April 2013

 Posted April 1, 2013

{Writings of Thomas Collier}

Old & New Covenant Distinctions: The subject matter of the Old Testament promises consisted in outward things temporal, worldly blessings, &c., “I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan.” {Gen.17:8} You may take a view of it at your leisure, and clearly discern the promises and blessings of that Covenant, as in Deuteronomy chapter 28; “and all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out, &c;” {vs.2-6} so that they were outward blessings. “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.” {Is.1:19} These, and the like, were the Old Testament promises; but the New Testament promises are of another nature, not so much of outward blessings, “for God hath chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom;” but they are spiritual and eternal blessings. “And this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” {Jn.6:40} “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” {Lk.11:32} “The crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” {James 1:12} “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;” {Mt.25:34;} and the like precious promises of the New Covenant that relate to life and glory. Hence it is that Gospel believers look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. {II Cor.4:18} Another difference is as to the manner of the promises. The first were conditional, as hath been proved. “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine; and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” {Ex.19:5,6} “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth; and all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God;” {Deut.28:1,2} etc… but the promises of the Gospel Covenant are absolute as hath also been proved. “The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live.” {Jn.5:25} “I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people;” {Heb.8:10} etc…thus they differ very much in the promises; in which respect the New Covenant is said to be established upon better promises. {Heb.8:6} The promises of the Old Covenant were on condition of performance, but gave no power; but the New Covenant promises make partakers of the Divine nature. {II Pet.1:4} - They also differ in their ends. The ends of the first Covenant were, “to make sin become exceeding sinful;” {Rom.7:13 & 3:29;} that “every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” {Rom.3:19} And so it was a killing Covenant, a ministration of death, and not of life. {II Cor.3:6,7} A Covenant that could not give life, for if that Covenant could have given life, then verily righteousness had been by it, even by the Law. {Gal.3:21} But God’s end in the New Covenant is to give life by it. Hence it is called a Covenant of Life and Peace. {Is.54:10, Mal.2:5} It was to recover poor lost sinners out of their perishing state and condition; it was to make the comers thereunto perfect, which the other could not do. {Heb.10:1} It was to justify believers from all those things, from which they could not be justified by the Law of Moses; {Acts 13:39;} namely, the First Covenant. In a word, the end of God in the New Covenant was to save from the curse and condemnation of the Old Covenant, without which there is no salvation. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us, &c.” {Gal.3:13} Finally, the difference between the Old and the New Covenant, is as much as is between the type, the shadow, and the substance; it was but a shadow, and a representation of the New Covenant, a typical Covenant from first to last. Hence it is that they had types and resemblances of everything in the Gospel Covenant, but they were but shadows, but resemblances. They had a righteousness commanded, which was a righteousness of doing, which they could not attain, a representation of the righteousness of Christ who was to fulfill all, and so become “the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.” {Rom.10:4,5} Secondly, they had an election and sonship, but it was of the natural seed; the New Covenant is of the spiritual seed. {Rom.9:7,8, Gal.3:26,29} They had a priest, a sacrifice, tabernacle and temple, but all typical. They had promises likewise, but typical as well as conditional; so that it is as evident as the sun that shines at noon, to all whose eyes have been opened, that the differences between the covenants are clear and very great; and therefore it much concerns you not to mistake in this matter, lest you live under the Old instead of the New, for the Old will prove a Covenant of death to those who live and die in it; “but there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit;” {Rom.8:1;} namely, not after the Law or Old Covenant, but after the Gospel or New Covenant, which is called the ministration of the Spirit. {II Cor.3:6,8} Thomas Collier {Discourse of the True Gospel Blessedness in the New Covenant, 1659}

Old & New Covenant Distinctions: The Old Covenant, Priesthood, and Promises were no other ways everlasting than as they led to Christ, the New Covenant and the everlasting rest, so they were everlasting; namely, as they represented and typed out everlasting things, but when the substance was come the shadow did vanish away. Objection: The Gospel Covenant is conditional as well as that of the Law, as at the first entering into it there is the condition of believing. “He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned;” {Mk.16:16;} and persons continue in it on condition of continuing in the faith and obedience, and persevering in a way of well doing unto the end. {Heb.3:6,14, Mt.10:22, Mk.13:13} And the Gospel promises of life and glory are on condition. {Rom.2:7,10, 8:17} Assertion: It is true, on one account it may be said to be so, that as God never intended to save any but by Jesus Christ, and that through faith in him and obedience to him, in persevering in a way of gospel obedience, all these conditions God hath in his eternal counsel, and therefore he is said to love freely, but it was in Christ, and to those elect and chosen before the world was, but it was in Christ. {Eph.1:4} And calling, and justifying, and glorifying, it was all done over in God’s counsel. {Rom.8:27,30} And all that which may seem to be conditions, God undertakes the performance of them; and as God did elect and choose in Christ, so likewise he did choose them to believe and obey. “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” {I Pet.1:2} Yet God in the carrying on of the great design of salvation in the Gospel ministration proposes it to us on the terms he had in his Counsel concluded before time; namely, faith in Christ, obedience, perseverance, &c., and that because it is the duty of all the Lord’s people so to do, and those that do it not cannot expect the grace of the Covenant; yet notwithstanding all this, faith, obedience, perseverance, &c., is a branch of the New Covenant on God’s part to us, so that what he relates to us as duty and is presented on conditional terms, on God’s part is a branch and part of the Covenant. As for faith, this is included in the Covenant. “I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts;” {Heb.8:10;} and “the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live.” {Jn.5:25} The Law written in the heart is the Law of faith and love, and where this Law is, there will be persevering in a way of gospel obedience. Christ is said to be the Author and Finisher of our faith; {Heb.12:2;} if so, then undoubtedly the whole work is effected by Him, and indeed this is the life of true believers, that the Lord hath undertaken for them, and it is He that works in them to will and to do of his own good pleasure. {Phil.2:13} So that in a word, interest in the Covenant and in the Promises of life and glory are on such conditions or terms which God himself has engaged for his peoples performance of; he requires of them, and works to will and to do what he requires, and yet he that doth it not must be damned. Here is a mystery that confounds the carnal heart, and indeed is the height and depth of it, as it is a mystery to the saints; but we may rather cry out with the Apostle, “How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out;” then suppose to fathom this depth of God. Let the Lord’s people know their duty, and continue in the faith, and persevere to the end, looking up to the Lord, fetching supply of strength and grace from Christ daily, for they are “kept by the power of God,” but it is through faith; {I Pet.1:5;} and this golden truth so full of consolation to the truly godly, no whit derogates from their duty, or leaves an indifference of performance or of spirit in them, but truly engageth their souls to the Lord therein, and that upon the New Covenant account, not in the oldness of the Letter, but in the newness of the Spirit. Thomas Collier {Discourse of the True Gospel Blessedness in the New Covenant, 1659}

Old & New Covenant Distinctions: Question - Was not the Gospel and New Covenant in being in the time of the Old Covenant? Answer - Yea, doubtless it was, and there was never any saved with an everlasting salvation but by virtue of the New Covenant in Christ, for it was made and lay in promise, {Gen.3:15, 12:3,} and brought forth into an oath. {Gen.22:18} Yet the New and Old covenants were kept clearly distinct throughout all the time of that ministration, inasmuch that few of them in the Old understood the New. God made the New Covenant first with Abraham, {Gen.12:3,} but the Old came first into a ministration as an additional Covenant till the seed was come, to which the New was made. It is said, that Sarah and Hagar were an allegory of the two Covenants, {Gal.4:24,} for they were both in Abraham’s house at once, and the freewoman was there before the bond, but the bondwoman bare seed first. So it was in the Covenant; and the New Covenant was ministered through the Old, as it typed out Jesus Christ, and required righteousness and made promises, and virtually it was doubtless to the salvation of all God’s elect, for as the elect obtained it when Christ came, and the rest were blinded, {Rom.11,} so it was before in the typical Covenant they had Christ and the New Covenant held forth especially in types, in promises, and in prophecies. Question – Was not Jesus Christ the Mediator of the Covenant then, and could anyone be saved by a Covenant of which Jesus Christ was not the Mediator? Answer - Doubtless he was as to come, for so the Covenant though made, yet lay in Promise, and they were to look for the Seed {Christ} to whom the promise was made. And so the Covenant, Mediator and all, lay in promise, and they were saved by that Covenant, as Jesus Christ was considered to be the Mediator thereof. Hence they must have a typical Mediator, as well as Covenant in both to lead to a Covenant and Mediator; namely Christ to come. Question - Was the Covenant made with Christ only, or with him and all the elect; or are we to understand that the promises to Abraham and his seed, was to Christ personal or to Christ mystical; namely, Christ and all his mystical body? Answer - The Covenant was made first, and chiefly with Christ personally, as the Head of the body the Church, and in him, with all his body and every member thereof, {Is.59:21,} but especially, and primarily with Christ personally. So the Covenant and Promises to Abraham in his seed, was Christ personally, as he was the seed to whom the promises were made. “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ.” {Gal.3:16} The Covenant and Promises was to Christ, and indeed it would be improper to understand it otherwise; for the promise to Abraham’s seed, was, that “in thy seed shall all the nations be blessed.” {Gen.22:18} If we understand by seed in this place the seed mystical; namely, all the elect, then we must read it thus, that in Christ and all the elect the nations shall be blessed; then who will there be in the nations to be blessed by the seed thus understood, for the wicked, though they live a hundred years, yet they must be accursed. {Is.65:20} Therefore the seed is Christ, and the blessing by Him came forth to us Gentiles, and all nations; namely, all that believe in him are blessed, and none else. Hence it is said, “that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ,” {Gal.3:14;} that is, the blessing that God promised to Abraham should come on the nations {that is the Gentiles} in his seed; namely, in Jesus Christ, “that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” {Gal.3:14} It is further said that this Covenant was “confirmed before of God in Christ,” and therefore could not be disannulled by the Law; {vs.17;} namely, the Law or Covenant from Mount Sinai, could not prevent the coming fourth of Christ, and so make void the Covenant and Blessing promised to the nations in Christ the true seed, so that we are to distinguish {though not divide} between Christ the True Seed as the Head, and his body the Church as members. They are in Scripture called the seed, or children of Christ. {Is.59:21, Ps.22:30, 89:29,30} So that in a word the Covenant is made with Christ, and in him the blessing of the Covenant comes forth to all his people, and by faith they come to claim their interest in this Covenant of free and rich grace, wrought forth and brought to light in and by Jesus Christ in whom all the promises are yeah, and amen, to the praise and glory of God. {II Cor.1:20} Thomas Collier {Discourse of the True Gospel Blessedness in the New Covenant, 1659}

Posted April 2, 2013

{Writings of Thomas Collier}

Law and Gospel Distinctions: Believers are not without Law to God but under Law to Christ as given from Mount Zion, ministered forth in the hand of Christ, not in the hand of Moses, for if we take it from Moses, we must be the disciples of Moses; but if from Christ, as given forth on the Gospel account, then we are Christ’s disciples indeed, and receive it in power {from Christ himself, the Minister and Mediator thereof} to live to God according to it, not for righteousness unto justification, but Jesus Christ having fulfilled all its righteousness, having borne the curse for us. It is a rule of righteousness and conversation to the honor of Him that hath done all for us in point of justification to eternal life; and so it becomes a Law of love, a Royal Law of Liberty to all that are by faith in the New Covenant, and a Law to which every believer is in bounden duty to Jesus Christ, to own as his precious rule of life thereby to honor him by, as it is given forth by him in the Gospel and no otherwise. Thomas Collier {Discourse of the True Gospel Blessedness in the New Covenant, 1659}

Old & New Covenant Distinctions: Some may object and say, if the Covenant be of such power as you speak of, as to effect what it commands, whence then comes it that godly people should be ignorant of it, and what need is there to earnestly to exhort to the inquiring into it? Answer: The Covenant is free, and full of power, and effects what it requires, it is so in the first work of grace, and converting sinners. Hence it is that the Lord saith, “I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not, &.,” and “the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live.” {Jn.5:25} Yet, after God in the New Covenant hath communicated life to dead souls, he expects that they should know from whence their life comes, and seek him, and wait upon him in the way that he hath appointed, diligently inquiring after his will that they may know it, and do it. In Ezekiel chapter thirty six, God having in the former part of the chapter promised what great and good things he would do for his people according to the New Covenant, says in vs.37, “thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them.” “If thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.” {PV.2:3-5} Seeking is a great and special duty of saints in the new Covenant, and God will be found in this way of seeking and doing his will; yet notwithstanding the ignorance and miscarriage of the Lord’s people {those that are in the New Covenant indeed} shall not destroy and damn them, yet it may bring them under judgment and afflictions, and will prove their loss in the great day of account. “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged; but when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.” {I Cor.11:31,32} “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” {I Cor.3:11-15} So that notwithstanding the Covenant is a Sure Covenant to those that are in it, and full of power, yet it requires diligence and seeking in God’s way, and doing his will, without which God may let his own people miscarry, and in so doing they will be sure to suffer loss in the judgment although they may be saved. Thomas Collier {Discourse of the True Gospel Blessedness in the New Covenant, 1659}

Posted April 3, 2013

{Writings of Thomas Collier}

Old & New Covenant Distinctions: The Covenant then is God’s Engagement and Promise in Jesus Christ, in way of Covenant and Oath, freely to do for, work in, and give to his people all things that may tend to make them truly and eternally happy and blessed. To prove this to be the New and Gospel Covenant I must have recourse unto Genesis chapter 12:3, & chapter 22:18, where the Covenant is most lively stated, made to, and with Abraham in promise, as it was to be promulgated when the fullness of time was come; namely, “in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” God upon Abraham’s obedience {“because thou hast obeyed my voice” 22:18} in offering his Son Isaac {a lively type of Christ, the true Seed that was to be offered} brings up his Covenant into an oath, and swore to Abraham that he would perform it, that in thy seed shall all nations be blessed; that is, truly and eternally blessed. Hence it is that in the New Covenant the blessing is eternal life, not only life as in the old, but eternal life. And doubtless, there is no blessing spiritual or eternal that the saints are interested in, but it is the blessing of this Covenant, and as God freely gives blessedness in this Covenant, so he works all things in his people in order to do it, without which they could not be blessed; and that is evident in the promise of this Covenant. “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, &c.;” that is, I will work a willing mind in them, to do whatever I do require of them in order to their true and eternal blessedness. {Jer.31:31-33} This is the New Covenant that God in Christ {the true seed} hath interested all his people in. Hence it is said that God made this Covenant in Christ. {Gal.3:17} But second, I shall come to open the Covenant in its parts, that so by faith we may suck the sweetness of this honey, and feed upon the marrow and fatness of these New Covenant blessings in Christ; for I do believe that there is not one promise, I mean Gospel promise, to a Christian, but it is either a branch of, or is stated in or upon the New Covenant. The branches or parts of the New Covenant consist mainly, as hath been minded, in these three heads: 1. Doing for his people all things that might tend to make them truly and eternally happy and blessed in Christ. 2. Working in his people all things that might tend to make them truly and eternally happy and blessed in Christ. 3. Giving to his people all things that might tend to make them truly and eternally happy and blessed in Christ. What he hath done for his people on the New Covenant account, consist especially in these two things. 1. He loved them freely, and that while they were enemies; a wonderful mercy indeed! He loved them before they were, and so before they had any love to him. “But God, who is rich in mercy for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ.” {Eph.2:4,5} Note that God’s love was a great love to his people, even when they were dead in sin. Hence it is that God saith, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” {Jer.31:3} {Some may say this was spoken of old Israel, under the Old Covenant; but it is clear that God is discovering in chapter 30 & 31, what he will do for his elect by virtue of the New Covenant, which is not yet performed; and we may truly reason thus, that if God’s love were from everlasting to them in that Covenant, much more is it in the New Covenant; just as we may reason in this as the Apostle doth about the Old.} 2. He gave Jesus Christ freely for them, and this is a New Covenant mercy, Jesus Christ given for us. “Unto us a Son is given,” {Is.9:6,} and Jesus Christ is the gift of God, for and to his people. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” {Jn.3:16} Jesus Christ was not only a gift, but a great gift, a new Covenant gift, such a new Covenant gift, as without which the New Covenant could not have been established; for the Covenant is established in Him, and with Him, and by Him for us, and God having given Him for us. He hath freely given himself, his life, and blood for us, and that upon the New Covenant account, for his blood is the blood of that Covenant, and the Covenant is established in his blood. “For this is my blood of the New Testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” {Mt.26:28} “Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, this cup is the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” {Lk.22:20} “As Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us.” {Eph.5:2} “As Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” {Eph.5:25} This God hath done, and Christ hath done for the Church. “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” {Tit.2:14} And God having given us his Son, how shall he not with him freely give us all things? {Rom.8:32} Here is the exceeding riches of God’s grace to his sons and daughters, that he hath given his own only beloved Son for them, that they might have life through him; and this is the great grace of God in the New Covenant. God hath not only given Christ for his people, but he hath also wrought faith in them by the word, and so hath applied Christ to them. This is the rich grace of our God, and all upon the account of the New Covenant of Grace in Christ. For the word of the Gospel publisheth these glad tidings, and the Lord by that word worketh faith, which believeth and applieth the truth of the doctrine of the Gospel. For faith is the Law that God in the Covenant did promise to write in the hearts of his people. {Jer.31:32 compare with Rom.3:27} Hence it is that faith is said to be the gift of God. “Ye are saved by grace through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” {Eph.2:8} Thomas Collier {Discourse of the True Gospel Blessedness in the New Covenant, 1659}

Posted April 4, 2013

{Writings of Thomas Collier}

Old & New Covenant Distinctions: God hath greatly enriched this New Covenant with all blessings, and greatly enriched his people in this Covenant, for he hath with Christ given to them all things. First: Remission of sins; for this is to be preached and is freely given in the New Covenant. This is one special part of the Gospel, and branch of the Covenant of Grace, remission of sins by Jesus Christ. “That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations.” {Lk.24:47} And as it is to be preached in the name of Christ, so it is administered and applied to all true believers; and this is such grace that we do not only need it in our first conversion and work of grace, for the remission of sins that are past, {Rom.3:25,} but all the time we live here, as sin remains and cleaves to us, so we need remission, and in the New Covenant it is administered to us according to the tenor therein expressed. “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” {Heb.8:12} “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.” {I Jn.2:12} “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” {I Jn.1:9} In all which this blessing or blessed gift is clearly stated. “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.” {Rom.4:6,7} Secondly: Peace and Reconciliation with himself is another blessing of the New Covenant, which the Lord gives to all his people, and this peace is likewise first preached in the Doctrine of the Gospel. Hence it is that God saith, “I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD.” {Is.57:19} And Christ sent his disciples with the message of peace; {Lk.10:5;} and the Apostles came “preaching peace by Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all,” {Acts 10:36,} and this peace and reconciliation is applied and enjoyed by faith. “Now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ; for He is our peace.” {Eph.2:13,14} “Therefore being justified, by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” {Rom.5:1} Thirdly: The blessing of the Spirit is another blessing of the New Covenant, and truly included in that blessing promised to Abraham; for there is nothing that tends to make the saints truly and eternally blessed, but it must be included in that blessing promised to Abraham, without which persons could not be blessed; therefore this promise of the Spirit is reckoned as one of the blessings promised to Abraham, and not the least neither. “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} This is the great Gospel blessing and promise of Christ when he was to leave this world and go to the Father, that he would send the Holy Spirit the Comforter, which promise believers now have a share in. “As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and forever.” {Is.59:21} Therefore let the saints be encouraged to expect such a portion of his promised Spirit as may concur to the effecting of God’s Covenant. Fourthly: The adoption of sons by the same Spirit is another blessing of the New Covenant, for out of Christ men are strangers, enemies; but in Christ, friends, sons and daughters to the Lord God Almighty. Oh friends, here is a blessing and a blessed privilege the Lord hath given to his people in this New Covenant. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” {Jn.1:12,13} “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” {I Jn.3:1} “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” {Rom.8:17} Oh, learn to cherish this privilege and this interest in and relation to the Lord. Fifthly: An interest in great and precious promises, both of Grace and Glory. This the Lord gives in this Covenant to all his people. “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises &c.” {II Pet.1:4} Oh, the great and precious promises relating both to grace and glory, that God hath interested his people in, in this Covenant; every New Testament promise is a branch of the Covenant, and must be performed. Promises of pardoning, and purging, and supporting, and preserving grace; promises of the Kingdom and the Glory that is yet to come; this hath God promised in the New Covenant, and given his people an interest in, for the godly have the promises of this life, and of that which is to come. Oh, therefore let them learn to acquaint themselves more with the promises, and more to prize them, and to live by faith in the expectation of God’s faithfulness in performing of them, for they are his people’s portion until they come to enjoy the promised possession. Sixthly: Free access to the throne of Grace as sons and daughters in the name of Christ, a great and precious favor, too little prized and developed by the Lord’s people. God delights to have his children come to him, and call upon him in the spirit and faith of sons, for this is the Lord’s gift, and it is marvelous that he should admit such worthless worms to come to him with acceptance. Oh let us learn to prize it and improve upon it, for it is a New Covenant mercy, that which none can claim a right to but believers. It is their privilege, it is their duty, let them therefore know it, and be encouraged to come with boldness to the Throne of Grace. Never a carnal man in the world can claim a right to this as a New Covenant mercy. “But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?” {Ps.50:16} Let not the Lord’s people be found negligent in this work, nor undervaluing it as a low and legal thing; but know it is a high and precious privilege; be therefore faithful in the cultivation thereof. Seventhly: Outward comforts of this life are given in as New Covenant mercies, although the great promises on which the Covenant is established are spiritual and eternal, and not such on which the Old Covenant was established, yet the New Covenant is not altogether without the promises of this life. Godliness hath the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come; for your heavenly Father knoweth that you have need of these things, and all these things shall be added; {Mt.6:33, Lk.12:31;} namely, added in, with, and to the kingdom. It is true, our Lord hath not promised great things in this life to his people, but food and clothing; therefore having that which God hath promised, let us be therewith content, for we brought nothing with us into this world, and it is certain, that we shall carry nothing out; and let us learn to enjoy all our mercies, as handed to us in the New Covenant, upon the account of Christ, and improve all for God, not bestow it upon our lusts, but be faithful in answering God’s precious ends, in embracing such worthless worms in such an enriching Covenant as this is, in which both grace and glory are included. Thomas Collier {Discourse of the True Gospel Blessedness in the New Covenant, 1659}

