exclude themselves.” So under a Calvinistic name, cloak and profession, some zealously maintain the doctrines of Arminian free will; and this is professing one thing, and preaching another. --- The Arminian asserts that by conditions met, is that for which we are respected or loved of God, the falseness of which I shall now discover, by proving that all who are the objects of God’s love of delight and complacency were such before the foundation of the world; so that they fulfilling certain, so-called, conditions in time, does not make them such; namely, the objects of God’s love. To this purpose we read, “herein is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us;” {I Jn.4:10;} “we love him, because he first loved us.” {I Jn.4:19} Also the same Apostle tells us, that “God is love;” {I Jn.4:8,16;} and that “God so loved the world;” {Jn.3:16;} but all and every individual of mankind are not so signally loved of God; neither is the term ‘world’ here to be so understood in such an extensive manner as including the whole of mankind, because it is only a certain and particular number of persons who are the objects of God’s love from amongst the rest of mankind; hence it is recorded, “I have loved you;” saith the Lord to Israel of old; “yet ye say, wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother, saith the LORD; yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau.” {Mal.1:2,3} So says the Holy Ghost, “Jacob have I loved; but Esau have I hated;” {Rom.9:13;} and Paul also, in treating of the grand and sublime doctrine of Predestination unto life; “having,” says he, “predestinated us,” {not all the inhabitants of Ephesus,} “unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ unto himself.” {Eph.1:5} By what rule, according to their being new creatures, repentant, holy, or believers? No; for it was done before the foundation of the world. “According as he hath chosen us in him {Christ} before the foundation of the world.” {Eph.1:4} Was it because he foresaw that in some future period that they would be so and so, and with this view predestinate them? No; not a word of this in all the Holy Scripture. {II Thes.2:13} What was it then? Why, it was by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. {Eph.1:5} That was the rule, and there was never any other, nor ever will be; that is, according to his infinite love of delight and complacency which he had towards them in Christ Jesus before the world began, without any regard being had to works, good or evil, that should be done by the creature man; {Rom.9:11;} hence it is with propriety said to be of his own will, {James 1:18,} and according to the purpose of him, namely, God, who “worketh all things, after the counsel of his own will.” {Eph.1:11} --- Now whatever God the Father is in Himself, as the God of Grace and Glory, {Ps.84:11,} to the objects of his eternal love; that he is to them in his Son Jesus Christ; for Christ as the Head, {Eph.5:23,} and they as the members of his mystical body have been always viewed as One in the Covenant Counsel, and mind of God. {Eph.3:7-11} This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and his Church; {Eph.5:32;} hence he says to his disciples, “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me,” {John 14:11,} and “all things that the Father hath are mine;” namely, all things, in the mind, counsel, covenant, and promises of God, {II Cor.1:20,} respecting the elect, are mine to reveal, manifest, and apply by my Spirit experimentally to them in due time, and to them only. {John 17:6} So speaking of the Spirit which he promised to send, Christ declares that when He comes, “he shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you; for all things that the Father hath are mine; therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.” {John 16:14,15} Now as Christ was the Object of his Father's love of delight and complacency, “for the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things,” {John 5:20,} as it is written, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth.” {Is.42:1} So all those who are the objects of God's love of delight and complacency, were so loved, and so delighted in Christ, with the same love of complacency and delight as He was, and that before the foundation of the world, as is plain by Christ's praying for them upon this very principle, as being the objects of God’s ancient and eternal love; and so it is recorded, “neither pray I for these alone;” namely, the disciples who were then present with him, “but for them also which shall believe on me through their Word, that they all may be one;” namely, openly and experimentally one in the personal enjoyment thereof, “even as we are one, I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me…for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” {John 17:22-24} --- Thus from the testimonies of God in his Word, already advanced, it is plain that those who are the special objects of God’s love and delight, were such before the foundation of the world; therefore it is impossible that anything in man, or that should be done by him, could be the cause, or that for which he is, or can be, respected or loved of God, as it was fixed upon the objects of it even in eternity, before ever they had any personal existence; so that those who in time are made new creatures, believers, or born again of God, are not made so as a condition or qualification to reinstate them into the favor of God, or as in the least being necessary or available to make them the objects of his love. No; but as the fruits