John Heydon

{? - ?}

Printable PDF Version

John Heydon {Heyden} was a Parliamentary Army Chaplain to Colonel Henry Grey, under Sir Thomas Fairfax {to whom one of his works is dedicated} in 1646. We have come across this brief account in an old book. “This day {Dec.20th, 1646} Mr. John Heydon, Chaplain to the Honorable Colonel Henry Grey did powerfully preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Torrington, Devon, to the great comfort and encouragement of that great audience which were present.”

The only other historical reference to Mr. Heydon that we are aware of, is found in the “Journal of the Proceedings of the Assembly {Westminster} Divines,” noted by Lightfoot, where on the date of August 14, 1643, Heydon’s name was mentioned in the following entry: “Now was the petition against the Antinomians finished and read, and sent away to be presented to the House of Commons. The names of some books complained of: “The Honeycombe,” “Christ alone Exalted,” “The Dangerous Dish,” “Faith, a Sermon upon Rev.3:18,” & “The Doctrine and Conversation of John the Baptist.” The names of the persons complained of: Mr. Randall, Mr. Batte, Mr. Lancaster, Mr. Symeon, Mr. Heydon, Mr. Emmerson, Mr. Erbury, Mr. Towne, & Mr. Pen.”

Preface to the Work

Gospel Truths

Printable PDF Version

Courteous Reader, the author entreats thee to acknowledge for truths; first, that all books, roles, manuscripts in former times, {that is, before Christ came in the flesh,} that did discover Christ the Messiah that was to come in the flesh were in high esteem of all the Church. Secondly, that such books that hold forth the Lord Jesus already come, in his doctrine, nature, offices, benefits or operations are now to be esteemed of all Christians above great volumes that do not; the fire of God hath so warmed their ennobled affections, that they are much taken in the reading of such books though they come in a plain dress. Thirdly, that all prophets, kings, priests, seers, judges and patriarchs were types of Christ to come, if we could but search into this mystery. Fourthly, that all their worship, sacrifices and prayers, &c., do in like manner set forth the glory of Christ. Fifthly, that the Sabbath was given to the Church to exercise their Faith in the meditation on Christ that was to come, he being indeed the True Sabbath. Sixthly, that the Lord’s day and all the public and private ordinances are left to us Christians that we might contemplate and meditate on Christ, and so sets before the view of our Faith, or Understandings, all that Christ is, did or suffered for us, or hath brought unto us, and shall befall us in another world, and this is the chiefest work and greatest care of all Gospel ministers; and they that hold not forth Christ crucified, in all their preaching, writings and printings before the people’s eyes, do nothing, or that, that’s worse than nothing, trouble, weary, toil out themselves, and grieve others, whom God would have comforted and fed; for I have heard sad complaints. What? Not one bit of children’s bread in all the sermon, though the text is, “feed my lambs.” Oh, say they, we are utterly disappointed, we did hope to have been instructed in the Faith of God’s power; but oh, the lashings, invectives and heavings at some of the most excellent truths {by new terms of reproach} to render Truth dangerous, and the entertainers of it odious, and what polite and elaborate works are extant to little profit to the truly enlightened believer in Christ, Judge ye! Seventhly, the days of humiliation in former times were soul-fatting, soul-satisfying and soul-quieting days; days of atonement, reconciliation and union with God, in Christ come; that our fasts are Evangelical in Christ who is already come, and if it were taught frequently, that Christ’s fasting, conception, birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension and mediation; yea, all his thoughts, words and works were ours, he standing as our Surety, did it all for us; if this were believed really, no doubt but we should find more comfort in our hearts, courage in our fights, and have more soul ravishments in the enjoyment of our fully satisfied Father, than ever the Jews had; but if we fast from false grounds, to wrong ends, no marvel if we are pensive, unsuccessful and unhappy in all our undertakings. Eighthly, that the Covenant of Grace is One, and doth only differ in some circumstantials; namely, in more clear dispensations and opener visions, and that we have far more external privileges than the Jews ever had. Ninthly, that since Christ’s ascension God doth satisfy the Church {in the satisfaction Christ hath once made} in all the ways of Grace, God is fully satisfied and demands no more. Christ dies no more, cries, fasts, lieth in the grave, nor prayeth no more, but now he rules all in Heaven and in Earth to the world’s end. Tenthly, that the work of Redemption is fully and freely wrought by Christ, it is done already, not a doing, for it was finished on the cross 1634 years ago and above to the view of angels and men; and the discovery and bringing this home to the consciences of men is the work of the Eternal Spirit, by all the means in much mercy afforded us, as ministry, word, prayer, &c., to reveal the Everlasting Gospel to the Church, so that Conversion and the clear Manifestation of our Salvation wrought by Christ is all that Christians are to look after during their life in this case. Eleventhly, that God in and by prayer seeks, finds, and moves us; I say, he doth inform, enlarge, persuade, prevail with and changes our minds, helps our infirmities, supplies our defects and doth comfort our hearts, refreshes our drooping spirits, doth good to and profit us; for we do not add anything to God, neither are our prayers profitable to God, {to speak properly,} but our prayers, {or rather God by them,} do abundantly prevail with others and ourselves are strengthened in the Faith thereby; and indeed, we are overpowered, undeceived and discovered ourselves to ourselves, in, and by prayer, God knowing us thoroughly, &c.; so Moses, the Prophets and James are to be understood. Twelfthly, that whatever is found Orthodox and Truth in this little book ensuing, he disclaims that it is none of his own, but God’s, and is resolved, {Grace assisting him,} to recant of whatsoever is unsound upon information and conviction, and take it for great mercy, in what he hath come short, to see any to enlarge themselves and exalt Christ more. If there be anything come to thy hand that is excellent, embrace it; view the texts well, and the inference from them; and if this take with thee that thou may have the other part as some things in it that are to be found in other authors, and the rest of dig out of the Mine or Sacred Vein of Holy Scripture, which are able to make the man of God perfect. Farewell, thine in the best bond, nearest relation and strongest union, J. Heydon 1647. Preface to a book entitled; “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated,” by John Heydon, 1647.


Afflictions under the Gospel

Question - Whether under the Gospel, God afflicts true believers for their sins and to satisfy his justice thereby or for some other ends? Answer - God’s justice was fully satisfied by the sufferings of Christ, the just suffered for the unjust, he taking away the cause, namely, sin, so the effect ceaseth; but there are other glorious ends for which God afflicts his children. To conform and make them like Christ their Head; {Rom.8:17, II Tim.2:12;} to try their faith and make themselves, and others to see and know their steadiness in the profession of this Truth, that Christ hath slain and abolished all enmity, and made everlasting peace appear to them between God and themselves, even now in the appearing of the quite contrary to their sense and reason, in which they glorify God abundantly; {Js.1:2-3, I Pet.1:7;} to quicken and increase faith, to cause the Christian in these sharp storms of crosses more diligently and firmly to gird himself and keep close to this garment of Christ’s Righteousness. Thus he knows full well that in themselves afflictions are part of the curse of God for sin, if it light on one that is out of Christ; but turning his eye on Christ that hath taken away sin and the curse, he knowing himself in Christ, is quieted in his conscience, and saith, “surely my Father doth afflict me in love, in much mercy,” and so the quiet fruits of righteousness are brought forth in his soul; that is, he is quiet in his conscience in the perfections of Christ’s glorious Righteousness in the midst of the worst that devils or devilized men can inflict upon him, for he sees the name {Christ} in the rod, and concludes “blessed be the name of the Lord, for that these afflictions have no teeth, are not curses, I thank my Christ for them, that name by which alone I comfortably and alone know God to be my reconciled Father in my greatest extremities.” {Heb.11:11, Mic.6:9, Job 1:21} Afflictions are appendages of the Law, and do terrify and deject naturally those that are thus afflicted. Truly they do not properly, immediately and simply considered, ease, quiet, or cure the consciences of believers; but the Spirit of God in and by them doth awaken, stir up our dullness and security to a more lively, effectual and enlarged apprehension of Christ and his Righteousness, the only procurer of health, peace and rest. In times of danger, the coney hastens to the rock, the hare to the thicket, the Egyptians to their houses; but the faithful to the name of the Lord; namely, Christ our Righteousness as this strong tower of defense, and thus whilst God uses the rod, scourge or psychic of affliction, which in infinite mercy, boundless love and everlasting compassion, he makes riddance of affliction by afflictions, but neither for sin, nor in his wrath, anger or displeasure. {Mt.11:28, Ex.9:20, Jer.23:6, Pv.18:10, Is.54:7,8} And though it be the nature of sin always to provoke God to displeasure, yet the pacification made by the blood of Christ hath more power with God to procurer well-pleasedness and love from him to a believer, than any sin of his hath to bring his displeasure and wrath; because that propitiation, pacification and appeasement made by Christ is of eternal value, and established by the oath of God, and yet this consent, that the same things befall the faithful and unbeliever here in this world, yet with this difference; to the faithful they are out of a principle of love and well-pleasedness from God, but to the enemies of God {all outside of Christ} they are messengers of indignation, anger and displeasure, not that God is well pleased with sin in any, for he is an eternal enemy to all wickedness, yet is always well pleased with the person of the faithful in Christ. {Heb.10:14, Is.7:11, 11:7} Also, affliction work dependency in them on God, to stir up to obedience, magnanimity, courage and patience, to prevent and beat down spiritual pride, to rouse up believers to prayer; to discover the determinations of God in his decree, and to notice the exercising of his wisdom, goodness and power in the preservation of the saints; to bring home desperate prodigals that are fugitives and runaways from God; to prevent Satan’s malice, to stop his mouth and beat him in his own plea; to damn the wicked, and fill their mouths with blasphemy against Christians who being like Christ, and not of the world, but accepted of God, and by their practice reprove the works of the wicked and are hated for it; to put an end to the discords, contentions, strife, jarring, bitterness and quarrelings of the saints, who, when they are in prosperity cannot agree, but like so many sheep will be pushing one another about indifferent things, but God sends forth his dog of affliction like the good shepherd, and puts an end to that quarrel. Latimer, Ridley, Tayler, Paul and Silas could not agree in prosperity, for one would have ceremonies and the other none; Paul would not have John to go with him because of his imbecility and faint heartedness in the profession of the Faith; but when Paul, Latimer and Ridley had lain a year, two or three in prison, then it was “brother Latimer,” and “brother Tayler;” and, “oh send for John;” or “bring John with thee,” saith Paul, when he had been well exercised in afflictions; and so now we quarrel, bite and use bitter invectives against each other; such as, Presbyterian, Independent, Antinomian, Anabaptist and Seeker, and many such like, the which I wish may be all forever buried in oblivion, and the precious name Christian only remaining. But for certain, when fire, faggot, sword, famine, imprisonments and varieties of torments and deaths shall overtake us, we shall willingly then lay them aside and use better expressions for each other. Furthermore these afflictions fortify believers in the bold profession and confession of the Faith to the faces of God’s enemies with undaunted resolution; they endear the Lord Jesus Christ unto us, who by bearing our afflictions hath made way for God to extend peace to the Israel of God forever in the midst of the greatest afflictions that can befall a believer in this life; they enable the saints to comfort others in the like calamity, with the same consolation wherewith they were comforted in their affliction, and tell others what the Lord did for them, and how he brought them out of affliction. John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Afflictions under the Gospel

To be pettish, peevish and froward in afflictions or to use unlawful means to get out of them is no part of the believer, neither is it from Christ, but old Adam; for there is more cause for believers to rejoice and be cheerful in their afflictions than to be sad. Have they not faith, the Spirit and a good conscience? Was not Christ afflicted for them; and loves them then, and is with them in all their afflictions; succors them and will fill their hearts with joy? It is faith or the Spirit of God that quiets the soul in afflictions, produces prayer and enables us to confess our sins, check unbelief, wait on the Lord for help; and to look more on the Author than on the instruments, to submit to the Lord, to purge the conscience from sin, to cry to God for help against it, to expect good tidings from heaven; to put valor, invincible courage and magnanimity into the hearts of believers, even in the greatest afflictions, sometimes to the astonishment of their adversaries and tormentors themselves. It is the Spirit of God that discovers to believers that prodigality, idleness, voluptuousness and infidelity are sins that hinder most men from helping such as are in afflictions; and it directs the believer to help those of like faith, those in whom the imprint of Christ hath been detected, and to prefer their good before their own; and then to help any in affliction, and to make our afflictions no greater than God makes them; yea, to take comfort as it is propounded to them from the world by any instruments whatsoever God will use to that end and purpose; for it is the Spirit of the Lord that persuades believers patiently to accept their afflictions evangelically, from such considerations as these, but mostly from the fact that it is God that afflicts, not to destroy them, but in love, and for their good; yea, verily for the best good, and that he will remove when he sees it best, and that there is no proportion between the countless mercies we enjoy in Christ and our small afflictions, and how he will give strength to the believer in the firm persuasion that his afflictions shall end well. Likewise it is the Spirit of God that silences the devil, evil men and even our own mouths which are so apt to clamor against God; and faith continually clears God, splits the heart and teaches believers to run upon the evil of sin, to wait upon the Lord in an evangelical obedience, to promise and perform in and by their Mediator, to call to mind times that are past, present and to come, {and the Lord who hath “delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver; in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us.”} What is the benefit which comes by our afflictions, but to partake with Christ, in comfort and honors; and though God cross thee in means, it is but to unbutton thee, and to supply thee in Himself. Grant that it was thy indiscretion that brought it upon thee, yet God will exercise his exact wisdom and turnabout all for his own glory and thy good. What if thy afflictions are great, but know that God is greater, and it may be that he will give thee great faith; and what if no man take pity upon thee; yet know that the Lord doth, if we may so speak, for he will deal with us as one whom his mother takes great pity upon, most gently, and carry thee in the cradle of his love. But of all that ever befell thee in thy life, this grieves thee the most, that it was the people of God that brought this great evil upon thee; nay, such as thou believest thou shalt live eternally with; yet worse than this, perhaps it was thy own pastor. “True sir, I would have trusted him with my own life, goods and all, yet he did deceive me.” Oh! Sir, did not you commit idolatry with him; and would God leave you in such a condition? No, no, God will take thee off from men and means too, and give thee to know that there is nothing on this side Jesus Christ but will deceive thee, and that he will carry thee above all these, and will have thee to know that he will have mercy and not sacrifice. That is, God would have thee and all men to know that Jesus Christ is the same forever, as good to thee as ever to any hitherto, and will be every way as beneficial to those that are yet unborn, as ever he was to any kings, priests or prophets that lived in former times, and that he is that Pastor that will not deceive, lie or fail us. John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Christian Liberty

True Christian liberty is a blessed immunity from the authority, dominion, offices and effects of the Law. The ends of Christian liberty are to settle consciences in the Truth of Christ; to prevent superstition and to direct Christians in their holy walk; and that they might stand for Christ and the Gospel with magnanimity, cheerfulness and charity, against all sorts of Pharisees whatsoever. One consequence of true Christian liberty is that believers know Christ to be their Head, by creation, donation, purchase, conquest, covenant, communion and union with Him; and his Headship, consanguinity, sympathizing, disposition, power, mercy, fidelity and eternity is the ground of their consolation. Christians do indeed know the care, love and bounty of Christ towards them; and Christ doth as a kind Husband and Head work powerfully by his Spirit in the Revelation of the everlasting Gospel to the conversion, justification, preservation, consolation and the bestowing of temporal and spiritual blessings on the Church. John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Covenant of Grace in Christ

Question - Are there more covenants than one extant; or were there ever two covenants extant at once? Answer - To man fallen, the Covenant of Grace is only extant, for the Covenant of God is but one, and that of Grace, and there is no Covenant of works to lost man, he is freed from the purchase of his own Salvation by any act of obedience by him to be performed. The Covenant of works being broken, there is an impossibility that man should be able to perform it, and it cannot be a rule of blessedness to man fallen. {Gen.3:15, 9:9, 17:7; Is.61:8, 59:21, 55:3; Jer.32:40, 31:31, 50:5; Heb.10:16} The first and old covenant, {Heb.9:1, 8:6,} was of Grace in shadows typifying Christ that was to come, though darkly and obscurely, and the new, Second, and Better Covenant was the same Covenant of Grace, Christ in opener vision and more clearly manifested, and with larger dispensations of Grace; as it is most clear, {in Is.60:19,22; Joel 2:23-32; Is.30:26,} were a little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation, and the light of the Sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, and so the least in the kingdom of Grace shall outshine the Baptist, that burning and shining light. {Jn.5:35, Mt.11:11} The meaning is that the poorest Christians under Gospel dispensations, shall have more discoveries of Christ, and larger privileges than John had. Now the grounds of the point are these, because the substance of a religion in all ages, though under diverse and several administrations, hath been but One – namely, CHRIST, diversely held forth to the churches; and circumstances make no difference. Because Christ, the Covenant of Grace, was the way of Salvation to the Fathers, Prophets and Apostles, as he was to come, {Heb.9:15,} and all that shall be saved till worlds end, are saved by Christ that is already come, Christ yesterday and today and the same forever. {Heb.13:8, Acts 4:12} All the Old Testament ceremonies appertained to the Covenant of Grace; the Law in Sinai was but one, the Ark is called the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, {Ex.31:7,} and so are the tables called the Tables of the Covenant. {Ex.32:15, Deut.9:9} These ceremonies all typified and pointed to Christ the Messiah that was the Substance of them; the Body is Christ. {Col.2:17, Heb.9:11,12} John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Divine Imputation

