August 2012


Posted August 3, 2012

{Writings of Joseph Hussey}

Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD: “There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” - No more Law sacrifice for sins, no more Gospel sacrifice for sins either, if we refuse or reject the Lord Jesus Christ. There remaineth no more sacrifice of the Gospel, because as there is no other Messiah than Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, to be the Gospel Sacrifice, so that same Messiah sacrificed is to be offered up no more. {“We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Heb.10:10} Again, there remains no more sacrifice of the Law, because the sacrifices of the Law, which typified Christ, have all lawfully ceased in this most Perfect Sacrifice, and can be no more renewed forever. Therefore, says he, upon rejecting Christ’s {once and for all perfect} Sacrifice, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins; but, says he, there remaineth “a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” {Heb.10:27} The direct meaning of the Apostle in this, that the unbelieving Jews, thinking to mend themselves by going back to Judaism, should be mistaken; and that they should pay dear for this Relinquishment of Christ, the Gospel Sacrifice. For, instead of meeting with opportunity to go on with the abrogated sacrifice in the Temple at Jerusalem, as their forefathers had been accustomed to do, when they continued the legal sacrifices, they would but go and mingle themselves with the adversaries, who should be utterly ruined in the calamities of that provoked nation. The visible judgment of the Righteous Lord {Ps.11:6,7} should even swallow up their Temple, Country and Commonwealth, and openly destroy the Jews, even in this world. And how that hath come to pass, hath been known to all the Earth. {“And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.” Ez.22:48} The Apostle spake thus to the Hebrews, as hoping it would be a means to fix the elect, and resettle the wavering of that number, and make them prize the mercies of the Gospel more, and not be afraid of them that upbraided them for their steadfastness, by setting forth the sad condition of the adversaries, which would issue finally upon none but the non-elect; and being encouraged to believe this Hebrew Epistle would be mightily blessed, as a means to prevent an open relapse {whatever might be the present, corrupt inclination} of the elect number, if not to convert some of the then uncalled elect of the Jewish nation, who might read the same, because of its subscription to the Hebrew people. Now as the Apostle had predicted of the adversaries, it came to pass. There was fiery indignation that devoured them; as they were swallowed up in a gulf of fire. This was more visible and literally executed upon such of the Jews as presumed to continue sacrificing in the Temple against all belief of the One Offering of Jesus Christ before them; their blood, as Christ had also foretold, was mingled with their sacrifices, {Lk.13:1,} in the horrible siege of Jerusalem by Titus Vespasian, when there was such a mighty slaughter made of them upon the very pavements of the Temple at the destruction of that city by the Romans. And the fiery indignation as foretold by the Apostle Paul to these Hebrews, came upon them literally, in the destruction of their Temple, and burning that House of Sacrifice over their heads, for going on to kill the ox, whilst those who sacrificed the ox were the very Jews {“He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations; I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear; but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.” Is.66:3,4} that slew the Man, the Man Christ Jesus, {I Tim.2:5,} as the prophet hath clearly prophesied of the Hebrew people, at the time of God's rejecting them after Christ. The same fire which burned the Temple devoured the very adversaries of our Dear Lord Jesus, at their devotions therein. {“For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” Mal.4:1} Oh! It was that Day of the Lord which did burn as an oven, whilst all the proud scoffers at Jesus Christ, going about to establish their own righteousness, had not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God. {Rom.10:3} Yea, with those proud, all that did wickedly, not only rejecting Christ, but blaspheming him, were, to a very great number of them, got into the idolized Temple for shelter and sanctuary from the Romans in their storming of