Posted April 5, 2013

{Writings of Thomas Collier}

Covenant of Grace in Christ: It is a Free Covenant. Oh, the freeness of God’s love in this Covenant. This Covenant is free, either as relation to God the Author, or relating to man the receiver. First, relating to God, it was free, for his own Council and Purpose of Grace freely conceived it in Himself, and brought forth by, and of Himself. Such was the freeness of the love of God in this Covenant, that nothing could put a stop to Him, notwithstanding he foresaw what man would be and do; and yet this put no stop to the free coming forth of this Covenant, for all the parts of it are free. His doing for, working in, and giving to, are all free. Christ a free gift, so is the work of faith, “of his own will begat he us by the word of truth.” {Jas.1:18} So is the Kingdom and the Glory. “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” {Lk.12:32} Likewise, this Covenant is free in relation to man, there being nothing in us to procure it, neither of dessert or desire after it, which puts a very great luster and beauty in the Grace of the Covenant, that is extended to such worthless creatures, who not desiring their own good, but would rather have chosen the way of sin and death, than the way of righteousness and life, if mercy had not prevented. The Lord meets with poor souls in the way of mercy, when they are hastening headlong to Hell and Destruction. The Covenant of Grace is a powerful Covenant; for it effects what it requires in point of power; for it requires faith and gives power to believe; it requires obedience and gives power to obey &c. God in it and by it doth effect it, for God is the Power of this Covenant, as the grace of making, so the power of effecting belongs to God. Hence it is that the language of God is, {as hath been already minded, when he speaks of the work of conversion,} “I will take away the stony heart, and give them a heart of flesh, and will put my Spirit in them,” &c., and, “the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and live,” &c., and when he speaks of the state of saints in the Covenant, the Lord says, “I will keep them that none shall pluck them out of my hands,” “none shall be able to pluck them out of my Father’s hands,” and “I will put my fear in them, that they shall not depart away from me.” Thus it appears that the Covenant of Grace is a powerful Covenant. Oh, let the saints learn to live by faith more & more in the Gospel power and strength, which is able to keep them until that day. “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall; but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” {Is.40:29-31} The Covenant of Grace is a Holy Covenant. “To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant.” {Lk.1:72} And that not only in the matter of it, for so was the Old a Holy Covenant. “Wherefore the Law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good;” {Rom.7:12;} but this is holy as it effects and works holiness in those who are gathered into it, and this the other did not. But this is a holy Covenant, as it makes holy, as well as requires to be holy. “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” {I Thes.5:23} The God of peace sanctifieth in this Covenant. The Covenant of Grace is a gracious Covenant, a Covenant of Mercy, and a Covenant of Peace; hence it is that we call it a Covenant of Grace, because it is free, and effects what it requires, and pardons the defects of those that are in it. Hence it is, that God hath made known Himself to be a God of mercy indeed, a God pardoning iniquity, transgression and sin. Oh, my beloved friends, in whose hearts God hath written this Covenant, look up and be comforted. It is a Covenant of Grace, Mercy and Peace from God the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ. This Covenant is a rich Covenant. Oh, the riches of this Covenant for it is filled full of precious pearls, so that it greatly enriches those that are in it. “Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver. I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment; that I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.” {Pv.8:18-21} Here is a rich Covenant filled with riches and honor, better than gold and silver, because it speaks of spiritual and eternal riches, above and beyond the sight of carnal men. Oh, the blessed state of those that are in this Covenant, for they are greatly enriched in all spiritual wisdom and knowledge; they are interested in a Covenant filled with great and precious promises of grace and glory, an inheritance, a kingdom, an everlasting kingdom that shall never be taken from them. Here is riches indeed, riches of substance that will fill all the saints treasures. Remember this, for it is a rich Covenant indeed! “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” {Jas.2:5} This Covenant gives an interest in God and Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. {Col.2:3} Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath the heart of man conceived, what riches God hath prepared and will bestow upon those that love him. It is an everlasting Covenant, in the Council of God, for it was from everlasting, and in the execution of it, it shall be to everlasting. “Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” {Is.55:3} “And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.” {Jer.32:40} “He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure; for this is all my salvation, and all my desire.” {II Sam.23:5} This is a Covenant that shall never fail. It is said to be everlasting, because it shall endure forever in heaven, it shall stand to eternity; for if we might suppose any time when this Covenant might be broken, we might suppose a possibility of falling from God, even from the state of glory; but the ground of assurance for the saints eternal standing, and not falling after they come to the perfect glory is in this Everlasting Covenant, where the eternal blessedness is contained and promised to the saints; for God hath promised, and sworn that he will not lie to David; namely, to Christ in this Covenant. Thomas Collier {Discourse of the True Gospel Blessedness in the New Covenant, 1659}

Posted April 6, 2013

{Writings of Thomas Collier}

Quakers Anatomized: So likewise in what he saith about the Supper in the same book, making it to be the common eating at their own table, so understanding all the Ordinances of Christ, and laying of them aside as vile and contemptible; else what means their not only judging all except themselves to be carnal, publicans, &c., {and themselves Pharisees,} but themselves who are all spirit, life and power {if any will believe them,} yet they practice not any of the Ordinances of Christ; and others are too bad to believe in the Lord and obey him, and themselves too good in their own account; so that indeed it is the way to make an end of all faith and profession at once. But indeed we are bad, and vile, and wretched, and stand in need of the grace of God every hour; pardoning grace and supporting grace, and we account it our great privilege that God hath opened a way for such poor sinners as we are to look to him; for we believe that he hath made us accepted in the Beloved, and in Him {Christ} alone he doth accept our services and pardon our miscarriages; and we do not only live by grace now, but we hope for the mercy of God to eternal life in the Appearing and Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, &c., and in this grace we stand poor and needy in ourselves, and in this faith we wait in obedience to our Lord in his Ordinances, rejoicing that he hath accepted of such poor ones as we are to honor him in the profession of his Name; and in this faith and profession I am confident God will keep a remnant to his Kingdom and Glory, notwithstanding all the rage of devils, Quakers and men. Regarding a perfection in the flesh, thou nameth Job and several others whom God witnessed that they were perfect. {Job 1:8 …} They were indeed perfect; that is, sincere, upright, walking with God in their generation, {Gen.6:9,} but sensible of sin; not boasting like you Quakers.  “Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth;” {Job 40:4;} after the Lord had said that he was a perfect man. As for the rest of his rallying nonsense, I pass it by and make no question but that God hath made him manifest before men and angels, and all that do indeed quake and tremble at the Word of the Lord will quake and tremble at the delusions of those poor blind deluded people, as they are deceiving being deceived. I know the letter of the Scripture is the rule of saints, and the Spirit the guide to that rule; I know that the Gospel is the ministration of the Spirit; yet not without the letter, but in and according to it. I do indeed own perfection by faith in Jesus Christ, and personal perfection I believe and wait for at the appearing of Jesus Christ; let Pharisees and Hypocrites boast of it before they have it, they shall be found naked in that needful day. Thomas Collier {Looking Glass for the Quakers, 1657}

Posted April 7, 2013

{Selection of the Week}

Behold the Lamb of God: I will now proceed to the consideration of the Scripture in hand: “Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world.” {Jn.1:29} By ‘them’ here they {Arminians} understand all persons, all men and women from first to last. Before I come to give the true and natural meaning of this Scripture, I shall first show one or two Reasons from the words themselves to clear them from their corrupt sense which they put on them. The first reason is taken from the consideration of these words ‘takes away.’ He takes away the sin of the world. The words are exceeding clear, and full, and of great force, for he doth not say, ‘Tis probable, or it is possible, he takes them away; but he takes them away; that is, he certainly, absolutely, solely, freely, perfectly, powerfully, and forever takes them away; and I am confident that the words ‘take away,’ ‘taken away,’ and ‘takes away,’ when they are spoken of things done or to be done, do always signify in Scripture a perfect, powerful, absolute and complete removal or taking away of things; so that the things do not remain any more. I would give many Scriptures to prove this; but I will content myself with a few, which I desire may be well noted: “Thine iniquity is taken away.” {Is.6:7} “For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” {Rom.11:27} “He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.” {Heb.10:9} “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins.” {I Jn.3:5} So that in the Scripture Language to take away a thing, it is powerfully, thoroughly, perfectly, and forever to take it away, so to remove it as that it come not into remembrance any more. And therefore the reason why there was a remembrance of sins once every year under the sacrifices of the Law was because those sacrifices could not take away sin; {Heb.10:3,4;} implying, that if their sins had been taken away by those sacrifices, then they should never have been remembered any more. Therefore I conclude, that when John saith, the Lamb of God, he taketh away sins; we are to understand that he removes them, or takes them away as effectual to the complete perfection and salvation of those from whom he takes them away; so as they shall never come into remembrance against them anymore. Agreeable with that of David, “as far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” {Ps.103:12} And this will be further manifest, if we consider what it is to take away sin. Now to take away sin, in the Scripture sense, is to take away the merit, wages, power, dominion, lordship, and strength of sin; so as neither the one or the other shall ever return again anymore; and therefore when it is said, “this is my Covenant with them, when I shall take away their sins;” {Rom.11:27;} he saith in the former verse, “there shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” And indeed, this is the Office and Power of this Deliverer, to take away sins and ungodliness in all respects; not only in respect of merit and wages, but of strength and lordship also; so that them who have their sins taken away, they have the merit and wages of their sins taken away; they have their ungodliness, disobedience, darkness, pride, and rebellion of heart taken away; and are enabled by the power of this Deliverer to turn unto Christ, and believe in him. And therefore repentance and remission of sins always goes together in Scripture, either expressed or understood. Neither do I read that the sins of any are said to be remitted, but such to whom the Lord gives repentance also, enabling of them to return and believe in Him. Not that repentance is a condition of remission; but to teach us, that these two are never separated, but are given together {as being linked within another} by this Lord God, this Deliverer, this Priest, this Savior, who gives repentance unto Israel, and remission of sins. I say further, that he so takes away sin, both the merit, strength, lordship and power of it, as that neither the one nor the other shall again be put upon those or any of those to whom it was taken away. This is the meaning of that place of John, in his first Epistle, {3:5,} “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” And so I have in part declared what means to take away sin; and this will be further minded if we consider in the second place, who it is that John saith takes away sin; namely, the Lamb of God, the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world; that is, the Son of God, in giving himself a sacrifice to God for the sins of the world, doth by the price, power, and virtue of that Sacrifice, fully, perfectly, and forever take away their sins. And so he answers most fully, perfectly, and superabundantly unto those lambs slain, and other sacrifices under the first Covenant, which did carnally, and as figures for the time present, take away the sins of the people. {Read Lev.4:32 to latter end; and chapter 5:6} And indeed this Lamb of God, by the price & power of his bloodshed, doth perfectly, powerfully, and forever take away sins; for he thereby hath wrought & obtained a most perfect, full, and eternal redemption. “For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” {Heb.10:14} Neither do I know that he hath obtained any other redemption {in this sense we have now in hand} but that which is perfect and eternal. And thus the Lamb of God takes away the sin of the world. And if any shall make scruple at the word ‘sin,’ because it is here expressed ‘sin’ {in the singular number} and not ‘sins;’ let them consider, that it is usual in the Scripture indifferently to put the one for the other; as is evident by comparing Isaiah 53:6 with I Peter 2:24; for that which Isaiah called ‘iniquity,’ in the singular number, Peter called ‘iniquities,’ or ‘sins’ in the plural number. And again, by comparing Isaiah 59:20 with Romans 11:27 for that which Isaiah called ‘transgression,’ Paul called ‘transgressions.’ Therefore, though John expressed it {sin} here in the singular number, yet is it most certain that under this word ‘sin,’ he included all sins of all degrees at all times. Now from all that I have said, we are thus to understand these words. The Lamb of God by the price and power of his blood-shed doth perfectly, powerfully, and forever take away the sins of the world. Now how this doth agree to all persons, or to every man in the world, I leave to the consideration of the understanding Reader, who I doubt not, will weigh these things together which I have declared, for the clearing of this Scripture from that corrupt sense which they {Arminians} put upon it. And having thus far opened these words, I shall now come to the true and natural meaning of them. By the ‘world’ in this place, we are to understand the nations of the Gentile Church. And they are therefore called the world, because until the manifestation of the death of the Lamb of God, they were shut out from all privileges, they were far off, they were the wild olive tree, a forlorn and hopeless people; and thus they stood in opposition to the Jewish Church. The nation of the Jews were the Church of God and the Gentiles were the world; the Jews were the Circumcision, the Gentiles were the Heathen, or the uncircumcision; the Jews were nigh, in respect of many excellent laws, and glorious privileges, and the Gentiles were far off, as being without privileges; the Jews were the natural branches, and the Gentiles were the wild Olive tree; the Jews did enjoy Christ and God, in respect of many glorious Ordinances, Sacrifices and Offerings, {which in their time were glorious} as many figures and shadows of Jesus Christ, and the Gentiles were without Christ, having no hope, and without God in the world; the Jews were the people of God and his peculiar treasure in respect of an outward covenant, and the Gentiles were not the people of God. In these and the like respects, the Gentiles are called the World. And for the World this Lamb of God is now manifest, ready to be slain to take away their sins; and therefore the Lamb of God stands here in opposition by way of power and excellency to all other lambs. The lambs slain under the Law, which are shadows of Christ, extended no further than the Jewish nation who were the Church of God; the Gentiles, who were the world, had no share in them; but this Lamb of God, by the price and power of his blood-shed, takes away the sins even of the world. O glorious mystery! Here is a Lamb indeed, a Lamb by way of eminency; the Lamb of God which redeems this uncircumcised world, this world without Christ, without God, without hope, without privileges, without law, without ordinances. And therefore John sets him out in this place with a note of attention and admiration, “Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world.” And thus Jesus Christ the Righteous is the Propitiation, Reconciliation, or Redemption for the full and perfect remission of the sins of the whole world. Mind it well, and admire at it. This indeed is that glorious mystery which is so much spoken of throughout the Scripture; namely, that the Gentiles, ‘the world,’ should obtain remission of sins, and salvation by the death of Christ. {Eph.2:11 - 17 & 3:5 – 8, I Tim.3:16, Is.11:10 & 42:1 – 6, Jer.16:19, Mal.1:11, Mt.4:15 & 12:21, Lk.2:32, Acts 28:18, Rom.15:8 – 12, Gal.3:13,14} And this is that which the Jews so much stumbled at, and was so much enraged at; namely, that the Gentiles, the ‘world,’ the uncircumcision, the heathen, a people without privileges, without Laws and Ordinances, should be accounted the people of God, and obtain remission of sins, and salvation by Jesus Christ. {Acts 22:21-23, I Thes.2:14-16} Robert Garner {Mysteries Unveiled; wherein the Doctrine of Redemption by Jesus Christ, flowing from the glorious Grace, and everlasting Love of God, the very fountain of Life and Salvation unto lost Sinners is Handled, 1646}

Posted April 8, 2013

{Writings of Thomas Collier}

Covenant of Grace in Christ: The house of Israel must be understood as the elect in Christ, considered in God’s Eternal Council and Purpose, to whom the Promise and Covenant did indeed belong, the chosen of God in Christ before the world was, whether Jew or Gentile. Of the Jew consider and compare the Scripture, and it will appear that although God hath made many promises unto the natural seed of Abraham to do them good, and they are all branches of this Covenant, yet they are to them not as natural, but spiritual, even the elect of God. Therefore not general to all the seed, but to a remnant whom the Lord shall call. “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered; for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.” {Joel.2:32} “A remnant shall be saved;” {Rom.9:27;} and chapter 11, verse 5 explains this remnant: “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” So that there is a remnant at this present time according to the election of grace, and this “election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” {vs.7} In a word the Covenant is made to the elect in Christ, and effected in and with believers, whether Jew or Gentile, which is with whom the Covenant is established, and that is with Jesus Christ, and in him with all the elect, and by him, established for the elect, and accomplished in and with them in his times. It is with the Jesus Christ as the Head, he being the foundation of God’s election and choice. “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him; he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles;” {Is.42:1} “the firstborn among many brethren;” {Rom.8:29;} “that in all things he might have the preeminence.” {Col.1:18} That this Covenant was first made with Christ is clear from the Scripture. If we take it as given to Abraham the Covenant was with his seed personally; that is, Christ, as hath been before proved. “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ;” {Gal.3:16;} so that the Covenant is clearly stated to and with Jesus Christ, and is with and in him; hence it is that the Apostle saith, “that all the promises are in Him yea and amen, &c.” {II Cor.1:20} Now all the promises are branches of the Covenant, and the Covenant being with and in him, all the promises must be in Him, and in Him sure, yea, and amen, to the praise and glory of God. And further, if we consider David as personating Christ, the Covenant was with him. God hath sworn by his Holiness that he will not lie to David, {Ps.89:35;} namely, to Christ, but his Covenant shall stand fast forever. So that Christ stands Head in this Covenant to his body the Church; and as this Covenant is made with Christ, it is in the behalf of all the elect. Christ hath covenanted here in behalf of all the elect for: 1. Bringing in; 2. Preservation; 3. Giving the kingdom and glory. For bringing in: “All that the Father hath given me, shall come to me.” {Jn.6:37} Note, here is a giving before coming, which occasions coming, they shall come, a giving before believing. And it is a giving by Covenant, as is clearly expressed; “for I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me; and this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” {Jn.6:38,39} Here is the Father’s will, and Christ came to do it, so that here is Christ’s will, and the Covenant and Agreement between the Father and the Son, and that before Christ came down from heaven. “For I came down from heaven,” saith Christ, “to do the will of Him that sent me.” The Father purposed the work and the terms on which it must be undertaken; Christ receives it, and undertakes it. The first part of it is to bring in all that the Father hath given him, “they shall come to me,” saith Christ. Objection: All are given to Christ. Assertion: It is true that all are given to him, but to differing ends. “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” {Ps.2:8} But the gift we are speaking of is a gift by Covenant, in a way of grace, so that only a remnant are given to Christ, and these shall come to him. “Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice.” {Jn.10:16} That is his elect among the Gentiles; yea all that Christ was to bring to God from among the Gentiles are here included, and they were his sheep before they were born, and before conversion. How his, but by gift, in a way of Covenant; and Christ must bring them in; and why, but to answer the Covenant on this behalf. Secondly: For preservation; “and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.” {Jn.10:28,29} They are in the Son’s hand by way of Gift and Covenant, in the Father’s hand in way of power, the power of the Father, and the Son being one and the same in working; therefore the Father worketh, and the Son worketh. Christ holdeth them fast, and the Father holdeth them fast, who is greater than all, and his greatness is manifest in the Son. It is the Father’s will that Christ should lose nothing of all that he had given him, but that he should raise it up, and make it good at the last day, and this is Christ’s will still, and this is the essence of the Covenant of Grace. {Jn.6:39} Thirdly; for the donation and giving of the Kingdom and the Glory, this Christ hath undertaken. “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” {Jn.17:2} This is the Father’s will in the Covenant, and Christ receives it; for it is his will too, and so Christ comes into the world about the work and establishment of this Covenant for the elect, that they might be brought into it, and have their share in it, in his times. And this is the truth we are upon, that Christ hath established this Covenant for his elect, and doth manifest it to them in his times in the work of faith, and now the Covenant is said to be made with them for two reasons: 1. Because now they give consent to it, and resign up themselves to the Lord in what he hath done for them; and believe the Grace and the Covenant of Grace; for now is their acceptation of what Christ hath done, and justifying him in the work, together with their resignation of themselves unto Him as their Head and Lord, in this Blessed and Holy Covenant. 2. They come now to claim a right in the Covenant, which before they could not do, though God and Christ had a special right in them, yet they could claim no right by Covenant in the Father and in the Son, before or without believing, and this is Christ’s work, to work faith in all his elect, for he is the Author and Finisher thereof. Thomas Collier {Discourse of the True Gospel Blessedness in the New Covenant, 1659}

