Samuel Richardson {1602-1658}


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Assurance in Christ Alone

We ought not to fetch our comfort from our subduing of sin, but from Christ, who is made unto us both Righteousness and Sanctification. {I Cor.1:30} When we are at the best, we may not live in ourselves, nor by sight, but by faith; and when we are at the worst, we ought to live upon Christ by faith, and comfort ourselves in Him, and in Him only. It’s the folly of many when they want strength and comfort, they seek it in their duties and subduings of sin, and comfort themselves there, but Christ is not in all their thoughts. {Psal.10:4} Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations, Part Two, 1649}

Assurance in Christ Alone

The greatest peace any saint enjoys is not to be neither ground, nor encouragement for them to believe; therefore not any terrors any possess, ought not to be a ground of discouragement in believing, for our happiness is not in anything that we feel or apprehend in ourselves, but in the Word and Promise of God, and in that we are known of God, who loves us and comprehends us in Himself, and His not imputing our trespasses unto us. {Psal.32:1-2} - Faith is an assenting or cleaving to the Truth and Faithfulness of God in his Promise, not from anything the soul sees or feels in itself, but from something it apprehends in God in his Word. {Rom.4:20-22} - Assurance is not from the nature of faith, nor from the direct act of faith, but from the reflect act of faith, which is for a man to see and know that he believes; which assurance is from the light and testimony of the Spirit of God in the conscience of one that is already a believer, causing the soul to know it believes; “the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” {Rom.8:16} Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations, Part Two, 1649} 

Assurance in Christ Alone

Pardon of sin, or justification in the conscience, is not justification itself, but only the knowledge thereof. Justification depends not upon our assurance of it, or knowledge of it, but upon Christ. “In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.” {Isa.45:25} It consists in taking away sin. That which is in the conscience is the knowledge of it, and comfort of it. Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations Part 3, 1649}

Biblical Hermeneutics

Those expressions of Scripture that ascribe most to Christ are the clearest. The other are to be interpreted by them. Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations Part 3, 1649}

Chastening Hand of the Lord upon His Children

Bees gather honey from bitter flowers, as well as sweet; so should we from bitter conditions. Crosses are Christ’s servants, as they come and go at his command. They are sent to do us good; all is sent in love, and best for me; for God will supply all our wants with his all-sufficiency. We should not look so much at freedom from trouble, as to profit by it, to enjoy God by it, and strength to bear it, looking upon all that befalls us as appointed and ordered by God in his wisdom and love for our good, &c. {I Thes.3:3} Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations, Part One, 1649}

Christ the One Foundation

A false foundation and a false life go together, therefore whosoever they be that live upon anything besides God in Christ, as their foundation are unsound, so certainly it will deceive them, whatsoever their sparks be, they must and shall lie down in sorrow, as Isa.50:10-11, they are all lying vanities, and they that hearken unto them forsake their own mercies. {Jonah 2:8} Samuel Richardson {Saint’s Desire, 1647}


We grant that God has decreed the end and the means, and whatsoever God has decreed shall unavoidably come to pass; but we deny that faith is any means of our Redemption, Justification, or Salvation. Nothing but the Lord Jesus Christ is the means of our salvation. There are means that are necessary to the revealing and enjoying the comfort of it, as the Holy Spirit and ministers to reveal it and faith to receive it; also, there be fruits and effects of the love of God, as faith, love, and obedience to Christ - yet these are no means of our salvation. Samuel Richardson {Justification by Christ Alone, 1647}


Man cannot finally hinder his conversion; for whom God will save, no power of man can destroy. Man in his first conversion is wholly passive, we cannot work it in ourselves, nor hinder God’s working of it, because we are dead in sins. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins. {Eph.2:1} “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses.” {Col.2:13} “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” {Eph.5:14} We are spiritually blind. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” {Luke 4:19,20} Our hearts stony and destitute of goodness. “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh; and I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” {Ez.36:26-27} God’s work in converting us is a raising from the dead. “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ.” {Eph.2:5} A restoring the sight to the blind. {Luke.4:18} A new birth. {John 3:3} Another creation of him. {II Cor.5:17} The giving of a new heart. {Ezek.11:19} So that man cannot prepare himself to conversion. God regenerates man that he may believe. The tree must first be good, before it can bring forth good fruit. How can they that are evil speak good things? {Mat.12:34} It's an error therefore to think that man’s conversion to God begins in some act man performs, and not in a work first wrought in us by God. Samuel Richardson {Saint’s Desire, 1647}

Covenant of Grace

It is not in the power of the creature to believe in Christ; {Phil.1:29;} therefore look not upon faith as a work of thine own, nor is faith any condition of the Covenant required on thy part; for as the Covenant of grace is not made with man, but with Christ; {Psal.89:27-30;} nor is there any condition in the Covenant of Grace required on man’s part, neither is there anything to be done by man to cause him to have an interest in the Covenant of grace, or to partake of it, for the Covenant of grace and life by Christ is every way free and unconditional on man’s part, else how doth it differ from a Covenant of works, if there were anything to be done by us to have interest in it; and if faith were a condition required on our part to partake of the Covenant, or else not, I see not but we are now in as bad a condition as to be under the Covenant of works, it being as hard and impossible for man of himself to believe in Christ, as it is to keep the whole Law, as the Scripture declares. How hard it is to believe, the experience of many can testify, as to believe is a fruit of the Spirit. {Gal.5:22} Samuel Richardson {Saint’s Desire, 1647}

Divine Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures

Demonstrations that the Scriptures are of God, and from God. The Scriptures are either from God, or from men; and they are not from men, for these reasons: 1. Because neither the folly nor wisdom of man can effect such a work, to compose the Scriptures, for men as men cannot understand the meaning of them. If they had originally been from men, the same wisdom that invented them, could understand them; but seeing men cannot understand the meaning of them, nor agree upon any meaning of them, it appears they are a mystery above the reach of nature. 2. They are not from men, because it condemns that which is most excellent in nature, as it condemns the wisdom of man to be foolishness, in that it cannot understand it, and seeing they cannot know it, they could not cause it; also it is against reason for anything to condemn itself. Is it not quite contrary to nature, to condemn that which is most excellent in nature? The wisdom of man is most excellent in nature, therefore the wisdom of nature was not the Author of the Scripture; also man’s wisdom esteems the wisdom of it to be foolishness. Contraries cannot agree! 3. The Scriptures are not from men, because the whole scope and drift of the Scriptures tend wholly to destroy that which the nature of man loveth most, as the way and will of man; yea it requires him to deny himself; what is more contrary to nature than this? Therefore this never came from the nature of man; besides, it is a strong argument, that the Scriptures came not originally from man, but from God, because they are no whit agreeable to our natures. Hence it is worth observing, that we naturally choose and delight to read any Book rather than the Scriptures; as we see by experience, that those that read much, read little in the Scriptures. 4. Because the Scriptures require that which is beyond the power of man to do, as that he should deny himself, which to do requires a divine power, as the Scriptures and experience teach. Self is for itself, how then can self deny itself? Nature doth not require, nor desire any such thing, therefore it's required by some other, which must needs be God. Scripture affirms that which is impossible to the reason, nature, and wisdom of man, as that a Virgin should conceive a Son; this is beyond the reach of nature, and therefore it is from God. 5. The Scriptures are not from men, because the more any are ruled by it, and obey it, the more they are hated and persecuted by men; which shows it was never the will of man, and therefore it came not from nature, but from God. 6. The Scriptures came from God, because they tend to God. This is a rule in nature, as everything tends to its center; a stone to the earth, the waters to the Sea from whence they came; and so the Scriptures tend to God. They run to God, they show God in his goodness, wisdom, power, and love. In the Scriptures there is a Divine wisdom, as they speak for God, they call men to God, and to be for God, which is the center of the Scriptures. 7. The Scriptures are not from men, because the way of bringing them forth into the world, is quite contrary to the wisdom and expectation of man, who in great matters imply persons that are wise, great, and honorable; but they came forth in a quite contrary way, in that mean and contemptible tradesmen, fisher-men, and tent-makers, &c. were the publishers and pen-men of the Scriptures, although at the same time there were men naturally wise & learned at Athens. 8. The Scriptures are from God, because God hath wonderfully & strangely preserved them, in making the Jews, who were enemies to Christ, and his words, preservers of the Scriptures; also in preserving them, when the greatest men have sought their destruction, by searching for them, and burning them, &c. The like preservation cannot be declared of any other writings that have had so great opposition. 9. The miracles which were wrought at the first publishing of the Scriptures, prove them to be from God; and that there were such miracles, we have the testimony of those who were enemies to Christ, and the Scriptures; those Jews who did not own Christ, nor his doctrine, who lived in Christ’s time; saying that, “there was a man, one Jesus {if I may call him a man} who did great miracles, &c.,” as Josephus & others in their writings do testify. Now what reason can be given, that the enemies to Christ, and his doctrine, should confess such things of Christ if they were not true? 10. Lastly; we know the Scriptures to be from God because we see in our days some of those things the Scriptures have foretold, come to pass; which things came not to pass in the course of nature, nor in the eye of reason, as Mat.24:5,24, Luke 12:52, 53, I Tim.4:1, II Tim.3:1-7, &c. To believe the Scriptures are of Divine Inspiration is a work of faith, and unless the Holy Spirit persuade the soul of the truth of them, there will be doubting; and the Lord will persuade his of the truth of them, and of their interest in them. Seeing the Scriptures came from God by divine inspiration, they must needs be truth, therefore we ought to believe what it saith, and rest upon it, whether there be reason to satisfy reason or no. Our reason is blind and corrupt. Seeing they are by the Inspiration of God, it should cause us to prize and love the Word of the Lord. David did so, “O how love I thy law; it is my meditation all the day.” {Psa.119:97} He loved it vehemently, exceedingly, unspeakably. The Saints love the Word, and they are not ashamed to declare their love to it; they love it for the excellency that is in it; they see love, wisdom, truth, purity, &c. Psa 119:140  “Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.” “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” “Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth.” {Psal.119:140,105 & 151.} - Seeing they are the Inspiration of God, it should cause us to cleave to the Scriptures, hear nothing against them; and prove all things by them.  Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations, Part One, 1649}

Doctrine of Christ

There is no doctrine in religion more honorable to the Lord Jesus Christ than this is. This is the doctrine that gives all to Christ and exalts him alone that God may be all in all. This doctrine cries nothing but Christ, for he has done all for us and is all unto us. {Col.3:11} The main thing the apostle desired to know, was nothing but Christ, and him crucified. {I Cor.2:2} This doctrine most magnifies the free love of God in that he has loved us, justified and saved us freely. Many are not able to behold this light. It is so great as when the sun shines in its strength. Weak eyes are not able to bear it. Only the Eagle can behold it. So none but the eagle-eyed Christians are able to behold the Son of Righteousness shining in his glory; therefore, few receive it. The prophet speaking of this doctrine says, who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed. {Isa.5:1} So that unless the power of God causes the soul to see this truth, there is no believing it. Men are ignorant of the fulness of the perfection of Christ’s righteousness; therefore, they condemn it and go about to establish their own righteousness. {Rom.10:3} They reproach this doctrine {thus they served Christ and his apostles} and darken this truth instead of clearing it. Over confidence of men’s knowing truth forestalls and deceives many and keeps them from the truth. Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations Part 3, 1649}

Doctrine of Christ

This doctrine most abases man in that he has not, nor could not do anything in the world to produce these things. I deserved it not, nor procured it, nor had any hand in the doing of it. God will have it so that no flesh should glory. {I Cor.1:29} That God may be all and man nothing. I am nothing. {I Cor.13:2} This is the doctrine that makes the saints more spiritual, and thankful. This fills us with joy and gladness, praise and thankfulness to God and to glory in Him and to call Christ by his right name. This is his mercy that they shall call him the Lord our Righteousness. {Jer.23:6} - This doctrine causes the soul to be most serviceable to God and to serve him freely and cheerfully. Being delivered, we serve him in holiness and righteousness all the days of our lives. {Luke 1:73-75} Until men know they are delivered, they cannot serve God freely, but contrary doctrine fills men with slavish fears, to do duties to escape hell, and get heaven. - This is the doctrine that will hold when all fails, because it is built upon the truth. The Gospel is the word of truth, {Col.1:5,} therefore, this doctrine we embrace. - This is the doctrine that holds up the soul and keeps us from sinking and fainting in the sight and sense of sin. This doctrine removes many objections which otherwise would trouble and discourage us. This doctrine says, there is nothing to pay; all is paid. It cost Christ dear, that it might cost us nothing. It’s not of works, nor according to our works. {II Tim.1:9} Our life is hid with Christ in God. {Col.3:3} The answer of a good conscience is; O God, your Son has died for me. Satisfaction is made. What more can you require of me? Oh the unsearchable riches of Christ. {Eph.3:8} Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations Part 3, 1649}

Doctrine of Christ

You know this Doctrine I contend for is the Doctrine of Grace. In the knowledge whereof you find sweetness, because the work of your salvation is finished by Christ, whose works are all perfect. This delights your hearts and keeps your souls from fainting. This removes all objections that otherwise would discourage us. This is the fountain that cannot be drawn dry that ever flows with sweet and strong consolation and is full of Spirit and life where our souls may drink freely at all times and be refreshed with this marrow and fatness that all is finished. Samuel Richardson {Justification by Christ Alone, 1647}