Jerusalem, {Ez.13:13,14,} whilst Christ was a Hiding Place to the elect of God, {Is.32:2,} who had seasonably retreated upon Christ's own warning {Lk.21:20} being given unto them. The rest were blinded as before, {Rom.11:7,} and so were but run from the Sword to the Flame of devouring fire. These soon found the Temple to be a Fiery Oven in the time of God's anger, even as was foretold by the Psalmist, “Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger; the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.” {Ps.21:9} This particular threatening against the Jews in that Psalm is purposely penned by the Holy Ghost there among the recorded Victories and Triumphs of the Lord Christ, to set forth his Righteous Vengeance, even the vengeance of the Temple {Is.66:6} in his devouring Fire, upon his personal enemies, the Jews, who crucified Him, in revenging his despised blood upon their children, on whom the wretched parents had imprecated the dismal curse, {Mt.27:25,} even whilst Jesus, that he might sanctify the people {of God} with his own blood, suffered without the gate. {Heb.13:12} And whilst the burning Temple was thus a fiery Oven, the Jews in it became as a handful of stubble cast in to be devoured in the flames, both parents and their children! {Mal.4:1} That, as the prophet shows us, it did neither leave root nor branch, as many of them as were burnt in this oven, to get out from the fiery Temple, and a fiery Law, alive. {Deut.33:2} And as that Temple had been a Type of the Human Nature of Christ, so at that time when it was thus clothed with devouring fire that burnt up the adversaries, it was a very terrible and solemn Emblem of the second coming of Christ burning with indignation against the wicked, “when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” {II Thes.1:7,8} Now says the Apostle to these Hebrews, what would ye get by relapsing into the old bosom of your Temple, if God doth not prevent it by giving you the true and everlasting faith in Christ? What will the sacrifices of the Law advantage you, when God shall reckon with his adversaries for despising Christ, and shall burn the willful sacrificers with their empty sacrifices together, and fire down the house of their vain oblations too, {Is.1:13,} and pile them all up in one monument of His Kindled Wrath together? What will then become of all the Jew’s expectations in setting Moses up against Christ? What apostates, what temporizers, what compounders {or admixtures of Christ and Moses} will then escape, whose zeal for the Law shall but hurry them on faster to be devoured in this fiery indignation? The more haste they make, in a blind zeal and devotion, to sacrifice in their Temple, the more guiltily will they be consumed in the same Sinai-House on fire. Now all this soon thereafter came to pass upon that miserable, infatuated and befuddled people, as the Scriptures of the Old Testament had plainly enough foretold the Jews. {Heb.12:18 with Ex.19:18, Jer.4:22, Ez.20:46,47} And as the New Testament epoch-annals of time, together, with the different pens of historians, have made the truth of devouring the adversaries this way to appear. And indeed the execution of the threatenings have been obvious. It's plainly beheld in comparing the prophecies and events together. All sacrifices being necessarily destroyed with the Destruction of the Jewish Temple. - “There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” It must be remembered that the Apostle wrote to the Hebrews. These were Jewish professors of Christ, who at length were many of them wavering, and began to think they had made a false step in forsaking Moses to embrace Christ. Hence some of them seemed ready for absolute apostasy, others seemed ready to compound the matter, and ignorantly join Judaism with Christianity; and both were destructive of the True and Evangelical Sacrifice. - The main scope of the Apostle in this Epistle, when he had advanced in it so far the Worship of the Gospel, was to prove the complete abrogation of these bloody sacrifices for sin, and that the typical worship of the Law was done away by the Death of Christ, the true Gospel-Sacrifice, and that an Evangelical and Spiritual Worship was introduced, adequate to and consistent with the Resurrection and Glory of this One sacrifice for sins, and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ, upon the heart and conscience of every Believing Worshiper. Joseph Hussey {Glory of Christ Unveiled, or the Excellency of Christ Vindicated, 1706}