Posted April 9, 2013

{Writings of Thomas Collier}

Covenant of Grace in Christ: Here is a strong ground of consolation for all true believers, Jesus Christ hath taken away the First, the Old, and established the Second, the New Covenant of Grace and Peace. Here lies the grace, the love, the peace, the glory and all blessedness in this Covenant, and “it is sure to all the seed,” and God hath made it to the end that it might be sure, and the comers thereunto 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, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us; which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus.” {Heb.6:17-20} This is a Covenant in which it is “impossible for God to lie;” for he hath covenanted and sworn to it, that we might have strong consolation therein. Oh therefore my beloved friends, I speak to you that are interested in this Sure and Everlasting Covenant of Grace, let it be your work to be much in the meditation and consideration of the grace, the love, the glory of this Covenant; for all true believers may truly say with the Apostle, “so then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.” {Gal.4:31} Not of the Covenant from Mount Sinai which gendereth to bondage, but of the Covenant from mount Zion which is free, which is the mother of us all. Let it be therefore your pursuit by faith and hope and meditation about the grace and glory of this Covenant to suck the sweetness, and feed on the marrow and fatness that is freely from the Father given to you in Christ Jesus. I am persuaded, nay, I am very much assured, that the Lord’s poor people very often go without the comfort of the Covenant of the Grace of the Gospel, for want of feeding their souls thereon. There is bread enough in the Father’s house, but there wants a will, or skill to feed thereupon. Either want of sight of its worth, or an appetite to it, or else a supposition of unfitness and unworthiness, occasions many a soul truly interested in the grace of the Covenant to rest short of a right improvement of their interest there, and so lose the comfort and sweetness they might otherwise enjoy. Here is a ground for, and matter of consolation in all conditions, under all temptations, all sins and infirmities. If it be sense of weakness, and fear of holding out to the end, here is all the attributes of God himself engaged for thy support, the promise is {resides} in Christ, thou shalt be blessed. See the great and precious promises of the New Covenant to this purpose: Jer.32:40, Is.40:28-31, 41:10, 43:1,2, Heb.13:5. These with many more are the promises of the new Covenant. If it be reproach and persecution for the name of Christ, or poverty, or any affliction whatsoever, here is peace and spiritual contentment, and assured promises of the Kingdom and the Glory in the end. “If so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” {Rom.8:17} “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” {II Cor.4:17,18} And that your souls may live upon the goodness of God in this Covenant of Grace, let it be your care to make much of the Scripture, in which the Covenant is stated and held forth; and acquaint yourselves with the promises of the Covenant, which are all but branches thereof, and they are suitable to all estates, and will afford assured comfort to thy soul if rightly and suitably applied {by the Spirit of Christ.} And in the promises of the Covenant, if faith be rightly set on work, thou wilt gather in all the Attributes of God for thy comfort, goodness and love in engaging himself, and interesting thee in such a Covenant; power, wisdom, faithfulness and justice in performing. Oh here is a stable and sure Covenant; for saints may draw stable and sure consolation to their own souls therein; yet notwithstanding they may say with David, “although my house be not so with God, yet he hath made with me an everlasting Covenant;” {II Sam.23:5;} although I am weak and frail and in my flesh dwelleth no good thing, and I have cause to loath myself in mine own eyes, yet God hath made with me, {or rather with Christ for me,} a sure Covenant. But some may say, here is a ground of strong consolation indeed for those that are interested in it, and have a right unto it, but how may I know that I have a right to this Covenant, that I may improve it to my comfort. Answer: Notwithstanding that God and Christ hath an interest in persons, and that by virtue of this Covenant, before they believe, yet we cannot claim any interest or right before and without faith; therefore we may truly say as the prophet, “by this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.” {Ps.41:11} So I say, we come to know our interest in the Covenant by the work he hath wrought in us, therefore hath the Lord wrought the work of faith and hope in God through Jesus Christ, and this attended with self-loathing, and a sense of spiritual poverty, and adhering to, and depending upon the rich grace of God in Christ crucified, and this attended with a true desire and endeavor of living to God and answering of his goodness. I say, if this Law of God be thus written by the Spirit in your hearts, you may comfortably conclude your interest in the Covenant; for I say, you must come to conclude your interest in the Covenant, from the work of the Spirit in you which answers the terms of the Covenant, and holds harmony to what God hath promised in the Covenant. I say not, that this work within is the ground of our being in the Covenant, nor the cause, nor the ground of our faith, but a demonstration of our interest therein, for all is grounded upon the free and everlasting love of God in Christ; who hath and doth work his people into a capacity thereof. Therefore remember this, that God’s goodness and absoluteness in the Covenant, no whit diminishes the saints duty, but rather supports and engages thereunto. Thomas Collier {Discourse of the True Gospel Blessedness in the New Covenant, 1659}

Posted April 10, 2013

{Writings of Thomas Collier}

Christ the Mediator of the New Covenant: What a Mediator is - the word ‘Mediator’ signifies a middle person, or one between. It’s taken from an umpire or middle person that is chosen between two at difference, to make up the breach between them; and this is what I understand that Job intends in his complaint. “Neither is there any daysman betwixt us that might lay his hand upon us both.” {Job 9:33} Under his affliction he saw the want of such a one, between God and him, and doubtless he relates to Christ, being low in his faith in this matter, under his pressing affliction. But now Jesus Christ is the daysman, the middle person, that is come between God and his people, which is the second particular proposed; namely, to prove that Jesus Christ is the middle person between God and man, or the Mediator of the New Covenant. For proof, see not only the text which is full and clear, {“and to Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant,” Heb.10:24;} but likewise, {8:6,} where Christ is said to be “the Mediator of a better Covenant;” that is, of the New Covenant which is established upon better promises, &c.; “and for this cause he is the Mediator of the New Testament, &c.,” {9:15,} “for there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” {I Tim.2:5} Thus you see the truth lieth clear; that Jesus Christ is the Mediator of the New Covenant, a truth of very great and special concernment for the Lord’s people to be acquainted with, and established in; it being the enemy’s design and great endeavor to ruin faith in this truth, and he hath gone very far in the work with many at this day. Next, note the persons for whom he is a Mediator, and the matter for what, and that not only, generally for men, “for there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” but secondly, and more particularly, and especially he is a Mediator of the New Covenant; so that then he is a Mediator for those included in the Covenant, between the Father and Christ. I have before showed that the Covenant is made with Christ, and in him, with, and for all his elect, and the chosen of the Father, so that he mediates for, and in behalf of those given to him by the Father, in order to the work of conversion, and coming in to own the grace of the Covenant. My beloved friends, I do believe, that there is never a sinner converted from the evil of his way, but it is by virtue of the Mediatorship of Jesus Christ at the right hand of God. Christ saith, “except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God;” {Jn.3:3;} so the word ‘born again’ in the Greek signifies “from above,” and we read, that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights.” {James 1:17} And truly the work of conversion and faith in Christ is a good work. Therefore it is added, “of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.” {vs.18} It is such a gift as he that hath it not must be damned. It is a fruit of the Spirit, that is the earnest of our inheritance, the evidence of things not seen. I suppose that none of spiritual understanding and conscience dare deny but that all good is by virtue of Christ. God gives it by him, and that in a way of Mediatorship. It is true, some there are who are so bold as to deny faith and conversion to be the gift of God, that they would have to be beaten out of their own brains; but as it is a gift from heaven, so it is by virtue of Christ being there. To deny this is to deny salvation by Jesus Christ; for if faith and salvation be not by virtue of Christ, his Mediatorship with the Father, then salvation may be obtained without a Mediator, and this absolutely destroys the Gospel and salvation by Jesus Christ. But the new birth is a heavenly birth; that is, a birth from above. Hence it is the Apostle saith, “Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all;” {Gal.4:26;} and speaking prophetically of the New Covenant, and of Jerusalem that city which is above, and the flowing in of the Gentiles, saith, “of Zion it shall be said, this and that man was born in her;” {Ps.87:5;} that is, Jerusalem which is above; from thence is the work wrought, thence is the Spirit given. “If I go away {saith Christ} I will send the Spirit and he will convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.” {Jn.16:7,8} It is the work of the Spirit to convince of sin, &c.; that is, to effect by the doctrine of the Gospel, the whole work of conversion; and the sending of the Spirit is a fruit of Christ’s Mediatorship. “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” {Jn.16:7} “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.” {Jn.14:16} The Mediatorship of Christ, and the doctrine of the Gospel concurs together, and the Spirit, that is a fruit of Christ Mediatorship, as well as the doctrine of salvation, and is given to conversion, in the preaching of the doctrine of the Gospel. “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” {Gal.3:2} So that it is evident that Jesus Christ is the Mediator of the New Covenant in the behalf of unconverted ones, for their conversion and work of faith, that they might come to know the grace given to them in Christ, and so come to receive the grace prepared for them. Christ is a Mediator for all his people, believers to whom the Covenant is revealed, or made known, he is with the Father for them. He is between God and man; namely, his people. That is it the Apostle saith, “and if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, &c.” {I Jn.2:1} Christ is now in the presence of God for us; that is, for his people, believers, for when they sin he is their Mediator and Advocate. Question: But what does he mediate for, for his people? Answer: In brief; he is all to his Father for his people, and brings down all good from the Father to his people; he makes both the persons and services of his people acceptable with the Father, and makes the Father’s goodness, and will, acceptable to and with his people. This is the sum of all, from whence every branch flows. But more particularly, as he mediates to the Father for his people; so he presents their persons and makes them accepted, though they are poor and wretched in themselves; yet, to the Father they are lovely in his Son. “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved” - Christ. {Eph.1:6}  A word of singular consolation for poor saints, who live in the sight and sense of their own poverty. “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” {Mt.3:17} God is not only well pleased with Christ, but he is well pleased in Him with all his poor people, and that is it Christ saith, “blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” {Mt.5:3} Jesus Christ is a Mediator for such, and they are made accepted in Him. Thus through the Mediatorship of Christ the persons of his people are accepted of the Father, and so they stand in an acceptable justified state with God. Their services are by virtue of the Mediatorship of Christ accepted with God; for he is not only well pleased with their persons, but he is likewise well pleased with their services, their obedience in every duty done in faith according to his will, and their praises and prayers, that is made acceptable with the Father by Jesus Christ, for it is Christ that bears the “iniquity of their holy things,” obtaining the pardon of all their defects; for he mixes much incense with their prayers, or adds it to their prayers, {Rev.8:3,4,} even the incense of the precious worth of his death and suffering, being offered up in his Mediatorship a sweet smelling savor to God. {Eph.5:2} Thus the services of the saints are presented to God acceptable by Jesus Christ. Oh then let the saints learn to know where and in whom their acceptation is, not in themselves, but in another, even in Jesus Christ who is with the Father for them. Thomas Collier {Discourse of the True Gospel Blessedness in the New Covenant, 1659}

Posted April 11, 2013

{Writings of Thomas Collier}

Christ the Mediator of the New Covenant: Christ doth not only make the services of saints acceptable, but he himself who knows their wants better than they, presents their wants for them, which I shall more distinctly speak unto, when I come to show you the manner how he mediates for his people. And as he is all to the Father for his people; so, he is all from the Father to his people; that is, he mediates for, and brings down all from the Father to his people. He mediates for the Spirit; and the Holy Spirit is the fruit of Christ Mediatorship, a special word to direct us to the right way of obtaining a greater measure of the Spirit of promise, for it must be by virtue of the Mediatorship of Christ, if ever we have it. “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth.” {Jn.14:16,17} “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.” {Jn.15:26} Mark it my friends; the Father will send the Holy Spirit, the Comforter in the name of Christ; in his Authority and by virtue of his Mediatorship. “It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” {Jn.16:7} The Father will send the Holy Spirit, &c., for he is said to proceed from the Father, but here Christ will send the Spirit, and what doth this teach us, but first, the unity of the Father and Son, in the work of sending the Holy Spirit. The Father, the Head and Fountain from whence he proceeds and is originally sent, the Son in way of Mediatorship by virtue of office, and so both Father and Son sends the Spirit. So likewise it is the same according to the Apostle who sets forth that when Christ “ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” {Eph.4:8} He ascended up on high, that he might do it; that is, by virtue of his Mediatorship; so that Jesus Christ brings down the Holy Spirit to his people. He mediates for, and brings down peace to his people from the God of peace, that so he may perform his legacy and promise when he went away. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” {Jn.14:27} “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” {Jn.16:33} And this he doth by sending down the Spirit of peace, working in the Gospel of peace. “Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” {II Cor.1:2} Peace comes from God and Christ, from God as the Father and Fountain of peace, from Christ the Mediator for peace. Christ mediates and brings down comfort and consolation for and to his people, according to his promise, “I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you;” {Jn.14:18;} and the way he comforts his people is by sending the Comforter the Holy Spirit, a fruit of his Mediatorship, to lead them into truth, and apply it to them for their comfort. Christ mediates and brings down the grace of sanctification for and to his people. It is the work of the Father to work a thorough sanctification in his people, that they may be holy in body and in spirit, and meet to possess their holy inheritance. Hence is that prayer of the Apostle; “and the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” {I Thes.5:23} Now Christ prays that his Father would do it. “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” {Jn.17:15-17} So that the Lord’s peoples sanctification and universal conformity to his mind and will is a blessed fruit and effect of the mediatorial office of Jesus Christ. Christ mediates for, and brings down the power and strength of, upholding and persevering grace, of performing duty, of overcoming sin and temptations, of holding on in the Lord’s way, and holding out unto the end, notwithstanding afflictions, tribulations and persecutions that the saints meet with because of the Word. The Lord Jesus mediates for the strength of grace. “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name; those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost.” {Jn.17:11,12} “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.” {Lk.22:31,32} Oh friends, look to God for supporting, sustaining, supplying and renewing grace to be given down unto you through the mediation of Jesus Christ; for it is by him your strength is renewed, continued and increased, whereby you run and are not weary, walk and are not faint. Christ mediates for and brings down the answers of all the saints prayers, and a supply of all their necessities. “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” {Jn.14:13} Christ will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; namely, the Father will glorify himself, in and by the Son, in giving answers to his people by Jesus Christ; “that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” {Jn.15:16} “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.” {Jn.16:23} “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” {Phil.4:19} Mark it my friends, God will supply the needs of his people, but it must be by Jesus Christ as he is the Mediator of the New Covenant. And finally, not to multiply anymore particulars of this nature in this place, Jesus Christ mediates for, and brings down to his people all the blessings of the New Covenant, of which he is the Mediator, for on that account it is that he is the Mediator of the Covenant, for the bringing down all the blessings of Grace and Glory that are contained in the Covenant, and that is as hath been before proved, all things which may tend to make them truly and eternally blessed; justifying, sanctifying, persevering, comforting and glorifying grace. Grace and Glory, and no good thing will he withhold from his people. Thomas Collier {Discourse of the True Gospel Blessedness in the New Covenant, 1659}

Posted April 12, 2013

{Writings of Thomas Collier}

Christ the Mediator of the New Covenant: We now come to the fourth particular proposed; namely, the place where Jesus Christ mediates for his people, and that is in heaven, whither he ascended when he was taken up. “And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” {Acts 1:10,11} A truth of special concernment for saints to be established in, for lose the place and lose the Person and Work, and all at once. A great cheat of the adversary at this day that persuades poor people of such a heaven and Christ within them, as to deny and gainsay Christ and heaven above, and pretend a supposition, that if Christ be personally in heaven, and by his Spirit in his people, it must necessarily make two Christs. But this is a truth, and it concerns all true believers that expect salvation by Jesus Christ, to believe and know that {according to the Scriptures} Jesus Christ is in heaven, at the right hand of God in the work of Mediatorship. “Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.” {I Pet.3:22} “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God.” {Heb.4:14} “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” {Heb.9:24} “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} Thus we see that it is clear from the word of truth, {which I believe above all the fancies of men on earth,} that Jesus Christ is in heaven, at the right hand of God in the great work of Mediatorship. He is said to be ascended far above all heavens; {Eph.4:10;} that is, above all the known heavens that are seen with the eye or understood in their motions, by the skill and art of natural wise men, called therefore the third heaven. {II Cor.12:2} “We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.” {Heb.8:1} And there it is he mediates, and thither let the saints look, and there let their hearts and affections be. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” {Col.3:1,2} Thomas Collier {Discourse of the True Gospel Blessedness in the New Covenant, 1659}

Christ the Mediator of the New Covenant: We now come to the fifth particular; namely, the way by which Christ hath established this Covenant, and that is by his blood. Oh friends in this undertaking of Jesus Christ for poor sinners, this Covenant must be by blood, for there must of necessity be the death of the Testator. Hence it is called a Covenant that is by blood. “As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.” {Zech.9:11} And the blood of Christ is called the blood of the Covenant. “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden underfoot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” {Heb.10:29} And Christ saith, “this cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” {Lk.22:20} And you will find that the blood of Christ; namely, Christ crucified, his body and blood broken and shed, hath its place in the whole work, for justification and remission of sins must be by the blood of Christ; reconciliation and peace must be through his blood; purging of the conscience must be by blood; redemption must be by his blood; Mediatorship, purchase of the kingdom, all by blood; therefore it is called the blood of the Everlasting Covenant. {Heb.13:20} And by the shedding of his blood hath he established this Covenant. Oh, learn hence to prize Christ crucified more and have a high esteem of the blood of Christ, and tremble in the thoughts of such horrid principles as tend to the trampling underfoot the blood of the Covenant, counting it an unholy thing. - Note that Christ mediates with his blood as he was a sacrifice, for when he was on earth, he offered up himself a sacrifice on the behalf of his people. He then performed the priestly work in offering himself, but having offered up himself a sacrifice, he is gone into heaven and makes good that sacrifice there. The high priest was a type of this in entering into the holy place, and that not without blood. Christ is entered with his own blood into heaven itself, there to appear in the presence of God for us. {Heb.9:23,24} And by his blood he mediates; that is clear by the words following: “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} The blood of Christ pleads for the Lord’s people, for it was shed for them, and therefore it pleads for them better things than that of Abel, Abel’s blood cried for vengeance, but the blood of Christ crieth for mercy for poor sinners, for the giving down the good things of the Covenant, for which it was shed. Thomas Collier {Discourse of the True Gospel Blessedness in the New Covenant, 1659}

Posted April 13, 2013

{Writings of Thomas Collier}

Christ the Mediator of the New Covenant: Christ mediates vocally in behalf of his people. He prays for them as a Son, as a High Priest, that is the Son of God consecrated for evermore. And that Christ doth so, will appear: 1. From Scripture; the words of Christ are full and plain in this matter. “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, &c.” {Jn.14:16} Here is Christ’s promise at his departure, that he will pray &c.; and this is further clear from chapter 16, verse 7; “If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you;” that is, I will pray the Father and he shall send him. The words of Christ, “I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you;” {Jn.16:26;} that is, I say not only that I will pray for you, but as a further ground of strong consolation, “the Father himself loveth you,” by which I’m sure to prevail in what I pray for, and this is evident, for he had promised it before; and I shall prove this from reasons grounded on the Scriptures. Reason 1. From his praying for them when he was in this world, in some sense more remote from the Father, and less exercised in the work of mediation, gives a strong and undoubted grounds to believe and conclude that now that he is ascended to the Father, and is in the work of mediation, he is much more exercised in that work of mediating by praying for them. Reason 2. From the nearness of relation, and that both to the Father and the saints, the only Son of the Father, and elder brother to the saints. “Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” {Jn.20:17} Now may we suppose that this only Son of God, so near to the saints, hath nothing to say to the Father in behalf of his poor people, now that he is in heaven with him, that had so much to say for them when here on earth? Christ’s intercession on the behalf of his elect also appears from the various titles given to the work of Christ in heaven, as an Advocate; that is, one to plead for us, an Intercessor. “If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” {I Jn.2:1} “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” {Heb.7:25} Which clearly demonstrates the truth, that Christ mediates in way of praying for the saints, and on these grounds, I do believe it, in a measure with joy. Christ is a tender and faithful Mediator, one that the saints may confide in, and trust with their cause. Men here on earth, may and often do choose such mediators or umpires, that they are much in doubt of their tenderness and faithfulness in the cause, but Jesus Christ is both tender and faithful to both parties in his mediation, for he will not, and he cannot be unfaithful to either. The one is his dear and Almighty Father; the other are his brethren, his children, flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone, &c. See both of these; namely, his tenderness and faithfulness, stated in one Scripture. “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” {Heb.2:17} “Who was faithful to him that appointed him.” {Heb.3:2} Christ is a powerful and prevailing Mediator, he accomplishes what he mediates for, as he was never denied by the Father of what he asked, nor fails in a tittle of all the good he undertakes to ask for his people. Hence Christ saith; “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me; and I knew that thou hearest me always.” {Jn.11:41,42} Great in power, able to give what he pleads for, and therefore doubtless he will do it. “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth,” {Mt.28:18;} saith Christ; and “the Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.” {Jn.3:35} He is great in favor with God, the only beloved Son of his bosom, and therefore must needs be a powerful and prevailing Mediator. He mediates by virtue of all his offices, King, Priest and Prophet, and therefore must needs obtain what he mediates for. Christ mediates, particularly and distinctly for all saints, and for all wants. For all his people, for he is no respecter of persons, he respects not the rich more than the poor. The poorest saints are as near and dear to him as the richest. He bears them all upon his heart before his Father. A blessed word of comfort it is for poor Christians, whether outwardly poor or spiritually poor. “Blessed are ye poor, for yours is the kingdom of heaven;” {Lk.6:20;} and, “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” {Js.2:5} Christ mediates for the particular ones of his people. He mediates knowingly, for he knows the wants of all his saints, and all their various temptations. He knows it first, as it is their case distinctly, and he knows it secondly, by experience, and therefore mediates suitable to their wants. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted {tested} like as we are, yet without sin.” {Heb.4:15} Christ is a constant Mediator with the Father for his people; for he doth not mediate for a time, and then have done, but he waits upon the work continually, for it is his office, and he is thereunto appointed by the Father. He is gone into heaven for that very end, now to appear in the presence of God for us. {Heb.9:24} My friends, Jesus Christ is not like unto a bad lawyer that will plead suitable to his fee, and it may be when he is most needed may be away about another business, or forget his clients; No, No, beloved friends, although he hath undertaken the cause of all the saints in the world, yet he will not forget one, nor be away while any business is past, for he waits on that very work. Thomas Collier {Discourse of the True Gospel Blessedness in the New Covenant, 1659}

Christ the Mediator of the New Covenant: The privileges and advantages that comes to the saints by the Mediatorship of Christ, and that is: 1. Acceptance, and through it boldness with the Father. Oh, my friends, believers may come with boldness to the throne of grace. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” {Heb.4:15,16} God hath given by Jesus Christ a liberty for a humble, holy boldness to his people. 2. An assured care taken for the well-being of saints. The Father hath taken care in appointing his Son to such a work; and Jesus Christ taketh care in the performance thereof. See both these in John 6:39; “And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand;” {Jn.10:27,28;} and this is accomplished by the Mediatorship of Jesus Christ. “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” {Rom.5:10} Note, we shall be saved by his life; that is, by his Mediatorship, for he ever lives to make intercession, and his ability to save is stated upon his ever living to make intercession. “But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” {Heb.7:24,25} 3. Everything that is good and best for them they shall have. Know Christians, that your Father, your Mediator, knows what is best for you, and you shall have all assuredly. Oh, that the saints did all believe this, how would it tend to quiet and comfort their hearts in all estates? How would they learn that lesson in all estates wherewith to be content? “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” {Phil.4:11} It is with the Lord’s people many times as it is with children, they would fain have their own wills, when it may be sometimes it would be to their hurt, but their Father knows best what is good for them, and therefore denies their will, and gives them what He will. So doth the Lord, the Mediator of the New Covenant, mediate for and give that which is best to his people, though it may be they murmur at it through weakness and ignorance; for it may be they desire health and he gives them sickness; they desire riches and he gives them poverty, &c. Why? Your Lord, your Mediator knows sickness to be best, and poverty to be best; therefore be content man, with what the Lord brings down. Paul prays thrice that the thorn in the flesh might be taken away or depart from him, &c., God answers him in that which was best for him, gives him another thing for the present, and that is strength of grace, to encounter with it, to resist and bear it until it should be removed. “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” {II Cor.12:8,9} And that was as good or better, than the sudden removal of the temptation, &c. 4. Advantage of the Mediatorship of Christ is the preparation of the kingdom and the glory for the saints. Christ is with the Father in heaven, not only mediating for present supplies and supports, and giving a present acceptation to the persons and prayers of the saints, but he is preparing the kingdom for them, that the Father giveth to them. “I go and prepare a place for you.” {Jn.14:2} Hark you, friends, Jesus Christ is gone to prepare a place for you, a heavenly, a glorious place, “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.” {I Pet.1:4} “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” {II Cor.5:1} And this is done by virtue of the Mediatorship of Christ, for it is purchased by virtue of his death. Hence it is called the purchased possession. {Eph.1:14} But it shall be prepared and given to them by virtue of the Mediatorship of Christ. “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.” {Jn.17:24} Thomas Collier {Discourse of the True Gospel Blessedness in the New Covenant, 1659}

