John Crandon {? - 1654}


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“Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” {Mt.5:19} Christ here speaketh of teachers under the Gospel; and the sense {as may be gathered from the precedent verses} is this; whosoever under a pretense of the liberty of the Gospel, shall take to himself, or instill into others a licentiousness, to break the Commandments of the Law, or to neglect any of that holiness and righteousness which is the matter of the Law, that man shall be an instrument of little; yea of no use in the Gospel Church; but whosoever shall so learn and teach Christ as in and through him, to take into his own and press upon other men’s affections, and practices all the ways of holiness and righteousness which the Law requireth, in a Gospel way, this man shall be an instrument of great good in the Gospel Church, as one that hath learned, and teaches Christ to salvation and to sanctification also. If this in its substance be not the meaning of this Scripture, I know not the meaning of any one text of Scripture. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, Second Part, 1654}


The name of Antinomianism hath been the worst abomination, and they that have so inveigled their credulous congregations with the fear and hatred of it; that any Pharisaical, Monkish or Jesuitical spirits, that would but cry aloud and lift up their voice against this ‘abomination,’ found welcome not only to their persons, but to the whole gallery of formalists, moralists, wood, hay, and stubble that they scattered amongst the people. When contrawise, if any should but often name Christ and Grace in his sermon, all were shy of him, turned their heels instead of their faces towards him and his doctrine, though never so precious and wholesome, fearing some tincture therein of Antinomianism. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}

Assurance in Christ Alone

Neither all seeming peace and quietness of conscience, or joy in expectation of salvation, or hope that is made the ground of this joy, and such other like seeming effects of justification are always sure evidences to a man that he is justified, because these may not always be genuine fruits or effects of justification; as they may proceed from another and baser principle; namely, from the deceitfulness of their heart, or self-love, and self-advancing, or from the spirit of slumber upon the conscience, or from ignorance of God's way and method of bringing many children to glory. Nor are all seeming holiness, honesty, meekness, temperance, patience, and other like virtues, either in their habit, as they really affect the heart, or in their act, as they are with an ardent zeal for God, brought forth into practice, sure evidences of sonship in Christ; because these also may proceed from other and baser principles, and not from the Spirit of Christ, as from the abiding prints of the Law of nature written in the heart, or from the power and suggestions of a convinced and awakened conscience, or from strong impressions made into the soul by a moral and virtuous education, or other like sub-celestial, and unspiritual principles; so that our certain and known union to Christ, and our justification and sanctification sensibly thence flowing, may be properly and unfailingly made our sound evidence of the spiritual life and acceptableness of our virtues and works; but these in themselves are in no wise certain evidences and demonstrations to us of our justification and sanctification by Christ. Sanctification is one thing, and a zealous endeavor to be in all things conformed to the will of God, is or may be another. The former is only from the Spirit of Christ, and wrought only in them which are in Christ. The latter may proceed from moral principles, and is incident even to them also that are aliens from Christ. - Withal these virtues and good works, when they are found to flow from our union to Christ, and the love of God shed abroad in our hearts through Christ; and upon examination a man can truly say, that he hath ceased to hew from any other quarry, or to dip from any other Fountain than from Christ, that from his Spirit alone he daily sucketh life, as the branch from the root to bring forth fruit, and from the sacrifice of Christ's death a sweet odor to make himself and his fruit acceptable, then they serve as good seconds to prove to his soul that he is justified and sanctified; but so that his being in Christ must first prove his fruit to be good, before his fruit can have any power to evidence him to be in Christ, and the evidence of his justification consists not in the qualifications which he hath attained, or works which he does and hath done, as in his continual waiting upon Christ, from Him alone to receive what he ought to be and to do in all well pleasing before God, and the love of God in Christ in enabling him unto obedience. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, Second Part, 1654}

Blessings of the Grace of God in Christ

Lest any in the interim should stand doubting at any of the Scriptures here quoted as promising either love, or life, or grace, or glory to men thus and thus qualified, and conceive that such qualifications are the ground and condition, together with faith to give us a right to that which is promised; I think it fit to clear the way, that the ground of our right in such felicities promised, is not the qualifications or works of the person, but the new relation of the person so qualified; that is, his union with Christ, justification and adoption before God. Such promises not being made to all, but to the Saints in Christ so doing, I shall clear it up to you by a similitude. Isaac promised his son Esau his blessing, but bids him to go hunting and bring him venison, and then in eating it, he will bless him. What was that which enrighted Esau to the blessing? What was the ground or condition upon which Isaac would bless him? Was it the venison caught and dressed? Nothing less; for if 1000 others should have presented him with 1000 pieces of venison at several times, all dressed and fitted to his appetite, the blessing still would have been entirely reserved for Esau alone, and they all have been sent away empty; as appears by his dealing with Jacob presenting his made venison, how agreeing soever the dish was to the palate of the old patriarch, yet he will examine thoroughly who it is, whether his very son Esau that brings it, before he gives the blessing. It was not then the venison, but the sonship; yea the right of the firstborn that was the ground and condition of Isaac’s promise to bless him. So it is also to his justified and adopted ones in Christ, that the Lord saith, “ask and you shall have, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you, run and you shall obtain, overcome and you shall be crowned, love and I will love you, be merciful and I will be merciful unto you, humble yourselves and I will lift you up;” and thousand more such promises of grace; and as far as they hold forth spiritual and saving blessings, they are the children's bread, dispensations of God within his own family; no stranger hath part in it, or a right to it. Let the world, those that are not beloved; ask, seek, knock, run, fight, &c., the Lord may possibly out of the goodness of his Providence, the infiniteness of his wisdom and bounty of his nature, reward with corporal and temporal good things, their carnal and temporal endeavors, but until by the Spirit of adoption they are united to Christ, they have no right by the New Covenant to make claim to the spiritual and saving blessings promised; neither are they any otherwise to be ratified to any but as they were beloved of God in Christ before there were any such qualifications and motions in them, or as falsely called, conditions. Yea suppose that Esau could not have brought the venison to his Father, had been hindered or drawn aside from seeking it, or seeking could not find it, or finding could not have taken and brought it; should the promise and purpose of Isaac to bless him, for this cause have failed? He performed not the condition, and now he shall therefore be bereaved of the blessing? Nothing less, for the general and fundamental ground and condition, the relation of a son, of the firstborn son, stood still fixed, unto which the goodwill of the Father, and the blessing in the Father's purpose was entailed. In like manner, though a child of God fail in some of the works and qualifications which Mr. Baxter calls conditions of the New Covenant, yet this makes not the promise of the Covenant, or the beneficence of the Covenanter promising to be void, because these are grounded, {so far as they are grounded out of God} upon Christ, our union unto Christ, and new relation to God in Christ. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, Second Part, 1654}

Christ – the Author of Salvation

Christ is “the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” {Heb.5:9} If Christ be the author, then is not our obedience the ground of it; but we should be authors thereof to ourselves, at least he should be in part author of it by his, and we in part by our obedience, and so the honor thereof should be parted between Christ and ourselves. Therefore when he is said to be such to them that obey him, it is the same as if it were said, to them that hurling away as dung their own righteousness, do believe in, and receive him alone to salvation. For so to obey Christ, to obey the Gospel, and that which Christ calleth the hearing and keeping of my Word, my Commandments, my sayings, {in so many places as that it is hard to number them,} are equivalent terms, and hold forth the obedience to the doctrine of faith, in opposition to the obedience which the Law or Old Covenant prescribeth to salvation, a seeking of salvation by the righteousness of Christ, and no more by our own righteousness. The persons that shall be saved by Christ are here described only, and not a condition by which they are to be saved. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, Second Part, 1654}


This Goddess Condition; a deity that the Scriptures never knew, nor yet all the whole University of Athens; by some help of the Socinians and Arminians hath Mr. Baxter brought to light, and invested her with more glittering ornaments then they had wit to do; only he hath not yet built a temple, and there enthroned her, for all men to fall down with him and worship her. Yet of this almighty power he proclaims that she binds the hands of God and men; for the one cannot give, the other cannot receive without her mediation. Neither the Eternal Father, nor the Eternal Son can show the least of mercy to a poor sinner, nor the sinner partake of one crumb of mercy from the Father by the Son, unless this great Goddess Condition say Amen to it. - It would be weariness to the flesh, and vexation to the spirit, but to look so often upon this great Goddess, his queen of heaven {Condition} as he blesseth her. Oh that his conscience had been so well acquainted with Christ, as his fancy is with this idol, he would not then have pestered the Church with such an imaginary deity, nor prostituted all that is called God at the feet of such an idol. I am weary anymore to attend to him, making the will of God; that is, God willing conditional, and so the immutable God, a conditional God; the salvation of Christ conditional, and so Christ but a conditional Savior; or the witness and seal of Christ a conditional seal and witness; and so the Holy Ghost a conditional Spirit of Adoption; or the Gospel of righteousness, forgiveness and life, a conditional Gospel; and consequently nullifying all these, and pronouncing them no God, no Christ, no Holy Ghost, no Gospel. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, Second Part, 1654}


By condition they mean that which being once attained and once fixed upon Christ, speaks up absolutely justified forever. So that in calling faith the condition of justification, they mean that we cannot be justified without it, but having once by faith apprehended Christ we are by it united and joined to Christ, and by force of our union with him are henceforth absolutely and irrevocably pardoned and accepted as righteous in God’s sight. He calls it so a condition as that it continues still a condition, justifying us only conditionally and not absolutely, so that it leaves our estate still one and the same, no more justified and pardoned when believers then when unbelievers. For by the satisfaction of Christ we are before faith cometh conditionally justified if we believe, and when faith is come we remain still but conditionally justified if we believe, our safety being as loose and uncertain then as before, depending still upon the residence and the abode of faith in us as before it did upon the possibility of its future ingeneration into us and acting in us; and that we are no longer justified then while we believe and obey; so that by believing and unbelieving, obeying and rebelling we may be justified and unjustified again thousand times before we die, and how often after, himself expresses not. I need not mention more, these two differences are enough to declare that although here he speaks in the same tone with some of our Divines, yet his judgment no more agrees with their than the Pope with Luther and Calvin, Elymas with Paul, or the Scribes and Pharisees with Christ. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}

Covenant of Grace

The two covenants there mentioned are termed Old and New, not for their differing in substance, but for their different ways of administration. The Church of Israel then, and the churches of Christ now, are and were under the same Covenant of Grace in substance; but the Church then under a legal and the Church now under an evangelical and spiritual administration thereof. That was the old, this the new administration, and in respect thereof the same covenant then and now, are termed the Old and New Covenant. This is evident from the text: “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; but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD; for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” {Jer.31:31-34} John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}

Covenant of Grace

The question is wholly about Christ the second Adam, whether the Covenant of Grace was so made with him, as the covenant of works with Adam? I conceive that in both there was such a covenant between the Father and the Son in reference to us, and that this was the tenor thereof; namely, that the Son in time appointed should assume to himself our nature, and in it represent the persons of the elect that were equally sinners and condemned with others in Adam; that he should offer himself in our flesh a sacrifice for sin; that upon his undertaking thereof the sins of all the elect should be pardoned, and these sinners should be made righteous, and delivered up into his hands, no more to be accounted to Adam, but to Christ, and to be preserved in the bosom of his grace and love to eternal glory. Upon Christ's undertaking, &c., the satisfaction was so virtually and effectually made by Christ and accepted by the Father as when it was actually accomplished. First it seems there was such a covenant; for the Apostle tells us, that Adam was a figure of him that was to come, which is Christ, {Rom.5:14} And how a figure? Doubtless, not only in this, that as by him the one and the first man, sin and death by sin immediately came upon all men; so by Christ, righteousness, and by it life came upon all the elect; but also in the manner of the agreements of the type and anti-type together. That as Adam represented all mankind, and by his unfaithfulness in breaking the covenant brought sin and death upon all that he represented; so Christ representing all the elect, by his faithfulness in performing the covenant &c., brought righteousness and justification of life upon all the elect represented in him. Yea the Holy Ghost in express words testifieth to such a covenant. “In the volume of the book it is written of me, to do thy will, O God,” saith he when he comes into the world; that is, it is testified in the Word what covenant hath passed betwixt thee and me, &c., {Heb.10:5-10,} yea and testifieth to the tenor of the covenant, his coming with a body to be offered in sacrifice; this will of God he came to do. And moreover he giveth witness also to the faithfulness of Christ in offering it, “lo I come;” and to the efficacy of it upon all immediately for whom it was offered; by the which will we are sanctified; namely, no more taken for sinners, but consecrated as holy to the Lord through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all. The same is implied in that phrase which here termeth the offering of Christ's body the doing of the Father's will; and elsewhere, “obedience unto death, even the death of the cross.” {Phil.2:8} Obedience and will presuppose command and covenant. And the one righteousness or one act of righteousness of Christ, opposed to that one offense of Adam, {for so the phrase seems to me to hold out more grammatically, than the offense of one and the righteousness of one,} doth not obscurely argue that one righteousness of Christ in fulfilling, opposite to that one offense in Adam in once breaking the covenant. {Rom.5:18} And that all this was covenanted to be done and accepted for and in the behalf of the elect, and to them and none but them to be effectualized, is also evident from the Scriptures. For he did the will of his Father in offering himself as was before showed; that is, did according as it was agreed and covenanted between him and the Father, died for them only for whom he made prayers and intercessions. When his time was come to suffer he prayed and interceded not for the world, but for them only whom the Father had given him out of the world. {John 17:6,9} Therefore for them only he undertook to satisfy. Therefore is it that he is said to lay down his life only for his sheep, not for the goats, {Jn.10:11,15,} for them whose names were written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. {Rev.13:8} By force of this satisfaction so given and accepted for the sins of the elect, according to the tenor of this covenant between the Father and the Son, all the elect of God were justified in Christ from the very time of Christ's undertaking to be their Justifier. Therefore in the last alleged Scripture their names are said to be written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Here though the Book of Life which is elsewhere mentioned to be God's book will be taken by Mr. Baxter to be the book of election, yet this Book of Life of the Lamb is to be understood for the book of justification, implying indeed the election of all that are written therein, but primarily and in its direct sense comprehending the names of them that are justified by the blood of the sacrificed Lamb of God. And these are said to be written in Christ's book; that is, registered in Christ, and upon Christ's account from the foundation of the world, immediately upon Christ's undertaking to satisfy for them. “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” {I Cor.1:30} When was he so made unto us? Not only upon the payment but upon his undertaking to pay our debt. Therefore is he said to be Jesus Christ yesterday, and today and forever. {Heb.13:8} And that not only in reference to them that lived in all ages of the world, but in respect of us also, that in all ages of the world he hath been, and will be what now he is - our Jesus - our Christ. Christ having now made full satisfaction to the Father, brings in his elect, to taste and enjoy by faith all the perfections which he hath merited and received into his hands for them. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}