Posted August 6, 2012

{Writings of Joseph Hussey}

Law and Gospel Distinctions: The Gospel promise is not about writing the Law in the heart, as it was the Law of God written in the heart of Christ, “I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart;” {Ps.40:8;} but about writing the Laws of Christ in the hearts of the justified, as the phrase in the singular number in Jeremiah, {Jer.31:33,} is expounded by the Holy Ghost in the Hebrews. {Heb.8:10 & 10:16} The Gospel promise, or the promise, “I will put my Law {singularly} in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts;” is explained in the plural, “I will put my Laws {plurally} into their mind, and write them in their hearts;” and so Law is made Laws plurally, distinct Laws from the Law of God by Moses. Consequently, Christ’s Laws as means to carry on communion in that interest {one’s secured interest in and by Christ.} These Laws of Christ {being supernatural religion, under a continued and further work of the Holy Ghost, after conversion to the Person and Righteousness of Christ} none but true believers “without the deeds of the Law,” {Rom.3:28,} the Sinai Law; or, without conformity in the true Law sense, do find written in their hearts. It is not the Law of God at large, for that is men’s gross mistake to call it the Law of God, as if it was so at large, and make no distinction. It is something Evangelical in the very Institution; Christ’s Laws are gracious laws of Government, Worship and Ordinances that serve the Gospel. These come in the very nature of them after the Gospel. They are not natural commandments or moral precepts, as Mount Sinai’s Law was. The Gospel promise is first, and the Laws of Christ promised to be written in the heart are next. These come after the Gospel to serve it. Now still my comfort comes in by the Gospel portion which the laws of Christ wait on, not by the duty part which serves, and is to be all my lifetime gathering up. - However, says this inquirer further, {after he hath set up the Law of God, and confounded it with the Laws of Christ, written in my heart,} “And art thou conforming thereto in all things in thy life?” No Sir, my answer is ready in the negative. I have not conformed to the Law of God written in my heart in any one thing, as the Commandment means; so far am I from conforming thereto in ‘all things in my life’ that I have conformed in nothing. And yet, through Grace, I take comfort! I take comfort exceedingly! I take comfort unspeakably! I am not able to set out in the words the comfort that I receive, which is full of glory! {I Pet.1:8} And yet I am conformed to no one thing of this Law of God written in my heart, otherwise, than I am conformed thereunto in and by my Surety! God’s being all in all to me in Glory to Eternity is effectually secured by Christ’s becoming all in all to me in his Grace here. Art thou conforming thereto in all things? What did the man mean, if not to etch out a Tuesday’s Lecture for Salter’s Hall, in which Lecture the Everlasting Antinomian-Gospel {for I speak the language of the times, as Paul did, when he calls Gospel preaching the “foolishness of preaching.” I Cor.1:21} is excluded! And yet this inconsistent man hath yet other strokes that are against the consent of that Tuesday’s pulpit; for he says, “Art thou conforming thereto in all things in thy life? If so, thou hast reason to take comfort, as one that is interested in this lovely Jesus; but none else,” says he. Here is Christ struck out with one dash by the stroke of a hasty and inconsistent pen! Besides, if this conformity lie in all things, then no man can take comfort until he comes to die, and is assured without any hesitation that he hath conformed to all the Law of God written in the heart, for the words of this test are absolute conformity thereunto. Now, until a man hath finished that which he derives his comfort from, he may not; that is, he cannot take this comfort. All my comfort I take from Christ’s {II Cor.5:21, I Cor.1:30} conformity to the Law of God written in his heart, rising out of his finished work, that I am not to do over again and spoil! So by this scheme of projected consolation, it is impossible that I should have any real consolation in all this life. But I bless the Lord for this; that I know no Door that lets in comfort into my soul, but that which lets in Salvation; and I know no Door that lets in Salvation which shuts out