Posted April 14, 2013

{Selection of the Week}

Efficacious Operations of the Spirit of God in Conversion: If there be such an exceeding greatness of power put forth upon the hearts and souls of God’s elect in conversion, as the scriptures do abundantly manifest, and as hath been declared; then we infer hence, very justly, that conversion is no such easy thing, nor so common as most persons count it to be. Some persons, yea, many, as I showed under the first head, mistake conversion and faith, and look upon reformation, and external holiness to be conversion; and that faith is no more, than an assent to this or some other doctrinal truth or proposition; whereas conversion work, is an internal change; as hath been shown. It begins in the heart, and ends in the life. There may be a reformation when there is no true, thorough conversion. There may be morality, a just, good, moral conversation between man and man; a religious conversation, a conscience made about performance of the duties of religion; and yet the heart unchanged. Who more zealous in religion than the Pharisees? Who more strict? Yea, some were in their conversations very exact. Saul for one, while in a state of unregeneracy, yea, as touching the righteousness of the law, as in the common notion of the Pharisee, blameless. He had as much to boast of and trust in, as to attainments in religion, as most men; yea, he ventures to say, I more than they; and yet {saith he} all this was short for he was but like a painted sepulchre. Conversion-work is not so easy and common as the generality of persons imagine; who think they want only to be told of their duties, and if they will attend, they may perform all that is told them; for this corrupt notion has got footing in the hearts of men, that God will require no more than they are able to perform; but I have shown, that the law of God requires more than the creature is able to give; for otherwise righteousness would be by the law, and Christ would have died in vain. The law calls for a clean heart; “O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness,” Jeremiah 9:14. And by the prophet Ezekiel, the law calls upon the sinner and saith, “turn yourselves and live ye; make you a new spirit and a new heart,” Ezekiel 18:31. These scriptures, I have shown, are the voice of God’s law, discovering that the law calls for internal purity; and that external sanctity will not satisfy its demands. Now, though these demands are made upon the creature, the creature, being fallen, is unable for the performance of them. Therefore, there is a covenant of free grace made between the Father and the Son on the behalf of the elect; in which God hath promised, that he will give a pure, new, and clean heart; that he will work a special saving change upon the soul; which promises would be useless and insignificant, if the creature could give himself this new heart; whatever thoughts men may have of their own power in a state of nature, they will find other things, if the Spirit of God comes to work effectually upon them. I have often compared the state of man by nature, with respect to his notion or ability, to a person in a fever, who thinks that he is stronger than other people; he tells them that he is well, and as strong as anybody, &c.; but alas; they that sit by him pity him; knowing that it all proceeds from the height of the distemper. Let but that be abated, and the man begins to feel a real weakness; he that was so strong that others could hardly hold him in his bed, cannot now so much as raise himself. When the Spirit of God comes to convince a sinner, he shows the soul its own weakness, and insufficiency. Now it is to be feared, there are but few among professors that have been made, from a felt experience of their own weakness, to cry out, “Turn me, and I shall be turned;” and but few to be found who are constant supplicants at the throne of grace, as David, saying, “create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me,” Psalm 51:10. Professors are many. Many have the lamp, but few the oil. How few among the heap of professors have known the effectual work of God upon their souls. Conversion is a great work; and among the many professors, it is to be feared, that sound true converts are but few. Secondly, if there be such an exceeding greatness of power, to be put forth upon the hearts of those who shall be converted, in order to turn them effectually; we may, without breach of charity, infer, that those who oppose and deny the power of the gospel are destitute of this work. Such men set themselves against the work of the Spirit; they cast contempt and reproach upon his person and office, and on the work of the Spirit of God upon the heart; being destitute of that Spirit, they blaspheme and reproach him. They who have seen an excellency in the person of Christ, and the need of him, as their alone Saviour, cannot speak slightly of him; and they who have also seen the need of a new heart and a new spirit, and that this is a special work of the Spirit of God in and upon the soul, cannot speak slightly of the Spirit and his operations. No person that ever knew what the new birth was, can ever speak slightly or reproachfully of the Holy Spirit, either with respect to his person, office, or operations; therefore it is an inference very just to say concerning these; they have a form of Godliness, but deny the power; they are destitute of the Spirit of God; they are like those Laodiceans, who conceited they were “rich, and full, and had need of nothing,” Revelation 3:17, whereas, indeed, they were “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” The worst was, they knew it not, and neither would they believe it. Thirdly if there be such an exceeding greatness of power put forth upon the hearts and souls of those who believe, then the Spirit of God, in his work and office, ought to be greatly prized and valued by those who have felt anything of his power and operations upon their souls. They ought also to have a high esteem for that ministry, for that gospel, and for that Spirit’s work and office, which others speak so slightly and reproachfully of. Those who never saw a beauty in, and need of Christ, may speak slightly of him; but can those who have seen the need of a Saviour, and have had him discovered to them so gloriously, as one full of grace and truth; can they, I say, disesteem him? Surely no! To you who believe, he is precious, while to others he is a stone of stumbling. So those who are ignorant of the Spirit’s work, may stigmatize him; but those who have felt his work upon their hearts, can they speak slightingly of the Spirit? Can they hear him reproached? No, surely. They love him, and value him above all. Those who have come under the Spirit’s work, it is their duty, in point of gratitude, to love and value him; to esteem his person and office, and all his operations and undertakings. But; fourthly, if there is such an exceeding greatness of power put forth upon the souls of those who believe; then we may infer hence, the need of the Spirit of God to accompany the ministry of the word. There is a generation of professors, who tell us in so many words’ that God hath made known his mind so plainly and clearly in the holy scriptures, as that any man who will attend to them, may read it, and know it; as there needs no more than a close application on our part; and this they do to decry the teachings of the Spirit; it is done to advance nature, and nature’s abilities, and to reproach them who profess to be under the Spirit’s teachings. Indeed, if there was no work of God put forth in conversion, then the word without the Spirit might do; but forasmuch as there must be a mighty power put forth upon them who believe, there must be the Holy Spirit. The Spirit and the word together make the gospel the power of God to salvation. There is a need of the Spirit, that so the Spirit and the word may go together; that wherever the gospel is received by any, it may be received not in word only; “for our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance,” 1 Thessalonians 1:5. Assurance here I do not take to be that which is personal; though that comes in the gospel and by the Holy Ghost; but that evidence and demonstration of the truths delivered; that they came with such power and authority, being backed by the Holy Spirit, upon the hearts of those who heard them, that they were assured these were the truths of God; that it was not enthusiasm; but that there was a reality in those truths, and they were agreeable to the mind of God. But what I would particularly take notice of is, that they received it not in word only; it is a sad thing to be left to a gospel only of words, though they are never so well put together; it will have no success; it may please the ear, but it will never reach the heart. “When ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of man, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe,” 1 Thessalonians 2. ver. 13. Here is the internal power which the Spirit of God, with the word, hath upon the soul. The word of man only reaches the ear. The word of man always supposes a power in the subject to perform what is called for, but the word of God doth not, for the Lord hath said, “Let there be light, and it was so;” but it could not be supposed that the creature could make itself; man cannot make the new creature; man can only use words, and recommend what he hath to say with close argument; but it must drop if a power do not accompany it. But the word of God is made effectual to conversion when the Spirit of God works with it. John Skepp {Divine Energy; or the Efficacious Operations of the Spirit of God upon the Soul of Man, in His Effectual Calling and Conversion, Stated, Proved, and Vindicated. 1722}

Posted April 15, 2013

{Brief Biographical info regarding John Skepp}

John Skepp {born in 1675} whose name has been brought into notice chiefly on account of his so-called adherence to those views referred to as Hyper Calvinism; or in other words, his faithfulness to Christ in his uncompromising {Christ enthroned} testimony to the sovereignty of God in salvation, and his refusal to give credence to the rank Arminianism that had infiltrated the churches of Christ in his day was originally a member of the Independent Church at Cambridge, under the care of Mr. Joseph Hussey. By the account of Mr. Hussey it appears that Mr. Skepp pressed himself into the ministry not only without, but against the consent both of his pastor, and of the church to which he belonged. In the Diary of Joseph Hussey we read this interesting entry regarding Skepp: “John Skepp, of Little Wilburn, Miller, rent himself off at last from the Church {in Cambridge} and turned Anabaptist preacher, yet as a lad was converted thoroughly to Christ under my Preaching, spake on soul-work clearly and was admitted into the Church with much Satisfaction; and after all this has repented of his sin and is returned, and Liberty given him to Preach as a gifted Brother at Wittelsea. And last of all is dismissed to be the Pastor of an Anabaptist Church in London.” After preaching at various places in the country, but without any settlement, he removed to London, and was chosen to succeed Mr. Crossley as pastor of the Particular Baptist Church at Curriers Hall, London. {This is the same congregation that John Brine would eventually pastor sometime around 1730.} It must have been some time prior to this that he embraced the distinguishing tenet of the Baptists. Though Mr. Skepp had not the advantage of a liberal education, yet, after he took to the ministry, by dint of great diligence and industry, he acquired a large share of knowledge in the languages in which the Sacred Scriptures were originally written, particularly the Hebrew, in which he took uncommon pains under the direction of a Jewish teacher; and he dipped pretty deeply into Rabbinical learning. This taste gave a peculiar cast to his character and method of preaching. Mr. Skepp was a very high ‘Calvinist,’ and carried those truths to the fullest extent of the Supralapsarian scheme. Some of his high-grace sentiments are published in a book, entitled, “The Divine Energy; or the Efficacious Operations of the Spirit of God in the soul of man, in his Effectual Calling and Conversion; stated, proved, and vindicated. Wherein the real weakness and insufficiency of moral suasion, without the super-addition of the exceeding greatness of God’s Power for Faith and Conversion to God, are fully evinced; being an antidote against the Pelagian Plague; by John Skepp, 1722.” This treatise was originally composed in the form of sermons, and delivered from the pulpit; but altered and new-modeled by the author for the press. It was not published, however, until after his death. In a dedication to his church, he gives the following account of their origin and establishment: “Your foundation, as to gospel order, was skillfully and successfully laid, in the very beginning of the troublesome times, by the indefatigable pains and care of that eminent servant and sufferer for Christ, Mr. Hanserd Knollys; and your walls were not only reared, but beautified, by the labors and success of that evangelic son of consolation, Mr. Robert Steed. These two were the chief master-builders, by whose blessed ministry you were built, and continued, upon the foundation of the Prophets and Apostles, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone.” Anne Dutton, {Letters on Spiritual Subjects, 1748} who left the church in Northampton to join that under Mr. Skepp, says in her Memoirs, regarding the ministry of Mr. Skepp. “Upon my fixation at London under the ministry of the late Mr. Skepp, I soon found the truth of this declaration of grace; for the waters of the sanctuary were indeed risen waters; which filled my soul with wonder and joy. I found the same doctrines of the Gospel, maintained and vindicated in the ministry of Mr. Skepp; but with an abundance of glory, life and power. His ministry was greatly blessed for my edification in the knowledge of Christ. Mr. Skepp was also a man of deep judgment, and added to this, he had quickness of thought, aptness of expression, suitable affection, and a most agreeable delivery, every way suited to engage the attention of an auditory; and the essence of all was that wonderful Power which attended his ministry, both for the quickening of the saints, and the conversion of sinners. He had a peculiar gift of opening the Scriptures, one text by another; which cast a great light upon the Sacred Oracles. He also delighted to set forth heavenly things by earthly, for his ministry abounded with similes; which, when aptly applied, do much illustrate the Truth, and help our dark minds to take it in. Under his ministry, I was as it were put to school, to learn again those truths in a greater light and glory, which I had some blessed knowledge of before; and the special blessing I received under it, was, the more abundant Life and Power of the Truths known. I found the Gospel, under his preaching, to be indeed, the ministration of the Spirit and Life; and the Word of God to be as a fire, melting my soul down. Oh the light and glory I saw, the life and heat I felt in the doctrines of the Gospel under the irradiating, enkindling influences of the Holy Ghost in his ministry. Prior to my removal to London, I had transient communion with the Church of Christ under his pastoral care; but after I had walked with them thus for some time, it was thought proper, my abode being fixed, that my communion should be so too, whereupon I requested my dismission from the Church of Christ at Northampton, to which I then related, to that with which I then walked; which being granted, I was received into full communion with this Church of Christ at London. My fellowship herewith was sweet; for the Lord dwelt in this Zion, for me, abundantly blessed her provision, and my poor soul was satisfied with gospel bread. He clothed also her minister with salvation; and, with her saints, my soul also did rejoice. O the glory of God that I saw in this House of His! In this garden of God I sat down under the shadow of my Beloved with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste; and the sweetness of Christ’s Grace-Fullness, his fruit as the Apple Tree, suited to my present necessity and capacity, and did quicken my appetite, and set my soul a longing for that happy day, when I should feast upon his glory fullness, as the Tree of Life in the midst of the paradise of God.” {Brief Account of the Gracious Dealings of God, with a Poor, Sinful, Unworthy Creature, in Three Parts, by Anne Dutton 1750} Dr. John Gill, who had a great esteem for the memory of Mr. Skepp, published a Second Edition of this book {Divine Energy} in 1731, and prefixed to it a recommendatory preface; in which he added the following regarding Skepp: “Mr. John Skepp was a man of singular talents and abilities; of very quick, strong, natural parts; of great diligence and industry in acquiring useful knowledge; a warm and lively Preacher of the Gospel; a zealous Defender of the special and peculiar doctrines of it; whose ministry was blessed to many souls, for the conversion of some, and for the edification of others.” Gill also divided the work into chapters, at the head of which he placed their contents, for the more easy reading, and better understanding it. Gill’s partiality to our author arose out of an intimacy formed with him in an early period of his ministry. {When John Gill was ordained to the pastorate on March 22, 1720, Skepp was one of the participating ministers. Mr. Skepp asked the usual questions to the candidate and also preached a charge to the Congregation from Hebrews 13:17} It was through his acquaintance with Mr. Skepp that he was encouraged to apply himself with diligence to oriental learning, in which he afterwards made so great a proficiency. Mr. Skepp dying within a year or two after Dr. Gill settled in London, he purchased most of his Hebrew and Rabbinical books, which were of great use to him in the prosecution of his own studies. Mr. Skepp's ministry at Curriers Hall was not of many years continuance. He died in the year 1721, when, as it is apprehended, he was not very far advanced in life. This brief biographical sketch was largely taken from Walter Wilson’s {History and Antiquities of Dissenting Churches, Vol.2, 1808} and interlaced with a few extracts from other sources. MPJ

Posted April 16, 2013

{Writings of Thomas Collier}

Christ the Mediator of the New Covenant: I come now to the reasons why the New Covenant, which is Free, Absolute, and altogether Glorious, must have Christ to be the Mediator thereof. Why it must be so: First because it was the Father’s Eternal Council and Will, that although the Fountain of love and all good was and is in God from all eternity, yet he never intended to bring it forth to the sons of men any other way, but by the Death and Mediatorship of Jesus Christ. Hence the Apostle saith, “Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you; who by him do believe in God.” {I Pet.1:21,22} It being so, there was a necessity that Christ should be the Mediator of this Covenant. This being the way ordained by the Father for the conveyance of grace and glory to his people, and the way for his people to come up to him. {Jn.14:6, Heb.10:19,20} So that here is a necessity for Christ to be the Mediator of the New Covenant. Likewise there was, and is a necessity in respect of the fall and miserable state of man by nature, and the weak and poor state of believers through the remainders of the corruption of nature, that without it there was no way of redemption from wrath, nor of standing and persevering, and no access to God, but alone, and by, and through this Mediator of the New Covenant. So that it appears here was a necessity for Christ to be the Mediator of the New Covenant; namely, for and in behalf of his people interested in the Covenant, for the giving forth of the good things of the Covenant unto them. Secondly; why it is so: Because he was thereunto appointed of God, and it is his Office and his Work to be mediating in behalf of his people, and therefore in it Christ answers the Father’s will and performs his office that he was appointed unto. Also, it is so, because Christ hath accepted of, and taken the office upon him, and undertaken too, for, and in the behalf of all his people. “Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God.” {Heb.10:9} Christ came to undertake the office and to do the work for those that could not do it themselves. Christ was appointed by the Father, and accepted of the office and work of Mediator; that so salvation might be sure to all the seed; that is the way of assurance that God hath given to his people, that Christ hath undertaken the work for them, and takes the care of them. He is become their good Shepherd and Bishop; namely, the overseer of their souls. He hath undertaken according to the Father’s will, to take the care of all the sheep, and to see that they do not perish, and he is enabled to do it by the very power of the Father, that he might be able to accomplish it, in order that salvation might be sure. “I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” {Is.55:3} Sure support and preservation from enemies, that they might be surely and safely kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. Thomas Collier {Discourse of the True Gospel Blessedness in the New Covenant, 1659}

Coming to Christ: What are we to understand by coming or being brought to Christ? To come to Christ is to believe in him. “He that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” {Jn.6:37} To come to Christ by faith, is to own him in all his offices, to look to him, and rest upon him for salvation, to come to him, as to the Mediator of the New Covenant, to come to him as your Lord and King, to submit to him in all things. To come to him so, as to expect all good from God by him, both in respect of grace and glory. Thus are believers come to Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant. Those that have come to Christ have seen a need of him, and a worth in him above all the world besides, they have left all for him, and do account their own righteousness as filthy rags, as dung and dross, all their own wisdom to be foolishness, and their own strength to be but weakness; they loath themselves in their own eyes, in the sight and sense of their own vileness, and they are made willing to have all in Christ, and to follow him, {apart from all their vanities and beloved lusts,} through all difficulties they meet withal. Oh; how few are there that are thus come to Jesus Christ, it is true the world is come to him in their own fancies and imaginations, but it is but a cheat and delusion. Thomas Collier {Discourse of the True Gospel Blessedness in the New Covenant, 1659}

