Joseph Hussey (1660–1726)


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Hussey was born on the 31st of March, 1660, at Fordingbridge, in Hampshire. The first elements of learning he received under the tuition of Robert Whitaker, who had been ejected from his fellowship in Magdalen College, Cambridge, in 1662, and then lived at Fordingbridge. At a proper age, he was sent to an academy of considerable repute at Newington Green, under the direction of another ejected minister, Charles Morton. {Who later became the First Vice-President of Harvard College, New England.} When he had finished his studies, he preached his first sermon at Mr. Jenkyn's Meeting-house in Jewin-street, London, on the 14th of August, 1681. Shortly afterwards he became domestic chaplain to Mrs. Powell, afterwards Lady Thompson, at Clapham. There he continued preaching occasionally till 1683, when he became chaplain to Sir Jonathan Keate, at the Hoo, Hertfordshire; where he preached constantly till May the 20th, 1688. In the summer of that year, he removed to Sissafernes, in Codicote Parish, Herts, at which place, and at Maiden Croft, near Hitchin, he continued to preach till his removal to Cambridge, in 1691. Mr. Hussey appears to have obtained considerable reputation as a preacher during his residence in that part of the country, and was often consulted by ministers and others, upon subjects connected with religion. Mr. Hussey was ordained at Annesley's Meetinghouse, Little St. Helen's, Oct. 26, 1688, in the presence of six Presbyterian ministers. The thesis he defended was, that the pope was the Antichrist; and his testimonial was signed by Dr. Annesley, Samuel Slater, John Quick, John Turner and Robert Franklin.

Prior to his eyes being opened to the Wonders of Divine Grace, and the Lord granting unto him true Gospel Repentance unto the acknowledging of the Truth; {Acts 11:18, II Tim.2:25} it would appear that he, along with other ‘evangelical’ cohorts opposed many of those ‘high grace’ truths that he would later be brought to love and embrace. This opposition to the Truth he confessed and bewailed, and whose public repentance one may look upon as an example unto all Gospel Adversaries, and for special instruction unto all who are willing to be informed thereby. His words are as follows: “The truth is, we were then generally angry with the Gospel throughout the nation, and labored hard to put out the eyes of a discerning faith; and though it did not come to the general assault so early as fourteen years ago, yet we were generally by the evil spirit stirred up at that time to darken counsel by words without knowledge; and because more of the light of Christ was come into the world {as there must more and more in every age, upon the path of the just, till that true Light returns, and comes again into the world in flaming fire,} we had loved darkness rather than light, because our deeds were evil; publishing that for the Gospel, which as to a great part of it, rose but little higher than the light of nature, and no higher than the corrupt part of man's reason, molding and mis-shaping religion to hide the Gospel! And we saw this had been always so contrary, in and out of pulpit {that is these things were so, or if suffered to go on without zeal to suppress them, rather than pray and study for more light to explain them} we must ourselves, in all our own scheme and way of preaching be overthrown! And corruption will never bewail corruption, but rather deny, or cover, or lesson it. In short, we were generally agreed to run down the glorious Gospel {wherein all the discernment comes, and shine in the minds of poor souls, to bring them out of darkness, and break their bands in sunder.} And we labored to do it, by loading it with the reproaches of Antinomianism, Crispianism, Davisim, and I know not what; which I am afraid the body of us have not been humbled for, nor repented of to this day! And what a sad condition will Christ one day discover those men to be in, whom he shall judge according to their own Gospel of repentance, and universal sincere obedience, as the conditions of the Covenant of Grace!” {Glory of Christ Unveiled, 1706}

Regarding his valuation of Divine Revelation, and his being equipped for the ministry of God’s Word; he writes, “If a man’s argument lays in human wisdom, human testimonies may strengthen it. But the best of human testimonies are an ill medium to establish the truth of the Gospel by, because the Gospel is established upon divine revelation, independent of the testimony of man. The man who goes about to defend the faith of the Gospel or refute error by the testimony of authors, would have been an active instrument in some of the ancient councils, made up of learned doctors, in which they put truth itself to the vote, and enacted canons of anathema against all that were otherwise minded. The value of all such things vanished with me, when the Lord led me into an experimental knowledge of Himself, the everlasting love of the Father, and the operations of the Spirit of my own soul. This sweetly removed the fears of my insufficiency for the ministry, and rebuked the temptation which had held me from going on in the work of Christ; taught me to keep off from Arminianism, that too naturally runs through the labors of some. This also calmed the storm, raised up my mind in departing from human testimonies, and helped me to wade through difficulties where no author had ferried over!” {Preface to his book entitled, “God’s Operations of Grace, 1707}

When the cruel Act of Uniformity took place, the fruits of nonconformity in the county of Cambridge were very abundant. Most of the Dissenting churches in that county were planted by Mr. Francis Holcroft, who was ejected from Bassingbourn; and he was for many years considered their common pastor and parent. The prodigious labors of that extraordinary man, together with the injury he received when barbarously imprisoned for preaching, greatly undermined his health, and at length laid him aside from his labors. This circumstance, combined with the liberty granted to Nonconformists by the Act of Toleration, occasioned the Dissenters of Cambridgeshire to separate into distinct societies. One of these congregations settled on Hoghill, near Cambridge, and consisted chiefly of Presbyterians. Mr. Hussey was their first pastor, and settled there on Thursday Nov. 19, 1691. The ministers engaged in his settlement were Mr. Scandaret, of Haverhill, who preached, and Mr. Billio, of St. Ives, and Mr. King of Wellingborough, who prayed. The church then consisted of seventy-six members. Mr. Hussey exercised his ministry at Cambridge with great success, till October, 1696, at which time his church had increased to 122 communicants. The constitution of the church was then altered by the vote of a considerable majority. Seventy-six members, with the pastor, were for a Congregational discipline, and twenty-four were against it. Upon this, the latter withdrew, and formed the Presbyterian Society in Green-Street. Those who remained behind signed a rigid covenant, drawn up by Mr. Hussey. The senior deacon of his church was Robert Wilson, who had been ejected from the curacy of Over, in 1662, and afterwards taught music in Cambridge till 1710, when he died full of days, and of the fruits of the Spirit.