or effects thereof; and because being some of that happy number, to which it is entirely owing that any are in time effectually called by grace. “For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name's sake; because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people.” {I Sam.12:22} So we read, “the LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.” {Jer.31:3} “But as many as received him, to them gave he power {privilege} to become {manifestly} the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” {Jn.1:12,13} “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” {Gal.4:6} “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.” {James 1:18} All which fully proves to a demonstration, the subtlety and falseness of the Arminian scheme; who join grace with creature merit, as being that for which any are accepted of God, when God himself, as I have briefly shown, solemnly and positively declares, again and again to the contrary; to which I answer in the words of Paul to the Arminians of old; “let God be true and every man a liar.” {Rom.3:4} --- Objection: But some may say, did we not fall in Adam and thereby become sinners before God; and how can God love sinners with a love of complacency and delight? Answer: It is true we did fall in Adam, and thereby became sinners; but as to our being sinful or righteous in ourselves, it hath nothing at all to do with it; for as to God’s fixing his love of unchanging delight on a peculiar and certain number of his creatures in Christ before the foundation of the world, it was from himself, and he did it in and of the good pleasure of his will or because he would; {Eph.1:5,6;} so that the creature’s own goodness or righteousness, could be no cause or inducement why God should set his love upon them; nor their sinfulness or bad works, any motive why he should not, seeing it was prior to the fall of man, and done in eternity, it being an eminent act of the Divine will, and the only grand cause, source, and spring from whence all spiritual blessings do proceed, that the Church and people of God do enjoy in time, and to all eternity. Hence we read, “in this was manifested the love of God towards us,” says John, “because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world; that we might live through him.” {I Jn.4:9} So says Paul, “husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it, &c.” {Eph.5:25} Thus love, eternal and unchanging love, is at the bottom of all that God does for his people. {Is.38:16-18} And this being the true state of the case, the creature man cannot, by any means do anything at all, in the least, to merit, procure, or obtain it on the one hand; {Job 22:3, Cant.8:6,7;} nor to remove, abate or hinder it on the other hand; {Job 22:2, 35:5,6;} but because that which is only temporal, can have no possible influence or effect upon that which is eternal, though some have arrogantly asserted, “That God never did, nor never can, take delight in any till they are renewed in their minds, or till they believe.” Then certainly their pretended faith and holiness must be what will make them the objects of God’s delight, if God does not, nor can delight in them before. The reverse of which by Scripture I have already sufficiently proved, and do still maintain upon the fame authority, that though there often is, and may be, some variations or difference in the manifestations of God’s love to his people, as to the time, way, and manner of it, yet in itself it remains {Job 23:13} an unchanging love of complacency and delight towards them in every state and condition that they possibly can be in, in the present world; and in God’s own appointed time, that they will all surely be brought to the happy enjoyment of it, because it is not such a irresolute, undecided, ambiguous and vague piece of trade as some bunglers make of it, who represent Christ as willing and wooing the Salvation of all without exception, if they will but be saved; or in other words, I will, if ye will. No; but I will and ye shall, says God to his people; for he is the Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are judgment; a God of Truth. And so it is recorded; “Yea, I have,” it is not to say, I will; but “I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.” {Jer.31:3} So says Paul, “but God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us.” But when? When we were holy and become believers in Christ? No. When then, Paul? “Even when we were dead in sins,” and as a consequence of it, “hath quickened us together with Christ; by Grace ye are saved.” {Eph.2:4,5} Again; “but God commendeth his love toward us,” says Paul. What; not before our being believers, holy or righteous in ourselves? Yes. When then? Why, “in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” {Rom.5:8} So says John also, “herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” {I Jn.4:10} And the Lord Jesus having loved his own, which were in the world, he loved them unto the end; “for the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness {or invariable love} shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.” {Is.54:10} --- Thus, upon the veracity of God in his Word it plainly appears that the love wherewith he loved his people is an eternal and unchanging love of complacency and delight in Christ Jesus towards them from eternity; {Jn.17:23,24;} in time, when fallen and dead in trespasses and sins; {I Jn.3:16;} and when called, even to eternity the same; {Zeph.3:17;} for “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,” and it is certain that