Election unto Salvation in Christ

All which are elected from eternity shall in their appointed times come unto Christ and persevere in him by a living faith. I mean not only all, but only these and none besides them. “As many as were ordained to eternal life believed,” {Acts 13:48,} when Christ was, and do still do or shall believe when Christ is, or shall be preached to them. If the Gospel be hid from any {namely; so that they believe not in Christ manifested by the Gospel to them,} it is to them that perish, &c., {II Cor.4:3,} to them that are not elect but reprobates. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out,” {or suffer to be lost.} {Jn.6:37} To come to Christ is to believe truly in him, such shall never be lost, never fall away, or make shipwreck of their faith. But who are they whom God giveth to Christ that they may believe in him? “Thine they were, and thou gavest them me,” saith our Savior. “Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables; that seeing they may see, and not perceive,” &c. {Mk.4:11,12} Why was it given to the one part to know the spirit of the Gospel, to the other only the outside and letter thereof? They were within, the others outside the lines of God's election. “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” {I Jn.2:19} Not of us, he means, not of the number of them that are called according to God's purpose of election, {Rom.8:28,} for then they could not have fallen away, for all should have wrought for good to them. So that hence it followeth that every elect unbeliever shall come to and continue in the Faith, and whosoever doth not so is manifested not to have been elected of God. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}

Everlasting Love of God in Christ for the Elect

The Scriptures speaking of the sons of Isaac, saith of them, while yet unborn, and consequently having neither done good nor evil, “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated;” {Mal.1:2,3, Rom.9:11,13;} and elsewhere pronounceth of men, that when they lay in their blood, in their nakedness, then he made it the time of love, said to them live, spread his skirt over them, and covered them, entered into covenant with them, and made them his. {Ez.16:6-8} “God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ.” {Eph.2:4,5} “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners,” when enemies, we were justified by Christ's blood, and reconciled to God by his death. {Rom.5:8-10} Here it is evident to all men that the love of God justifying and reconciling us to himself, goeth before our faith and works, was then in its power and operation, when we were yet sinners, in all our pollution, enemies, dead in sin; therefore without any spiritual motion, or operation to our own cleansing, or happiness. I demand now when this love of God so justifying us began? Not when we believed, and first obeyed the Gospel, for it went before, it was then acted toward us when we were enemies, dead, &c. Or when we began to be sinners? Then it seems that our sins begat this love in God, and then let the atheists aphorism stand as an impregnable principle, ‘let our sins abound, that the grace and love of God may abound.’ Or was there ever an hatred of us, as a contrary affection in God, before, which is now expelled that love might succeed in its place? Hath God now changed his hating of us to condemn us, into a love to justify and save us? This is to accuse God of mutableness and change. For God is love, {I Jn.4:8,} and the love of God is God himself loving; and to affirm where we find the love of God present, that there was a time when this love was not in God, when God began to love, is no other but to affirm, that there was a time when God yet was not, and a time when he began to be God, the will of God being God himself. And the volitions, or willings of God, being God himself willing; and the acts of God's love and hatred being acts of God's will; yeah of God himself, and no more subject to change, being immanent in God, than God himself. So that these Scriptures which affirm God's love to us when we were sinners, do affirm also consequently his love to us before we were either in being, or just, or sinners, even from eternity. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}

Everlasting Love of God in Christ for the Elect

When the Lord said to his people, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love,” {Jer.13:3,} does he not mean a love which is from everlasting to everlasting? Or is there a love of God to everlasting which was not from everlasting? Or was it not the love of accepting and approbation of them unto righteousness and salvation, whereof he there speaketh? And when the Apostle John tells us, that the glory of God's love doth herein shine forth, “not that we loved him, but that he loved us,” {I Jn.4:10,} making not our love, or any fruits thereof, the foundation of God's love to us, but the love of God to us to go before our love. Is not this a doctrine universally true of all the saints that are or have been, that God's love to them preceded, and was antecedaneous to their love towards him? If so, then consequently before man's being, then from eternity was this grace given us, and we were loved of God in Christ, to justification and salvation. It is that which the Lord Christ speaketh, {and that not obscurely,} in his prayer before his passion, where having interceded and craved sundry blessings for his elect, he adds this reason why he craved those blessings in their behalf; namely, “that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” {Jn.17:23} How is that? In the next verse he explains himself thus, “Thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world.” What doth follow hence, but that as Christ, so they that are Christ's, were loved of God unto life, before the foundation of the world. God having loved Christ as the Head of the Church before the foundation of the world, therefore also he loved the elect in Christ as the body and members of Christ before the foundation of the world. Yea to decree from eternity, to love them afterward in time, and until the time came, to hate them, or not to love them in Christ, was to decree mutability and change in his own will - in himself, which is wholly repugnant to his nature that cannot change, by receiving augmentation unto, or diminution of the acts of his will, which were in him from eternity. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}


We make not a man a stone, nor degrade him into a dead block. He has not lost his free will, but all possibility of being saved by it, all the spiritualness of it, that without a new reparation of it, it can will nothing in matters of salvation concurrent and conforming with the will of God; but all man's actings of his faith when he is so renewed and moved by the prime cause, is but to the receiving and application of his justification evidenced to him; as it is God's instrument and acted by God, so it is God's evidence to manifest him his justification. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}


We affirm not faith to be God's instrument as it receives Christ, nor any further to be the instrument of God's justifying, than of his declaring and evidencing us to ourselves justified. We affirm it to be our instrument {yet as given us of God} as it receives Christ. By faith God evidences life and righteousness to be ours; ours as by it we receive Christ and the justification; yea Justifier in receiving Christ. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}

False Prophets

It hath been usual to Satan in all ages to employ whited sepulchers that are beautiful on the outside, to broach and defend heresies in the Church. He wants not his depths, is not ignorant that men of depraved lives are unfit to deceive and pervert consciences. Therefore when he himself will deceive, he puts off his devils face, and transforms himself into an angel of light. “No marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness.” {II Cor.11:13-15} Where hath there ever been more appearance of holiness {and men cannot search the heart} than in the Scribes and Pharisees; in the monks and friars; amongst the Socinians; yea amongst the very Turks? Shall then the outward varnish of their seeming virtues befool us to drink down their damning doctrines. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}

Fruits of Righteousness by Jesus Christ

The Eternal King having laid down the life of his own Son for the ransom of my soul, hath opened to me all his treasuries in one and the same Christ, the treasury of his blood and merits to purge me from the guilt of sin, and obligation to judgment and vengeance; so that having put on Christ crucified my Law is done, my sin forgiven, my nakedness and filthiness covered, and I stand in Christ as perfectly righteous as if I had never offended; the treasury of his Spirit and spiritual gifts, sufficient to turn my water into wine, to renew my heart, and to sanctify me throughout; that henceforth I shall hate sin no less than hell, and delight in the Law of God after the inner man, taking no less pleasure in the holiness than in that happiness which are by Christ. – As justification ought and doth declare itself to the person justified by its proper and immediate fruits; peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, prizing Christ above all things, soul contentment in him, living and dwelling upon him, selling all to enjoy him alone to righteousness and salvation, counting all things dung and loss in comparison of him, emptying ourselves more and more of our own righteousness, of our own self-confidence, that he may be made our all at God's tribunal; repairing no more to Abana and Pharpar, {II Kgs.5:12,} no nor to Jordan itself, but to the One Fountain of Christ's blood, there to wash daily and to be clean; neither in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem, {Jn.4:21,} but in Christ alone to worship that we may be accepted. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, Second Part, 1654}

God and Eternity

God created time for the measure of his creatures, not his own being and motion. Past, present, and future are much to us, whose existence, duration, and motions are spanned and spun out by moments; but to God who is eternal, dwells in eternity, is eternity, not circumscribed with place or time, there is nothing former, or later, no succession, of present or past, of future to present, but all at once, and in one view apparent to his eye of infinite knowledge. So that albeit he speaks often in Scriptures to our capacities of succession of times, as if he together with us did act within the bounds thereof; else if he should speak still in reference to the things of old, and things hereafter to us as the eternal I AM, not I was, or I will be, our weakness would be beneath the comprehension of what he saith. Yet these circumstances of time do add nothing to, take nothing from, nor properly square with Him that is above time, without the precincts of time, comprehends time, and temporary things within himself, and is not comprehended, or touched by them. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}

Gospel Blessings in Christ

Neither shall it be impertinent here to take into consideration some rules of our Divines for the right understanding of the mind of the Holy Ghost in promising eternal life unto persons of such and such qualifications, or that perform such and such duties. These are principally such as follow: 1. That they belong {as far as to be effectualized} to none else but such as are vitally within the Covenant of Grace, under the protection of the blood of the Lamb, in spiritual union with Christ Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant according to that of the Apostle. “All the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen;” {II Cor.1:20;} never effectualized to them that are not in Him. “To Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy Seed, which is Christ;” {Gal.3:16;} namely, in him alone, and to them alone to be conformed which are in Christ. Therefore the blessedness which Matthew in the sound of words seems to hold forth more generally, Matthew 5:3-11, Luke as the expositor of Him, or rather of the mind of Christ in those promises, contracts to the right objects or persons to whom they were to be made good, thus; Jesus “lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor; for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now; for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now; for ye shall laugh;” {Lk.6:20-23;} implying that the blessedness was to come upon them, not by the virtue of these acts and qualifications mentioned, but upon this ground alone that they were his disciples, by him Gospelized and received into covenant. This is that which Augustine so much presseth in such promises to look to the Root which is Christ, and that the reward is not from their works, because they are holy, but because they are holy or saints which wrought them. 2. That in such promises the qualifications or works of the persons to whom they are directed are mentioned not as the ground or foundation of the blessedness promised, but to show the method and order which God observes in bringing them to the possession thereof. Because he is holy, pure, spiritual; therefore he pours into them his purifying, sanctifying, and adopting spirit to conform them to his own will and nature, before he brings them into the full and real fruition of himself. So he promises all the heaven of felicities to the meek, the righteous, the saints, to them that love him, that fear him, that obey him; not thereby insinuating that he found them such, but that he made, or will make them such, as many as he will crown at last with glory. He new creates their hearts and forms their wills, puts into them a new spirit, thereby making them as Peter saith, “partakers of the Divine nature,” and to enjoy the kingdom of God within them here, before they be translated to it above. 3. Nevertheless the foundation of all these promises is not such acts and qualifications in us, but the relation of sons, in which we stand before God. Such God beheld us in Christ before we were born, such he hath made us that truly believe by the grace of the New Covenant, having begotten us to Himself of incorruptible seed, {I Pet.1:23,} we are born of God, and have received the Spirit of adoption by which we cry Abba, Father. {Rom.8:15} So that our salvation depends not upon the virtues and good works which are mentioned in the promises, but upon this our relationship as sons; “if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, &c.” {Rom.8:17} - To this I might annex the harmony of Scriptures, that testifying the kingdom of glory to be prepared for them that shall enjoy it, from the foundation of the world; purchased for them by Christ's death; {Mt.25:34, Heb.9:15;} that they were begotten to it by the seed of Christ begetting Christ in them, {I Pet.1:3,4,} and are righted to it by their adoption. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, Second Part, 1654}

Gospel of the Grace of Christ

Sure am I, that the Gospel in its strict and proper sense, consists not at all in bringing precepts; but life, grace, righteousness, peace, joy, holiness, liberty, and salvation from heaven; and whatsoever else tendeth to the perfect and never-ending well-being of poor souls, together with an all sufficient light and direction how to attain all these, and manage them once obtained to the advancing of the glory of the grace of the Giver. This is properly the sum of the Gospel, and the precepts intermixed with the doctrine thereof, no otherwise proper to the Gospel, than as they are furtherances to the attainment of them, and lights and helps to direct us how to stand fixed in the enjoyment of them, and walk holily, honorably and worthily in the strength and comfort thereof. Yet it cannot be denied but that still the Law is a perfect rule of all perfect moral righteousness; and that Christ hath expunged no part of it, but commands all; yea writes the righteousness of all in the hearts of believers, that they might with all, and delight to do all, not only after the moral, but after the evangelical rule, through Christ, for whose sake their imperfect services are accepted with God as though they were full and complete. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, Second Part, 1654}

