Daniel King

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Daniel King was an early Particular Baptist, whose major work entitled A WAY TO ZION, SOUGHT OUT AND FOUND, FOR BELIEVERS TO WALK IN; {wherein he refers to himself simply as a Preacher of the Word near Coventry,} was an important treatise in regards to those associated with the ‘Baptist’ cause, in essence setting forth, according to King, that the Lord since the beginning of the Early Church has had a remnant seed, and that these could be identified by their adherence to the Baptist ‘faith’ & ‘order.’ That work written by King in 1649 was launched forth under the endorsement of Thomas Patient, William Kiffin, John Spilsbury {Note: Patient, Kiffin & Spilsbury were signers of the 1644 & 1646 LONDON CONFESSION OF FAITH} & John Pearson, all prominent Baptist leaders at the time. King anxiously awaited the return of Christ and held that the recovery of believers baptism was necessary for the establishment of the true church. In recovering God’s ordinances, the stumbling blocks were “removed out of the way” and some “beams of light” were let in “for the further clearing up of the way.” In 1651 King published another work, not so well known, entitled A DISCOVERY OF SOME TROUBLESOME THOUGHTS, in which he attempts by Divine Instruction to come to the aid of such as are afflicted in Zion. The full title of the work is as follows: “A discovery of some troublesome thoughts, wherewith many godly precious souls are burdened, and extremely pressed; that like a canker eats out all their comforts, and keeps their souls under continual fears and distractions. Together with a compound of some Scripture and experimental cordials, for the refreshing of those who are sick of such a disease; and through the blessing of God, may prove medicinal, to the cure of some, and the comforting of others, by Daniel King, Preacher of the Word.” It is from this work that these noteworthy remarks have been extracted.