Doctrine of Christ

This is the doctrine that raises the soul when fallen, to rise and return to God. Not anything can keep the soul from utter despair and raise it when fallen but Christ’s satisfaction and the unchangeableness of the everlasting love of God. “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” {Jer.31:23} Tell me; what peace or comfort could we have if we were not freed from the punishment of sin? I see not how one can be wholly ignorant of this doctrine and be a Christian? - This is the doctrine that is full of sweetness and life. Behold, a living fountain that can never be drawn dry. It ever flows full of sweetness. Lo, here is strong consolation, full of spirit and life for the soul to drink freely in at all times, to refresh itself withal. Here is peace, security, consolation, joy, contentment, in that not anything can be laid to our charge. Our sins shall be remembered no more. No more! No more! Oh, what a fountain of consolation is here! What marrow and fatness is like to this! If my soul be deserted and faith fail, yet God is my God. I change often, but he never! When I cannot apprehend him, I am apprehended of him. Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. {Heb.13:8} “I am the Lord, I change not.” {Mal.3:6} He that understands not this doctrine can enjoy no true, sweet, solid, settled comfort. In the right understanding of this doctrine, Christ is rightly understood and our souls enjoy such marrow and fatness which gladdens our hearts and keeps our souls from fainting in a world of misery and trouble. Seeing the Lord has caused us to know and enjoy this truth, we have cause always to rejoice and sing praises to him. I will give thanks and sing praises to his Name. {Psa.18:49} Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations Part 3, 1649}


God loved the elect before they believed, yea, before they were born. {Eph.1:4} If we are chosen to life according to the good pleasure of his will, then we are not chosen to life according to our believing and repenting, &c. But the first is true also. Nor are men chosen to life because God foresaw they would believe. God is eternal. The will of God is God. He was never without his will. What he now wills he ever did; therefore, there could not be any cause to go before it to cause it to be, or so to be. Man cannot elect without an act and time, but it’s not so with an Infinite Being. Election is his eternal and immutable decree from eternity. {Rom.9:11, Eph.1:4, II Tim.1:9} It is the more wonderful and glorious that it is without beginning; for His love is everlasting; {Jer.31:3;} therefore, without beginning as God is infinite without beginning, so is his love, for God is love. {I John 4:16, John 17:23} Therefore God loves his as much before they believe as after. The Scripture does not say God began to love when we began to believe, nor that he loves any the better because they believe. It is a certain truth that God’s love to us is not as ours is to him. Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations Part 3, 1649}

Eternal Covenant of Grace

This Covenant is made with Jesus Christ; which appears by these words; “My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him.” {Ps.89:28} “I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant. Thy seed will I establish forever, and build up thy throne to all generations.” {Ps.89:3,4} “I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him, with whom my hand shall be established; mine arm also shall strengthen him.” {vs.20,21} The condition on Christ’s part is comprehended in these words; that he should be made a sacrifice for sin; the condition on God’s part was, that when Christ should see his seed, and prolong his days, that the pleasure of the Lord should prosper in his hand. {Isa.53:10-12} Observe: The sum is, that the Covenant of grace, life, and salvation, stands only betwixt God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who hath undertaken to perform all that was necessary for the salvation of his Elect. That the Covenant of Grace was made with Jesus Christ; appears by these Reasons: 1. Because the word Him, in the singular number, noteth only one Person. “My covenant shall stand fast with Him.” The Elect are many, therefore it’s not made with them in this sense I here speak for; for there is a difference between the word him, and the word them. He saith, “my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him; and in my name shall his horn be exalted, &c.” {Ps.89:24} 2. Christ is called the Covenant, because it hath dependence upon him. “I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles.” {Isa.42:6 & 49:8} The Elect are not called a Covenant, I grant they share in the privileges thereof, but it is only in relation to Christ, and as they are considered in Him. Hence it is that God saith, “he will show them his Covenant, {Psal.25:14,} to comfort them with it. 3. Christ only is engaged to perform the conditions of this Covenant, because he hath undertaken it; he hath sealed it, confirmed it, and fulfilled the Covenant with his blood; therefore his blood is called “the blood of the everlasting covenant.” {Heb.13:20} Our blood is not the blood of the Covenant. 4. It was of necessity that this Covenant should be made with Christ and him only, because he alone was able to keep the conditions of it; as it required a great strength to keep this Covenant; therefore the Lord saith, “I have laid help upon one that is mighty;” {Ps.89:19;} “thou hast a mighty arm; strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.” {Ps.89:13} We are weak, even weakness itself, utterly unable to effect such a work; it had been in vain to have laid so great a work upon man, yea fallen man, whose strength is weakness, and his Righteousness no better than a menstruous cloth. {Isa.30:22} If man had been left to perform any of the conditions of this Covenant, it had not been a covenant of grace, but a covenant of works; for if it be of works, it is no longer of grace. {Rom.4:4,5} Nor were the Covenant of Grace free and absolute, if it were conditional, for that covenant is not absolute, which depends upon any condition to be by us performed, but to us the covenant is free and absolute, and altogether unconditional on man’s part, therefore it is a Covenant of Grace. It cost Christ dear, his very life, that it might cost us nothing. 6. If this covenant had been made with us, and so had depended upon our obedience, then might our sin have broken the covenant, and so deprived us of salvation; which cannot be; for sin cannot deprive any of the Elect of salvation; for God saith, “My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure forever; and his throne as the days of heaven. If his {Christ’s} children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; {what then?} then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my loving kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven.” {Ps.89:28-37} These words do exceeding fully and clearly declare, that the Covenant of Grace depends not upon our good duties, nor can be broken by our sins. 7. If the Covenant of Grace had depended upon our actings towards God, then had the counsel of God appeared to be mutable, which is contrary to Scripture. {Heb.6:17} 8. If this covenant had depended upon our keeping conditions, we could not be certain of our salvation, because we might not perform the conditions; at least greatly doubt whether we had performed them or no; for if Adam in his greatest strength fell, how shall we in our weakness stand? 9. If we had to perform conditions, in order to partake of the Covenant of Grace, then we could not have any strong consolation, because we should be under care and fear least we should come short. Now God to free us from care and fear herein, hath made sure the Covenant with Jesus Christ for him to keep; therefore to make it sure, and to free us from all doubt, he confirmed it by an Oath; and the reason why he did so, is rendered, that we might have “strong consolation;” “wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath; that by two immutable things,” {oath & promise;} we might have a “strong consolation.” {Heb.6:17,18} Our consolation is far more stronger; in that all is finished, and confirmed by Christ, than to have so weighty a matter {upon which depends our eternal happiness} to depend upon the good acts of a weak, uncertain, and vain man; whose breath is in his nostrils. 10. Lastly, it tends most to the advantage, to the riches and glory of God’s grace, and abasing of man, to establish the covenant with Christ, so as to leave none of this work for man to do, for if man were to do the least part of that work, on which depended our eternal happiness, instead of giving God the glory, we would boast. Therefore to prevent this, he hath established the covenant with Christ, who hath wrought our works for us; and hath not left any of this work for us to do. Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations, Part Two, 1649}

Eternal Covenant of Grace

The Covenant of Grace is unutterable, it’s a fast and sure covenant, it’s an everlasting covenant, it cannot be broken, therefore all the Elect shall certainly have happiness and glory. We have the Word of the Lord to confirm this; for God saith; “My Covenant shall stand.” {Ps.89:28} “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.” {Ps.89:34} The Covenant of my peace shall not be removed. {Isa.54:10} Yea, He hath sworn it, “once have I sworn by my holiness, that I will not lie unto David {Christ.}” {Psal.89:35} God is not as man that he should repent; faithful is he that hath promised, which will also do it. This shows they mistake who conceive the covenant is made with man, or that teach faith to be a condition of the covenant. The happiness of the children of Christ depends upon the stability of the covenant, seeing it is sure and unalterable, therefore their happiness is sure and unalterable. Nothing shall separate us, &c. Sin cannot, nor shall not. {Rom.8:38,39} Our eternal happiness doth not depend upon our works, nor upon ourselves, but upon Jesus Christ, in what he hath done for us; and that all that are Christ’s, need not fear nor doubt of eternal life, because they are included in the privileges of the covenant. Therefore this informs us of the greatness and freeness of God’s love, in that God requires nothing of us to have an interest in this covenant, and are ever to be in this his everlasting Covenant. {Heb.13:20} Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations, Part Two, 1649}

Eternal Covenant of Grace

Ever have recourse to God in this covenant for what we need; come to God in the consideration thereof, for comfort and strength to do or suffer. Mind this covenant, and walk in the strength thereof all the days of thy life. Would you have comfort and joy that is sweet, solid, full and lasting; fetch it from Christ in this Covenant; for this covenant affords the sweetest comfort and consolation. In the loss of outward things, yea inward comforts, this covenant affords much comfort; this mightily satisfies us in all our losses, that we cannot lose our best Treasure. Certainly, the cause of the unsettlement in our souls is because we have not recourse to this covenant, to live thereupon. Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations, Part Two, 1649}

Eternal Union in Christ

God considers his to be in Christ, before they had a being in themselves, {Eph.1:4,} and he never looks upon his children out of Him, for they are never out of Him, for they dwell in Christ, and shall ever live, and be found in Him. {Phil.3:8} Christ and all true believers are so united together, that they are but one; one body, one spirit, bone of his bone. Oh what union is like to this, that is so real, full, and entire, wonderful, glorious, spiritual, eternal, and infinite! {I Cor.6:17, John 17:22,23} If our faith in Christ were as strong as our union with Christ, we should engross and possess all that is in heaven, and nothing in the earth could trouble us. Samuel Richardson {Saint’s Desire, 1647}

Exhortations unto Watchfulness against Sin

Observe how sin enters thy heart, and how it gathers strength, and how it suits with thy corrupt nature, and how the Spirit of God helps thee to resist it, and what means doth help thee most against it. Judge not of sin by the matter or act of it, but by the rule and authority of the Commander that forbids it, and consider all the circumstances and aggravations of it. Take heed least the unmortified roots of sin in you break out into scandal. Be afraid to sin, and use means to prevent sin. Consider that God hath forbidden it. Consider sin in the nature of it, in the root and fruit thereof. It is the price of blood; and there is no true sweetness in sin, no contentment, no satisfaction in it, why you should desire it; it fills the soul with wounds, sorrow, bitterness, and shame. Let experience speak. “What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed; for the end of those things is death.” {Rom.6:21} “The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.” {Pro.23:8} Avoid the occasions of sin and evil company. “I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.” {Ps.119:63} “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise; but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” {Pro.13:20} Avoid places and provocations of sin, idleness, excess in eating and drinking; order your steps by the Word, and get others to watch over you, receive reproof willingly and profitably; know, the more you yield to Satan, the more you may continue to yield, he useth to double his temptations when resisted, but give no place to the Devil; if ye yield, it will be harder to resist the next time. Consider thy relation; art thou a child of God, an heir of heaven, then it is unsuitable for thee to serve Satan, to do his drudgery. “Ye have not so learned Christ.” {Eph.4:20} “I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind.”{Eph.4:17} “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity.” {Tit.2:14} If tempted; answer, I am chosen to be holy, that I may not sin. {Rom.8:29} Consider that the eye of God is ever upon you. “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” {Pro.15:3} “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged; and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.” {Pro.16:6} Can you consider that, and yet sin in so Holy a presence? Remember Christ’s love, nourish the motions of the Spirit. “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” {Gal.5:16} Nourish zeal and hatred against sin, every sin. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” {Pro.4:23} - Consider the time ye are to live is but short, and the pleasures of sin are but for a season, and that a short one. {Heb.11:25,26} Hearken to the voice of Conscience, lest it be silent, and ye be hardened. “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” {Pro.29:1} When the pleasure of sin is presented to thee, present to thyself the sting that it will leave behind it; also present to thyself a greater and better pleasure and sweetness to be enjoyed with God. Mind home, and the pleasures there, that are for evermore. Set your affections on things above, where Christ and Glory is; and “so run, that ye may obtain.” {I Cor.9:24} Watch and pray for strength against sin; at the first approach of sin, change the object, and fall to prayer, be not discouraged; if foiled, continue to resist; believe against experience, God will help thee against it. Apply suitable promises against sin. Consider “yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” {Rom.6:11} “Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.” {Psal.119:6} Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations, Part One, 1649}

Exhortations unto Faithfulness in Reproving Sin

Reprove sin in others, in case none else do. Consider, by silence when sin is committed we have fellowship with it, and break God’s command; defile our own souls, loose comfort, encourage and harden others in sin. It's God’s command, that those who sin should be rebuked before all. “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” {I Tim.5:20} Thou shalt reprove him. {Lev.19:17} - Can we hear false things spoken, and God’s truth, his way, and people condemned, and be silent, where is our zeal? God commends it for a virtue in his people that they could not bear with them that are evil. {Rev.2:2} To see and hear sin committed with silence, is to bear it. - Reproof of sin, is a means to prevent the contagiousness of sin. “Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” {I Cor.5:6.} “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” {I Tim.5:20} - Silence is confirmation. God deals with those that were present and silent at the committing of sin as if they had done it. “And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity.” {Lev.5:1} Not to reprove sin, is to have fellowship with it. “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” {Eph.5:11} “Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.” {Rev.2:20} {Josh.22:18-20.} Hence the saints are called to come out of Babylon, that they might not be partakers of their sins. {Rev.18:2-4} “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness; and what communion hath light with darkness; and what concord hath Christ with Belial; or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel; and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” {II Cor.6:14-18} “I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.” {Pro.5:14} Lastly, God saith, “He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high; his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks; bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.” {Isa.33:15-16} Which shows they can by no means endure it. Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations, Part One, 1649}


