David Culy

{? - 1725}



You say that Faith is an instrument. I ask you whose instrument it is? Whether God’s or Man’s? God’s it cannot be, for God cannot believe; man’s it is not, {in respect of Justification,} for then man must justify himself, whereas it is God that justifieth. You asked me whether the elect were in a state of grace before they believe; and I ask you whether the posterity of Adam were in a state of condemnation before they felt the guilt thereof? However, I answer you positively, that the elect are in Covenant with God in Christ before they believe, and are heirs of all that is contained in the Promise. {Rom.4:13} What, has their sins been laid on Christ? {Is.53:6} Has he in his own body borne their sins, and has made atonement and reconciled them to God, and yet not in Covenant? If Christ be the Mediator of the New Testament, and a Mediator is not a Mediator of one, then the elect are in Covenant before they believe; but the former is true. “And for this cause he is the Mediator of the New Testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” {Heb.9:15} “And to Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant.” {Heb.12:24} So is the latter. “Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.” {Gal.3:20} Therefore, the elect are in Covenant before they believe. Again, if this Covenant be all the Covenant of Grace that the Scripture reveals, and they are in this Covenant, then the elect are really in a state of grace before they believe. Again, if Christ took on him the seed of Abraham, and this seed was the elect, then the elect are in a state of grace before they believe; {Heb.2:16;} so is the latter, {Rom.4:16,} therefore. Then you say, that except Faith be thus considered, {as you labor to prove it a condition,} no man can have assurance of his Salvation, for the word of Faith saith, “whosoever shall confess, and believe in the Lord Jesus, shall be saved.” Justification by Faith, Justification by Confession, Justification by Repentance, as there seems no end. Truly I know not whether foolishness or impotence hath the prevalence in you, for you are the man that maketh not God his Trust; for what, is not the Truth of God grounds enough for the Assurance of our Salvation, but you must have the confirming of your assurance by some conditions of your own? You durst not rely on Christ alone, but you must seal the Covenant yourself. If this you say be true, Thomas, we will heed no more God’s oath for the confirmation of our Faith, {Heb.6:16-18,} neither will we say anymore, “this is the blood of the New Testament;” but rather, here are the Conditions of the new conditional Testament. But Thomas, do you think that God was not as choice of his elect, as to secure them, and to make the Inheritance sure to them, as well as they are for making it sure to themselves? Or think you that he thought it surer in their hands by conditions, than in his own Unchangeable Grace and Truth? Indeed the elect are dearer to Him than to themselves; they are dear to Him indeed, therefore he will not put the true riches in their hands, therefore eternal life remains a free gift of Grace in Christ, founded and grounded upon his Unchangeable Truth. The Conditionalist therefore must be a builder, which I find you do not disown; but the Stone which the builders disallowed is become the Head of the corner. {Mt.21:42} One argument or two more. If some of the elect are in a state of Grace without Faith, and if all the rest of the elect with them are chosen in one constituted Head, then the elect are in a state of Grace before they believe; but the former is true, else you damn all children. {Eph.1:4} Learn to make a difference between being in Covenant, or a state of Grace, and being sensibly or knowingly in such a state. The first I own, the second I disown, and am as far from saying that the believer goes to glory without Faith and Repentance as you are; yet I am just as far from saying that these are conditions of their interest and inlet in the Covenant; for I will not say that you are not in the Covenant, but I can say and prove that you are not sensibly and knowingly therein. For who denies you that all the elect shall certainly be called? What, how does this prove that Faith, Repentance and Confession are conditions? Why do you beat the air so, Thomas? Then you say, that all that the Father has given to Christ shall come, {for therein is the Absolute Promise,} and him that cometh he will in no wise cast out; and herein {in coming} is the condition? Whoever heard of a conditional promise made to an absolute? You have mistaken yourself here. I answer you, if your fellow Neonomians, as Baxter, or Daniel Williams, should see what you have written, they would have even chided you for it, for stating your absolute promise first; however, all them that the Father has given to Christ shall come to him. Now what is meant by ‘coming’ in this place is the question, for if coming be believing, then all the elect shall absolutely believe in Christ. Here is no condition, Thomas, by your own confession. Now if all the elect shall believe in Christ by virtue of an absolute promise, and if all that believe are justified from all things, then they have no need of a conditional promise; my major is true by your own confession, my minor from Acts 13:39; {And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses;”} therefore, after the absolute promise is fulfilled, there is no place for a condition, therefore you must frame some other exposition, for there is no Grace given for Grace, but this God having graciously given his Son, has given all Grace with Him. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” {Rom.8:32} David Culy {Letters, 1726}


The Truth of your Neonomian doctrine appears from the consideration of the Curse of the Law; for as no man can know himself to be a sinner without the Law, and if no man can know that Christ is his Savior but by the Gospel, then the Gospel has Conditions {as you assert} as well as the Law; therefore, this is like all your other proofs. But with your leave, Thomas, if the Testament be conditional, as you say, you cannot know yourself, neither by the Law, nor by your Gospel either; for the Law shows you but your own personal sin, and what you are in yourself, but not what you are in Adam, without which you can never know yourself aright. And if the Testament be conditional, the Gospel does but show you what you must be in yourself by Condition, so that your comparison is but jargoning and canting; but the Gospel shows the elect what they are in the first and second Adam, {Romans chapter 5,} without any act of their own. If the force of the Testament consisted in the death of the Testator, and if the Testator be dead, there can be no Conditions. {Heb.9:16,17} Now for your question, whether Christ will judge the world by the Imputed Righteousness? I answer boldly, that all they that shall not be found in Him, but in their own Righteousness, shall be found under the sentence of death pronounced on them in the person of Adam. {Phil.3:9, Rom.5:12} However, I deny that any shall be judged for life and death by their own personal actions. First, because it cannot be proved that God ever entered into a Covenant of Life and Death with any person but with two. Secondly, if God should judge for Life and Death according to their actions, it would be by works that the elect should have eternal life. Thirdly, it would make the word of the sentence in both the heads null. Fourthly, it would strip both the Heads of their head-ships. David Culy {Letters, 1726}


I much wondered to hear such expressions from you in our conference, as that Faith and Repentance to be the Conditions of the Gospel. Now what you meant by the Gospel, I know not; however I meant the New Testament, or Promise or Ministration; for we must be justified according to the nature of that Testament that we are under. Now if the New Testament be conditional, I would ask you what difference there is between the Old and the New? Now the difference must be either in their natures or in their conditions. In their conditions it cannot be, else the New might be broken as well as the Old; therefore it must be in the nature of them. Now let us consider the cause, or why God enters into a New Covenant. He tells us himself, that if that first had been faultless, there had no place been sought for the second. {Heb.8:7} And indeed had that been faultless, there had been no place found. Now the faultiness of that Covenant consisted in this; first, being conditional, they could and did break it. “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD.” {Jer.31:31,32} Secondly, in breaking of it, they continued not in his Covenant. “Because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.” {Heb.8:9} Thus, he regarded them not; but the defect of this Covenant ceased not here; for, their sins were brought to remembrance; {Heb.10:3;} their conscience was charged with guilt; {Heb.9:9, 10:1,2;} and the Curse of the Law was inflicted on them for the breach of Covenant. {Heb.2:2, Gal.3:10} Now a Covenant must be introduced that was faultless, a Covenant that they could not break, because not conditional, but of Free Grace. {Gal.3:17,17, Rom.4:13-16} Where no Law is, {Christ having fulfilled the Law,} there is no breach. Furthermore; it is a Testament that they must {in accordance with the Lord’s faithfulness to save them to the uttermost} continue in. {Jer.32:40, Is.55:3} It is a Covenant in which God doth hear them, and their Mediator is touched with their infirmities; {Heb.4:14-16;} a Covenant in which their sins and iniquities are not remembered; a Testament that is of force to discharge and purge the conscience; {Heb.9:14, 12:24;} a Covenant whereby they are freed from all punishment for sin; {Gal.3:13, Rev.22:3;} a Covenant of that nature, to justify the ungodly, {Rom.4:5,} which could not be if Faith and Repentance were conditions thereof. It is a Covenant that makes the Inheritance sure to all the seed, {Rom.4:16,} a Covenant which accepts no more offering for sin, {Heb.10:18,} and gives liberty to enter into the holiest of all. {Heb.10:19, 9:8} A Covenant that gives all upon the account of another’s Righteousness, {Rom.5:18,} which could not be if Faith and Repentance were conditions thereof; a Covenant which must exclude boasting, {Rom.3:27,} which cannot be if Faith and Repentance be conditions. Now whether you hold this Faith and Repentance only conditions, or whether you hold it the matter imputed, the Lord knoweth; which soever it be, it is false. If the first, it is foolishness to say we must be clean and then come to be cleansed; which you do in effect say, or we must be clean, and then to be pronounced clean in that same cleanness; I say, which soever it be, it is a Popish point. Wonder not that I said, “come out from among them.” Now suppose that the Babylonish garment should be sought for, {as that it will one day,} will not you then be taken, as it will be found in your tent? {Josh.7:18} I ask you what difference there is between the Church of Rome and the Apostle Paul in respect of the Covenant of Redemption, or the Gospel as you call it. If the Apostle holds it free, and the Church of Rome conditional, then you have been drinking of the wine of her fornication; {Rev.17:2;} but the former is true; {Gal.4:22-28;} therefore, so is the latter, for the Church of Rome has but this way to err in this respect. Conditions are no part of this Testament or Word. I offer this to your consideration. “He that believeth not God hath made him a liar;” {I Jn.5:10;} “and this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” {vs.11} Now this eleventh verse contains the whole sum of the Gospel in two articles. First, God hath given us eternal life; and secondly, this life is in his Son. Now if you will not believe that he has given you eternal life, do you not make him as much a liar, as though you would not believe this life is in his Son? Now if conditions deny eternal life to be a free gift, then the Conditionalist makes God a liar in both these articles, as the Babel builders, the master and the workers in that work made God a liar; for God had sworn that he would not destroy the world anymore by water; {Is.54:9,10;} so as then the beginning of that kingdom was Babylon; {Gen.10:10;} but God confounded their language, that they understood not one another. What is all this cry of the world? One cries out charity; another cries out baptism and perseverance; another holds out Faith and Repentance; so that if the Covenant be free, as before proved, whilst they are begging for strength to perform their conditions, they are giving God the lie, and laboring to alter his course of grace; for if the former be true, so is the latter. No marvel that you fled from the Gospel to your own experience, for if your conversion was according to the Gospel, you would not have wondered so that I said that the elect are saved without Faith and Repentance; for an unconverted man to wonder at it, is no wonder; but for a converted man to wonder that the elect are complete in Christ without any act of theirs is such a conversion as the Gospel will not afford. “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” {Pv.20:11} I ask you one more thing; were the Jews rejected for not performing the Conditions or not believing the Report? But you will say they did not believe that Christ was the Son of God. Suppose so; and if you do not believe that he is a Savior without you, and out of you, you do not believe the Report any more than they. “Therefore the LORD heard this, and was wroth; so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel; because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his Salvation; though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven;” {Ps.78:21-23;} for the Report is that Christ is all our Salvation. {Ps.14:7, Is.33:2, 46:13, 52:7, Acts 13:26} David Culy {Glory of the Two Crowned Heads: Adam and Christ, Unveiled. 1726}