the comfort of salvation, less or more. And as I am saved by Grace, {Eph.2:8,} I am comforted by Grace, and am spiritually refreshed in no other way. Well, throw this man’s divinity, in point of this test of assurance, out of doors, and hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches, as the Foundation and Encouragement of my constant opposition to this assurance test laid down: “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins.” {Is.40:1,2} Here the Lord comforts his people upon their receiving Christ {upon Christ being revealed and making Himself known in a way of salvation glory} in his Person and Righteousness, which is the double, these two going always together in genuine Gospel Faith. It is receiving Christ, both as to what Christ is, and as to what Christ hath done, even unto Death. As to what he is; God in our nature manifest; as to what he hath done, a Surety Righteousness in our stead accepted. The ground of her comfort lay all together in what she hath received, and God hath finished for her; not at all in what she hath done, and conformed to. The foundation of this comfort, and speaking comfortably unto her, is laid in no creature-conformity to the Law of God written in her own heart, but it is laid in Christ. No, she was not to be comforted from required doings, nor to take it up from conforming to his Laws, though her duty lay in conformity thereunto. The laws of Christ are latter, and when they come, they are pointed to another end than comfort; her comfort was founded upon all that God did for her without her, in breaking off her warfare, and in accomplishing that for her which should no longer oblige, wherein she had always failed. God would put her no more to contend for the Sacrifices and Worship of the Old Testament, {Ps.40:6,} which she had almost in every age corrupted; she would miscarry in her efforts to keep up Temple purity of Instituted Church Worship; for she had turned aside, and turned back in the day of battle, and lapsed in the times of apostasy; {Ps.78:9,57} she had, instead of standing out vigorously to resist idolaters, and corrupters of the ways of God, instead lost her ground in the field of battle. The carnal Jew revolted, and yet now her warfare is accomplished! Jerusalem had contended coldly for the Truths of God; her weariness of the conflict for the very worship of a prophesied Christ, her standing up for types and shadows of good things to come, {Mal.1:13, Heb.10:1,} was now completely over, and summed up in this one Word of grace, “her warfare is accomplished.” And though she had spoiled all her Law work, yet she should have an evangelical reward of grace, {The prize of grace in running to obtain that which was already attained for her by Christ Himself. “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” I Cor.9:24. Note: the prize was already won, the battle accomplished – the race as pertaining to salvation already finished by Christ – and He Himself the ultimate prized possession thereof.} and experience of precious soul comfort in receiving Christ and his Righteousness, as the better things intended by those Sacrifices and Worship. This was of the Lord’s doing for her; not her own, to put an end to this warfare. Again, she was to take comfort in this, that her iniquity was forgiven her. This was still of the Lord’s doing, as the open Foundation of it in the Cornerstone discovered. {Ps.118:22,23} And both these, the accomplishing of her warfare, and the pardoning her iniquity, were works of grace without her that God had done for her; and all the work of God’s grace within her brought her under observation for the taking up her comfort, was her being enabled by the Holy Ghost to received the gift of God, the Lord’s Christ at the Lord’s hand. {Lk.2:26} And upon this the voice cries, “comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.” - Thus, when he helps me to take my comfort, it is altogether in the views of my Object, and not the mere exercise and putting forth of my own acts towards Him. I am under the conduct and management of God the Comforter in my every comfort. He doth not leave me to take up my own comfort; nor when Himself takes it up for me, doth he bear Witness of Himself {immediately,} and of his own work in me, but he begins with bearing witness of Another, in whose Name he comes. Joseph Hussey {Glory of Christ Unveiled, or the Excellency of Christ Vindicated, 1706}