This mystery of Christ is a great mystery. Oh meditate and dive as deep as you are able into this mystery. The benefit will be great and sweet. The more I am exercised herein, the more I see into it and enjoy justification by Christ alone, and more clearly see our believing cannot justify us. Yet I deny not but the power to believe is from the Spirit, who is the life of motion in faith. The life of faith is the life of Christ; what faith is, and what it does, and wherein it differs from presumption, etc. God hath given faith in His to know, assent and believe the Truth. {Heb.11:3, Acts 28:24} This encourages us to go to God for all we need. {Acts 26:18} This enables us to suffer for Christ. This enables us to conquer enemies. {Eph.6:16} It makes our afflictions easy to bear. It enables us to obey. {Rom.6:17} It helps us to cleave to God, {Acts 11:23,} and to His word, {Psal.119:30,31} This helps us to hope in His mercy. {Psal.147:11} Faith causes us to depend upon Jesus Christ alone for life and salvation. What more necessary and useful in this life than faith? There is a light in faith, and as our blind eyes and dark understandings are enlightened; {Eph.1:18, 5:13;} so accordingly, we are filled with the fullness of God. {Eph.3:19} The fullness of knowledge is that perfection we are to press after. {Phil.3:12, Col.2:2, 4:12} This sight shows us our justification to be in Christ alone. And the seeking of a further measure of knowledge is a seeking to be justified. {Gal.2:17} Because this knowledge is that which justifies our Conscience. Faith cannot satisfy justice nor merit the pardon of the least sin. Only Christ can do that. And that exposition that gives most glory to Christ and least to man, I believe is the truth. Samuel Richardson {Justification by Christ Alone, 1647}


Faith nor unbelief can make anything true or false, nor cause the being of that which had no being before.  Therefore, when Christ, by His Spirit and Word of truth, declares and reveals to a soul that all his sins are forgiven and washed away in the blood of Christ, etc., it is a certain truth, and it is “the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.” {I John 5:6} Therefore, seeing we are justified by Christ before we believed it, may we not believe that faith in us was either a cause or a means, or any instrument of it, but only a means of our receiving the knowledge of it, and of our enjoying the comfort of it? Samuel Richardson {Justification by Christ Alone, 1647}


That faith or anything in us is not a cause, means, or condition, required to partake of the Covenant of Grace, justification or salvation, but only fruits and effects of the Covenant. That the Scripture holds forth justification by faith in a sense is very clear, but yet under no other consideration, but by way of evidence; {Heb.11:1,2;} as it respects the taking away of sin from off the conscience; for indeed the debt is paid by the blood of Christ alone, and we are therefore said to be justified by His blood. {Rom.5:9} For indeed, as Christ Jesus our Lord has paid the debt, “the Lord having laid upon Him the iniquities of us all,” so does He declare this satisfaction and acceptation of us in Christ by faith. Faith is the eye of the understanding whereby the soul comes to see the great things which God the Father has prepared for them who love Him. Samuel Richardson {Justification by Christ Alone, 1647}


Many idolize their believing. They live upon it; fetch all their comfort from it and not from God in Christ. The work of faith is only to assent to the truth of what the Spirit in the word says, and receive its testimony. Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations Part 3, 1649}


We must be in Christ, before we can bear fruit; {Jn.15:4;} therefore we must be in Christ, before we can believe; he that hath the Spirit of Christ hath Christ. We have the Spirit of Christ before we believe, therefore we have Christ before we believe. {Rom.8:9-11} Men are ordained unto eternal life before they believe. {Acts 13:48} Faith is a grace of the Covenant on God’s part to be given to those who are given to Christ; faith is given to some, that by it they may know their interest in Christ, and by it live upon Him. Faith is no condition of the Covenant, therefore they mistake who conceive faith to be a condition of the Covenant, either required on man’s part to partake of the Covenant of Grace, or given to men, and then required of them as a condition; although the Scripture expresses, that he that believes shall be saved, yet is not faith any condition of salvation; but such expressions are to be considered as a declaration to us what persons shall be saved; namely, such as believe. It is an information to such as know not who shall be saved, and if any desire to know who shall be saved; the answer is, he that believes shall be saved. {Jn.3:16} If faith did give us interest in Christ, when faith did not appear to act, it would appear to us, that we had no interest in Christ, and that we were not justified by him. Samuel Richardson {Saint’s Desire, 1647}


It is not men’s believing, but the Object of faith, that gives faith its denomination, or name, for there be divers kinds of faith; there is a natural faith; {Lk.8:13;} and a divine faith, or the faith of God’s Elect. {Titus 1:1} Faith and its object is not to be separated, because faith and its object is one and the same. Samuel Richardson {Saint’s Desire, 1647}


It is against truth and reason to believe that by believing I make myself a son, and God my father. If I believe myself to be a King’s son, will believing it make me so? If I believe brass is gold, will it be so? He that is a Prince knows not that he is so until sometime after he is so, yet he is a son and a Prince whether he knows it or believes it or no; therefore, believing makes us not sons, but by it we see ourselves to be sons and enjoy the comfort of it by believing. Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations Part 3, 1649}


Some hold the act of faith is that which God accepts to Justification, but this is a mistake, because it makes Christ inferior to faith, and in ascribing such an honor to faith, they dishonor Christ, for although they do not exclude Christ wholly, yet in the act of Justification, it gives all to faith. They say, ‘as the act of Adam’s sin condemned him, so our act of faith justifies us.’ Adam’s sin was enough to condemn him and us, but our faith cannot save others, nor ourselves. They reply, ‘but we are justified by faith.’ Christ is called faith. “Before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.” {Gal.3:23} “Before faith came;” which must be understood of Christ. We are justified before God in His sight only by Christ. {Rom.3:24} “My righteous servant (Christ) shall justify many.”{Is.53:11} We are not justified before God by faith which is in us, but by Christ, by his blood; justified by his blood. {Rom.5:9} That which saves us is the blood of Christ; Jesus Christ hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in his blood. {Rev.1:5} Also we are said to be justified by faith, because it is the instrument whereby we apprehend and apply Christ our Righteousness; by faith we know ourselves to be justified. {Rom.5:1} Though faith be a grace of God, yet as it is an act, it is a work, and to be justified by it, is to be justified by a work of our own; for with the heart {man} believes. {Rom.10:9-10} That which justifies us, must be perfect, and so it is no act of ours; for all our Righteousness are as filthy rags, &c. {Is.64:6} Not of works, least any man should boast. {Eph.2:9} Samuel Richardson {Saint’s Desire, 1647}


The Scripture says, that "Christ dwells in our hearts by faith," but where does it say, that we are in Christ by faith? The being in Christ, as in Eph.1:4, is by election, and not by faith. Samuel Richardson {Justification by Christ Alone, 1647}


They rob Christ of the greatest part of his work and his glory, and give it to faith, and set faith in Christ's throne. And an hundred errors more may be reckoned up that will follow this opinion. Samuel Richardson {Justification by Christ Alone, 1647}

Faith in Christ

To believe that Jesus is the Christ implies a seeing and knowing all to be in Christ for life, and to trust in Him for pardon and life, and rest upon him for it. He that thus believes in Christ, is brought over to Christ, and so centered upon Him, that he will not go from him. As Peter saith, “Lord, to whom shall we go; thou hast the words of eternal life.” {Jn.6:68} “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.” {Psal.62:5} Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations, Part Two, 1649}


As for the forgiveness of sin, as in I John 1:9; it is to be understood for the manifestation of forgiveness, the assurance and enjoyment of it in the conscience. It is usual in the Scripture to put the cause for the effect and the effect for the cause. It is so to be understood because there is nothing of pardon obtainable, but the manifestation of it; therefore, not to be prayed for since Christ’s death, all that is to be done is only to declare it is done, and for whom it is done, for Christ will die no more. It is vain to pray for the pardon of sin which was not washed away in his blood. “Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.”{Heb.10:18.} “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” {II Cor.5:19} It is no mocking to God to pray to God to manifest to us what he has done for us, as David in the 51st Psalm. Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations Part 3, 1649}

Fellowship in Christ

And concerning the doubt which does arise in many concerning communion, whether we may have communion in the ordinance of the supper with such as hold contrary to this truth so much contended for, I answer to the question, whether we may walk in communion with those that deny this doctrine? “Can two walk together unless they be agreed.”{Amos 3:3} The saints cannot walk together warrantably and so not comfortably without these two things: A oneness of faith in the principles or doctrine of Christ, known, owned, and declared. Love to the truth and to each other so as to desire to walk together. For my part, I would not join to that church who denied any foundation truth and this is one. Such as love the Lord, who are of one mind and heart, in the principles of truth, are to cleave to the truth, and each to other, as in Jeremiah 50:5. Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations Part 3, 1649}


Consider God may have mercy for thee, though thou knows it not; for men’s sins are first forgiven, before they are to believe it, or can be assured of it; for if men should believe, that their sins are forgiven before they be forgiven, they should believe that which is false; neither can any man’s believing make that to be, which was not before. Faith declares to us our pardon; but our believing neither pardons nor procures the pardon of any sin; if it could, what need was there of the death of Christ? Samuel Richardson {Saint’s Desire, 1647}

Gospel Offers

It's safest to keep to the language of the Scriptures {which form of words are sound} especially in this age, in which men catch up expressions, and by them abuse God, and his truth, and themselves; for if one affirm, that God offers Christ to all; men reply, doth not God mean as he saith; and if God offers Christ, and man hath not a sufficient power to receive him; they are mocked, and God is unjust, etc. and that men have free-will, and such like stuff, so that you may see how one error draws many after it, and it's oft grounded upon an unsound expression. - The Scripture doth not say, that Christ is offered to any; men say so, but not truly nor safely. The saying, ‘Christ is offered to all,’ occasioneth many errors; as to say, if God offereth Christ to men, and they have no power to receive him, and God gives them none, they are mocked; and that God is unjust, and unreasonable, and that he doth not mean as he saith. Or else they say that all men have power, and may be saved if they will, and they may will, &c. The purpose of God, Christ’s death, salvation, and the revelation thereof in the Scripture are all one in the extent; for the one is not larger than the other; neither is the ministry thereof to be larger in the declaration. Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations, Part One, 1649}

Greek & Hebrew Knowledge as an Idolatrous Substitute for Understanding the Holy Scripture

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The Priests say that we know not the original, and our Bibles are not rightly translated, nor cannot be pronounced according to the original; besides in translations there are errors, for no translation is simply authentical, and the undoubted Word of God. We demand of you, answer if you can; as to how know you that your Hebrew and Greek copies are true copies? Is it not possible for any to write contrary to their copy, if copies may be printed false, they may be written false, the art of Printing is not above 350 years old. Can you produce the first original copy, or any of those the Apostles wrote? If not, the cause is the same and you know the original no more than those that know not Greek or Hebrew? If you may depend upon the faithfulness of the Writer and Printer of your Copies, why not others upon those that did it upon oath? Doctor Fulke in his confutation of the Rheims Testament justifieth the English Translation of the Bible. {William Fulke “New Testament Confutation,” 1589} But we receive not the truth by tradition. I would know of you that are so for Hebrew and Greek, &c., if the knowledge of the tongues be sufficient to teach those that have those tongues the mind of the Spirit of God in the Scriptures or no? If yea, then all that know these tongues know the mind of God; if no, then it is but an insufficient help, and what is an insufficient help worth more than nothing. The knowledge of Greek and Hebrew is a help to read a Greek and Hebrew Bible, because else they cannot read them. So the knowledge of the English tongue is of necessity to read the English Bible. The cause is the same; but the understanding the English tongue, and reading it in the Bible cannot give them to understand, the meaning of it no more than the knowledge of the tongues Greek and Hebrew though it helps them to read the Bible in those tongues, yet is not able to give them to understand the meaning of it. That this is so, some of them, who know the tongues confess; for Apollo was a learned man, he saw the first copies of the Bible, and if that could have caused him to know the mind of God what need had he to learn of Aquila a tradesman {one of the laity as the Priests use to say} and Priscilla his wife the mind of God as he did. {Acts.18:26} Also what is the reason that those that know the tongues cannot agree among themselves? What is the mind of God in his Word, that some of you in your expositions are as contrary to each other as light is to darkness; the natural man cannot perceive the things that be of God; a natural man may be, and some are learned men it’s confessed; some of the Jesuits are good Scholars, &c., for they know the tongues, &c.; then it will follow a man may be such a learned man and yet cannot understand nor perceive the things of God. Nicodemus was a great scholar and teacher in Israel yet how simple was he concerning the meaning of Christ’s words. Tell me then what a help their human learning is to them in spiritual knowledge in the things of the Spirit. The Word saith that he reveals to us the deep things of God by his Spirit, {I Cor.2:10;} he saith not by Greek and Hebrew. If our translation be true then we can tell the meaning of it as well as you; if it be not true tell me what is that Preaching worth that is proved by a false translation, and if we must believe contrary to our translation because you say so, what is this but an implicit faith and human? And seeing you so differ among yourselves about the meaning of the word or the mind of God in it, tell me, how I may know which of you I am to believe? Also you confess that one word {in the ‘original’} could bear nine or ten divers significations; how know you which of them is the mind of God in that place, unless he reveal it to you? And if God please he can reveal it to a simple man, and God doth do so, and this is that for which Christ thanks his Father, because he hath hid these things from the wise and the learned, and revealed it unto babes, “the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed; and the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I am not learned.” “For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes; the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.” {Is.29:10-12} Neither of them can read it, both put it off for they cannot understand it, the unlearned thinks as he hath been taught, that if he were learned in Greek and Hebrew he could understand it; but the former who was such a learned man could not do it, it is hid from the learned; for it’s not in being learned, nor in not being learned. What then will some say, it is because God hath not revealed it to them therefore they do not know it. The Lord saith that none can know the things of God, but he to whom the Spirit will reveal them. {I Cor.2:9-16} {See also Ps.119:99,100} The knowledge of Greek, Hebrew and English are all human learning of equal excellency, necessity, and use for the translation and reading of the Bible; and as without the knowledge of Greek and Hebrew, the Bible could not be translated into English, so he that translated the Bible into English, could not have done it without the knowledge of the English tongue; therefore there is the same use and help and necessity of the English tongue as of the Greek or Hebrew tongue; so there is the same to be said for the French and Dutch tongue, and all other tongues and therefore why the Greek and Hebrew tongues should be of any more use and excellency than other tongues, there is no reason to be given for it. As Aaron the Priest set up the golden calf it was called a god and Aaron made Proclamation, {Ex.32:4-8, &c.,} and the people idolized it and danced about it, so the Priests have set up Greek and Hebrew as a god, and the people rejoice exceedingly in it, for they Idolize it and fall down and worship it, because the Priest have made a Proclamation for it and commended it for such a rare thing to help them to the knowledge of the mind of God. A golden business by custom is turned into necessity and it is in such an esteem as they do idolize it and worship it, as they did the calf. - But, what, are there not means and helps to the understanding the Scriptures without Greek and Hebrew? Yes, only the self-evidencing light of the Spirit of God, which first inspired the Pen-men of Scriptures, who is in the hearts of the Saints, the only Interpreter of the Scriptures. Secondly; the knowledge of the body of Divinity, or the Analogy of the faith, to which the Scripture is to be referred for its right interpretation. Thirdly; the Law of God written in the hearts of the Lord’s, which favors the truth, and disrelishes errors. The fourth help to the understanding the Scriptures, is the manifold experience of varieties of temptations, and the experiences of the work of Grace in the soul. Lastly, to compare Scriptures that are dark with Scriptures of the same nature that are more plain, and so to let the Scriptures expound themselves. I conclude this, all men are pure blind, yea dead, till God gives life, and opens men’s eyes. And although human learning is necessary for translating the Scriptures, &c. yet many idolize it, as the children of Israel did their golden Calf. Samuel Richardson {Answer to the London Ministers Letter &c., 1649}