Growth in Grace by Faith in Christ

By the Gospel, the righteousness of God, {that is, which he giveth us unto justification,} is revealed from faith to faith, saith the Apostle. {Rom.1:17} He saith not from faith to works, but from faith to faith; that is, {omitting other interpretations partly ridiculous, and partly invalid and besides the scope of the Apostle,} from faith undeveloped to faith growing and consummate, or coming nearer and nearer to consummation. This exposition the choicest of our expositors give, as both properly agreeing with the drift of the text, and as owned and patronized by the likes phrase in other Scriptures. “From strength to strength.” {Ps.88:7} “From glory to glory.” {II Cor.3:18} Which even all acknowledge to be understood, from one to another, from a lesser to a greater degree of strength in glory. So also of this phrase, from faith to faith. And thus not only the beginning but also the increase and consummation of Gospel justification in our own consciences before God is here attributed to faith, which as it grows to more and more strength, by apprehending more and more revelations of the Gospel; so it more and more declares and evidences to the soul the certainty of our justification, to the continual establishment and increase of our peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, Second Part, 1654}

Iniquities laid upon Christ

God hath laid on Christ's score all the sins of the elect, committed or to be committed, and satisfying his justice for them upon Christ, who in their names hath paid the penalty of all, therefore their consciences are discharged, neither since past, nor sins to come shall be anymore imputed to them. There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. {Rom.8:1} There is daily new sinning, why not also daily subjection to fresh condemnation? Because the person being in Christ, though subject to a necessity of sinning, yet through the justification of his person is exempted from the further imputation of sin so committed unto condemnation. “He that believeth hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation.” {Jn.5:24} He comes daily into the acting of new sins; how is it that he comes not into a subjection and obligation to condemnation by these sins, but because they were forgiven to the offender before, therefore not imputed to him when committed. It is one chief privilege of the New Covenant that, “their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” {Heb.10:17,18} - If God hath remitted and justified a believer from the sins which he hath committed, and not from the sins which he foreknoweth that they will commit, but imputeth or will impute them, then is the same person both justified and unjustified at the same time, and God at the same time both loves the same person to eternal life, and hates him to eternal condemnation; which were no less absurdity than to attribute two contrary wills acting in God at once, and so the same person he declared in his own conscience at the same time both in the state of life, and in the state of death; or life, in respect of the sins past forgiven through Christ; and death, in regard of the sins to come not yet forgiven. In Christ, either all sins are forgiven to the elect or none at all. When having fulfilled the Law, and paid their debt, Christ appeared in the most holy place in heaven at God's mercy seat to mediate with his blood for them. There he either received acquittance from, and forgiveness of all the sins which his elect in after times should commit, and so in Christ their sins to come were forgiven, or else no sin was forgiven; for as yet they were not in being, therefore neither were their sins yet committed. But he received then in their names a full acquittance and forgiveness of their sins, therefore of their sins before they were committed, and they were forgiven before they had offended. - The sins of the elect yet un-committed, are in Christ as fully forgiven, as those that are already committed. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}

Judgment of Believers

I utterly deny that they which are in Christ shall be so judged or justified according to their works as other men, that they shall stand as prisoners with the world at the bar of Christ, to be judged for life and death as the other, according to their works. What that the Lord Christ should then discover the nakedness, and lay open in the sight of men and devils all the sin and shame of his beloved members? That he should cast in their faces all the filth of all their original and actual pollution, even when they are upon the threshold of heaven? My ears are abhorrent from the sound thereof. It is against the pure stream of Gospel doctrine, which tells us that Christ hath borne their sin and curse, and fulfilled their Law, therefore they are not to be called to such a reckoning. “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.4:7,8} “Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” {Heb.10:17}  “Ye are not under the law, but under grace;” {Rom.6:14;} therefore exempted from the accusations of the Law at the bar of Justice, where the world is to be tried, and to receive no other judgment, but that which flows from the throne of grace. That there is therefore now “no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,” and that “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath” freed them from the law of sin and death. {Rom.8:1,2} So that the Law has no more power of judgment over them, than the laws of our land to try an angel of heaven for life and death. “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” {Rom.8:33,34} They are the sheep that shall be separated and set at the right hand of Christ, before he enters upon the judging of the world, and so freed from judgment by the mercy of God in separating them. “And shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” {Jn.5:24} That what to the world is the day of judgment, to these is the day of redemption. {Lk.21:28} They shall not come into judgment to answer for any one of their sins; sin being taken away, {by the Lamb of God, as appears in John 1:29,} and all obligation of judgment is taken away with it. As for the works and righteousness which these Scriptures declare shall be mentioned to believers in that their judgment day, these speak out the infinite freeness and riches of God's grace in covering their nakedness, and setting forth only the beauty and ornaments which he hath put upon them; but in no wise any sufficient ground or reason upon which they might expect so great a salvation. – To attribute to the works of believers the reason or ground of their glorification because the grace of Christ mentioneth them is to lay the honor of Christ's grace in the dust. They that shall be glorified, even when Christ of his infinite grace extolleth their service done unto him, shall depress themselves, that the entire praise may be his. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}


Assertion#1. Justification is taken sometimes actively, for a judicial act of God's grace; sometimes passively, or terminatively; as it hath its termination upon believers. In the former sense, it is an act eternal and eminent in God, not transient upon any extraneous subject; or in plain words, it is secret, abiding, and hidden in God himself, not declared or passing into the knowledge and conscience of man. That it is of the same nature with the acts of election and reprobation, having its complete being, as these, before the persons so elected, justified and reprobated begin to have being, life or faith in them, or to do good or evil. But in its passive sense, as it is terminated upon, and made out to the conscience of a man, so it is a transient act of God, pronouncing and declaring home to the conscience of a man now living, convinced of his sins, and trembling at the sense and burden thereof, yet resting upon, and cleaving to Christ by faith; that his sins are forgiven for Christ's sake; and by this act and sentence of God in his conscience the poor sinner becomes sensible and apprehensive of his full discharge and absolution at God's tribunal through Christ's satisfaction made to justice for him. Assertion#2: Justification, as taken in the former sense, is an act of God's Supreme Lordship or Dominion, or else of his good pleasure {to use the Apostle’s terms} by which he freely and without necessity, in relation to his justice, willeth the salvation of one, and willeth not the salvation of another; loveth or hateth; imputeth not, or doth impute sin, according to his own good pleasure. But justification in the latter sense, is an act of God's righteousness or faithfulness, by which he faithfully and righteously accomplisheth his promises of grace, in justifying and absolving them which believe, by the sentence of pardon pronounced to their conscience, according to the Gospel promise made to believers. No word of promise went before justification in the former sense, to make it an act of justice to fulfill that promise; neither could it be an act of his natural justice, that by the necessity of his nature he should so justify and love any; for then should none be either loved or saved freely of God, when contrariwise it was in his own free choice, to love or to hate, to save or condemn all, to have loved Esau and hated Jacob, to have willed the condemnation of the saved, and the salvation of the reprobated. But the word of promise preceded justification in the latter sense, which it is righteousness in God to fulfill, therefore is it an act as well of his justice or righteousness, as of his free grace. Assertion#3: Justification in the former sense is antecedaneous, or foregoing to all covenants whatsoever. In order of nature {though not in time} it goeth before that covenant between the Father and the Son; and consequently before Christ's undertaking to make, or the Father's covenant to accept what he should offer, in satisfaction for the sins of the elect. For in order of nature the willing of the end, always goes before the willing of the means conducting to the end; so that God's willing man's righteousness and immunity from sin, and a loving him to salvation, must needs go before his willing of Christ's satisfying of his justice, which was but a means appointed of God to the constituting of man righteous before him, that he might be pure from sin, discharged from condemnation, and partaker of salvation, which was the end. Not that there was any precedency, or following after, of these acts of God in time; for they are both co-eternal, and before all times. Whom God hath loved, and forgiven their sins, them hath he so loved and forgiven, in and through Christ from all eternity, and through and for the merit of his satisfaction. Much more doth this eminent act of justification go before, not only in nature, but in time also. Both the covenant made with Adam, and the Covenant of Grace, made after by Gospel promise, by Christ, or God in Christ to us, through Christ. For these had all their manifestation in time; but justification, as a sentence of pardon pronounced upon the conscience of the believer, in its other acceptation is subsequent unto, and follows after, and is an effect of not only the Covenant of Grace, but of faith itself, which the Covenant of Grace calls for, as a means to attain it. None else but a believer, nor he, until he actually believes, is thus actually justified, or hath pardon of sins and absolution from wrath declared and pronounced of God in his conscience. And thus to be justified in Christ, or in God, is one thing and to be justified in ourselves by God through Christ is another. The former is a antecedent, the latter an effect or consequence of the Covenant of Grace. Assertion#4: Neither the mediation and satisfaction of Christ, much less, our faith in Christ, nor any of the most noble gifts of grace received from Christ, either in their habit or operation do move God to justify us, so as to put into him a will to pardon our sins, and accept us as righteous, or to change his affection from nilling to willing our forgiveness and happiness, and from hating to love and accept us; because he is God, and therefore immutable; and there cannot be any cause of God's will rendered, any more than of God Himself. For the will of God is God himself, and these imminent acts of God are God himself acting. So that the substration of all that Christ hath suffered, and by his sufferings satisfied for us, and of all that we do, or can do to put ourselves into union with Christ, and a conformity with the will of God, are in no wise the causes or conditions, or antecedents of God's first loving, owning, and pronouncing us righteous and pure from sin imputed, but the effects thereof. For he so loveth and justifieth all, that in a covenant way have been or shall be justified in their own conscience, before ever they believe, or live. But that the intervening of Christ's satisfaction for our sins, and our recumbency upon, and embracing of Christ unto satisfying of faith, do add nothing to God which was not, nor alter anything which was in his will before; but do only lay and make a way by God's ordination, how he from all eternity loving and justifying us in Himself freely, may in a course most convenient to magnify both his truth and righteousness, and withal his grace and mercy, at length actually declares us just in, and to our own consciences, and forever acquits us from sin and wrath, to the admiration of men and angels. And so the former justification is a pure, simple, free, and irrespective act of God, having no causality out of himself moving him to it; but the latter is a federal, Gospel or covenant justification, respecting his own covenant before made, Christ's satisfaction already given and pleaded in heaven by Christ, and man's faith in the Mediator and Promiser, pleading the promise, and the blood of the Mediator sealing it; upon all which he doth, he cannot but actually pronounce and declare to the conscience of the believer his perfect absolution from sin and vengeance. This latter is indeed the justifying whereof the Scriptures primarily speak, as oft as they speak of justification by faith, but so as the former is also in such Scriptures implied. Neither is the Scripture silent in reference to the former, as considered without the latter, or apart from it. Assertion#5: Although all that are or shall be justified by faith in time; namely, each one in the time when he so believes, were justified also in Christ and secretly in God before they believe, or yet lived, even from eternity; yet is there no man justified by virtue of the new covenant and promise of the Gospel, proclaiming right to the Lord Christ, to forgiveness of sins, freedom from condemnation, heirship to God's Kingdom, and all other benefits of Christ's passion; until he doth actually believe and embrace Christ, through Him to have all those precious promises made good and effectual to himself. Though in Christ he were lord of all before, yet differed he nothing in himself from a servant, from a child of wrath, for his life and righteousness were hid with Christ in God. He could claim nothing from God by any evidential title, but wrath and condemnation; though in Christ all was his, because Christ had merited, purchased, and received all into his hands for him, yet had he no right to Christ by which to claim a partnership and interest in the Kingdom and privileges of grace, was without all true peace of conscience, all joy and consolation in the promises of grace, under fears and terrors in expectation of wrath and damnation, could be sensible of nothing but anger, hatred and displeasure against him for sin, knew not himself to be one of the children of promise, {Gal.4:28,} to be entitled to Christ, in whom alone the promises of God are yea and Amen. {II Cor.1:20} Therefore as if there had been no Christ, no Mediator and Reconciler, no Covenant of Grace; yea, no grace, or acts of grace eternal or temporary in God through Christ, so he remained under a spirit either of delusion or bondage still. But now when the Father hath drawn him to Christ, and Christ hath received him, when Christ hath apprehended him to himself by his Spirit, and he by faith hath apprehended Christ to himself for redemption, reconciliation, remission, righteousness, and whatsoever else is laid up in Christ for him; and so hath union and communion with Christ, hath Christ in him, and is himself in Christ. Now his justification, which was sure before in God and in Christ, is also made sure to his conscience. He is now justified in his own conscience after the tenor, and by the virtue of the Gospel and Covenant and Promises of Grace; finds and knows himself through Christ absolved at God's tribunal, hath all the evidences for it that possibly he can desire, the Word and the Oath of God, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, he may have a strong consolation. {Heb.6:18} The Word evidenceth, and his faith evidenceth, the covenant is now sealed immutably and reciprocally between God and him, by believing he hath put to his seal that God is true, and God seals to his conscience by certifying it by his Spirit, that his wrath is pacified, that all accusations are silenced, and that there is no condemnation to him being now in Christ Jesus. {Rom.8:1} Himself may now rest satisfied, banishing henceforth all fears and doubts, and glorying in the Lord that the fear of death is past, it is enough my soul is now alive, Christ is made sin for me, that I might become the righteousness of God in him. {II Cor.5:21} Now Lord lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for my eyes have seen thy Salvation; and in the interim while he is here enjoying a heaven upon earth, a kingdom of righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Ghost, until he was incorporated by faith into Christ, Christ might indeed plead for him, but he had no evidence, no show of title, not an article under God's hand, or from his lips, to plead at God's bar for life or pardon. Assertion#6: Nevertheless when a man truly believeth, then may he apprehend justification and remission of sins not only as now first declared and evidenced to his own soul, but also as past and complete before the foundation of the world was laid; because from eternity Christ satisfied, in that he undertook to satisfy, for the sins of the elect; and God from eternity rested in this satisfaction undertaken by Christ, and so laid aside all displeasure which {without this Covenant between him and his only Son} he might have taken up as well against them that should afterwards believe, as against them which die in unbelief. For their justification in time doth argue their justification before all times; and where faith finds the least rivulet of the great stream sent forth, it can, it ought, by it to ascend up to the very Fountain to be stilled and satisfied with the deliciousness thereof. Thus shall we find the Apostle in almost all his Epistles, from the sense of their present enjoyments in Christ, to carry upward the Saints to whom he writteth, unto the very bosom of God's eternal grace, counsel and good pleasure where all was laid up and treasured for them from all eternity, that thence it might in due time be shed forth upon them. Faith runs not away rationally and hastily with the gift, but delights to enter and pierce through the veil, to contemplate and embrace the eternal as well as the infinite love of the Giver. Assertion#7: Although no man receiveth the sensible comfort of his justification before he actually believes, yet every elect vessel hath {besides, and without his knowledge} the true benefit thereof {as total freedom from vengeance} throughout the whole time of his infidelity. Every elect vessel, was in Christ beloved, accepted and owned of God as righteous, in that his sin was not imputed, as fully before as after he believed; the price of his redemption was paid, all his sins borne and punished upon the shoulders, yea the soul and body of Christ, so that himself was no less exempted from the revenging wrath of God, and from all obligation to make any part of satisfaction in his own person for his sins, as he that was already in Christ by faith. So that whatsoever afflictions befell him in the time of his unbelief, these were not the infliction of the curse, as the curse for sin, but sanctified chastisements of a loving Father, flowing from his grace and favor, not from his indignation and hatred against his person {though against his sins} tending all to his good, not to his ruin. Else if he should have borne the least stroke of God's revenging justice, and in the least pittance have made but one least piece of satisfaction by his sufferings for his offenses, then either Christ hath made satisfaction for him but in part, and is not his whole Savior and Redeemer, for that himself hath satisfied divine justice in part, or otherwise the Father hath taken satisfaction twice for the same sins, once from the Lord Christ, and after that from the offender also. But this were to slander either the perfection of Christ's mediation, or the incorruptness of God's justice, both which are insufferable. Assertion#8: Justification which is by faith consisteth not only in a bare apprehension of our justification and pardon from God, but first in God's actual declaration, evidencing, and certifying the conscience of a man drawn to the bar of judgment {set up as it were in the conscience} that God hath taken satisfaction to his offended justice from the Lord Christ for all the offenders sins, and hath forever quitclaimed and discharged him from all sin and wrath, and admitted him into favor and family to be under the dispensations of his grace forever. And then indeed God having by this act absolved the conscience, there followeth also the sense of our remission and justification; so that decides this sense and apprehension, there are two things in our justification by faith over and above that which was in our eternal justification in Christ; namely, 1. A total diffidence and denial of our own righteousness, and a trusting and adhering wholly and only to Christ for pardon and justification. 2. God's act upon our consciences, declaring and assuring us that our debt is paid by Christ, and we discharged upon the satisfaction which our Surety hath made, so that the obligation is canceled, and we depart with a full and general acquaintance in our consciences. Neither of these were there in the former justification; namely, in the justification in the former sense before mentioned, and so that there is more than the bare knowledge of our justification, in our being justified in the latter sense is evident. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}