Prove me that Faith and Repentance is the condition of your Justification, or that an elect person is not righteous without them, or say with Job, that “I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? Therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak; I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. 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 42:2-6} Let Job serve us both. Again, you bid me not to separate that what God has joined together. Is this honesty to strive to make your scabs to cleave to my flesh? But is it you or I that are guilty of this? Let us see; for if Faith and Repentance be conditions of your justification, then you must interest, unite, and incorporate yourself into Christ; and if these unite you to Christ, then the Head and the body was two in your behalf, until you were united and tied to Him by that slender cord of your conditions. Now do you or I separate that which God has joined together? What do you but cut off the Head of Christ crucified in the Passover? If you hold these Conditions, the consequences must follow. Besides, what a strange, raw, undigested, unsavory, crude and inconsiderate question is that which you ask me; namely, how I know that I am elect or reprobate but by Faith? Did you ever hear such an expression? However, I am glad to hear that you own Faith but a Sign of your election and not a condition; but I had been better pleased if you had owned it but a Sign or Seal of your Justification. The sum of your doctrine is this; no Faith and Repentance, no Union, no Justification, no Imputation of Righteousness, no Sin Covered, no Persons Accepted, no Actual Reconciliation until you Believe and Repent. Let shame, shame cover your face! David Culy {Glory of the Two Crowned Heads: Adam and Christ, Unveiled. 1726}

Efficacious Blood of Christ

“Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” {Rom.4:6-8} But perhaps you mean a more internal cleanness than this? You may mean meticulous walking, keeping close scrutiny of thoughts, words and actions to keep the conscience from accusing the soul; this, {if alone,} is as abominable as the other. {Phil.3:4-8, I Pet.3:21} I add, that it is not the keeping of the conscience free from offense that can clean it from guilt, though a man could keep his conscience free from offense from the day of his birth to the day of his death. I say this is the doctrine of devils; if this be not antichrist, I know not what is. “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” {I Jn.2:22} If that doctrine is to be rejected {as damnable doctrine} that denies Christ and his sacrifice; and to say that walking without offense to the conscience will clear the soul of guilt, be a denying of Christ and his sacrifice; then to say that walking without offense to the conscience will cleanse the soul of guilt, and make it fit for glory is a damnable delusion; but the former is true, and so is the latter. {Heb.9:22,23, 9:14,15, Gal.2:21} I say that the soul that is not washed and purged by the blood of the Son of God shall never enjoy eternal glory, whatsoever his conversation may have seemed to be. {Jn.13:8} He that is not thus cleansed, there is nothing pure to him, neither the word of God, nor preaching, nor hearing, nor ordinances, nor wife, nor children, nor natural gifts, nor learning; there is nothing pure to such a person, nor life, nor death, nor things present, nor things to come; but to the other all things are pure. {II Sam.22:27, Ps.18:25,26, Tit.1:15} “There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.” {Pv.30:12} David Culy {Letters, 1726}


But unfeigned Faith is to be free from hypocrisy, but then the understanding must assent to the Truth, else it cannot be either feigned or unfeigned; for if the understanding assent not to the Truth, it is more properly erratical than feigned; but when the understanding assents to the Truth, and the affections of the soul do not embrace it for its chiefest joy, {“because they received not the love of the truth” II Thes.2:10,} that is feigned faith which reprobates and devils may have. True Faith is when the understanding assents to the Truth, and the will relies, rests, dependence, trusts and confides alone on the Truth of God in Christ, and the affections of the soul embraces it as its chiefest joy, and owns, employs and exercises itself in love, to glorify the riches of his Grace and Truth; {Eph.4:14,15, Gal.5:6, I Tim.1:5, I Pet.1:22;} which I find you have not yet attained unto. David Culy {Letters, 1726}

Justification in Christ

Let me advise you, never speak against Papists, nor Socinians, nor Arminians, nor Quakers, for in so doing, thou speakest against thy own brethren, and thou slanderest thine own mother’s sons. But I will tell you what you need the Spirit for; first, to reprove you of sin, because you believe not on Him; secondly, to convince you of Righteousness, because Christ is gone to the Father; and thirdly, you need the Spirit to glorify Christ, in taking of Christ and showing Him unto you. {Jn.16:7-11,14,15} But let me rub up the brazen side of your coin, and bring it to the touchstone. If you be justified by a Law, then you must be justified by conditions; than it must be by merit. The touchstone of Holy Scripture is this; “now to him that worketh is the reward, {that is, Justification and eternal life,} not reckoned of grace, but of debt. {Rom.4:4} So that you are justified by works, by conditions, by merits; for if by conditions, then by works; if by works, then by merits. One would think that if God gives Faith and Repentance, that you should be the more indebted to Him, and not him to you; for how foolish and brutish is this line of reasoning! My life for yours, that this coin and passport of yours will never give you entrance in the Kingdom of God and of Christ. The touchstone describes your coin, for we are justified freely by his Grace, {Rom.3:24,} resting alone upon what he is, and has done. This is the rest; wherewith he shall cause the weary to rest, and this is the refreshing of the Lord. {Is.28:12} “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you.” {Acts 3:19,20} If ever you write more, proved that God has ever entered into a Covenant of Life and Death with any but two, {Adam & Christ,} or never pretend to hold your judgment anymore. David Culy {Letters, 1726}

Particular and Effectual Redemption

Now let us see what glory you put upon the sacrifice of Christ, what value, price, estimate and efficacy, you put upon it; surely if you be a priest, you would have both waved it, heaved it and tasted of it. If his sacrifice extended no farther than the disobedience of Adam, do you not prize him equal to Adam? If you esteem his sacrifice but satisfactory for one offense, do you not put a limited esteem upon it, as though there was no more in the one than in the other? As for the efficacy of it, you limit both in respect of God and of man, for you disown that that Sacrifice has atoned the Father, or made Reconciliation for all sin; and in respect of man, you disown the discharge of the guilt of sin of the conscience alone by that Sacrifice. But you will say, do you not limit that sacrifice, by saying that it was offered but for some? No, if the whole world had been designed to be saved, there need no other Sacrifice; but the Acceptor of the Sacrifice and the Offerer designed it but for a limited number; {Is.53:8,12, Jn.10:14-16,26-29;} and as for the rest, some disown his Person, some the efficacy of his Death, as you do, {I Pet.2:8,} whereunto they were appointed. Now because you have not the Faith of God’s elect, {Tit.1:1,} you profess yourselves that Christ has died for all, so you are sure that he died for you; but I pawn my life upon it, that if you have no more benefit by the death of Christ than what the Universalist shall have, {and you can expect no more,} you shall lie with him in sorrow. {Is.50:11} You trample underfoot the blood of the Everlasting Covenant, and in effect tread underfoot the Son of God; for I look upon him that limits the value, merit and efficacy of the death of Christ, and he that denies the Godhead, as all of one piece of the man of sin. But let us come to some resolution; for you say that it was the will and design of God that all men should be saved. I only ask you this question; if it was God’s will and design that all men should be saved; and if that sacrifice was imputed to all, and all are not saved, then there must be some insufficiency in that sacrifice. Now you must disown your principle or disown the Godhead of Christ; for if he was God-man that bled and died, and therefore the merit was infinite. {Acts 20:28} David Culy {Letters, 1726}


God has and will perform his promise of grace, notwithstanding all the opposition that it has met withal from the devil, from antichrist, or even from the elect themselves, for they can no more hinder it then they can hinder death; for there is no more acts of ours that can make the disobedience of one, {Adam,} or the obedience of the other, {Christ,} ours, but the imputed act of God constituting them two heads over us. Were it suspended upon our conditions, we might hinder it, the devil might hinder it, the world might hinder it to reign, sin might hinder it; but no, the devil is but a creature, the world is but a creature, I myself am but a creature, and so not able to hinder it, for God has promised his Son, that he will be merciful to our unrighteousness, and our sins and iniquities will he remember no more. {Heb.8:12} Sin can do nothing at it, for “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” {Rom.5:20} The doctrine is this, that Jesus Christ hath reconciled God and man in his own Person, and by his own Person; for in him this Reconciliation was made. “God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ.” {II Cor.5:18} Paul is here showing that the mystery of Reconciliation was given him; and then comes to show what this mystery was; namely, “that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” {vs.19} David Culy {Glory of the Two Crowned Heads: Adam and Christ, Unveiled. 1726}