Immutable and Eternal Will of God

“So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” {Rom.9:16} “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” {vs.18} To ascribe conversion to the freedom of mans will is to exempt the creature from being under the power of God; for if he be able to convert himself, or to refuse, so as not to be converted; then conversion is under his own power. If it depend upon the will of the creature, then the will of man is the cause why God willeth this or that. This would bring the will of God under the will of man; as if God should say, ‘I will convert that man if he will’ – ‘I have willed nothing’ – or, ‘my will is mutable’ – ‘my will shall wait on your will, and change as oft as yours shall.’ If the will of God should not determine all things, the will of God should not be the first cause. If there be two first causes, then there are two beginnings or more, and so more gods than one. If God gives power, and leaves it to man’s will, then God hath not determined what shall be done, or else his purpose is changeable. If the cause why God chooseth me {and not another} is because I will, then it is not according to his will. {Eph.1:11} If God’s will be not the cause, you deny the freedom of God’s will, and make the will of man the cause of his being saved. If God by his omnipotent power inclines the wills of men, whether he will {as is above proved} then he hath them more in his power than man hath; if so, his decreeing is the cause, and necessity follows; for the will of the creature is not the cause of the necessity of things, because mans will is bounded by God’s decree; and as the first weight or wheel moves the second, so the first cause moves the second. He whose salvation God willeth, he must of necessity be saved, because God lacks no power, nor wisdom to accomplish his will. Man cannot resist an Almighty Power; {Eph.1:19,20,3:20;} therefore God cannot be hindered of his will; if he should will anything he could not obtain, he would be imperfect, and so not God. If he can obtain it, but will not, how doth he will it? “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” {Isa.46:10} To grant that man hath power to hinder God’s will, is to grant that he hath power to hinder his working, and so to frustrate God’s counsel, and make him a liar; yet nothing will satisfy some, unless this be granted. If there were any good, of which God were not the cause, how is the praise and glory of it to be ascribed to him? “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” {Eph.1:6} To whom be all the praise & honor, now and forever. Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations, Part One, 1649}


“Made him to be sin for us.” {II Cor.5:21} Some understand a sacrifice for sin, and no more, so as the guilt and punishment shall be translated unto Christ, and not the fault; but is it not unequal, if not unjust and impossible, to impose our guilt upon Christ, and not our sin? Sin and guilt are inseparable; for where there is no sin, there can be no guilt, therefore that our guilt might be laid on Christ, necessarily our sins, must after a sort be made his, and annexed unto him; by imputation all the sins of the Elect, their adulteries, murders, blasphemies, &c. were laid upon him. {Isa.53:5} Sin must be charged upon Christ, or the sinner, and had not Christ undergone the penalty of sin, no man could be saved. {Jn.1:29, Eph.2:14-15, Heb.9:22, Col.1:20, Zech.9:11} Our happiness lieth in this, that our sins are not imputed unto us. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” {Psal.32:1,2} God hath imputed our sins unto Christ, and so laid them upon him, that they are not ours no more but Christ’s, who hath freed us and himself from them, and so he shall appear without sin. “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” {Heb.9:28} We should rest satisfied in Christ’s satisfaction, because it is a full, perfect, and infinite satisfaction. - As soon as the soul is convinced that Jesus Christ is made sin for me, and he made the Righteousness of God in him, all the souls fears, doubts and discouragement and objections vanish, and Christ is believed in, and lived upon, with thankfulness and joy. Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations, Part Two, 1649}

Intercession of Christ

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In which T. G. endeavoureth to maintain that the work of our Salvation is not yet effected, but Christ is a doing of it by his Intercession, &c. I thought it necessary for the clearing the truth, {namely, that we are justified by his blood} to remove these objections by giving a brief Answer to what he there saith. --- T.G. Asserts: Concerning the Intercession of Christ; he saith, intercession is an act; {pg. 204;} in his intercession he entreats the Father on our behalf. {pg. 194} It’s Christ praying for us in heaven; {pgs. 176, 179, 185 & 189;} intercession is asking; {pg. 339;} Christ by his own prayers seconds the cry of his blood. {pg. 253} Jesus shall intercede for the pardon of them. {pg. 246} The 17th chapter of John is a pattern and instance of his intercession for us in heaven. {pg. 24} --- Answer:  The 17th of John declares Christ spake words in his own Person; and then the sum of that you say, is this; that Christ in his person, now he is glorified, speaks words to God for us, &c. 1. If it be so, then there is no perfection in glory, for where perfection is, there needs no words; God is perfect, so is Christ in glory, and must Christ speak words to God, that God might know his mind, and so prevail; is this suitable to a condition of glory, in which is perfection? 2. Your words imply that God the Father loveth us less than Christ; that he needs to be prayed and entreated, &c. But Christ is so far from needing any to pray and entreat him, that he prayeth and entreateth God for us; which cannot be, because they are one; {I Jn.5:7;} therefore equal in love. God the Father is said to elect us, give us to Christ, and send Christ to die for us; God is as well pleased with us as Christ is, and he loveth us as well as he loveth Christ. Christ saith, “and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me --- for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” {Jn.16:26,27} He of himself without entreaty loveth us; God cannot love us more nor less than he doth, for his love is infinite, without beginning or end; and that which is infinite, is not capable of being greater or lesser; and its the more glorious, because it is so; his knowledge cannot be greater nor less than it is; and the same may be said of his love, he never began to know, to will, to love, they are one in God. God is love; it’s his Being. {I Jn.4:16} I can say in a holy reverence and confidence, in the Satisfaction of Christ, in admiration and thankfulness; if God can condemn me let him, he cannot deny himself; the eternity and certainty of the Saints happy estate, lessneth not his love; when we conceive of him in the highest eminency we can, still we come short, we cannot reach it; “such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” {Psal.139:6} “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God; how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” {Rom.11:33} Christ’s blood speaketh; “and to Jesus the mediator of the New Covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” {Heb.12:24} It speaketh peace to the conscience. --- T.G. Asserts: But he saith; Intercession is a praying for us in heaven. {pg. 180} --- Answer: There be many heavens, {Deut.10:14;} the kingdom of heaven is within you; {Lk.17:21;} the Church is called Heaven; {Rev.12:7; Mt.11:12;} and the air is called heaven. {I Kg.18:45} The heaven of heavens cannot contain God; “in him we live, move, and have our being.” 2. Christ ever liveth to make intercession for us, {in us;} the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us; {Rom.8:26,27;} Christ, the Father, and Spirit are ONE; the Spirit of Christ which was in them; {I Pet.1:11;} now the Lord is that Spirit; {II Cor.3:17;} the Spirit of your Father speaketh in you. {Mat.10:20} “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died; yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” {Rom.8:34} 3. Christ is our Advocate and Intercessor, in respect of that which he did for us in his own Person when he was upon the earth before he suffered; when he poured out his soul unto death, and made intercession for us. “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death, and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” {Isa.53:12} “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me.” {Jn.17:11} “I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” {vs.9} “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” {vs.20} “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” {vs.24} 4. Christ’s intercession holds forth the continuation of the efficacy of the virtue and fruit of Christ’s sacrifice; that it doth forever remain in force a full satisfaction for all the sins of the Elect. This is very sweet, and full of divine consolation, to satisfy the discouraged soul, which is the main thing intended by such expressions. It is a figurative speech, as the Scripture ascribes to God, eyes, hand, arm, &c., the Anthropomorphites conclude that God the Father hath a body, with eyes like unto us; and so the Papists picture him to be an old man, &c., as if one should say, God is capable of forgetfulness, because he saith, he will remember our sins no more. These conclusions are unreasonable, and so is your position that Christ speaks words now in his Person, &c. --- T.G. Asserts: But he saith; Christ doth as much work for us in heaven at this instant, as ever he did on the earth. {pg.214} Answer:  You confess that a Surety is more than an Intercessor; and is it not more to die for one, than to speak for him; if so, Intercession is not so much; see you not how you contradict yourself in your discourse. Christ is said to be set down at the right hand of God, to declare to us that his work is accomplished; while the Priest was executing his offices, he was to stand, {Heb.10:11,} which declared that Christ the substance of those Priests, was not to sit until he had finished in his Person his offices of Priesthood. “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God.” {Heb.10:12} --- T.G. Asserts: He saith; that none of his offices should lie idle, he appoints this full and perpetual work in heaven, that as a Priest by praying and interceding God would have Christ never to be out of offices, or out of work forever. Answer: If the end of Christ’s praying and interceding is that he might not be out of offices, or out of work, then it’s not because of our sins. That he doth execute any offices in his Person in glory, or that he doth any work there, is still to prove; do the Angels pray for us, &c., or are they idle and out of work. --- T.G. Asserts: He saith; Christ lives but to intercede. {pg. 208} Answer: Then it seems after this life when all the Saints are gloried, Christ must continue praying and interceding for us, or else he must cease to live. I hope you will not say, when we are in glory, that he shall need then to intercede for us; if so, then it seems he shall be out of office, or out of work; by your exposition you have run yourself upon a rock, I shall be glad to see you get off again, I have afforded you my help. --- T.G. Asserts: He saith; Christ living to intercede, is said to keep God and us friends, that we may never fall out more, though pardoned by his death. Intercession is principally intended for sins after conversion; {pg. 208;} God says to him, now do you look to them, that they and I fall out no more; not but sins after conversion are taken away by his death, and sins before it by intercession also. {pg. 209} Answer: God saith no such thing, you vent your vain conceits, and father them upon God, and say he says so; I wonder at your boldness; sure you either know not what you say, or think you may say anything that was not belched forth before. When you write again, tell us in what place we may read that God says so; it is better to say less, and prove more. 2. Can you tell that ever God fell out with his Elect, and was not their friend, or that it is possible for God not to love us, or not to be a friend to us, for you insinuate both, but are able to prove neither. 3. Tell me, what is God liable to fall out with us for? If for sin, you confess that sin is pardoned by his death, and those sins after conversion taken away by his death; to what purpose is it for Christ to pray and entreat for that which he knows is pardoned before; and what hath God granted Christ, in granting the pardon of that which was pardoned before? Suppose I pay to one all that I owe him, all that he can desire and require, need I pray and entreat him to forgive me the debt; but if I do, and he grant my desire, he forgives me nothing, because I owe him nothing; is not this the case also? How are our sins pardoned, if we be liable to suffer for them? 4. You present God to be a friend, but a very uncertain one, in that he need to have one to be continually praying and entreating him, to keep him friends with us, that we may not suffer for that which is pardoned; hath God pardoned us, and is he now ready to destroy us? He said, that he would remember our sins no more. “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” {Heb.10:17,18} And doth he now remember them? You present God to be changeable, who is immutable and changeth not. 5. You present God to be an angry God, yet God saith that anger is not in him. {Isa.27:4} How can I, or Christ say, “thy will be done,” if his will be to fall out with us; it seems he hath a great will to it, if he must be continually prayed and entreated to forbear, and to be pacified, and not to fall out with us. 6. The Father needs no more entreating than Christ doth, and that is none at all, for these Reasons: A. There is no place for Intercession; for Satisfaction is made for the sins of the Elect, for them it was that Christ suffered death; it is an act of injustice for to suffer for that which is satisfied for, or to require anything of me, for that which before full satisfaction hath been made. B. We are reconciled, therefore need none to reconcile us; also his death is that which reconciled us, therefore not his praying and entreaty. {Rom.5:10} Before Christ suffered, he made intercession; also there is no place for intercession for that which is pardoned by his death. C. If Christ’s blood cleanseth from all sin, praying and intercession cleanseth us not from any sin. D. If Christ blessing his Disciples, blessed all those that shall believe to the end of the world, as you confess, {pg. 42,} and that the offering of himself once, made so full a satisfaction, as he needed to do it but once, {pg. 242,} why may not this intercession when he was upon the earth, though if it were but once, be as effectual to serve forever, as the rest, especially when we consider that in the 17th of John, Christ prayed for all that were given him that shall believe. Christ’s prayer was granted. “Father, I know thou hearest me always.” What benefit have we to the end of the world by that prayer in John 17, if it was not sufficient and effectual for us; and if it was sufficient and granted, there is no need of his continued praying for it. If Christ had intended in his Person to pray and entreat for us now, what needed Christ to have prayed for us when he was upon the earth, so many hundred years before we were born; if he prays so for us now, would not they be sufficient for us, seeing they are continually, as you say. If all that Christ can ask, is less, yea far less than the service he hath done to God comes to; our lives, pardon, salvation, if these be not enough, but too small a requital, as you affirm, {pg. 244,} there is no ground, or reason, justice or equity, that Christ should forever ask and pray, before he or we can have it; especially if we consider God teacheth us to give to others their due without a continual asking, yea before they ask; to pay and pray comes not freely off. E. Because the Father himself loveth us, his heart is as much for our happiness as Christ’s is; therefore Christ need not pray to God to love us, the reason is rendered by Christ. {Jn.16:26,27; Jn.3:16; Eph.1:3,5,9 & 11} The Spirit of the Lord doth not, nor need not help us to make requests, to be loved, to be justified, saved from the punishment of sin; these things are already done, only to know it not, or more fully to know it; Christ’s prayer {Jn.17,} is to keep us from evil; and we are to pray for many things, though not to be loved &c. F. If Christ by his death had fully satisfied for our sins, as you confess, and that at Christ’s Resurrection, God gave Christ an acquittance for all our sins, a discharge, {pgs. 103-107,} and that Justification gives title to eternal life, {Rom.5:18,} and that by Christ’s Resurrection our Justification is made irrevocable forever, {pg. 103,} then there is no need of any intercession, for it is safe and sure, there is no danger, there needs no care or fear, because it’s done and past recalling; he died as a public person, {as a Covenant Surety,} he rose as a public person, and there is a formal, legal, irrevocable act of Justification of us passed and enrolled in the Court of Heaven between Christ and God, in his being justified, we were justified in him; so that thereby our Justification is made past recalling, {pg. 286;} and if so, there is no need of Christ’s praying and entreating in his Person in glory for us. --- T.G. Asserts: He saith that Intercession is a praying for us in heaven, otherwise the salvation by his death were not perfect, the performance of that part in heaven is the perfection of it; {pg. 189;} and that the virtue of his blood with his prayers in the heavens, makes atonement by both. {pg. 180} Blood hath the loudest cry of all things else in the ears of the Lord; {Gen.4:10;} Christ’s blood crieth louder than the blood of Abel, {pg. 218,} Christ’s blood crieth for pardon; {pg. 250;} and if his righteousness be put into the opposite balance with all our sins, will carry it by mere righteousness and equity. {pg. 246} Answer:  Then that cry is enough, and another needless; then his righteousness is enough, and there is no need of more; you answer and contradict yourself, for you deny the Sufficiency and Perfection of Christ’s Righteousness, and add something to it to make atonement, and so deny Christ’s death to be sufficient to perfect us, contrary to Heb.10:10,14; and so piece it out to make it up, but if it be by both, one is not sufficient to do it, nor is it by the offering of himself; and in another place ye extoll it beyond all bounds. --- T.G. Asserts: Moreover he saith; God hath two attributes, Justice and Free Grace; the first is satisfied by blood, the latter by entreaty; {pg. 192;} free grace must be sought too and entreated by Christ’s favor and entreaty to effect it. {pg. 175} Answer: If Justice be satisfied, there is no more required. You lessen the glory and freedom of free love. That love itself need to be satisfied, or was ever unsatisfied, that it ever needed any entreaty, I remain unconvinced; tell me in what place in the Bible may I read, that free grace, the free love of God was ever to be satisfied, or to be entreated; or that entreaty is any satisfaction at all?  --- T.G. Asserts: He saith, that the greater the Person Christ, the sooner he will prevail; {pg. 15;} all matters of intercession are carried by way of favor, if he should deny him anything, he should deny himself, which God can never do. {pg. 335} Answer: If Christ and the Elect are one, tell me which is the greatest, the Elect are a piece of himself; “flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone.” We are not only in favor, and so shall ever be, but we are in union with God, and one with him; “thy Maker is thy Husband;” {Isa.54:5;} Christ saith, “I go to my Father, and to your Father, and to my God and your God.” “Ye are of God, little children;” {I Jn.4:4;} they are one with God, and God is one with them. We have favor and interest with God, and “boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.” {Heb.10:19} We are well; we are healed, and delivered from the curse. Christ hath destroyed him that had the power of death; that is, the Devil, {Heb.2:14,15;} he brought “many sons unto glory,” {Heb.2:10,} and “having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” {Jn.13:1} The Elect are his own, and God loves them in Christ. --- T.G. Asserts: Furthermore he saith that Salvation is as free as if Justice had not been satisfied. {pg. 193} Answer: It is so to us, but not to Christ, for he paid a great price for it. --- T.G. Asserts: Objection: Christ’s favor with the Father, and intercession alone, might have procured pardon for us, but it was God’s will to have Justice satisfied. Answer: If it had not been his will to make a Law, and to have it satisfied, we should never have needed neither favor, nor a Saviour. --- T.G. Asserts: But you say, those words of Christ, “I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you;” {Jn.16:26;} is such a speech as Christ used, “I will not accuse you to the Father;” {Jn.5:45;} he insinuates that he will; as we say, I do not love you. {pg. 279} Answer: This your exposition teacheth us not to believe what Christ saith, and that his words are not truth, and that he doth not mean as he saith, but the quite contrary; and that Christ would not have us think that he meaneth as he saith. Christ saith; “Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father;” {Jn.5:45;} yet; you say, he insinuated that he will. By this rule I may say, when God saith, “thou shalt not commit adultery,” he would not have us think he meaneth so; these words insinuate that we may; for is not this the same? I wonder at your rashness, vanity, and boldness. Samuel Richardson, “An Answer to several Passages in a Treatise, entitled, the Triumph of Faith; by T.G.,” 1649.