Mr. Hussey continued pastor of this new modeled church, and great success attended his ministry, till 1718, when some disputes about church discipline chiefly, and partly about his doctrine, rendered him very uneasy; and at the close of the year 1719, he accepted an invitation from the late Mr. Humphrey's church, in Petticoat-Lane, London, and removed from Cambridge in January, 1720, leaving a congregation of 1100 persons, and a church of more than 150 members. Mr. Hussey continued with his church in Petticoat-Lane till his death, which happened at his house in Hoxton-Square, on the 15th of November, 1726, in the sixty-seventh year of his age.

Mr. Hussey was a man of considerable learning, and possessed very superior natural abilities. His talents as a preacher rendered him very famous in the Independent churches of his time; and he was much followed, especially by those who were inclined to what was called the Antinomian scheme. His doctrines were rigid Calvinism; and he was a great admirer of the writings of Crisp, and of Mr. Richard Davis, of Rowell, who made a considerable stir at that time in behalf of the same scheme. A manuscript says, "he drained several churches of such members as were better instructed than their pastors.”


In 1706 he wrote, “I declare, therefore, that wherein I go contrary to many good men, I do it after an examining of their writings, and weighing books at the Sanctuary Scales (a labor that hath been now upon my hands more than ten years past) and good reason, to go by God’s Word and Spirit at last, having been carried away with much deceit in many other writings, and by too many of some of our good men who have found more goodness to mean well, than judgment to open all well they have undertook…Here let no man mistake me; for I am not against Doctrinal opening the 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…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, and not by the Council, the Classis, the Fathers, the Quotations; or, in short, the Authority and Opinion, the Subscriptions and Prevailing Notions of the Times – for we see manifestly, in spite of all the learning, that learned men 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…It is needful to rely upon the Lord's All-sufficiency to bestow wisdom, diligence, holy zeal, and a single 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 Church, which the Lord hath purchased with His own blood, and fenced round by enclosures of Free Grace, to distinguish it from all the world besides.” Joseph Hussey {Glory of Christ Unveiled, or the Excellency of Christ Vindicated, 1706}

Mr. Hussey's religious sentiments underwent a revolution during his residence at Cambridge. When he set out in life and during the earlier years of his ministry, his faith was much the same as that of the bulk of Presbyterians; but God, in grace, had now begun to establish his heart in the Divine Truth of the pre-eminent Glory of Christ. The following are Hussey’s own words regarding this spiritual revolution of mind:

“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 drew my soul first and last to Christ; in reading Mr. Charnock's Discourse of God's being the Author of Reconciliation in the Covenant of Redemption before the world was made! Then it was that I felt the first effectual call of grace, after the publication of that man's labor in his second folio volume of 1684; perhaps two or three years after in the reading of it. Oh! It was upon this doctrine of God’s Everlasting Love that Christ was endeared to me, as I was brought to the realization that I was endeared to Him in the Everlasting Covenant of Grace; and from thence I date my New Birth. I had been from a child sober, well educated, constantly read the Scriptures, two if not four chapters every day; prayed secretly upon my knees to God twice every day without omission, having been always used to it from five or six years old; yet as I grew up, I found tender convictions grow sharper; and, as Paul says, still “when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.” Religion did not kill this sin, but sin knew at last how to strike at this religion, and that after my growing stricter and stricter. I wrote sermons, I prayed longer, I read Mr. Alleine’s works, Mr. Baxter’s books, and the more I grew acquainted with these, I thought the more vehemently I had committed the unpardonable sin; I heard a multitude of preachers, these were all agreed to turn me into an anvil, and smote every blow upon me; sometimes I fell into desperation, always remained in a horrid unbelief of the Gospel. I expected hell, and as verily believed it to be my portion, as I believe there was a God that made the world. Nevertheless I dare not omit reading, praying, and hearing, but went on in all duties as formally; and as I grew up my desperation continued and increased, because I had not done duties enough to rely on, and plead with God; yet sometimes, now and then by fits and intervals, if I prayed half an hour with some enlargements, I would labor to draw some comfort from thence, and fain persuade myself into a belief that this was sanctification. And this I could sometimes rely on, and run to as my refuge, but by and by sickness came upon me, and a sense of God's apprehended wrath wet me to the skin, to the soul, and to the conscience, that I was not one wit the better for all my duties. Well, God raised me, and then I could assent to all that the preachers told me; and when I measured myself by their marks, thought all these things to be signs of grace, hoped well, went on, and found peace, till the popish plot of 1678, and lo; we all apprehended the French coming, the city of London, where I was, in danger of being consumed with flames, and the papists rising to cut our throats; but that which was then the most terrible to me was, that pale horse of Revelation 6:8 {which always ran in my mind} that carried double, and had got death and hell behind him. And what became of all this seriousness; {for I jested not with religion;} and as I grew up into acquaintance with men and ministers, their conversation began to make me hate the power of godliness, and love the form of it. Then was it, I called myself fool for having been so precise and strict, when I did not believe the ministers gave any firm credit to the duties and watchfulness they often impressed upon the people. Yea, then I began to love looseness and levity and to hate religion. For indeed, notwithstanding all my former show, and as earnest pursuit of religion as my unrenewed nature could set it forwards, I had never cordially embraced it. {Nothing but the power of religion since, and communion with Father, Son and Spirit could have convinced me, but this that I have last related was an open contradiction.} All that I did in religion I did as a task, and never with delight. I thought God a hard master to be so strict, and then give me no grains of allowance. So far now was my education and profession from conversion, that it ended in apostasy, and settled in a spirit of security in sin, and a Spirit of slumber for divers years, laboring to tread out the spark, and put out all this glimmering conviction, and bury the glowworm of an awakened conscience.{For I see there had been nothing else!} Thus it was, till the very moment came of God's showing his love to me of a sudden, by the means afore spoken of; and after all my zealous profession of Mr. Baxter's doctrine and way to heaven, which to me proved the greatest doctrine of licentiousness I ever knew. Thus it was; I say, in my soul, until God directed me by his providence to Mr. Charnock's book; and what was it I found in that book which converted me? Why, it was the Spirit of the Lord that turned my heart in a moment, in managing this one point - God's everlasting love to me in the Covenant which the Father made with the Son before I had a being; yea, before the foundation of the world. Oh; then my repentings were kindled together, that I should go on sinning against Him that had been always loving me; for though Mr. Charnock did not tell me this, nor do I remember there is anything of everlasting love in the phrase of it used in all that discourse about the Covenant of Redemption; yet the Spirit of God struck in with this doctrine in the substance thereof, and hath given another power in religion to my soul, to different fruits than ever I felt before; and that although it was many years before I preached this, for want of more discerning light and teachings of God the Spirit and courage in my soul. To get about these times, I used to dash my preaching with some of the old mixtures; nevertheless, it was this everlasting kindness which drew me, won me, melted me, broke a whole heart of stone at once; and made quite another man of me! And I have had the experience of its power, and guidance, and support almost these 20 years in the main; a change of life from a change of heart. Thee, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love!” Oh; this echo of a ‘thee’! This sweetness of individuation! This consolation of the joyful sound! For the Spirit of God useth it to a single person as well as unto the entire Church mystical. Oh; the riches of grace! Unsearchable grace and love! What a wonder of the Gospel, that the Holy Ghost should make it out beyond questionings in a particular and lively application of the Son of God to me! That he loved me, and gave himself for me! {Gal.2:20} And the sensation of this everlasting love hath not worn off, but increased, and increased, and been increasing year after year, from the time that it pleased God first to reveal his Son in me by love; and now I love his government, which before I hated; his yoke, his ordinances; which, with all my old religion, I hated. I find now if my frame alters, the times alter, my state does not alter; my Lord and my God alters not. My peace alters not; my assurance, my joy, my strength, alters not; all which I have from God the Father, through Jesus Christ the Mediator, by the Holy Ghost the Comforter who alters not a jot in Christ; and through grace degenerates not in my own experience; for I dare not, no I am not inclined to spend my time, my thoughts and affections, as if I was under my old way of religion; the power of this Gospel doctrine, I am sure that I have found it to come with another spirit, life and power, than our present day professors believe.” {Glory of Christ Unveiled, 1706}

His desire in the publication of his book on the Glory of Christ can be found in its preface: “Reader; if the Lord Jesus may be exalted in the souls of any of God’s children by the things written in this book, it’s what my soul is made to breathe after.” {Preface – Glory of Christ, 1706}

The well-known John Dunton, {bookseller & author in London} who was his contemporary, speaks highly of his single desire to preach Christ. The account he gives of him is this: "His philosophical discourse on the late storm shows that he's a man of learning. He can dispute well, and has done it with great applause; but he's no lover of controversies, but a sincere promoter of practical godliness. He preaches in Cambridge, and some of the scholars do now and then peep into his meeting; and I can tell them that their time would not be lost if they remained for the entire sermon; for Mr. Hussey is a man of great piety, and universal moderation. I do not see why the Canterbrigians {students from Cambridge University} should refuse to hear him; for he has a great respect for the pious men of the Church of England, and never lays any stress upon those little things {I mean ceremonies, or such indifferent things as are not essential to salvation} in which he is very sensible others are as much at liberty to differ from him as he from them."

The immediate occasion of his adopting a ‘high grace’ standard is not specified; but the covenant that he drew up for his church was formed upon the Supralapsarian basis, and upon rigid principles of separation. Much of the antipathy which it discovers to the Church of England is however, easily accounted for, and may be explained by the following anecdote, which shall be related in Mr. Robinson's own words. It is to be found in his, "Lecture on a Becoming Behavior in Religious Assemblies," delivered January 10, 1773, at the meeting-house, St. Andrew's, Cambridge. "When I was first called (says Mr. R.) to the pastoral office of this congregation, about fourteen years ago, I had an opportunity of inspecting the papers belonging to the society, among which was the covenant or agreement signed by all the members, before they were admitted to the Lord's-Supper, as the rule of their actions. I was the more curious to examine this, as it described the manners of the old Dissenters in Cambridge from their first toleration, and had been their rule of life for more than half a century. To my great surprise, I found one article forbad their entering, on any account whatever, into the established places of worship. Another prohibited their accompanying with people of that community. A third strictly enjoined them not to intermarry with any of the members of that church. The penalty for a breach of these articles was excommunication. I was surprised, that a people, who were neither required to abjure in form, Atheism, Deism, Judaism, nor Popery, should yet be required formally to abjure the Established Church. The Church of England only was the object of their inveteracy. My astonishment increased on finding that such a covenant was drawn up by the famous Joseph Hussey, one of their former pastors. He was a man of great learning and piety, a very popular preacher, and deservedly respected by all the Dissenters in the country. Indeed, his ideas of learning and piety were so refined, that he was very susceptible of an affront from people professing either to be knowing or good. For my part, having been educated in the Established Church, having conscientiously dissented from it, and having suffered on account of my dissent, I had been naturally led to examine, and to abhor intolerant principles, and my notions of church discipline were very remote from these articles; however, great respect was due to Mr. Hussey's judgment, and, I thought, it might edify me to inquire the cause of so extraordinary a conduct to the Established Church. An opportunity soon offered. The congregation invited me again to take the pastoral office. I thanked them for their generous confidence in a person so young; but begged leave to refuse the pastorship. They urged me to give a reason for my refusal; which I did, by assuring them, that I could not in conscience agree to their discipline, which I thought by far too rigorous. None of the old men attempted to plead for the old discipline; they all agreed, however, in declaring that it was highly proper, when it was first established; and assigned the ill-behavior of the townsmen at meeting as the reason. Jews and Papists never entered their assemblies; they had a good opinion of them; but the town came frequently, and always disturbed their worship; and they thought them, therefore, the profanest of mankind; and that the most antichristian church which nourished such members and ministers in her bosom.”