Reign of Sovereign Grace

I cannot say as many do, that the Fall had happened unawares to God, or through Ignorance or Carelessness. Now if the Fall was not ordained of God, it must then have happened to God as a thing unexpected, through Negligence or Ignorance. Rather, the Fall was a consequence of his love to his Son Jesus Christ. I need not prove it farther, for there are so many universal affirmatives, that I am easily confirmed therein, for nothing can be denied of all these, but it must be derogate from the Glory of Christ; so that as none can deny the doctrine without robbing Christ of his glory, I shall be content to be robbed of mine {in derision} until that time that my Lord will recover my honor in recovering his own glory. Rom.11:36, I Cor.8:6, Col.1:15-18, II Cor.5:18, Jn.1:3, Eph.1:9-11. I say, that the Fall was a consequence of the Father’s love to his Son, therefore not likely to enkindle any enmity in Him, for without it the vessels of mercy could not have held {received} that mercy unto which they were predestinated, neither can this love be by virtue of Covenant; for the Covenant might bind God’s faithfulness, but it could not be the cause of his love, for it looks to me, rather the Effect of his love than the Cause thereof; for I am bold in the Lord to say there was something beyond the Covenant, and that was the relation of his Son to them, {the elect,} of whom they were flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone. “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” {Eph.5:3-32} So that we see plainly that the Covenant is an effect of his love of relation in Christ, and so in God; for if the love that God bears to his Son be the same love to his body, then the Fall could never anger God so; but all his dealings with his Son and his body were all effects of his love. {Jn.17:26, Rom.8:38,39} David Culy {Glory of the Two Crowned Heads: Adam and Christ, Unveiled. 1726}

Reign of Sovereign Grace

“Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” {Gen.3:4,5} From whence our parents gather that God did not intend them good in forbidding them to eat. Here lieth the knot; but I answer, God did intend good in all his intentions, whatsoever they be. That God did forbid them, we all know, but what intent God had in forbidding of them is not known by many; however, if his intent or purpose had been according to his Law, then his intent and purpose did not stand; so God was frustrated of his purpose and design, and so mistaken. Do we think this can be said without manifest blasphemy? No, I shall not need to reason so, for I can set the objector to work it if he will. But some may object and say, God would that Adam should have kept it, if Adam would; but Adam would not. Well, here is Adam’s will and God’s will contradicting each other in the point of eating. God’s revealed will forbids Adam, Adam’s will is for eating; now which must yield the point? Now if God’s secret will had been like the Law or Command, Adam could never have eaten. For the revealed Will or Law of God can never yield; broken it may be, but yield it cannot! Now if God’s secret intent was the Law, it must either yield or be forced; if it yielded, the point is granted, that the secret Law of God was that Adam should eat; but if like the Law, then the will of God is forced, and so God is overcome by man, and so man reigns by his own will, and God is forced to stand and look on to see whether man will be pleased to obey his Law or not. Secondly, if the revealed will of God or the Law be like the secret intent or purpose of God, and the secret intent cannot be forced, then the Law must yield, and where is sin then? So that we must say, that it was God’s secret intent that Adam should sin, or say that Adam did not sin, or blasphemously say, that God is overcome by Adam, and could never recover himself since, except it be in a few that out of their freewill will serve him a little; by the by, I think this will do, for the secret intent can no more be forced than the Law can yield to be broken. To clear the point farther, we must observe, that all the intent of God were all for the Exaltation of his own Glory in Jesus Christ. “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things; to whom be glory forever.” {Rom.11:36} Therefore whatsoever he has purposed in himself, is all for his glory, and shall rebound to this end. But in respect of the subject of this Law, his intent was not to hinder Adam to eat; no, this intent to let him eat was diverse; as for his intent or purpose towards the vessels of wrath, he never intended to them any good, therefore the Fall was not for their good, though they cannot complain of injustice in God; {Note: If Adam’s dominion over all creatures below his nature, to dispose of them at his will, was part of God’s likeness, then God had power over every creature to dispose of them at his will. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion.” Gen.1:26;} but in respect of the elect it was for their good, the event proves it; therefore we may perceive that our parents were reaching at the secret will of God. David Culy {Glory of the Two Crowned Heads: Adam and Christ, Unveiled. 1726}

Reign of Sovereign Grace

How much of Christ Adam had knowledge of is not well known; but I mean after the promise of life was published unto him; for after that he must look out of himself, and see himself in Another, as he had seen all in himself; for in that promised Seed, he might have seen himself complete, without any more conditions than his posterity had need of if he had stood; he might have seen that the Obedience of that Seed was alone accepted of God, as his had been to all his, if he had stood; furthermore he might have seen that the offense of his which God imputed to all his posterity, with all the punishment for sin, and all the punishment of sin, the Seed was to make satisfaction for them all, in breaking the serpent’s head; {that is, to spoil principalities and powers;} he might have seen, that being God made Covenant with him, with his wife in him, before she was taken out of him, that it was so with this other Head {the Seed;} he might have seen that it was the perfection of his Love to his wife that moved him to eat, so it was the perfection of the love of the Seed that moved him to eat of the fruit of their eating; {Note: What should be the cause of his eating then? Some think that he did eat on purpose to be in the same condemned state with his wife, but that could not be, because she was not judicially condemned until he did eat;} he might have seen, that death beginning to reign already through his disobedience, so as he felt life beginning to reign, he might be sure that it was through Righteousness, for Grace reigns through Righteousness; he might see that the Obedience of that Seed was already accepted; he might have seen, being his Covenant was confirmed by a Seal; {namely the Tree of Life;} he might have seen that there was some Seal belonging to the Seed’s Covenant also; he might have seen, that as all his posterity had never died had he kept that Covenant, so he might have seen that the seed of the woman was secure in that Seed; he might have seen, that this Seed was before him, and was his Creator, for he was made in his image; he might have seen, that as he had brought in death, so this Seed would bring in the resurrection from the dead; he might have seen, that as all his posterity would bear the image of his disobedience, so all the body of that Seed should bear the image of his Righteousness; he might have seen, that as he and his, should be sown in dishonor, the Seed would raise it up in glory and power. He might have seen that though it be sown a natural body, it would be raised a spiritual body; he might have seen, that as all his must have been where he was, so all the body of the Seed should be where he was. I say that all these things he might have seen, and doubtless did in some measure. However this doth greatly confirm it to us as well as manifest it. “For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” {Rom.5:15} Besides, we find that the same seal of that Covenant made with Adam did amplify and confirm that Covenant of God in Christ to us. David Culy {Glory of the Two Crowned Heads: Adam and Christ, Unveiled. 1726}


For the clearing up of the Truth, {I dare not say your understanding, for that may remain as dark as ever,} I distinguish the blotting out of sin in three courts: First; they are blotted out in God’s will; that is, God’s will not to impute sin, nor punish the persons of the elect for sin in a way of Justification is the very essence and quiddity of Justification. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” {Ps.32:1,2} I say, this act of God not to impute sin, but to impute Righteousness is an eminent act or internal in God. The Apostle makes this eminent act of God the essence and being of Justification. {Rom.4:6-8, 9:15,16} There is no priority to this act, I mean nothing going before out of God. {Rom.11:35,36} Secondly; the effects of his will, which is Christ’s active and passive Obedience. The Representative being risen from the dead, the whole body is juridically justified and discharged from all the demands of the Law and its curse. I say they are juridically freed and discharged from the Law, both from its commanding, reigning, condemning or cursing power. {Gal.3:13, 4:4,5, I Cor.15:55-57, Rom.4:25} Thirdly; the court of conscience in which their sins stand recorded, as far as knowledge and remembrance can keep account of them, so that though the will of God was not to impute sin and they were justified in that court; and that God had justified them in their Surety and Representative; yet as I said before, they were not justified in the court of conscience until they believed. “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace;” {Jn.1:16} and so it all proceeds from his fullness. But so far I grant, that this Righteousness of Faith is a gift of Grace, and if there be any gift that follows, as I deny not for there are many, yet it is not for the act of believing, but for that Righteousness believed in. {Rom.8:32, 4:13} This is the Fountain and Spring of all blessings in whom all the promises of God are yea and amen. David Culy {Letters, 1726}