Joyfulness in Christ

God is never an enemy to his own, though they greatly sin against him. {Psal.51} We are not beloved for our own sakes, nor for anything in ourselves, but in Christ, who hath made us acceptable in the beloved. {Eph.1:5} Therefore nothing we do can cause God to love us more or less; his love is as Himself, ever the same. {Heb.13:8, Mal.3:6} Therefore a believers hope, joy, and confidence is to be ever the same in Christ; hence it is they are always to rejoice. “Let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.” {Ps.5:11} “Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous; and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.” {Ps.32:11} “Rejoice evermore.” {I Thes.5:16} “Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice.” {Phil.4:4} “Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee; let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.” {Ps.40:16} “The joy of the LORD is your strength.” {Neh.8:10} Oh there is enough in the Lord to satisfy thee at all times; for he is an unchangeable Object of true joy; in him is all our hope and happiness. Therefore let not thy fall cause thee to question the love of God to thee; thy salvation depends not on thy repentance and holiness. {Rom.9:15,16, Isa.43:24,25, 57:17, Ezek.16:1-9} “My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not;” {I Jn.2:1;} but for those that turn the grace of God into wantonness, the mercies of God an encouragement for their sins; such are led by the Spirit of the Devil, for he is their father, and his works they do. {Jn.8:44} “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” {Ps.66:18} Here is no consolation for you, you are not to be numbered with those who through temptation and weakness are overtaken and fall into the sin they hate. Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations, Part Two, 1649}

Justification and Sanctification

Learn to distinguish between thy Justification, and thy personal Sanctification. The first is perfect and complete in Christ; the latter is in ourselves, and is weak and uncertain; until a soul be settled in the point of Justification, the souls objections cannot be answered; for he that understands not the true nature and doctrine of Justification, cannot enjoy true settled constant peace and consolation; for in the right understanding of Justification, lieth the life of the Saints comfort. Let not thy comfort depend upon thy personal Sanctification, because from it there can no sure settled constant comfort flow; the seeking of comfort from our Sanctification, is a cause of much trouble in many weak believers; for Sanctification hath nothing to do with Justification, nor Salvation, as any cause of it. - Justification depends not upon our apprehending it, not in our receiving it, but upon what the Lord Jesus hath done for us. Justification is effected by Christ, and it’s apprehended by faith. {Heb.11:1} The Spirit and faith doth evidence to us our Justification; all that believe are Justified. {Acts 13:39} It is possible to have a full assurance of faith; {Heb.10:22;} for faith is an unquestionable evidence, and when faith is hidden and doubtful, Justification is not apprehended, and when faith is hidden and doubtful, Sanctification is not evident but doubtful, and so cannot evidence to us our Justification. - Seeing then that Christ is made Sanctification to a believer, {I Cor.1:30,} why may not a soul live upon that; and say, I have Sanctification in Christ, which is perfect; my actual Righteousness doth often fail me, but his endures forever. {Psal.111:3} Therefore I will fetch all my comfort from Christ and my Justification by Him. Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations, Part Two, 1649}

Justification by Christ Alone

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” {II Cor.5:21} There is a twofold Righteousness, according to the diversity of his nature; the one uncreated and infinite, which is the Righteousness of the Deity; the other is created and finite, which is the Righteousness of the humanity. The first is infinite, and therefore incommunicable; the latter is the Righteousness of God also, because it is in him, who is not only man, but God. Therefore Observe: Christ’s Righteousness is the Righteousness of God. The Righteousness which frees a sinner from the curse of the Law, is a perfect Righteousness. {Heb.1:8, Heb.10:3, Job 33:24} Man’s best Righteousness is imperfect, for it cannot justify him before God. All our own righteousness is as filthy rags. {Isa.64:4-6} After what manner Christ became a sinner, after the same manner we are made just; but Christ became a sinner, not by any infusion of our corrupt qualities, but by imputation only; therefore we are just before God, not by any infusion of any habitual grace into our corrupt natures, but by imputation of his Righteousness without works. {Rom.4:6} If this were well minded, it might remove divers errors, and answer many temptations, which are occasioned in many by apprehending the contrary. So that justification is a reciprocal translation of our sins unto Christ, and his Righteousness to us, both which are done by God for us. God reveals to the soul Christ’s Righteousness, and the soul’s interest therein. {John 16:14} To comfort the soul, and cause us to love God, he doth not comfort us with our own righteousness, but with Christ’s Righteousness; that so we might fetch all our peace and comfort from Christ’s Righteousness, and so rest satisfied in Christ alone. Therefore; seeing Christ’s Righteousness is a perfect Righteousness, yea the Righteousness of God; this should teach us to prize highly Christ’s Righteousness, and count his enough for us, and rest satisfied in it; and to slight and abhorre all our righteousness, in comparison of his; esteem Christ to be as he is, our Righteousness. “In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” {Jer.23:6} Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations, Part Two, 1649}

Justification by Christ Alone

How can it be otherwise seeing you dishonor Christ and put him to open shame. It is a very great evil you do. Your evil is great and grievous. For: 1. Christ should be lifted up, but you pull him down in that you deny him his perfection and glory. You derogate from his sacrifice in that you deny it to be sufficient to save us. 2. You bring in works, believing, and repentance, &c. as joint causes of salvation, and deliverance from wrath. 3. In desiring something beyond his perfection, you make Christ an imperfect Priest and his sacrifice imperfect. 4. You disgrace Christ in adding your righteousness to his. You deny the efficacy of his death, and deny him to be able to save to the uttermost. 5. In that you would have something done for salvation, you deny it depends alone upon Christ, for it depends not alone upon him if it also depends upon any other condition or additions. 6. You deny salvation to be a free gift, freely given us. If we must do for it, and so earn if, else {as you say} we shall not have it, and so you make salvation uncertain and doubtful. 7. You make Christ a mere shadow in comparison of your works in saying the promise of God and the death of Christ is frustrated to us unless we perform such conditions. 8. In saying we are justified by believing, you deny we are justified by Christ which is dangerous, though it has a show of truth because Christ and believing are two things, so that it is to divide our justification between God and man, Christ and us, his works and ours. 9. You deny justification and salvation to be accomplished by Christ’s obedience in making it to depend upon our obedience and so you impute it in part {if but in part} to ourselves, and so overthrow the death of Christ. 10. You make not Christ, but faith and repentance, &c., the means of our salvation. 11. You give that to believing, &c., which is proper to Christ in that you attribute justification, {which is the chief and main thing Christ hath done for us} to believing. 12.You make believing a cause of justification in saying without it we cannot be justified. 13. In saying believing is imputed for righteousness, you make it our righteousness, or charge God to impute that for righteousness which is not righteousness. 14. Your opinion engenders unto bondage. It leaves the conscience in fear. It robs it of peace, joy, and consolation. It is an enemy to a cheerful and free serving of God. 15. To say that we are justified by Christ and faith together is dishonorable to Christ. For if we be justified by both, then not by one and so Christ is made no Savior. In their judgments, he is but a half Savior. I desire to know how it can be made out that we are justified by Christ if we be justified by believing; if we are justified by his blood, unless believing be his blood, we are not justified by believing. The Scripture does not say that anyone is justified from sin by believing, but we have been taught so and it is no easy matter to unlearn and leave a corrupt principle. 16. You attribute righteousness in part to ourselves in attributing it in part to believing. Many please themselves with a conceit that they do not dishonor Christ in attributing salvation to believing because faith is from Christ. 17. If we may ascribe justification to believing, then by the same reason we may ascribe justification to love, patience, temperance, &c., yea, to all our performances, our good works, prayers, tears, &c., because the power by which we do these is Christ’s. 18. You make Christ no Savior at all, though you confess Christ died for us. Yet, you affirm believing and works save us. He is all, yet you make him nothing at all unless man please to make him {and what he has done} something by believing, &c. Christ will be all! Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations Part 3, 1649}