Mr. Hussey published a variety of pieces to delineate and enforce his peculiar sentiments. The first was, "The Gospel Feast Opened;" in thirty sermons on Luke xiv.17, preached at Cambridge in 1691, and published in 1692, and again in 1693.

{Regarding this work; he had this to say in his preface to THE GLORY OF CHRIST “It was the same general tradition of men and books, which had mis-taught me about 13 years ago; for I then lacked distinguishing light in the Nature of God, and the distinct Operations of God the Father, God the Son; but more especially God the Spirit, and had not reached to any clear light in the harmony, and wise design of the Most High in the Holy Scriptures. - At that time I was easily prevailed on by an exciting letter of a Presbyterian brother to set forth 30 Sermons that I had preached on the Great Supper in the Parable; in which sermons there are a great many dark, undigested and inconsistent passages, together with a sinful exclusion of the work of the Holy Spirit in the doctrine of invitation to come to Christ; insisting therein more upon the act of coming, than upon Effectual Grace in the Operation of God upon those that come. The things amiss have been discovered to me since, and therefore, for the magnifying of the riches of God's grace towards me; a dark, vile and sinful creature in my own, and Adam’s nature, I love to see that book now and then, entitled the Gospel Feast Opened, as an encouraging evidence of my growth afterwards in the Mystery of Christ. Besides, all those errors that I have long since, through the Lord's humbling, emptying, and teaching me otherwise, repented of, and grieved for in my heart; and through that same Grace alone, avoid them, and such like blemishes of the Gospel, in my latter preaching and printing.”}

His next work was on a subject of much curiosity, and replete with learning. It is entitled, "A Warning from the Winds;" being a sermon preached at Cambridge, Jan. 19, 1704; with an Exercitation on Eph.2:2, against the common mistake that the winds are raised by Satan, under the Divine permission.

{In the preface of that book, he said this in regards to his own wisdom, and the writings of men: “Well then, bring them out by clusters, pile them up in monuments of standing triumph; and yet, I am content to espouse that single piece, Christ, and prefer his spiritual teachings to myriads of their learned company. How often, if I am faithful to the Lord, am I bound to thwart these; {I open Scripture by Scripture, whether I hit the mind of interpreters or no;} for I must find fault with them, or with Christ, for these too often are not agreed; and indeed, as to my profession of Christ Jesus, I do not pin it upon human sleeves, whether Church Fathers, Councils, or Commentators; for I bow to none of their wisdoms where I do not see the wisdom of Christ in them; let men be otherwise good or great, I know Christ is better and greater than all; and I do esteem one hours heavenly communion with the Lord, ten thousand times more than an age spent in ransacking of books.”}

In the same year, he published, "The Stroke of Divine Sovereignty; a Sermon on the Death of his Wife, Mrs. Mary Hussey, who slept in Jesus, Jan. 29, 1704; with an Account of the gracious Dealings of God with her Soul." The text is Ezek.24:16. In 1706, he published, in a thick quarto {massive 918 + pages,} his great work, entitled, "The Glory of Christ Unveiled," {Note: Only five hundred copies were printed at this time; and although the work was never re-printed in its entirety three abridged versions appeared in 1761, 1771 & 1790.} against a work published by John Hunt, of Northampton, on the subject of God's Decrees. In this singular performance, Mr. Hussey sets himself seriously to prove, that the Arminians are guilty of breaking the whole of the Ten Commandments.


In the following year, 1707, he gave to the public, in octavo, another celebrated work, entitled, "God's Operations of Grace; but no Offers of Grace;" which is written expressly against the heresy of Arminianism in preaching. Mr. Hussey’s design, and that of other ministers who have adopted his method, was to secure to the Holy Spirit the sole glory of converting and sanctifying the souls of the elect. This work was re-printed in 1792, but without the marginal references. {Also an abridged version was printed in 1973 by W.J. Berry Sr. - Primitive Baptist Library – North Carolina.}

The Preface to the 1792 Edition said this in reference to the book:

“Respecting Mr. Hussey’s Treatise on God's Operations of Grace, permit me to say, that in every age Satan has had his engines planted against Mount Zion, ‘the Church of the living God, the beloved city,’ either to distress or to destroy her. Among others, false apostles, false ministers, false doctrines, were none of the least, in order to pervert the right ways of the Lord, and to turn aside the simple from the path of understanding. In the days of Mr. Hussey, the author of this precious and experimental treatise, they abounded. Ministers of Satan transformed into Angels of light, appeared to him more detestable and more dangerous to the Church and fold of Christ, then open opposers of the Truth as it is in Jesus. Such wolves in sheep's clothing had crept in unawares, not merely to spy out; but, if possible, to root out the liberties and privileges of the children of God. These base ends they endeavored to accomplish, not by fair, open, avowed opposition to the truth, but by holding it in unrighteousness; walking in craftiness, in half-heartedness, and hypocrisy; by feigned words, making merchandise of the simple and their experiences; holding the letter of the Word, but denying the spirit thereof; holding the form, but denying the power - from such he turned away. Their business was to aim oblique strokes at Christian experience. ‘Remove the foundation and what shall the righteous do?’ Confound the marks of sound conversion, ‘so the hope of the righteous is removed like a tree.’ These base ends were to be accomplished, by calling an assurance of faith, vain presumption; a good hope, a false notion; communion with the Father and the Son through the Spirit, forced imagination; repentance unto life, a thing uncertain; and application of the Word of life and promise to the soul, fanaticism and delusion; in short, that a life of faith in the Lamb of God was not so much to be depended on, as a life of doubting; that the love of God shed abroad in the heart, was not sufficient to produce good works, unless slavish fear was mixed with it. Thus, these arch heralds of Satan attempted to destroy the believers standing on the Rock of Ages, to tear from his bosom every ground of comfort, and pluck him from his strongholds, by first obliterating the marks of his regeneration, sonship, and interest in Christ; and then, if possible, debase him to the level of their own uncertainties. Yet, to give a finishing stroke to the whole, brand him with the odious name of Antinomian, while themselves, as enemies to the power of godliness, were the only characters in the world that deserved it. In opposition to such, and in order to stop the mouths of such betrayers of the flock of Christ, the Lord raised up our author, and caused him to send forth this treatise, on God's Operations of Grace; who, while aware of the craft of his adversaries; was, in the strength of the Lord, enabled to hold forth and defend those truths its enemies had endeavored to obscure.”

W.J. Berry, the editor of the 1973 Edition, had this to say in regards to the book: “The burden of Mr. Hussey's arguments is primarily to refute the unscriptural and Christ-dishonoring system of ‘free offers’ indiscriminately addressed to all alike. It is truly a blasphemous presentation of Christ's finished redemption, offered to all who will make it effectual by their acceptance of the proposed offer! The reader will note that Mr. Hussey's arguments against free-offers of grace are well undergirded with the Scriptures of Truth, especially those touching depravity of the human will, election, effectual calling, and the work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration or the new birth.”


Towards the end of the book we find these twenty propositions or resolutions to the Question: How must we preach the Gospel to sinners, if we do not offer the Gospel to them and to lay open the religious cheat and the nakedness of the free offer system.

“1. We must preach the Gospel, as it agrees with the reconciliation of God to sinners and sinners to God, through the gift by grace, in the imputation of the Righteousness of God in Christ to them. - The man that preaches thus to sinners, advances imputed righteousness and free grace; but he that offers salvation to sinners upon their own acceptance, covers no iniquity with the mantle of Christ's righteousness, nor advances the imputation of the righteousness of God, that does so. Offers in no wise serve to advance the virtue of imputed righteousness, as of a comprehending righteousness, that contains within it a complete Christ, and the grant of the Spirit, promised in office to work regeneration, or the new creature, and faith the visual power of the new creature, and repentance, the effect of both.

2. We must preach the Gospel in showing glad tidings to the people; namely, that God’s gift of the Spirit, or internal operation on the soul’s faculty that secures a sinner’s receiving of Christ in the preaching of the Gospel; whereas an external offer is a mere delusion. - What business have we to tender the Holy Spirit? Wherever the righteousness of God is imputed, the Spirit of God is bestowed, to reveal and apply it. In this way saving grace is given to all the elect of God. It is of special grace when God gives man his Holy Spirit, but it is not of special grace when ministers offer him to men. - We ought to preach the Spirit {who is an undertaker in the work of grace and salvation of the elect,} as positively as we preach the Father, or the Son; whereas on the contrary, what a poor ineffectual helper, do most men in their preaching make the Spirit of God appear to be.

3. We must preach the Gospel as it is most fitted to the display of effectual grace, by setting forth the operations of God the Spirit. – We are to preach the Spirit efficacy, as absolutely as we preach the Father's election and the Son's redemption; all beside is delusion. - It is in the light and power of effectual and purifying grace, bestowed and experienced, that a sinner believes in Christ unto salvation, renouncing all that is his own; nor can he do otherwise in a real experience of Christ. - We must preach the new birth, the washing of regeneration and the renewing power of the Holy Ghost. - We should preach the Gospel, which is consistent with the praise of the Spirit's work in regenerating grace as it is consistent with the praise of the Father's act in election. - The Gospel preached in the power of God having the Holy Spirit descending on it will alone do the work of conversion. - In a word, man's offers are not fitted to exalt God's Operations! - We must therefore preach effectual grace!

4. We must preach the Gospel evangelically, so as, if possible, to stain the pride of all glory in the creature; we are to preach not ourselves but Christ Jesus the Lord. - Offers are fitted to exalt the creature. For when you should be preaching all that exalts God, in contriving, preparing, sending, and revealing salvation by Christ; also in bestowing and conveying these truths into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, men instead of it depart from the truth, give heed to seducing spirits, speak lies in hypocrisy, till they are carried away to glory in offers; and when offers come to town, what do they do? Alas; they evidently diminish God and his truth to exalt a lie. - Offers give God the lie by bringing glory to the creature, and so make the creature boast against the Creator. The new creature is to reign over the old one; for Grace shall reign through righteousness unto eternal life. Whereas we are to glory in the grace of God, as the apostles did, and in the Operations of God's Grace!