Posted April 21, 2013

{Selection of the Week}

Knowledge of our Justification in Christ: In the treatment of the glorious and happy consequences of this gracious and powerful conquest {the conquest of grace;} which mighty grace hath made upon the hearts of God’s elect, in bringing them down from their innate pride and vainglory, which naturally fills their hearts, to the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ for life and salvation, without their own works, with a holy and humble willingness that Christ should be all in all in their salvation, and have all the praise and glory thereof, I would observe the following things, as the necessary result of their being made gracious and upright before God, in and through the blessed Lord Jesus Christ. First: A Conscious-Justification, or a sense of justifying love in and upon our own hearts. Justification is an act of Righteousness, wherein God accepteth the elect as righteous in his sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to them. It was a custom among the ancient Romans, in their courts of justice, to give to persons, who upon trial were found innocent, a white stone, as a token of their justification. This was their acquittance, because they were found not guilty. To this our Lord alludes, when speaking to the Church in Pergamos, for he saith, “I will give to such,” as do, by living principles, “overcome the world,” not only to eat of the hidden manna, but I will give him also a sense of his justification. “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” {Rev.2:17} I will pronounce the sentence of justification in his soul; and his conscience shall be the witness of it, which shall carry with it an evidence of its relation and union to me and my Father; and he shall know me with comfort by my name, “the Lord our Righteousness,” which none can know, but those that receive the sentence of justification into their own breasts. How miserably is this portion of sacred writ abused and mangled by the daubers of untempered mortar of our age, who are generally agreed to call this white stone of conscious justification, the stone of absolution or pardon, and so carry off the text from its genuine signification; for absolution or pardon supposes guilt, but justification does not. For those, who were found guilty amongst the Romans, had a black stone given to them, which was their sentence of condemnation, as being upon trial found guilty. I confess, that the pardon of sin is an inestimable blessing; yet it is not contained in the text under consideration. The Great God, then, does not justify persons, as sinners, but as righteous, in and for a righteousness which is not their own, but the Redeemer’s; so that the justified are perfectly righteous before God, or else he justifies the wicked, which is impossible. Objection: But God is said to justify the ungodly. {Rom.4:5} Answer: It is granted, that the elect are justified, while ungodly; but it does not therefore follow that they are justified as such. Indeed, the text serves gloriously to prove, that the elect, while in a state of ungodliness, are in a state of justification; but believers are nowhere in Scripture called by the terms of wicked, ungodly, &c. It is therefore evident, that the Great and Holy God is a Justifier of the elect, whilst in a state of sin and corruption; yet not for the sake of that sin and corruption, but for the sake of the Robe of Christ’s Righteousness, which he hath been pleased to impute to his people; for Christ is of God made unto them righteousness. {I Cor.1:30} Thus, it appears from this objection, and the text brought to prove it, that the justification of the elect, before faith, is a truth; and the doctrine itself is established. If I’m justified before faith, as it is plain that I am, why not as soon as Christ became my Surety. If we are justified alone by, and for the righteousness of Christ, it is a necessary consequence, that we are justified in the sight of God, not only before our faith, but before our open existence; yea, before the world began; or else the Righteousness of Christ had not a sufficient merit and virtue in itself to do the work, but needed the assistance of my faith to give it an additional value. This is to treat the Righteousness of Christ and his Sufferings as so many ciphers, which stand for nothing, till a figure come before them, to make them tell; so, till my faith precede what Christ hath done, it is all as nothing, but must wait the motion of my believing for all its glory. Now, the case is plain, that this way of going to work is no better {which I have already charged in this work upon Arminians and others} than a trampling underfoot the blood and righteousness of the Son of God, because they account them as things not holy enough to justify without faith. Let those that espouse such a notion consider the dangerous consequences attending them; for, notwithstanding all their pretended airs of sanctity, they will be found guilty of robbing the Redeemer of the Glory which is his due. But, perhaps, they will object and say, my charge is false, for they do not affirm, that there is not a sufficiency in the blood and righteousness of Christ to justify, without faith; but only, that according to Scripture Revelation, which contains the whole mind and will of God, there is no such thing as justification before faith; and that, therefore, God hath appointed that justification shall succeed believing. Answer: The reason why these gentlemen so strenuously endeavor to hide the glorious doctrine of Justification before believing from their hearers is what I am not able to comprehend; unless it be to keep them in ignorance of their liberty in Christ, and to bind them down to a servile admiration of themselves. The objection is partly true; but the greater part is false. Doubtless, the Scriptures contain a perfect Revelation of the mind and will of God; but that in this revelation there is nothing of the doctrine of justification, without faith, or before it, is a blatant falsity. Let us once more take a view of that passage in Romans, where we read with an impartial eye, and the doctrine, now under consideration, will shine forth with a convincing light. “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly.” {Rom.4:5} Observe in the words, that the object of a believer’s faith is he who justifieth the ungodly; and if ungodly, then consequently unbelievers, and he that justifies them, as such; for he that justifies the ungodly justifies unbelievers; but God justifies the ungodly; therefore, he justifies unbelievers. {Prior to their personal faith, which faith evidences their justification in Christ.} I could have offered many other arguments upon this great and weighty subject drawn both from Scripture and the Perfections of God in order to show that the contrary opinions have a tendency to introduce Arminianism and Atheism; but this is not my present business, and I must beg pardon of my readers for so long a digression. My design is only to speak of a Conscience-Justification, which is no more than bringing home to the soul that justification, already spoken of; and I am, now to explain, how a sense of this is communicated to the soul, and proclaimed in the conscience by the Holy Ghost, as a glorious Consequence of Grace, in the conquest it hath made upon our hearts, in destroying the rebellion, in some degree, that filled our wills. A Conscience Justification then is a knowledge of our justification in the sight of God by the Righteousness of a Redeemer. This knowledge is conveyed to us by that Spirit who is the Enlightener of our understandings, by whom we are brought to see that Christ hath given to God a full satisfaction for all our sins, and that he doth for the sake of that Satisfaction justify us in his sight; so that we perceive it to be impossible for us to come into eternal condemnation; for, being once justified in his sight, we shall never be condemned. Oh, how sweetly is all this done upon our souls by the Holy Ghost bringing home to our conscience the blood and righteousness of Christ; so that by faith we are enabled to put on this righteousness with joy, and walk in the daily comforts thereof. We can now say with Paul, “who shall lay anything to our charge; it is God that justifieth;” or, “who shall condemn us; since Christ hath died for us,” hath reconciled us to God, and saved us from the Law, Death and Hell. Now we know, that “God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even unto death;” {Ps.48:14;} and we are sure, that we shall never come into any condemnation, but shall arrive safe at the haven of everlasting glory. Likewise, a Conscience-Justification implies a freedom from guilt and fear; for it doth always cast out terror, and dispossess the soul of all slavish and servile apprehensions; so that it fears not the Law, though its threatenings are many and terrible, being sensible that it hath a righteousness that hath answered all its demands, and banished all its threats, and hath magnified the Law and made it honorable in every part of its rigorous and righteous demands. Such a one fears not sin, because he sees that it is finished and done away forever by his Redeemer; and that, though it be sought for it shall never be found; for Christ hath carried it away into the “land of forgetfulness,” into an everlasting oblivion, so that sin creates no fears, no condemning terrors or horrors in his sanctified and holy conscience. But, lest I should be blamed, and thought an antinomian, I shall take the liberty to explain myself a little further upon this point. Though a believer does not fear sin, as to its condemning power, yet he fears sinning, and as he is enabled by grace abhors sin and will shun all occasions leading to it; for, being a new creature, he cannot, as such, live in sin. I would, therefore, be understood, that a believer does not fear sin as damning, for he is not afraid of eternal damnation; for otherwise he would not be perfect as pertaining to the conscience, since all that are subject to such horrible apprehensions are still under the Law, being guided by a legal spirit and walking in bondage. It was a weakness of the Law dispensation that it could not make the comers thereunto perfect as pertaining to the conscience, for there was a continual remembrance of sin; {Heb.9:9;} but under the Gospel, in coming to our Great Sacrifice, our consciences are set at liberty; and the soul reads bright inscriptions of Divine love upon that Altar, the Lord Jesus Christ, to which legalists have no visible right, that casteth out all fear. There is no fear in love; love that comes into the soul under the sprinklings of the blood of Jesus Christ, which casts out all guilt and bondage. Hence the bond-woman and her son are turned out of doors, and must have no part, nor possession with God’s holy Isaac’s in whom the Divine seed is found. Furthermore, a Conscience-Justification implies a holy triumphing in a Redeemer. The believer’s language is, “my soul shall make her boast in the Lord; and I will sing of his salvation. I will bless him from day to day, and speak of the glorious honor of his Majesty.” {Ps.34:2, 96:2} God’s Church of old, under a living sense of their justification in the righteousness of Christ, breaks forth with joy and triumph, saying, “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” {Is.61:10} We see here, that the ground of all this holy joy and triumph in the Lord God was extracted from a conscience justification; for the clear apprehensions by faith of an imputed righteousness gives the soul a quietness in the worst of times, and enables it to love the Redeemer, to cleave unto Him, and delight in Him more than in all the glories of time and sense. Another consequence of the truth of grace in the heart, made by this powerful and holy conquest {the conquest of grace} is a Conscience-Pardon of Sin. Remission of Sin is a glorious act of Grace, for by it I am forgiven all my trespasses; it finds me a sinner, but forgives all my sins. Pardon of sin is a Divine Favor that more immediately flows from the nuptial love of Christ to his Church. It is he, as a Husband, who forgives the sins of his wife, heals all her backslidings, and loves her freely, because he is married to her. Question: But do we not sin against our God and Father, the Great and Infinite Being, and doth not he forgive us our sins? Answer: In a strict and proper sense, the Infinite God doth not forgive sin, for it is readily granted by all who are sound in the Faith, that Jesus Christ hath given full satisfaction to Divine Justice for all sin, and hath fully paid the debt of his Church, his bride and spouse, whom he represented as a federal Head; and God himself hath declared his being well pleased with the Redeemer’s Righteousness, which is a full demonstration of his Satisfaction. “The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the Law, and make it honorable.” {Is.42:21} Now, Christ hath, by his active and passive obedience, magnified the Law and made it honorable; by which he gave satisfaction to Justice; and, if Christ hath satisfied the Justice of God for all the sins of his people, how then can it be justly, or with propriety of speech be said that God pardons our sins and transgressions? Sure I am, that debt can never be forgiven which is paid. For instance, suppose I owe a man a thousand pounds, and he should demand this debt from me, I must pay, or be imprisoned; my adversary is about to deliver me to the officer, that I may be cast into prison. I acknowledge, that the whole of this proceeding is just; but, in the interim, a third Person interposes, who formally loved me and demonstrates that he still loves me, in engaging {as my Surety} to pay my debt. “I love him,” saith he, “he shall not go to jail, for I will pay the debt. Here I give my bond for the payment.” This being a Man of great worth and credit, his bond is accepted; and, at the time appointed, {“the fulness of the time” Gal.4:4,} he pays off the bond to the uttermost farthing. Tell me, now, did my creditor forgive me my debt? I’m certain every wise man will answer in the negative. This then, is the true state of the case in hand; for the wrath of God might have been sent down upon us, as soon as ever we had our existence in a way of strict Justice; and it must have been inflicted, if Christ the Redeemer had not stepped in, and as our spiritual Moses, {our eternal Surety,} stood in the gap for us. {Ez.22:30} Absolute Justice was ready to apprehend us and commit us to the everlasting prison of darkness for our iniquities, but our glorious Head and Husband, Jesus Christ, who had loved us in our Supralapsarian state, as his bride and spouse, did as our Husband lay himself under an obligation to pay our debt; he became our Sponsor or Surety, and gave {to speak after the manner of men,} a bond for our debt, for all was placed to his account, and he did, at the time appointed by the Father, dip his pen in his own blood, and cross the black lines of all our sins, by which he made to God a full payment of our debt. Tell me now, were my sins forgiven me in a strict and proper sense? This must be also answered in the negative; and God {give me leave to say} is more glorified thus, than if he had absolutely forgiven sin, without any Satisfaction, for then he must have forever let the honor of his Justice fall to the ground, which is in this way advanced and fully satisfied. Objection: This way totally eclipses the freedom of Divine Grace which is so abundantly displayed in the Holy Scriptures. Answer: It does not eclipse the glory of Free Grace as will appear as we consider in what sense God may be said to forgive the sins of his people. Our God may be said to forgive sin, with respect to us, though not with respect to Jesus Christ; for our parts, we never were able to pay anything, and yet on us he takes no vengeance. But God may also be said to pardon sin in another sense, as he was pleased from everlasting to find a satisfactory price to his own Justice; it was a price of his own finding, and a price of his own accepting; his Justice is satisfied and our debt is fully paid; yet it was his own free love and grace that found the matter and way, by and in which it was accomplished. In these and such like foreign and improper senses God may be said to pardon our sins, when he manifests the freedom of his Grace, for all our sins are fully pardoned and God hath nothing against us, because all things between him and us stand fair and clear; so that, in all our prayers to God for pardon of sin we do not ask Him to issue out a fresh act of pardon, but only to reveal his love and grace to us afresh, and to seal to our souls a sense of pardon in the blood of Christ. “Oh {saith a gracious and truly enlightened believer,} Lord, lead me to Christ’s Blood and Satisfaction, or bring that blood and satisfaction home to my soul by which means I shall see that fury is not in thee towards me, and that will satisfy my conscience, that I am a pardoned man. O give me daily manifestations of pardoning grace into my heart, that my soul may sing thy praise, and triumph in thy Holy Name.” In this light the soul perceives God to be at peace with it, and carries about, in itself, a sealed pardon into which it looks with a daily delight and pleasure, as knowing that its Redeemer hath removed all its sins out of God’s judicial sight forever; so that, under such a dispensation, it is dispossessed of all fears that may arise from the apprehension of Divine Wrath, and it perseveres in a course of cheerful obedience to Christ, it’s glorious Husband, and the great Paymaster of its debt. Our Redeemer, having paid our debt, in the relation of an Husband hath thereby delivered us from the Law by a powerful divorcement, and married us unto himself in a sensible way; {“wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God” Rom.7:4;} and we are now to live to Him, to be faithful and holy, cleaving to none but Him. Samuel Stockell {Redeemer’s Glory Unveiled, 1733}

Posted April 22, 2013

{Writings of Samuel Stockell}

Righteousness of Christ: The love of Christ, though thus great and stupendous in itself and delightful to the regenerate; yet to persons dead in trespasses and sins, it is all as a thing of naught, and makes no impression upon the heart; so that, until he is converted, the sinner remains full of rebellion against Christ and the light of the everlasting Gospel. These are they that rebel against the light; {Job 24:13;} and they manifest that rebellion in their hearts by cleaving close either to their lusts or to the rotten rags of their own doings. Nature hath always in it a propensity to act in this manner; and there must be a manifestation of Divine Power to slay this rebellion; especially the legal rebellion which is in the heart of every natural man. It is extremely hard work for such a one to part with his own righteousness for Jesus Christ and his Righteousness; nay, it is harder to part with it than it is to perform it; for, when a poor deluded wretch hath brought himself to live up to such laws, rules and terms, he then imagines that he has acquired something to recommend him to the love and favor of God. Now he looks upon these as his Savior, and esteems them as his gods and his all; {Judges 18:24;} for take these away, and he has nothing more; for he beholds them as the price of his happiness and the hope of his reward. This is the real language of his soul in any of his performances; suppose it to be prayer, with what courage will he say his prayers when he reflects upon his behavior the past day and finds nothing to upbraid himself with, either by omission or commission, {though, if he had eyes, he would see enough in himself every hour to abhor himself for,} then he looks upon God as under an obligation to hear and accept him; but, if he labors under guilt, then his prayer cease, as he is afraid to pray; and, if he doth, he thinks his praying obtains a pardon and his tears make satisfaction. Indeed, they do make satisfaction, but not to God, for they only satisfy his legal conscience and quiet his own mind; and now all is easy and well, and the man thinks himself a very good Christian, and he is so esteemed, it may be, by all his community. Alas! I fear that most of the professors of our day are upon this rotten bottom. If so, how hard then must it be to bring persons off from this sandy foundation, for I am persuaded, that all the laws of moral suasion, and all the Arminianized offers, tenders, proffers and invitations of grace, with all the plainest directions and strongest motives can never do it; because, if it is ever done, it must be by the manifestation of a supernatural Power. The Report of Christ and the Truths of the Gospel will never be believed until Jehovah reveal his arm; {Is.53:1;} for such a soul cleaves to the Law as a broken Covenant and regards not Christ; yea, in his very heart Christ is disapproved, and the sparks of his own kindling are preferred to the Son of God. His hopes of eternal life are built upon his own obedience to the Law, not considering that it cannot give life; {Gal.3:21;} and, as such, is not fit to be trusted to; yet, notwithstanding this, Christ who is the fit, full, and only Savior is disdained and rejected, though he be the only way of life. Thus, in vain do men seek the living amongst the dead; they seek for living comforts and a living glory in a dead and abolished Law; and they love that {their own legal performances} which can neither give life, nor take away death; for there can be no enjoyment of life and glory, nor a freedom from eternal death and shame, but by Jesus Christ the Redeemer, whose worth is infinite; for God will not accept of anything short of a perfect Righteousness, and nothing will please him but a complete Satisfaction. Samuel Stockell {Redeemer’s Glory Unveiled, 1733}

Righteousness of Christ: If inward grace received be designed by the Lord to be our right and title to the heavenly glory what need is there for the Blood and Righteousness of Jesus Christ? Because, if this notion be true, the Person of Christ, his fullness, righteousness and blood are only accidental and in reality a thing of no value. This then is a principle that all the Lord’s people will absolutely abhor, since it leads its embracers, like other heretics, to trample underfoot the blood of the Son of God, and to render his Death and Propitiatory Righteousness altogether ineffectual. {Heb.10:29} I mean, that righteousness without us, which consists in the Redeemer’s Obedience and Death; and I’m sure, that the objection cannot be made by a man who has the truth of grace in his soul, because this true grace, this Christ within us, who is our hope of glory, {Col.1:27,} ever teaches to admire, adore, trust in, and value a Christ without, who is the Fountain from whence itself doth flow. Good Lord, help us all to take heed and beware of these new lights that lead from Christ the Light of Life, down to the chambers of darkness and death. This is the light within, in which so many blind wretches boast and glory; for they tell us, that they are got into a new dispensation, a dispensation beyond Jesus Christ, so that the Man at God’s right hand is entirely neglected and forgotten; nay, this Rock of our Salvation is by them lightly esteemed. {Deut.32:15} - Notorious blasphemy indeed! As if the Holy and Blessed Spirit of all Truth, who is Christ’s Glorifier, {Jn.16:13,14} whose work it is to render Christ gloriously delightful to the heaven born soul, should teach and influence them to neglect Him, reject his Righteousness and despise his Blood; which is the practice of all those that have forsaken the true Sacrifice for Sin. {Heb.10:26,29} Thus, instead of having the Spirit of Grace they do despite unto him, in hating, condemning and reproaching those who by the Spirit of Grace expect Salvation only by the Blood and Obedience of the Redeemer Jesus Christ, that died outside the gates of Jerusalem, without anything in themselves as a right thereunto, and look upon all they have in themselves to be simply the effects and consequences of his dying love, desiring also to live in obedience unto Him in all those external institutions which keep his Name up in the world; not that they live upon these institutions, but live upon Him in them. They eat bread at a table to show forth his death to the world, whilst at the same time they enjoy within the living fruits of his death. {I Cor.11:26} They drink wine to demonstrate to the world that they believe that he once shed his blood to make reparation for sin, whilst his blood in them {by faith sensibly} cleanses them from all sin. {I Jn.1:7} Thus, in waiting upon Him they find a great reward. {Ps.19:11} They use water in baptism in obedience to his command to convince the world that they willingly follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth; {Rev.14:4;} whilst in their souls they feel a heavenly baptism coming down upon them as rain upon the new mown grass, and as showers that water the earth. {Ps.72:6} Thus, refreshed with the dews from the everlasting hills {Ps.121:1} they go on to show forth to the world by their obedience to the Lord’s institutions, that all the things represented by these are done and finished in the Person of Jesus Christ; and that they themselves possess the spiritual fruits thereof; and what they do, in all these ways of Gospel obedience is only in obedience to their Lawgiver. From the whole of what hath been said it is evident that man at best with all his great pretenses to purity and holiness cannot save himself. Observe then, that where there is true grace, that soul is willing to be saved alone by Christ Jesus; for he is sensible that he must certainly sink forever under the load of Divine Vengeance if he be not found in the Redeemer’s Righteousness; he sees, that nothing short of what Christ is, and hath done, can save him, because Christ alone is able to bear up under the Wrath of God. Samuel Stockell {Redeemer’s Glory Unveiled, 1733}

Posted April 23, 2013

{Writings of Samuel Stockell}

Salvation in Christ: The Word of God doth nowhere teach us that we are accepted or saved for our sincerity or anything that is within our power to do; yet we acknowledge that sincerity is found in all believers, and that it is an evidence of their interest in the Covenant of Grace, but not the condition thereof. As I said before, so I say now again, that heaven did never intend upon any consideration whatsoever to confer everlasting salvation upon sinners for their performances, since all that our God and Father gives is purely upon the Redeemer’s account; so that, now in this way all boasting is excluded, for the Law of faith admits of none, {Rom.3:27,} unless it be in the Lord Jesus Christ; because everyone that glories must glory in the Lord; {I Cor.1:31;} and truly gracious souls can make their boast in the Lord, as the psalmist saith, “My soul shall make her boast in the LORD; the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.” {Ps.34:2} - Thus, the believer sees, that his whole salvation lies entirely in Christ Jesus, and that all the blessings thereof are handed forth, without money and without price. This indeed is wonderfully sweet unto him, because he seeth that he hath nothing to buy with, and that grace is free to the worst and vilest of sinners; and, though once he came to Christ with his duties, prayers, and tears, expecting to have an interest in his Righteousness for them, he now breaks out in language quite different from his former apprehensions. Samuel Stockell {Redeemer’s Glory Unveiled, 1733}

Righteousness of Christ: The Righteousness of Christ is the only dress of a sinner, who is made to see his nakedness, and that he hath not so much as a rag to wrap around his naked soul. This is the man that knows how to prize the Redeemer and value his Righteousness; because, being clothed with it, he shines with a spotless beauty before the eyes of infinite Justice and Holiness. Now, if our own righteousness was a sufficient covering, and could shelter us from the wrath of God, then, it will follow, that Christ came into our world upon a very trifling and insignificant errand; which is such a reflection upon the Wisdom and Power of God, that it can never be admitted as a truth. Nay, to no purpose did Christ work out this glorious Robe, if our own covering will hide our nakedness. If life may be had, in whole, or in part, by the Law, it follows, that Christ died in vain; and to all those who seek happiness by their own legality, Christ is become of no effect; {Gal.5:4;} for, living and dying in such a condition, they might as well have been born Turks, brought up Pagans, or lived and died Jews, in the height of enmity against the Lord Jesus Christ, because they should then have had as much benefit by the Redeemer, as, whilst they retain their legal principles, they can obtain by the profession of Christianity. Samuel Stockell {Redeemer’s Glory Unveiled, 1733}

Divine Donation of all Grace in Christ: Here we see, how that the Redeemer and the soul of an elect vessel are virtually united; now, it is become a visible member of Christ’s mystical body, and can triumph in its near relation to Him. Now, the floods and crystal streams of everlasting love which have run underground, ever since the fall, rise up and overflow all the banks; yea, the mountains of a lapsed state, and powerfully tear down all before them; and the soul sits down entirely satisfied with its completeness in the Lord Jesus Christ. {Col.2:10} But here it must be observed, by the way, that notwithstanding all this grace received, the soul at certain times, will find motions and inclinations to its own works, and be ready almost to say, “well done,” when it performs a duty in an enlarged frame of mind. This itch of legality, the soul’s greatest plague, will never be perfectly cured, till it ascends up to the realms of brightest bliss and glory; there, indeed, it shall have a perfect holiness, and shall forever set the crown upon the Redeemer’s Head. In that advanced state, the saints shall drop their crowns at the feet of Christ and he shall be all in all. There nothing in the saints shall be a rival to the Redeemer, or ever claim the least share of honor with him; but, now alas; we find too often, that we love our graces too much, for we are apt to prize them more than the perfect Righteousness of Jesus Christ. We rejoice very much in received grace, but very little in the fullness of Christ, our great Head, in whose hand all our stock of grace, both of the right to, and meetness for resides. How often do we grieve more for the want of comfortable frames in the dispensations of grace, than for the want of Him in whom all fullness dwells? Oh could we but see more clearly, what Christ is, and what he is of God made unto us, our walk would be more full of peace and satisfaction, and our frames more steady and unshaken; but when men dwell too much upon their frames, and not immediately upon the Person, Love, and Righteousness of Jesus Christ, give me leave to say, that they are committing spiritual adultery with their own graces and holy dispositions. We are far too prone to put our graces in Christ’s stead, and prize and value them too much, in trusting to and resting upon them. When this is the case, we may very justly say, that such a one hath forsaken the Fountain of Living Waters, and lives upon the streams which are short of the Fountain. Sure I am, this is playing the harlot with our graces and frames, because we ought to live upon nothing but Christ, what he is in Himself, and what of God he is made unto his people. Believer, it is an infallible and eternal truth, that Christ never gave thee the principles of grace and love, faith and holiness, to live upon, trust to, and rest in. No, no, he gave thee grace to love Him, to live upon Him, to rest and trust in Him forever; and these are the principal and ultimate designs of the Divine donation of all grace. From these conceptions, I think, I may very justly draw this conclusion, that the Love of God and the Grace of his Covenant are subject to mutation; for, if my frames and graces, according to these imaginations are good and heavenly, then, all is well for eternity; but, if they prove the reverse, then, all my joys are darkened and dreadful evils are expected. Such poor souls as these, who have attained to no greater light into the mysteries of Grace, do really believe, that it is their incumbent duty to be always working hard, to keep themselves in the love of God, in maintaining a comfortable disposition of soul which they are incapable of doing; and so they are pierced through with many sorrows, and their days are spent in hard bondage; and all this flows from the fountain of ignorance in the stability of the Everlasting Covenant, and the completeness of that Sacrifice that Jesus Christ hath once made for sin. Samuel Stockell {Redeemer’s Glory Unveiled, 1733}