Justification by Christ Alone

The main and special thing the Apostle desired to know, and drove at in all his Preaching, was nothing else but "Jesus Christ and him crucified." And if the preaching of Christ in wisdom of words, the Cross of Christ might be made of no effect, {I Cor.1:17,} much more do they make the death of Christ of no effect who will have anything besides Christ alone to be their righteousness, in whole or in part. The titles given to such persons whom Christ justified, they are termed sinners, enemies, ungodly. {Rom.4:5, 5:8,10} The Scripture does not call any that are believers, ungodly. They have their name from their better part. Therefore, believers are called holy, saints, living stones, babes in Christ. And, therefore, seeing they were justified when ungodly, they were justified before they believed. Their believing did not justify them. Christ justified many, by bearing their iniquity. Samuel Richardson {Justification by Christ Alone, 1647}

Justification by Christ Alone

I present to your view Christ crucified, which is the sum and substance of the Gospel: The Priesthood of Christ, and the sufficiency of his Sacrifice to save, is the main thing I contend for against the Papists, who say, Christ’s sacrifice is not sufficient without their sacrifice. Charity saves, says one. Without good works, no salvation, says another. A third says that Christ’s sacrifice is not sufficient for our Salvation without believing, that believing saves, and that without believing, we cannot be saved. Yee see, they all urge a necessity of something for salvation besides Christ’s Sacrifice, without which something, they say, we cannot be saved, so that they deny the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice to save, and so deny that Christ does save. For those he saves, he saves by his sacrifice. Also if Christ and something else saves us, Christ saves us not. For he is no Savior if he be but a part of a Savior; therefore, in adding something to Christ’s sacrifice, they deny the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice so that their opinions are dishonorable to Christ. Therefore, as we tender the honor of Jesus Christ, we are to hate and abhor them, being enemies to the Cross of Christ, and therefore abominable. If we consider how generally these are received and scarcely contradicted by any, thus believing, and Christ and believing together saves us; sure it should greatly stir us up, and provoke us to contend for the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice, though our contending should cost us our lives. There is no truth more honorable to Christ, nor of greater concernment to his glory, and our salvation, then this is. Take away anything of the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice, and our salvation is destroyed. What a dishonor were it to God to send Christ to save us, and yet for him not to save, and not to be sufficient to save. There is no opinion in the world, that my soul doth more abhor, nor against which I would more freely lay down my life for - than this! Self is not exalted, nor nothing of man. This doctrine puts a man upon a whole denial of himself, because man and his best works are not only wholly shut out in this work, but trampled upon in respect of Justification and Salvation. This doctrine strips us naked from all things else but Christ. It is not I and my works, nor Christ and my works together that saves me, but Jesus Christ alone is he that saves us from our sins, etc. Christ and him crucified is the best and most desirable object that can be presented unto your view. What can be better or more desirable? This is our happiness and glory and our chiefest joy. Joy sweet, satisfying, unmixed, pure, spiritual, glorious, full, and eternal. There is no sweetness like to this of Christ’s dying for my sins. His suffering for us the whole punishment of sin so that God will not impute sin to that soul for whom Christ died. Therefore, we are forever freed from the punishment of sin. The more we know this truth, the more sweet is Christ to us and the more fixed on Christ our hearts will be, the more we love and obey him and contend for the truth once delivered to the Saints. Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations Part 3, 1649}

Justification by Christ Alone

Justification is a spiritual blessing, therefore where our spiritual blessing is, there is our justification; but all spiritual blessing are in Christ. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ; according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.” {Eph.1:3,4} “He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” {II Cor.5:21} Saving benefits and blessings are not in us, but such things as accompany salvation. Where we are accepted, there we are justified, and we are accepted in the beloved. {Eph.1:6} Therefore we are justified in the beloved. So we are complete in his completeness, not in ourselves, but in him who is our perfection. {Heb.10:14} Our justification is a part of our completeness, therefore where we are complete, there we are justified, and we are complete in Him. {Col.2:10} Therefore, we are justified in him. Therefore, we are not justified in ourselves, nor by believing. Justification by believing is not to be understood of justification itself, but the manifestation of it in the conscience. Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations Part 3, 1649}

Justification by Christ Alone

“I am the Lord, I change not.” {Mal.3:6} Nothing can be charged upon God’s elect; {Rom.8:1;} for they are justified in Christ. {II Cor.5:19} Those who have no sin upon them are justified, for Christ hath taken away all the sins of the Elect; {I Pet.2:24, Rom.6:6;} and to say that we are not justified before God until we believe, is to say Jesus Christ hath not justified us, which is contrary to the Scriptures, which saith that we are “accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” {Eph.1:6-7} We are justified by his blood. {Rom.5:9} Jesus Christ hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. {Rev.1:5} We were reconciled by the death of his Son. {Rom.5:9,10} A full satisfaction has been rendered. {Heb.10:11-14} And in this God is well pleased before we believe. {Mat.3:17, Is.53:11} Also to say, we are not justified before God, or in His sight, until we believe, is to say, we must add our work to Christ, to make up our justification before God, and if it be so, then we in part save ourselves; and if we do join with Christ in this work, why may we not join with him in the glory of it; for that may be esteemed one of the greatest parts of our justification, without which we cannot be justified. But this derogates from Christ, and all such tenets we are to hate with execration! For, saith Christ, “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me.” {Isa.63:3} We rather say, “if we believe not, yet he abideth faithful; he cannot deny himself.” {II Tim.2:13} Samuel Richardson {Saint’s Desire, 1647}

Justification by Christ Alone

Some place justification to be only in the conscience. But we place it only in Christ where it is, and to whom it belongs. Justification consists in taking away of sin. None but Christ can do that. Justification and acceptation are one. For without justification there is no acceptation; and seeing that we are accepted in Christ, we are justified in Him. If our justification be a spiritual blessing, {as it is} then it is in Christ where all spiritual blessings are, “Blessed be God, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ.” {Eph.1:3} Where our redemption and righteousness are, there is our justification. Righteousness and justification are one. This we have not in ourselves but in Christ, “who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” {I Cor.1:30} “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” {Col.1:14} Our justification is a part of our completeness. Therefore, where we are complete there we are justified. But we are not complete in ourselves, but in Him. {Col.2:10} If all things on which depends our happiness were accomplished, {Jn.19:28,} then was our justification also. For without that no man could be saved.  Samuel Richardson {Justification by Christ Alone, 1647}

Justification by Christ Alone

If when Christ died was the time this was to be done, and if Christ was ordained to do it, if Christ was mighty to save, if Christ took flesh to do this work, if it was the will of God that he should do it, if Christ came on purpose to do it, if our sins were laid upon Christ and He suffered the punishment the curse of them, if He has redeemed us, if it was prophesied of Him that He should justify many and that His work should prosper, if Christ did answer His types, if He has exceeded all the Priests and sacrifices under the Law; if there needs no more offerings for sin; if Christ has done all the Law required, if Christ has done what He came to do, if we are justified by His blood, if He has made us holy, and presented us without spot, if we are free from all sin, if Christ has done all that can be done to make us just and righteous, if Christ did wash away our sins in His own blood, if Christ has said, “It is finished;” then it's done, it's done, it's done, perfectly and completely done! Then what I have said is fully proved namely, that Jesus Christ, by once offering, the sacrifice of Himself, when He was on the Cross, put an end to sin and so destroyed all the sins of His people forever and presented them just, righteous, and holy, without spot, etc., before God. {Col.1:13,14,21, Col.2:13,14} Oh, what a fountain of consolation here! What marrow and fatness is here. What sweetness is like to this, to all who believe? Who now may say, once sin was mine, then it was laid upon Christ and now they are neither mine nor His because they are not at all; for by His blood He washed them all away; and now they are all gone, blotted out, and shall be remembered no more, no more, no more. Now Christ's righteousness is mine, as well as His, for I was “made the righteousness of God in him;” {II Cor.5:21;} and I did nothing at all to procure these things to me. Surely that which is the life of our souls, upon which the eternal happiness of our souls depends, is not in any thing in us, but in Christ alone. It lies in Him, so that it may be kept safe for us. So that we might not live upon anything within us, faith is given that by it we may live out of ourselves in another, even the Lord Jesus where our life is. “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” {Col.3:3,4} Samuel Richardson {Justification by Christ Alone, 1647}

Justification by Christ Alone

Men please themselves with a conceit that they do not dishonor Jesus Christ in ascribing their justification to faith, because faith is a grace of Christ, and so from Christ. But, by the same reason, we may ascribe our justification to love, patience, temperance, goodness, etc., because they are from Christ and fruits of the same spirit faith is. {Gal.5:22} And may we not also by the same reason ascribe our justification to all our spiritual performances such as prayers, tears, and all our good works, because the power by which we do these is from Christ? “For without me,” Christ says, “ye can do nothing.” {Jn.15:5} Oh all ye sons and daughters of the most High, lift up your voice, and cry, No inherent holiness to justification, as well as no works of the Law; for whatsoever is in us, and acted by us, and passes through us, is defiled by us, as “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” {Isa.64:6} “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us.” etc. {Tit.3:5-9} “Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength; even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.” {Is.45:24-25} Christ is our Righteousness; “in his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” {Jer.23:6} “I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.” {Ps.71:16} “My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long.” {Ps.71:24} No other righteousness can be compared to this. Samuel Richardson {Justification by Christ Alone, 1647}

Justification by Christ Alone

We deny not, but affirm that we are justified by faith, but we deny we are justified by believing, for the word faith is not always to be understood for believing. The Scripture does not say that we are justified for, nor through, nor by believing; neither does it follow that we are justified by believing, because the Scripture says, we are justified by faith, because the word faith is diversely understood. Sometimes by faith is meant the doctrine of Christ, {Jude 3,} obedience to the faith, {Acts 6:7,} in the faith, {II Cor.13:5,} hearing of faith, {Gal.3:2,5} preaching the faith. {Gal.1:23} So also for the power by which we believe. Faith is to believe. Have faith in God. {Mk.11:22} Sometimes by faith is meant the profession of faith. {Rom.1:8} By faith we are to understand knowledge. {Eph.4:13} Sometimes Christ is called faith; {Gal.3:19 with 23:23;} the seed in the 19th verse is called faith in the 23rd verse and Christ in the 16th verse. So that to be justified through faith, and by faith, that is, through Christ, through his blood; {Eph.1:7} through the redemption that is in Jesus; {Rom.3:24;} so the word ‘through him’ is used; {I John 4:9;} through him and by him is all one. {Eph.1:5-7} “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” {Gal.3:14} Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations Part 3, 1649}

Law and Gospel

Christ, by His death, put an end to the Law, the Law was not to last any longer then till Christ came. “The Law was added till the seed should come.”{Gal.3:19} “Christ is the end of the Law.” {Rom.10:4} It was never in force against any of God’s elect since Christ’s death. “Ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ.” {Rom.7:4} Christ in his flesh did abolish the Law of Commandments. {Eph.2:15,16, Col.2:13,14} “Now we are delivered from the Law.” {Rom.7:6} If the Son shall make you as free in your consciences, as the elect are free in Him, you shall see, and say you were free indeed. {John 8:36} The Law is dead to us, and we to it, “as a woman is freed from the law of her husband if he be dead;” so are we from the law. “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead,” “that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” {Rom.7:1-7} This new husband is better than the old. Welcome Christ, and farewell Law. Now we have nothing to do with the Law, nor the Law with us. “Our old man is crucified with him;” {Rom.6:6;} for “he that is dead is freed from sin;” {vs.7;} and “we are dead with Christ." {vs.8} There is none of Moses' law now in force to the elect, with curses to be under; no law, no transgression, no curse, and no penalty in force now. For when the Law ceased, the curse of the Law ceased also with it. The Law said, “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, Deut.27:10,26} “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us;” “that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ.” {Gal.3:13,14} Christ underwent all the curses, that all His chosen might not suffer any of them; and seeing none could be redeemed from the curse without His death, Christ did die. There shall none be saved, but such as were then redeemed by His death, for He will die no more. {Heb.9:25,26} That liberty, which the Saints stand in and enjoy when they believe, was not procured by their conversion and faith, etc., but by Christ upon the Cross. “Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.” {Gal.5:1} This liberty believers now enjoy, but it was purchased then by Christ's death. For then, we were perfected forever in Him. {Heb.10:14} Samuel Richardson {Justification by Christ Alone, 1647}

Law & Gospel Distinctions

Learn to know and distinguish between the voice of the Gospel and the voice of the Law; the Law saith, “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} When there is any work to be done upon pain of punishment, or upon promise of eternal life, it’s the voice of the Law, for the Law requires a doing something for life. Moses describing the Righteousness of the Law, saith, “that the man that doth these things, shall live by them;” {Rom.10:5,} but the voice of the Gospel is otherwise; as, that “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us;” {Gal.3:13,} and that his mercy is above what we can ask or think. {Eph.3:20} So the promises of life are free without condition; the Gospel declares what God works in us, and freely gives to us; “I will love them freely.” {Hos.14:4} If we did more listen to the promise, which is the voice of the Gospel, and not to the voice of the Law, and the voice of corruption, we should enjoy more peace, and less trouble. - Know and mind the happiness of a believer in Christ, as he is clean from all sin. {I Jn.1:7} They are removed from us. {Ps.103:12} Meditate on this truth, until thy heart be over-powered with it, and enjoy the sweetness of it; ever minding what is thy freedom and liberty thou hast in Christ, which is full and sweet. {Gal.5:13} Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations, Part Two, 1649}