5. We must preach the Gospel depending on the Operations of the Spirit to beat down the practical Arminianism of our natures. - Arminianism is the universal nature of mankind. It is by nature everybody’s principle, and there is no more religion in it than what springs from reasonable nature, under corruption. It is our own case 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, has free will, or rather a slavish will to be an Arminian by nature; for we were all born so, and without the Power of Grace we must die so. - Offers of grace uphold Arminianism, forty times more than they are suited to the free gift of effectual grace to the elect of God. - If we lay down the Gospel in a Gospel way, we are delivered from all the abominations of these Arminians; neither is there room for their subtilities to bring men into such labyrinths as they do.

6. We ought to preach the Gospel discriminately, so as in the light of the Lord to define when Christ and salvation are effectually given, where, and in whose hands, the gift of salvation lies. - God sending and giving Christ to His own are certain and unalterable acts of love in God; for God does so act towards His own, that they shall know the mysteries of the kingdom of God. - Salvation is a secret power that comes from heaven, working itself into the doctrine, and is quite distinct from the trumpet, or open sound of words, which fall from the ministers mouth. - Jesus Christ is the Father's servant to communicate the benefit, not to propound the offer; and He never sends servants to rob Him of His own high office. God's gift of salvation, through Christ by the Spirit, if so high a piece of grace, that it will not stand with the arrogance of the creature in telling sinners, ‘Come, here I offer you Christ; here take Him.’ This does not advance Christ, but man!

7. We must so preach the Gospel as to take special care that we distinguish the Spirit’s work from the creature’s acts, in the practical truths we preach. - Offers nod towards the creature, as a superstitious ceremony monger bows towards his altar. Offers entangle and confound the Spirit's work in those parts of a discourse especially which they call application. - Offers put such a slight and neglect upon the effectual work of the Spirit, that you can scarcely imagine by offer preaching, that the Spirit ever took delight to create faith, or took any delight to work repentance. - Thus offers eclipse the Spirit’s work in conversion!

8. We ought to preach the Gospel in the way of Christ's Institution.  The command runs thus, Preach the Word, be instant in season, out of season, &c., 2 Tim. iv. 2; but there is no command for offers. Offers are no institution of Christ, but debase an institution of Christ into the invention of the creature. Preaching is an appointed proclamation, not an un-commanded proposal. - Though men are resolute and still bent upon their own way, yet the elect shall not miscarry; for God will call his elect from under man's device, to his own ordinance. I therefore must not offer Christ to the elect of God, but I must preach HIM!

9. We ought to preach the Gospel as it has a special promise of success. – Men are angry at those parts of the Gospel which have been most experienced within the souls of God’s elect; and they strike most at those parts of the Gospel where Christ gets most glory, and souls get most comfort. - The promises made to preaching, are as absolute as the first promise was; {Gen.3:15;} because they are made upon the same Foundation, and are in the hands of Christ to accomplish the same purposes. S Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power. Wherefore the Gospel does not come to them in proffers, but in the declaration of the promises of God.

10. We should preach the Gospel so that the Gospel may justify itself; for the Gospel being but of one piece of grace, through all parts of it, is fitted so to do; but offers are self-condemned and self-contradictory. Offers borrow from the Truth and from the name of grace {grace offers} to color over their uncomely looks with excuses, as a specious varnish, that they might not be seen for what they really are, thieves and robbers. Their diminishing language is, that they do not mean as the Arminians mean; as this is commonly uttered by them in their offer pleas; just as an harlot would fain be thought a virtuous woman, while she seeks to conceal her shame, as a strumpet, so it is with them; but I hope from the face of these and many other arguments, that the mask will be taken off. - Let offers be plain, let them pull the sheepskin off, and tell us, in the language of God's Word, what they really are, and not what they are not.

11. We should preach the Gospel, because it is sure as to individual persons, or particular interests, me or thee.  But offers are all indeterminate as to anybody and so indeed are fixed on nobody, which must argue their uncertainty to me or thee; and it is plain they are so, because of their personal inefficacy; for whatsoever of the things of God are constantly ineffectual within one, they must be constantly uncertain in an application to one. Nevertheless, the gift by grace argues a certainty to you or me, discriminated from ten thousands. The donation of Christ is from the love of the Father to certain individuals, but the offer of Christ is neither from the love of the Father, nor from the life of the Son, nor from the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus; therefore offer preaching runs all its dependencies on the fools feast of windy expectations.

12. We should preach the Gospel as it is discovered to be an admirable contrivance of way and means to effect conversion. – Alas; what can old Adam say in the pulpit? He stints with his offered Christ; he sets his bounds, limits, and his highest point round about the mercy seat, if he thinks sinners come too near and too soon. He puts on their shackles, where yet without them they must have stuck in the miry clay. He clogs them with terms, awes them with conditions, holds them in from Christ by the Law, and he thinks after this fashion he has made sure work of it. - God is always so jealous of the Spirit's glory, that such perverse ways never did, nor ever shall be blessed {as the true Gospel is} to do good in the knitting of sinners hearts to Christ. - The Gospel of Christ runs like the lightning, searching the deep things of God, dives into the mystical union, and apprehends Christ Jesus the given, and the Giver. That is Gospel, which is by special gift conveyed, set foot upon electing-grace, and immediately finds out who, and who have not, their names written in Heaven; for God sends His Spirit secretly in election and redemption unions, beginning regeneration union of mere free grace by the Spirit, sent into their hearts, because they are sons.