Troublesome Thoughts Concerning Christ

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Consider what ends the Lord hath in keeping close his countenance, and hiding his face sometimes from a soul that is dear to him. God’s ends in hiding his face from a soul. 1. To bring such a soul to self-examination, to look narrowly into their own hearts, and to search out some corruption which it may be they do not see for the present. And it is a great benefit to have discovery made of those traitors that lie lurking within, that a man seeth not; and this God often brings the soul to by hiding his countenance. When the spirit of the Psalmist was overwhelmed, and the thought of God troubled him, and his soul refused to be comforted, and he cried unto God, and still his sore ran in the night, and ceased not, and his eyes were held waking, and he was so troubled that he could not speak; {Ps.77:1-4;} now saith he in the 6th verse, “I commune with mine own heart; and my spirit made diligent search;” now he falleth a searching what the matter was; and inquires, will the “will the Lord cast off forever; and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone forever; doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious; hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.” {vs.7-9} Mark here, upon serious search he durst not tax God, nor his mercy, nor promise; but mark, he finds it out now where it was, “and I said, this is my infirmity; {vs.10;} by this means he finds out some weakness in the soul, which before he saw not. So that this was beneficial to him; for God would have no sin harbor and lurk in the souls of his Saints. 2. By this means the Lord brings a man or woman to the confession of sin. We are all proud by nature, and are loath to come to acknowledge our sins. Now the Scripture saith, “he that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” {PV.28:13} “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” {I Jn.1:9} Now God in mercy to a soul, when he sees they are willing to connive and wink at some beloved sin which they would favor, and are ready to say as David, “deal gently with the young man Absalom;” or as Naaman, “the Lord be merciful to thy servant concerning this thing;” withdraws his face, to show them his dislike against every sin, and to bring them to a free and willing confession of it. So it was with David, “when I kept silence, {that is, from acknowledging my sin,} my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me; my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.” {Ps.32:3-5} “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face;” {Hos.5:15;} until then {saith God} I will hide my face. 3. God sometimes hides his face that his people might see that they are nothing in and of themselves; but that all their sufficiency is of God; that they may see their own emptiness, that they can do nothing, bear nothing, manage nothing to God’s glory without a special assistance from God; that they may learn to deny themselves, and live upon Him alone. “I hid me, and was wroth, {saith the Lord,} and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart.” {Is.57:17} When God hides himself, then the frowardness of the heart appears. So hereby the servants of God are kept humble, from self-glorying or boasting. 4. Sometimes the Lord by the hiding of his countenance trieth the graces of his spirit in his servants, that it may appear to them that they are found genuine. As sometimes he tries their faith by this means. “Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light, let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.” {Is.50:10} To try if they will hold and hang upon him, and follow him, though he frown upon them, as the woman of Canaan did; that he may say to them at last, as he did to her, “great is thy faith;” and this will be a sweet satisfaction to them, when they come to see that though they saw not God’s face, yet they found his grace to enable them to wait upon Him in dark times. It is a precious thing to have faith tried; {I Pet.1:7;} and this way God trieth it. Again, hereby God trieth the sincerity of your love to him. As when Christ had withdrawn himself from his spouse, she falls sick of love; it works; she could not be quiet, nor satisfied without him; her affection runs out after him, though she wanted the discovery of him, and this affection of hers puts her upon a constant seeking of him. {Cant.5:6-8} “By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth; I sought him, but I found him not. I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth, &c.” {Cant.3:1-2} It tries their sincerity, whether they will stick close to his work, though they see no reward; whether they will fear the Lord, and obey him, though he hide himself. “Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light; let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.” 5. Sometimes the Lord doth it, to bring thee to the sight of thy negligence, deadness, dullness, security, senselessness, that you are apt to slip into; and to make thee see thy unkind dealing with him; that puts him off with idle excuses for self ends. So Canticles chapter 5, when Christ had withdrawn himself, then she comes to remember how unkind she was to let him call, and beg for admittance, and wait till his head was filled with the dew, and his locks with the drops of the night; she could make excuses when he was so near her; I have put off my coat, how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet, how shall I defile them? But when he was gone, then she remembreth her slothfulness with sorrow; and then she confesseth her negligence, “my soul failed when he spoke;” {vs.6;} as if she had said, “my heart smote me; I knew it was he, yet this sleepy spirit of mine overcame me, and now I must smart for it.” 6. That the Soul might prize him the more when he manifests himself again to the soul, that there might be the sweeter embraces between him and the soul; as it is with a perverse child, the mother sometimes is fain to hide herself from it, and call for the bug-bear to take it, that it may be quiet and more esteem of the mother when it hath her again. The child cries out as if she were quite gone; but she stands nearer it then it is aware of; she intends not to forsake it. So the people of God in their dark times greatly mistake to say God hath utterly forsaken them. “Zion said, the LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.” Here is the poor discouraged souls conclusion; but what saith the answer of God to it? “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.” {Is.49:14,15} When we look upon the countenance of God, as we do upon the sun shining every day as a common thing, then he clouds himself from us, that we may learn to set an higher rate upon it; and that there may be more endeared embracings when we meet with the Lord again. After she had sought for her beloved, and missed him, at last saith she, “I found him whom my soul loveth;” and how was she affected then? Oh saith she, “I held him, and would not let him go, &c.” {Cant.3:4} Then she clings to him with more delight and affection than ever. So the bowels of the Lord {if I may so speak} do more yearn upon a poor soul after his withdrawings than ever; as in Isaiah; “the Lord hath called thee, as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.” This is a sad time; but now mark how he makes up for this, “For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies I will gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.” {Isa.54.6-8} 7. The Lord hides himself sometimes from a poor soul for the regulating of the prayers and desires of his people. Many times we are begging and crying for things of lesser consequence, and our minds are much upon the serving of self; now God would have us to seek him, and his face and countenance as the chiefest thing; therefore sometimes withdraws that he may draw up our prayers higher, and put our affections into better order then they were. “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face; in their affliction they will seek me early.” {Hos.5:15} Now it is God’s command to seek his Face evermore. “Seek the LORD, and his strength; seek his face evermore.” {Psal.105:4} 8. That his excellency, sweetness, beauty, and loveliness might be set forth by those that want the manifestations of his countenance, unto others that take notice of their distempered sad condition, that they may be moved also to seek after his discoveries. God is pleased by this means sometimes to sweeten himself to others that stand by, and behold the agony poor souls are in for want of his love manifested to them; and to stir up their spirits to look after him. He is pleased to help such distressed men to preach him forth sweetly for the winning of others to him. When they see them mourning, and grieving, and complaining, and cannot rest without him, thinks the poor soul there is some excellency in him that we see not; we will certainly go along to seek him with these poor souls; he is worth seeking after; and so it sets them aflame after him also. Daniel King {Discovery of Some Troublesome Thoughts, 1651}