When God saith, “I hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel;” {Num.23:21;} it will {I doubt not} be granted that the meaning was, that God did not see it to impute it, as to the curse which Baalam was hired to denounce from God against Israel. If God did not actually see iniquity and perverseness in Israel, then never did he see it in any people; for so degenerate had Israel been in the idolatries of the Egyptians, so full of infidelity and murmuring in the Wilderness, until the very day that God thus spake; that unless we will make him as Plinius’ {Gaius Plinius Secundus, known as Pliny the Elder – ancient philosopher & historian} god, that does not descend in his Providence lower than the starry and celestial spheres to intermix himself with earthly things, for fear of attracting to himself pollution thence, we must acknowledge that he did indeed see iniquity in that people; but he saw it not as to impute it, although he saw it clearly to reprove it, and to purge it out of them. Also in those Scriptures where God imputeth to men righteousness without works, pronouncing them blessed, whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered, and to whom God imputeth no sin, but imputeth righteousness; {Rom.4:6-11, II Cor.5:19;} to what time shall we reduce this imputation to find it in its original, if not to eternity? When God began to account or reckon us righteous in Christ, or not to impute sin to us, if he did not actually do it in himself before time from eternity? What else was the generation of the elect reckoned righteous in Christ first, and had their iniquity no more imputed, but when Christ's satisfaction became effectual for them? This we maintain and acknowledge to be when Christ undertook to satisfy in their behalf. How should it be otherwise; when Christ came to be voluntarily bound for them, then were they freely dismissed in him. When he became sin for them, they became the righteousness of God in Christ. {II Cor.5:21} At once their sins were imputed to Christ in point of satisfaction to be made for them, and they discharged forever; {namely, in the court where these things were transacted between the Father and the Son;} from making satisfaction in their own persons, and reckoned perfectly righteous forever, in respect of vengeance, and condemnation for sin. But Christ's undertaking to satisfy for them, and consequently the whole transaction, and Covenant between the Father and him about our redemption, and justification; and the said imputation of the sins of the elect to Christ, were all from eternity, before the foundation of the world, else how could they be loved in Christ before the foundation of the world? Therefore also their being accounted righteous in Christ, and sin not being imputed unto them, their absolution, and discharge from condemnation were perfected in God, and in Christ before the foundation of the world. Yea, however some godly commentators speak beneath the mind of the Apostle, yet his words are plain and full. That God hath promised eternal life, and given us grace in Christ before the world began. {Tit.1:2, II Tim.1:9} How promised unto Christ our Head, and to us in him, but by that eternal covenant between the Father and the Son; and how given us in him, but as John saith, “he hath given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son;” namely, laid up in him for us from eternity, to be received in time into ourselves, as we receive Christ, according to what followeth, “he that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” {I Jn.5:11,12} And the grace or life that in that, {II Tim.1:9,} is said to be given us in Christ before time is {vs.10} affirmed to be brought to light by Christ in these last times; as the former seems the imminent, so this the transient act of justification. – As to Mr. Baxter, let him pretend what he will of his zeal against this doctrine, because it is a pillar of Antinomianism, yet his conscience no doubt tells him that this rage against it is under this consideration, as it is a sledge to beat in pieces the conditional justification, election, redemption, and grace; together with the pride of man's free will, works, righteousness, and uncertainty of perseverance, &c.; which are the articles of faith common to Mr. Baxter with the Papists and their friends of the Netherlands, the Arminians, {whose ghosts have much infected us within this nation these many years.} If justification as an imminent act in God from eternity hold, all these must fall, and Master Baxter and his followers be crushed with the ruins thereof. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}


Assertion 1. Whatsoever sins, of whatsoever persons were imputed unto Christ, and for which he hath made full satisfaction to God's justice, these are no more imputed, but forever remitted in Christ absolutely and unconditionally to them who were the committers thereof. But all the sins of all the elect, and of them only, and not of the world, were imputed to Christ, and he hath made full satisfaction. Therefore the proposition is clear, unless we pronounce God unjust; for if he should impute to the offender any one sin which was imputed to Christ, and for which Christ hath fully satisfied God's justice, then should God be unjust in taking vengeance twice of the same sin, once from Christ, and another time from the offender, contrary to both the equity of his justice, and infallibility of his truth; in either of which it is impossible for God to fail. Or if any should say that their sins were but conditionally imputed to Christ, and that he made but a conditional satisfaction for them, this would be totally to deny the truth, and reality of Christ's sufferings. It was not a conditional, but absolute and real satisfaction that he made to divine justice; they were real stripes, real and absolute wounds, groans, torments, death pangs, by which he satisfied divine justice. He was not conditionally, but verily made sin for us, {II Cor.5:21,} a curse for us, {Gal.3:13,} himself bare our sins in his own body on the tree, {I Pet.2:24,} was wounded for our transgression, bruised for our iniquity. {Is.53:5} When all this was done absolutely, and really, and so a real, and absolute satisfaction made; shall all this produce only a conditional, and not a real and absolute justification in Christ for them for whom satisfaction was rendered; so that themselves in themselves must make absolute satisfaction again? This possibly may agree with Mr. Baxter's justice, but never with the justice of God. The assumption is thus proved, as to his bearing, and satisfying for the sins of the elect only, and not of the world. He suffered not for such as we call certain uncertain persons, himself not knowing who they were, or should be. The high priest, that typified Christ, offered not his sacrifices at adventures for he knew not whom, but bear the names of them for whom he offered before the Lord. {Ex.28:9-12, 29} And this was to be fulfilled in Christ their Anti-Type. “I lay down my life for the sheep,” saith he, “and know my sheep.” {Jn.10:11-15} For the sheep only, for them whom he knew to be his sheep, he laid down his life. And lest any should think he speaks here only of his called, and not his elect ones, he adds, “other sheep also I have which are not of this fold,” {of Israel - but of the Gentiles} “them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice.” They are his sheep and he lays down his life for them to satisfy for their sins before they were believing, before they were in being, and brings them home by the voice of his Gospel afterward. But to the unbelieving Jews he saith, “Ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep.” {vs.26} First sheep redeemed by the blood of the Shepherd, and then believers afterwards. And that if not sheep first, then unbelievers forever. Neither saith he, ye are not my sheep justified and reconciled by my death, because you believe not; but ye believe not because ye are not of my sheep; that is, in the number of my elect and justified ones. Justification, absolute justification in Christ goes before faith in the so justified. Again for them all, and only for them did Christ as our Priest offer Himself in sacrifice, for whom as our Priest he offered prayers to God when the offering of himself was at hand; but he so offered his prayers, not for the world, but for them which God had given him; namely, the elect. {Jn.17:9} So in this part the assumption stands firm; on the other part, that he satisfied for all the sins of all the elect is plain; “the blood of Christ purges from all sin,” {I Jn.1:7,} “by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” {Heb.10:14} When it is said that they are perfected forever, it is included that there remains not one sin unsatisfied for. And this is the privilege of all the elect, of all the sheep both in being, and in futurition, all within the fold, as before was manifested. Assertion 2. If Christ hath purchased, and we receive in this life only an universal conditional justification; it will follow also that God hath in himself decreed before all time only such a conditional justification to men; and consequently that he neither loved, nor elected to life them that are saved more than the damned. For the Son was in the bosom of the Father, therefore privy to his secret will, to his very bosom councils, came down from heaven not to transgress, but to fulfill his will, {Jn.6:38, 4:24 & 5:30,} was faithful to him that appointed him, &c. {Heb.3:2} So that he acted in time according to the will and decree of God before all time. But it is false that God decreed only such an universal and conditional justification to all, not preferring in his love and election those that shall be saved, before them which shall be damned, as clearly appears. {Acts 13:48, Rom.8:30, 9:15-25, Eph.1:4-7} Therefore it is false also that Christ hath purchased only, and we receive only an universal conditional justification. Assertion 3. Upon as good grounds as Mr. Baxter doth in the ensuing part of this treatise argue from salvation or glorification to justification, might I also argue from justification to salvation; that if justification be universally conditional, so is salvation or glorification also; that if one, then both run upon these terms; namely, if he believe and obey he shall be justified and glorified, and if not, neither shall be his portion. Thus, according to this maxim; when any is justified and glorified, his perseverance in that state depends upon his free will, runs upon the same condition still, so long justified and glorified as he is willing and obedient, and if he cease to obey he shall be unjustified an un-glorified again. So thus all the fruits of Christ's death shall be rolled to nothing, and Christ's righteousness and glory shall be a conditional and mutable righteousness and glory; today in splendor, tomorrow in darkness; and himself become a conditional Savior, a conditional King; at one time complete and sitting among his Golden Candlesticks, in the midst of his glorious Temple; at another time unchristed, unkinged; a head without a body and members, a Savior of nobodies, a King without subjects; some not at all submitting to his golden scepter, the rest that have submitted revolting from him, some from the kingdom of grace, some from the kingdom of glory, as Adam from paradise, the angels from heaven, so that he shall be left alone, and his sufferings and merits lose all their fruit by means of this conditional justification. There is I confess no weight in this argument as to be truly Orthodox. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}


Practical justification, which is by faith, being nothing but the execution of the decree of God from eternity. For besides our eternal justification in Christ {the eternal justification deposited in Christ, upon the Covenant made between the Father and the Son which is immanent in God} before mentioned, we acknowledge also an eternal decree in God to declare and evidence his elect justified in their own consciences; that is, in time to send forth his Spirit into them, and by his Spirit to work faith in them, and so to draw them unto Christ, and by the evidence of faith, and evidence of the Spirit to declare themselves to themselves to be justified, and pardoned forever. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}


What is immanent in God, but abiding or residing in God, or to use the Scripture terms, hidden in God; {Eph.3:9, Col.3:3;} yet so, that when it is revealed, it abides notwithstanding, and hath its immanency in Christ still. Approbation, acceptation, accounting us just, and loving us in Christ, are acts of God's knowledge and will, and both before and after, we have the revelation thereof to ourselves; they are immanent and abiding in God from everlasting to everlasting. Are there not immanent acts in the soul of men? Much more in the mind and will of God. “What man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him; even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” {I Cor.2:11} By the things of God, and the things of a man, I doubt not but it will be granted, that we must understand the apprehensions, volitions, purposes, and affections {if I may so speak} of God and of men. And are not these things in God, as well as the things of God? So they are as properly termed acts immanent in God in a positive sense, as actually abiding in God, as in a negative, in opposition to their transiency and termination upon a subject without God. The latter is not only, or so much denied, as the former affirmed. And thus our justification is positively and depositively immanent in God from eternity. Residing in the bosom of God the Father, as in the cabinet of his councils; and deposited in the hand of God the Son, as in the hand of a faithful Mediator and Surety for us upon his undertaking to make satisfaction, which God the Father accepted as present satisfaction made for our sins. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}