13. We ought to preach the Gospel so as to exalt it higher than any unconverted man in the world can by his fleshly arm receive it, or carry it in the pulpit to offer it to others in such a way. - If we believe God's way and method, we are not to fall in with a way, that upon strict and clear examination plainly thwarts it. - Special grace will be exalted in preaching Christ, as a gift, to honor God the Spirit in his way of working the gift into the nature of a sinner, the Spirit then according to his own covenant obligation with Father and Son, strikes in with the truth, in which act he both quickens and supplies the quickened with the benefit of Christ; and if so, it will not be long before this new life feeds on Christ. Men pretend to defend one truth, while they injure another. That God is sovereign is true, and convert whom He will; but still let men know that God is also just when he comes to the work of it, in bowing the soul to Christ. This is certain; though his immediate justice be founded upon his original sovereignty, yet his sovereignty never thwarts his justice, but reconciles it according to his own appointed way.

14. We should preach the Gospel singularly; as the greatest part of professing ministers do not preach it. – Preaching is suited to the light of the Gospel, the Kingdom of God, and the Authority of Jesus Christ; though I believe there be few that see it. - The general way of perverted preaching is proposing, or that which is similar to it. Why? Because the general way is to preach beneath or beside the mystery; so that the depravity of the times has suited the apostasy, with a word they have for preaching, which shuts out all the mysteries of the Gospel; that is, proposing. - Therefore, cry the Gospel; it is a singular way of preaching, but it is a sure one, and it is all done without offers; for it is a message above the light of nature.

15. We ought to preach the Gospel in sincerity and truth, which if we do, it will not give that open offence to such as are taught by God the Spirit respecting his own work, which offers do. Offers are contrary to the preaching of the Gospel; therefore they offend such as are most led into the Spirit's work. We must preach the Gospel so as its reputation may be advanced more and more, agreeable to and consistent with itself, so that the glory of the Gospel may visibly have the preeminence above the light of nature in the eyes of them that are taught of God. They who have got farthest in Christ's school can at any time see that when one preaches the Gospel, it is honorably exalted beyond all vain flourishes, whereas learned arguments, borrowed from the schools, with offers and operations, have no small part in making a fair show in the flesh, and yet when examined, are full of rottenness, dead men's bones, and all uncleanness. Therefore preach the Gospel, which is honorable, but offers are scandalous; for they are thievish, stealing the children's bread to cast it unto dogs.

16. We ought to preach the Gospel in the encouragements of it unto conversion; but offers are not encouragements to conversion. Encouragements are what enlarges the heart. “I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart,” says David. - The offer is but the preachers sound, but the encouragement is the Holy Spirit's work. An offer is a man's notion, but encouragement is a man's experience. Encouragements are God’s Operations of his Grace.

17. We ought to preach the Gospel spiritually and discerningly, that the more our preaching is examined, cavilled at, despised, struck at and hated, the more it should discover how sweetly it accords with the Spirit’s work. – Preaching the Gospel is a lively ordinance of Jesus Christ; let us therefore maintain and stand up for a lively preaching of grace to sinners to overthrow dead works. What are dead works? Are they fit for the living God, or to be found within the ranges of his living Temple? When the Apostle argued against dead works, {Heb.9:14,} he means dead works. He meant dead performances, which the consciences of Gospel worshipers are purged from, never to use them in their worship more; though some would fain have returned to them again. - The more I see and taste in my own experience of the Lord's graciousness in opening of his Word, the more have I proof of Christ speaking in me; the true interpretations of every text being written in the very spirit of the text on my own soul. We ought to preach the Gospel clearly, discerningly, and understandably. We must preach to sinners according to the discoveries that God has made of Christ to ourselves, holding forth that glorious operation of the Spirit, which lay in the discovery of Christ as ours. - Exalt therefore, the power that discovers darkness by the manifestation of light. - How blindly do men run against the Holy Spirit, not considering his glory as equal in the work of salvation, with the glory of the Father and the Son, especially in the work of regeneration, by the efficacy of his applicatory work in the soul. - If we walked in the light, as He is in the light, we should be preserved from such a blindness; and have fellowship one with another; that is, God with us, by virtue of imputed righteousness, and we with God, under the same righteousness of God, in a holy delighting in God, setting up the glory of his grace. - If ever truly saved, a sinner will be saved by Divine Power, from bastard {both false and illegitimate} conversion and empty forms of reformation.

18. We ought to preach the Gospel so as Christ may see in it the travail of his soul and be satisfied; but men with a show of offers do thereby exclude the Gospel Satisfaction, or seem to forget what they profess, and have undertaken to preach, even Christ and Him Crucified.

19. We should preach the Gospel so as the ministers of Satan do not, nay, cannot; we should exalt free operations, which have from God an irresistible influence to overpower our corruptions, and free our wills of slavery and bondage to sin.

20. We are to preach the Gospel with confidence in Christ, and fear as to ourselves that we do not lay any stress upon the creature; for offers are presumptions; as they rob the Gospel of its properties, privileges and glory and usurp Christ's authority and prerogative. - Our work is to sow the seed of good doctrine, and leave it in Christ's hand to bring it forth in his time. - Saints have to do with Christ, who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that they ask or think, according to the power that worketh in them.” {God’s Operations, 1973, W.J. Berry Edition}

In setting forth these Divine Truths, Hussey exclaimed, “I know all these things by experience; for it was long ago that I was brought off, {so far as through grace I am brought off from creature wisdom, creature confidences, and creature expectations,} to an entire dependence upon Christ, and his fullness from the Father, to fill and bless me in all!”

We are not aware of any other work by Mr. Hussey, published in his life time; but after his death, Mr. Peacock, of Dedham in Essex, published two of his sermons on Matt.11:28. And there are in existence, three unpublished quarto volumes of his sermons in manuscript, containing ninety-three discourses.