Representation & Imputation

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Regarding that word found in Genesis 1:1; “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth;” I propounded to myself a question thus: The beginning of what? The beginning of that unspeakable and glorious Essence I knew that it could not be; so that I see that it was the beginning of his works, so consequently the beginning of all things that are here made. I stood amazed to think what infinite Wisdom there must be in God to have all the whole creation of heaven and earth, and all the whole government and management thereof, from first to last, already settled in his Unchangeable Will. {Eph.1:11, Acts 15:18, Pv.3:19,20, Is.45:12} The Heavens and their hosts have their courses; the Angels their numbers and their offices; Men their numbers, their acts, their ends, their gifts natural and spiritual; his Word, Ordinances and Means, were all eternally settled in his Will and Knowledge. The doctrine is this; that the beginning of time was the beginning of God’s working, and the beginning of God’s working was the beginning of God’s revealing of his will, settled in Himself from all eternity. “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world;” {Acts 15:18;} which is spoken in respect of his Government, which is according to his will, settled before the world was, and not of the things that are made, for then he must know things by sight, as we do, and so consequently know no more than we do, which is no less than Blasphemy; for if God must see all things done before he knows it, or if he must look out of Himself to know anything; then, we make him like ourselves. We deny his foreknowledge; and we deny Him that which the heathens themselves will not rob their gods of. Therefore, to do this is heathenism, if not worse! If God knew his works from the beginning of the world, he must know it some way; he must know it either by looking in Himself or out of Himself. We will sum up all with this: God saw Adam before he was made. How did God know that there would be an Adam? God knew that all the world would fall in him. How did God know that there would be a federal Covenant made with him? God knew that there would be no promise made to Adam to uphold him in that Covenant. How did God know that there would be no promise given him to uphold him? It must be answered, that God knew his own will. “I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever; nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it; and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been.” {Ecc.3:14,15} “Being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” {Eph.1:11} And so in respect of everything. The Lord knew that Pharaoh would not let the people go; but how did he know that? Because he would harden his heart. {Ex.4:2} The Lord knew that Cyrus would let his people go out of their captivity; but how did God know that? He knew it, because he knew that he would give him power and will to do it. {Is.45:1-4} And so much for this point. Now in respect of the elect of God in particular, “I know,” saith God to Abraham, “that he will command his children,” signifying all his elect, {Gal.3:7,} that they shall keep the way of the Lord. {Gen.18:19} How did he know that? He knew it, because he would write his Law in their hearts. {Jer.31:33, Heb.8:10, Jer.29:10,11} Know that men were made for Jesus Christ also, not for themselves; therefore it could not be for any good that he saw in them before existence, but only and alone for Jesus Christ; it was not for any good that he saw which they needed, nor any good that they could enjoy by it, that moved God to create them; but only and alone for Jesus Christ, and all other motives were too low to move him, only Jesus Christ, all things were made for Him; therefore let us learn to bless Jesus Christ, the Cause of our creation, for we were created for Him, not for ourselves, but for Him only. “For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall he be called.” {Is.54:5} “Know ye that the LORD he is God; it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” {Ps.100:3} “Even every one that is called by my name; for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” {Is.43:7} “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him.” {Col.1:16} “The LORD hath made all things for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” {Pv.16:4} “This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.” {Is.43:21} “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things; to whom be glory forever. Amen.” {Rom.11:36} “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” {Rev.4:11} We were made for him alone, which is more than Eve could say by her husband; for though she was made for him, she was not made by him. Was Eve made of him? Yet she was not made by him; but we are made for Him, and we are made by Him, and we are made of Him. {Eph.5:30} In respect of Adam himself, Adam was formed of the dust of the earth, {Gen.2:7,} there was the substance of every particular member of his body formed or framed, every organ fitly prepared and composed, fit for action, according to their several offices, only wanting a principle of life to put them in action; and this curious formed body is capable of having a wife taken out of it, and yet remain a perfect complete person; thus organized, the Lord breathed in the breath of life; {Gen.2:7;} and when Adam took in that breath, he took it for himself and his wife, for his life was the life of his wife; for it cannot be proved that God breathed in Eve as he did in Adam. {Gen.2:21,22} The Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam. Adam was not dead when God took the rib out of his side, but God operating and working in that life, built him a wife meet for him, though the life that she lived in him was not intelligible, until an intelligible soul was joined to that life; so before she was taken out of him, she was sustained in him, and by him, for she lived in him, and by him, though not yet made meet for him {by form and reason} to have conjugal communion with her; so Jesus Christ was set up from everlasting. “This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” {Eph.5:32} Note also; that as soon as Adam had eaten the forbidden fruit all his posterity was judicially condemned. “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation.” {Rom.5:18} If the question be, how all could be condemned; the answer is plain. “For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners.” {vs.19} The sentence was already passed upon him, and all his posterity. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” {Rom.5:12} For in whom, as our margin will allow; and though death was not executed to the utmost, yet death seizes upon them in their respective times and places. Consider the extent of this death: First, spiritual; Secondly, corporal; Thirdly, eternal. Death first reigned on the spirit or soul, which consisted first in guilt upon the soul. Now where guilt is, there is filth; and where these are, there is enmity against God, so that God can have no communion there; besides, he was wroth, and so forsook them as part of their punishment. So this spiritual death was part of the beginning of his vengeance upon them, which consisted in the Imputation of sin to Adam and his posterity. I say, the Imputation of Sin is the cause of this enmity, and in conjunction with the possessing of this guilt, so is the enmity vented out against God. {Gen.4:4-8, Rev.16:11} So this guilt seizes the soul, disables it to perform its powers over its sensual life, and so being forsaken of God, is captivated by the devil and its own lusts; and as long as that guilt remains they are subject to the devil, in whom they have believed, and to their own lust which they chose to gratify rather than to keep the Law of God. {Eph.2:1-3, 4:18} What is Original Sin? I answer; first negatively, it is not the enmity that is in us, for that is but the effects of sin and not the sin itself, for this spiritual death is but the wages thereof; the loss of God’s image, knowledge, righteousness, true holiness, and understanding darkened; the lusts of the flesh, and all evil inclinations are but the impressions of that sin. Now positively; it is this, the disobedience of Adam; neither is guilt any part thereof; I say, guilt is no part of that sin, but the offense of that one Man; for guiltiness in the conscience, condemnation, blindness of mind, evil concupiscence, hatred of God and his Law, all these are but the impression of that Sin; for if all these be no part of our nature, but followed the Fall, then these cannot be Original Sin, nor any part thereof, for none of these in us is any part of that act of Adam, but the very impressions that this act had upon his own soul and body, as we may see it upon his posterity, and feel it in and upon ourselves. For if sin, condemnation, death spiritual, corporal, and eternal, came in by One Man, and by One Disobedience of that one Man, then it appears that there was no act required of any of the sons of Adam as a Condition upon which the sentence of life and death depended, or to make that disobedience of his theirs. But the former is true. {Rom.5:12-21, Heb.9:27} Let us now come to Christ, so I say this doctrine, that there is no Act required of the sons of Adam to entitle them in the Covenant of God in Christ; no more than there was to entitle them in Adam’s Covenant; neither can any of the sons of Adam by any act of theirs prevent their being enrolled in these two Great Court-Rolls of Heaven; as for Adam’s Roll, it is a great one; that is, universal. Thou may quarrel with it; but, “Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou; or thy work, He hath no hands? Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou?” {Is.45:9,10} And for the Roll of Christ; “Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him.” {Is.40:13,14} So that as no Act can interest in neither of these, so no Act can disinterest by way of prevention. “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever; nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it; and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.” {Ecc.3:14} But for the first of these, that no Act is required of us to entitle us in the Blessing of that Covenant of Christ, no more than in the Adamic Covenant, for if there had, then this Covenant with Christ should not be so effectual to Life as Adam’s was to Death. Now if this Covenant with Christ is not so effectual as that with Adam, it must be for some of these following causes. First, the obedience required of Christ was not so perfect as that required of Adam; or, Christ was not so full of merit, as Adam was of de-merit; or, that God doth not impute this Obedience to the full, or He doth not look to the utmost of the Dignity of the Person that has offered. As for the first of these, the obedience required of Adam could not be but perfect, and except we say that Christ was imperfect, it must be the same, {that is to say, perfect,} we need not say that the Obedience of Christ was more perfect than that of Adam’s; but we must say it was more glorious, infinitely it transcended Adam’s as much as the Person of Christ did transcend the person of Adam. Wherefore we find that God glorious in his Servant Christ. “Behold my Servant, whom I uphold; mine Elect, in whom my soul delighteth.” {Is.42:1} He being God-man, all his obedience was linked with, and perfumed with the odors of the Godhead, therefore called the Righteousness of God. {II Cor.5:21} What shall I say; the Godhead could not obey, but the Godhead having taken Humanity in his Person was capable of obeying, and this Righteousness is God’s Righteousness, both for kind and providing, and acceptation with God, infinitely beyond all the obedience of men and angels; neither was it short; for, “Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone that believes.” {Rom.10:4} Therefore it is not, nor cannot be short or wanting of that which God required of Adam; besides, the Relationship of Christ to his Father puts such a lustre upon all his Obedience, that the Father, before his Son has finished it, by a pretty good while, {as I may so say with reverence,} cannot forbear speaking how he was pleased with it, and ravished with it; {why may not one Person in the Glorious Essence glory in another, as well as one man in another?} “this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” {Mt.3:17} Surely the Father was infinitely pleased when he saw all the garments finished. “The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake.” {Is.42:21} Let us take his Word and believe that the Obedience of Christ is so perfect, that there can be no conditions of life left for us. Secondly, the Obedience of Christ cannot be short of Adam’s, for Adam was to fulfill his by nature, {Rom.2:14,} but Christ did all he did by the power of an endless life, {Heb.7:16,} and so by the Law of the Spirit of adoption. {Rom.8:2} So his Obedience was of infinite value, which Adam’s had not been, even if he had obeyed. Thirdly, it is not for want of Imputation, for it is Imputed to Justification of Life, {Rom.5:18,21,} and that Eternal too, and such a Life that Adam’s obedience could never had entitled to. So much for the active Obedience of Christ; now for his passive; but before I enter into it, I observe, that if there be any conditions left on our part, he must have left it to do on his part. Now I ask, what part of the Law it is that he has left undone? For if there be something to be done by us, it is not done by him, so his active obedience is not perfect; but if it be perfect, then all that we do as a condition is more than the Law requires for righteousness. Let us see if the conditions be not left in his passive Obedience, and if it be not there, we will say there is none. Now in order to his sufferings, sin must be transferred from us to him, or no Justice can lay hold of him; for God’s wrath cannot kindle this sacrifice without this wood, {Sin,} for no Law can curse without sin. {Christ bear the sin of his elect and the Punishment for Sin, and the Punishment of Sin. I say, that Jesus Christ had the Offense laid on him; that is, Adam’s disobedience and our actual sin, the punishment for that disobedience, and the guilt of all, both original and actual, the Punishment of Sin to the utmost of God’s Wrath.} Now that it {sin} is laid upon him, needs not much proof, but amplification; {Is.53:6, II Cor.5:21;} for that Christ was made sin, is not so much a question, as how? If it be demanded, how was Jesus Christ made sin for us? Since it is the blasphemy to say that Christ was personally a sinner, then he must be made sin by Imputation. Had I been to preach to Adam with the ministry that I have received, I would have told him, that though the act was his proper act, yet the offense was Christ’s by virtue of Christ’s being a substituted Head of a constituted body, as himself {Adam} had once been, and that he was the figure of him that was to come. Let us see what the prophet Isaiah had preached, that preached about eight hundred years before Christ came in the flesh; for Isaiah would have preached and told him that, “unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given,” {Is.9:6;} and Isaiah might as well have preached to Adam as to them in his days, “Adam, when thou hid thy face in the garden, thou hid it from Him that came to publish this to thee, surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; and he was wounded for our transgressions. All we like sheep have gone astray, and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. {Is.53:3-6} How is all this to be understood but by virtue of a Covenant Constitution. Whoever opposes the doctrine, must either say that the sin of the elect was not imputed to Christ at all, or it has been imputed some other way than by Covenant Constitution, or that the Covenant by which their sins was Christ’s was in order of contrivance after the Fall. First, but some may say, what need you labor so much for this point, if we own that the sin of the elect was Christ’s by virtue of Covenant Contract; is it not enough? I answer, that to deny this, is all one as to bring down the Covenant in time; for if the Fall was first foreseen, and then a Covenant of Redemption contrived, this I say, brings down the Covenant in time, for the Fall must have time; and if the Fall must have time, and the Covenant of Redemption after the Fall, then the Covenant of Redemption must be brought in time; and it is not all the pretenses of thrusting it into eternity that will avoid a distance between the Fall and the Covenant of Redemption, by virtue of which the sin of the elect became Christ’s. Now tell me whether I am beating the air in this point or no; for if it be this Covenant that constitutes a body of Head and members, and this Covenant cannot be settled without the Fall and the Fall must have seven days at least; so without eight days the Covenant cannot be settled; so from the eighth day up to eternity Christ is not a Head, for he has no body, and the body is no body, for it has not a Head; and this must necessarily follow upon the denial of this Truth. If the doctrine be denied, Christ was not a Surety in the Fall; but this I say, as Adam was Head and Surety of Eve, Christ was Head and Surety of Adam. I say then as the Apostle; “but I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man.” {I  Cor.11:3} If the elect was not thus secured in Christ before the Fall, then the elect was beloved out of Christ. This would imply that they were chosen out of Christ to be put into Christ; for the denial of Christ’s Suretyship in Adam’s Covenant lets in these absurdities, with many others too tedious to name or mention; besides it supposes a bridge over that Gulf, to pass over from heaven to hell. Let me comment upon that text found in Luke 16:23. “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.” Why Christ is here called Abraham both proves and illustrates the matter; for Abraham was the Head of a constituted body, and therefore a Type of Christ; so that the bosom of Abraham here signifies that Covenant which as a bosom embraced all his constituted body. Although this doctrine was and is denied by him and others, “in hell he lifted up his eyes, and seeth Lazarus in his bosom.” Further I observe, that upon his desiring of Abraham to send Lazarus, Abraham answers him, {vs.26,} that besides Lazarus having had his evil things, and he his good, that there was a Gulf fixed, so that they that were in that bosom that would pass to the damned, could not; nor they that were with the damned, that would pass from them to that bosom, could not. Therefore I observe that the cause why there is no passing from out of that bosom to the damned, nor from the damned to that bosom is not because neither of them would, but because there is a Gulf fixed. Now what this Gulf is, is the matter in hand. I think of all the depths of the mystery of the Gospel, this is the deepest; namely, the non-imputation of sin, so those that are in that Bosom or Covenant, God would not impute sin to them, because he imputed it to the Head Christ. Now if Adam, and all the elect in him had not been secured by this Covenant or Suretyship of Christ, they might have gone or passed over, but Christ tells us that they could not although they would. So we see that this is what the Apostle saith, “so then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” {Rom.9:16} “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” {vs.18} “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” {Rom.4:8} “Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” {Ps.32:2} Is not this the very un-passable Gulf? For who can pass to hell to whom the Lord imputeth not sin? So I have in short confirmed the doctrine, that when Adam fell, he and all the elect were secured in Christ. The doctrine is this, that the elect could not be separated from God, except Christ was separated from him. Furthermore I lay down this doctrine, that there is no act of the sons of Adam that can entitle them in either of these covenants, or any act of theirs can prevent their being in either of these covenants. But you will say, what is it then that doth put them in these covenants and give property to them thus secured in these covenants? I answer, the question is twofold; first, it was neither thy acts, nor the acts of Adam that put thee in this Covenant, but God’s Ordination, and constituting him a general Head of all mankind; but it was his act of disobedience alone that brought death to thee; so it was not thy act of Faith, nor the obedience of Christ that put thee in this Covenant, but it was God’s ordaining and constituting Him a Head over his body that put thee in that Covenant; and it was his Obedience alone that brought life to thee and entitled thee to it. David Culy {Glory of the Two Crowned Heads: Adam and Christ, Unveiled. 1726}