Love to Christ

“Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” {Mt.24:12} This should teach those that stand, to take heed least they fall; to watch narrowly against all occasions, which tend to draw us from our first love; for God will have his to know that it is a great evil to decay in their love to him. The greatness of this sin appears in these particulars: 1. Because our love is God’s and he calls for it. “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.” {Pro.23:26} He calls for his own, and it's unreasonable to deny him his own. 2. Love is the best thing we have, therefore we should give it to God, who is the chiefest and best good, therefore he hath right to the highest pitch of our love; and it's a pity so sweet an affection as love is, should be spent upon anything but Himself. 3. Love will be fixed upon something, and it's unreasonable to deny it to God, and give it to the creature. This is to forsake a living fountain for a broken Cistern. {Jer.2:13} God is the same he was, when ye first loved him, then ye looked upon him to deserve the highest measure of love, and could not be loved enough. God is not changed. {Heb.13:8} Therefore the change is in thyself. 5. So much as you have left your first love, so much you have left God. God counts himself charged with iniquity, when he is forsaken. {See Jer.2:6} In so doing ye greatly dishonor God, as if there were not a fullness of perfection in him. If there be in him what ye expected, why do you love him less? Thy practice declares thou repenteth thee in loving him so much, as if he is not worthy of it. Tell me, canst thou mend thyself in bestowing thy love elsewhere? 7. Lastly, God hath done much for thee; he hath saved thee from wrath, hell, and destruction; and provided for thee a place of happiness with himself; yea given thee himself. {Gal.1:4, 2:20, Eph.5:25, I Tim.2:6 & Tit.2:14} Could he give thee more? Is all this as nothing to thee? Canst thou do too much for him that hath done so much for thee? Why then doest thou not give him thy first love, and love him dearly and vehemently, that hath so loved thee? Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations, Part One, 1649}

No Condemnation in Christ

In the most perfect Saints, as they are in themselves, there is much sin, {I Jn.1:10,} and God doth see it; yet God cannot condemn them to wrath for it, no more than God can condemn Christ for it, who shall appear without sin unto salvation. {Heb.9:28} They being in him who hath suffered for it; and Justice neither will nor can exact the payment of a debt twice; now it's justice in God to justify; {Rom.3:25;} yea, God is as just in pardoning a sinner by the blood of Christ, as he is just in condemning any; and now thou hast a full pardon by justice as well as mercy, therefore drink freely. {Song 5:1} Samuel Richardson {Saint’s Desire, 1647}

Particular & Effectual Redemption by Christ

Will all those for whose sins Christ died for be saved? They shall all be saved; for the salvation of God’s Elect is certain. But some say that, ‘Christ died for their sins who shall not be saved;’ but to what end shall Christ die for their sins who are not appointed to life? Doth not Christ loose the end of his death, to die for their sins that shall perish? Some are not ordained to eternal life. {Acts 13:48} Doth it stand with the wisdom of God, to send Christ to die for their sins, whom he before decreed to condemn? “The LORD hath made all things for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” {Pro.16:4} {II Thes.2:11} {Isa.43:6,7} Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations, Part One, 1649}

Righteousness of Christ

“That we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” {II Cor.5:21} That righteousness which justifieth us before God, as it is not ours, so it is not in us; but as the righteousness is Christ’s, so it is in him; therefore Christ saith, ‘In me you shall have righteousness and strength;’ “Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength.” {Isa.45:24} The state of a believer in Christ, as considered in him, is a state of perfection; for “we are complete in him.” {Col.2:9-13} As Christ is, so am I; as I am, so is Christ; as he is, so are we in this world. {I Jn.1:17} What is Christ’s is mine, and what is mine, is his. Christ’s righteousness is mine, therefore I am all righteous, I do not need no more, nor no other righteousness; as I am in Christ, I am as righteous as Christ, and as acceptable as Christ; God seeth no sin in me, because there is none; for as God saith, {so I believe,} “Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.” {Song 4:7, Isa.38:17} - Seeing this Righteousness is in Christ, then it must needs follow, that the saints cannot possibly make it away, or lose it; because it is not in us, and so not in our keeping, but is in Him. Adam had his righteousness in him, and he lost it, but seeing it is in Christ, in him it cannot be lost! Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations, Part Two, 1649}

Righteousness of Christ

This should teach all that desire righteousness, to go for it to Christ where it is. O soul, look no longer to find it in thy self, for it is not there, it is in Christ, in him; his righteousness is enough, and good enough for thee, yea best for thee; therefore seek no further, but rest satisfied in Christ, in his righteousness; drink here abundantly in this sweet fountain that is bottomless, and therefore can never be drawn dry. {Song 5:1} Thy pardon is now by Justice as well as mercy, therefore drink freely. - Rest satisfied in Christ’s righteousness and add nothing to it. “I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.” {Psal.71:15-24} “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness.” {Psal.119:142} “They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.” {Ps.22:31} “And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.” {Ps.35:28} “And the heavens shall declare his righteousness; for God is judge himself. Selah.” {Ps.50:6} “Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation; and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.” {Ps.51:14} “In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.” {Jer.33:16} The perfection of Christ’s righteousness is held forth to us, and doth always lie before us, for us, that we might ever be comforted with it, and rejoice in it, with thankfulness for it. It is perfect, and full of divine consolation; it’s enough to refresh and satisfy thee forever; we have enough, we need no other, nor no more righteousness. “In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” {Jer.23:6} Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations, Part Two, 1649}


We do nothing to be saved, because Christ hath freed us. He came into the world to save us, and he saved us before he ascended; therefore, we are not now to be saved from our sins. {Heb.10:10-14} It’s too late for us to be paying the debt of our sins by our works, the debt being paid before by Christ for us. God did execute on him in his death all the punishment that was due to us for our iniquities. God does rest satisfied in Christ’s satisfaction for the sins of his - past, present, and to come. {Isa.53.5-11} “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and redeemed his people and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, that we should be saved from our enemies.” &c. {Lk.1:68-71} Christ is the horn of salvation. Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations Part 3, 1649}


To judge Christ’s death insufficient is very dishonorable to Christ. Salvation from sin is not man’s act, but an act of Christ by his death. It’s Christ’s work to save us. “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS; for he shall save his people from their sins.” {Matt.1:21} It’s not our work to save ourselves, nor our works, but Christ is the price and pay-master for the sins of the elect. If we could have saved ourselves, Christ needed not to come from heaven into the world to do it. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” {I Tim.1:15} Christ works not salvation in us, nor by us, but brings salvation to us. {Isa.63:5} Jesus Christ in one work, once performed by his death, did eternally redeem, {Rev.5:9,} justify, {Rom.5:9,} sanctify, and perfect us forever. {Heb.10:10-14} His death is that price paid to the utmost for all our sins. Our best works cannot save us, neither in whole, nor in part. Heaven is an inheritance, an eternal inheritance; {Heb.9:15;} “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away.” {I Pet.1:4} That which we possess by right of inheritance, we never wrought for, nor paid for. {Ezek.47:14, Jer.3:18, Acts 20:32, Heb.11:6, Ezek.33: 24, Psal.78:55.} So this inheritance; {Acts 26:18, Col.1:12, 3:24;} Christ bought it, and paid for it by his precious blood, a great price. {I Pet.1:18,19, Eph.1:14} It cost him so much that it might cost us nothing. Vain man would work for it, to earn it, and merit it. Men think they must do something for it. Our doings could not procure it. God would not have us to have it that way, but by way of gift; a free gift; {Rom.6:23, Eph.2:8,9;} and that it could not be if it had been to be wrought by us. “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.” {Rom.4:4} The children of God are born heirs to it, {Rom.8:17,} and it was prepared for them before they were born. “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” {Mt.25:34} Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations Part 3, 1649}

Salvation by Grace Alone

Many when they see they have not done well, they go about to break their hearts, to make God amends for all, and think if they can but attain to such a deep measure of humiliation and sorrow for sin, then they think they have an evidence for heaven. Alas, this is only an evidence of great ignorance, in that they do not see death in their best duties. The Lord may say to them who work so hard for life; “Thou hast found the life of thine hand; therefore thou wast not grieved;” {Isa.57:10;} and so comfort themselves with their own sparks; but only sorrow will follow such comfort. “Ye shall lie down in sorrow.” {Isa.50:11} When we say, our good works are not the way to life, men esteem it a grievous error, yet Christ saith, “I am the way.” {Jn.14:6} Tell me, are thy works Christ or no; if no, then they are not the way, if Christ speaks truth, as he doth. Also if Jesus Christ is to be unto us all in all, {Col.3:11,} our best works are to be unto us nothing at all. Our works do not make us the better before God, nor the more beloved of God, but they declare us to be what we are made by God. The Papists do; as they say, many good works to be saved; but we abhor it, because it is condemned of God. Not of works, least we should boast. If it were of works, it were not of grace. Therefore all those that expect and hope for mercy, because they leave their sins, and do many good works, as they think; alas, they are greatly deluded, for they are not taken off of self-works, and self-concurrence with Christ. You are ignorant of the righteousness of Christ, therefore ye go about to establish your own righteousness, and so long as ye do so, ye cannot submit to the righteousness of God. {Rom.10:3} But if thou didst know what a righteousness Christ is, thou wouldst have preferred it before thy own; yea it would be esteemed by thee but dross and dung to his. {Phil.3:8,9} Publicans and Harlots are nearer salvation than thee, as righteous as thou art, who work for life, as the blind Pharisees did, and perished. {Mat.21:31,32, Luke 7:29,30} We are not commanded to do anything to procure the pardon of our sins. In reference to service and duty; I do count myself never the nearer heaven, for my best works, then if I had never done anything but swore and blasphemed God. It is to him that worketh not. {Rom.4:2-5} We are saved not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace.{II Tim.1:9} Doth not God speak plain enough to the question, in saying it is not according to our works; and when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son. {Rom.5:10} “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” {Isa.43:25} “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.” {Ezek.16:6} “Thy time was the time of love.” {vs.8} From hence it is that all that see this mystery of God’s free grace, that salvation is not according to our works; they cry, ‘Grace, Grace, Christ, Christ, Christ is all in all, nothing but Christ,’ and now all their prayers, tears, duties, devotions; all of theirs is nothing to them, in respect of their acceptation, justification, or salvation; for they are dead to working, they will not stir to do the least work in the world to attain any of these, &c. “For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.” {Heb.4:10} All ours is vanished in the infinite ocean of God’s free love; its so that God might have all the glory. {Eph.1:6} “Let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth; for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.” {Jer.9:24} And that man might not boast, {Rom.3:9,} but obey God freely. “That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear.” {Luke 1:74} Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations, Part Two, 1649}