Some of the expressions that fell from him during the five days of his illness, when he was in extreme pain, were published to the world by William Bentley, who succeeded him in a part of his congregation, and may be found at the end of his tract, entitled, "The Lord the Helper of his People, 1733" A few of Mr. Hussey's dying sayings shall be here subjoined.

Thursday, Nov.10, 1726. One of his church asking him how his faith was exercised, with regard to those doctrines he used to preach? He answered, "I am in the firm and full persuasion of all those truths I have preached, and die in the firm belief of them all."

Friday, 11. The same person visiting him, asked him how he did, being in great pain? He answered, "It is the hand of a Father, and in faithfulness and wisdom does he all this; his counsels shall stand, and he will do all his pleasure." With much more not committed to writing.

Saturday, 12. A sister of the church asking him how he did? He said, "Just upon the borders of eternity; I long to see Jesus." The same person expressing what a loss it would be to her and the church, yet that they must stoop to the sovereignty of God; he said, "When the streams are dried up, Christ is a Fountain of Fulness." He then said, "He had no quarrel with any here, but was in a sweet forgiving, forgetting frame of spirit to those that had hard thoughts of him."

Lord's-Day, 13. Many of the church being in his chamber, he often dropped some spiritual observations that expressed the feelings of his mind upon the occasion. A person asking him how he did: "I am," said he, "waiting for my happy change, to be dissolved, and to be with Christ." What do you take Sir? "I have no palate for anything here, but my spiritual one is as good as ever, to relish the doctrines of the gospel." Being asked how he found it in his soul, as to those doctrines he had delivered; he answered, "O bravely! They are my main supports under my trials and pains. I find now the truth of what I have preached; they are not my notions or fancy, but the power of Christ to my soul." Dozing at times, when he awaked he would drop such words as follows: "I have often sung the praises of God in the low lands, but Oh! How long will it be before I come to the heights of Zion, to sing to God and the Lamb upon the throne. Oh, blessed death, it is a sweet thing to die; for Christ will then be all and in all. Oh, the security there is in Christ; and after death the judgment; but the same that secures from the one, doth from the other also. Ah, Lord! I have served thee here in clouds, and amongst smoke and darkness; but come Lord Jesus, that I may praise thee in the regions of light. Oh when shall I put off this corrupt body of sin and death. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. The success of the gospel at Cambridge and London, O what shall I render to the Lord for these benefits. O Lord, gather thine elect out of this sinful world, unto thyself. How kind and merciful a Father have I; it is the hand of my Father, and I will kiss the rod. O blessed be God for Jesus Christ, and for the Spirit of Christ, and for the promises of Christ. O that I could experience more of his love and power. O for more discoveries of the arms of the mighty God of Jacob. O for the salvation of Israel." One saying to him, Sir, I hope you are free from the assaults of Satan; "Yes," said he, "blessed be the Lord's name, I am, and have been all my illness; my state is sure."

Under great pains he cried out, “O Lord Jesus give me more patience under these smart strokes of thy hand. Let not my soul be overwhelmed through pain, but bring my feet out of the net, and lead me to the Rock higher than I.” Being asked how he did? "I long," said he, "to be in glory. I was born into this world a sinner, but I have been born into the church by grace, and I long to be born into glory. O, how long are thy chariot wheels a coming to take me to my sweet Jesus.”

His daughter taking her leave of him, he said, “Weep not; Is not Christ better than an earthly father?” His wife doing the same, he said, “Christ is better than a creature.” A member said to him, Sir, you draw your breath hard; he answered, "Yes, but if it were the will of God, I hope he will give me breath to praise him whilst I live." One of the church sitting up with him, asked him how he did? He {then having strong pains of death upon him} answered, "I have faith, but my patience fails me."

Monday, 14. There being many of the church, besides other friends present, one of them asked him how he did? "Blessed be God," said he, "for Christ the Surety of the Covenant." Being asked again the same question, he {pausing awhile} said, "It is thy mouth, {looking upwards} that hath pronounced the sentence, because it is thy mouth that hath promised the blessing." Here he broke forth, as on the Lord's-day, with many short sentences, such as these; "Blessing, glory, honour, and praise be to God and the Lamb forever and ever. Sin is dreadful, but grace triumphs through Jesus Christ. Lord be with me in my last conflicts, and leave me not. O let me have an abundant entrance into glory, to sing thy praise."

Many of the church standing in order to depart, he said, "I thank you {looking on a brother} and all the brethren and sisters, especially those who have shown so much kindness to me, in visiting me in my illness; and I wish they had been more. The Lord pour out his Spirit upon you, and the whole church." And he prayed for them, but his voice was so low be could not be understood, but concluded, as if he should see them no more. Then with a loud voice, he spake the blessing as follows: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, the sweet and comfortable fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with you all, evermore. Amen."

Tuesday, 15, the day he died. He talked at times, but so low he could not be understood, only he was heard to say, "More faith and patience;" for he hoped and expected on the former night that he should not live till morning.

"Thus," says Mr. Bentley, "there fell a great man in Israel. One to whom the Lord imparted much of his mind, and whom the Lord made eminently useful in his work. O what a spirit was there found in him! What light, what zeal, what faith and faithfulness was found in him! How did God lead him to honor Father, Son, and Spirit; and to debase the creature, and stain the glory of all flesh! O that God would pour down a double portion of the Spirit, that was upon him, on his servants which are left behind! Even so, Amen.”

This biographical sketch was largely taken from Walter Wilson’s {History and Antiquities of Dissenting Churches, Vol.4, 1808} and interlaced with copious extracts from Hussey’s own writings. MPJ


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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