Justification or remission of sins, may be considered in a threefold respect. 1. As it is in God. 2. As it is delivered over by God, into the hands of Christ our Mediator. 3. As it is by Christ brought home unto and given into the bosom and possession of those for whom it is intended. As it is in God, I shall pretermit to speak much of it, until Mr. Baxter directly and expressly calls for it, lest the man should be tormented before his time. For he hates the very naming and thought thereof as an Eternal Act Immanent in God, and is ready Jew like to rend his clothes, and sling dust in the air, at any mention thereof, as an article that stands in direct enmity to his justification by works. As it is delivered into the hands of Christ, we may speak of it without such terrible offense to his patience, or setting him into so dire a commotion; conditionally that we will undertake for Christ that he shall be ruled by Mr. Baxter to do what he appoints with it; that is, to keep it in his pocket and deliver it to no man, but hold all under the curse of the Law until the day of judgment; but we cannot adventure upon such an undertaking, nevertheless shall hold forth the truth of God in this case. That is, that Christ by offering himself a sacrifice for sin, and presenting the sacrifice of himself unto God in the most holy place; namely, in heaven at his mercy seat, hath thereby effectually purchased everlasting redemption, and remission of sins, and hath received a full absolution and acquittance from the Father for all his elect by name. So that in Christ they are justified from all sin, and freed from the Law as a Covenant of Works even while they are unbelievers; having this freedom in the hand of Christ though not in their own apprehension and possession. Though as to themselves and their own judgments, and as to the apprehension of men, they are under the Law, under wrath, yet in Christ they are dead to the Law, their iniquities past, present and to come are blotted out, their peace made, and they reconciled to God. This is observably set forth in Aaron, and the other high priests as his successors, they being types of Christ. Aaron the high priest must bear the names of the children of Israel engraven upon two precious stones on the two shoulders of his ephod, before the Lord for a memorial. {Ex.28:10-12} Yea, he must bear their names in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, {with the blood of the sacrifice for the expiation of sins} for a memorial before God continually. What a memorial? That they were the men for whom the sacrifice was offered; and that their sins were purged thereby, that God should therefore have them in remembrance to preserve them from the curse and judgment of the Law, for so it followeth, “And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually; and thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD; and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.” {vs.29,30} These things were but figuratively done in Aaron, but really and fully accomplished in Christ his anti-type, who being constituted our High Priest, and having received command from the Father not only what, but for whom to offer, even for Israel; namely, the elect of God, {which for a great part,} were not yet in being, hath by his own blood entered into the holy place, with their names engraven upon his heart, having purchased for them an everlasting redemption. Not into the holy place made with hands, but into heaven there to appear for them by way of mediation and intercession. {Heb.9:12,24, Rom.8:34} Wherefore also God hath given him not only an acquittance for them from all their sins, {Heb.10:17,} but have also given and delivered them up into his hands; yet not as Mr. Baxter insinuates, to plague and curse them, and hold them during their life under the intolerable bondage of the Law; but to deal with them in a gentle dispensation, according to the tenor of the Covenant of Grace, in tender mercy to draw them unto and keep them in the Faith without all apostasy to the end. All which he performeth for all his elect, as is evident from most of those Scriptures which were brought for the confirmation of the former point, and elsewhere, God's giving them to Christ, and into his dispensation, being their perfect translation from the Covenant of the Law into the Covenant of Grace; and this was done before their believing. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me,” first they are given, and then they come. “Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace; for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee; for I have much people in this city,” {Acts 18:9,10,} saith the Lord Jesus to Paul in reference to the Corinthians, though yet in heathen darkness. They were his people before, therefore must they be gathered to Christ by faith. “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, &c., {Jn.10:16,} he means the Gentiles that were infidels; yet, nevertheless his sheep that must afterward hear his voice, because they were his sheep. How were these termed Christ's people, Christ's sheep, while yet in paganism, idolatry and unbelief, but because they were his redeemed and justified ones. “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep.” {Jn.10:26} What is that, but because they were not of the number of them for whose sins he had effectually satisfied God's justice. Justification and remission of sins may be considered also as it is brought into their own apprehension and conscience, that were justified by Christ, and in Christ before. And in this sense it is often taken in Scriptures, yea at all times when we are said to be justified by faith. This is done when Christ by the manifestation and ministry of the Gospel maketh known in all ages to them for whose sins he hath satisfied, the Mystery of Grace by him, and frameth their hearts with all gladness by faith to embrace him unto Justification. Then are they justified in themselves, and remission of sins sealed up by the Spirit to their own consciences, and so have the kingdom of God within them, consisting of peace, righteousness and joy in the Holy Ghost. Before this Christ had life for them, now they are said to have it themselves. “These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” {Jn.20:31} “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” {I Jn.5:20} Until now was their Winter season, so that all their life was in Christ as the Vine or Root, now is their Spring, so that the life shows itself in them as the branches blossoming with peace and joy unto all obedience. Before life was purchased and seizure thereof taken for them by Christ; now they are passed from death to life; {I Jn.3:14;} are put into the actual possession of it. Before though they were lords of all, {as the Apostle in a case little different from this speaketh, Gal.4:1,2,} yet differed nothing from servants, being {in their own apprehension} under the threats and condemnation of the Law, and so still in slavish fears and terrors. But now they see their freedom and take possession of it, with the boldness to cry Abba Father, and to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, and through the veil of his flesh, with full assurance of hope, &c. {Heb.10:19,20} John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}


The doctrine of justification by Christ is nowhere in the four Evangelists held forth under the name of justification or justifying. Many, both parables and clear doctrines that proceeded from the lips of Christ, do indeed in other words fully display it; especially John the Evangelist, who made it more his task to record the doctrine than the acts of Christ, because he saw those historicized somewhat largely by the other three Evangelists which had written before him. Eagle-like mounting on high to the contemplation of his Celestial and Divine nature and doctrines, very exactly sets it forth but under other words, naming it as such: Life, eternal life, everlasting life; he that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life, {Jn.3:36,} is passed from death to life, {Jn.5:24,} hath eternal life, {Jn.6:54,} my flesh which I give for the life of the world,{Jn.6:51,} and you will not come to me that you might have life, {Jn.5:40,} except ye eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in you, he that eateth me shall live by me. {Jn.6:57} In all of which and many other texts of this Evangelist none can deny but by life is to be understood chiefly, if not only, the life of justification, not that of glory which is to be received above, but that of grace here. For so those Scriptures point out a life here in this present world enduring everlastingly to all eternity, and not a life here only to be hoped for, and hereafter to come into our fruition. Neither do I find the word ‘justify’ used but once by Luke in the Acts of the Apostles. Nor yet at all in any one of the Epistles of the Apostles {James only excepted in one chapter} but by the Apostle Paul alone. Yet the substance of justification was the chief doctrine in all their Epistles handled, but the same set forth under the name of salvation, saving, life, and other phrases which our Savior himself used. In these phrases also doth Paul use as equivalent with the word ‘justifying’ in all his Epistles. Now the reason why this Apostle, more than the rest, treats of this doctrine under the name of justification I conceive to be this; because he was forced to handle it by way of controversy against the false apostles, some professing, some rejecting Christ, that taught justification and salvation by the works of the Law in part, and not by grace only; whom therefore he must needs in his disputes treat with in their own terms and words. Their argumentation against the Apostle {as may be gathered from the Paul’s answers,} ran in this tenor and to this effect, that righteousness alone which justifieth or maketh a man perfectly righteous saveth; and that the righteousness of the Law, is that righteousness alone which justifieth or maketh man perfectly righteous, at least by procuring proper righteousness to him, therefore that alone saveth. The Apostle here granteth the proposition, that no other righteousness but that which justifieth or maketh a man perfectly righteous saveth; but denieth the assumption, that the righteousness of the Law only, or at all justifieth or maketh a man perfectly righteous; because only the perfect doers of the Law are perfectly righteous, not the hearers. But no man can perfectly do it; and contrawise proves that the righteousness of the Gospel which he calls the righteousness of God, the righteousness of faith, the righteousness of God by faith, which consisteth in Christ's satisfaction imputed to us, is the righteousness which justifieth and maketh perfectly righteous, because it cleanseth from the guilt and freeth from the imputation of all sin and unrighteousness. {Rom.1:17, 3:5, 21-26, 4:3-6, 11, 5:17, 18, 21, 9:30, 10:3-6, II Cor.5:21, Phil.3:9.} In all which places and in many others the Apostle having rejected the righteousness of works from being, asserteth the righteousness of God in Christ, to be the righteousness, the matter and substance of the righteousness by which we are justified. This he illustrates by a comparison between Adam and Christ; Adam’s disobedience and Christ's obedience. “For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” {Rom.5:19} Adam’s disobedience was not only the merit, but also the matter of our sin, as far as sin is capable of the matter, the very sin itself, which being imputed to us as being in him, without any personal and actual sin of our own, maketh us sinners. So the obedience of Christ in offering himself a sacrifice for sin, and giving satisfaction to God's justice in obedience to that positive command of the Father which required it, was and is not only the merit, but also the matter of that righteousness which being imputed to us {as being in Christ} without any personal obedience of ours added to it, constitutes us righteous and justified in God's acceptance, or is that for by and in which the Lord pronounces us just and justified to our consciences. Such is the frequent dispute of the Apostle about the substance and matter of that righteousness by which we are justified, which he concludes not to be a righteousness inherent in us, but this Righteousness inherent in Christ, but imputed to us and apprehended by faith to justification. “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins.” {Rom.3:25} And this is all that I find our Divines to mean in saying the righteousness or satisfaction of Christ is the material cause of our justification defending against the Papists as the Apostle did against the Pharisees, that the matter of the righteousness which God accepts and imputes to us in justifying us, or unto righteousness and justification, is this righteousness of Christ only, not the righteousness of works. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}


Whoever separated, or was so mad as to divide God's knowledge and will from either his immanent or transient acts, that hath ever said that God in imputing our sins {in reference to punishment} to Christ Jesus, in forgiving, absolving, and accepting the sinner, hath done either he knows not what, or that which he would not, willeth not? But to conjoin what the Lord hath divided in point of time, his constitutive justifying us in his own breast through Christ before time, with his declarative justifying us in our consciences in time, would be to confound heaven and earth, eternity and time, together in one. The question is not, whether when God hath by a transient act justified a sinner, he knoweth and willeth his justification? But whether God did not both knowingly and willingly so justify and pardon him through Christ, within his own counsel from eternity; or whether God's accepting him in Christ, and knowing him to be so accepted, be begotten in the will and mind of God now in the end of time, and so God is not the same God in his knowledge and will, which he was from eternity? John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}

Justification & Faith

“No man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident; for, The just shall live by faith.” {Gal.3:11} “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace; and if by grace, then is it no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace; otherwise work is no more work.” {Rom.11:5,6} Hence is the opposition which the Holy Ghost everywhere maketh between God's righteousness and our righteousness; {Rom.10:3;} the righteousness of faith and the righteousness of works; {Rom.9:30-32, Phil.3:9,10;} and consenting harmony of Scriptures that so oppose Law and Gospel, faith and works, God's grace and man's righteousness, Moses and Christ, the righteousness which is by promise, and that which consists in doing, God's imputation and our qualifications; so that if the one be admitted the other must be excluded from justification. The conclusion therefore of our Divines is not only that works have not, but also that they cannot have any place in, or to our justification, because righteousness and life are merely and wholly by promise, even by the free and absolute promise made to Abraham, which was without all conditions annexed. {Gal.3:8, 16-18} Therefore without works, freely conferred on the children of the promise; that they are by inheritance, therefore descend freely upon them that are sons of faith; {Gal.3:18, Heb.9:15, Rom.4:13-16;} and not attained by works. That in respect of the righteousness of works, Paul knew nothing by himself, wherein he was not perfectly sincere and sincerely perfect, yet deems not himself to be thereby justified for the Lord alone is his Judge and Justifier, whose justifications are free. {I Cor.4:4} That if justification were in any part by works, then had man somewhat at least, whereof to glory before God; but he hath nothing whereof to glory, therefore &c. {Rom.4:2} It is by imputation wholly, therefore cannot be from any inherent good in ourselves. {Rom.4:3,4} It flows wholly from faiths Object or correlate, not at all from any virtue of faith as a qualification inherent in us; much less therefore from any other qualification or work of ours whatsoever. To which I might add their many other reasons proving that works cannot justify. It is by promise {as I said} which is still opposed to works, {Gal.3:17-22,} even by that promise that was made to Abraham, which was free, absolute, and without all condition of works, that Gospel promise that in Christ all nations of the earth shall be blessed. A promise admitting only them that are of faith to blessedness, but rejecting them that are of works to the curse. {Gal.3:7-10} Yea, by the same absolute and unconditional promise or covenant oft renewed. {Jer.31:31-34, 32:40} This promise is made Yea and Amen, ratified and effectuallized in Christ Jesus. {II Cor.1:20} Not in works, nor in faith as the Papists work, or Arminians act and deed, or otherwise then as it is; {as Luther describes it allegorically;} the matter whereof Christ is the form, informing and giving life and virtue to it; an act apprehending Christ as its Object in whom all its virtue lieth; the cloud or darkness in which Christ dwelleth, as God was formally in a cloud or darkness upon mount Sinai and in the Temple; or as all our Divines say, the hand by which we receive Christ, who of God is made righteousness unto us. {Gal.3:27, I Cor.1:30, II Cor.5:21} The life of justification consists not in works at all, nor in faith considered in a sense divided from Christ, but in Christ; so that the life which we live is by the faith of the Son of God, by the recumbency of our souls by faith upon the Son of God which is our life, and that this is to live by faith. {Gal.2:20, Col.3:4, Gal.3:11} Christ with all his righteousness to remission and salvation, as given us freely of God {not sold as by Judas to his enemies} and so made hours without money, without price, without fine, or rent. In the Covenant of Grace there is nothing smelling of a Simonical contract, it is wholly of God's giving, not in the least particle of our purchasing. {Is.9:6, Jn.3:16, Is.55:1} The life and justification which are by the second Adam, descend to us in the same manner as the sin and condemnation from the first Adam; but these descended by our natural union and communion with the first Adam, not by our imitation of him. For death reigned from Adam, even over them that had not sinned, after the similitude of Adam. Therefore also righteousness and justification descend to us by the union and communion which we have with the second Adam Christ Jesus, and not from our imitation of him and configuration to him; for when we were yet enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son. Not but that everyone unto whom the sin and condemnation of Adam once descended, are thenceforth imitators of and configured to Adam; or that they to whomsoever the righteousness and justification of Christ have descended, do not thenceforth become imitators of and are configured to the image of Christ; but that these imitations and configurations do follow and not go before such union and communion. {Rom.5:11, 19} This is a sound argument which the Apostle bringeth to prove that works can in no respect justify or save; “for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” {Eph.2:10} We are first in Christ the Justifier and in possession of the justification that is by him, and then being new created in Christ to the image of God are enabled to do good works. That God hath ordained before that we should walk in them being saved or justified, not that we should be saved or justified by them. That the righteousness of God {by which we are justified} is from faith to faith; not begun by faith and ended in works, which according to the Apostle is a beginning in the Spirit, and a seeking to be perfected by the flesh. {Rom.1:17, Gal.3:3} John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, Second Part, 1654}