Question - Did Christ make us righteous in his Righteousness? Answer – Yes, doubtless and that freely, invisibly, perfectly and in due time visibly righteous. Thus before we have thought, spoke or wrought any good, without any endeavors, labors or works of our own, freely in Himself; and that perfectly righteous, not by our amended lives, as the papists falsely conceive, but by his own offering once for all the Church. Invisibly righteous above our reason, sense or feeling, that we might live by the Faith of God’s power and rely upon God’s speaking; and this Imputation of Christ’s Righteousness doth so work together to manwards by the Spirit of God, that the Christian brings forth good fruits more and more, declaratively in the sight of men, and for such ends as God hath appointed; namely, God’s glory, man’s edification and the further encouragement in the Faith. {Rom.4:5,6, 5:19, 3:24, Eph.2:1, 2:5,6, Heb.10:14, Eph.5:26,27, Col.1:22, 28,29, Rom.8:4, Col.2:10, Col.1:12,13, Tit.3:5,7, Rev.1:5,6, Is.60:21, II Cor.5:21, Jn.13:10, Lk.8:50, Tit.2:11-14, Eph.2:10, Rom.6:18, Is.61:3} John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Everlasting Consolation in Christ

Christ is eyes to the blind, ears to the deaf, legs to the lame, clothing to the naked, riches to the poor, honor to the contemptible, life to the dead, liberty to the captives, joy to them that are of a saddened heart, beauty to the deformed, that garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, peace to the troubled conscience, consolation to the sorrowful; light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, that wander in the wilderness of sin, death and desperation; to such Christ is a guide by his Spirit and Word, to bring them to the door of hope {himself,} the way of peace, truth, and that life of fullness and plenty in Himself. {Ps.116:1-9, Heb.6:18, Lk.1:79, Mt.11:28} Thy Savior is God blessed forever, the Almighty, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, able to do abundantly above all that we can ask or think. {Eph.3:20, I Tim.1:17, Rev.15:3} But thou art ignorant, and you dare not approach his presence; but the Lord Jesus is the key of knowledge, that great Prophet, Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, and his knowledge is thine, and he hath laid down his life for thee. {Lk.7:16, Rev.3:7, Lk.24:45, I Pet.5:4, 2:25, Jn.10:15} But I am blind, sick, and most poor; but Christ is thy treasure, the pearl of great price, the true bread, the meat and the drink; indeed, all God’s good things; the wedding garment, the heavenly Physician that hath cured thee in the presence of his and thy Father. {Mt.13:44,46, Jn.6:33,55, I Cor.10:3, Gal.2:20, Phil.3:9} But I am a beast in understanding, and a very child in the knowledge of the Truth; but thy Savior Jesus Christ is wisdom itself; yea, the manifold wisdom of God; and God makes over {to the believing child of God} all his wisdom, goodness, mercy, truth and understanding. {I Cor.1:30, Mt.13:11, Eph.3:10} But thou wilt reply, my heart is sad, I droop and go heavily; but the Lord Jesus is styled the consolation of Israel, the glad tidings of the kingdom, strong consolation, and that everlasting sign erected to be a present cure for all soul maladies, and the expectation or desire of all nations. {Lk.2:25, Heb.6:18, Is.55:13, Hag.2:7} If thou say that thou art unrighteous, thy Savior is styled a righteous man for thee, and hath made thee the Righteousness of God in himself. But alas, I am pestered with the old man; thy Savior is the new man, the inner man, the hidden man of the heart, and the new creature, and it is all for thee. {Gal.2:20, 6:16, Eph.3:16, 4:24} But O, poor soul that I am, for I have no sweet odors to offer to my God, neither any pure, perfect, and undefiled sacrifices; but thy blessed Savior is an offering and a sacrifice to God for thee, and of a sweet smelling savor in thy nostrils, and all the churches from generation to generation; he is the glory of God, the Righteousness which is of Faith, the end of the Law, that perfect and acceptable will of God; yea the prayers, patience and righteousness of the saints. {Rev.8:3, Rom.12:2, Eph.5:2, Rom.5:2, 9:30, 10:4} But alas, I am a condemned man in my conscience; but thy Savior hath purchased a pardon at the hands of God the Father, and given it thee, and he is the glad tidings of Salvation. But alas, my faith is not operative in me, neither doth it work as I desire; but thy Savior {to thy great consolation} is styled the faith of the operation of God. {Eph.4:32, Col.2:12} But I am weak; yet thy Savior is God’s strength, the all sufficient grace of God for thee. But I am full of loathing; thy Savior is the fullness of God, that faith which works by love, and thy weak faith serves to lay hold upon him. {II Cor.12:9, Lk.9:43, Eph.3:19, Gal.5:6, Jn.6:29,40} But I am faint, and am ready to die; but thy Savior is thy life, the hope of glory, and the firstborn of every creature. But I am subject to undergo the miseries of wars, sickness and many crosses; yet thy Savior is the Lord of peace, and the great General of heaven, the Captain of thy Salvation. {Heb.2:10, II Thes.3:16} But I am much and frequently wronged; thy Savior is the righteous Judge and will right thee. But none pities me in my perplexities; thy Christ is touched with thine infirmities. But my heart is sad, and I am much indebted; thy Christ hath paid all thy debts to his Father, and hath in his hand the disposing of all in heaven and earth, and is thy eternal consolation. {II Tim.4:8, Heb.2:17,18, 4:15, 6:18, Mt.28:20} But I live amongst a perverse, crooked and polluted people, in a land where the true Gospel is hated, {if preached in the purity and power thereof;} yet thy Savior is separated from sinners, is an heavenly country, and all that is contained in the Gospel. But I want many natural parts, and decay much in the acquired parts, that I have attained unto by industry, &c.; but thy Savior never decays, but lives and abides forever, and all his parts are thine, and his excellencies decrease not. But Satan accuses me unto God and my conscience; but the Lord Jesus Christ is thy friend in heaven, and hath unsuited them all, and is thy propitiation, and the faith of the mystery in a pure conscience. {I Tim.3:9, I Jn.2:2} But the devil is a roaring lion, and too strong for me; but thy Savior is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and hath conquered, and goest forth conquering, he is the serpent that hath devoured all serpents. {Rev.5:5, Col.2:15, Mk.3:27, Heb.2:14} But I am in contempt, trodden underfoot and a imperfect creature; but thy blessed Savior Jesus Christ is the crown of life, the seven spirits of God which signifies all perfections, a Lamb having seven horns, and seven eyes; that is, all power, and clear understanding, whose horn is exalted to heal the poisoned waters; that is, all poor souls freely, perfectly, invisibly and permanently. {Ps.92:10, Mal.4:2, Rev.5:6} John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Faith and its Evidences

Question - What can sufficiently evidence my Salvation to me that I may rest satisfied in my conscience forever? Answer - There are two evidences of our Salvation, the one revealing, and the other sealing it up unto us; and these are the testimony of the Spirit and Faith. The illuminating epithets of the Eternal Spirit recorded in Scripture; as indwelling, directing, sealing, convicting, establishing, commanding, searching, witnessing, adopting, comforting and persuading. The Spirit of promise, the Spirit of revelation and demonstration, and the Spirit of Grace. The sealing evidence of our Salvation is Faith; and therein, the definition, distribution and the excellency of faith. Faith is the belief of the Gospel; and the special Object of Faith is Christ Jesus; and this faith must be considered negatively and affirmatively thus; not Christ abstractedly, nakedly and unfurnished, as reason, that monster in religion conceives him to be; namely, a hard man, a rigid Christ, gathering where he doth not straw; much less as antichrist and the arch-priests envisage him, left by the Roman soldiers as a most deformed and deplorable object of pity, full of gore blood, bleeding and dying upon the cross, bearing the sins of all the elect, unto the view of carnal reason, without form or beauty, and not to be desired, his visage being marred more than any mans. {Is.52:14, 53:2} Nor according to the slander that the high priests cast upon him, enough to cause a man to hide his face from him, reject him, and account him justly smitten of God, &c., {Is.53:4,9,} and to think him the poorest victim that ever lived upon the earth. But affirmatively, Christ adorned with all his benefits, merits and perfections; that blessing that maketh rich and adds no sorrow therewith, but brings with him all blessings in heavenly places. First; pardons, multiplicity of pardons; {Is.55:7, Zech.3:9, Lk.24:47, Ps.103.3, Mic.7:18;} secondly; privileges spiritual, universal and eternal; {Col.1:12, Prov.16:7, Rev.1:6;} thirdly; a righteousness, able to stand before God’s pure eyes and severest judgment; {Is.33:14, Dan.9:24;} fourthly; marriage, union and communion with Christ. {Hos.2:19, Is.54:5, 62:3-5, I Cor.6:17, Jn.17:22, I Jn.1:3} Now faith must be passively understood; that is, the faith of Jesus Christ, Christ’s perfections, his impeccable life and meritorious death, the value of which is imputed unto us for our Justification. {Rom.3:22} Not active as it resides in us, weak, impure and imperfect. Also; the excellency of faith, and therein we must consider the Author of Faith; that is, God. {Jn.12:37-40, Heb.12:2} The effects of faith, being love, joy and peace &c. {Ps.5:11, I Pet.1:8} The like precious nature of faith; {II Pet.1:1;} the rarity of faith, as few truly possess it; {Lk.18:8, II Thes.3:2;} the warrant of faith, ‘tis called for; {Is.55:1, II Cor.5:19;} the absolute necessity of faith, for without it, all is vile and naught; {Pv.28:9, Jn.3:18-19, Heb.11:6;} the perpetuity, eternity and everlastingness of faith. {Lk.22:32, I Jn.2:19} John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Gospel Conversation in Christ

The Spirit of Christ doth freely, sweetly and willingly incline the heart, both to love and the duties of love that are commanded; for the believer knows that God both wills good works and ministers occasions for the performance of the same, and that by outward deeds and a Gospel conversation in Christ, he may manifest his faith; and he knows that sanctification is passive, and that in true gospel sanctification the very performance of works is a mere passive thing, as the King’s Highway in which he walks in, freely, and not for fear of hell’s punishment or heavens reward; and where Christ commands to love one another, it is to be understood of Christ’s love for the expression of our love effectively. As for our conversations, it is not Christ’s Law to beget life and love in believers, but to believe on his name is the form of Christ’s Law in this unto Salvation; and though a believer should attain to an abundance of love, knowledge and faith in this life, he does place perfection where it is, in its proper place, namely in Justification alone, and not in the flesh. It is most true that there is the perfection of the thing; namely that a believer is perfected in Christ, but to affirm perfection of faith in this life, works or the apprehension of Christ, so fully that nothing can be added to it is false; so then Christians are perfectly saved by Christ, and yet imperfectly as to to their own works, performances and conversation, yet these will commend them to men and go current in their approbation, according to the judgment of charity, and being kept in their proper places, among men, they are of excellent use as the candle in the candlestick; so works rightly placed are of excellent use in the assembly, but being brought up to heaven and set before the eyes of justice, they will not pass, but prove too light there, yea a very plague; so then it is the adultery and fornication that men commit with works that is detested and reproved by the true ministers of the Gospel, and not works in their proper place. John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Gospel of the Grace of Christ

What is the Gospel and the particulars that are necessary to be known therein? Tis a glad, great, glorious and hidden mystery to carnal men, but revealed to believers by the eternal Spirit. The Gospel is glad tidings; it is glorious in its original, instruments and sequel that follow it; its glories are hidden in part from believers, and totally from the reprobates in regard of the experimental knowledge thereof and it’s true enjoyment; it is certain in Christ and to the Faith of God’s elect; it is full of influence, urging Faith and Repentance; it is an everlasting Gospel, for it was from the beginning propounded to man as soon as he needed Christ; it is effectual, as it reveals life, brings blessings, works magnanimity in our hearts, violence in our pursuit of evangelical righteousness, poverty of spirit, purifies the conscience, and sets the soul at true liberty in teaching how to serve God in Spirit and in Truth; and to believe that Christ hath fulfilled all righteousness in our place and on our behalf. {Lk.2:10, Rom.10:15, 15:13, Col.1:26-27, Jn.16:13, Col.2:2-3, II Cor.1:20, 4:3, Gen.3:15, Rev.14:6, Is.61:1, Mt.11:5, Lk.16:16, 4:18-19, Jn.4:24} The true Gospel is that which sets forth Christ’s benefits, as pardon of sins, peace, joy, and the believer’s Righteousness in Him. The Gospel transcends the Law, in matter, subjects, ends, condition, qualifications, quality, manner, confirmation, persons and in seals; and the true Gospel is to be preached plainly, clearly, purely, sincerely, constantly, vehemently and powerfully; not darkly or in a cloud, much less mixed with a strange tongue. The Gospel was revealed to the fathers of old for their comfortable expectation of Christ, that they might long for the Messiah. {Is.40:2, 64:1,2} That none might plead ignorance, {Heb.1:1-2,} that their speculations might be above the shadows, types and figures in Christ, who is the Substance and Truth of them all; that the majesty, honor and glory of Christ might be the more perspicuous when he should be exhibited in the flesh. {Is.40:3} Doubtless the fathers of old knew God comfortably in Christ that was to come, for they ate and drank Christ sacramentally, had faith unfeigned, and were effectually saved by Christ that was to come, as we are by Christ that is already come; {Acts 15:11, Heb.11:1-37, I Cor.10:3, Jn.1:18;} that all {Jew and Gentile} the elect as united in Christ, seeing more distinctly the efficient, formal, material and final causes of their Salvation; and when Christ was exhibited, crucified and ascended, they having a fuller revelation of him and consolation from him; that they might be filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory and continually sound forth his praise. {I Pet.1:18-21} The Gospel was left on record to prevent heresy, to settle faith, to be a perfect Cannon and Rule; and therefore to keep out counterfeit books and expose anything else that might be written and entertained for Scripture. {Gal.1:8, Rom.15:4, Jn.20:31} The Gospel is most excellent in the authority of it; in the antiquity of it; and in the quality of it. The Gospel is Divine, ancient, durable, precious and engenders faith in Christ; and true Christians do honor it by their presence when it is preached, and by their practicing of it, by pleading for it, by promulgating it and by providing sufficient maintenance for the preachers of it. The Gospel was indicted by the Holy Ghost for holy ends, to teach, convince, direct and instruct in righteousness. {II Pet.2:21, II Tim.3:16} The Gospel and the Law agree in the Author which is God; in the matter, that is Truth; in the end, that is God’s glory. God the Author appears in the Gospel as a Father reconciled, but in the Law only as a Creator; the Law for the matter of it is of works, but the Gospel is of Grace; the Law was in a righteousness mutable, the Gospel is Christ’s Righteousness immutable; the reward of the Law was of debt, but the Gospel reward is of Grace. God appeared angry in the Law, but well pleased in the Gospel; for the mediator of the Law was a servant, but the Mediator of the Gospel is the Lord Jesus Christ. The Law in its effects was a bill to bind, a prison to shut up and a very death to all that are under it; but the Gospel is an acquittance, discharge and life; that is, both free, full and forever in Christ. {II Cor.3:7-10} The Law was written in tables of stone, and that without; but the Gospel is written in the flesh and that within the heart of every true believer. {Ex.34:1, II Cor.3:6-11, Jer.31:33,34} The place of the Law was Sinai in darkness, but the Gospel is Zion in light. {Heb.12:18-22} The time of promulgation of the Law was the infancy of the Church, and for duration, it was for a while; {Gen.49:10;} but the Gospel in clearness of vision and fuller dispensation in the fullness of time, is to remain forever to the world’s end, and to be published to the saints. John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Holy Scriptures