Posted April 26, 2013

{Writings of Samuel Stockell}

Living by Faith in Christ: To sleep or die in Jesus; {“even so them also which sleep in Jesus” I Thes.4:14;} is to die in Faith, as well as to die in the Faith. To die in the Faith is to die in the belief of the great and glorious Doctrines of the Gospel, to go out of the world in a believing confidence that they are true; but to die in Faith is to die possessed of the habit or principal of the grace of faith, by which at times we can believe that all those glorious things contained in the promises of God’s Word are our own, and shall be fully ours when we take possession of our heavenly inheritance, are set down in the Presence of our dear Redeemer, and receive the end of our faith, even the salvation of our souls. It is one thing to believe the facts of the everlasting Gospel, and to accredit the things contained therein; but quite another thing to believe that I am one of those for whose sake these things were accomplished, and for whose consolation they are recorded. What is all faith without this assurance? If I cannot or do not believe that Christ is mine and I am his, and that in this relation he died for me, religion without this would be but an empty sound, for unless I am persuaded that God is my God, and that Christ is my Savior, and hath redeemed me from death and sin; I say, all profession without this would be a complete uncertainty, and would plunge us into fear and trouble, and all our acts therein would be a toil, a task, and one entire piece of drudgery; but when once we are made to see in the Spirit’s light, that Christ died for us, to save us from everlasting destruction, and hath delivered us from all the desserts of our transgressions, and from everything that might have rendered us obnoxious to the Divine Displeasure, and that he has removed all impediments out of the way of the enjoyment of our Redeemer; this is what makes Christ sweet to the believing soul, and the language of his heart is, “Oh; none but Christ; none but Christ!” What joy and peace is here in believing; this is living in faith; so to die in Jesus is to die thus in faith; and this was that which made the Apostle so comfortable in his day, and that carried him through all the fatigues and troubles that attended his situation in this world. “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” {Gal.2:20} Oh; glorious faith! Resolute boldness in his Lord’s love. In the face of every difficulty, I am crucified with Christ, I am despised for the Son of Man’s sake, and set at naught by a wicked world, and a blind pharisaical people; yea, for his sake I am killed all the day long, nevertheless I live; that is, I live a life of faith and love, yet not I but Christ liveth in me. This life is not mine own natural life, but a life communicated to me from Christ, a life hid in Christ with the Father before all worlds; it is his life, not mine, and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by this Divine principle, which actuates all my conduct in life; I live by the faith of the Son of God, that faith which is thus his gift to me; I live by faith in his Person, by faith in his Righteousness, by faith in his Offices, and faith in his Love; for he loved me, and as a full proof of that love, gave Himself for me in an eternal Act of Grace, according to Covenant Engagements with the Father, and resolved to save me from wrath and eternal damnation, whereby he has shut up the Gates of Hell, and opened the Gates of Heaven; and who in the fullness of time, came and shed his blood, and that for me, and by his Spirit setting me in the right way, and leading me to a city of eternal Habitation. These heavenly considerations is what gives the soul a pleasure beyond expression! Oh; to say in faith, “who gave himself for me,” is that which will enable us to live in comfort and die in peace, like those gallant worthies we read of in that little martyrology, or book of martyrs, the eleventh chapter of the Hebrews, where you have an account of what many went through, under the times before the Gospel Dispensation, under an Administration in which all their happiness was veiled; and what they expected to enjoy, and that which was the principal ground of their Glory lay under shadows, and they had only the promises of them, which they received, though they saw them afar off, and were persuaded of the Truth of their accomplishment, they embraced them, they died in Faith, as being fully satisfied of their interest in the promised Savior; and in all the things, that the things of this dispensation were types of, they saw through those figures of their Law, the Lord that was to come, as Abraham saw his day afar off, and was glad. They had such joy in view of the heavenly world, as made them to confess that they were strangers and pilgrims in this world, and that they had no continuing city here, but sought one to come, which had Foundations, whose Builder and Maker was God. They esteemed all that they suffered for the cause of Christ as nothing in comparison with that eternal Weight of Glory that they were hoping to be the happy participants of; and thus the Apostle declares, “and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them; and that Rock was Christ.” {I Cor.10:3,4} They enjoyed Christ in the wilderness; for they had lively representations of the Divine Majesty, the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night; the Shekinah was with them, for they had the glorious presence of the Lord, both in and round about the Tabernacle, and in their Camp, as also Christ went before them, and God was their Reward. So these all died in faith who are the true Israel of God, for they died in Christ, being persuaded of their interest in Christ, and all that Christ was and would accomplish was for them, and all he was to do and suffer was for them, by virtue of their union relation to Him. To be in the Faith, is to be persuaded, that when heart and flesh shall fail, that he will take me to Himself and be the strength of my heart and my portion forever, {Ps.73:26,} that where he is, there I may be also, to partake of the blessed rewards of his Obedience and Death, and be filled with the sweet fruits of his love, and eternally to chant forth in exalted and uninterrupted strains, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing;” {Rev.5:12;} who will forever appear upon the Throne with the memorials of his meritorious Death and Sufferings. “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain.” {Rev.5:6} And the Apostle Peter speaks of his blood, as shed from before the Foundation of the world in the Decree and Council of God. He is, in the context, speaking of the sinners redemption, which is only with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish, and without spot; “who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world;” {I Pet.1:19,20;} and Christ might be actually slain from the foundation of the world, in a strict, proper and Gospel sense, if we consider that the Gospel Dispensation is called a world, or the world, in distinction to the Dispensation of the Law; for the Gospel Ministration, in the days of Messiah, is often by the ancients called the world to come; and the Apostle in Hebrews speaking about the glorious things of the Gospel, exhorts them to retain those choice Truths that had been revealed to them; for they were to take heed not to let them slip; for, says he, “if the word spoken by angels was steadfast,” then they must be certainly so, which were spoken by the Lord, and confirmed by his apostles, with signs, miracles, and the gifts of the Holy Ghost. {Heb.2:2-4} This Dispensation is the world to come, whereof we speak; for from the foundation of this world was the Lord Jesus Christ actually slain. The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, {Rev.13:8,} who now appears as a Lamb that died for the consolation of his people; and though the preaching of the Cross is looked upon as foolishness by many, yet to everyone that is called and enabled to believe, Christ is the Power of God and the Wisdom of God, and such preaching is precious to them; and the blood of Christ manifested in this way of preaching to their souls melts their hearts with joy and hope! - To die in Jesus is to die in a Covenant relation to Him; to die in the faith of the Truths contained in the Gospel, and to die also in a full belief that all the precious things revealed in these truths are mine. Samuel Stockell {Redeemer’s Care of Saint’s Departed, 1745}

Eternal Generation of the Son of God: Consider the doctrine of Eternal Generation as some men call it, for it is a contradiction in terms to be infinite eternal and yet a subject of an act; namely, generation. This point we will here, God enabling us, prove at the standard, and see if it be good; for this hath been of late a matter of great controversy, and good men have differed about it; for there are such, I apprehend on both sides of the question. This doctrine was received by the ‘early church fathers’ as appears by their councils, but never revealed in the Book of God; for this method of expounding the doctrine of the Trinity, that one Person in the Godhead begat another, &c., hath been the foundation of all that Arianism, Sabellianism, &c., that hath disturbed the peace of the Church ever since. It would have been well for us, if these ‘church fathers’ could have contented themselves with the bare Mind of God in things mysterious, and not have imposed their sense upon us; for there are some now, who with great airs of modesty tell us, that this doctrine of the Eternal Generation of the Son of God is a profound mystery, yet it must be believed upon their authority, {and without this blank creedal confession of the same, one cannot become a member of their confessional assemblies, gathered upon the teachings of men, destitute of a true Revelation of Christ upon which his Church is built upon.} But if this is a mystery it is not of the Gospel, for it is one of their own making, and it is plain that they do not believe one word of what they say, for as they go about directly to explain it, they can tell presently how One can be Three and Three One, how the One Infinite and Eternal God begat, &c., the Person of the Son; one begets, the other is begotten, and a third proceeds from both these two; and this is their Trinity and the modus of its existence. Thus their mystery becomes a subject of demonstration, and since they make it by their methods a subject to be accounted for, I would beg leave to ask these gentlemen one plain and modest question: Whether he that begets and he that is begotten are of equal date? When pinched with this, they fly to their old refuge, exclaiming that it is a mystery; this is only when the argument fails them, for they will dispute the point as long as possible they can; well then, he that is begotten cannot be co-eternal with the begetter, and this is the ground of the Arian triumph, and they never desire any greater concession for the support of their scheme, than that Christ, as God, is begotten of the Father, and upon this concession, the Orthodox have never been able to support the truth against their opposition. If we ask farther what was begotten, some of these gentlemen cannot tell us; but some more penetrating than the rest of their brethren, say that Deity did not beget Deity, for that would be a multiplication of Deity, and this would plunge us into Tritheism. Asked again, what was begotten? Why, the Person of the Son of God, not his Deity, but his Person in that Deity; mark it, Deity could not be begotten, because it would multiply Deity; but Personality is begotten, therefore the Persons in the Godhead are multiplied, and so each Person not Infinitely Eternal, in accordance with their scheme. Besides, it destroys the immutability of the Divine Being, in that it changes the modus of his existence; well, here is a Person begotten without Essence, and yet in an Essence, and this is separating the Person of Christ from the Divine Nature, which is little better than the blasphemy of the Arians and their accomplices; and it is setting up a Person without an Essence, which is very ridiculous and foolish; or if any Essence, it can be but a finite one, themselves being judges, because an Infinite Essence could not be begotten, and this is Arianism with a witness. In a word, the generation of the Second Person in the Godhead overthrows the Eternity, Self Existence, and Independency of his Person. – Oh, dangerous opinion! For my part I heartily believe Christ to be the Son of God, and that the Son of God is the Infinite and Eternal Jehovah, and is with the Father and the Holy Ghost the Object of Divine worship. Now by Christ’s being the Begotten, the First Begotten, and the Only Begotten, we are, I humbly conceive, to understand the Father’s eternal designation of Him to his Office; for the execution of which, he was to assume our nature, take it into union with his Infinite and Unbegotten Person; this design and execution of it was the begetting of Jesus Christ – God, Man, Mediator. Here the Person of Christ, as Mediator, is the First and Only Begotten of the Father, and as such is the Object of all Divine adoration, because the two Natures in this wonderful begotten Person are inseparable. Now can it from all this be supposed, that the Divine Nature of Christ, or an Infinite Person in the Deity, was from eternity begotten, without relation either to his Humanity or Office, I apprehend not. It appears that this doctrine is very far from any dishonorable or depreciating thoughts of the Sonship of Jesus Christ, as it secures his Godhead against the Arian, and his distinct personality as an infinite, eternal, self-existent, independent, uncreated and unbegotten Person in the Trinity, eternally subsisting with the Father and the Holy Ghost in the same undivided Essence against the Sabellians; and we think by this method, that we are better able to maintain the doctrine of the Trinity and the Godhead of Jesus Christ, than by the common scheme of eternal generation. If in this we are weak, I hope that our stronger brethren will pardon us, when we do assure them that we do not publish these things because we affect novelty, but with an hearty and sincere regard to the honor and glory of Jesus Christ. Moreover, I have showed in my “Redeemer’s Glory Unveiled,” {page 41,} that he which begets must be before the begotten, in order of time, and superior, in order of Essence or Nature. Nay, it is impossible that the begotten of God should be of the same Essence with God, because self-existence, eternity and independence are the inseparable properties of an Infinite Essence; so that it is plain according to this notion, that Christ is neither eternal nor self-existent, for if he was eternal he could not be begotten, and yet to be Eternal is proper to the Infinite Essence, but if Jesus Christ was begotten, {according to their scheme,} therefore he could not be infinitely eternal, independent, nor self-existent. These consequences render this doctrine disagreeable to Truth. This act of eternal generation has never been defined to us, by any of those learned gentleman that espouse it by tradition from their fathers; they would do well to speak out, and tell us whether it be an imminent act or a transient act, or what, &c.? Many things more might have been offered, but I must pass it for I cannot hold it fast, because by the Word of Truth does not appear to be good. Samuel Stockell {Scripture & Reason, the Standard of all Religion, 1743}

Antinomianism: Oh then, how happily do such live, who continually live above all their frames, and above their highest attainments; for that promise is made good unto them: “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,” and, “thine eyes shall see the King in his Beauty.” {Is.33:16,17} He shall surely dwell on high, above all things below Covenant love and Mediatorial fullness; he shall dwell safely, for the “place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks,” where he shall have rich provision, for his bread shall be given him, and his waters shall be sure; {“Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” Jn.6:35;} for he lives upon the eternal and immutable love of God, in the Lord Jesus Christ the Redeemer, the stability of the Covenant in and with Christ, the un-alterable worth of his Fullness, and the Glory of his Everlasting Righteousness. Let his frames be what they will, let his measure of sensible enjoyments be never so small; nay, let them be quite fled, he knows that his peace is made with God by Jesus Christ, and his life, his joy, his glory, and his crown are all in his Dearest Lord and Redeemer; and he can say with the prophet in a spiritual sense: “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls; yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” {Hab.3:17,18} So the believer, under the want of all spiritual frames, though there be none of the fruits of the Spirit in a sensible way to his soul, but all are entirely cut off; yet he can rest satisfied in the love of his God, for he knows, let his frame be what it will, his Redeemer and what he is made in a sovereign way to him are always the same in the sight of God. This is the believer’s main comfort, that Jesus Christ hath pleased and satisfied the Father; and all his business, as assisted by daily grace, is to please Jesus Christ by living upon, and trusting in Him, in which he brings forth fruit to the glory of Christ, as the great End in all he doth. Objection: These notions are the principles of the Antinomians, and seem to be calculated at least to weaken those just regards that we ought to have to the Law of God and a holy conversation. Assertion: Hatred to truth, as it is in Jesus, is the cause that the glorious doctrines of the Everlasting Gospel have ever been, by the devil and his emissaries, stigmatized and loaded with hard names, to render them frightful and odious to the children of men. Thus, like poor Ignoramuses, who will cry down Popery and Priestcraft, when they are got over a bottle, pinning all their faith upon the sleeve of some blind teacher, but never with the noble Bereans search the Scriptures to see whether these things be so, or not; or like wise men, by sanctified reason, weigh things impartially in the balance of the sanctuary. No, they take all for granted upon trust, and believe it upon the bare authority, it may be, of a blind guide, and they are resolved to follow him close, until both fall into the ditch, in doctrine and conversation; and certainly the consequences will be dreadful, if Grace prevent it not, for they will both fall into the ditch of perdition, out of which they will rise no more. Now, if the casting off of all obedience to the Law, as the matter of my acceptance with God, and laying aside all my graces, when they rival with the Redeemer in his perfect Righteousness, and my sole dependence and trust upon Him for what he is, and hath done for me, in my room and stead; if these be Antinomianism, the good Lord grant, that I may be an Antinomian forever. If this is to be vile, I will, as grace shall help me, be still more vile, and account it my glory; and, whereas it is objected, that such sentiments as these lead men to cast off duty, and to live sinfully, I observe, that this objection appears to come from a person destitute of all true grace, who never felt the love of Christ with power, because I can with confidence affirm the objection to be a palpable falsehood, a most abominable and notorious lie; for I know from my own living experience, that the Absoluteness of Divine Grace in Eternal Love, the Covenant of Salvation, the Fullness of Christ, the Head of this Covenant, and the Sovereignty of the Blessed Spirit in his gifts and operations, which without any of my own works, entitle me to glory, and will fit me and bring me thither, have been in my soul a spring of duty and obedience. Oh how have I, at such a time, been delighted in the Law of God after the inner man! Oh, what praying, what meditating, what reading, and hearing the Word were, then, put in practice! What exactness of walk in the world, in the family, and in the Church of God did the conception and application of these glorious Truths produce! How were they attended with a holy, practical obedience, and all with delight and pleasure! Give me leave to say, that these principles of Free, Glorious and Sovereign Grace do promote such a living to God, for God, and with God, through the Redeemer, that none of those, who cry out against these Truths as Antinomianism, are capable of; for it is evident from the objection, that they are strangers to the power of Divine Love and Grace. I wholeheartedly bless my God for such Antinomianism as this; for, before I knew it and felt its power, I performed duty from a legal spirit, a spirit of fear and bondage, and lived upon my frames, but I found religion was very hard work, and I went on in my legal course very heavily. But now, through the Riches of Free Grace, since the times of refreshing came from the presence of the Lord, {Acts 3:19,} I experience, that wisdom’s ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. {Pv.3:17} Now, the Christian way is a pleasant way and a believer’s duties are his delight. Samuel Stockell {Redeemer’s Glory Unveiled, 1733}