Conversion Experience

Thou fearest thy state, and questionest thy conversion, because thou hadst not so extraordinary a work at thy first Humiliation; not such a breaking by the Law as some others have had; but by intermixing fits, and a soft way; therefore thou fearest. I answer. It is good indeed for every man to make proof of his state, whether he have Christ or no. “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” {II Cor.13:5} But yet we must not prescribe God a way, in what order and method he shall bring us in. The manner and violence of Humiliation is not essential to the bringing a man into the state of grace; nor it is no matter whether God open the door with an oiled key, or break it to pieces, so he open it. For the end of Humiliation is, the engrafting of Christ, and saving grace into the Soul. And it’s no matter how the plough go, so the corn growing on the Land be as good. And no matter for the manner of Humiliation; look to the End, look to the Issue, look to the fruit of it. If God have not broken thy heart with the large mallet of Humiliation, but thawed it more gently; thank God for it. God made two Mediators, Moses a typical Mediator to fear and quake exceedingly; and Christ the true Mediator to sweat drops of blood and be in a pitiful agony; and therefore if God gives thee the sight of sin, in the sweetness of a Father, in the sweetness of a Saviour, more than in the wrath of a Judge; and if thy tears have flown more from sorrow of Love, than from sorrow of fear; if he have given thee a new birth, in gentler pangs; it may be as true. The sweetness of Christ in his dealings, makes Christ as sweet to thee as thy deepest mortifications under a sense of judgment. Peradventure, if thou hadst had some remarkable note of humiliation of soul, thou mightst have rested in some such work, and have grown secure afterward; and the want of such a thing perhaps may make thee more watchful afterward; whatsoever course God did take to bring thee to Christ, make the best use of it, and it is the best for thee. But some may say, will the Scripture show that Christ brings in men to himself after different manners and measures? I answer, Yea, it is clear by Scripture; and for it, Consider these things. The word of God which is the ordinary means of man’s conversion is compared to rain. “My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass.” {Deut.32:2} “For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God; but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.” {Heb.6:7,8} Now rain cometh sometimes by sudden dashes; sometimes more mildly like dew; sometimes great drops, and sometimes small; sometimes falls violently, and is quickly over; and sometimes more moderately and holdeth longer. And if the ground be thoroughly soaked it’s no matter; it may as well be by a mist, as by great showers. So the heart may as well be mollified and softened by the Lord’s blessing in gentle drops distilled upon it as by a violent storm. Our Saviour, {in Mark 4:26.27,} seems to speak of someone’s conversion and growth in an insensible way; the words are these, “so is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed {seed, that is, the word of God, vs.14} into the ground; {that is into the man, or heart, as the parable before clears it;} into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.” Mark, here is effectual workings; the seed takes place, yet in such an insensible mild way, he that sows it knows not how; which could not be, if all that are converted to God, were brought over by such violent storms as some are. We read of Paul stricken down by strong hand, {Acts 9,} but where do we read of any such conversion that Timothy had? Saith Paul, “from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise to salvation, &c.” {II Tim.3:15} Christ called in Zacchaeus at once, come down at once, for today I must abide at thy house; but the prodigal, was fain to be starved out by degrees. Some may be in such a case as they may be mightily pressed at, and wounded in the heart; others may have the word dropped in more gently, by gentle instructions, as the Eunuch. {Acts 8:23-39} We read not of any such heart-breaking, rock-renting tempest that he had, and yet faith truly wrought. To conclude, I conceive, all that the Lord brings in, he doth it by the blowing of his Spirit. “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” {Jn.3:8} But whether it be a wind to break the rocks, or a still wind; whether a high wind, or low gentle puffs, that is in God’s choice; whether a North wind, or South wind. “Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.” {Cant.4:16} Mark it, thou canst not say thy Spices flow not out, because the North wind blows not; for the South may make them flow out as well. Daniel King {Discovery of Some Troublesome Thoughts, 1651}