Question - How know you the Sacred Scriptures to be the Word of God; and what grounds have you for so to believe? Answer - By the testimony of the Scripture and that is sufficient of itself. {II Cor.1:21,22} By the testimony of the Spirit of God. {I Cor.2:14-16, I Jn.2:20,27} By the testimony of the Church in all ages. {II Pet.1:19, Ps.19:7-9} By the antiquity of the Holy Scriptures. {Heb.13:8, Ps.119:160} By the miracles wrought for confirmation of them. {I Kg.17:24} By the constancy of the saints in suffering in the defense of them. {Rev.12:11, 20:4, Heb.11:35-38, Acts 20:24} By the style being so majestical, high and yet plain. {I Cor.1:23,24, 2:14} By the admirable, heavenly and pure doctrine contained therein. {Ps.119:129,172, Deut.4:5,6} By the sweet consent both of Prophets and Apostles. {Jn.1:45, 5:39, 46, Deut.18:18-19, Acts 26:22, Rom.1:2} By the efficacy of the doctrine on the souls of multitudes of men and women of all nations, without a sword of steel or compulsion. {Ps.19:7,8, 119:50, 93, Acts 20:21, Phil.2:12,13, Rom.15:19, II Cor.3:6, 10:4,5, Col.1:6} By the nature of the word that is so contrary to the will and wisdom of men. {I Cor.2:14, Rom.8:6, Eph.6:12} By the pen-men, though despicable, yet subdued all the world. {Rom.15:19, Mt.4:18-20, Lk.6:13, II Cor.4:7, I Cor.2:4, II Pet.1:16} By the continuation of them, though millions of tyrants have sought their expiration. {Mt.24:35, Is.40:8, I Pet.1:25} By the fearful judgments on the enemies of them. {Is.30:12,13, II Chron.12:7} The Scriptures are the word of God because they speak of things above corrupt reason, God’s eternity, and the resurrection from the dead, &c., because they tend to God their center, &c., because the prophecies are accomplished, &c., because their drift is to destroy that which is most beloved by men, &c., because they require that which is contrary to man’s nature, and that is above their power to perform, &c., because the more any conforms thereto, the more the world calumniates, slanders and persecutes them for it, &c., because they condemn man’s wisdom, righteousness and excellencies, &c., because they are such a mystery, that neither the folly nor the wisdom of men can effect such a work; neither can the greatest head pieces in the world by all their parts find out the meaning of them without the Spirit, or agree on any one meaning of them. John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Inseparable & Eternal Union in Christ

Question - God sees no sin, nor beholds iniquity in Jacob, and what think you of that expression, and how are we to conceive of God in it? “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel.” {Num.23:21} “In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found; for I will pardon them whom I reserve.” {Jer.50:20} Answer - Happy is he that knows the true sense thereof. Now I conceive that it is this, that God sees himself satisfied, and the Church washed from all her sins by the immaculate blood of Christ; and so judges his people as Christ hath made them, and would have the Church so to conceive of himself as a reconciled Father, and not to soar above their Head Christ for consolation in their speculations, nor to go below their Foundation Christ for their humiliation, nor once to conceive of God according to his incomprehensible Majesty, but in this relation only, for we are not to know anything of the mind of God in reference to ourselves and our condition before him, but as we find our condition according to Law or Gospel. {Heb.9:26, Eph.5:26,27} Jesus Christ our Surety had all our sins charged upon him, standing as the only Malefactor in the presence of Divine Justice, and appearing under this form a Representative Person, Divine Justice charged our sins upon him and put him to death. So then, the principal, namely that Christians are declared righteous in their Surety Representative in the court of justice, their sins being satisfied for by Christ, there is nothing in heaven against them. {Rom.8:33, Col.1:22} Faith sees an everlasting expiation of sin, which causes shame to fly away, God having blotted out our sins from the book of his remembrance. {Heb.8:12} And the believer in this case and condition is most cheerful; for a certain Spiritual and Divine Person, the Son of God, the heir of the world; and evangelically, the Conqueror of the world, sin, death, curse, hell and the devil; and so we are not to conceive of the believer apart from Christ, but as Christ hath presented him to God the Father, and the Father never looking upon the believer out of his Son; and therefore as sin originally came on all men by the first Adam, so Righteousness came by Jesus Christ on all that are his, {his purchased possession,} in whom God sees all things new, Christ being the new Adam, the new Creature. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” {II Cor.5:17} In this text take notice of two things; what is meant by being in Christ, and what is meant by the new creature. To be in Christ is to united to his Person; being one with him by faith; {faith perceiving its placement into Christ; and note also, that divers times Christ and Faith are put one for the other, and this is in regard of the relation Faith hath to its Object;} as those that want faith are said to be without, and such as have received faith are said to be all glorious within; being received to their own knowledge and perception {faith} into union and communion with Christ; the new creature is proper to Christ only, and secondarily to us, for Christ is the new creation of God, the new heavens and earth, {that he would create, and prepare for us,} in which dwelleth righteousness, the Sure Foundation and Precious Stone, the New Man created in righteousness, which we by faith is put on; the firstborn of every creature, that makes us the firstborn of God, he being the hidden Man of the heart, that virtue and righteousness that is so much esteemed of God and in which we are clothed. The Christian receives his denomination from Christ, who is the new and living way, in which the believer comfortably comes to God in and by, in more fuller and clearer demonstrations of Grace than those believers in former ages, as many scriptures will prove. So that whatever enjoyments we have of God, incomes from God, grace in this life, or glory in another world, it is from God, in Christ, for him and through him, he being the Fountain, Root and Head from whence this cometh to us; {Zech.13:1, Ps.36:9, Rev.22:1, Jn.15:1, Rom.8:32;} and God will have it so, it being his way, he will convey all mercy to us, in his own way; having made all promises to Him, and from him to us, the word, shadows and types do all direct to Him, that is the Fountain of Life; yea, life itself, and that life which is derived to us from him alone. And herein God’s infinite and exact wisdom, free love, and special goodness is seen, in out-shooting the devil with his own bow, bringing in Everlasting Righteousness by Jesus Christ, who maketh believers everlastingly happy thereby, he being their good Tree, they are made good trees in him; their estate is safe, perfect, rich, honorable and permanent; their souls are so replenished with all the goodness in Christ Jesus, that they may live merrily, sleep quietly and rejoice eternally as so many scriptures set forth. John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Law & Gospel Distinctions

The Lord Jesus Christ our Deliverer hath freed all true Christians from the Law rightly understood; and this Law hath no more power over a true believer than a dead husband hath over a living wife; that is freed from the laws of Moses by Christ Jesus their new and spiritual Husband. The Law is the head over the soul, commanding and forbidding, backing truth, and detecting error; it calls for all good and forbids all evil; yea, the Law rules like a man of knowledge in its cruelty in the soul until the Lord Jesus Christ come by his Spirit, and sets the captive free. The Law exacts absolute obedience and perfect righteousness, void of the least aberration; it respects no man’s person, Jew or Gentile, bond or free, and it is without dispensation, mitigation or commutation, for it never discovers or knows of a Savior, but rules rigorously and tyrannically. “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” {Gal.3:10} The Law is like a jealous and cruel husband, who’s eye is never absent from the poor wife, but spies the least failing in love or duty and cries out guilty, guilty in the court of conscience; blood and vengeance against a poor sinner. The Law damns presently, constantly and upon the first breach thereof by those that are under it, as all Christ-less men are. The Law is armed with a curse to scorch the disobedience thereof by taking vengeance on them that fail in the least particular and fetches blood in the soul, even in men’s secret thoughts. “Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.” {Rom.2:15} Thus, by declaring wrath from heaven against all unrighteousness, though it be in the most holiest things, yea the sin of our burnt offerings, as the Law takes hold of us and shuts us up forever in its prison, by restraining natural conscience, that hellish fire within us, that else would break out into outrageous flames to the annoying of all round about us. Oh what a hell of confusion would there be, seeing the whole world lies in wickedness, if the Law did not bridle men and keep them from iniquity, violence and outrageousness, they being spiritually mad men, would break out into unheard of vileness. {I Jn.5:19} The Law doth not only discover the toad-like complexion of sin, but tyrannizes over all, and condemns them for it, declaring that they are under God’s wrath for it and threatens wrath and vengeance against all sin and sinners, it respecting no man’s person. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” {Jn.3:36} They that are true believers and they only to their own comfortable knowledge are freed from the Law by the body of Christ. {Rom.7:6, Gal.2:19, Rom.6:1-4} Then it is not the performance of some external duties that will prove that a man love the Law; does a traitor by wearing irons and being shut up in prison declare thereby that he loves his jailer? Doubtless no! Then they that walk in fear and trembling because they can find nothing in themselves to settle and ground their consciences upon, but their own works, and therefore are full of doubts and fears, and as certainly under the dominion, power, jurisdiction and authority of the Law, as the notorious murderers or blasphemers in the world are. {I Tim.1:9,10} The wrath of God rests only on them that are under the Law, and the Law will rule in their conscience until Christ comes in by his Spirit unto them. Then they {whoever they be} abuse the Law {in the preaching thereof or rather prating thereof, not knowing what they affirm} that do let the people find ease, liberty, peace and comfort therein, and fearing the desperate denunciation thereof, do mask the face of Moses continually and cast forth a certain, but bastard evangelical contrition as an anchor of hope to them, bearing their congregations in hand, that upon such a form, and upon such a new resolution of amendment, and so to make satisfaction for whatever hath been done amiss, that then the Law will spare them, and this springs from their ignorance of that change, how deep it ought to be, even from death to life, and that we must not be wounded only, but killed by the Law before we can be healed and made alive by the Gospel; that is, Christ is never esteemed, nor embraced to Salvation until the Spirit of bondage hath eaten out the heart of old Adam. That to abate the power of the Law by slacking the rigor thereof is not to preach remission of sins by Christ, but it is a deceitful course, because the Law councils no man to Christ, but keeps him in himself after conviction and that man is apt to take comfort and expect Salvation in his own way of working. Thus, when he finds troubles, sin and guilt, then merely upon his good purposes and pious endeavors to amend his sinful life, he gets heart and recovers himself and gathers hope of Salvation though he never went the right way, the way of believing in Christ; yet he, I say, hopes all will be well at last and God will have mercy upon him and that the Law will be mealy mouthed being mitigated to his fancy or dream, and all this is for the want of the clear light of the Gospel and Christ contained therein, that they know not the spirituality of the Law. Then such ministers do not well that set people upon performances of duties to get God’s favor, and so life everlasting; and labor to bring them to reform their lives, and conform them to the Law, and so leave them ignorant of Christ. These men in their preachings tread not with the right foot to the Gospel, have neither the power of Christ nor the Gospel, but mix Law and Gospel in a confused manner, bringing forth poisonous doctrine, and their simple ensnared souls their listeners, for the most do but call Christ their Savior, and are Christians in name only, and if any rule in them, it is Moses and not Christ. “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” {Jn.1:17} Then preach the Law; shut up Christ-less men under sin, and stop every mouth. Preach the Law in its uttermost authority to the death, it being that ministration only; that it may increase wrath, and cast all out of Christ as condemned criminals in the Court of Justice. Moses’ face is to be unveiled, that the splendor and glory of the Law in the spirituality thereof may appear to every eye and that to the confusion of all flesh, it must thunder with such flames of hell fire, curses, and threatenings to the demolishing of man in his works, into the beating down of every false conception, imagination or expostulation that exalts itself against Christ, and to the dissolution of that accursed opinion of wisdom and righteousness, which is so strongly rooted in the reason of man; and so the Law may kill and leave the creature heartless, hopeless and without all help in this way of working, to come before an angry and just God that is so terrible a judge, that it is ten thousand times worse to be met withal, or come before God without Christ, than rob a bear of her whelps. {Hos.13:8} The true child of God that hath been enlightened by the Spirit and broken by the Law, and who is made conscious of his own estate by nature, and what uncleanliness, hypocrisies and abominations are in every heart, and how the plague runneth daily in them. They will then cry out, “my life is death, my light is darkness, my heaven is hell, my goodness is as the morning dew; {yea a very plague as the word renders it in the original;} my best works are so vile that without Christ all will be found but dung, and I must for the evil in them perish forever and be damned, if I stand in old Adam.” {Rom.7:23, Gen.6:5, Lev.13:44, Is.64:6} Doctrine: That Jesus Christ hath saved the Church from the Law by a due course of justice, paid what the Law required, suffered what it threatened to the utmost, and not by force, power or violence; for it is his dying and not our crying that did it. Then the freeing of a believer from the bondage of the Law is indeed marvelous, considered actively or passively. Thus, that God hath procured the Salvation of our souls by the death of his Son, and so covered us with his Son’s Righteousness, and made us so happy whilst we feel nothing but sin, that deserves wrath and damnation forever, that he should hold it forth in the Gospel, and make application thereof to our hearts by his Spirit. John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Law & Gospel Distinctions

“But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” {Rom.7:6} The reason thereof is that the believer hath the matter of the Law - Righteousness in, from, and through Christ alone; and for the form of the Law, the authority thereof, it is abolished; the jurisdiction in commanding upon pain of death, in threatening vengeance, and the curse upon any breach thereof, and the promising of life to the obeyers thereof. Now the Christian hath life, before the Law came, and the blessing of the Lord that makes rich and adds no sorrow with it is upon him, instead of the curse, the blessing of Abraham is fallen upon him, for his standing is in Christ, the day is won by him, for his sins are all pardoned, and his warfare accomplished, and he is saved already, and God will discover it more and more unto himself and to others. {Pv.10:22, II Tim.1:9} Then Christians are not in a state of sin, nor mass of sin, stain or reign of sin; {I Jn.3:9, Rom.8:1;} but the contrary, they are in a state of grace, life and righteousness. {II Cor.5:21, I Cor.15:56, Rom.4:5, Col.2:13,14} It is from our imbecility, ignorance and infidelity, and not from Christ, or the Truth of the Gospel, that the Law puts in its foot in the soul or conscience of a believer in the authority thereof; {Rom.7:6;} but Christians might send Moses to his smoking mountain by turning to Christ their Husband, the true mercy seat and propitiatory. {Rom.3:25} Then the ground of all the outrages, doubtings and hideous complaints in the world amongst most professors of the Truth is from the ignorance in them of the true Gospel, Christ, and the freedom he hath purchased for them, he having freed them from sin, law and the curse; but they crying out thus, “O the ways of the Lord, the wrath that I am under, I am in the shadow of death, I am in the place of dragons, my sins are more than can be pardoned, there was never any in my condition, oh what sin and guilt am I under,” and so despairing, they destroy themselves, and it is the fault of their ministers as well as their own selves, because they teach not the Gospel purely, and the Law distinctly, therefore both the blind leader and those blindly led fall into the ditch. They should preach the abrogation of the Law to the true believer, but this is the plague upon the world, that they love such contaminated doctrine, better than the pure wheat of God’s own providing and winnowing, so that most men split themselves on one of these two rocks, presumption or despair of God’s mercy, and this is that great sin against God, Christ and the glorious Gospel, that the whole world lieth in. {Jn.8:36, Gen.4:13, Ps.77:1-9, I Jn.5:19} To preach the Law or works can never quiet the consciences of poor sinners, no works or any false respecting consideration can do it; for those do but engage to the Law, and engender infidelity and bring forth continual doubtings, questionings, heart aching and heartbreaking fears. As thus, “thou has not sacrificed as thou shouldest, prayed as thou ought’st, thou hast defiled holy things, thou hast omitted that thou ought’st have done, thou hast committed that which God hath forbidden, thou has not done good so sincerely as thou should’st have done, nor shunned sin but for sinister ends, thou has not grieved for sin as sin, nor hated it with an eternal, total and unsatisfiable hatred, thou hast not grieved for the sins of others, as though thyself hast committed them, thy obedience has been divided, partial and picked obedience, and not universal, sincere and perfect as it should have been;” and this distracts so, that men are always fearful, that go this way to work and doubting of God’s free favor in Christ; yea, heartless, faithless and still drooping under every cross; none so much discontented, peevish and impatient as they who pass over slightly the precious treasure of free justification in Christ alone as these men do, as they pitch their infallible signs, marks and legal performances. These sort of people rail against the children of God, calling the doctrine of Free Grace, the doctrine of liberty, licentiousness and loose doctrine because they and such like abuse it. What fault is in the wine or gifts that they have been so long spiritually drunken with? Is there any fault in the sun that hardens the clay, or causes the carcass to stink? Is there any fault in the Gospel that causes those carcass-like ‘Christians’ to be so hot persecutors of it, and of the professors {possessors in truth} of the same; these are so deluded by Satan, that they verily believe that they do God service in so doing, as once the old Pharisees did; for have not some of them declared themselves in print what they could have done to the innocent lambs of Christ and fought against them as their desperate enemies; and must the timber of their houses be made gallows to hang them on; shall they be driven into remote islands; shut up in prisons or debarred from the privilege of the freeborn subjects because they do not approve of mixing pigeon feathers with eagles plumes, dross with gold, water with wine, light with darkness; or that which is the greatest cheat in the world, the making of merchandise of souls and the word of God by preaching Law and Gospel, works and faith, life and death, God’s and man’s Righteousness, as one and the same doctrine, whereas in truth there is as much difference as there is between heaven and hell, Christ and Belial, the elect and reprobate, the brightest day and the darkest night in the doctrine itself, as all true enlightened Christians know; and this under the pretense of preaching Gospel and the Righteousness of Christ, though indeed they are the greatest opposers of it in the world and would have those burnt that embrace the Gospel in the purity thereof. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ, and 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; whose end shall be according to their works.” {II Cor.11:13-15} Then turn thou thine eyes from that hideous darkness of the Law unto the light of the glorious Gospel through the which shineth the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, to enlighten those that sit in the shadow of death. It is God in Christ that exalts the miserable, comforts the afflicted, heals the wounded, strengthens the weak, binds up the broken hearted, deals gently with the bruised, quickens the dead, saves the damned, and justifies the ungodly and pitches the soul entirely on Christ; thus living in Christ, by Christ, with Christ and to Christ. {Mt.4:16, Is.9:1-4, Rom.5:8, II Pet.1:19, Gal.2:20, Col.3:3} John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Law & Gospel Distinctions