God’s love of complacency and delight in Christ towards the objects of it, is both a good and perfect gift, “and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” {James 1:17} --- Ah! There are no degrees in the love of God, as the Arminians vainly talk, and would have it to be. First, a natural love, or love of goodwill, as some are pleased to term it, alike extended to all the human race; and when any are supposed, according to the judgment of charity, to become holy, believers, obedient, &c., then the Lord loves them better than he did before; and it increases towards such a natural love of goodwill, to a sovereign love of complacency and delight, but not before. So that those who are so unfortunate as not to improve their natural free will before their day of Grace is passed, fall from this love of God’s goodwill into hell, and so are lost forever. This is the doctrine of the day by many candid, school refined, nominal Gospel ministers; but it will not stand in the scrutiny of God’s word; neither is it in any sense agreeable to sound doctrine. --- Secondly, you assert that your new creature is necessary or available as “it interests us in Christ the Redeemer,” {pg.35,} but no positive proof is brought to ascertain the Truth thereof, only a perversion of Scripture, and carnal reasonings, and negative conclusions, as yea and nay; which establish nothing to the glory of God; nor is it of any spiritual benefit or advantage to the soul, but leaves the mind in a dilemma about something supposed, but does not certainly know what, running away with the shadow and losing the substance. I shall therefore endeavor to discover the falseness of this assertion also, in proving by the word of God, {1} an specific election of persons; {2} that it was before the foundation of the world; {3} speak of the grand cause thereof; which will entirely overthrow this Arminian system. --- That there is an election of particular persons is plain from the following positive Scripture declarations: “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia; Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father;” {I Pet.1:1,2;} “and he;” that is, Christ, “shall send his angels;” that is, his ministers, “with a great sound of a trumpet,” {Mt.24:31;} to preach his pure and precious Gospel, but not to make a general offer of it; and the great sound that does attend it, does not mean the sound of verbosity, or noisy speech, nor the vain jangling of those, who “desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm;” {I Tim.1:7;} nor is it the sound of confused words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers, which consists in doubtful observations and unwarrantable negations, self-contradictions and unscriptural suppositions, with unsettled probabilities. No; but it signifies the Power of Christ to Salvation, speaking in and by his ministers, to the hearts of his own elect, according to his word, “and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” {Mt.24:31} Again; “for there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, {II Pet.2:1,} and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect; {Mt.24:24;} “and except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.” {Mk.13:20} --- I come now to show that this election in Christ was before the foundation of the world. “Ye have not chosen me,” says Christ to his disciples, “but I have chosen you.” And, “blessed,” says Paul, “be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ; according as he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world.” “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared” or appointed “for you from the foundation of the world.” {Mt.25:34} What then has, or can the new creature, or believing, have to do, as being necessary or available to interest us in Christ, seeing that those who are, or ever will manifestively be made to enjoy a sense of interest in him here, or the kingdom of heaven hereafter, do experience and enjoy it by virtue of their being so elected, or predestinated before the foundation of the world. “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself; that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will;” {Eph.1:9-11;} “for God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” {I Thes.5:9} --- Question - But were all and every individual of mankind so chosen in, or predestinated by Christ unto eternal life before the foundation of the world? Answer – No; as it is evident and plain from such, and the like following Scripture declarations: “I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.” {Phil.4:3} “And all the world wondered after the beast,” “and all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, {the Beast} whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” {Rev.13:3,8} Paul also, speaking of certain heretics, who by their false doctrine had overthrown the temporary faith of some nominal, candid, bastard professors; and lest God’s people should become sick and faint on account of the apparent success of their enemies, he administers for their relief, a double dose of eternal, personal, particular, and unconditional election, as prescribed by the Great Physician and Bishop of souls, being the only efficacious remedy, and preservative against all false prophets, {Mt.24:24,} with their false and delusive doctrines of free will, and universal grace offered to all, although they may, and frequently do, come in sheep's clothing, {Mt.7:15;} namely, under the name, garb, color, or cloak of Gospel ministers, ministers of Christ, styling