Posted August 7, 2012

{Writings of Joseph Hussey}

Prayers & Supplications: Though man in his common miseries and common mercies eyes not the Great and Only Sacrifice, yet God always did and always will respect that Sacrifice alone, as the ground of his regarding the prayers and tears of his oppressed people. - The neglect of the influences of the Great and only Sacrifice hath done a world of mischief in divinity, darkening the honor of God’s Glory, and eclipsing the comforts of the elect, which are secured not by prayers and tears, but by the Person and Righteousness of Jesus Christ alone! - Though men do not eye Christ in their prayers and tears to God for what they ask or need, yet God always eyes Christ in bestowing everything he grants. - What have prayers and tears to do in the proper matters of the great and only Sacrifice? The case is nothing here as it is in common mercies. In the matters of salvation by Christ, the Holy Spirit of God effectually calling by the Gospel preached, gives grace to the creature, as his own child, to become a new creature, openly by influences, through Christ, according to the pattern of God’s fore-knowing him so, secretly in Christ by his Grace from Everlasting; and so makes this new creature see all his Salvation and Help to be laid up in Christ. Joseph Hussey {Glory of Christ Unveiled, or the Excellency of Christ Vindicated, 1706

Prayers & Supplications: This very language in our ears naturally tends to carry off a man’s thoughts, either in whole or in part, to prayers and tears; that is to say, to carry them off to these in the same end and efficacy with Christ. Such language finds it easy, we being all prone naturally without it, to run off our thoughts with our praying and weeping to the same design, and mix them in one common end with the Death of Christ. It hath a tendency in the very conjunction of words, in such a frame as the proposition condemned puts them, to set men a looking after God’s grants upon the same kind of footing, granting for prayers and tears, as when he grants for Christ; and therewith secretly suggesting, that God gives out salvation upon prayers and tears, together with his granting it upon Christ’s Sacrifice! Which is utterly false; and supposes the Father conjointly eyed prayers and tears with his eying Christ for the spiritual blessings and eternal life to men! And this is as the papists also affirm, who build heaven and salvation in their belief partly upon Christ, and partly upon prayers and tears. Joseph Hussey {Glory of Christ Unveiled, or the Excellency of Christ Vindicated, 1706}

Prayers & Supplications: If you trace the plea, you shall find in it much creature emptiness, and nothing of Christ’s Gospel fullness. I would ask any man truly taught of God, and led into the knowledge of Christ and himself too, whether he doth not see more of the creature, in creature discerning, {for he runs upon natural, providential and common discernings,} than he can find of Christ’s teachings {for though he began with the King, he hath quite shut out both the Priest and Prophet} either to live by faith upon Christ, or to pray in faith unto Him? {Heb.10:38} Is there one quarter so much in all the pleas said of Christ, as there is of religious self? Now, if all these mischiefs be ever redressed in self, it is Christ, not a man’s own dead nature pleas that must do it. Again, if the soul be spiritual, under any true work of Christ by his Spirit in the Gospel, is it not strange, that such a heavenly soul should not be led throughout, to fasten upon any one argument, from the fullness treasured up in Jesus Christ? “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.” {Col.1:19} What, no fullness in Christ’s blood to eye, nor plead? Strange, that soul tears and strong cries must take up all! Alas! What is the souls most pitiful moan to Christ’s Intercession in Heaven; aye, or to his strong crying and tears, when he offered up prayers and supplications in the days of his flesh. {Heb.5:7} Where is that preacher’s own living upon Christ the most Excellent, who frightens a poor soul with the danger of being overcome by sin? Is not Christ as able, is not Christ as willing, is not Christ as present, do not I feel it so, if I am raised into any sweet experience, if I have any quickened communion with Him in the true Gospel, and am enabled by Grace to venture upon throwing off this mixed Gospel, to keep me graciously, {or any true believer,} from being overcome with sin, wheresoever I lawfully go, and in whatsoever I lawfully do, as the same Christ was able, willing and present to keep his disciples at sea from being drowned in the storm? Where’s that man’s faith, joy and confidence in God through Christ, who can’t trust the Lord in one place he comes, nor in one step he takes? What, was none of Christ’s sufficiency in this case fit, or thought upon to be pleaded? It is a poor crying to God without it. Joseph Hussey {Glory of Christ Unveiled, or the Excellency of Christ Vindicated, 1706}

Priesthood of Christ: Jesus Christ, though he be thy Husband, always keeps up the honor of his blood to send down every answer in. He is gone to be a Priest upon his throne, {“And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD; Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” Zech.6:12,13,} and therein is still present in all the believing pleas rising out of his blood, and in every answer that comes swimming down in it. It is his blood that is the atonement for thy sin, {“For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” Lev.17:11,} and his blood is the cure of it, in the hand of his own Mighty Spirit from the Father. It is the Holy Spirit, whom Christ’s own pleas sent down into thy soul, sets the soul to plead below, agreeable to what Christ pleads above, and hereby the answer is secured, if ever help comes. Christ doth not cure sin, nor prevent it, by a Kingly charge; {such as the inward and universal corruption of our natures;} but by his Blood and Spirit that make way for all the obedience to the charge. He sanctifies us as he is a Priest, and then bids us look to his Word, as he is a King. Joseph Hussey {Glory of Christ Unveiled, or the Excellency of Christ Vindicated, 1706}