Growth in Grace

A man complains, he doth not find that growth in the inward marrow of Religion which should be answerable to his time and means of knowledge; though he be grown in gifts, yet he cannot find that he is grown in inward acquaintance and familiarity with Christ; and hence he questions the truth of his conversion. I answer. Thou mayst herein be deceived; and therefore view over thy heart and life, and try thy growth a little. 1. By thy rooting; hast thou taken root into Christ? A tree that spreads and lives at root, we say grows, though it appears not to man to grow; and because thou art worse in thy own sight, wilt thou say thou growest not? Why man, trees and corn grow downward, and die, or seem dead, before they grow upward. “Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die,” saith the Apostle. {I Cor.15:36} It may be God intends thy humility, and self-denial, that thou mayest be kept low in thy own sight; and self-denial is the best sign of growth spiritually; and when the duties you perform do not so much please the soul, as the love of God in the duty, it argues growth. 2. Men try their growth by their reaching to some mark set, as to the top of some bed, or beam, or pin in a wall, &c. So art thou more heavenly minded, canst reach nearer God in prayer; is thy affection more enlarged towards him, though thou find not him manifesting himself to thee as thou desirest? Thou art grown. 3. Men try their growth by their ability to lift a weight, or bear a burden. So if thou canst not see that thou art any higher in affection; yet if thou canst suffer more, hast more patience, and contentedness, art able to bear more, with more constancy, and less fear &c. Thou art grown. 4. By their skill; though one may not be grown in height, yet he may be grown in wisdom, and manliness. So, hast thou more skill to use the spiritual weapons, able to find out Satan’s designs, able to confute an error, and give thy soul satisfaction in a truth, then heretofore? Surely it is growth. - Get as much experience of Christ as thou canst; learn to taste Christ in his Merits, and Offices, and Spirit. Labor so to grow into Christ, that thou mayst not trust to swellings instead of growth; I mean to outward gifts. “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” {II Pet.3:18} “Grow up into him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ. {Eph.4:15} Daniel King {Discovery of Some Troublesome Thoughts, 1651}

Troublesome Thoughts Concerning Christ

What should be the Cause that Christian’s faith and other graces should be at so low ebb, when they most stand in need of them? 1. Because Christ alone will be seen in the business to be all in all; and that we may see that he doth the whole work in us, and for us. “Christ is all, and in all.” {Col.3:11} “LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us; for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.” {Is.26:12} As at his death, all must forsake him and fly, and Peter deny him, that he may alone do all, without being beholden to man for anything. So in casting out that devil out of the man’s son, the Disciples unbelief disabled them from casting him out, that the power of Christ alone might be seen in doing it. 2. That the people of God might be humbled out of themselves, and out of the pride of their own undertakings, when they see how weak they are, and their graces failing them; and that God is all in the thing. “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee; wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” {Job 42:5-6} 3. Because many times they stand too much upon their own strength; and live not clearly upon Jesus Christ, as they ought to do; and so they miscarry. And that their confidence might be regulated. Therefore Peter fell, that he might see the misplacing of his trust. “We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead.” {II Cor.1:9} And in another place, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” {Phil.4:13} That we might learn to live above our graces, to have grace and all from Christ. 4. That so thou mightest learn to deny thyself, in thy sanctified self, as well as in carnal self; in thy very graces, and not rest upon them; that so thou mayst account all thy Righteousnesses as filthy Rags; and be forever kept from boasting. “Where is boasting then? It is excluded.” {Rom.3:27} Daniel King {Discovery of Some Troublesome Thoughts, 1651}