Posted April 28, 2013

{Selection of the Week}

Free Justification, by the Blood and Righteousness of Christ: Justification is one of the most important points of doctrine in the whole system of the Christian theology. It embraces in it the four following considerations: First: The Judge who justifieth. Secondly: The character of those who are justified. Thirdly: The principles upon which the Judge proceeds in justifying. Fourthly: The evidences by which we are brought to know our justification. To these four general propositions I shall call the attention of the reader in the following discourse. First: The Judge who justifieth. “It is God that justifieth.” Rom.8:33, 3:30, Isa.50:8,9. In all these places God is spoken of as the Supreme Judge in the court of heaven; deciding on the case of his people, and pronouncing their justification. The word justify, or justification, is a forensic term, and is used in judicial affairs in a court of justice. It does not mean an inward cleansing, but a legal, that is, a just and lawful proceeding of a judge, adjudging one to life. Justification is the opposite of condemnation, and I perfectly agree with Dr. Gill, when he says, “The word justify is never used in a physical sense for producing any real internal change in men, but in a forensic sense, and stands opposed, not to a state of impurity and unholiness, but to a state of condemnation; it is a law term, and used of judicial affairs, transacted in a court of judicature; see Deut.25:1, Prov.17:15, Isa.5:22, Matt.12:37, where justification stands opposed to condemnation; and this is the sense of the word whenever it is used in the doctrine under consideration; so in Job 9:2,3, and 25:4; so by David; Psalms 143:2, and in Paul’s epistles, where the doctrine of justification is treated of, respect is had to courts of judicature, and to a judicial process in them; men are represented as sinners, charged with sin, and pronounced guilty before God, and subject to condemnation and death; when, according to this evangelic doctrine, they are justified by the obedience and blood of Christ, cleared of all charges, acquitted and absolved, and freed from condemnation and death, and adjudged to eternal life; see Rom.3:9,19 & 5:16,18,19 & 8:1,33,34, Gal.2:16,17, Tit.3:7.” Evangelic justification is not the work of the Spirit of God on the heart of the sinner, implanting life in, and quickening the soul, but the work of God as a judge on a throne of justice, deciding on, and adjudging one to life, according to law and justice. It is not the infusing of righteousness, nor a purging out of the inward evils of the heart, but the pronouncing of one’s justification with reference to the charge preferred against him. I wish the reader to understand distinctly that Justification is an external act of God as a judge, acting in a court of justice, on the case of the sinner, and not the internal work of the Spirit on the heart. Thus God as the supreme judge of heaven and earth, acting upon the principles of justice, according to his most holy law, justifieth “the ungodly;” not because they have been renewed by the Spirit, nor because they have been washed with water by the word, nor because they have repented and believed the gospel, nor because of any other evangelical obedience of theirs, or inward work of the Spirit, but because of the obedience and blood of Christ, as saith the apostle, Rom.8:33,34, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” As God, who is the judge of all the earth will do right, and is just while he justifieth the ungodly, and these ungodly ones are justified as the elect of God, and because of the death of Christ, and so complete, that the apostle could challenge all opposers to lay anything to their charge, and declare, Acts 13:39, that they “are justified from all things.” We shall consider, Secondly: The character of those who are justified. We have seen already that they are the ungodly and God’s elect; and that God as the judge justifies the elect, so that none can lay anything to their charge, and yet they are called ungodly. The character of God’s elect is set forth in scripture in two points of light; 1st, as they are in themselves, and in relation to Adam, their earthly head and progenitor, and 2nd, as they are in the sight of God as his elect, in Christ their spiritual head, in whom they were chosen, and by whom they were represented. In the first of these views they are spoken of as being condemned to death, and every charge may be justly preferred against them that can be brought against any other sinner; but in the last view they are spoken of as being justified and absolved from every charge, and adjudged to life. In the first Adam there is no discrimination of elect and non-elect, but all his natural posterity without exception are considered in a condemned state, under guilt and the sentence of death, by virtue of the offence of the first Adam, who acted for all his then unborn race; but in Christ the second Adam, all his elect seed are considered in a justified state, by virtue of the obedience of Christ, who acted for his unborn elect spiritual seed. These two Adams are spoken of as the only two men who represented mankind; and Paul runs these as parallel in order to show both the condemnation of the world and the justification of the elect; see Romans, the 5th chapter. In relation to Adam, the whole human family is condemned to death, and the sentence is gone forth, “Thou shalt surely die.” “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” By this original sin, condemnation unto death came upon all mankind; see Rom.5:13, “By the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation.” This offence armed death with power, and commissioned it to reign over the whole posterity of Adam, according to Rom. 5:17, “By one man’s offence death reigned by one.” So we see from plain scripture language; that by the offence of Adam sin commenced its reign; and reigns unto death, agreeably to Rom. 5:21. We judge of the magnitude of a crime by the penalty which the law under which it is committed annexes to it. Death is the greatest possible penalty; the basest and most aggravated crime can be punished with no greater punishment. We are all exposed to death as the penalty annexed to the offence of Adam; our first earthly head and progenitor; therefore we judge this to be a crime of the greatest atrocity. By this one offence the whole race of Adam have become condemned under the reign of sin, and the sentence of death, and are now naturally and mentally opposite to all good, and inclined to all evil. All men, therefore, without any distinction of elect or non-elect, as they stand related to Adam in his offence, are children of wrath, the servants of sin, the subjects of death, and stand as condemned criminals, under the just sentence of the just law of a holy God, who will by no means clear the guilty. In this state of guilt and condemnation the whole human family lies, indisposed towards God, unreconciled to his law, opposed to his gospel, and disaffected to his government, enslaved to their own discordant passions, they hate the light, and love darkness; and choose the way to death, and under the influence of an infernal infatuation; are rendered inflexible to every power but that which is irresistible. I shall make no distinction here between the moral and physical powers of man, for the physical actions of men are under the dictation and government of the moral disposition; and until the latter be rectified by the Spirit of God, the former will always be averse to real good. In this fallen condemned state where sin has placed us, it is impossible that we should ever be justified by our own good works. If all our powers, both moral and physical, were restored to their best state before the fall, we could never obtain justification by the exercise of them, for by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified. We are condemned already, judgment has come upon all men unto condemnation, and when condemnation unto death has past upon an offender, for a crime which he has previously committed, no works which he may afterwards perform will ever clear him from the former sentence of condemnation, which still stands in full force against the criminal. We are already condemned, condemned to death by a just and holy law, for a capital offence, and future acts of obedience will never justify us, be they performed ever so promptly; nay, if our whole nature were renewed, and made as pure as Adam’s was before the fall, and we were to live clear of all sin, to the age of Methuselah, we should yet be condemned; for when we have done all, we are unprofitable servants, we have done no more than our duty, and being previously condemned to death, this sentence would still stand against us. Before a law is transgressed, it can only require obedience of those who are under it, but after it is transgressed, and its sentence of condemnation unto death has passed upon the transgressor, nothing less than the penalty will satisfy it. The natural obligations which men were under before the fall to love and serve God, to obey and worship him, &c., are in no sense relaxed by his indisposition to perform them, but men manifest the moral turpitude of their hearts by a habitual course of unreasonable rebellion against God. They love to walk in gaudy show, with impious lips, a deceitful tongue, feet that are swift to shed blood, an inexorable heart, that is deceitful and desperately wicked above all things, and no fear of God before their eyes. This is a faint representation of fallen men; eternity before, hell yawning with hideous and gloomy voracity, to receive him at his arrival, while satanic influence impels the willing captive down the dreadful dreary way that leads to the dark domain of eternal despair and remediless woe. Should angels stand aghast, and weep in tears of blood, should all the cattle of a thousand hills pour forth their blood, should rivers fill their channels with costly oil, and infants yield their lives in sacrifice for sin; all these could never revoke the sentence of the law. Man has sinned, and man must die! If wit and reason fail, angelic sympathy and blood of lambs and bullocks with all the works of men can never weigh one groat in the scale of our justification. I cry, O propitious heaven, is there no gracious volume in thy salubrious clime to grant one ray of hope to fallen man? This is the character of those whom God justifies, when they are considered as they are in their fallen state, and in relation to the first Adam; and in this relation they are condemned, and no work or sacrifice that either we or Adam can perform, will ever remove the curse or make us just with God. If we are not in a relation to the second Adam, justification is impossible, for we have neither power or merit to justify ourselves, and as I observed above, God’s elect have two distinct standings, one in the first Adam, by which they with the rest of the world have fallen under condemnation unto death, and can never be justified by any work or sacrifice in the power of Adam or themselves; and another in Christ the second Adam, in and by whom alone justification is possible to any of the fallen race. This we shall further illustrate, while we consider, Thirdly: The principles upon which the Judge proceeds in justifying. We have showed above, that justification is a law term, and is always used in scripture in a forensic sense, not for an inward cleansing, nor in opposition to a state of defilement, but for the act of a judge in the court of justice, and in opposition to a state of condemnation. The law and justice is the rule by which the judge proceeds, either to condemn, or justify the accused. If the prosecution be brought legally against the offender, and the crime alleged be sufficiently proven, it becomes the duty of the judge to pronounce the sentence of condemnation and death upon the accused, and to appoint the time of execution, but if the proof should go to clear the accused, it becomes the duty of the judge to pronounce the justification of the accused. The law will not allow the judge to clear the guilty, on account of his repentance, reformation, tears, fair promises, or any change that may be effected in the man accused after the commission of an offence. Now considering God as a judge in the court of heaven, man the accused, his guilt proven before the judge by ten thousand witnesses arising from the heart, and demonstrating it to be deceitful and desperately wicked above all things; full of murder, revenge, enmity, hatred, and every evil work; and the law says, “Thou shalt surely die.” God will not justify these rebels, unless it can be done in the strict administration of justice; for David says, Psal.9:8, “He shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.” See Gen.18:25, “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?” Exod.34:7, “He will by no means clear the guilty.” Deut.7:10, “He will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.” Deut.32:4, “He is the Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are judgment; a God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is he.” From all these passages and many others, we are taught, that as a judge God will administer strict justice; therefore in relation to the first Adam, and in ourselves considered, we shall never be justified, and if the judge proceeds with us in this relation, we are in a hopeless situation, for in this relation “judgment has come upon all men to condemnation.” The scriptures present to us the blood and righteousness of Christ as our only justification; and this righteousness is declared, that God as judge might be just in the justifying of the sinner. See Rom.3:26,27,28. As condemnation has come upon all men, by virtue of their federal relation to the first Adam, so justification can only come upon any of the human race by a federal relation with Christ the second Adam; and so justification is always taught in relation to Christ, and unless we are related to him as our righteousness, we shall never be justified; for that is all the righteousness which the law will ever be satisfied with, and God will never justify a sinner in any other way than in relation to Christ, and that relation must be such that God as a just and equitable judge, in the ministration of justice, can act upon, and the law can recognize, so as to justify the sinner by the righteousness of Christ, as if it were a righteousness which the sinner had of himself. See Rom.5:18,19, “By the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” The law is satisfied, God justifies and is just in so doing, and none can condemn the soul which is in Jesus Christ; and so Paul says, Rom.8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus;” and this being in Christ Jesus, is according to election, as the 33rd verse shows, where the apostle speaks of the same people, to whom there is no condemnation, and asks in a way of defiance, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” In Christ they stand, as the elect of God, in a relation to him as their righteousness. I Cor.1: 30, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness;” and so it is said, I Cor.6:11, “Ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus.” II Cor.5:21, “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.” From the above scriptures with many others, it is positively declared, that the elect are in Christ, and being in him by the choice of God, they are made the righteousness of God in him; he is the end of the law for righteousness to them, and so they are justified in his name. Justification is not an act of the creature; nor does it depend on the knowledge of the creature, but it is the act of the judge, and bears date from the time the judge decides on the case. God decided on the case of all his elect before all worlds, and chose them in Christ, and in his decision gave them every spiritual blessing in him, before the foundation of the world; and therefore, their sins were laid on Christ, Isaiah 53:6, and God will not impute their sins to them, and these are they of whom David said, [Psal.32:1,2,] “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity.” Compare with Rom.4:7,8; II Cor.5:19; John 1:47. God will not impute sin to his elect, because he has laid their iniquities upon Christ, and so they are blessed, for he bears their iniquities, and they are clothed with his righteousness, according to Isaiah 61:10, “He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with a robe of righteousness.” Jeremiah saw into this, and said of Christ, Jer.23:6, “This is the name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Our iniquities being laid on Christ, and not on us, he must bear them, and so it devolved on him “to finish the transgression and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness.” According to Dan.9:21, and Isa.54:17, “Their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.” In agreement with the above texts, we read in Num.23:21, “He [God] hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel.” Now from the scriptures above cited, with the whole Bible, it is plainly taught that God did lay the iniquities of his people on Christ, and therefore will not impute sin to his people, nor did he ever behold iniquity in Jacob, nor perverseness in Israel, but has decided as judge in the court of heaven, that their iniquities shall lay upon Christ, and be executed on him, and not on them, and therefore, “by his stripes we are healed,” for “he was [according to this decision] delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification, according to Rom.4:35. Now I have always thought that when the judge officially decided on the case of any man or number of men, and decided on their justification or condemnation, that the date of such decision is the date of the thing decided on. If so, when the reader will tell me, the date of God’s decision on the case of Christ’s suffering, and his church’s justification thereby; I will set the same date to their justification; for justification is the act of the judge, in thus deciding on their case; and this he did, when he laid our iniquities on Christ, and determined never to impute sin to his people; and therefore Christ was sentenced to death, and regarded [by virtue of this sentence] as a lamb slain from the foundation of the world, and that for the elect, and all this decided on by the judge, and recorded in the record of heaven’s court; see Rev.13:8, 17:8, and also Heb.10:7,9, Psalm 40:6,7,8, from which we see that the sentence had gone forth against Christ, and this sentence was written in God’s book or heaven’s record, and that record not only contained the sentence against Christ, but the names of those in whose behalf he was sentenced to be slain; and so to them it was the book of life, because justification unto life was therein adjudged or recorded to them, but sacrifice and death was written against Christ, because our sins were adjudged to him, and he sentenced to death for them, and the very hour appointed for his execution, as he says, John 12:23, 17:1, “The hour is come,” and the malice of men and devils could not take him any sooner; see John 7:30, 44, “No man laid hands on him, for his hour was not yet come;” but when the appointed hour for him to suffer was come, he says, John 12:27, "Now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say? Father save me from this hour; but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father glorify thy name.” This was the hour which God had set for the execution of Christ when he was sentenced to death for the iniquities of his people, which God had laid upon him, and therefore would not impute sin to them, nor behold iniquity or perverseness in them, but recorded their names in the book of life, and that from the foundation of the world. And so Paul says, Rom.8:1, “There is therefore, now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus;” for his righteousness is declared [see Rom.3:26] that God might be just in the justification of the sinner, therefore, Paul believed that justification had come upon all God’s elect in the past tense, as he says, Rom.5:18,19, and so he speaks chap.3:24, “Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ.” Now if justification be a forensic term, and if it is used in a judicial sense, and is to be understood of the act of a judge adjudging one to life, and God be understood as the judge, then ever since he adjudged the elect to life, by virtue of their sins being laid on Christ, and not imputed to them, they have been justified; for the judge has acted and decided on their case, and placed their names in the book of life. The apostle breaks forth into an ecstasy in viewing this exhilarating truth, and says, Eph.1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places [or things] in Christ.” Justification is a spiritual blessing, and if we were blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ, we were blessed with this among other blessings, and these blessings were not in consequence of our faith and repentance, but according to election before all worlds, as the next verse says, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world;” and the consequent effect of these blessings being according to this early choice is, “that we should be holy and without blame before him in love;” and if our being holy and without blame before God, is according, not to our faith, but to our election before the foundation of the world; so our justification must be; for if I be holy and without blame before God the judge, I am in a justified state, because holy and without blame before him in love. The love of God, or his grace, which chose his people in Christ before the world, and blessed them with all spiritual blessings, gave them such a relation to him, and standing in him, that when God views them in Christ, according to this choice and these blessings, they are holy and without blame before him, and so they are “justified freely by his grace.” God viewed them without blame before him, [verse 5,] “Having predestinated us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.” According to the good pleasure of his will, he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, and according to the same good pleasure of his will he laid our iniquities on Christ, and consequently will not impute sin to his people, but gives them all spiritual blessings, and having laid their iniquities on Christ, he has not beheld iniquity in Jacob, nor perverseness in Israel; but they are holy and without blame before him in his love. Now as all this is in Christ in whom they were chosen, blessed with all spiritual blessings, and regarded as being holy and without blame, so it is in him that God views them when he pronounces their justification; and as God had chosen them in him before the foundation of the world, and gave them all spiritual blessings in him according to that choice, so that in him considered they were holy, and without blame before God; and all this was in Christ, and before they had any knowledge of it, or sensible participation in it, they were secured to the sensible enjoyment of it by the grace of predestination, or the preordination of God, and all this was by Jesus Christ; see verses 5, 6, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children, by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” Here in the grace of election we are chosen in Christ, and accordingly blessed with all spiritual blessings, [and justification is one] and to secure us to the sensible enjoyment of these blessings, God has predestinated us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, and according to this glorious grace, and in it he hath made us accepted in the beloved; that is, in the electing and predestinating grace of God, we are accepted in Christ, and in him considered, we are holy and without blame before God in love, and all this to the praise of the glory of his electing and predestinating grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. God the judge views us holy and without blame before him, on account of our iniquities being laid on Christ and not on us, and so we being in him by election, we are blessed with eternal redemption, and our sins being laid on him, they are forgiven to us, or not imputed to us; see verse 2, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace.” O what rich grace this is, all spiritual blessings are made ours by it, and in it God hath abounded in all spiritual blessings to his chosen people; see verse 8, “Wherein he hath abounded toward us, in all wisdom and prudence.” Every revelation of grace made to us is only a blessed consequence of this rich electing and predestinating grace, according to verses 9,10,11,12. “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself, that in the dispensation of the fulness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him; in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will; that we should be to the praise of his glory who first trusted in Christ.” Some of my brethren understand all this to be only a decree to justify, that is, they think God has determined that he will at some future time, justify the elect, but that they are always condemned until they are renewed by the Spirit, and brought to act faith on Christ, and then by their faith, as an act of reliance on him, the judge acts in their justification, and justifies them because they have believed in Christ. This is what I oppose, for if God proceeds to justify the sinner because he believes in Christ, it is faith as an acts of ours, and not the blood and righteousness of Christ which is the cause of our justification; but the scripture everywhere teaches us, that as a judge God justifies us, because Christ died for us, or because our sins were laid on him, and not because we believed it. Faith is an evidence of justification, and not the cause of it. If a judge should determine or decree beforehand to justify any man who should be brought before him, would not this predetermination disqualify such a judge to act on such a case? But if justification be an eminent act of God, passing upon the whole body of the elect in Christ, and by virtue of this act the sentence of death was passed upon Christ, and he regarded as slain for us, so we being made accepted in the beloved, are looked at by the judge as being holy and without blame before him. The pardon of sin is very different from justification; the former is forgiving the guilty but the latter is declaring one guiltless according to law. {*Pardon of sin respects us as sinners in our fallen state, and was obtained for us by Christ before he rose from the dead; we are sinners, and forgiveness or non-imputation views us such, and to us as guilty in ourselves, and self-condemned, the grace of pardon or non-imputation is revealed to us by the Spirit, when we are brought to experience an application of the blood of Christ. Justification passes upon the elect by virtue of their sins being laid on Christ, and not on them; and so they are justified as if they were innocent, and had never sinned; but pardon is a grace bestowed on them as sinners in themselves, and God freely forgives them through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. We are justified because we are holy and without blame before God; but as sinners before God we are pardoned and forgiven, through the interposition of Christ, and so while we rejoice that God will not impute sin to us, yet we are humbled under the sense of our being great sinners, to whom much is forgiven.} We can only be justified by the judge; because we are without blame before him; and we can only appear without blame before him in the beloved; in whom we were chosen before the foundation of the world; and being thus chosen in him, our case was decided on, and our names were written in the book of life, according to Rev.17:8, “The beast that thou sawest, was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition; and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder [whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world] when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” These names were written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, and therefore they were justified to life or else their names would not have been written in the book of life; and he who wrote their names in the book, did it because Christ was sentenced to death for them, in agreement with Rev.13:8, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him [the beast] whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Here the book of life, in which the names of God’s people were written from the foundation of the world, is called the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world; from which we are taught, that our names were written in the book of life, at the same time that God decided on our case, and sentenced Christ to death, and us to life by him; and so our names were written in the book of life, and he was condemned to the slaughter at the same time, according to Psalm 40:7, “Then said I, lo, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me.” The speaker in this text is Christ, according to Heb.10:7,8,9,10, where the same words are expressed and explained. Both David and Paul speak of God’s book, where the offering of the body of Christ was written, and as both of these writers refer to such a book, and the book of life being the book of the Lamb slain, in which his death was recorded; David and Paul no doubt referred to this book when they quote the words of the above texts from the book where these things were written of him. Nor were the names of the believers alone, all that were written in this book of life, but all the mystical body of Christ, whether born or unborn, were written in this book from the foundation of the world; see Psa.139:16, “Thine eyes did see my substance, [or body] yet being unperfect, and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” And these whose names were written in the book of life, are they who shall finally be saved, according to Rev.20:12,13,14,15, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire.” Now from all the above scriptures, the following facts are deducible and unquestionable. 1st. We [the elect] were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. 2nd. God made them accepted in the beloved, and gave them all spiritual blessings in him [justification among the rest] according to his choice. 3rd. Those who were thus chosen in Christ were his sheep, and when they went astray, their iniquities were laid on him, and not on them, and God as the supreme judge pronounced the sentence of death on him, and recorded it in his book, and adjudged them to life, and recorded their names in the book of life from the foundation of the world. 4th. The judge having thus decided the case, and all the sins of his elect being laid on Christ, he will never impute sin to the elect, nor behold iniquity in Jacob, nor perverseness in Israel, but they stand holy and without blame before him. 5th. In consequence of this irrevocable decision, the hour is set for Christ to be executed; and the elect are predestinated to life. 6th. As our sins were laid on Christ and not on us, so he was executed for them, and not us; and so we are justified by his blood from all things. Hitherto I have been speaking of justification as an official act of God as judge; sitting on the case of his elect, and deciding on their justification, and the death of Christ in their stead, and as I have fully proved from the positive declarations of scripture, that God did lay their iniquities on Christ, and declared them to be holy and without blame before him in love, and so their names were written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, and he adjudged to the slaughter from the same time, and the hour set for his execution, according to the determined counsel [or decision] and foreknowledge of God. It only now remains for me to show the justice of God as a judge in thus deciding the case, since Christ was innocent, and we were guilty; and yet he was condemned and we justified in the decision of the judge. Election gave us a standing in Christ, and a relation to him which will fully justify all the ways of God to man; and we have above proved from scripture, that God did choose his people in Christ before the foundation of the world, and of course they were in relation to him, ever since they were chosen in him; and he is their head, and they are his members, and this doctrine is taught in the following manner: Rom.12:4,5, “As we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office; so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” I Cor.10:17, “For we, being many, are one bread, and one body.” I Cor.12:20, “But now are they many members, yet but one body.” Verse 12, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ.” Eph.1:22, 23, “Who gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” These many members that make but one body, are the members spoken of in the 139th Psalm, 16th verse; and these many members make the church or mystical body of Christ, and these are they whose iniquities were laid on Christ, and for whom he was slain, by which they were redeemed or purchased; see I Cor.6:19,20, “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Chap.7:23. “Ye are bought with a price.” Gal.1:4. “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world according to the will of God, and our Father.” See chap.2:20, Eph.5, from verse 22 to the close. Rom.6:7-11, all of which prove beyond a doubt the existence of an union between Christ and his church. This union or relation existed before we believe, nay before Christ died, for he loved the church, and gave himself for it, Eph.5:25,26,27; not that he might have it, but that he might present it a glorious church. Now as the law will justify a judge in passing the sentence on the head, for the offence of the members of the body, so Christ the head of the church was sentenced for the offence of his offending members, and in this the justice of God appears in laying our sins on Christ. This union or relation is illustrated in scripture by the union subsisting between the husband and wife. The church is called the bride, the Lamb’s wife, Rev.21:9, chap.19:7, and Christ is often called [in relation to his church] a bridegroom; and the apostle treats the subject in the following manner. I Cor.11:3, “I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman, is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” Eph.5:23, “For the husband is the head of the wife; even as Christ is the head of the church; and he is the saviour of the body.” “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh; this is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and his church.” Now the union between the husband and wife is such, that the husband must satisfy the debts contracted by the wife; for the law demands it of him by virtue of the relation above demonstrated; so Christ must pay the contract of the church, which is his wife, and so God is just in laying her iniquities to him, and not to her, for he is her living husband. This relation is illustrated by the prophet, and by Christ himself, by the figure of the shepherd and the sheep, which are in a relation to each other, so that the shepherd, if he be the owner of the sheep, must be accountable for any damage done by the sheep. Christ shows that he is not only the shepherd but the real owner of the sheep, John 10:11,14,15; and many of his sheep were then in unbelief, see verse 16; and he will pay for all their trespasses, even if it costs him his life. This is what the prophet says, Isa.53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” The sheep is the property of the shepherd, and he must in law answer for them. If I be the proper owner of a flock of sheep, and they should unlawfully break in and kill your orchard, would you bring suit against the sheep, and bring them as transgressors into court; or would you not rather bring suit against me, as the shepherd and owner of the offending sheep; and I must pay the damage, be it great or small; so Christ being the shepherd and owner of the sheep, is proceeded against in a legal way, and the Lord as a judge, lays the iniquity of the sheep to the shepherd, and assesses the damage to be the death of the shepherd; and so the sword must slumber, until the shepherd comes to the hour set for his execution, and then awake and smite the shepherd, who had been sentenced for the sheep, according to Zech.13:7, “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts; smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered; and I will turn my hand upon the little ones.” So Christ says, “I lay down my life for the sheep.” As he was prosecuted and executed as the shepherd of his sheep, and suffered for and under the iniquities of his sheep, so he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before his shearers, is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.” Isa.53:7. As Christ was the shepherd, so the sheep were God’s elect people; see verse 8, “For the transgressions of my people was he stricken,” or was the stroke upon him. Various are the figures employed in the scriptures to illustrate this gracious union; such as the vine and branches, a king and subjects, &c. Time would fail me to enter largely into this glorious grace, but from the scriptures already adduced on the relation between Christ and his people, the bond of which is love, this one point is established, that Christ and his church are in such a relation as to show how God is just in laying their iniquities to him, and justifying them by virtue of his blood. We have hitherto showed that the elect of God and church of Christ have two distinct standings, one in Adam, and one in Christ; that in Adam they are condemned to death, and so must remain; but in Christ they are holy and without blame before God. And so Adam was a figure of him that was to come; and these are the two heads. Condemnation came by the first, and justification came by the second. We feel under condemnation by the offence of the first, but we enjoy justification by the obedience of the second. The fifth chapter of Romans shows these two Adams acting for their respective seeds, with these different effects, on their seeds; by the one came condemnation unto death, on all his seed, but by the other came justification unto life and all his seed, &c. Now as we have showed the principles upon which God as a judge proceeded to pass the sentence of death on Christ, and acquit the church, and so he must die and they must live thereby; so he came to the very hour appointed, and suffered and died for our sins; according to the scriptures he bare our sins in his own body on the tree; according to the sentence of the judge, he was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. As I have proved above, by positive scripture, that God will not impute sin to his people, having laid them on Christ, and that he is consequently regarded in the decision of God as a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, and their names written from the same period in the book of life. So when he was actually slain they were actually justified, for by the obedience of one man the free gift has come upon all men [that is, the elect of all nations] unto justification of life. Just in the very same sense that the church was chosen in Christ before the world was, they were viewed in him without blame, and as his elect, he will behold no spot in them; this I sometimes call a virtual justification, and the enemies of the doctrine call it eternal justification, and then commence a war with the name, and make a wonderful ado about the name. Well the truth will have its enemies, and they may give it all the hard names they please. I will not pretend to justify the term, eternal justification, but the doctrine which is generally buffeted under that name I esteem as a most precious truth, big with comfort to my poor soul, which I think could never be saved without it. As God had decided on the justification of the elect by the death of Christ, so our justification is often ascribed to his blood; it is said Rom.3:24, “Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ.” So we see that we are justified by the grace of God as a judge, and that grace flows to us through the redemption that is in Christ; that is, when God freely adjudged us to life, and wrote our names in the book of life, he acted on the case, viewing us in relation to Christ, and through the redemption that is in him, he is just in the decision of our justification; as it is said, verse 26, “To declare I say, at this time his righteousness, that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus;” that is to say, the righteousness of Christ, or his standing related to his church, as the end of the law for righteousness to her, God is just as a judge in justifying the church by the satisfaction made, or rendered to it by her head and husband. Now we plainly see, that the sentence of death due to our offences, was executed on Christ according to God’s determined purpose, and we are consequently justified thereby, in a way of justice. Christ bare the sins of many, and when he died for us, and suffered for our sins as a public head, acting and dying as the representative of many, his death is regarded as the death of all for whom he died, and this is what we read, II Cor.5:14,15, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” As our sins were laid on Christ and we were in him by election, so he came to die in our stead, and when he died for us, it was the same in the eye of the law as if all his members had then died, and so Paul said, Gal.2:20, “I am crucified with Christ;” and Rom.6:8, “Now if we be dead with Christ,” &c., chap.7:4, “Ye are become dead to the law by the body of Christ.” From all of which it is plain that when Christ died for us, we were regarded as dead, or his death was looked upon as if it were the death of all he represented; for he died, not as a private individual; but as the public head and representative of all his members, and so when he, though but one; died for them all; the love of Christ constrains us to judge that they were all dead by him. So when he rose from the dead he rose for our justification, and as he died in relation to the elect, so he rose in relation to them, and so it is said of him. Rom.4:25, “Who was delivered for our offences and was raised again for our justification.” We being thus interested in his resurrection as our representative, we are spoken of as rising with him; see Isa.26:19, “Thy dead men shall live together with my dead body shall they arise.” Hos.6:2, “After two days will he revive us, in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” The sentence of God had gone forth against Christ, as in Isa.53:11, “By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities,” and according to this sentence it devolved on Christ to make an end of sin, according to Dan.9:24, and so there was a must needs be, for Christ to suffer and rise again; in proof of this, see Acts 17:2,3, “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath-days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, opening and alleging that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead.” Luke 24:26,46, from which it appears plain, that Christ was under the strongest obligation to die for his church; yet he suffered freely and willingly; he was under obligation as the sentence of death had passed upon him, as the head, husband, and shepherd of his people, but he willingly and voluntarily stood in this relation, and so while he loved the church and freely gave himself for it, the law demanded his life, and he must suffer. So while his willingness to suffer for us, shows his grace and love to us, it is the obligation he is under to suffer that shows the justice of his suffering; and so both grace and justice shines with equal lustre in our free justification; and so we are justified by grace as a free gift, for it is said, Rom.5:16, “The free gift is of many offences unto justification;” yet though justification is a free gift, it comes to us through and by the blood of Christ, which he shed to satisfy the sentence of the law, which was justly executed on him, as the head of the church; see verse 9. Now I have said above, that when Christ actually suffered for our sins, we were actually justified, and this is true, according to Rom.5:18, “As by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” The sentence of condemnation and death actually came upon all Adam’s unborn seed, when he offended, and so they are heirs to corruption, condemnation and death, and as they are born by a natural birth, they begin to feel the weight of this sentence, and mortality. So when Christ the second Adam, fulfilled the law, put away our sins, finished transgression, and brought in everlasting righteousness, all his unborn spiritual seed were actually justified, because the sentence of God was actually executed on him in our stead, and all our sins were put away by the sacrifice of himself; and the law was satisfied to the full; and so he was raised for our justification, and we were justified by his blood; so justification is not a consequence of faith, as an act of the creature, but a consequence of the death of Christ, or in other words, justification is the decision of a judge, adjudging one to life. God adjudged us to life, because all our sins were imputed to Christ, and on this account he never did view iniquity in Jacob, nor perverseness in Israel, and will not impute sin to his elect, but all their iniquities being laid on Christ, the sentence of death due to their offences was executed upon him, and the justification due to his righteousness was given to them; and now the gospel reveals this righteousness to faith, and faith is an evidence to the soul, of his free justification. This brings me to speak, Fourthly: Of the evidences by which we are brought to know our justification. The prisoner in the dungeon can only know that he is justified by the judge in court by some messenger, who may be sent to him, with the tidings of it; and however long he may disbelieve the message, it cannot make it untrue, because the fact does not depend for its truth upon the prisoner’s faith, but is a truth before he believes it, as certainly as afterwards, and his faith adds nothing to the truth of the fact, but only to his comfort in the enjoyment of a knowledge of the fact. So Justification is a fact before faith, and faith adds nothing to it, but only believes the fact as it is declared to it in the gospel. Rom.1:17, “For therein [in the gospel] is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith.” This righteousness is our justification, faith is the eye to which it is revealed, and the gospel brings it to view; thus the gospel is called the word of faith, Rom.10:8; and faith cometh by hearing this word; see verse 17, “So then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” The gospel is sent to men as sinners, lying in the ruins of the first Adam, lost and condemned under the sentence of death; and proclaims and reveals the righteousness of Christ, as the justification of the ungodly; but no eye but that of faith can see it, and on this account many are ignorant of the righteousness of God, and are going about to establish their own righteousness, and because faith is the eye to which this righteousness is revealed, it is called the righteousness of faith, Rom.10:6, and this righteousness is manifested, and the law and prophets attest it to be faultless; and warrants the faith of the sinner to trust in it. Rom.3:31,22, “Now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all, and upon all them that believe, for there is no difference.” This righteousness is of God, and we see it by faith, according to Phil.3:9, where Paul desires above all things, “to be found in him, not having mine own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” Now this righteousness alone is our justification; and it is revealed or manifested to faith, well proved by the law and the prophets; therefore faith may safely venture on it. A word on faith; faith is a fruit of the Spirit, Gal.5:22, and so the spirit is called the spirit of faith, because we have no true faith, without it; see II Cor.4:13, “We having the same spirit of faith,” &c. This faith is peculiar to God’s elect, Tit.1:1, because the gospel by which faith cometh and which is the word of faith, and which reveals the righteousness of God to faith, comes with power and the spirit, only to the elect, although the word be preached to all. See I Thes.1:4,5, “Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God; for our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.” Christ taught the same where he said, “Ye believe not, because ye are not my sheep, as I said unto you, my sheep hear my voice,” &c. The faith of God’s elect has Christ and his righteousness for its object, and so its object is our justifying righteousness, and so faith as to its object, is our justification; for in this sense Christ is called faith, see Gal.3:23,25, and so faith is declared to be the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, Heb.11:1, the substance, as to its object, and an evidence to the soul of its interest in that object; and when the apostle would show that we are justified by the righteousness of Christ, which is revealed to faith, and is the righteousness on which faith builds; and by which the sinner is justified, and this is faith’s substance, and of which it bears evidence for the comfort of the soul; showing this free justification by the obedience of Christ, without the works of the law, he speaks of our being justified, not for faith, but by faith, by faith really as to its object, CHRIST, and manifestively, as to its evidence of our interest in that object. Justification is a grace, and faith never secured it, or made it ours; but by Christ we have access into this grace, and faith is the eye by which we see our standing in this grace; and from the evidence of faith we see our standing in Justification, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God; see Rom.5:2, “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace [the grace of justification] wherein we stand and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” So we see that by Christ we stand in the grace of justification, and by faith in him we see our standing in this grace, and so we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Justification by faith is taught in opposition to the notion of justification by works, not because our faith as an act of ours justifies us, but because faith receives or views our justification complete in Christ without our works; and so the apostle argues in Acts 13:39, “By him [Christ] all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” By Christ alone are we justified, and faith is the Spirit’s evidence to the soul of his interest in this grace; and it is said, Rom.4:3, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” Gal.3:6, James 2:23, Rom.4:5,6,7,8, all of which prove that it was the substance or object of faith that justified Abraham, and not barely the act of Abraham’s faith, for the fact which he believed was not dependant on an act of his faith; but his faith believed the fact, and received such evidence of its truth, as to fill Abraham with an unshaken confidence in God, that what he had promised he was able to perform; and so he gave glory to God. The same thing is declared, Rom.4:23, and chapter 5:1, where Christ is spoken of as he “who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” This verse ends the fourth chapter, and shows that Christ being delivered for our offences, had made full satisfaction for us, and so was raised again for our justification, and so justification is complete; then in the 5th chapter, 1st verse, he infers from this fact, that we may have peace, even the peace which a knowledge of our free justification will afford, by believing in the fact above settled, and says, “Therefore being justified, by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I have changed the comma in the last quotation, because the sense of the passage required it, and some other versions place it as I have, but whether it be changed or not, the meaning is the same, when we take the two verses together, for the last is an inference drawn from the other, and both together show, that we were justified when Christ was raised from the dead, and faith in this truth affords us peace with God, and that peace we enjoy through our Lord Jesus Christ, who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification; and faith is an evidence of it to the soul. This is the sense in which the scriptures speak of justification by faith, and all goes to prove that we are not justified by an act of faith in the creature, but by the righteousness of Christ, and this is the righteousness which faith sees, and leads the soul to trust in; and this is what the poet sings,“Faith pleads no merit of its own, But looks for all in Christ.” And so “faith receives a righteousness that makes the sinner just.” We see that faith is a fruit of the Spirit, and its office is to lead the soul to Christ, and as an eye to view the righteousness of Christ revealed to it in the gospel, and as a hand to take hold on that righteousness, and build the soul on it, as a sure foundation, and cause it to rejoice in God through Christ, and say, who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, and so we see that justification is of the grace of God through the blood and righteousness of Christ, and faith is the Spirit’s evidence of it to and for the comfort of the soul; and this is according to the experience of every truly regenerated man or woman, and I shall now show something of the way in which the experience of the people of God agrees with the doctrine of this discourse. I have showed that the elect of God have two standings, one in Christ, in relation to whom they are without blame before God; and another in Adam, in relation to whom, and in themselves considered, they are condemned to death. Now men do not feel their condemnation properly until they are quickened by the Spirit; but as soon as they are made alive they begin to feel and see, and so faith is one of the first fruits of the Spirit; it views the excellency of the divine character, and the beauty of holiness, and begins to pant for the living God. Although the awakened sinner now has faith; its eye is not directed to Christ, but he now sees the glory and justice of God, and the purity of the law, and by the law he has a knowledge of sin; and so he begins to abhor himself and repent; he looks at himself in his fallen state, in relation to the first Adam, and sees that he is a condemned criminal; he reads the law, it sentences him to death and condemnation, and as he is wedded to a covenant of works, and sees not his relation to Christ, he begins to try to reform and keep the law, and work for life; and however long he may work under this legal persuasion, he finds but a poor reward, and at length he finds that all his plans are thwarted, and he is like the woman in the gospel that had spent all she had with physicians, and had got nothing better, but rather grew worse. Now the quickened sinner sees what he is in himself, and in relation to the first Adam, and that in this relation he is condemned to death, and can never be justified by any work or sacrifice in his power; all his hopes of obtaining salvation by the deeds of the law, gives up the ghost, for sin now appears exceedingly sinful, and it takes an occasion by the commandment to slay the sinner, who is ready to say, the commandment is holy, just and good, but I am carnal, sold under sin. Sin works by that which is good, and the sinner dies to all hope of ever being justified by any works of his own, and as if cut off from every other refuge, he cries, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” His expectation being cut off from everything else, he looks to God only, and falls as a pensioner on his mercy and grace, filled with the deepest sense of his condemnation, and the impossibility of being justified by the works of the law. This is his state as he stands in himself, and in relation to the first Adam, and this he clearly sees; but here the gospel reveals to faith the righteousness of God, and by faith the soul views his justification complete in the blood and righteousness of Christ; not that his faith hath justified him, but by faith he sees that which was a truth before he saw it; and his soul seems to melt like wax into the depth of humility, and yet he rejoices, he is amazed at the matchless grace of God, is almost ready to wonder he never saw this before; the fulness of Christ engages his confidence, and the sentiments of the soul is, “In the Lord have I righteousness and strength, he has become my salvation.” Now all this comfort flows from the evidence which faith bears to the soul, of its interest in and relation to Christ the second Adam; and from this view of his relation to Christ, in his death and resurrection, he builds his only hope for salvation in Christ, and this building is what is called the faith of reliance; and so it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” To live by faith is to live relying on Christ, looking to Christ, and trusting in his righteousness, faithfulness, and truth. Faith as an act, has nothing in it to comfort the soul, but it brings all its comforts from its object, and so faith, though one of the first fruits which the Spirit produces in the soul, can afford no comfort to the soul until its eye is directed to Christ, and his blood and righteousness, which the gospel reveals to it, nor even then will it afford comfort to the soul, unless it views the relation in which the soul stands to that righteousness; for we may have strong faith in Christ, as one able to save, and yet have no comfortable assurance that he will save me; as the man in the gospel had a strong faith in the ability of Christ, and said, “If thou wilt thou canst make me clean,” but when faith views him, “The Lord our righteousness,” the soul can rejoice, and say, “In the Lord have I righteousness.” Christian reader, is it not according to thy own experience? The awakened sinner has faith in God, and in Christ as being righteous, but sees not his own relation to that righteousness, and therefore he is not comforted, but hungers and thirsts after righteousness, and although the promise is positive, “He shall be comforted,” yet the soul cannot see how this can be; but when by faith the soul receives an evidence that it is related to Christ as its righteousness, it is then that it is filled and can rejoice in hope of the glory of God, and puts no confidence in the flesh; and so says Paul, “The life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Wilson Thompson {Triumphs of Truth; or the Scripture a Sure Guide to Zion’s Pilgrims, 1825}