The Law is to be considered as a Covenant, or a rule; now as a Covenant it is canceled by Christ who hath fulfilled it, and hath so taken away the believer from under the authority of it; its threats and promises are not able to reach the true believer; the Law cannot save him by his works, nor damn him for his sins; and is not Christ the believers life, and a far better rule, more spiritual and full to the true Israel of God; and they that walk according to this rule Christ are the Israel of Christ. {Gal.6:15,16} I never read of any Law human or Divine, which hath not power from its author whilst it is in force and unabrogated to punish the breakers thereof and reward the fulfiller’s of it; no, not the Law of Faith itself. Again, if the Law received such an abatement as men talk of, I would they could show how far it binds, how far we may go and no further? How should we look on the Law? Truly a Christian, as a Christian is lord over the Law, rejoices in his freedom from it and sees it fulfilled by Christ his Surety, and sticks close to that by faith. Away with that perpetual kingdom of the Law, pretended by the legalists, that cry up the Law so much, and cry down the Gospel by terms of reproach on the true preachers thereof; besides, they frown on the preachers of free Grace, and set its doctrine as it were upon a slippery slope; but the decree of Free Grace is as a goodly, fair and soft plain in which they may solace themselves in God and Christ; it is a lovely and a delightful doctrine to all those impoverished hearts who have been made to feel their need of Christ; it is more precious than the ruby, gold or any created excellencies. Doctrine: Until the death of the old man Adam, the authority, dominion, offices and effects of the Law do not end, cease or expire, but are in full force to all mankind. Consider what is meant by man? What is meant by the authority, dominion, offices and effects of the Law? Negatively, by man is not meant either the nature or substance that consists in soul and body; nor their powers, abilities or natural parts; neither the relation they have to common wealth; but that degenerated condition, lost estate and accursed standing in relation to a Law broken before God by nature since the Fall of Adam, and so man is styled the old man, sensual, natural and fleshly, being without Christ, and whilst we are in the flesh in that natural, sinful and degenerated estate, the Law has dominion over us, but he whose sins are forgiven him is dead to the Law; that is, he is freed from the Law, {by the body of Christ; that is, the substitutionary  death of the Redeemer.} Man is one thing by natural generation and propagation, in his conscience and before men, but another thing in the sight of God. The Scriptures proclaim and all truly enlightened men by regeneration, new birth and renovation believe that Christ’s life, death, &c., is theirs in Him. But when the old man is abolished, annihilated and dead in a spiritual and evangelical sense, after which time in thine own conscience, and to faith thou art not found of God to be a transgressor, sinner or impure; but contrary, when thou therefore ceaseth to be a sinner before God, and it is made unto thee in the Consistory of thine own conscience, and as soon as thou dost possess and enjoy Christ, {by faith,} then the power that the Law had over thee immediately ceases, but not before according to the revealed will of God. As we see in marriage, the bond of union is dissolved by the death of one party, so in this case, as soon as God hath given thee to know that thou art not in thy sins, the yoke of the Law doth immediately cease and thou art delivered from prison, from the power, force, authority and offices of the Law, as it stood in force by Divine institution before marriage to Christ. - So then you see the ministry of the Law reveals not Christ, nor his Righteousness; it sets forth not God unto us as a justifier of them that are of the Faith of Jesus, or as pacified and well pleased forever in his beloved Son; it dispenses not the invaluable and unsearchable treasures of Christ, it declares not the name of God our Father in Jesus Christ, according to the New Covenant of Grace, that is so full that nothing can be added to it, wherein the secret, sweet and incomprehensible love, wherewith he loved his Son may be in us. {II Cor.3:9, Mt.3:17, Jn.17:26} The Law was given that we should see our sins and have recourse to Christ for our Righteousness. Now the offices of the Law are several; to make sin known, to increase, aggravate and make sin out of measure great and sinful, and to show the wrath of God against sin and sinners, then to put man that lives in sin in fear, and being not able to fulfill the Law, he becomes angry with God and doth wish that there were neither God or Law, because he; that is, the old man neither is, nor can be subject to the Law of God. The office of the Law is to constrain the sinner to fly out of himself and go to God for Christ, as the old Israelites begged for Christ, when they said to Moses, speak thou to us, and let God speak no more in the terrible voice of the Law to us, for that is a cursing, killing and damning voice, {“let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not,”} and the Lord commended them for it, {“and the LORD said unto me, they have well spoken that which they have spoken,”} it being most apparent that they were by God’s Spirit enabled to beg Christ that was to come and they knew full well that Moses was a type of him as the Lord himself expounds it. “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him; and it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” {Deut.18:16-19} Yea, we do not read in all the Scriptures that ever they were praised or commended of God for any other thing, than for their desiring of a Mediator between God and them, the which God most willingly granted them. {Jn.1:45} Then the principal end why God promulgated the Law in Mount Sinai was that a way might be made for Christ Jesus our Lord. “Behold, I will send my Messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me; and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the Messenger of the Covenant, whom ye delight in; behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.” {Mal.3:1} John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Law & Gospel Distinctions

Printable PDF Version

Such is the absoluteness of God, he is of so pure eyes that he cannot abide sin, but must needs declare his whole displeasure and hatred against that creature whoever he be that he finds sin upon, and thence it was that Adam was banished out of paradise upon his Fall, angels drove out of heaven, and the great and terrible judgment inflicted since on several sorts of men. {Hab.1:13, Is.59:2, Gen.3:24, 6:5-8} Because God doth and ever will proceed against sinners according to the Law, and so God must necessarily, {if we may so speak,} deal with such in rigor, fury and wrath, both abhorring, cursing and condemning all such persons that are in old Adam, and so all men out of Christ, and their sacrifices, though ever so glorious in their own eyes and in the estimation of the saints; yea, though they be according to the letter of the Scripture in the largest extent, in their foolish fancies; {Lk.16:16, Pv.16:25;} because there is no congruity, concord or agreement between light and darkness, truth and falsehood, righteousness and unrighteousness, so that God must kill the sin or the sinner, or the Law will condemn the sinner for it, and God will hear the Law in all just demands against those that are under it. {II Cor.6:14, Gal.3:10, Deut.28:15-29} To inform our judgments, how rightly to use the Law, that we pervert it not, the Law is to be charged upon all sinners in its utmost authority, seeing it entered into the world because of transgression, and is not the Law God’s sergeant to find out and arrest all the Lord’s debtors, {whose debts are discharged by Christ,} to arraign and indict them, yea to cast and condemn them in the court of conscience. Therefore the face of Moses is to be unveiled, that the splendor and glory thereof may break out in the ministry of the Law, to the confusion of all flesh; man and his works are to be proved clearly thereby to be abominable and accursed, and they so to remain till mercy and favor in Jesus Christ relieve them, and God for Christ sake forgive and justify them. The Apostle is plain, that the Law is the ministration of death and condemnation, and therefore will proceed in its office of condemning man, and it will so long as man liveth in sin, and not give over wounding, condemning and killing sinners, that the slain of the Lord may be many. So that ministers of the Gospel to whom it is committed are aright to use it, but they must be aware that men find not life, ease, rest, liberty or comfort in the Law, and after conviction and guiltiness, though the power of it be in men’s consciences, they dare not slack, abate or mitigate the rigor and power of the Law. Thus, by dealing treacherously in promising life on the condition that if they will be truly sorrowful, repent and amend their sinful lives that the Law will spare them and that God will accept their polluted endeavors; the will for the deed, which is most false and from gross ignorance. Truly this is to deal deceitfully with men, to weave the spiders web, and to skin over the wound and mar souls as much as in them lieth. It is most dangerous, yet old Adam likes as well, and is apt to take it for a safe way to cure his poor soul by. Alas poor soul, when the wretch finds trouble and anguish, through sin guiltiness, for him merely upon his purposes, promises and endeavors to amend his sinful life, to get heart, to recover himself and gather hopes that all will be well with him another day without Christ is but the greatest delusion and folly in the world; yet how many are there in this kingdom and other deluded parts of the world that think themselves and go current in the opinions of likewise deluded ones for good Christians, and yet know not what Christianity is, but think it some monster of their own doing, framing and working, and so place Christianity, {which is the revealing, receiving and sealing of Christ and all that he is, or hath done and suffered for the elect,} in reforming their lives and conforming to the external worship of God, and the religion professed in the country where they live, and passes down the current of the times; yea, and are ready and do turn to that religion professed by the stronger side, and so they gather comforts from themselves or their performances, though halt, blind and lame, and their reformation being put to the touchstone of the Truth, proves but deformation, distortion and falsification, and if it any time those sect of men preach Christ, or speak of Christianity, it is so confusedly and with such pride, and with the language of the serpent, hiss out shibboleth; but to a truly humbled believer in Christ there is nothing but frothiness, and their words are like unsavory salt, as they cannot pronounce shibboleth Christ; {Judges 12:6;} for of Him they are ignorant, and have no feeling of Christ’s spiritual influence and power reigning in the saints; but rigid Moses, the Law and curses rule and reign in them, they working from false grounds to wrong ends, which mars all their undertakings, and produce monstrous works proceeding from a bad root, they themselves being bad trees and can bring forth no other. {Mt.12:33, II Cor.7:9, Is.59:5} That men and women must not be dallied with in this weighty matter, God requires seriousness and urgency in prosecuting the Law against transgressors, for there is no peace without Righteousness, and it is not a piece or a little parcel of righteousness that will be accepted of God, for the Lord will have it perfect or else it will be abominable unto Him, yea a very plague and he will detest it as dogs-meat righteousness, though it seem as the flower of the field in its own apprehension, and others who may look upon it as a gay thing, as the flowers in their month, so they look upon their own peacock feathers, their works as gay things, till the Sun of Righteousness arise by his fervent heat and burn up the hay and stubble, yea their silver, gold and their cursed opinions of their own righteousness which they have treasured up and looked upon in their unregenerate state as precious things; but upon the sight of Christ, the beauty of them is gone, and there is no more moisture left in them to a believer’s eye, and no more taste in them than there is in the white of an egg, and so I understand. {Phil.3:7,8, James 1:11, Is.40:8, I Pet.1:24, I Cor.3:13, Heb.12:29} But all this whilst in a state of unregeneracy thou findest and feelest sin and sin guiltiness, hence is thy inward fear and trembling, unrest and torment in thy bosom; is it not from this, that the presence of God is so terrible unto thee. I say, is it not from this that you live in a continual expectation of wrath, death or some vengeance to be poured down upon thee, what is this but the force and power of the Law and sin in thee which shows thee {to thine own apprehension} thy estate before God according to the Law, as yet thou standest accursed and faith {to anchor securely and solely in Christ} is not yet given thee; and so the wrath of God resteth upon all men so long as they continue in a state of sin and alienation. Then by right all sinners are the wife of this rigid and hard hearted husband, the Law; which knoweth not what mildness, mercy or indulgency is, but rules with extreme severity. Truly sinners are the subjects of this kingdom of miseries, curses and destruction, and the Law hath dominion over them to look after them, and to teach them, and to see that they do their duty to God, to accuse them and terrify their consciences, and pursuing them with a deserved vengeance, and thus the old man and unbeliever is the disobedient, wicked and rebellious man; for disobedience and unbelief is one and the same thing in Gospel phrase and truth. {I Tim.1:9, Eph.4:22, II Thes.1:8, Acts 5:32, Rom.16:26} Then Christians are redeemed from the Law by Christ in a due and right course of justice, he having paid the utmost mite that the Law could require; not by might, violence and power, and so wronging the Law or suffering it to sustain any loss or damage, but by fulfilling the same; thus our David, {shepherd and anointed, not without hazard, but with the loss of his life,} taketh this lamb out of the lion’s mouth, and frees him from the power of the bear; that is, from the power of the Law, sin, death, hell, &c., and the curse; and here Paul in showing how and by whom this rescue is made denotes two things to us, the equity thereof and the fullness thereof; and in the equity of it, he prevents this objection that might be made against this doctrine: Are not men debtors to the Law so long as they have sin remaining in them; are they not sinners then and hath not the Law power over them; first, to hold them prisoners and keep them forever, and to put them to death too, and keep them under death perpetually? Answer: No, for Christ by the body of his death hath freed the whole Church from death, hell and the curse in this sense, and from the Law of commandments two ways; by paying the debt of suffering and by paying the debt of service as our Surety Representative, and its fullness is that it is a complete, perfect and an everlasting redemption; {Rom.10:4, Is.53:5,6, II Cor.5:21, Gal.4:5, Is.59:20, Rom.11:26, Heb.7:22, Heb.10:14, Col.2:9,10, Heb.7:25,26;} and hence the church is freed from the authority, dominion, offices and consequences of the Law. Hence observe the change of the believers estate, for he is married to Christ and dead to the Law and alive to God. It is true that I grant you were once {in your own fearful apprehensions,} under the tyranny of that tyrant the Law, till it wearied you and made your lives bitter in causing death to pass upon your consciences, so that you had no life, nor light, nor help; no hope of heaven or Salvation at all, but were possessed with fears and only had such sad conclusions as these, “O; I shall perish, I am utterly lost, I am a damned castaway sinner, God hath forsaken me entirely, there is no mercy for me and I am undone forever; O, vile sinner that I am, a wretched captive and a hell-hound; what will become of me another day; where wilt thou go, O my poor soul; into darkness, utter darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth and pains that are ceaseless, endless and remediless.” This was the working of God’s spirit of bondage on thee, though thou knewest it not, and what a jubilant time of deliverance, through that exceeding and transcendent mercy of thy God, when all did unexpectedly turn to thy good and unspeakable benefit; God seeing thee in this woeful plight, deplorable state and condition, did commensurate thy case, and stepped in to rescue thee, and by his Son the true David, did freely, fully and completely save thee at once from the Law, sin, death and the curse; so that as in the case of marriage, whilst the wife lives she is bound to her husband to obey in all things, but death dissolves this bond and union forever. So here thou art dead to the Law, but know then, by whose means, power and godliness it is that thou art delivered out of so bad a condition and put into so glorious, full and happy estate. It is by the body of Christ; namely in that Christ died, was crucified and buried for thee; to this end, that thou mightest have union and communion with Him and bring forth fruit to God, and Christ thy new Husband, by disclaiming thy own worth and works, thy treasure and all, and live upon thy Husband’s worth, excellency, dignity and inexhaustible treasure. {Rom.7:1-4} That after the receiving of God in open vision, Christ comes and rules by his Word and Spirit, as once he did in the days of his flesh, but far more gloriously, mystically, influentially, effectually, powerfully, persuasively, significantly and evangelically, and he appears and reveals himself {by his word and Spirit,} inwardly, spiritually and effectually to the believer in Christ, and declares himself to be the same to that soul that he is in his own nature and office; namely, a Redeemer, Jesus a Savior; {“thou shalt call his name JESUS; for he shall save his people from their sins,”} and this is that revelation of the Son of God in the believing child of Grace. It is true that Christ was so before in respect of God, in his purpose and decree and in the outward ministry of the Gospel, but the consolation thereof was hid from thine eyes until this time and day of Salvation, or rather the application of that Salvation which was wrought by Jesus Christ before thou wast born; but behold now the spirit of wisdom, revelation and well-grounded consolation is now come into thee, revealing the Lord Jesus in all the benefits of his death and passion unto thee; for this is undoubtably certain, that as face answereth face in the glass, so the outward Word and inward work of the Spirit doth in the believer. {Eph.1:17-19} So that there is nothing spoken touching a mans estate in the Law or Gospel, but the Christians conscience can subscribe and seal to it, out of an inward feeling and experimental knowledge thereof; so then, this house of darkness and distress becomes the time of life and light in Christ. “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} Now the Son of Righteousness arises, who hath health in his wings, and bringeth light to make himself known, by that his own light, the soul may see light; Christ doth manifest himself, who is the inward man of the heart according to his office, a preacher of glad tidings to the meek, a proclaimer of liberty to the captives and the recovering of sight to the blind, and the opener of the door to the poor prisoners of hope, though they were shut up and bound, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord, by which the soul finds such succor, help, health, life, liberty, peace, happiness, righteousness and tranquility, and there it rests satisfied and can say, “my God, and my Lord, who hath loved me and hath given himself for me.” {Jn.20:28, Gal.1:16, 3:23, Col.1:27, Is.61:1-4, Lk.4:18.} But thou wilt say, is the man that is a Christian a sinner still, a dog or swine? God forbid. For it is only sin that enthralls the creature to the Law and subjects poor men to bondage, and as long as sin remains the authority of the Law cannot cease, but will prevail forever in such a case; but behold Christ washes truly, really and thoroughly in his own immaculate blood; {Rev.1:5, I Jn.1:7, I Pet.1:19;} so that he leaves no spot nor blemish upon the believer’s soul. {Eph.5:27, Col.1:22} Christ hath freely and entirely bestowed himself, his own perfect obedience, which is the Righteousness of God upon the believer, and also the matter of our sanctification; {II Cor.5:21;} and hence, the soul is altogether fair by the beauty and glory of Christ which God hath provided richly and bestowed effectually upon the believer; for no measure or portion of attainable righteousness can appease the conscience; for it is exclusively Christ’s Righteousness alone; and until we be clothed with Christ’s pureness, the conscience dare not appear in God’s sight, for Righteousness is the mother of peace and the elder sister Justification is before reconciliation in this sense, being justified by Christ we are no longer reckoned sinners, sins discharged are no longer debts; sins remitted no sins; the bond that is canceled is a nullity. In the New Covenant there is no remembrance of iniquity, for when once the Spirit of God hath made it out to the soul that they are through Christ freely, certainly and fully pardoned. {Heb.10:17} Then how marvelous is the Lord among his saints, should all true Christians say; who by free donation and Imputation of Christ’s perfections makes the saints freely, invisibly and perfectly fulfillers of the Law thereby; so that he cannot be charged with any fault, sin, or punishment, he being now stated into that spiritual, universal and eternal kingdom of his Son, where there is nothing flourishing but righteousness, justice, liberty, safety, peace, joy and pleasures for evermore. {Ps.16:11, Col.1:13, Rom.14:17, Rom.8:33,34, Col.1:22, Eph.5:27} Then let all the children of the bondwoman be schooled daily by their law-teachers, taskmasters and exactors of works to Salvation; I say let these daily impose on them new burdens, and spare not, and require their full tale of bricks, and daily appointed works and services, and load their consciences and memories too with multitudes of precepts, rules, cautions, marks and duties; yea, threaten to whip and lash them too, that they may enjoy no peace, except they diligently and carefully perform all things imposed upon them. But oh my soul hearken thou what thy God speaketh unto thee from mount Zion, who tells thee that thy labor is at an end, the warfare is accomplished, iniquity is pardoned, thy danger is passed, and the work of Salvation is finished already. {Is.40:2, II Tim.1:9} God himself hath wrought it for thee and brought in everlasting Righteousness instead thereof, and do thou peacefully enjoy this, {only blessing that name in which God is comfortably known, who hath done all these things for thee,} truly and with gladness of heart; and do thou impart of what thou hast received to thy brethren, in the like freedom of love, to the pleasuring of others in the corroboration, edification and the building them up in the most holy Faith; and so confirming them in the true Grace of God in which they stand. {Rom.15:2, Jude 20, I Pet.5:12} John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Law & Gospel Distinctions