themselves ambassadors, Calvinists, &c., by which they are the more likely to deceive others. {Rom.16:17,18} “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his; and, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” {II Tim.2:18,19} Not only from corrupt practices, but from soul deceiving and corrupt principles also. --- Again, “God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Know ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? How he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace;” {Rom.11:2-5;} and not according to the new creature or our faith, &c. This is the Arminian opinion, and it is the common notion that exists in the hearts of merit mongers of every class, for they generally put the cart before the horse; and when questioned on the subject, they’ll tell you that they did not mean so. --- Thirdly, I come now to speak of the grand cause of it; or how any are interested in Christ; and this we are assured, that it is by the unmerited Grace, Favor and Will of God alone, and not works; of which Jacob was a typical and significant representation, as being one of the objects of God’s eternal love and choice; as Esau was of his eternal hatred and rejection, irrespective of works. “And Isaac entreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD was entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels.” {Gen.25:21-23} And lest any objector should endeavor by sophistry or carnal reasonings, to pervert the Truth here stated; the Lord hath fully established it by the mouth of Paul; “for the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth; it was said unto her, {Rebekah,} the elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” {Rom.9:11-13} And the same Apostle, speaking of himself and his brethren, says, “having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” {Eph.1:4,5} --- Thus have I briefly shown, as I proposed, an election of particular persons in Christ before the foundation of the world; and that the unmerited favor and will of God alone is the only grand cause of it, and not of works. So that the Arminians supposed, or ideal new creature, upon Scripture authority can by no means be necessary or available to interest us; that is, to give us a share in the Person and Benefits of Christ, as it was entirely owing to that infinite and unchangeable love of complacency and delight, called by the Apostle the good pleasure of his will towards them in particular, that the Father, ere time began, chose or elected them in Christ; he their Head, and they the members of his mystical body. {I Cor.12:12-14} And it is from this that a personal interest in Christ is to be dated; being chosen in him before the foundation of the world, and not upon being new creatures, holy or believers, &c., because in this view, is that Christ and his Church are considered as one; husband and wife eternally united in the indissoluble bond of everlasting, electing and invariable love. Hence it is, that whatever the Lord Jesus Christ has done, he did it for them, and them only, it being the effect of his love towards them, and on account of their eternal union to Him as their living Head. The great Apostle of the Gentiles describes this glorious mystery in the following manner, “unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see {not carnal and unenlightened men, but all spiritual men} what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ; to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” {Eph.3:8-11} And let me tell you, that without this eternal purpose, this eternal love, and this eternal election of persons in Christ, with their eternal union to him, and that before the foundation of the world, which are God’s holy mountains, {“his foundation is in the holy mountains.” Ps.87:1,} there would be no Church at all, nor one single soul would ever be brought to the spiritual and experimental enjoyment of God here, or to eternal glory hereafter. --- And here, permit me to drop a hint or two as a means, should the Lord enable you to attend to them which will help you out of some of those difficulties relative to the different descriptions given in Scripture of the people of God, as being the objects of God’s eternal love of complacency and delight; and yet at the same time, in Adam, in themselves, and in a Law sense, are “by nature children of wrath, even as others;” and that is, to remember that the Holy Ghost speaks of the elect, as being interested in two different heads or persons; the one from eternity, and the other in time; Christ and Adam. The one as their natural head; and the other their living, quickening, {Jn.5:21,} and spiritual Head. {Eph.5:23} “And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first {as to open existence or manifestation in the present world} which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.” {I Cor.15:45,46} Hence in the order of Divine manifestations, “the first man {Adam} is of the earth, earthy; {Gen.2:7;} the second man {Christ} is the Lord from heaven.” {Jn.6:38} All the divine settlements of grace and glory, with all those spiritual blessings that the elect were blessed with before the world began, and are experimentally favored with in time, and will forever enjoy to all eternity, is in, by, and through the Lord Jesus Christ alone, and consequence of their eternal union to Him as their Head; {II Tim.1:9-10;} here, {I Cor.15:45-47,} called the last Adam, the second Man, the Lord from heaven. Were they the objects of God the Father’s eternal love of complacency and delight before the foundation