Representation & Imputation

First, you say that my doctrine savors of the Antinomians, because you say that the Antinomians hold that the elect are perfect and complete in Christ; which you say is a Truth. I am glad that you hold that truth; though indeed it is a pity you should hold it in unrighteousness as you do. {Rom.1:18} However, if the elect are perfect in Christ and complete in Christ, {Col.2:10,} as we find they are, it is easy to know which of us two be the liar. The Apostle bids the Colossians of being beware of being seduced. {Col.2:8} Now whatsoever errors derogate from the Perfection of this Representative is confuted here. If the elect be complete before God in their Representative, then Faith and Repentance being brought in as conditions is a forsaking the Head, and denying Christ, our Representative. - Adam’s disobedience was ours federally, by virtue of Covenant, Adam being a constituted Head of all his offspring federally; so ours by Imputation. Secondly, Adam’s disobedience is ours by nature; for though my person has not eaten, yet my flesh has; so that flesh and nature has eaten in the person of Adam; so that his Disobedience is imputed to my person, for it is the proper act of my flesh. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” {Rom.5:12} “For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous.” {Rom.5:12} Where are you going now Thomas; for you say that Adam was the figure of him that was to come. Now I ask you whether their actual existence or being was any cause of their condemnation? Again, you say that all mankind was guilty before God because of Adam’s disobedience; and I say that if they were guilty before God, then they are condemned before God. {Rom.5:16,18} What Thomas, is existence and feeling of guilt of the disobedience of Adam, and the Curse of the Law, all one with you? What ignorance is here! However, the Truth which I received from your erring pen is this, that the posterity of Adam were sinners, and guilty and condemned persons before God by that one disobedience before and without feeling or existence; and this is the figure of Him that was to come by your own confession. Now if we were sinners and condemned before our personal existence, there is no Act of ours to make us so, and when we come to feel it, it is but that Sentence that was passed on us in the person {Adam} of another, terminating or reigning in us. If the Scripture reveals nothing but the Disobedience of the first Adam to make us sinners and condemned before God; and if he {Adam} be the figure of Him {Christ} that was to come, then the Scriptures has revealed nothing but the Obedience of the second Adam {Christ} for our complete justification before God. “By whom also we have access by Faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” {Rom.5:2} “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” {II Cor.5:21} If death reigned by one in us, and he {Adam} is the figure of the Second, {Christ,} then in our Justification it is the sentence of Life seizing, apprehending, terminating and living within us. “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the Faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” {Gal.2:20} {Ez.16:6, Jn.10:28, Phil.3:12} Now I readily grant and am ready to subscribe to this article, that the elect have no sensible enjoyment of this until they believe; but I resist this, that the elect have no union with Christ until they believe, for if the elect have no union with or to Christ, then have they no right, nor interest in the Covenant, nor any right to Christ. What now, Thomas, will you make the elect cry out with devils, “what have we to do with thee?” {Lk.4:34} Will Christ say to his elect; yea, “ye shall have to do with me if you perform the conditions;” then this is all the privilege that the elect have above devils. Are you a fine doctor Thomas? How do you like it? Now let us see whether my question be absurd to ask you? What was the conditions of your Faith, being it was part of the Covenant of Grace? But Thomas, I hear no more of Repentance; what have you dropped that? But let us inquire if you can find out a place for conditions, for if there be any, they must either respect the Office of the Father, or of the Son, or of the Holy Ghost; for the office of the Father was to accept the Offering, and to be atoned, or justify; the Son’s to offer, to make reconciliation; and the Holy Ghost to make Application. Now all these Three are concerned in the Covenant, and make up the Sum thereof. Now if there be Conditions, it must be that the Father is not fully atoned; but here is no place for conditions, for {if complete Reconciliation was not accomplished in the Person and Work of Christ,} then we must come in with Christ to perfect the Atonement; neither can it be any defect in Christ’s offering, neither active nor passive; so then it must respect the Office of the Holy Ghost. Now if Faith and Repentance be the Conditions of the Covenant, whose office of the Three do they respect? The Holy Ghost it cannot be, for the Holy Ghost must be in you before you believe and repent. Now you must believe by some natural power of your own if Faith be a condition, for if the Spirit works Faith, it must be in you {in order of working} before Faith. Now Thomas, is my question absurd? So you may see how you shut up the Kingdom of God against yourselves, with your conditions being your door to enter into the Covenant. David Culy {Letters, 1726}

Supplement to the Writings of David Culy.

Note: In 1800 Samuel Reece republished Culy’s Writings, to which he added his own Commentary, a large extract of which will here be included.