What doth the Scripture hold forth to us concerning the Law of Moses? The definition, distribution, signification, to whom it was given, the promulgation thereof, it’s abrogation; and why it was abrogated and when it was abrogated. The definition is that it is a ordination of right reason to the common good of all, and singular subordination given by God, that hath the care of the whole community, and every individual in it. Moral and ceremonial; and in the moral Law two things are considerable. First, there is the matter of it, which is justice, equity and righteousness, which the believer hath in Christ Jesus without the Law. Secondly, there is the form of the Law, and that is the authority of it, commanding obedience, threatening the disobedient upon pain of the curse, but this also the believer is freed from. The signification of the word Law, for sometimes it signifies the whole of Scripture; {Jn.12:34, Ps.1:2, Mt.5:17;} sometimes the teachings of Moses only; {Lk.24:44;} the instructions of Moses; {Jn.5:46;} but chiefly, principally and most properly it signifies Christ, to whom Law and Prophets directly lead unto as their center. {Rom.3:21, Is.51:4, Lk.24:25,26. Jn.5:39, Jn.1:45, Acts 26:22,23, Rom.1:2, Re.19:10} The promulgation of the Law was on mount Sinai; {Ex.19:18, Heb.12:22;} the Law was given to the Jews, therefore called Judicial, Ceremonial and Mosaical, and to remain so till Christ should come. {Gal.3:24, 3:11, Ps.147:20, Is.32:1} The Law is altogether abrogated to a Christian, a true believer; {Rom.7:6, 6:14, II Cor.3:11, Gal.3:19, I Tim.1:9, Gal.5:18;} Christians being made righteous freely, perfectly and evangelically; {I Cor.1:30, Rom.3:24, 9:30, Heb.10:14, Rom.4:22-25;} do demonstratably to men-wards walk in truth and love; {Tit.3:8,14, Mt.5:16, Job 22:3, II Cor.4:13, Acts 20:24, Ps.110:3, Lk.12:35;} but exhorted obedience from the Law of Moses, and walking with God without Christ; {Eph.2:2, Is.48:1,22, 58:3;} is the regeneration of hypocrites, who work from false grounds to wrong ends; {Amos 5:21,22;} and though they reform their lives and conform themselves to the Law, it is but man’s righteousness and it will not exempt men from vengeance, nor stand them in any stead towards Salvation. {Is.65:5, Lk.16:15, Ps.9:16, Mk.16:16, Pv.28:9, Mt.22:12} John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Law & Gospel Distinctions

Sir, I have read in the seventh of Romans from verse 4 to 6, that there is an alteration in change of husbands, the Law being the first husband, and the Gospel being Christ, the second husband. I pray declare what ye have heard and know concerning this point? Answer: Some affirm, and I believe it, that the Law signifies flesh and all that is not Christ, although ever so glorious in the eyes of men; and by Spirit they understand the Gospel, and all the glorious hidden mysteries contained therein, namely Christ and all the benefits of his death and passion; and I conceive that there are two things considerable; the matter of benefit; namely, deliverance from the authority, dominion, offices and effects of the Law, so that it cannot curse, damn, nor hurt the true believer in Christ, the teeth of it being beaten out by Christ. Nonetheless we recognize that the Law is holy, harmless and of excellent use to the Church of God; when believers under the constraint of love, in newness of spirit and in the joy of the Lord do all that the Law requires, if it were possible and more, working from true principles, by way of gratitude, not for, but from life. Now take notice from what Christians are delivered; from the Law, sin, death, hell and curse, and whatsoever is contrary to his regulated will and reformed affections. Then by whom deliverance comes; for it is not from angels, men, nor any endeavors of our own, but from Christ, and by Christ our Lord, who was in every way fitted for that glorious work. Then the extent of our deliverance; it is not from some, but from all evil, to all good, but it is evangelically to be understood, and it extends to all the elect, and so it is universal, spiritual and eternal. Then the end is to be observed; it is that we should serve in newness of spirit, not for a day, month, or a year, but all the days of our life, in the Holiness of Truth, in which we shall be able to appear in the presence of God without fear in that wedding garment of Christ’s imputed righteousness, serving God in believing that the Lord Christ hath fulfilled all righteousness on our behalf, and this God accepts forever, and would have the Church to know, that this is the acceptable will of God; namely, that the whole will of God is run out in Christ, and men must expect no favor or mercy from God but through Christ. Men must go to Joseph alone {Christ} for bread or else they must starve. It is not our Egyptian knowledge of a god, for we are not to conceive of God according to his incomprehensibleness and incommunicableness, for the knowledge of God so is inscrutable, and this were to climb up above our Head Christ Jesus, and to thrust our heads into the fiery oven of those everlasting burnings that would devour us and put out the eyes of right understanding; but we are to know all that is to be known of God through the veil Christ Jesus, who is our Foundation, below the which, no Christian is to go, for we are not to undermine our foundation Christ Jesus in our humiliation, nor soar above our Head for our exaltation, but rest wholly upon the humiliation and exaltation of Christ Jesus for Life and Salvation, and this will produce true peace, joy and consolation. - Note also that Moses did press the Law of Faith in one place, and the Law of works in another; but they that go on in the misconceiving of Moses, who allege his words, “do this and live &c.,” for a Covenant of works, wrong Moses, wrong the Church of God, but wrong mostly themselves in making Moses a minister of a Covenant of works, whereas he was the clean contrary, a minister of the Covenant of Grace, though veiled and shadowed, as our Savior saith, “Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father; there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.” {Jn.5:45,46} And so to speak the Truth, when Moses saith, “do this and live;” the meaning is, do it evangelically, look to the Messiah that is to come and live, believe that he is to do it for thee, and live by him in the light of his accomplishments. The whole body of the Jews were grossly deceived, when they said, “we will serve God,” per se, in our own persons, but what saith Joshua unto them, “Ye cannot serve the LORD; for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.” {Jos.24:19} Or in other words, you cannot do so by your own endeavors or in your own persons, yet per alium {Latin, meaning “he who acts through another does the act himself;”} in the person of the Messiah that is to come, you may do so; so mayest thou by Christ thy Surety that is already come, and hath fully paid the debt of service that thou could not pay, and suffered for thee, that thou shouldst have undergone; so that the Jews did not understand of Moses then, as too many unto this day have the veil upon their hearts. Christ is the true rock, our Sabbath, Law, {Is.51:4,5,} and this testimony is that which all the prophets affirmed, and Paul preached, and set forth to his Corinthians. {I Cor.2:1, Gal.2:16} Truly Christ is all that the prophets and apostles did preach, and held forth in every line, if we could but see it, and is all that ministers should hold forth in all their preaching, writing, and printing; and if he were truthfully believed upon by all the people, there would quickly be an end of all the combustions, commotions, tumults, heart burnings, bickerings, railings, invectives and the unnatural wars in hand. The Lord give us understanding in all things; {II Tim.2:7;} by his eternal Spirit whom he hath appointed to reveal the everlasting Gospel, without which there is no possibility of attaining to the mystery of the history. {Jn.16:13, 14:26} John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Law & Gospel Distinctions

Thus these poor souls not discerning the delusions of these imposters, jugglers and soul merchants {Law/Gospel taskmasters} can find little joy, peace or consolation in Christ their husband, until the Lord doth undeceive them, and unlearn them of what they have learned of these ill learned ones. Then will he bring forth fruit, the effect of union, and the production of our spiritual marriage to Christ is that the believing soul may be childbearing to God; for Christ is a fruitful husband, a quickening Spirit, a living root that is full of spiritual sap; and he doth convey life really; though passively, mystically and evangelically to that one which is engrafted into him. {Jn.15:1-5, Rev.5:5, 22:16} Then liveliness in Christians comes from Christ their Head and Husband, to rejoice, to have a lively hope, to set all to love the Lord Jesus, to worship God in spirit and truth; {that is, to believe that Christ hath fulfilled all righteousness and only hath worshipped God in a way of acceptance and truth;} and the dying of our affections to the world is a fruit of Christ, the new man, the new husband, in which a Christian delights; and the believers heart is not an adulterous or a divided heart, so confidence, dependence on God, contentment in our estate, and joyfulness in Christ; the heart sweetly inclined to love, patience, and mercy, and these are the fruits of the Spirit of God, as it is clear. This it is to be taught by him, as to attribute all to Christ. {Eph.4:22-24, I Pet.3:8, Mt.13:44, James 4:4, I Jn.2:15,16, Ps.115:1} Then repentance is to be taught in Christ’s name and power, for he only can produce it; so likewise remission of sin is to be taught in his name. {Lk.24:47, Acts 4:12, 11:18} Then the knowledge of Christ is not a burden or an idol knowledge, for Christ doth not send out his to be idle or wanton; much less to live licentiously, but he enables the believer to a voluntary obedience, and this comes in the performance of what is required in the Law, for in this he walks with a willing and glad heart, and is not drawn to it by outward precept, but by the Spirit of Christ, the love of God constraining him thereto; and he thus knows the Law, for in the matter thereof it is the rule of his conversation amongst men, but it is the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, the Spirit effectually working within to bring forth the fruits of righteousness. {Gal.2:20, Rom.8:2, Is.51:4} Then there is a wide, vast and great difference between him that serves in the newness of spirit, he being a law to himself, having the mind, spirit and the effect of the Law within himself; and that one which lives under the outward ministry of the Law, serving in the oldness of the letter, that is he doth yield forth his obedience through the force and authority of the Law in his conscience, that being the dutiful and operative force behind his compliance; but whatsoever is not of Faith is sin, although it be according to the Law, and the fruit may indeed be commendable among men, yet accursed of God, unless it grow on the right tree and proceed from faith in Christ Jesus. {Heb.11:6, Rom.14:23} This discovers much hypocrisy in the religion that is now in fashion these days as men are grown very witty to cover over old Adam, as they adorn and beautify him, and to set him that is dead upon his feet again, and prop him up, still pleading for Law, and works, and yet all are but the outsides of good works, and so are but shining sins and glorious abominations; for who is there that doth not but see how proud, malicious and implacable these men are, being all or most of them utterly unacquainted with the glorious Gospel and its effects. There is a twofold Law {if I may so speak;} the one in tables of stone, which is the killing, damning and murdering Law, the Law of commandments and those that are bred by it, and seem to live in the same, are all dead at heart, though they have a form of godliness, yet they are the most dangerous men in the world, and a true believer were better to fall into the hands of the Turks, than into theirs, if he might have a choice in the matter. {II Cor.3:6, II Tim.3:5} The other Law is inward and written in the heart; it is the Law of the Lord, the Perfect Law of Liberty, the Law in which the Gentiles should trust in, that Law that freed Paul from the Law; now it must needs be Christ, who is that Spirit and Life, and is all that the Spirit brings to the soul and writes within the heart, for he is all God’s good things and all the promises of God center in him. {Gal.2:19, Jer.31:33, II Cor.1:20, Rom.15:12} Then the voice of the Christian is, “I by the Law am dead to the Law.” Christ his Law is all in all, effectual for all things, at all times, and amongst all persons whatsoever; therefore he that is received into Christ keeps all the Law without any Law; those that are Christ’s, {being the subjects of a heavenly disposition to love Christ, obey Christ and look exclusively to Christ,} look Moses in the face openly, having that all-sanctifying, all-directing, and everlasting spirit that guides them according to the Law in all things, these having the Law in their inward parts and written upon their hearts, need not the proffer of rewards to keep the Law, nor the threats of punishment to deter them from the breach thereof, but they are carried on as it were instinctively, spontaneously and graciously, Christ enabling them; and hence they look upon that exceeding mercy, love and kindness, which God hath showed them in Christ Jesus, and therefore love again, and work freely; not for fear of hell, or to quiet the clamors of their consciences, nor for hope of heaven, nor the applause of good men, or to speed the better at God their Father’s hands, but as they are made good trees in Christ, in whom they live in the Righteousness of God by Imputation, and so they bring forth good fruit amongst men for necessary uses, to edify their brethren, to win others to the love of the Truth, and to bring glory to God thereby; and as they are righteous by Imputation, so likewise are they by replication, they receiving grace for grace, love for love, zeal for zeal, patience for patience, goodness for goodness, meekness for meekness, humility for humility, chastity for chastity, mercifulness for mercifulness, redemption for redemption, sanctification for sanctification, righteousness for righteousness and wisdom for wisdom answerable as face to face in a glass, or letter to letter in wax form the seals impression. So Christ by applying his heat and enflaming our affections, {as once Elisha his type did to the child, eye to eye and mouth-to-mouth, &c.,} so we have the true warmth of the Grace of Christ put into us, and so Christ his image is in us whereby we are made to man-ward demonstrably, operatively and declaratively an epistle of Christ. {Mt.5:16, 12:33, II Cor.3:18, 2:14-16} John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Law and Gospel Exhortations Fulfilled in Christ