Posted April 30, 2013

{Writings of Samuel Stockell}

Antinomianism: As for the charge of Antinomianism, we through God’s Grace regard it not. Let our adversary slander, bark and grin, fight against and curse the Free Grace of God, and those who love it, as enemies to his righteous Law, it is a causeless curse, and shall never light on our heads, for we love and keep the Law of God better than they can. Nay, our obedience to God’s Law by which we are justified is not only preferable to the sinful doings of legalists, but even to all the holiness of the angels and archangels about the throne, those glorious sons of the morning, who never sinned or left their first estate; so that we do not make void the Law through faith, but establish, magnify, and make it honorable; for the obedience of God’s elect, by which they are justified, is preferable to that of the Angels, because the obedience of God’s elect is the personal obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ, made theirs by an act of Sovereignty in Imputation, as is evident from the parable that the Holy Ghost runs between Adam and Christ, in the fifth of Romans, verse fourteen to the end. Nay, give me leave to say, that the personal obedience of the saints is more agreeable to the holiness and spirituality of God’s righteous Law than all the righteousness of them who hope to be saved by their own doings; for the believer performs all his duties from a principal of pure love to his dear Redeemer, but the others from a principal of servile bondage, as the fear of God’s wrath and eternal displeasure. The proud legalists may allege what they will against the doctrines of Free Grace and an Unconditional Salvation in Christ; they may clamor as loudly as they please against them as Antinomian fooleries; yet, through the Grace of God we will adhere to them as our greatest glory and consolation; for they have been our greatest joy, and we have experienced them to be the only motive to the cheerful performance of duty. Let vain legalists know that we can offer up to God a more excellent sacrifice than they; namely, the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, for the Holy Ghost puts his obedience into our hands, whenever we come before the Lord; and we have found by blessed experience that when by the threatenings of the Law a flood of guilt gushes into our consciences, we can stop its impetuous streams with the blood of the Everlasting Covenant. Sure I am from a living experience, that they are wholly strangers to good works, who were never created by the Lord the Spirit, a second time, in Christ Jesus; for the saints are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, and all pretensions to good works, without this Divine creation are no better than an empty name. - May the Lord help you to take heed, if it be consistent with his Divine will, of despising the Redeemer’s glory, and that which most exalts his grace and greatness. It is evident then from what hath been said, that the glorious and absolute Grace of God, as it is brought home to the soul by a Divine power, produces the most glorious fruit, to the praise and glory of that grace which hath accepted us in the Beloved. {Eph.1:6} Observe then, that all our good works flow from received Grace, and are the consequences, not the causes, of the love of God in Christ Jesus; and it is impossible for us, until we are made partakers of the holy seed, to bring forth any good fruit. It is our being engrafted into this holy Stock, that enables us to bring forth the fruits of righteousness, not to obtain salvation, but because we are saved already; not to escape the wrath of God, but because the Redeemer himself hath already delivered us from it, but to show gratitude to Jesus Christ, as an Husband who hath secured heaven for his bride and spouse, and freed her from all dangers and fears of hell. The believer now, being delivered from the hands of his enemies; namely, all his guilt and slavish fear, can serve his Lord in holiness and righteousness all his days. It is to Jesus Christ that we owe all our love; and we cannot but love him, whenever we reflect on his love to us, who hath saved us from wrath, and left us nothing to pay to the demands of the Law, but hath fully discharged all himself. This is the ground of all love and service to Christ; and this love never did, never will, nor can lead to licentiousness of life. No, very far from it, for it kindles in the heaven-born soul a mighty flame, by which the heart is melted for sin, and it is the strongest cord to bind us to the service of Jesus Christ. Samuel Stockell {Redeemer’s Glory Unveiled, 1733}

Arminianism: The doctrines of the Arminians, and their friends the Pelagians, who teach universal redemption and man’s free will; heresies that are so destructive to the honor of Christ and the Holy Ghost, and that tend also to destroy the souls of men; for, if the Redemption wrought out by Jesus Christ be for all men, to put them into a savable state, and the rest that remains to be done, in order to our possessing of the Salvation, is to be performed by us as fallen creatures, then we are all in a most wretched condition, because if Adam fell from his original perfect condition, how can we ever expect to stand in our lapsed state? But the open preaching of these tenants {the false Gospel of Arminianism} hath been by many of our ‘great men’ exploded, who have represented them as gross and pernicious errors; who have made a thundering noise against them, and talked loudly about Free and Efficacious Grace, when all the while, in fact, this hath been nothing else but a masquerade, for they are Arminians themselves, Pelagians still, notwithstanding all they will say to the contrary. This will appear to demonstration from their general mode of preaching, especially in what they call the application of their sermons, wherein it is to be observed, that the Spirit is commonly excluded; nay, hardly so much as named; and, if he be named sometimes by them, it will not clear them of this heavy charge of Arminianism; for they exhort sinners, as such, after they have been laying down many rules to walk by, in order to secure the doctrinal privileges that they have been insisting upon, to pray for the Spirit, which supposes that they can pray without Him. Thus, they exhort men in a state of nature to do what is entirely out of their power, which to me is downright tantalizing; for it is as much as if I should offer a man my estate which is all in land, and tell him that I offer it to him freely, but he must take it and move it to another part of the country. This in fact, is to offer the man nothing at all; for it is, in reality only game and mockery. We would then conclude that our Doctors and Priests, the leaders of their several parties, are men who would not be guilty of mocking poor souls; as I’m sure that they profess to be blessed with more holiness, and that they have a very tender regard for the good of souls, which they make a very large profession of, when they enter into their ministerial functions; I mean at the time of there being, what they call, ordained. We are then bound by their own confession to believe that they are sincere and would not be guilty of mocking souls for the world; from whence it follows, that they believe that sinners, dead in trespasses and sins, are capable to do as they direct them. Now, they prove themselves to be Arminians indeed; for listen, and you will hear presently these and such like expressions to fall from their mouths: “Sinners, make your peace with God; get into Christ; receive him now today, while he is offered unto you. He is now on a Throne of Grace, and waiting to be gracious. Oh, do not slip this opportunity, this season and day of grace, which is now put into your hands, for you may never have another! Oh, what would the damned in hell give for another season of grace! How do they rend and tear to think that they have slipped their season, and the day of their visitation?” And at this rate they go; adding motives and directions on how to get their interest in Christ secured, and to make a right improvement of what they call a day of grace. Now, all wise men shall be judges, if this be not Arminianism and Pelagianism, for this universal way of offering Christ, Grace and Salvation to sinners must be founded upon universal redemption, and a sufficient power in all to receive them, and make them effectual to eternal life. It is then very evident, that these gentlemen are Arminians and Pelagians, notwithstanding all they profess to the contrary; and I will take the liberty to affirm, that all such preaching gives the lie to the Doctrines of Election, Particular Redemption and Efficacious Grace, for to me it is impossible to reconcile a universal offer of Christ and Grace with Particular Election and Salvation! If there be an universal offer of Christ and Salvation made to sinners in the Scriptures, then God hath designed Christ, Grace, and Salvation for all; and if so, where is Election? If you say, God hath not designed Salvation for all, according to the doctrine of Election, then you are Blasphemers of God in charging him with deceit and mockery, whom you represent as offering Salvation to all, although he never intended it, but for a few in comparison of the world. Do you imagine that by your preaching of offers that you shall convert more than the elect of God; or do you think that, if you do not preach in this manner, that any of the elect shall miscarry, and come short of the glory prepared for them from the foundation of the world? If this be the case, read the scripture which saith, “the foundation of the Lord standard sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his; and, if you have read it, you not believe it! Samuel Stockell {Redeemer’s Glory Unveiled, 1733}


                 Index of Authors                

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