Sin & Temptation: Can I suppose that the believer who have to do with Christ as the Pearl of Price, having been given grace to part with all his church-riches for Him, his natural praying, his natural reading, his natural hearing of sermons and lectures; it may be, his writing and repeating them in the family, what things were gain to him, those he counteth loss for Christ, is yet the man who in his trade in buying and selling, is not got above that sensual temptation to lie or to deal unjustly? Certainly, there is such an influence and pleasure upon, and in that soul from Christ, who dealeth in this One Pearl of Great Price, {“Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” Mt.13:46,} that such gross temptations shall not by and by beset his soul. Joseph Hussey {Glory of Christ Unveiled, or the Excellency of Christ Vindicated, 1706}

Posted August 8, 2012

{Writings of Joseph Hussey}

Assurance in Christ Alone: Now it is strange, that when the soul comes thus naked to Christ, and Christ accepts it for nothing, and clothes it for nothing; I say, ‘tis strange the soul {if we go this way to work in stating justification} should see nothing, feel nothing, taste nothing of interest by all this in the Lovely Saviour, till it stays out it’s time for judging of interest by conformity to the Law of God, which is a thing, too, quite of another nature, than the Free Gift, or the Righteousness of Christ. Alas; the Righteousness of Christ in the applicatory work of the Spirit, comes home to me with such virtue by the Promise of the Father; {Lk.24:48;} that, blessed be God for Free Grace, I can judge {if spiritual senses may be believed in spiritual things, as natural senses are in things natural} sweetly upon the spot my salvation interest, by seeing Him in whom I have now believed on. I need not stay to take comfort until I have time to put in practice my preachers set of directions; for he gives them all to a base end. Blessed be God, I know something of this. I can see something; I say, feel something, be assured of something, when I am brought to believe on Christ without the works of the Law; {Rom.3:28;} yea, to believe on Him, though I am the chief of sinners; {I Tim.1:14;} for I am no dead one, no senseless one in the Spirit’s hand. Joseph Hussey {Glory of Christ Unveiled, or the Excellency of Christ Vindicated, 1706}

Conversion to Christ: Let us as wise and understanding as to what the will of the Lord is, {Eph.5:17,} look at a right Conversion to the Kingly Office of Christ. For all sound Christians of any standing, in conversion to Christ, must more or less, at one time or another, be convinced by the Holy Ghost of this, and to what distinct end from true saving Conversion to Christ. This Conversion to the Kingly Office and Government; {and to talk of your humble, holy walk without this, is no more than mere branches of moral virtue, that make useful to men, but not at all serviceable to Jesus Christ;} I say, this Conversion to the Kingly Office and Government of Christ can never be brought about in the soul and life before Conversion to the Priestly Branch of the Mediator. Though it is done by the power of the King to dispense the Grace of God, in the light of the teaching office, or what we call the Prophetical Office of Christ, under the virtue of the healing in his wings, {Mal.4:2,} or his Priestly Office in the Gospel, to which as our Object in the Person of Christ we must be first turned. For Conversion, or the act of turning, is always to do again, and be repeated, after every act of departure from the Living God, {Heb.3:2,} though it be but a departure from Him in our thoughts, although regeneration was wrought at once in the same instant. And when we are brought to new acts of conversion, or turning again and again {I mean from self, from sin and all natural help} to eye Him and receive Him as our Gospel Salvation, still the same, after every day’s sinning, we must out of Regeneration, or the first principle of our New Life in Christ, be turned, or influenced, excited and fresh drawn again from all to Christ. And to that in Christ which at our first conversion of all we were turned to {when turned right,} even his Priestly Office, {Ez.6:13,} the Office of Christ in the matters of his Righteousness and Blood, whether sacrificed on the Cross, or pleaded in advocacy on the Throne. In the light of this we discern his Teachings by the Holy Spirit; and in the peace and love thereof shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given unto us, {Rom.5:5,} we are prepared to turn to Him as our King and Husband under his own sweet and easy laws suited to our new Relation by the Holy Ghost, for all newness comes in to us, and upon us, by time workings of the Holy Spirit. Joseph Hussey {Glory of Christ Unveiled, or the Excellency of Christ Vindicated, 1706}