What is to be considered in all the promises made in Scripture which are dependent upon our obedience? “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?” “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.” “If you turn to the Lord.” “If you walk in my statutes.” “If you will hearken to my voice.” “If we confess our sins and forsake them, we shall find mercy.” “If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged of the Lord.” “If you mortify the deeds of the flesh by the Spirit you shall live.” “Call upon me, and I shall hear you.” “Seek and you shall find.” &c. Answer: They are to be considered either legally {Law} or evangelically {Gospel.} Legally thus; thou being out of Christ, and though fallen, justice requires perfect, sincere, universal, undivided and constant obedience to all the Commandments in thy own person upon pain of death, and if thou fail in the least, for matter, manner or end, thou must eternally perish. Thou art gone forever in the Court of Justice, though thou servest God devoutly, diligently, earnestly, instantly, distinctly and with all sincerity, conscientiously, zealously, freely, and feelingly and as spiritually as thou canst; all this will not pass for current in heaven, except thou be clothed in the righteousness of Christ, his obedience exclusively and entirely, for he indeed and alone served God undividedly, constantly and perfectly, &c., thou canst not do well, but will be found in evildoer and a worker of iniquity, though thou shinest like an angel in man’s esteem, and thinkest thyself somebody righteous, rich and holy enough in thine own eyes. It is not a lazy seeking, a half turning, to turn from one extreme to another, nor our halting in the way, and picking and choosing what we like, and refusing the rest, hearing such voices as we fancy, and running the deaf ear to the rest, and confession by halves, and with a bold face and stony heart, forsaking what sins we please; or our own mortar making, {for we at best are but mortar makers,} seeming to kill one sin, and smooth, forsake and cherish multitudes as sweet bits under our tongues, &c. But the meaning is this; ask for matter, manner and end, just as thou oughts to do, or else receive God’s curse; knock not too soft, nor too hard, lest God knock thee down for thy insolvency or spew thee out of his mouth for thy luke-warmness; look to it, see that you do all that is commanded without the least aberration, or thou must perish everlastingly by the Law. And what man under heaven dare appear before God in his own obedience, service, worship, prayers, corrupt tears, humility, contrition and amendment of life; who is so foolhardy as to think he hath sufficiently been willing and obedient to God, and served him {since he came to know him} so meekly, reverently and spiritually as God doth in his Law require? The thought of this will make thy heart to quake and thy joints to tremble. Now considered evangelically thus; though we cannot do well per se in our own persons as the Law requires, for matter, manner and end; yet ‘per alium’ {‘qui facit per alium facit per se’ is a Latin legal term meaning, he who acts through another does the act himself,} in the Person of our Mediator we may; and this when we believe that Christ hath accomplished all; and in Him alone is the Father well pleased. Christ was conceived, born, thought, spake and wrought well for us; he willed and was obedient too, fasted, prayed and worshiped God aright, fulfilled the Law, satisfied God’s justice, and by his death mortified sin, so that it is stone dead, and can never move where he is. It was Christ that sought God for us aright, and found him too, he asked and was heard, and was heard always, he only knocked, {no harder or softer than was requisite,} and ‘twas opened to him for us, his zeal was not too hot or cold, but of right temper, so that in all things he thought, spake and wrought well. ‘Twas Christ that judged himself, having taken mans sins upon himself, it was he that confessed sin, and made a good and perfect confession, and forsook it perfectly, hated it totally and absolutely with an eternal hatred; he only was perfectly willing and obedient, and kept the charge of the Lord, fulfilled his statutes, working well always; he only called upon God perfectly in humility and sincerity; having true sorrow on account of {mans} sin, ‘twas he that worshipped God in Spirit and Truth; he alone was without sinful wrath or revenge, being pure, holy, harmless and without hypocrisy; the right mourner, peacemaker and sufferer for righteousness sake, being temperate, compassionate and of a sweet disposition, and all the conditions required in all the aforesaid Scriptures must be looked for where they are, namely, in Christ Jesus, for in him, and through him, and by him are all things; yea, all the promises of God in him are yea and amen; but nay to us without him; so then by him we mortify sin, do well, are obedient, and perform all conditions; in him we worship God in Spirit and Truth, and fulfill the whole Law evangelically, and being one with him by union, &., But my full answer is, that all hypothetical propositions whose promises run seem to run conditional, do actually run unconditionally as they center in Christ, in whom, and by which only we perform the conditions; and I am bold to affirm, that there was never any mere man that lived upon the earth since Adam sinned, in which any one of the conditions were performed perfectly, and in this case imperfection will not pass unpunished in the strictness of justice; and who dare say, “I hate sin with a perfect, universal, unsatisfiable and eternal hatred? I do well for matter, manner and end, and have worshiped God perfectly, served him undividedly, constantly, universally, and with that dexterity, enthusiasm, and in that spirituality that God requires.” Who can say, “I have crucified the old man, and utterly abolished the whole body of sin, so that there is no tincture of that left, but sin is killed that it stirs no more;” and who is so temperate, meek, patient and humble, but there is some piece of pride in him? And therefore I understand all such places of Scriptures that affirm the doers of the Law to be just, to be blessed in their deed and doing, workers of righteousness, walkers with God, to be righteous as he is righteous, and men after God’s own heart evangelically as they stand in Christ, either as he was to come, or as he is come already, and hath fulfilled the Law for them, for there is nothing out of Christ that pleases God. To speak properly and truly, ours is imperfect, and there is stain and contamination in all, &c., and therefore all that a believer may or can, or ever shall be able to find in himself is this, that he is destitute of all goodness, grace and virtue, for he may and doth see what he should be, but never what he truly is; that is, perfected in Christ, looking entirely to him for full supply, and there alone finding rest, comfort and abundant consolation from this fountain that is never failing. This is the Christian’s magazine, shop of medicines, storehouse for provision, and paradise of pleasures in which he may solace himself, without danger either of drowning, blowing up, poisoning, surfeiting or famishing forever. Christ being thy armor, who can kill thee; thy food, health and clothing, canst thou want or miscarry; is not Christ eyes to the blind, legs to the lame, that Balm of Gilead to the wounded, light to them that sit in darkness, life to the dead, honor to the contemptible, joy to them that are of a sad heart, riches to the poor, the garments of righteousness to poor sinners, the coverings of God, the well of life, the pillar of fire by day and night to lead thee to salvation glory in all its fullness. To Christians he is all things and better than all things; and whatsoever is excellent in heaven or earth are but glimpses of that excellency that doth transcendently remain in him forever, and the flowings of it are our portions in this vale of misery, in which sense bears the sway; and sin, death, hell, and the curse are most perspicuous and predominant, contrary to the intentions, desires, and prayers of all the faithful, who would do all things for matter, manner, and end, as God requires, and are only grieved aright for their aberrations, swervings and failings; which they obtain by the eternal Spirit, whom God hath appointed to reveal the everlasting Gospel to those that now live or shall live hereafter. I say that the flowings of it forth in all the incomes of God are but so many beginnings, gracious touches and experimental feelings, the better to carry on the poor child of God in this spiritual warfare. John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Mystery of Godliness

What is considerable in the Mystery of Godliness, Christ come in the flesh? “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” {I Tim.3:16} Christ is the truth of all Truth, the embodiment of that Covenant that is firm and sure in all things and is ordered aright. {II Sam.23:5} It was Christ that brought us into favor again with God, made up the breaches for us, for he hath knit the true knot, united us to God, restored God’s image again in us, and hath worshiped God perfectly for us, and so presents us unto his Father in all his perfections. {Heb.10:14} Christ by his incarnation, assuming our nature, was conceived without sin, born without sin; for all his thoughts, words and works were pure, perfect and all together without sin; true it is, God and man were quite out, and all bonds were quite burst asunder by the violation of his pure Law, but Christ hath knit them together in one again; and God and man that were at odds, are now made one again; yea, and are decisively reconciled together in him. Christ in our flesh became sin, that we might be made the Righteousness of God in him. {II Cor.5:21} Christ by his fulfilling of Righteousness for us, that as God was pleased to lay on him the iniquity of us all, so he hath borne them all and paid an all sufficient price, so that justice itself can demand any more of him, or any that he died for; for Christ satisfied God’s justice in its entirety, pacified his wrath, beat out the teeth of the Law, took away sin, destroyed death, the devil, hell; removed the curse, shut up hell’s gates, opened heaven, obtained mercy and life eternal for all those whom he represented; namely, all the elect that are newborn, that believe that Christ was born for them, and that Christ hath paid the debt of service to God for them. {Is.53:1-12} Angels saw these things to be just and testified the same to men; they saw Grace and Truth brought into the world by Christ, the true Elias that was to restore all things again, and of whom Elias was but a type; they saw God and man united together in Christ’s conception; they saw the birth, life, death, passion, agony in the Garden, his blood like sweating at the work of our redemption, they heard his groans and prayers, saw his tears which he shed for our sins, his miracles that he wrought, goings out, and comings in, were eyewitnesses of his burial, resurrection and ascension; and now see his glory in heaven. All the good that ever God did to his Church in former times was through Christ Jesus the Messiah that was to come, and all that he doth, or will bestow upon his Church to the world’s end, both grace and glory, is in, through and for Christ Jesus, that is already come, and he never will bestow anything in mercy but through Jesus Christ, he being the new and living way, that he hath made for us, to come unto God by, through the veil of his flesh. The merits of the Lord Jesus Christ are as effectual for the elected, yet unborn; as those that lived in his time, before and since; for the Lord Jesus Christ is in all respects as fully the Savior of those that are elected, that are yet unborn, as those that now believe, or those that have formerly believed in him, and were saved by his merits. {Heb.13:8, I Jn.2:2} These thus saved in Christ, do walk in Christ, possess and enjoy Christ, and are in favor with God, do worship God in spirit and truth, {that is,} in Christ Jesus, {that is,} they do believe that the perfect worship Christ hath performed on their behalf, and stands for them forever, and in all ordinances the Spirit of God presents this before the view of their Faith. {Heb.10:20} Christ by his exaltation to heaven hath made way for man that was shut out by sin, {to his Father in heavenly glory,} so that his coming in his humiliation was not in vain, for he hath not left ought to pay for the Church, but hath got more for her than Adam lost, for he only lost created felicity, but Christ hath purchased of his Father remission of sins and eternal glory; so we see clearly that Christ is all that ministers should preach and people enjoy; for all things in former times did but shadow out Christ that was to come; and Christ is that new Adam in whom believers stand, for he is a Representative Person, and whatsoever he thought, spake, or did was for the Church, and every particular member thereof, to make them freely, perfectly, invisibly, mystically, evangelically and passively righteous. {Rom.5:19, I Cor.1:30} It is God’s special decree touching the conferring of eternal Salvation by Christ the Redeemer to certain men and women of mere Mercy, Favor and Grace, choosing them to eternal life in Christ Jesus before the world was made. Therefore the Church doth well in holding forth and believing that God from all eternity hath by his immutable purpose and decree, predestinated unto life, a certain elect number of particular men; the elect and true Church of Christ that neither can be augmented nor diminished; and the rest are eternally, unchangeably, and perpetually reprobated unto death eternal. {Eph.1:4,5, Rom.9:15-16, 11:7} The only moving efficient cause of election is the mere good pleasure, love, free grace and mercy of God, and not foreseen faith, good works, pre-required qualities or conditions in the persons elected; and though sin be the only cause of damnation, yet the sole and primary cause of non-election or reprobation is the mere free will and pleasure of God, and not the prevision or pre-consideration of any actual sin, as infidelity or final impenitency. That there is no such thing as free will, universal grace or sufficient abilities communicated unto all men whereby they may repent, believe and be saved if they will. That Christ Jesus died exclusively, really and effectually for none but only the elect, for whom alone he hath actually and effectually obtained remission of sins and life eternal. These elect obey evangelically; neither do they, nor can they finally or totally resist the inward, powerful and effectual working of God’s Spirit in their hearts in the very act of their own conversion, neither is it in their own power to convert or not convert themselves in the day of their conversion; {the day of their espousal to Christ,  the day of sovereign and efficacious application.} John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Our Life in Christ

Question - What think ye therefore of all such places of Scripture that affirm that Christ is of God made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, and that he was made sin for us, that knew none experimentally, and we are made the righteousness of God in him, and that he was our Surety, Daysman, Mediator and Redeemer. {I Cor.1:31, II Cor.5:21, Heb.7:22, I Jn.2:2, Job 9:33, Is.59:20, Rom.11:26} Answer: That by Imputation, all the knowledge and understanding, counsel, direct action, wisdom and prudence in Christ is now become the believers; and Christ’s purity, holiness, plainness, honesty, uprightness, integrity, justice and righteousness is his also, and the virtues, and graces or gifts that Christ had above all men, supplies their emptiness in God’s sight. In this sense Christ is made to them of God, sound wisdom, perfect righteousness, absolute holiness and eternal wisdom. ‘Twas the infinite, exact and inexpressible wisdom of God to provide so free, full and perfect redemption for us; that in Christ we might have all our losses restored, breaches made up, and a full supply of perfect wisdom, righteousness and holiness in Christ the New Man, that presents us to God, and endured the trial of justice itself at his own tribunal, and presents us everlastingly righteous, just and holy in the integrity, uprightness, plainness, honesty, purity and holiness of himself, and therein to stand accepted in the Beloved, being freed from all evil, sin, transgression and iniquity, and all the fearful consequences that follow upon the same, as the curse, wrath, horrors, fears, perplexities, shame and confusion of face forever; so that our own emptiness, folly and sinfulness is done away; and Christ’s sufficiency made manifestly ours, we receiving from him true righteousness for false, wisdom for folly; sanctification instead of corruption; love for hatred; redemption instead of captivity; meekness for pride; chastity for uncleanliness; mercifulness for hard heartedness; perfect patience for waywardness; true zeal for false; and instead of a curse the blessing of the Lord that maketh rich and adds no sorrow. And the believer is made a partaker of everlasting righteousness and the holiness of truth, and the truth of holiness; yea, the manifold wisdom of God. That is, the Christian doth possess and enjoy Jesus Christ who is variously dispensed and held forth in the ways of Grace, with new delights and contentments to the believers soul every day; so that the Christian rests in that redemption wrought by Jesus Christ, fully satisfied, and goes on in the assurance of Faith, believing that his debts are paid, he completely saved, having nothing chargeable against him in heaven, and so the mediation, contemplation and continual application of Christ, his wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption so freely and fully wrought, revealed and sealed to him by the Spirit, {of revelation & application,} becomes his life; and all other employments in this world, as his following his particular calling, discharging his trust, either as he stands in relation to church or state; as a servant unto all, and doing all in love, as it is termed the labor of love; so he preaches, prays and performs religious, civil, moral and all his actions in love; and though his works are imperfect and can do him no good towards his Salvation, yet comparatively and unintentionally, {being kept in their place,} they shine forth and are profitable to others, both for imitation and emulation in the best sense; namely, that others may have occasion to praise God that ever Christ is thus lifted up in the profession of the Gospel; and thus teach the believer to look on God through Christ, the Crystal sea of glass and inexhaustible well of Salvation; and Shiloh that is our felicity, plenty, all God’s excellent things, and the Author thereof, as the word Shiloh signifies. {Gen.49:10, I Sam.3:21, Col.3:11, Acts 4:12} John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Our Life in Christ