of the world? It was in Christ that they were then and there so loved. {John 17:23,24} Did God the Father predestinate them unto eternal life before the foundation of the world? It was by Jesus Christ that they were then and there so predestinated. {Eph.1:5} Are they in time brought to hear and know the joyful sound or glad tidings of salvation? It is through Jesus alone that is preached unto them the forgiveness of sins, &c.; and so it might with equal propriety be said of everything else that appertains to their spiritual life here, with their safe arrival to the kingdom of eternal glory hereafter, that it is all safe and perfectly secured in Christ their Head. {I Thes.4:17} --- It should be observed, that all mankind in Adam, in a Law sense, and in themselves are sinners, elect as well as non-elect; and so are fallen creatures. Yet by the fall, the elect did not fall out of God’s love or favor, being loved with an eternal and unalterable love. They did not fall out of Christ, and thereby lose their personal interest in Him, being chosen in Him before the foundation of the world. Neither are they the children of God today, and tomorrow the children of the devil; in a state of grace and favor with God today, and tomorrow in hell. No; the Bible contains no such kind of Arminian trumpery; which would really be the case, if ever the love or favor of God were lost towards the object of it, or those who were chosen in Christ, to be dispossessed of an interest in Him. Hence it is, that although the elect are sinners in themselves; yet it is in Christ that they are what they are in the sight of God, before time, in time, and to all eternity; and not on the account of what they are in themselves, or by virtue of any works or doings of their own, either in whole or part, before or after they are manifestatively made the partakers of Divine and Sovereign Grace. --- I would additionally note that in all your sermon, there is not a mention made of the everlasting righteousness {Dan.9:24} of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the purest, the best robe, {Lk.15:22,} the only wedding garment, {Mt.22:11,12,} for a poor unworthy sinner to appear in, in the sight of God. No; this would have degraded your holy image too much; and besides, such old-fashioned patriarchal, {II Pet.2:5,} prophetic, {Jer.23:6,} apostolic, {Rom.10:1-10,} and free grace doctrine as this, does not suit you. The whole of your subject, in general, terminates in making faith the matter or material cause of justification, or that for which any are justified in the sight of God; for without it none, they say, are in a justified state; and if none are in a justified state in the sight of God until they believe, and upon believing become justified, then faith is their justification, or the material cause thereof, in the sight of God, and not Christ; which is a fundamental error, and opposite to the revealed will of God; {Isa.45:20-25;} and not only so, but in general they are so confused, and inconsistent on the subject, that they do not explain their meaning of justification; for sometimes it is faith, the new creature, or whatever they are pleased to term it; sometimes it is Christ; and sometimes it is both together, which they make the matter of justification before God; and such equivocal and uncertain sounds do their Arminian trumpets give. For my own part, I freely confess I've heard many of those daubers, {Ez.13:11-15,} and warpers; but in all my life I never heard one of them yet fairly, experimentally, and confidently state the grand doctrine of a full and complete justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ alone, and steadily to abide thereby, in making it the grand subject of their ministry; for if they do touch upon it in one sermon, they will surely contradict it in the same, or in another; and so it might be justly said, respecting all the grand, essential, and foundation doctrines of the everlasting Gospel of Christ; let the text to be it whatever it will, they are entirely omitted, or but very obscurely mentioned by them; but creature power, creature holiness, and works, and more works is their darling theme from week to week, and year after year, as verified by the Poet: “Thus they play on from year-to-year - on the Arminian dulcimer - and let the text be what it will - their subject matter is free will.” And yet such style themselves, Calvinists, Gospel preachers, and ministers of Christ, &c., when it is nothing but a dead letter ministry, a dull priest, and a dull people. The sense of all true, genuine servants of Christ upon the subject matter of justification is not that they are justified by the habit, or act of faith; but by the Object of faith - Christ and his righteousness, with which the faith of God's elect, when in exercise, is conversant; and not self-purity, or self-righteousness, as some modern Arminians assert. – Everyone who knows what it is really and truly to be made anew in Christ Jesus, knows that it is not in any sense their justifying righteousness, in whole or part, before God; but do sweetly and harmoniously join with the redeemed of the Lord in declaring that in the Lord have I righteousness and strength alone. {Is.45:25} This is the language of grace, and not of works; the experimental language of one who is made a new creature in Christ Jesus, and thus determined to give Christ all the glory. Robert Jeffery {Gospel Truths Stated or Bastard-Calvinist Detected & Arminian Unmasked, 1793}


Home Page

Index of Authors

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