Justification & Faith

Justification is but God's pronouncing and declaring a man to his own conscience to be just and discharged from sin and condemnation through Christ, so that he perceives and apprehends himself absolved and doth acquiesce in this absolution. The chief instrument by which God doth thus justify or declare and manifest a man to himself just and pardoned is faith. When God is pleased to infuse faith into the soul of any singular person, by it as by his instrument, he declares that person to himself just and acquitted from condemnation; so that he can thenceforth plead out his own justification. God hath pronounced them all just and pardoned which believe in his Son. Thus I am pronounced and declared of God just and pardoned. So this faith is the instrument of God; for so lawyers term deeds and grants in writing instruments; yea, instruments of him that makes the deed or grant. And the promise of the New Covenant or the New Testament, may thus be called the New Instrument; as it is his evidence written by the finger of God's Spirit in the hearts of the elect, so that they may read this instrument of God's writing within their hearts evidencing and manifesting to themselves their justification from God. And this is one principle instrument and evidence of God promised under the New Covenant. Jeremiah 31:31-35 recited {as now fulfilled} by the Apostle in Hebrews 8:8-12 & 10:16,17. “I will write my laws in their hearts, &c.,” what Law, but the rule, doctrine and evidence of life and salvation? But what benefit by having it written within them, more than if it were in writing without them? Yes this, they shall not need external teaching to know the Lord, “for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.” {Heb.8:11} What knowledge of God was this whereupon they should not need teachers? They shall know him to be their God, their Justifier, their Savior; for so much intimate the next words, “for I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” This was one chief part of the Law, or will of God written in their hearts, justification or everlasting remission of sins. This they should not need to be taught from without; the instrument of writing or evidence thereof should be within their own hearts apparent, not to others but to their own reading. And what more principal evidence or instrument of writing within our hearts thus to assure us, than our faith, engraven by God's own hand in us? To the same purpose is it, that faith is called “the evidence of things not seen.” {Heb.11:1} Whose evidence? God's evidence given us, by which he declares to us, and manifests to our consciences the invisible things of our justification and salvation; and when given, then our evidence also by which we not only apprehend, but also plead against all the accusations of the Law, yea of sin and Satan, our actual justification; and that is called the witness of God in us; or, within us; because God by this witness as his instrument declares and evidences us to our own consciences justified. {I Jn.5:10} Faith is God's instrument by which man applies to himself, and without which he cannot apply to himself this justification, and remission of the New Covenant to know and be sensible of it, that he may rest and rejoice in it, being justified in himself; namely, in his own knowledge and conscience. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” {II Cor.5:19} Reconciliation and Justification {as hath been showed} are one and the same thing. That we may receive it therefore from him in Christ, he gives unto us {as many as are his elect} this living faith as an instrument by which he may apply it and bring it home into our bosom. Therefore is the operation of the soul by faith set forth in the Scripture by a comparison of man's working by the several members of the body as by his instruments; calling faith sometimes the eye of man by which he looketh to Christ crucified as the Israelites to the brazen serpent, thence to obtain cure for the wounded and poisoned soul. {John 3:14,15} Sometimes the foot of the soul by which it runs and comes to Christ for life and justification. {John 5:40} Sometimes the hand of the soul by which it apprehendeth Christ and the justification that is in him and by him. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” {John 1:12} Sometimes the mouth of the soul by which it eateth and drinketh in Christ with the life that is in him, both to justify and sanctify. “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” {John 6:54} “If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” {I Pet.2:3} Sometimes the arms of the soul, by which it embraceth and holdeth in possession Christ with his life and righteousness. “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” {I Jn.5:12} What doth all this imply less than that faith is instrumental to our justification? Yea, given to us to be the sole instrument on our part by which to apply to ourselves the justification by God in Christ; or what else is meant by the particular voice of the Gospel pronouncing us to be justified by faith, but by faith as God's instrument and evidence to declare and manifest it to our souls, and our instrument to apprehend and hold it fast and firm to ourselves? John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}

Justification by the Blood of Christ

The whole stream of the Gospel leads our faith to Christ crucified or dying for justification. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; {upon the cross} that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” {Jn.3:14,15} “I determined to know {to preach among you for your knowledge} nothing else but Christ, and him crucified.” {I Cor.2:2} “If I be lifted up {signifying what death he should die} I will draw all men to me.” {Jn.12:32,33} “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him, &c.” {Jn.6:47-58} “Whom God hath set forth as a propitiation through faith in his blood.” {Rom.4:25} “Being justified by his blood.” {Rom.5:9} “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” {I Jn.1:7} “The Lamb of God {sacrificed} that taketh away the sins of the world.” {Jn.1:29} “Having made peace through the blood of his cross.” {Col.1:20} “And reconciled us in the body of his flesh through death.” {Col.1:21,22} “Having redemption through his blood even the forgiveness of sin.” {Col.1:14} “The church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” {Acts 20:28} “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.” {Heb.10:19,20} “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” {Is.53:5} “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” {Gal.6:14} I might even the weary the reader with allegations of Scriptures every way as pertinently and properly making Christ dying for us the Object of faith. If the death and sufferings of Christ {and not his giving of laws and commanding duties of righteousness} be the sole and entire satisfaction which he hath given to the justice of God for us, then Christ in his death, and not at all in his laws and commands of such duties, is to be made the Object of our faith for justification. The consequent and consequence of this proposition must needs be granted by all believers {though not by Arminians and Socinians} which hold the imputation of the obedience of Christ to us by which he hath satisfied God's justice; that he for us and we in and by him have fulfilled the Law; that his satisfying obedience is by imputation so fully made ours to justification as if we had done it ourselves, which is the doctrine of all believers. - We deny not that Christ hath other operations by which to perfect and sustain his justified ones to eternal life; yea to strengthen our faith, infusing it, and directing it unto Himself crucified, and satisfying for us; and to follow it by supporting it and holding us fixed by faith to Himself thus satisfying for us, and to establish his kingdom within us in peace, righteousness and joy in the Holy Ghost; yea that in these Christ must be made the Object of our faith for our confirmation, dependence and comfort; but as justifying and fetching from Him the matter of justification, or rather the righteousness by which we are justified, it must know nothing else but Christ and him crucified; as hath just been proved from Holy Scripture. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, Second Part, 1654}

Justification in Christ Alone

The whole tenor of the Gospel give their testimony of our justification in Christ before faith entered to purify our hearts: “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” {Rom.5:6} “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” {Rom.5:8-10} “When I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.” {Ez.16:6} “For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth.” {Rom.9:11} God loved us to salvation, “even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ.” {Eph.2:5} “You, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;” {Col.2:13-15;} making us accepted in Christ the Beloved; {Eph.1:6;} putting away our sin and perfecting us forever by the sacrifice and the blood of Christ; that is, in Christ offering himself and his blood in sacrifice; {Heb.9:26, 10:14;} and all this before we had a being who now live, much more before we were in a capacity of having any condition in ourselves of justification. As also such Gospel Scriptures as afirm this remission, or justification irreversible, calling it an eternal redemption, {Heb.9:2,} a perfecting of us forever, {Heb.10:14,} so that there is no more condemnation, {Rom.8:1,} no more remembrance of iniquity, {Heb.10:17,} no more separation from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, {Rom.8:39,} and other many such testimonies which do all concur in one harmony to evidence justification once obtained to depend upon no conditions, but to be absolute and undefeatable, that if any fall away, it is because they only seemed, but never were in the number of the truly justified. {I Jn.2:19} John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, Second Part, 1654}

Law and Gospel Distinctions

We affirm that the Law is still in force and shall be until the world's end. We preach not a repeal of any one of its power or righteousness which it had from God at any time. Neither on the other side do we attribute to it a power or un-righteousness which God never gave it. We grant it a power to take full vengeance upon every sinner for every sin committed during this life; but we deny that if any be raised to a second life with Christ, who having born the whole wrath due to their sins, that such a one comes under the power of the Law again. The Law hath never more dominion over him. So stands the case with believers; as they have suffered in Christ, fulfilled their Law in Christ, are dead in Christ, and in him they have satisfied the justice of the Law for the sins of their whole life. If now they are also risen with Christ, and are dignified with the new life, the life of grace, so that though they live, it is not so much that they live, as that Christ liveth in them, and the life which they live in the flesh is by the faith of the Son of God. {Gal.2:20} In this new life which they have by their union unto Christ, now triumphant, the Law can no more reach them; so the Law is nulled to them, but never repealed; nulled because it hath inflicted upon Christ in their behalf it's whole penalty, and after it hath so done it hath no more power over the Saints. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}

Law and Gospel Distinctions

The true disciples of Christ will hold this as one principal difference between the two covenants, that the one requires us to seek life after the tenor of Justice, the other after the tenor of Grace. The one bids us to seek good by works, the other by faith. The one presupposes the original righteousness given us in Adam, bidding us by it to follow after happiness, the other setting forth Christ unto us as the Fountain of Life, both of justification and sanctification, calling upon us to receive or believe in Him for both, that both may be ours when Christ is ours. He is our life, and when Christ our life, {not works our life,} shall appear, we shall also appear with him in glory. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, Second Part, 1654}

Law and Gospel Distinctions

If we bring works at all to procure our justification by Christ, we do so by evacuating the grace of God and merits of Christ to ourselves, and oblige and put a bondage upon ourselves to fulfill the whole Law legally in its perfection, else can we never be justified, but abide under the curse forever. For he that worketh requireth the reward as a debt in law, and not as a gift of grace; therefore, except his work be so perfect, as that it can in strict justice save him, he can never obtain salvation, as by comparing together these Scriptures will be evident; namely, Gal.5:3,4 & 3:10, Rom.4:4,5 & 9:30-32. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, Second Part, 1654}

Mortification of Sin by the Spirit

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” {Rom.8:13} Who are they chiefly that in reference to life and death, do live after the flesh, and after the Spirit, the same Apostle teaches not only in the previous text; {Phil.3:3;} “for we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh;” but also in Gal.3:3, “Are ye so foolish; having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” In which words, I challenge Mr. Baxter; yea, the whole pick of Jesuits, if they dare to deny that by beginning in the Spirit the Apostle means their trusting wholly on Christ for justification and salvation; and by being made perfect by the flesh, their seeking to perfected by works; namely, circumcision, and with it the moral duties which the Law commandeth. If in this place we take the flesh and Spirit in a larger sense, yet compare it with the first verse of the chapter; for it is said, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” But who are they? Such as “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Let now Mr. Baxter put what sense he will upon flesh and Spirit in the 13th verse, for it must bear the same sense as in the first verse; and then if any demand why they that live after the flesh must die? The answer is in readiness; because they are not in Christ Jesus, or why they that mortify, &c., by the Spirit, shall live? Everyone can answer, because they are in Christ Jesus. So that in these there is no condemnation, to the other nothing but condemnation. Because, “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” {I Jn.5:12} John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, Second Part, 1654}