Sovereign Reign of Grace

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Introduction - The knowledge of God and of his Son Jesus Christ is said to be life eternal. This knowledge is the gift of God, and whatever he gratuitously communicates does not essentially belong to any of its recipients, being a gift from above; the vigor with which it operates is always in proportion to the degree of its communication; hence we can easily account for the manifest disproportion there exists between the attainments of believers in the acquisition of knowledge; “there are diversities of gifts, but the communication of them is by the same Spirit, {I Cor.12:4,} and the end proposed is the spiritual advantage and the increasing profit of the mind, the Spirit of God being the Spirit of Truth, can never be supposed to teach different men different systems as true that are wholly subversive of each other. Men have ever {whatever system they have adopted} found it advantageous to father all their errors upon God, forgetting, however, that it is as impossible for God to contradict himself in his Word, as it is for Him to disgrace himself in his Works. Hence I conclude that as the Spirit of God applies that system, whatever it may be, which is founded in infinite wisdom, He can apply but that one system, as the idea of infinite wisdom eternally precludes the idea of a second choice, as the first effort must be the best. To know what that system is, we must have recourse to the Divine Testimony, and there we find, that Christ is said to be “our life,” to “have life in Himself,” that he is come into the world to seek and to save that which was lost; and this conduct is not imputed to the compassionate feelings of the moment, when our misery gained its dreadful ascendency over the mind, but the ordered result of an Eternal Council; the necessary consequence of a Covenanted Agreement, preparatory to the execution of which, all things were made for Him and by Him. In this light our author considered the subject, and although neither he nor any other adopting the same principles, can boast of an host on their side; yet, they have that to boast of, which is of infinitely greater consequence, for the hosts we see are formed by human interest and human wisdom, but with us is the eternal God. We have his Word, and where his Name is recorded, there will he be to bless it. We have to this day the protecting hand of God visibly with us, for notwithstanding the clamorous opposition of priests and their hirelings, we have continued to the present moment; and as the interest of God and the interest of Truth are one and the same, God can never desert the one without trampling under his feet the glory of his Name and the dignity of his Crown. {End of Introduction}

God’s will is nothing else than God himself willing, consequently it is Omnipotent and Unfrustrable; hence we find it termed by Austin and the schoolmen ‘voluptas omnipotentissima’ {all powerful pleasure} because, whatever God wills cannot fail of being effected. This made Austin say, “Evil men do many things contrary to the revealed will of God, but so great in his wisdom, that he directs all things into those channels which he foreknew.” And again, “No free will of the creature can resist the will of God, for man cannot so will or nil, as to obstruct the Divine Determination, or overcome the Divine Power.” Once more, “it cannot be questioned, but God does all things and ever did, according to his own purpose; the human will cannot resist him, so as to make him do more or less than it is his pleasure to do, since he does what he pleases with the wills of men.” Whatever comes to pass, comes to pass by virtue of this Absolute, Omnipotent will of God, which is the primary and supreme cause of all things. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” {Rev.4:11} “He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” {Dan.4:35} “Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.” {Ps.135:6} “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing, and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.” {Mt.10:29} To all which Austin subscribes, when he says, “Nothing is done, but what the Almighty wills should be done,” as does Luther, whose words are these; “this therefore must stand; namely, the unsearchable will of God, without which nothing exists or acts.” God would not be such if he was not Almighty, and if anything could be done without him. And elsewhere he quotes these words of Erasmus; “supposing there was an earthly prince who could do whatever he would, and none were able to resist him; we might safely say of such an one, that he would certainly fulfill his own desire; in like manner the will of God, which is the first cause of all things, should seem to lay a kind of necessity upon our wills.” The will of God is so the cause of all things, as to be itself without cause, for nothing can be the cause of that which is the cause of everything. So that the Divine will is the ultimate standard of all our enquiries, for when we ascend to that we can go no farther. Hence we find every matter resolved ultimately into the mere sovereign pleasure of God, as the spring and occasion of whatsoever is done in heaven and earth. “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” {Mt.11:25} “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” {Lk.12:32} “I will; be thou clean.” {Mt.8:3} “And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would; and they came unto him.” {Mk.3:13} “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.” {Js.1:18} “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” {Jn.1:13} “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” {Rom.9:15,16} And no wonder that the will of God should be the main spring that sets all inferior wheels in motion, and should likewise be the rule by which he goes in all his dealings with his creatures. Since nothing out of God; that is, exterior to himself, can possibly induce him to will or nil one thing rather than another; deny this, and you at one stroke destroy his Immutability and Independency. Luther, says, “God is a Being, whose will acknowledges no cause, neither is it for us to prescribe rules for his sovereign pleasure, or call him to an account for what he does; he has neither superior nor equal, and his will is the rule of all things; he did not therefore will such and such things because they were in themselves right, and he was bound to will them, but they are therefore equitable and right because he wills them. The will of man indeed, may be influenced and moved, but God’s will never can to assert the contrary is to undeify him.” We should therefore be careful not to give up the Omnipotence of God, under a pretense of exalting his holiness; for he is infinite in both, therefore neither should be set aside or obscured. To say that God absolutely nills the being and commission of sin, while experience convinces us that sin is committed everyday is to represent the Deity as a weak, impotent being, who would fain have things go otherwise than they do, but cannot accomplish his desire; on the other hand, to say that he willeth sin, doth not in the least detract from the holiness and rectitude of his nature; because, whatever God wills, as well as whatever he does, cannot be eventually evil; materially evil it may be; but, as was just said, it must ultimately be directed to some wise and just end, otherwise he could not will it, for his will is righteous and good, and the sole rule of right and wrong, &c. As God knows nothing now which he did not know from all eternity, so he wills nothing now which he did not will from everlasting. Furthermore, the absolute will of God is the original spring and efficient cause of his people’s salvation. I say the original and efficient; for, sensu complexus {sense of the complex} there are other intermediate causes of their salvation, which however all result from, and are subservient to, this primary one, the will of God.  Such are his everlasting choice of them to eternal life, the eternal Covenant of Grace entered into by the Trinity, in behalf of the elect, &c. Since this absolute will of God is both immutable and omnipotent, we infer, that the salvation of every one of the elect is most infallibly certain, and can by no means be prevented, &c. God is essentially unchangeable in himself, were he otherwise he would be confessedly imperfect; since whatever changes must change for the better or for the worse; whatever alteration anything undergoes, that being must, ipso facto, either become more excellent than it was, or lose some of the excellency which it had, but neither of these can be the case with the Deity, he cannot change for the better, for that would necessarily imply, that he was not perfectly good before; he cannot change for the worse, for then he could not be perfectly good after that change. Therefore God is unchangeable, and this is the uniform voice of scripture: “For I am the LORD, I change not.” {Mal.3:6} “With whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” {Js.1:17} “But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.” {Ps.102:27} “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” {Heb.13:8} God is likewise absolutely unchangeable with regard to his purposes and promises: “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent; hath he said, and shall he not do it; or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” {Num.23:19} “The Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent; for he is not a man that he should repent.” {I Sam.15:29} “I the LORD have spoken it; it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent.” {Ez.24:14} “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” {Rom.11:29} “He abideth faithful; he cannot deny himself.” {II Tim.2:13} The decrees of God are not only immutable as to himself, it being inconsistent with his nature to alter in his purposes, or change his mind, but that they are immutable likewise with respect to the objects of those decrees; so that, whatsoever God hath determined, concerning every individual person or thing, shall surely and infallibly be accomplished in and upon them. Hence we find that he actually sheweth mercy on whom he hath decreed to show mercy, and hardeneth whom he resolved to harden. {Rom.9:18} “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” {Is.46:10} Consequently his Eternal Predestination of men and things must be immutable as Himself, and so far from being reversible, can never admit of the least variation. The Apostle says, who may resist the will of God? {Rom.9:19} By the word ‘will’ Paul gives us to understand, that God actually willeth those very things unto which men are hardened by him. When Paul adds, who may resist; he in fact points out the necessity, which they whom God hardens, are under of doing those things. When God would harden Pharaoh, in order that he might not obey the commandment; it was the actual will of God that Pharaoh should not obey. Yea, God himself wrought in Pharaoh to oppose the commandment sent him. Pharaoh therefore did in reality that what God willed him to do; yea, he did no more than what God himself had wrought in him to do; nor was it in Pharaoh’s power to act otherwise than he did. You will conclude that these are hard sayings; “nay, but O man, who art thou that repliest against God?” {9:20} Paul does not accommodate, nor does he soften down a single syllable of what he had just asserted. The sacred penman does not deny that they who are hardened by God perish according to the will of God. The Apostle does not admit it to be even possible, that a person who is hardened from above can perform what is good. Paul {instead of setting himself to answer our reasoning} contents himself with giving us a solemn caution, not to sit in judgment on the decrees of God, assuring us, that we cannot arraign the Deity at our own bar, without being guilty of the utmost boldness and impiety. Does God turn the wicked into hell, with all the nations that forget God? Is it a crime to say, he resolved to do it before hand? {Rom.9:13-23} All things were not only made for Him, but by Him; and if we admit wisdom, infinite wisdom, concerned in the execution of the work, we shall find that all things were made in the best possible state, to accelerate the accomplishment of the perfect end proposed. For the admission of any circumstance whatever, that tends to impede its accomplishment, is either a mark of weakness or ignorance; for if power exists, it is its province to prevent the impediment; and it is the part of Wisdom to point out its existence. As neither of the above considerations can apply to Christ, {who is emphatically called the All-wise and Omnipotent God,} I conclude, that everything was performed with an unerring eye, to the accomplishment of the design, without any deviation whatever in any single circumstance; and particularly man, either in his creation, in the ends and motives that determined his conduct, or his fall the result of both. Since the Scriptures of God positively assert, that Christ is a Lamb, and the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, and that all things were made by Him, and for Him in that capacity; and that man, the most glorious part of the works of creation, received a law from the hands of his Maker, which law had he obeyed, his obedience would have defeated the end proposed in constituting Christ the Sacrificial Lamb. We ought to enquire what could be the design of God in giving Adam such a law. Most assuredly God had a design in this, and a design perfectly in unison with the exaltation of Christ, to his Mediatorial Office; for, be it known, that in the mind, in the word, and in the works of God, there can be no schism. It is written, and that by the finger of God, that Jesus was exalted to be a Prince, in the management of the complicated concerns of every system, particularly of those that bear any affinity with men; who alone, amidst all the systems that have been formed, are called his portion; as if all other things and beings were no more than the necessary appendages of his church. “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” {Acts 5:31} United with his Princely dignity is his saving power, “and a Saviour, &c.” In consequence of this lifting up, “his goings forth were of old, from everlasting.” {Mic.5:2} Therefore; if God gave to Adam a law, with a design that Adam should obey that law, and in consequence of its obedience, secure the happiness of that state in which he was created. Adam did not obey, though God designed he should, according to the above reply. Adam did not obey, though God delighted in his obedience; Adam did not obey though God expected it; for whatever God designs, he expects the accomplishment; and if God delighted in the prosperous happiness of Adam, arising from his obedience, and expected that obedience to the given law, he must have been disappointed in the one, and deprived of the other. {According to this unscriptural scheme.} Attendant upon disappointment is misery, and misery commensurate with the nature of the disappointment; the disappointment arising from the above considerations must be an infinite one, {I really shudder in following this felonious sentiment to that gibbet it richly deserves,} being the disappointment of God himself, consequently attendant with infinite misery; and if thus infinitely miserable, he is rendered incapable of constituting others happy; for how can he communicate that to others, of which he himself is deprived; and, if disappointed once, he may continue to meet with disappointments through an endless succession of eternal ages. The thought is blasphemous; and blasphemous as it is, it is the necessary consequence of the above blasphemous reply. Let the reply, with its infernal cargo of horrid consequences be hissed with abhorrence around the world. “We have a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place.” {II Pet.1:19} This Divine Testimony yields an impenetrable covert, to screen us from every blast of error. Here we find that amidst all the fluctuating state of human affairs, the affairs of God are undisturbed. “I am the LORD, I change not” is his memorial still. {Mal.3:6} Suppose we contrast the reply with the known attributes of God? Did God, before the fall, view the apparently calamitous event? Yes, this cannot be denied, for he seeth the end from the beginning. “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” {Is.46:10} Did he possess power to prevent it? Yes, for he is the Lord of Sabaoth, being the original source, from whence all power proceeded. He must, of necessity of nature, possess that attribute in an infinitely higher sense than all the power, in all creatures collectively considered. The non-prevention of it must therefore be the result of a determination of mind; and the determination of such a being must have for its governing principle, the best, and the happiest consequences. {The exaltation of Christ, and the complete salvation of all the elect in Him.} Before I come to ascertain by the Divine Testimony, the design of God in giving the law in question, you will permit me to propose a few questions, for the perusal of the contemplative reader. Did God, and that from all eternity, design that his people should be redeemed by the death of Christ? While you retain, or profess to retain, any veneration for the Bible, you cannot answer in the negative. Did God design to redeem them in any other state but as fallen creatures? There are but two states in which they possibly can be considered, either innocent or guilty; as innocent they could not be redeemed, for the innocent needs no ransom; then they must be considered as guilty; for Christ was made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law; under the curse of the law, and their guilt reduced them to that state. Has God ever decreed any end, without implying in the decree, the means that will accomplish that end? If he has, he has designed to obtain an end, without means to effect it. To believe this, is to suppose, that God decrees not only without any certainty of obtaining the end, but also without a possibility of attaining it; for there can be no possible effect produced without a corresponding cause. Let those who cavil at the truths of God, seal their tongues in silence, until they see that all the ways of God are mysteriously awful, yet mercifully consistent. Has the Fall been succeeded by a dispensation of greater wisdom, greater goodness, greater love and compassionate tenderness, than could otherwise have been revealed? Yes; the mysteries of electing love, the unsought grace of the Everlasting Covenant, generate in the mind such exalted, and such transporting ideas of the Most High, that nature, could we even pry into all her hidden secrets, and explain all her mysterious laws, appears but a feeble effect of his power; while the other unbosoms his heart, and brings the weary and distracted mind of the guilty to repose upon the covenanted lap of uncreated faithfulness. What sight can be compared with a God in our nature bleeding, that the wounded infant, weltering in his blood might live? Ezek.16:6-14. Do the children of God here and in Heaven, consider themselves under greater obligations for their redemption than creation? Yes; for in Heaven, where every power of the mind is properly attuned to celebrate the praises of God, there is no mention made of creation, but redemption, {Rev.1:5,6,} and this is perfectly consonant with the nature of things, for the means that obtain an end, have no glory, by reason of the glory that excelleth in the end itself. It is admitted, {such in fact are the professions of all that have an attachment to revealed religion, whether Calvinists or Neonomians,} that greater glory results to God, and greater happiness flows to man, in consequence of the ‘new order’ of things, than could have been, had Adam retained the dignity of his original state. How can we exonerate man from some kind of obligation to the Devil, for the introduction of that misery into the world, which has been succeeded by such a bright effulgence of compassion, which, while it absorbs the guilty tear, and removes misery from the heart, awes the power of Satan into nihility, and obliges him, with a distracted roar, to contract his claw and drop his prey, “thus the prey is taken from the mighty.” The idea of an event, {which involves such astonishing consequences,} taking place without the consent, {nay, if God gave them a law in order to prevent it,} contrary to the will, against the inclination, and in opposition to the designs of the Supreme Governor of the world is so derogatory to God, so dishonorable to his Character, and so contrary to the written Word, that I cannot admit it; for, upon its very surface I read a vile impeachment of all those attributes that endear his Government and that constitute God the Object of my worship. When I view the circumstances that existed before, and that succeeded the event, I am additionally confirmed in my opinion, respecting its appointment; and I will defy the world to prove, with all its subtilized sophistry, any difference between the fore-knowledge of God and his Divine decrees. The circumstances I refer to are inseparably connected with the Eternal Settlements of the Covenant of Grace. Why then will any impute that to God, which would render a polluted wretch hateful and detestable to wretched men? Why should God’s government be tarnished by such a foul and unfounded obloquy? When God said that, “all was very good,” he had no reference whatever to any supposed stability in the things created to abide in that state. God knew the contrary, and his having given all things unto Christ, before their existence, is a proof of his appointment. Had God designed the streams of happiness to flow from the pure fountain of nature’s excellency, could Satan contaminate the fountain that God had made pure, or dam up the streams that he commanded to flow, and gladden the world if he could, against the will of the Lord, and in opposition to his Divine Appointment, our miserable minds are called upon to contemplate a reigning Devil, a ruined world, a vanquished and a disappointed God. The works of the Lord were all impeccably good, internally so, for all were perfect in their kind. They were good in their tendencies to produce those effects that accelerated the accomplishment of the Divine Plan. The decrees of God, and the motives of human actions, are essentially different; yet, under the inspection of Divine wisdom and under the control of Divine power, they are necessary parts of that indivisible whole that accomplishes the decreed end. Men in their actions, are as guilty as if they opposed the designs of God; for the decrees being hid, cannot be a motive of action. Numberless instances are easily adduced to prove this. The crucifixion of Christ was an event decreed of God; for this end he came into the world; he could not be crucified without means, the means and the end being inseparably connected. We find that both are equally the subject of prophecy; and as the prophecy is founded upon the Decree, both must be equally the subject of that decree. The oracles of Truth inform us, respecting Christ who was to be crucified, that he should be a “stone of stumbling and a rock of offence,” &c., {Is.8:14,} being an offence to them, their angry passions were soon irritated, and under the influence of Satanic power, they released a murderer, and crucified the Lord of life and glory. Are we to suppose that the ignominious death of the cross was the effect of diabolic influence, and of Jewish opposition, irrespective of the Appointments of God? We find in the word, that his crucifixion was decreed; and that the Jews, as the means, were decreed also; and further, that the decree was not the result of their time-state rebellion, but from eternity. “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” {Acts 2:23} “And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient; whereunto also they were appointed.” {I Pet.2:8} The existence of Judas, to complete the works of redemption as a mean, was as necessary as the existence of Christ. One of the ends of Christ’s death was the fulfillment of prophecy; he could not have been betrayed without Judas, for Judas was appointed thereunto; and the appointment of him forever exclude all others from the power of doing it; and had it not been so, the Scriptures would not have been fulfilled. “Those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” {Jn.17:12} I know the squeamishness of moderate divines, and of moderate professors, {though the idea of moderate Christians and moderate divines has something in it very problematical,} when speaking, or more properly when thinking of speaking of the decrees of God, instead of adhering to the plain testimony of Scripture, instead of feeding the doubtful mind with established truth, they substitute a palaver of their own, which is only intelligible to the Egyptians. None can effect a cure, but him who is constituted our Covenant Head, and he effects the cure, not by laying an additional weight upon the palsied shoulders of agonized humanity, but by giving the soul, to see that according to the design and eternal purposes of Jehovah, that there is a divine oneness between Christ and his people; and that all preceding dispensations were only preparatory means in the hands of God, to the introduction of this. Christ was constituted from eternity the Head of his church, which is his body; and if so, his church must of necessity, had a virtual existence in Him, otherwise it is impossible for us to conceive of a perfect Head, irrespective of the body over which he presides; and as the blessed Redeemer was constituted not only a governing, but a suffering Head, the number of members which composed his body were ascertained, and the degree of sufferings he was to endure specified. As a head of a public body, “Adam was a figure of him that was to come.” We existing in the loins of Adam, in consequence of that existence, are involved, and that justly, in the guilt of that act; and, as Adam never existed without bearing this relation to all the generations that sprang from him, so neither was Christ considered as the anointed of the Father, irrespective of his church. What God discovers to us in time, was eternally effected in his Divine purposes; and the purpose of God gives existence to all persons and things. This Divine Union is thus represented by the late Dr. Gill; being so truly excellent in itself, and so consistent with the Scriptures, that I shall introduce it in the author’s own words:

I. An election union in Christ: This flows from the love of God, election presupposes love; {II Thes.2:13;} particular persons are said to be chosen in Christ, as Rufus, {Rom.16:13,} and the apostle says of himself and others, that God had chosen them “in Christ”, and that before the foundation of the world. {Eph.1:4} Election gives a being in Christ, a kind of subsistence in him; though not an actual being, yet at least a representative being; even such an one as that they are capable of having grants of grace made to them in Christ, and of being blessed with all spiritual blessings in him, and that before the world began; {II Tim.1:9, Eph.1:3,4;} and how they can be said to have a being in Christ, and yet have no union to him, I cannot conceive. Besides, in election there is a near relation commences between Christ and the elect; he is given to be an Head to them, and they are given as members to him; and as such they are chosen together, he first in order of nature, as the Head; and then they as members of him; and nothing is more common with sound divines than to express themselves in this manner, when speaking of the election of Christ, and his people in him; particularly, says Dr. Goodwin “as in the womb, head and members are not conceived apart, but together, as having relation to each other; so were we and Christ {as making up one mystical body to God} formed together in the eternal womb of election.” And in the same place he says, “Jesus Christ was the Head of election and of the elect of God; and so in order of nature elected first, though in order of time we were elected together; in the womb of election he, the Head, came out first, and then we, the members.” Now what relation can well be thought of nearer, or more expressive of a close union, than this of head and members? Christ is the chosen Head of the church, the church the chosen body of Christ, “the fulness of him that fills all in all,” {Eph.1:22,23;} hence is the safety and security of the saints, being in Christ through electing grace, and united to him; and therefore said to be “preserved in” Him; herein and hereby put into his hand, made the sheep of his hand, out of whose hands none can pluck them, nor they ever fall. “To them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.” {Jude 1:1} II. There is a conjugal union between Christ and the elect, which also flows from love, and commenced in eternity. By the institution of natural marriage, the persons between whom it is contracted become one flesh, as did Adam and Eve; and a nearer union than this cannot well be conceived of; whose marriage was a shadow and representation of that between Christ and his church; whom, having espoused, he nourishes and cherishes as his own flesh; and they become one, and have one and the same name, Christ, that is, Christ mystical,. {Eph.5:29-32, I Cor.12:12} Now though the open marriage relation between Christ and particular persons takes place at conversion, which is the day of their espousals to him, {Jer.2:2,} and the more public notification of it will be when all the elect of God are gathered in, and shall in one body be as a bride adorned for her husband, and the marriage of the Lamb shall be come; and this declared in the most open manner, and the nuptials solemnized most magnificently, {Rev.21:2;} yet the secret act of betrothing was in eternity, when Christ, being in love with the chosen ones, asked them of his Father to be his spouse and bride; and being given to him, he betrothed them to himself in loving-kindness, and from thenceforward looked on them as standing in such a relation to him; and which is the foundation of all other after acts of grace unto them; hence, because of his marriage relation to his church, he became her Surety, and gave himself for her, shed his precious blood to sanctify and cleanse her from all the impurities of the fall, and other transgressions; that he might present her to himself a glorious church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing; even just such a church, and in such glory he had viewed her in, when he first betrothed her. {Eph.5:25-27} So with the Jews there was a private betrothing before open marriage, and the consummation of it; at which betrothing the relation of husband and wife commenced, {Deut.22:23,24,} and so Christ is said to be the Husband of the Gentile church before she was in actual being. {Is.54:5} III. There is a federal union between Christ and the elect, and they have a covenant subsistence in Him as their Head and Representative. The covenant flows from, and is the effect of the love, grace, and mercy of God; these are spoken of along with it as the foundation of it, {Ps.89:2,3,33,34, Is.54:10,} hence it is commonly called the Covenant of Grace, and this was made from everlasting; Christ was set up as the Mediator of it, and his goings forth in it were so early, {Pv.8:23, Micah 5:2,} eternal life was promised before the world began, and blessings of grace so soon provided, {Tit.1:2, II Tim.1:9,} all which proves the antiquity of this covenant. Now this covenant was made with Christ not as a single person, but as a common Head; not for himself, or on his own account only, but for and on the account of his people; as the covenant of works was made with Adam, as the federal head of all his posterity; hence he is said to be the figure or type of him that was to come, {Rom.5:14,} so the Covenant of Grace was made with Christ as the Federal Head of his spiritual offspring; and for this reason a parallel is ran between them, {Rom.5:1-21, I Cor.15:1-58,} as if they had been the only two men in the world, the one called the first, the other the second man. Christ represented his people in this covenant, and they had a representative union to him in it; all that he promised and engaged to do, he promised and engaged in their name and on their account; and when performed it was the same with God, as if it had been done by them; and what he received, promises and blessings of grace, he received in their name, and they received them in Him, being one with him as their common Head and Representative. IV. There is a legal union between Christ and the elect, the bond of which is his suretiship for them, flowing from his strong love and affection to them. In this respect Christ and they are one in the eye of the law, as the bondsman and debtor are one in a legal sense; so that if one of them pays the debt bound for, it is the same as if the other did. Christ is the Surety of the better testament; he drew nigh to God, gave his bond, laid himself under obligation to pay the debts of his people, and satisfy for their sins; who being as such accepted of by God, he and they were considered as one; and this is the ground and foundation of his payment of their debts, of his making satisfaction for their sins, of the imputation of their sins to him, and of the imputation of his righteousness to them. In short, it is the saint’s antecedent union and relation to Christ in eternity, in the several views of it in which it has been considered, which is the ground and reason of all that Christ has done and suffered for them, and not for others; and of all the blessings of grace that are or shall be bestowed upon them, and which are denied to others; the reason why he became incarnate for them, and took upon him human nature with a peculiar regard to them, was because they were children given to him; and why he laid down his life for them, because they were his sheep; and why he gave himself for them, because they were his church; and why he saved them from their sins, because they were his people. {Heb.2:13,14, Jn.10:14,15, Eph.5:25, Mt.1:21.} In a word, union to Christ is the first thing, the first blessing of grace flowing from love and effected by it; and hence is the application of all others; “of him are ye in Christ Jesus”, first loved and united to Christ, and then it follows, “who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.” {I Cor.1:30} So Dr. Goodwin observes, that union with Christ is the first fundamental thing of justification and sanctification and all. Christ first takes us, and then sends his Spirit; he apprehends us first; it is not my being regenerate that puts me into a right of all these privileges; but it is Christ takes me, and then gives me his Spirit, faith, holiness, etc. {John Gill, Body of Divinity, 1767}