Election & Calling

A man is God’s two ways: By Election, and Calling. 1. By Election. So a man may be a sheep not gathered. “Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them MUST I bring.” {Jn.10:16} So that they are not yet brought, and yet sheep, which Christ must bring. Therefore ye cannot make this conclusion, that ye are none of God’s by Election. But, Secondly, a man is God’s by Calling; “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} And so he is a Saint; for we are saints by Calling. Now the purpose of God’s electing is the calling of a man, and the Evidencing of his Calling. And therefore our Calling is effectual and powerful, because it is a calling according to God’s purpose. {Rom.8:28} And the purpose of God in Election is evidenced to us by Calling; the first dawning and evidence of this love of God to us, is this calling us to Christ. “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” {I Cor.1:9} “Give diligence to make your calling and election sure.” {II Pet.1:10} So that the way of Evidence is from the second to the first. Now it is best for a man to know himself God’s both ways; for though this assurance doth, nor make a man to be a man in Christ; yet it makes him to be a lively man in Christ; for he is made a man in Christ simply by believing, or taking Christ at the hands of God. Now we are evidenced to belong to Christ both ways; by a double witness, that gives evidence. The evidence of our spirit, and the evidence of God’s Spirit. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the Sons of God.” {Rom.8:16} Now this Calling is evidenced two ways. 1. By regeneration, or being born of God. Secondly, by Adoption; whereby being strangers, we are made Sons by our incorporation into Christ. “As many as received him, to them gave he power {privilege or right} to become {manifestly} the sons of God; even to those that believe on his name.” {Jn.1:12,13}  Sons of God, who are those? Those that are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Now observe, that the sons of God by faith in Christ, are sons of God by the birth of the Spirit. Therefore see whether your faith reach this or no. “They were born not of blood, nor by the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” For prove one, and prove the other. Yet know, that Regeneration and Adoption are two distinct things. The one is the act of God towards us; the other is the work of the Spirit in us. But the Spirit of sanctification, and the Spirit of Adoption are both one, but they are two distinct acts. The Spirit of Sanctification worketh in us a new life; the Spirit of Adoption may rather be called the evidence. So that prove the one and prove the other. Prove that a man breathes, and by that you prove he liveth; yet there may be a more proper proof, as if he feel or see, &c.; so that this is it that I would say, that the witness of our spirit may properly be said to attest our Sanctification, and the witness of God’s Spirit our Adoption; and by both, our spirit and God’s Spirit, we are witnessed to be the sons of God. But observe, that the witness of our spirits that witnesseth our new birth, and Sanctification, witnesseth it by Water and Blood. “This is he that came by water and Blood, even Jesus Christ, not by water only, but by water and Blood; and it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the spirit is truth. And there are three that bear witness on earth, the Spirit, and Water, and Blood, and these three agree in one.” {I Jn.5:6-8} And it is by virtue of these two, that our spirits do attest and witness that we are the sons of God. For blood, and water, all the Scripture over are said to purge and cleanse, as in all the Legal Types; yet God giveth to them an office of witnessing. Properly they purge; but they Witness by their work of purging; this BLOOD, the blood of Christ, purgeth away the guilt of Sin, as it bindeth a man over to hell and damnation; this Water, the Sanctifying Spirit of Christ, purgeth away the love of Sin as it hath Dominion. “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 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 an heart of flesh; 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} Of both these the conscience of a regenerate man comes to be sensible in himself; the sense of Blood purging by pacifying of his conscience, that he cannot but look upon God with a conscience full of tranquility; and the water purging by Sanctifying him, to make him walk with God, out of the power of sin. Now the witness of a man’s spirit witnesseth that he is translated out of the guilt of sin, and power of sin, and that he is born again. - Now for the Testimony of God’s Spirit, the Spirit of Adoption; If we shall speak distinctly of it from our spirits; for the spirit, and water, and blood are distinct, though they agree in one. {I Jn.5:8} Now if you consider them distinct, I conceive then, that the Spirit of God witnesseth by an immediate impression upon the Soul, representing to the soul and conscience, making you understand and know that you are the sons of God, and heirs of God and Christ; which spirit of testimony is gotten by faith in Christ, by viewing, eying, and surveying Christ. “For because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, whereby you cry Abba, Father.” {Gal.4:6} Whose office is to attest to Christ. So that here the office of faith is to look upon Christ, and eye Christ, that so we may receive the seal; for a man must be a believer, else he cannot be a son; but being a believer and so a son, then comes the Spirit and witnesseth the same. Daniel King {Discovery of Some Troublesome Thoughts, 1651}


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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