Necessity of Divine Revelation

All the doctrines of the Gospel are transcendent, high and above the reach of the most sublimated reason. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man.” {I Cor.2:9} “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” {I Cor.2:14} They are mysteries hid in God from the beginning of the world, from ages and generations, but at last made known by the Spirit in the preaching of the Gospel, not only to the Saints on Earth, but also to the principalities and powers in heavenly places; namely, to the ministering angels and spirits before God in heaven. {Eph.3:9,10, Col.3:26,27} So that at the Revelation thereof by Christ and his apostles, the very angels desired to look into them, as learners of that sacred doctrine which before they had not attained. {I Pet.1:12} - Our Savior denies all ability and possibility, that any man by natural or acquired parts should see or show forth {until he hath received divine revelation} one ray of Gospel light. Therefore when Peter had made but a course and confused or obscure confession of Christ, he answers, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven;” {Mt.16:17;} insinuating that the very threshold of Gospel knowledge is transcendent and above all the reach of human arts, and fleshly or natural wisdom, to find it out for themselves, or make it out to others. Hence are the universal conclusions and assertions which he layeth down to this purpose. “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” {Jn.6:44,45} “No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” {Mt.11:27} That which he speaks of knowing the Son and the Father, he means of knowing the mind and will of God touching the Gospel way in which he hath purposed to bring sinners to salvation. This is a wisdom not borrowed of, but hidden {most of} from the wise and prudent {in secular learning} and revealed to babes. {Mt.11:25-27} And the Scripture giveth reasons why there is no power in the wisdom and learning of man to dive into the mystery of the Gospel, and evangelical knowledge of God. “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” {Jn.1:18} “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” {Jn.3:13} “What man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him; even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” {I Cor.2:11} What is here spoken of the knowledge of God, is to be understood as in the former texts, the knowing of God's will and mysterious way of bringing many sons to glory. The scope of the argumentation in these Scriptures runs thus. None but such as have seen God, seen into him, have been in heaven with him, have been in his very heart and bosom, can possibly know the mind and purpose of God hidden in himself touching the justification and salvation of men; but Christ only and the Spirit of Christ have been, and are still in heaven, have seen God, and are in the bosom of God reading and knowing all the purposes of his mind. Therefore none but Christ and his Spirit alone know and can reveal this mind of God unto us. None can reveal the mind of God but the Son and the Spirit, or they to whom the Son by his doctrine and Spirit hath first revealed it. From Christ descend we to the apostles, for he that choose them to go forth into the world to bring forth fruit, {Jn.15:16,} and to furnish them with abilities for so great and noble a work, promises to send unto them the Spirit, and for what purpose but to lead them into all truth; {Jn.16:13;} into the clear and full knowledge of the mysterious truths of the Gospel, bidding them not to go to Athens to learn from the philosophers in their schools anything that might further their illumination therein, but to tarry at Jerusalem until they be endowed with this power from on high. {Lk.24:49} John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}

Offices of Christ

This we deny, that there is any other Fountain opened for the washing away of our sins but the blood of Christ only; or any other satisfaction made to the justice of God but by the sacrifice of Christ alone; yet for as this blood and sacrifice as they are primarily our High Priests, so are they that of our King and Prophet also, howbeit the blood and sacrifice of one Christ alone; and herein we follow the Scriptures leading thread which affirm not only the Priest to have died for us, but our Prophet and Shepherd also. “I am the good Shepherd, and give and lay down my life for the sheep.” {Jn.10:11,15} Christ came not “to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many;” {Mt.20:28;} namely, to seal the doctrine with his blood which he had taught with his lips, and to make the way through the veil of his flesh, through his blood, which he had taught to be the only way into the Holiest to the Father; and as the Shepherd, so the Lord and King also. It was the Lord that was betrayed, {I Cor.11:23,} crucified, {I Cor.2:8,} killed, {Acts 3:15,} and raised again, {I Cor.6:14,} even the Lord of glory and Prince of life. Therefore it is that the Holy Ghost calls it the Lord's death, {I Cor.11:26,} the Lord's body, and the Lord's blood, {vs.27-29,} and needful was it that Christ as Lord and King with all his power should thus grapple with sin, death and hell on our behalf; how else should he have vanquished them, and having spoiled these principalities and powers, make a show of them openly, and triumphed over them? {Col.2:15} Without this victory his death had been to us  vain, our enemies had remained unconquered, and ourselves unransomed. The strong man had not been driven out by a stronger than he. {Lk.11:21,22} Thus we neither divide nor separate the offices of Christ one from another, but conjoin them all in the death and passion of Christ, by which he alone as Lord, Priest and Prophet hath made satisfaction for our sins. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, Second Part, 1654}

Parable of the Talents

Mt.25:14-30 + Lk.19:12-27. For the Kingdom of Heaven, and the Lord's Coming and reckoning with His servants, and retribution of their service is to be taken for Christ's coming to preach first in his own person, and then to set up and established the Gospel by the Ministry of his apostles. The servants to be reckoned with are principally the teachers of the Jews; the talents used, or abused, are the mysteries of the Gospel revealed, though veiled under the Law. The matter of the account is what each by his serious studies and labors had cleared up to himself and others of this Gospel and saving knowledge of Christ before his coming for the advancement and advantage of Christ at his coming. They which had spent their labors this way, received at Christ's coming a double measure of the Spirit of illumination in the knowledge of Christ and salvation by him, and were instructed with a surer measure of the sacred Treasure to be the dispensers thereof to the world. But he which had wrapped his talent in a napkin, and hid it in the earth, left the doctrine of Christ {scattered throughout the Old Testament} under a veil as he found it, without searching into it, and clearing it up to others; was left in the state of infidelity, rejected, and bound over hand and foot by his unbelief to perdition; and his citizens which sent word after him, will not have this man to rule over them; they will have a Christ, but only such a one as they have framed to their selves in their own imaginations, but not this Christ; thus having their doom not only denounced, but executed also upon them. “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” {Lk.19:27} Who are these but the great body and nation of the Jews, that professed themselves citizens and the only saints of God, but for their refusal of Christ, were slain and destroyed by the sword of the Romans? And so the parable comprehends in it a prophecy of the success of the Kingdom of Grace, now in the way of erecting in its power; as the Jews. So sayeth Luke in that 19th chapter, verse 11, “he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.” By this parable foretelling them that the citizens, the children of the kingdom, the Jews for their rejection of Christ should be cast out into outer darkness, where is weeping and gnashing of teeth; namely, into blindness of mind and stubbornness of heart, accompanied with all calamity and misery, as we see them undergoing until this day. This I acknowledge to be but my own private opinion, yet such as I could easily manifest from the text itself to be very probable, if not certainly the mind of Christ. – The unprofitable servant {vs.30} cast into outer darkness is a legal man, serving with a mercenary and slavish spirit, expecting nothing from Christ but in the way of justice, looking upon Christ as an austere man {Lk.19:21,} a straight Lawgiver, and a rigorous exactor of the fulfilling of all his laws; saying, “Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed; and I was afraid,” saith he, and so did nothing because of his fears of so strict a Lord, at least nothing to purpose, nothing to the advancing of the kingdom of Christ in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost within himself or others. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}

Preservation & Union with Christ

Our justification floweth from our union to Christ; that all in Adam are under the Law, under the curse, unblessed, unjustified, un-pardoned; but that all which are in Christ are blessed, justified, pardoned, &c. So the Apostle, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” {Phil.3:8,9} Here was the Apostle’s righteousness and justification to win Christ and be found in him. No otherwise is our justification attributed to faith then as it is the instrument by which we apprehend Christ to ourselves as we are apprehended of Christ to himself, and bring home into our bosom the benefit of this union to him, together with the sense and joy of our justification by Him. Our faith both in its existence and perseverance depends not upon the fickle stock of our own free will, but upon the support of God's power and unchangeable love, and upon the virtue of Christ's mediation and faithfulness as the Mediator; and though our free will be mutable, yet the gifts and callings of God are without repentance; that is, without change. {Rom.11:29} “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” {Phil.1:6} Though our faith be weak, yet we are preserved by the power of God through faith and salvation. Christ hath by his sacrifice purchased to us, not only salvation but faith also, both in its being and preserving to apprehend Him and it to our preserving consolation. “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” {Jn.10:28} “And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” {Jn.6:39} John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}

Perseverance of the Saints

The Scripture which he brings to prove that the perseverance of faith to be the condition of our persevering justification runs thus, “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.” {Heb.3:14} Here perseverance is made a declaration and evidence of the truth of our faith, and of our participation of or communion with Christ at present, and not a condition either of our justification or our perseverance thereof. By this it shall be evidenced that ye are truly in Christ, and justified by Him, if ye persevere, for those that fall away were but seemingly, but never truly in Christ. They that are his in truth, continue so to the end. As in vs.6, we are the house of God “if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end;” compared with I Jn.2:19, “they went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” So the perseverance; or not preserving of these would manifest who had been, and who had not been truly partakers of Christ, and the house of his habitation; not the condition of their persevering justification, for then should it be for a time at least the condition of the perseverance of their justification, who were never truly partakers of Christ, and consequently had never a beginning of justification. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, Second Part, 1654}

Pressing towards Christ

Christ commands perfection, though not fully attainable in this life in order {amongst other ends} to hold us in a constant intercourse and communion with himself by faith. Were we perfect, or had we attained all that is required of us, we should be wholly apt to settle ourselves upon our own bottoms, and work either not at all, or else in our own strength. But when we see ourselves deficient in what we ought to be, and nothing in ourselves, or anywhere else out of Christ to supply us, that without, or out of Him we can do nothing, this keeps us in the diligent and constant union with them, to abide in him as the branches in the vine, to suck from him sap and life more abundantly for the producing of more abundant growth and fruitfulness in us; and thus the communion between Christ and us is more and more perfected, and he more and more honored, when we fetch all our virtue and strength from Him. Also, to keep us in continual self-denial, and to dash to nothing that Idol of justification by our own inherent righteousness; which when we find to come still short of the perfection as commanded by Christ, and sinful in its defectiveness, we shall be forced to withhold our confidence from it, and with the Apostle to shake it off as dung and loss that we may win Christ, and be found in Him, &c., so making Christ our all, and ourselves nothing; {Phil.3:8,9;} and also to awaken us out of our carnal slumberings, and contentment with our poor beginnings and slight pretenses of knowledge and righteousness already attained, and to stir us on with a holy agility towards perfection in our motions towards Christ. It was this that wrought thus with the Apostle Paul. Knowing perfection to be commanded, and seeing himself yet in a station so short of it, it makes him to cry out, ‘I have not yet attained, I am not yet perfect, {therefore} forgetting those things that are behind, {that are already done and attained,} and reaching forth to the things that are before, {not yet attained,} I press toward the mark of perfection - of Christ.’ {Phil.3:12-14} John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}

Redemption in Christ Alone

“In Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love;” {Gal.5:7;} what is that but faith which worketh by a new principle of filial love and not from that old principle of servile fear. This is to be the children of the free, not the bondwoman; by the faith of Christ alone to seek for righteousness, yet to be working from a principal of love and not of fear, bringing forth fruits of sanctification to him that hath freely justified us. This man saith the Apostle hath entered into his rest as God hath entered into his rest. {Heb.4:10} As God having consummated the works of creation, rested and ceased from his works, because all was perfect and needed no addition; so Christ having offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, ceasing from further sufferings, because our redemption is fully perfected and nothing more needed to be added. {Heb.10:12-14} So every believer in respect of the rest of grace, having received by faith the righteousness which is by this one sacrifice of Christ for the purging of all his sins, sitteth down forever at rest in the fruition and firm tenor thereof; ceasing from his own works to perfect his justification, because it is already completed and nothing needs to be added to it. All his workings henceforth is to manage so great a salvation to the glory of the Author, as God worketh hitherto and Christ worketh, for the governing and disposing to their proper ends those elect - redeemed by Christ. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, Second Part, 1654} 


“There is also a twofold pardon, as well as a twofold justification, one in Law, the other in sentence of judgment. So Acts 3:19, ‘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.’ Lo here is a justification, or pardon of sin, in, or after our glorification begun,” says Baxter. Assertion: Mr. Baxter knows that Erasmus, and the old translation otherwise render this text, making the latter clause thereof ecliptic, or imperfect, which is thus to be supplied, “Repent &c., that your sins being blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come forth from the presence of God.” What then? We may supply, “ye may have your part in the eternal refreshing and joy.” This rendering of the text even the most solid Expositors that follow the other reprove not, but speak honorably of it; much more those that take it up. And if we so understand the text, it hath no show of affirming a forgiveness of sin, but glorification only after the judgment day. Yea, I have found none, until Beza’s new translation of the Testament, that otherwise understood the text, or since this translation that hath reprehended the former as faulty, but all both before and since making that the sense thereof. Yea the actual word, which our translation renders ‘when’ both Beza and all the Orthodox Expositors render ‘after;’ thus rendering the text, not when, but after the times of refreshing shall come. And this Mr. Baxter cannot deny to be the proper meaning of the phrase. And will he notwithstanding say that the times of refreshing; that is, of everlasting joy, come first, and then the forgiveness of sins follow? Mr. Baxter is not ignorant that the word ‘shall come’ may be as properly rendered ‘have’ or ‘are come.’ And so many learned Translators and Expositors of this text have understood it; namely, of Christ's first coming in the flesh; and then without any supplement the text is full in itself, and runneth thus, “Repent, &c., that your sins may be blotted out, seeing that the times of refreshing are come forth from the presence of God.” John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}


The Apostle having affirmed himself to have dealt faithfully in preaching all that was profitable unto them, to evince it, gathers into two heads the sum of all his doctrine, which he had testified amongst them; namely, repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ. {Acts 20:21} What is there in this to prove repentance is a concomitant with faith to justify? Is every profitable doctrine effectual to justify? A man's food and garments are both profitable unto him, shall I therefore conclude either that his garments do nourish him, or his meat clothe him? Christ admonished the Angel of the Church of Ephesus to “repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” {Rev.2:5} What is this to justification? Will he say that the removing of the candlestick out of its place, was either the justifying of the unjustified, or unjustifying of him that was before justified? Also in Rev.2:16, Christ calls upon the Angel of the Church at Pergamos to, “Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them {namely the Balaamites & Nicolaitans mentioned in the two former verses} with the sword of my mouth.” Surely Mr. Baxter must fly from the latter and rational meaning, and follow the precepts of Origen in fishing after the Spirit, or an allegorical sense of these words, to make them speak anything for his justification by repentance. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, Second Part, 1654}