The fourfold view we have of this Divine union in the above representation, is grounded upon the Divine Testimony, and has for its basis the Authority of God; and while it secures the glory to his name, it establishes forever the absolute perpetuity of that state, to which the guilty offender is admitted by the parental efforts of electing love. As this choice which God made of his people was independent of their concurrence, so neither does the certainty of its application nor its continuance arise from the unison tenor of their minds with the means of its manifestation. “Sinner I have loved thee, I have passed by thee, in thy blood, I said unto thee, in thy blood live.” There exists in all men naturally, a disposition of mind which induces them to believe, that God takes a gracious notice of them in proportion to the pious resolutions they have formed, and the piety {falsely so called} of their lives. They cannot suppose it possible that God has fixed his affections upon a guilty wretch, whose swinish nature has led him to the thickest and deepest mire. They suppose that we are first to choose God and his ways, and then there is no fear but God will choose us. This is not the established order of Divine Operations. “Ye have not chosen me but I have chosen you, &c.” {Jn.16:6} The choice originated with God. “I am found of them that sought me not.” As this choice is the act of that God who cannot be mistaken, he therefore knowing the end from the beginning could not choose them from a mistaken view of their real characters. Men choose, and they as far as it in them lies, counteract the effects of their original choice, because they are deceived in the objects of that choice; but blessed be God, this cannot in any possible sense whatever apply to him; for his Divine Perfections cannot admit the idea of a secondary act, superior in its effects to the primary efforts of his mind. God knew from the remotest period, what he would constitute them in time, and to what state they would be brought by their disobedience at any given period of that time-state existence, he having laid upon him {Christ} the iniquity of us all, must have known them in their number, in their malignity, and in their demerit, otherwise how could the sins, all the sins of God’s people, be charged upon Christ; and how could the charge by being brought home with all its weight to him heal us, without a union being constituted between Christ and his people, and a covenant responsibility on his part for them? However awful the scene, for this end Christ was the elect of God, for this end and purpose; and God knowing the state of his chosen people, constituted him who never approved of sin, a sin-offering for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. {II Cor.5:21} Having, by an unremitting adherence to the preceptive part of God’s law, obeyed, and by his painful death, met the full penalty annexed to the transgression, he removed the curse and rendered it eternally honorable. The result of both obedience and sufferings, in the language of the Holy Spirit, was well pleasing unto God; pleasing, as it afforded a sufficient protection to the objects of his love, from the awful consequences of sin, and served as an impenetrable shield against the malignant opposition and the destructive power of Satan. “The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honorable.” {Is.42:21} The truth of this is further corroborated by the existence of a covenant, a covenant well-ordered in all things and sure. {II Sam.23:5} Being well ordered it necessarily meets with all the wants and difficulties of God’s people, and in its bosom are contained all that they can need. This covenant is their stay in adversity; it forms an immoveable base for their hope, and assures them a safe conduct through the storm, and a sure protection from danger; and whatever circumstances attend the Christian, whether they are adverse or prosperous, they cannot affect the stability of the covenant or the interest of the Christian in its eternal blessings. “For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness 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} This covenant as it respects us, is all of grace, as it respected Christ with whom it was made. “I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David {Christ} my servant.” {Ps.89:3} It was an solemn arrangement of obedience and sufferings, and having complied with all its terms as our Surety and Head, this Divine Covenant irresistibly operated to the removal of all the obstacles arising from the breach of the Adamic covenant. We were originally branches of that family, and the only method by which we could possibly be betrothed unto another, was by becoming dead to the law; in ourselves it could not be obtained, for the rights of the law are unalienable, but being dead to the law through the body of Christ, we are lawfully married to another. This truly interesting subject is thus expressed by the Holy Spirit; “for the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” {Rom.7:2-4} Now, in consequence of this procedure of mercy and mysterious love, the sinner, or rather the church, is legally constituted the bride of the Lamb. This Divine union has therefore these four divine pillars for its support; the electing love of God, the covenant of eternal mercy, the actual betrothing of the church by Christ, and the justice of God sanctioning the whole, seeing the whole is lawful, just, and right. All the attributes of God are glorified, his truth substantiated, and his mercy magnified; the release therefore of a Christian is neither the effect of an unworthy compromise, nor a disgraceful flight, it is the regular result of eternal determinations, the legal consequences of their effect, the just reward of a suffering Saviour. “As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.” {Zech.9:11} Thy prisoners, perfectly correspondent with the argument that Jesus uses, in order to ascertain the right of the guilty to divine protection; “thine they were, but thou gavest them me.” {Jn.17:6} The design of the gift was this redemption; the consequences of that redemption is an indubitable right to all the blessings of the New Covenant; and in the words above cited, there is a solemn recognition on the part of the Father, of the complete satisfaction arising from the blood-shedding of his Anointed. Samuel Reece {Commentary upon the work of David Culy; entitled: GLORY OF THE TWO CROWNED HEADS, 1800}


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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