True believers are saved by Jesus Christ already, the work of redemption being fully accomplished and wrought freely and fully by Christ alone; so it is not a working or to be wrought, as most falsely fancy from the apostles words, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;” but the meaning is this, your part is in all the ordinances of God, to wait upon the Lord for the further discoveries of that Salvation so fully, freely and already wrought by Jesus Christ for you, who is our alone and complete Savior, as all the Scriptures prove most emphatically; and Christ apprehends the believer perfectly, and is our perfect Object which we lay hold upon, and God gives all of Christ to believers, and they detest the thought of perfection in the flesh, though their salvation be perfect, yet they apprehended but in part, wait for the full revelation thereof, so that they are perfectly justified in Christ. And Christ saves two ways; by doing all things that are needful to Salvation; and then he gives himself, faith to receive him, affords the gracious means to grow up into him, and enables the believer to work freely and joyfully the things that are good to the view of men in love. And it is in this new manner, and for new ends, from the power of the Gospel, Christ and faith, in the operation of the Spirit, that we that are justified do live and act accordingly. To work out our salvation is passively to be understood to believe that Christ hath wrought it for us, and therefore we are bid withal to work with fear and trembling as regarding our own selves. {Note: We may also point out that the expression “your own salvation” may have everything to do with a believer’s “own” personal perception of that salvation in Christ, in reference to personal assurance, and not to that ‘salvation’ on God’s part, which was accomplished by Christ.} The Philippians were commanded to continue working, that is, walking in the faith received, till the day of their sensible manifestation, and it implies no more, but the necessity of believing and diligence in the means of revealing Christ, breeding and nourishing faith, whereby we apply that Salvation wrought to ourselves and perfected by Christ alone; and this is to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, when we in the use of all means are watchful, fervent and careful to have our hearts strengthened, faith corroborated, and we ourselves confirmed in the true Grace of God in which we stand, not doubting of that free and full salvation wrought already by Christ; and so I understand believers to be workers of righteousness; mystically, passively and evangelically. Therefore all the great works done by the saints are but evangelical obedience, if we will speak truly and as the thing is, they obeying passively, mystically, perfectly and evangelically in God’s sight or to God-ward in Christ their Surety, and actually, imperfectly, and by way of gratitude do work declaratively to man-ward in the labor of love. The saints walk up to the top and height of holiness, to the utmost accurateness, exactly and sincerely in the perfect Holiness of Christ, in which we see and serve God spiritually, universally and eternally. So, Luke 1:79 & Heb.12:14 is to be understood; {“To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord;”} and to affirm the contrary is to confound evangelical obedience, and mix our own obedience with Christ’s which is too fleshly and gross a conceit, and cannot agree with the Gospel, or stand before it, no more than Dagan before the ark, gross darkness before the light; for it must all fall and be consumed, it being hay and stubble before the Eternal Spirit that reveals and works by the Gospel, and it is the office of the Spirit to take off men from false bottoms and pitch them upon Christ, to discover Christ the Lord and to fix their eyes on that all sufficient Object; the Spirit, I say, takes of the Person and Work of Christ and reveals him more and more, keeping them in the way of the Gospel, which is spirit and life, and this is to walk in the Spirit, and to live in the Spirit, believing that Christ is our life and disclaim all others when we have to do with God. To drive them more and more out of themselves that so they may cleave the closer to the Lord Jesus Christ, their blessed Savior. John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Our Virtue in Christ

All virtue empowered to lead a godly life is communicated by Christ alone to the believer, so that there cannot be a fleshly licentiousness allowed in the conversation of such nations, people, or persons that are united and married to Christ in real and spiritual bond; for true religion is pure and undefiled, and Christ is the pure fountain whose streams that do flow from him must needs be pure also; and for certain, all licentious conversations or miscarriages of those that profess Christianity are not from Christ, or any part of their life in Christ, for they have never so learned Christ; and Christ, the Gospel, nor Christianity; and therefore if at any time believers break out into a criminal fault or sin, the Gospel ought not be blamed, but the saddle must be set on the right steed, old Adam, the old man and the devil; and punishment rendered not upon the Truth as it resides in Jesus Christ, but upon sin itself. Thus we hear, “oh; this is indeed religion, these are your professors in former times, but now these are your new lights, these things should not be;” but now you should say, “oh; the policy of the devil that would render Christ and believers so odious in the world; oh, the prevalency of the old man; what should we do if God leave us?” Rebuke the sinner and spare not, and punish the fault where it is found, be no respecter of persons and ye do well; that this monster be made exemplary, and cut off its head by your two edged sword of justice; let the laws of the land in God’s name be executed, but be ye ever tender of Christ, Christianity and believers; strike not Christ, and tell the people that there is no fault whatsoever in the Gospel; that true light wherever it be preached and entertained in the love thereof by any, either in the Army, Parliament, Town, City or Country or anywhere; though something be done by some that are abominable, wicked and detestable to God and all good men, and both against law and conscience, blame not the whole for the fault of some, but know and conclude that the intents and practices of the rest may be glorious, and that the work of God in hand shall go on, prosper and be perfected; {in its appointed time;} that the Gospel in the purity of it shall break forth, {wherever it be sent in its effectual power,} taking root downward, flourishing and bringing forth in abundance; when it is entered into the hearts of servants, masters, parents and children. Truly men live, when their life is by Faith which produces love and all good works. Christ is a fruitful Husband, and the true Gospel works full reformation, &c How did Philip’s preaching to the Samaritans turn all topsy-turvy? Did the Apostles preach any other doctrine to reform the world by; and was it not effectual? Truly it hath not lost any of its heavenly power, strength or virtue. Oh that it were preached more frequently, purely and distinctly. Oh what a blessed reformation God by the preaching of the Gospel hath wrought and brought forth for us; “not by might, nor by power, {sword or steel,} but by my Spirit, {in the preaching of the Gospel,} saith the LORD of hosts.” We know that all the promises that are conditional center in Faith, for though they be legally expressed, yet they are evangelically to be understood of believers made to Christ properly, and Christians in him, and where works are commanded they are only as fruits of Christ the good Tree, tending to our conversation only, for Salvation is to be attributed to God and Christ alone; and Free-Grace teachers affirm that works do necessarily follow Faith in conversation and demonstration as fruits, effects and consequences that do more or less shadow faith according to the operations of that all-sanctifying, all-directing and all-working Spirit; and as the word is full of goodness, justice, pureness, holiness and peaceableness, so the believer is made like to the word, he being united to it and so is a partaker of the virtue thereof, that he is metamorphosed and made like to it, and is ready to every good word and work. John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.


Printable PDF Version

Question - What is prayer and the benefit thereof? Does it inform God; does it do good unto him, or prevail with, or change his mind? Answer - Prayer is the breath of God, or the breathings forth of his Spirit, by which God informs us, {we do not inform God,} by which he persuades us, prevails with and changes our minds; as we do not persuade God, prevail with God, nor change the mind of God. {Js.1:17, Mal.3:6} It is God that persuaded Japheth by his Spirit, to live in the tents of Shem, to believe in the Messiah that was to come, and to rest upon that Salvation that was to be accomplished by him in the fullness of time. {Gen.9:27} And it is that same Spirit that enables us that now live by the Faith of God’s power, as well as those that have lived or shall live hereafter by Christ, to cry Abba Father. {Rom.8:17, 26-27, Gal.4:6} From hence I conclude most certainly, that the spirit of prayer is given to help, succor, and bear us up in our infirmities, and not to assist, support and bear up God, for he hath no infirmities, needs no prayers, tears, or any of the means of grace offered us in endless mercies; but on the contrary, we stand in need of all Grace, as prayer, preaching, and reading the holy Scriptures; and God in and by prayer, &c., seeks us, persuades us, finds us, gathers, heals, comforts, instructs, enlarges, and adds to us; adorns, beautifies, enriches, allures, attracts and draws us up unto Himself that are poor, lost, dazed and castaway sinners in ourselves, both antagonistic and contrary to God, and from God, even from the womb; straggling sheep and fugitives from the right & only way – Christ; {Hos.2:14;} in the wilderness of sin, death, and hell, and in a high esteem of our own dunghill goodness and plague righteousness. {Is.64:6, Phil.3:7,8} Thus God by prayer discovers ourselves to ourselves, and others that join with us in prayer; he likewise manifests himself to us, imparting, communicating and revealing his secrets to us, and we being rapt with the discoveries, incomes, and constant enjoyments of God, do in prayer hold forth before the view of our faith and understanding, and of those that we pray with, and for, so clearly without blindfolding of Christ in his worth, excellencies and dignity; together with the absolute necessity of better prayers than we can pray, thoughts, words, and works that will commend us to God, which are only found in Christ, who is our Representative Person, and prayed for us. When we thus pray in faith, it doth prevail much with those drooping spirits, and they are mightily strengthened in the Faith, in hearing the Lord Jesus Christ in all his benefits, thus held forth in prayer. The believer is satisfied in the work of redemption, wrought by Christ and held forth by prayer, as well as in preaching, and this is God’s end in prayer; namely, the satisfying of our consciences, and confirming us in our faith, and in the true Grace of God, wherein we stand. {I Pet.5:12} God hath received satisfaction from Jesus Christ who hath saved us both freely, perfectly and permanently; and by the spirit of prayer according to the proportion of faith, the sick are healed in their consciences, to their comfortable knowledge, and so prayer prevails much with men and saves men; namely, it brings home that Salvation to the heart, which was wrought by Christ. {Js.5:15,16} So Elijah knew that there should be rain, for the Lord had told him before that he would send it, {I Kg.18:1,} but he prayed to affect the people; and so Hezekiah spread the letter of railing Rabshakeh, not to affect God, but himself and the hearts of the people; {Is.37:14,15;} and it is certain that God did prevail mightily against Jacob’s sense and reason that caused him to stagger through hesitancy or too much astonishment, when he had well warned him by the spirit of prayer, then as he went to meet Esau with undaunted resolution, though he were lame, and not able to go against his powerful adversary, then as God strengthened his faith with cheerfulness and good success, as he went on in the great and weighty business; and so indeed the end of prayer is to increase ours, not God’s faith, he being Faithfulness itself. Objection: But what say you of such texts of Scripture that call prayer sacrifice, incense, and odors? {Heb.13:15, Rev.5:8, 8:3, Acts 10:4} Answer: These Scriptures are all to be understood evangelically, thus by him let us offer the sacrifice to God continually; that is, let us always believe that Christ our Surety hath once for all offered one sacrifice that fully did satisfy God, and that forever. {Eph.5:2} Let us be content with that and rest quiet, and be satisfied therewith, and always be speaking thereof, for God is well pleased when we delight in, and are well pleased in Christ our sacrifice, which he offered in his bloody death and passion. May it please the Lord to set this always before our faith, that we may speak it out in all our prayers, believing that all his interests are ours, and being brought to the realization that he stands for us perpetually. {Lk.22:32, Jn.17:20, I Cor.3:20-23} Christ being that Eternal Surety and Covenant Representative Person in our stead for us, and to us; the new Adam, so that by Him, in Him, and through Him in Scripture language, is to stand in all that Christ accomplished, and in faith to apply, possess and enjoy Christ in all, and at all times, completely as he hath made us and presented us to God his Father. {Col.2:10, Heb.10:14, I Jn.4:17} For those texts, {Rev.5:8 & 8:3,} are both one in signification, and it is clear, that the ministers of the Gospel, their chiefest employment is to exalt Jesus Christ, by holding forth to the Church that one and only soul saving and soul satisfying sacrifice of Christ; {Eph.5:2, Heb.9:26;} and to appropriate that to the Church by telling her that her warfare is at an end; sin, death, hell and the curse are removed, and righteousness is come in their stead; {Is.40:2;} that a Son is born and given; {Is.9:6;} that is, all Christ, whatever he did or suffered, and that all the holy prayers that he prayed, the pure thoughts that he thought, the gracious words that he uttered and the righteous works that he wrought, are truly and in very deed ours evangelically by Grace. God hath given Christ to his Church, and all his excellencies, &c., and hence Christ’s prayer in those texts are to be understood. Christ is of God made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption; {I Cor.1:30,31;} and those sacrifices, odors and incense of old did but type out Christ to the Church as he was to come, and in this respect it may be truly said, that all their prayers were but shadowish prayers, &., holding forth the perfect prayers that Christ should offer on their behalf; and we are not to conceive that ministers under the Gospel are to offer incense or odors, but they are to preach Christ clearly to the Congregations and to present before the view of their understandings, the perfect and effectual prayers that Jesus Christ prayed in the days of his flesh for them; he prays no more now, but rules all in heaven and in earth, and tis his stock of prayers for the saints that are gone up into heaven for them. And thus Cornelius prayed and fasted in Christ that was to come, in his false apprehensions, for Christ was come in the flesh, and had indeed fasted and prayed on his behalf, though he knew it not, and therefore Peter must be sent for to undeceive Cornelius in this point and to unriddle this mystery to him, and to preach Christ and his prayers, alms, deeds and fastings on his behalf that were in heaven before God, and pleaded effectively for Cornelius, though he were ignorant of this glorious Truth, that Christ already come was his, and that all his prayers and alms that were had in remembrance in the sight of God were all mystically, passively and evangelically his and were come up to God for him, though he were not aware of it; {Acts 10:31, 43;} and thus are we not to conceive that it is our imperfect, weak, drowsy and spiritually drunken prayers, &c., that ascend to the throne of God; but Christ’s {and those offered in His Name alone,} are in prevailing approbation with Him to eternity, and it is confessed by all the faithful that Christ, as Surety, and the only Mediator between God and man is a spiritual and eternal Priest, and that his kingdom is spiritually universal and eternal, and all his actions are of eternal force, virtue and efficacy to the Church. This is to pray in faith, meekness, humility, temperance, sobriety, love, hope, sincerity, uprightness of heart, fervency of spirit and effectually, when we believe that Christ’s effectual prayer is offered on our behalf; yea, and that the perfection of faith that was in Christ is ours, as well as his wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, redemption, life, death, resurrection, ascension and his mediation. Is not all Christ’s thine? When God hath given him to thee, then doubtless all that perfection that dwelt in Him becomes the believers by virtue of Divine Imputation, by which the believer is sanctified in Him; so Paul is to be understood when he saith that Christ gave himself for me, Christ lives in me, and Christ in you, the hope of glory, or that amongst you; {Gal.2:20, Col.1:27;} by faith the Spirit presenting Christ in all that he did or suffered for thee, and before thy eyes, and this is to live by the Faith of the Son of God, by the Faith of God’s power, by the Faith of the Spirit of God, or the Faith of Jesus the Righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus unto all, and upon all, and in all them that believe. The wedding garment is the covering of God, the armor of God, the Righteousness of God, that the Lord God in a figure of coats of skins or fur brought to Adam, {Gen.3:21,} which being put on, {Rom.13:14,} by the Spirit of God, that can only make application of Christ to the soul, the Christian standing in the true Grace of God, {I Pet.5:12,} in Christ invincibly, {Mt.16:18, 7:25,} being built on the rock of eternity, {I Pet.2:6;} but also to understand any of this legally; {thus of our own heart, faith or magnanimity,} is the greatest dishonor to Christ that may be, yet most do so, for our own heart will fail us, and our faith droop, {being weak and feeble;} yea our magnanimity will prove mere spinelessness and gross cowardliness, and will not our fig leaf covering of man’s righteousness make us as Aaron did the nation of the Jews, {Ex.32:25,} naked, wretched and most miserable, our castles of air, strongholds, though huge mountains in our own blinded estimations, and others deluded as well, or as bad as ourselves will topple down before Christ, {Dan.2:44,45, II Cor.10:4,5,} like a tower of cards that little children are wont to make in winter nights, which by the least gale of wind, or breath of God’s wrath in a dismal day or time; or rather as the walls of Jericho by the sounding of the rams horns that fell down before the children of Israel upon their alarm, {Jos.6:20, I Sam.5:4;} just so when the true light appears; namely, Christ that Day Star {II Pet.1:19,} and Sun of Righteousness, {Mal.4:2,} to be ours, then and not before shall we see our false humility to be true pride, our sincerity - hypocrisy, our wisdom - folly, light - darkness, knowledge - ignorance, strength - weakness, and cry out that our candle is snuffed out, {Jer.25:10,} our heaven is hell, our patience is so threadbare that it may most fitly be called impatience, our righteousness is a very plague, our obedience – rebellion, and there is no health, nor help in any of these, and where Paul saith, “through Christ” he could do all things, {Phil.4:13,} tis to be understood, that Paul by faith believed that Christ had done all things for him, and thus Christ strengthens all his by his Spirit, and so all believers do the will of God, work well and are newborn, when they believe that his birth, {the “new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness,” Eph.4:24,} is theirs, and this is renewed every day to their faith, as they disclaim their old and first birth daily, by faith being crucified with Christ, work well, and so patience hath her perfect work, {Js.1:4, I Jn.4:17,} that they may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing, {possessing all in Him;} so the true Christian that eagle-eyes Christ in all his perfections, wants or lacks anything in Christ, for there in God’s esteem he stands a perfect man in Christ, and is daily strengthened in this faith, in and by the ways of grace, amidst all his distempers, manifold imperfections and countless defects; and so I understand that the Christian’s love is made perfect in a passive, mystical and evangelical way, and thus being ashamed of his own cold, little, and imperfect love; dares not for his life to appear in God’s presence in his own love, knowing that God hates that halt, blind, and lame love that is in man, but in the love of Christ is his delight; and so faith ventures boldly at the judgment seat; because as Christ is, so are we in Him. All things flourish in Christ’s kingdom, as there is nothing but blessed felicity & true tranquility at the right hand of God; that is, in Christ, there are pleasures for evermore; and it arises from this; namely, that Christians do frequently set before their eyes God’s justice, and seeing it fully satisfied, are bold to appeal unto God for justice, and so plead it out in the court of their own consciences, and are not afraid, {slavishly,} knowing that they stand in a state of perfection in Christ, so that they have no torment, seeing they now believe that Christ was once tormented for them, so fear and torment hath no room or place in Christianity, in the true sense aforesaid. Truly a believer neither fears the devil, sin, law, curse, death, hell, plagues, famines, wars, nor God as a wrathful Judge, but loves and fears God in spirit and truth, and so worships God in Christ, and believes that Christ’s pure and perfect worship unto his Father is reckoned to his account, and thus enabled to lie down in peace, love, and in that spiritual safety that Christ, his walls, bulwarks and tower afford him, {Ps.48:12,13, Is.32:2,3; 26:1,} singing songs of Zion, not to us, but to Christ, ascribing all glory to his name alone. {Col.3:16, Col.1:9, Ps.47:7} This is to sing in spirit and in understanding, with grace in our hearts, when we look to Christ, of whom it is most truly and properly to be understood. So Christians give thanks to God by Christ, {Heb.13:15;} namely, when we believe Christ was perfectly thankful for us, and when we are affected with it by meditation and contemplation thereof, and break out in words and deeds demonstrably in the sight and hearing of men. This properly is the believers thankfulness before God. I would gladly know of any man in the world, whether there be not a vast difference between the creature and the christian, the flesh and the spirit, the old {crucified} man and the new man in Christ Jesus. Truly so much difference there is between their faith and facts, and if this difference be not kept pure and apart, all religion will be corrupted quickly, as we see by woeful experience in Popery to this day; and what is it to be made perfect in every good work, but to look well to this text, {Heb.13:21;} “to do his will,” doing or working in you {by faith} that which is well pleasing {Christ} “in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen;” where note, that when he speaks of Christ, with what affection he speaks, “to whom be glory;” that is, let this glory be ascribed to Christ alone, &c., that none can come to God in their own doings, but through Christ, and what is that but to truly disclaim their own imperfect works, done in their own persons, and to embrace the perfect works wrought by Christ for them, he being their Surety, paying all that was owing to God the Great Creditor; but Christ having paid the debt that we owed, and now would have the fully discharged principle to make use of his Name when coming to God; namely, to believe constantly that God is just, and will not charge that on us, which Christ hath fully discharged, and so day and night we should say Amen to it, say that it is most true, and beyond all peradventure or question. Therefore consider what prayer is. Prayer is an imploring of God for help, and a direct fruit of the Spirit; the parts thereof consisting of confession, petition, intercession and thanksgiving; the properties thereof, being breathed forth faithfully, freely, fervently, feelingly, fruitfully and effectually. Its characteristics are humility, sincerity and heavenly mindedness; and its motive is that it is God’s way for obtaining good and removing evil. Its means to further it are hearing the word, reading, conference and serious consideration; and its end is always God’s glory, and the believers corroboration in the Faith. Prayer doth through God’s goodness remove evil and obtain good through Jesus Christ. John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Reign of Gospel Faith in Christ