Next I shall speak in general of these quoted Scriptures, as many of them as do hold forth the promise of life upon condition of repentance to sinners, or to sinners if they repent. These all speak of a legal or of an evangelical repentance. Of a legal repentance consisting merely in a feeling of humiliation and contrition for, hatred against, departing from sin; and applying of one's endeavors to all moral virtue and obedience. That is a merely moral repentance derivable from the strength of the natural conscience illuminated by the Law and common knowledge of God's will and nature. In this sense is the word taken in most of the Scriptures quoted from the Old Testament, and some also possibly of those that are quoted out of the New. But then the life by these Scriptures promised is not the life of justification, or of spiritual and supernatural blessedness; but that which the administration under the Law is wont to call life; namely, 1. The fruition of the land of Canaan, which prefigured the life and rest both of grace and glory; and, 2. Of the blessings of health, honor, peace, plenty, safety, and other temporal benefits promised to the obedient in the land of Canaan. This is clear to him that will see, from the 18th chapter of Ezekiel, where so often mention is made of life and death, turn and live, if you turn not you shall die. What is here meant by this life and death maybe understood from that proverb used by the Jews whereof mention is made in the beginning of the chapter. “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?” {vs.2} The fathers have sinned, and death is inflicted upon the children for their father's fault. This gave occasion for the delivery of all the doctrine comprehended within this chapter, in which God thoroughly vindicates his justice from inflicting death upon the children for their wicked parents offenses; showing how unjustly they died which died, and lived which lived, in reference to their own, not their father's sin and righteousness. What then was this death here denounced, or the setting of the teeth on edge, but the plague, famine, sword, which had been upon them in the land, and their captivity and exile now upon them in Babylon out of the land of their inheritance? These temporal evils are the death here affirmed to be inflicted, and denounced to be continued upon them. The life promised upon condition of their repentance, and turning from their evil ways, was their restoration to the land, and blessings of the land of Canaan again. The same is evident from the words of Moses in Deuteronomy, were Moses having in the name of God, pronounced the many blessings and continuance of secular happiness to the obedient, and to them that after much transgression and many curses for their transgressions should repent and turn; denounced curses upon curses, a whole deluge of judgments, and temporary afflictions one on the neck of another against as many as should disobey the Commandments. {Deut., chap. 28 & 29, 30:15-20} “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live; that thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him; for he is thy life, and the length of thy days; that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” Call heaven and earth to witness that he had done his duty in setting before them life and death, good and evil, blessing and cursing, implying the life and death here mentioned consisted chiefly in outward prosperity and adversity. That these were the apples and the rods to allure and terrify them yet in their infancy and under a pedagogue until faith should, and the Sun of Righteousness shine in its splendor, that they might walk by faith, and not by feeling; act from love, and not from fear; from the Spirit of adoption, and not of bondage; so that this life promised to a legal repentance is nothing to the life of justification, but so far beneath it, that it is in no capacity to be used as a proof against it. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, Second Part, 1654}


Those Scriptures which he quotes that offer life upon condition of evangelical repentance do not make for him any more than the former. For Gospel repentance, is taken either in a large or strict sense; in the more large sense it is the same with conversion or regeneration, and oft times equivalent and the same thing with faith, though some little consider it to be so. And this is as oft as repentance is put for the one and the whole thing required on our part to put us into the actual and sensible possession of the grace and life of the Gospel; as Mat.3:2, Mk.6:12. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The drift of their preaching was repent; so Lk.13:3,5; “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish;” so, Lk.24:47, and others. In all these places repentance containeth primarily the change of our relation, and but secondarily of our qualifications and manners. It is a movement, in which we are driven by, being moved by God's Spirit we move; the direction of this motion is self, our self-righteousness and self-confidence, from which we turn no less than from our polluted self, sinful self, and sinful ways. The means by which we are turned is the Lord Christ through whom we have access to the Father for remission first, and then for sanctification also. And as the scope of the Gospel requires us to understand in such Scriptures repentance in this sense, so neither do the two Greek words rendered in Latin ‘Paenitentia’ and in English ‘Repentance,’ refuse this sense. For what is that change of the mind, of the judgment, wisdom and will, when it is taken for a theological virtue, but a change of these in reference to happiness? A renouncing of and departing from natures groping and erring directions, by our own works and righteousness to seek for blessedness; and a cleaving to the directions of the Gospel in pointing out Christ as the alone way to it? For instance, Paul while yet impotent and unconverted, walked by the light of his natural conscience, and as it was informed and awakened by the Law, and by this rule walked as a strict Pharisee; “touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless,” {Phil.3:5,6,} and looking {as Mr. Baxter doth} upon the doctrine of free grace, and righteousness freely imputed, as upon a licentious doctrine, was carried with full sails of zeal totally to destroy it. “I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus, &c., which thing I also did, &c.” {Acts 26:9,10} Now when the Lord Christ met him in the midst of his raging madness, so working upon his heart that he now believed in Christ whom he had erewhile persecuted, received him and rested upon him for righteousness, whom he had erewhile blasphemed. What will you call this obedience to the faith, this closing of his heart with Christ instead of further dashing against him? Was it not his conversion, his repentance; or is it the promise of life {I mean the life of justification} made to any other repentance besides this? In this sense therefore repentance is not a thing distinct from, but one and the same with faith; or if it be objected that it is somewhat larger than faith, I shall not contend, but acknowledge that it entails both justification and sanctification. Yet this hinders not but that these two phrases, repentance to life or remission of sins, and faith to life and the remission of sins, are in the language of the Holy Ghost one and the same. Where repentance is taken in a stricter sense, and some of the Scripture, which he quotes seem to promise remission of sins or life to it; we must necessarily understand of every such Scriptures that it speaketh of the repentance which is actuated in our first conversion and calling, or after it. That which is in our first conversion or calling, when it is taken in a strict sense, is not as in the former sense put as the whole thing required on our parts, but seems in words a coordinate with faith to interest us in the righteousness and life which are by Christ. Such are these Scriptures, “repent and believe the Gospel,” and “repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ,” {Mk.1:15, Acts 20:21,} and many others. But in these, repentance and faith together make up no more than in other Scriptures, either faith alone or repentance alone in their large sense import; and so repentance is taken for self-denial, self-abhorring, self-subduing, and faith for embracing Christ; both these are repentance or faith in their larger sense. To no other end doth repentance cast and empty out self to be filled with Christ, nor doth faith receive Christ until self be led out and evacuated that it may receive him. This we see in Paul casting away his own righteousness as dung and loss, and putting on Christ, to win and wear Him for righteousness, {Phil.3:8,9,} were two concurrent acts either of one faith or of one repentance, {for we may use after the Holy Ghost, either term interchangeably,} and repentance here is no distinct thing from faith, nor faith from repentance, and in naming these two the Holy Ghost nameth not two gifts of grace, but two acts of the same gift of grace in us. And those of the fore quoted Scriptures which speak of repentance in a strict sense advantageous to life after conversion, and that which the Papists and Mr. Baxter call the first justification, {as II Cor.7:10, and some other,} speak of repentance indeed really distinct from faith, being an effect or fruit of faith. But this repentance is in no other sense called repentance to life, then as by it the saints sometimes recover the sense and comfort of their justification, that had for a while laid fainting in them; or as it is empowered from above to repair, confirm and increase the life of faith in them. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, Second Part, 1654}

Righteousness and Justification

The Scripture mentions only two kinds of righteousness that ever came or ever shall come into competition about our justification, the one a legal righteousness, or a righteousness of the Law; the other an Evangelical righteousness, or righteousness of the Gospel. Legal righteousness affirms to be a righteousness of works which we have done; that is, of good qualifications within us and good operations flowing from us; the Evangelical righteousness to be of mere grace and mercy. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” {Tit.3:5-7} Evangelical righteousness is termed God's righteousness, that which God giveth and imputeth; whilst legal righteousness being our own righteousness; that is, that which is wrought within ourselves, and acted by ourselves. {Rom.10:3, Phil.3:9} That of the Law, a righteousness of works - this of the Gospel, a righteousness without works. {Rom.4:6} The former a righteousness in ourselves inherent - this a righteousness in Christ imputed. {Eph.2:8, II Cor.5:21} Let Mr. Baxter show any one Scripture that terms the righteousness which is in and by Christ a legal, or that which is inherent in ourselves an evangelical righteousness; or that terms any gift or qualification in man, or work and deed of man and his righteousness, any piece of his righteousness unto justification. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}


“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” {Phil.2:12} Whether we look to that which proceeds, or that which followeth this text, we shall find its testimony to be against the Baxter cause. If to that which goeth before, we are bidden {vs.5-11} to follow the example of Christ, {as far as he was in a capacity to give himself a pattern to us in this kind,} in self-denial. Who “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” {7,8} So must we deny and abase ourselves in our relation as Christ did himself in his, lay all the false glitter and glory of our works and righteousness in the dust, as he did his true glory; watching with a holy fear and trembling over our backsliding heart that is apt as soon as any show of righteousness and goodness appears in ourselves and works to depart from Christ, and to rest in it as our sanctuary. In this case is it that the Apostle requires this continual working and heaving out self from ourselves, that Christ may be our All; and that with much fear, trembling and watchfulness over our deceitful hearts, that are apt still to decline from his righteousness, and to close with our own, if there be not continual working and warring against its fleshly working in this kind. If we look to that which follows, all confidence in our own strength is prohibited, and all dependance and relying upon God's grace and power is commanded, that we stand alway in a trembling fear of falling and sinking through our miserable weakness and proneness to apostasy, and therefore keep firm and continual hold fast in the grace and power of God extended to us in Christ for our entire support; because, it is God alone “which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure;” {vs.13;} and not of any worth or works of ours moving him. Such a working out of our salvation that consists in working away all our own works and righteousness, as insufficient; yea, as destructive to it, and in working up ourselves by the power of God into Christ, into the shelter of God's grace for salvation. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, Second Part, 1654}

Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus

They that are in Christ and have obtained justification and salvation by Him; that is, have their conscience absolved and saved from sin and obligation to vengeance, by faith in his blood; are to perform those works of gospel righteousness; not for life, but from life; not to procure thereby the life of justification, {for they have it already in Christ,} and not so to seek it more completely, as to be perfected by such works, for this is to be so foolish, having begun in the Spirit, but now seeking to be perfected by the flesh; but rather in thankfulness for so full and free a pardon and absolution, which all are doings, all our sufferings are insufficient to answer. Nevertheless the intuition of so great a redemption already attained, and in our possession, together with the promise of so glorious an inheritance for the future life, already confirmed to us by the seal of the Spirit in the blood of Christ, are of such infinite value that we are to walk still in the splendor and glory thereof, so that our spirits should be sublimated above Earth and self, to dwell, and to spend ourselves, and be spent in the bosom of that grace, from which we have received so much, and expect yet so much more of a ravishing and never ending felicity. What neither eye have seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man in a natural way conceived, of the riches of the incomprehensible bounty and free grace of God, being once revealed unto us, and made ours in possession, or in hope, ought so to spiritualize us, so to swallow us up into the spirit that we should no longer walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit, to delight in the Law of God, in all the holiness and righteousness which the Law teaches, after the inner man. He that seeks not so to do, hath embraced in his arms a dream of Christ, not Christ himself; hath had him possibly in his fancy, but never in his heart and conscience. He that hath effectually met with God in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, and there tasted the love of God, or rather God which is love, hath suffered a metamorphosis, and is changed all into love, hath so beheld God shining in Christ, as in a glass, that he is transformed into the same image, and would be wholly configured to the likeness of Christ. – Thus; they that are justified ought to be still active and industrious in all the duties of the Gospel tending to their confirmation in the faith, establishment in Christ, illumination in the mysteries of the Gospel, denying themselves, and seeking to be wholly swallowed up into the Lord Jesus, that they may be daily more filled and ravished with fuller assurance and comfort of their justification and salvation by him alone. This we find the Apostle making his task; “Doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect; but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” {Phil.3:8-14} And hereunto tend the many mementos scattered by the Holy Ghost in the Gospel; watch, pray, take heed, beware, stand fast, hold fast, run, fight, strive, continue &c., all which tend to the laying not of such our labors, but Christ Jesus upon; unto whom these our labors are to be exercised as the foundation of joyfulness more and more fixedly within our souls. Whatsoever Gospel duties and labors God hath ordained for the firmer settling of us upon the Rock of Righteousness, the emptying ourselves of our nothingness, and making Christ all in all, those all are to be done by the Saints not only from life, but also for life to be had and confirmed to them not in these endeavors, but in Christ more and more formed and perfected in them unto righteousness and salvation. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, Second Part, 1654}

Union with Christ

Remission, justification and reconciliation as consequents of our union with Christ, presuppose our union with Christ; and if so, whether the justified in Christ are not advanced to a far higher state of freedom and honor by their being found righteous in Christ, then they lost by their being found sinners in Adam, and whether their union with Christ be not the common foundation both of justification and adoption. Our union with Christ is the foundation not only of remission, justification and reconciliation, which do restore the offender into the same state of freedom and favor which he had lost, and fallen from; but also of adoption and of a far higher advancement than that from which he fell. John Crandon {Mr. Baxter’s Aphorisms Exorized and Anthorized, 1654}

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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