Sovereign Dominion of God

Carnal hearts of men taketh offence at everything, except the Law of Works, a doing to be saved; for the Doctrine of Election, God’s Free Grace and Salvation only and alone by Christ, without Works, {Rom.4:6,} is charged with being one of the greatest Doctrines of liberty to sin that ever was, and is by the ignorant made a stumbling-block and rock of offence; and a cause of carelessness in many. Ludovick said, “if I be saved, I be saved; and if I be damned, I be damned;” the Papists say, “if good works save us not, to what purpose shall we do them; then we may live as we list, if we be appointed to life we shall be saved, though we sin never so much, and if we sin we have an Advocate, {I John 2:1,} for not anything can separate us from the love of God; {Rom.8:35;} if we be not appointed to life, we cannot be saved though we should do never so much good.” Therefore ye see how this truth is turned to wantonness. The Apostle exhorts not to turn this grace of God into wantonness, {Rom.6:1-15,} for the corrupt heart of man is ready to do it, and there are many things in Paul’s Epistles which the ignorant, unlearned {that know not God in Christ} wrest to their own destruction. Will any therefore say that the Doctrine of Election and Salvation by Christ Alone is not a doctrine fit to be taught, nor come abroad? If so, the Scriptures must not come abroad. Moreover, the Doctrine of the Protestant Ministers is charged, not only to be a Doctrine of liberty to sin, but a blasphemous Doctrine; for they say, that to teach that the fall and sin of man was decreed is to make God the Author of evil; for many of the Protestant Writers say that the sin of man was determined of God. Dr. Willet, {Synopsis, 1594} saith that “the fall of Adam was both foreseen of God and decreed to be, not permitted only.” {Gen.45:5-8, II Sam.24:1, Acts 4:26-28,} “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope.”{Rom 8:20} Dr. William Whitaker against Edmund Campion, the Jesuit {“Ten Answers to Edmund Campion, the Jesuit, 1606;”} saith, “now answer me Campion, do you think that which any one doth, how wicked soever, is done whether God will or not, for if you hold that anything is done against God’s will, what providence or omnipotency do you leave him; for he that permitteth that to be done which he would by no means have to be done, it is certain, that he is not endued with so great power as that he can forbid that which he would not have done, wherefore you must needs confess that all things that are done, are done by the will of God;” and “all confess, God could have hindered sin to be if he had so pleased, but he would not hinder it, therefore it was his will it should be, the will of God, and not sin, is the cause of God’s decree, and the being of all things, the will and pleasure of God is the Womb from whence springeth every work of the Creature.” God must first will his Creature to stand or fall before he can do either. {Acts 21:14, Phil.2:13, Prov.21:1} “The evil actions of men are not only foreseen of God, but decreed,” says Mr. Parr in his Grounds of Divinity, {1633,} and, “we are not saved from sin, except we have committed sin, therefore salvation from sin is not without committing sin,” saith William Fulke. God willed and decreed his glory and man’s happiness; therefore he willed and decreed the means to it; for the end and moving cause of his willing sin to be, is for his glory, which cause it was necessary for sin to be. If sin had not been, how should the goodness of God in giving man eternal life in glory appeared, his love in sending Christ to die? If there had not been sin, there had been no need of Christ’s coming, nor of his death and righteousness. Most of the great works of God in this world and that to come, have dependence or reference to sin. How should we have lived by Faith, exercised the fruits of the Spirit, or have any happiness or glory in the world to come, if it had not been for Christ; and Christ had not been, if there had been no sin. He that willeth the end, willeth those things that are necessarily referred to that end; taking away sin was decreed before the world, therefore the being of sin was decreed. Christ's death was determined before the world - the Saints were chosen to life before the world; and choice hath reference to the fall, therefore the fall of Adam was decreed. If the will of man had been the first and chief cause of the being of sin, then the will of man should be the cause of God’s will, and so man shall be the original cause of the salvation of himself, and so much the cause of it, that without his will it could not have been; and so the determination of God what to do, shall not be from himself, but from the will of man, which is contrary to “the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” {Eph.1:11} If man should will sin before God willed it, then shall the will of God depend and wait upon the will of man; as if God should say, ‘If man will sin, then I will determine his salvation;’ and if God should first will to send Christ to save man, and leave it to man’s will and power whether he shall fall or no, then it was possible for man to stand, and so to frustrate the decree of God; for if man had not sinned, God’s decree of sending Christ had been made void and of none effect. Mr. Perkins’ saith, “God decreed the fall of Adam; if the fall was decreed, if man had power to stand, then he had power to frustrate God’s decree, which no wise man will affirm;” and then that saying that Adam had power to keep the Law, is without truth. {Ezek.18:2-4} God willeth all things well; he sinneth not, nor can sin, because he is under no Law. God commands men to keep the Law, that no man can do; he commands men to think no vain thoughts, and not to sin; we cannot but think some vain thoughts, and in many things we sin all. Christ saith, “no man can come to me, except the Father draw him,” {John 6:37,44,} if they be drawn they come; “draw us and we will run after thee,” {Cant.1:4,} if I put sufficient strength to move the earth, motion must needs follow; when men sin they are beguiled, enticed, deceived, drawn away, they like men have transgressed. {Hos. 6:7} So; we are to distinguish between that which followeth a doctrine in its own nature, and that which followeth by accident, or rather that a corrupt heart draweth from it, and is not from the nature and working of the doctrine itself. It is strange to consider men are so set upon the Popish principle to be saved for their works, that they count all profane that cross their way; some have burned the Bible; and Doctor Crisp’s book of Salvation by Christ Alone. In like manner, Mr. John Archer’s book, {late of All Hallows', Lombard Street, published 1645, entitled: “Comfort to Believers, against their Sins and Sorrow,”} was burnt by the Hangman; and the same spirit is alive to burn this also; for I expect no better from such as are not taught of God; they condemn those things they know not, and think they do God service, when they persecute the truth and professors of it. Samuel Richardson {Discourse of the Torments of Hell, 1660}

Sovereignty of God

God in the good pleasure of his will, doth freely and effectually determine of all things whatsoever he will; he doth all things according to the counsel of his own will. {Eph.1:11} All things are in the mind of God before they are in themselves, and what he will, he effected in his time, and nothing is done, if he wills it not to be done. “Our God is in the heavens; he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.” {Psal.115:3} “Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.” {Ps.135:6} Jehovah doth whatsoever he pleases. The will of God is the first cause of all things. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” {Rev.4:11} He hath mercy on whom he will; {Rom.9:18;} and there is no cause to be given of his will. “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” {Phil.2:13} And such as make the will of God to depend upon the creature, as if he believes, God wills his salvation; or if he believes not, he wills his damnation, makes God’s will mutable, and to depend upon the act of the creature; and then it will follow that so often as the will of the creature changes, so often God changes, and then God will do this or that if man will; but whatsoever God wills in all things he wills effectually, so that he cannot in any wise be hindered or disappointed; for if God should will anything he could not obtain, there should be imperfection in God, and if he can obtain it and will not, how then doth he will it? “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” {Is.46:10} Every decree of God is eternal; {I Cor.2:7;} and remains always immutable. “There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.” {Pro.19:21} “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” {Acts 15:18} “And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” {Acts 13:48} “Whom he predestinated, them he called.” {Rom.8:30} God did from eternity know every several thing, with all the circumstances thereof, and knows how to apply the fittest occasion to everything, and how to effect all things. “He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.” {Psal.33:15} {Is.44:2} Even those things that seem to happen most freely God determines of according to his will, of the very heart of man. “He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.” {Psal.33:15} {I Sam.10:9,26} “The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water; he turneth it whithersoever he will.” {Pro.21:1} “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.” {Prov.16:33} Of sparrows falling. {Mat.10:29,30} Of lilies, flowers, and grass of the earth. {Mat.6:28-30} Yea of all creatures and things. “I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I the LORD do all these things.” {Is.45:7} {Jer.14:22} By all which it appears, the will of God determined the certainty of every event. And if God should not determine all things, the will of God should not be simply and universally the first cause; and to deny him to be the first cause, implies that there are two first beginnings, or more than two, which cannot be truth. And for any to say, that man hath power to resist all God can work for his conversion, is to put grace in man’s power, {and not man’s will under the power of grace} is to say, that man is able to frustrate God’s counsel concerning his conversion, and power to resist all that God can work herein, is to affirm, that man hath power to frustrate God’s counsel; and if it be so, will it not follow that man hath power to make God a liar? If God by his omnipotent power inclines the wills of men whither he wills, then he hath them more in his power than man hath; then his will decreeing is the cause necessity followed, and the will of the creature is not the cause of the necessities of things. The Scriptures declare that God works all things after the counsel of his will {not man’s will} and made all things for himself. “The LORD hath made all things for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” {Prov.16:4} {Isa.43:6-7} Samuel Richardson {Saint’s Desire, 1647}

Sovereignty of God

If the cause why God chooses me {and not another} is because I will, etc., then it is not merely from his will, and then you deny the freedom of God’s will. Also if a man hath liberty of will to resist God’s will and work, so as God shall not convert him, it will follow that when we are converted, we convert ourselves, which is contrary to the Scriptures. And do not they give the Scriptures the lie, that say the will of an unregenerate man may be free to righteousness, will it, and embrace it when it is proposed; but if a seeing eye were in darkness, it could not discern anything, how much less shall the blind see? By nature we are blind; {Rev.3.17,18;} all darkness, till we be made light in the Lord. {Eph.5:8} Darkness cannot comprehend the light. {Jn.1:5} The natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit, for they are foolishness to him. {I Cor.2:14} Therefore the Saints pray to God to reveal to them the knowledge of Christ, and to enlighten their eyes by the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. {Eph.1:17,18} Man’s will being wholly enthralled in sin, {Rom.6:20,} the carnal mind being enmity to God, being not subject to the Law of God, nor can be; how then can it will, desire, and receive grace by nature? As God commanded Pharaoh to let Israel go, yet he could not, for God hardened his heart that he could not be willing; {Jn.12:39,40;} they confess, that unless God give faith, it's impossible for men to believe; so then the reason men do not believe, is because God doth not give them faith. {Phil.1:29} But to what purpose is it for God to give Christ to die for men’s sins, seeing as they confess, they shall have no benefit by him unless they believe, and that they cannot do without God, and God doth not give them faith. {If he did, they could not but believe!} What great love is this which is showed to them? The substance of those famous, or rather infamous opinions of ours, of such as hold free will, and that Christ died for the sins of all Adam’s posterity, is that God wills the salvation of all men, but he is disappointed of his will. Those whom God will save by his antecedent will, he will destroy by his consequent will; that God doth seriously intend the salvation of all persons, yet nevertheless, he calls men by a means, and time; that is, not apt, nor fit, by reason whereof those who are so called, do not follow God’s calling. That faith is partly from grace, and partly from free will; that God is bound to give all men power to believe. They distinguish between the obtaining of salvation, and the application of salvation. The first; they say, is for all; the second is only for them that believe, but the application of salvation is neither willed, nor nilled to men. That man may determine and open his own heart, and receive the word of God; that the reprobate may be saved; that the number of the Elect is not certain; that the decree of Reprobation is not peremptory; that a Reprobate may convert himself; and that faith is not of mere grace. They bring in God speaking thus; ‘I decree to send my Son to save all who shall believe; but who and how many they shall be, I have not determined; only I will give to all men sufficient power to believe, but he shall believe who will himself; I will send Christ to die for the sins of many, whom I know it shall not be effectual at all unto, to whom I will never give faith, and notwithstanding Christ hath satisfied for all their sins, yet they shall suffer my wrath for them forever.’ We grant God knew all that ever was, is, or shall be, but we deny that God did elect to life any for anything he did foresee in them; for if God should look out of himself to anything in the creature, upon which his will may be determined to elect, would be against his all sufficiency; as if he should get knowledge from things we do, which implies an imperfection of knowledge, and of will; if he should see something in us before he can determine, as if God were in suspense, saying, ‘I will choose this man if he will, I will upon foresight of my condition absolutely choose him.’ To say, ‘I will elect, if they believe,’ is a conditional election, and if they can do this without God, then God is not omnipotent; if they say, he will give them faith to believe, then it is all one with an absolute will, as I elect to life, and I will give these faith. “For whom he predestinated, them he calleth, etc.” {Rom.8:29,30} Samuel Richardson {Saint’s Desire, 1647}

Teaching of the Spirit

To be convinced of sin is more than a bare notion of sins committed, for this may be in one that rests in themselves, and in something else besides Christ, and perish in this condition; for by the letter of the Law, and the light of reason, men may see and say they have sinned; as Saul and Judas did; but those the Spirit convinces of sin, they are convinced to purpose, because it is thoroughly. “The Spirit shall convince the world of sin.”{Jn.16:8} The Spirit discovers to the soul that she hath chosen something else besides Christ, upon which the soul rests, and satisfies herself withal, and expects mercy and comfort from by reason of them, and that they are her best services, and other lying vanities, as groundless hopes, peace, joy, comfort etc., telling the soul that there is nothing but death and darkness in them, and that if the soul rest in any of them, there is nothing but death and destruction for them; and there is a secret power of God which goes along with this teaching, which turns the soul from darkness, viz., self, Satan, and all lying vanities, to light, to Christ, where life is; the Spirit revealing to the soul a sufficiency of life in Christ, and it needs seek life in nothing else; also the Spirit of God persuades a soul that this life is for him, therefore he is to look to Christ for it. Samuel Richardson {Saint’s Desire, 1647}

Teaching of the Spirit

The teaching and drawing of the Father is this; that all men have sinned, and are in an estate of death, and that in Christ there is a ransom, in which is life and all happiness, and that this Jesus and all that he hath done is for him. When the soul hath heard and learned this, there is a power which accompanies this teaching, that carries the soul by faith to Christ believing in him; for the teaching of the Father and faith goes together; everyone that hath heard and learned of the Father comes unto Christ. {Jn.6:45} So that to convince the soul of righteousness, is to be convinced of Christ, to reveal Jesus Christ to the soul, that in Him only is help, and in his righteousness is deliverance. “I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people.” {Psal.89:19} “I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” {Isa.63:1} So fix and settle the eye of the soul upon Christ’s righteousness only, at least putting the soul under the hope of it; for as soon as God hath stripped the soul of all hope in and from itself, he turns the soul to Christ, and puts it under hope; when the soul sees nothing but death, God saith, Live; {Ezek.16:5,6;} and when the soul is going down into the pit, God saith, “Deliver him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom.” {Job 33:23,24} Christ calls, “Come unto me,” and be saved, and the power of God goes along with this call, works faith, carries the soul to Christ as his own, having possession of him. Samuel Richardson {Saint’s Desire, 1647}

Watchfulness against Sin

Every day to watch against every sin, and plead not for any sin, not lessen it under no pretense of corruption, temptation, the sweetness and smallness of it, nor inwardly to favor it, but resolve and watch against all sin, with the occasions and appearances of it, and be jealous against it, and fearful of falling by it, and ever to show hatred against it. We should be afraid to sin, because it's forbidden by God. 2. It is dishonorable to him, his truth, and servants. 3. It encourages others to sin. 4. It will fill our souls with sorrow to sin against so loving a Father, and to dishonor him, &c. Having sinned, if but in the least measure, we should be so far from covering it with any pretense, or excuse, that we should abhor it, and ourselves for it, with the greatest detestation. {See Ezra 9:2,3} “Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” {II Tim.2:19} Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations, Part One, 1649}

Witness of the Spirit

We are justified by the Spirit, {I Cor.6:11,} but this is not that justification on which depends our eternal happiness. This is only declared to us by the Spirit, that we are justified by Christ’s death. This knowledge of it is only necessary to satisfy and quiet the conscience. Christ having justified his upon the cross by his blood, it is not our believing but the Spirit that reveals the same to the soul. The Spirit dwelleth in us. {I Cor.3:16, Rom.8:11,16, I Jn.3:24} The Spirit speaketh in us, {Mt.10:20,} and shows unto us what Christ hath done for us. {I Cor.2:9,10,16; Heb.10:15-17, I Jn.5:6} The blood of sprinkling is the Spirit’s speaking to the conscience that all is paid. This satisfies and cleanses the conscience. {Heb.12:24} The work of faith is only to assent to the testimony of the Spirit, that it is truth, and so receives its testimony. {Eph.3:5} When the declaration is believed, the answer of a good conscience is; “My sweet Jesus died for me; he has delivered me from all my enemies, and from the wrath to come; the debt of all my sin is paid.” Samuel Richardson {Divine Consolations Part 3, 1649}

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