When men are effectually called by the Gospel of God’s Grace how do they behave themselves? What would God have them do? Must they live diligently or lazily? Answer: They live a life of faith and conflict; which conflict is great, for the Law and the Gospel passeth over the heart of the true Christian daily, and through the believer’s weakness, there is too often more grief and unrest in their hearts than there was struggling in Rebecca’s womb; for in this warfare are conflicting sounds and several voices, distinct operations, and each sentence is so contrary. Live saith the Gospel, die saith the Law; peace by the Gospel, war by the Law; and when the believer hearkens to the Law and the spirit of infidelity, they are taken prisoners, and the sentence of death and perpetual woes are heard of them, and bitter lamentation; but when Christ, Faith and the Gospel speak, that distinctive voice both resuscitates their hearts, recalls their almost lost spirits, erects another frame in their hearts, and so enlarges their spirits that they sing the songs of Zion; praise, honor, glory, victory and Salvation to Christ their King, that hath so freely, perfectly and permanently redeemed, justified and eternally saved them from wrath present and wrath to come. {I Thes.1:10} - For the Lord hath already made up the churches happiness, in a full, perfect and plenary Satisfaction of Justice in our Redemption by Christ so that nothing can be added to it by us, and God sees the Church perfected forever and she shall in the fullness thereof enjoy it in heaven at last. – Yet, in this present state of warfare, the Truth is that God’s mind and pleasure is that after their effectual calling the true believer should fix his eyes on Christ, abide in Him and his Righteousness alone, rejoice continually in so full, complete and blessed a condition as God hath freely advanced him unto in Christ, and so let the confession of the tongue, both arise from, and agree with his faith and the confidence of the heart, and not return to bondage again, for it is the nature of faith to look directly to Christ, and to exclusively view that adequate Object, being the expectation and engagement of his whole heart. {Rom.10:10, II Cor.4:13, Gal.5:1, Rom.8:15, Hag.2:7, Heb.11:11} It is against the nature of Faith to conceive or entertain any thoughts of God in relation to herself which do not in every way correspond with the word of Faith, {the Covenant of free Grace in Christ,} for it is the office of special faith to captivate and confine every imagination and conception or thought of God as he is alone, from revealing and communicating Himself, and his mind in the Son of his love who for that end is called the “image of the invisible God,” because God will be known to faith no otherwise than in him; so faith admits of no other Object but Christ, and sees by that never failing eye, {the Spirit and the Word,} herself in a blessed condition; righteous, glorious, washed and adorned with clothing of God’s own providing, giving and putting on. {Eph.5:26,27, Rev.1:5, Cant.4:7, I Cor.6:11, Ez.16:8-16, Ps.45:13,14, Is.61:10, Rev.19:7,8, Rev.3:18} Faith believes the abolishing of sin, that there is no defect in Christianity, but only in our own infidelity; Christ having perfected the saints forever in Himself, purged them; yea, made the Christian holy, happy and unreprovable in God’s sight, by the bright beams of his Son’s Righteousness; who continually expels and consumes the sins that daily do arise out of our earthly members, as darkness is by the beams of the sun, so that though the Christian sees not an holy saint upon earth, yet he believes there truly are such, and contrary to sense believes himself to be one through Christ’s sanctity, and hath more power against sin by eyeing Christ by faith, than ever he could by all the arguments of the Law. {Zech.3:9, Jer.31:34, Jer.50:20, Mic.7:18,19, Mt.1:21, Num.23:21, II Sam.12:13, II Cor.5:14,15, Rom.6:15, Mal.4:2} You shall perceive that the Christian that doth possess and enjoy Christ; that is, grace reigning “through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord,” and in agreement therewith thus living, walking {in Gospel order} and delighting in Christ and in conformity to the Lord’s precepts is in all readiness to study every good work, but is likewise careful of misplacing works, as the candle he hath in his hand when he walks in an attic thatched with straw that it fire not the house, he keeps it down; and though he enjoys fire in his chimney, yet he is careful to keep it from his gunpowder, &c., for he knows it would quickly mar all, if it should once come there; and just so the believer keeps works low amongst men, and dares not present them before God’s pure eyes, as true faith brings nothing to God in the office and work of Justification and Redemption, being brought along in a way of self-destruction, as poor, lost and miserable sinners, finding themselves empty of all goodness, naked, wretched and deplorable in themselves, nothing else but a lump of vanity, a kind of sin and a composition of all kinds of wickedness, taken captive by Satan, spoiled and wounded by the Law, receiving Christ the only way and means of recovery; by faith coming into God’s presence, minding and apprehending alone the mere, rich and free bountifulness of God in Christ, in saving, healing, clothing, delivering, cleansing and freeing him from sin, death, hell, curse and all evil, and giving him all good, righteousness, peace and joy in Christ Jesus; thus faith sets up a lively and joyful light of the knowledge of God in the face of Jesus Christ and only raises thoughts of God correspondent with that declaration of his loving and Fatherly goodwill towards us in his Son, in whom alone God is well pleased; and in this Gospel God requireth nothing of man to Salvation, but hath wrought that already in his Son according to his free promise made to the fathers of old; {“in the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory,” Isa 45:25, &c.,} by faith in Christ is bred in Christians assured confidence, lively hope, pure love towards God, invocation of his name, without all wandering, doubting and questioning his goodwill, audience and acceptance, which swalloweth up all former slavish fears and causes new thoughts, motions and ways towards God, different from his former legal and false apprehensions of Him; he being now dead to all opinions and conceits of God according to his own worth, by works, performances, and his own obedience, though assisted by the Spirit of God in the doing of them; but now he is raised to a gospel life in Christ, and is in another Kingdom which is of sheer Grace, Salvation and Righteousness; and this apprehension of Christ and his Righteousness is so effectual that he is carried on the wings of love and delight, indeed on the four gales of righteousness, holiness, sanctification and redemption, that he now thinks all things worthy of Christ, doth all and suffers all in love and thankfulness to God; and if you will have a mark of a saint he may well be defined as in the Faith, as one that doth rightly understand, purely embrace, and solely rest confidently in the doctrine of Free Grace alone for Justification and Salvation, without any addition of works to that end, and that Faith is sufficient of itself, {though it never be alone,} to stay, succor and make confident the spirit and settle the heart, and quiet the conscience in the midst of all the failings, infirmities and menstruous obedience of our own works, though they be of the best sort and biggest size. Now believing is called obedience to the Gospel, or to the Faith, and accompanying Salvation in all its appearances, perceiving our safety in Christ, and being made truly obedient to all God’s commandments, believing Christ obeyed all; and unbelief is termed the not obeying the Gospel, and therefore the breach of all Commandments. {I Jn.4:18, Lk.1:74.75, Rom.8:15, Heb.12:28, Phil.3:7,8, II Pet.1:3, Rom.5:1,2,21, I Jn.5:11-13, Acts 6:7, I Jn.3:23, II Thes.1:8} The Scriptures propound God in Christ, and his righteousness to be known by believers in Christ; God is to be apprehended as their God and Father in Christ, God is reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their sins to them, but to Christ; and were not God’s fullness in Christ, how should the creature come to the Creator, but in Christ, as sons of God, spouses of Christ, heirs of all things, conquerors of sin, death and hell, advanced with Christ in heavenly places, washed from sin and made perfectly just, holy and righteous, mystically, passively and evangelically, and are neither male nor female, but one in and with Christ, and in this respect out of the power, kingdom and limits of the Law; yea lords over law, heaven and earth are theirs. These treasures only faith discerns, attains and possesses, and from this proceeds all the joy, peace, consolation, security, contentment, delight, felicity, tranquility, happiness and blessedness of the believer’s life; tis through Christ these streams make glad the city of God. {Jn.4:24, II Cor.4:6, 5:18, Mt.11:27, Col.2:8, Jn.20:17, II Cor.1:3, Gal.3:28, Rom.8:17, Heb.1:2, Tit.3:7, Gal.4:7, Jn.14:6, 15:5, Rom.8:37, Eph.1:3, Heb.10:14, Col.2:9,10, I Cor.6:17, Ps.87:7, Is.12:3} John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.

Repentance unto Life in Christ

“Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” {Acts 3:26} {This work is Christ’s, and this is the blessing of grace he himself bestows, and a fruit of redemption by his blood.} Then the believer highly esteems the Lord, accredits every word that proceeds from his mouth, speaks of him with reverence and to him in true humility, is obedient and suffereth God to rule and reign in him at his own good pleasure; and so he offers gold, frankincense and myrrh to Christ, utterly extinguishing his own will, cleaving firmly to the promise, knowing that God is true, just, wise and gracious, and will dispose of all things for the best in this life, and hence is quieted in all tumults and changes that are allotted to him as his portion in this world. He so hath Christ who is his myrrh, that keeps him from continuing in this grave of confusions, and Christ is to him all that gold is to the worldling, or what was prefigured by the pure, beaten, and the best gold of Ophir, which covered the temple; that is to say, perfection and inestimable treasures, for Christ is his priest, altar, incense, odors and stock of prayers forever that are in heaven for him, and are a sweet and fragrant smell in his nostrils, and the Christian in a holy boldness of faith can truly and comfortably say, when his cleansed conscience maketh {by the blood of Christ} answer to God, {which is his best plea,} “Father, blessed Father, thy Son hath taken my nature upon him, and in that nature, {he being my Surety,} hath paid all my debts; he thought well, spake well, and wrought well for me; do look upon him blessed Father and see if there be any defects or the slightest blemish at all in his sacrifices; can thy pure eye behold any evil in him, for then thou mayest take vengeance upon me?” But rather thou shouldest say, “Father give me a strong faith to always eye Christ in all the benefits of his death and passion, that I may be strengthened in my feeble faith thereby; for I know thou beholdest Him always, and art satisfied forever in that satisfaction made to thy Law, by him only; therefore, O, satisfy me in that satisfaction and my soul shall live.” True religion teacheth that in Christ we are sons, and the inheritance is ours, and that we may appropriate Christ, and all that he did or hath in himself to ourselves; and that we may boldly say Christ is mine, and I am his; his perfections are mine, and he hath done away all my imperfections. Then sin, death, hell and the curse cannot hurt me, seeing Christ hath most victoriously triumphed over them. Upon this the will and affections of the believer, {according to the degree of his faith, and the Spirit received,} secretly quickens, bends to choose, affectionately delights in whatsoever is good, and acceptable to God, and he hates all sin as it is sin, totally and universally; namely, evangelically and vehemently, and though he be tempted from within and without, yet the same good Spirit of Christ mightily enables and empowers him to make resistance, and if at any time he be overtaken, he is inwardly touched and stricken at the heart, and finds his inward mind and spirit wounded, lying in great affliction under it, and hath no ease, rest or inward relief, until he is enabled and empowered by faith to look up to {the brazen serpent} Christ; then he seriously seeks God in that way of repentance, humiliation, confession of sins, mortification and self-denial; but what repentance is it, but that true repentance unto life, and that is to condemn all our own works, righteousness and judgment; yea the best things in us, and then by faith to fly to Free Grace; repent and believe, that is, distrust, disclaim and forsake your own righteousness, prayers, tears, humiliation and confession, all which are imperfect, and embrace Christ; his humiliation, tears, prayers, righteousness and the good confession that he made. This being all perfect will stand thee instead at the bar of God’s justice. It is Christ that hath by his death killed and mortified sin, and when thou believest it, thou hast true mortification indeed. True believers fetch not their comforts from anything this side Christ, they go no lower than Christ in their humiliation, neither climb up above Christ their Head for exaltation. Thus they are not comforted in the thoughts of a mitigation, dispensation or moderation of the Law upon their tears and repentance, &c., their endeavors and intentions of reforming and amending their lives are not the basis that beareth them up, but it is from the true and effectual apprehension of that plenary satisfaction and plenteous redemption wrought by Christ for all believers, for from thence alone springs true joy in believing, faith finding its resting place in Christ. John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.


In Reference to the Papists - Question - What do true Christians hold and maintain against Papists? Answer: That Justification, Union, Regeneration, Infusion into Christ’s Reconciliation, Adoption, Sanctification and Glorification is freely from God conferred on man and wrought in man without any work by man or worth in him. Blessedness is passive and whatever is done by man before Regeneration is sin. That Justification makes the believer’s state and condition absolute and entire, it being the complete Remission of Sin and Imputation of Christ’s Righteousness. That Christ’s perfection is the ground of our acceptation. That peace, joy, magnanimity and sanctification are the effect of Justification. That to do great and good works {as they call them} with an opinion that the Free Grace of Christ is not sufficient to Justification and Salvation unless the keeping of the Law be joined thereunto is to abrogate Grace, to fall away from the Faith and make Christ’s death void, as much as in them lieth. That all true believers are one with Christ, and already saved by him, fully and freely, so that nothing can be added thereunto, only that the discovery and enjoyment of it may be enlarged to him, as they are sat with Christ in heavenly places, where they by grace possess blessedness, immortality and glory. That Salvation as well as Justification is free and without works. And true believers in Christ detest such a doctrine as this; namely, that our tears wash away our sins; that repentance, humiliation, promises, good purposes, endeavors on our part to amend our lives, to pacify God’s wrath, and procure his love, peace and favor, &c.; likewise, that if we change and turn to God, that he will turn to us; that man by doing good becomes good; that the Law is the seed of regeneration and the new birth; that the will for the deed is accepted of God; that Christ’s and our works together please God, and therefore what we cannot, Christ hath and will make up. Thus many err, not understanding, that II Cor.8:12, {“for if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not;”} was spoken of the saints as accepting their contributions, as it is evident from the context. Neither do they consider that all conditional promises whatsoever in Christ run into faith; to do this and live, be blessed, &c., thou canst not do it thyself, yet believe that Christ hath done it for thee. {Deut.28:1-15, 30:6} John Heydon, “Some Gospel Truths, Catechistically Laid Down, Explained & Vindicated.” 1647.


Home Page

Index of Authors

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