Added: Index of Authors - Samuel Trott - PDF Files

Select Writings of Elder Samuel Trott Volume #1

Select Writings of Elder Samuel Trott Volume #2 {Unpublished}

Posted August 9, 2012

{Writings of Joseph Hussey}

Irresistible and Sovereign Grace: It is his gracious yielding to me that is my sole comfort; for my yielding to Him is but my duty, and the fruit of that comfort; and I am assured of this Truth, and can say that I truly experience it; that is, I never yielded up my heart to Christ, till Christ yielded down his Hand to my heart; for I always found the spiritual part of the work impossible; nay, I could not spiritually put forth one act in it, till the Grace began of His Side. {The Lord’s sovereign prerogative in His initiating and irresistible work of bestowing grace and favor through Christ by the Spirit!} My heart was a heart of stone contrary to yielding, until his hand was a hand of Love, in the time of love, contrary to disobeying, and fully reached my heart. {“Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness; yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.” Ez.16:8} The Word is plain according to Ezekiel chapter 36; for herein we find cleansing of my person before the softening of my nature. The whole applicatory work of the Gospel begins with God’s effectual calling us at the first work of Influential Grace, and sprinkling clean water on us; that is, washing, which is pardoning us by the Spirit shed {“which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour,”} down upon us, {“Such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” I Cor.6:11,} and this makes way for the rest; for then, after the washing, there comes the softening virtue, before anything of the hearts yielding. It is first of all, “I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean.” Then, {as a distinct and next thing in order,} “a new heart also will I give you; and a new Spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.” This follows the cleansing part. And then lastly, here are the principles of yielding to the Kingly Office. “And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” {Ez.36:25-27} Joseph Hussey {Glory of Christ Unveiled, or the Excellency of Christ Vindicated, 1706}

Humility & Pride: I find spiritual pride, if the Spirit makes discovers of myself to myself, where another finds humility. I see that to be pride, if I see it by the Spirit, which another sees to be humility by the Flesh. If the Lord rips me every day, and upon every occasion, I cannot say that I am humble, because still by the Spirit I have my eye, and ought to have it, upon the proud part. Nevertheless, if I am humbled, as the Lord himself {not I} will judge of me by his Grace, in making me in myself what I do not see myself to be; why, it’s that I shall look on that humility, and I shall see nothing of it, to take the least comfort from it, but as it is in Himself, and I too in Himself perfected. He will show me more of my pride in myself, to keep me humble, whilst he shows me my Perfection in Himself to keep myself believing. Joseph Hussey {Glory of Christ Unveiled, or the Excellency of Christ Vindicated, 1706}

Posted August 10, 2012

{Writings of Joseph Hussey}

Representative Union in Christ: Though in our nature-selves we are polluted, yet faith given in by the Spirit of Christ according to our grace-relation and glory-relation elevates the soul to an act that enters into Christ or into that within the veil, {Heb.6:19,} following Him into heaven without any pollutions, but soaring in pure faith to Jesus in whom we are perfect in the heavenlies, for no unclean thing shall enter therein. {Rev.21:27} So with the first look of faith we look on our nature-selves and see the Adamic part, and there we are defiled creatures; nevertheless though filthy, yet not discouraged thereby to magnify it into despair, that we are too filthy to go to Christ by faith, but being enabled of the Holy Ghost to use Christ’s blood in the next act of discerning, we then in another act of faith ascend pure to Christ, so far as we indeed ascend and enter into heaven to Him with our spirits, coming up in that faith out of his blood in none of the nature-filth, but in the grace and glory-relations to Himself, and so are like a flock of sheep that cometh up from the washing, and do go in to Him with a holy boldness, where in our relation to the heavenlies {there} we sit together with him in glory, {Eph.2:6,} having not so much as the least spot upon ourselves, but are there without fault {Rev.14:5} before the throne of God. Joseph Hussey {Glory of Christ Unveiled, or the Excellency of Christ Vindicated, 1706}

Conditionalism: Either we are all {‘Antinomian’-wise} cleansed in Regeneration, by the Washing of the Holy Ghost before we believe by Christ’s approaches to us, and so in the sight of God through Christ, as to our grace-portion in Christ we are clean before faith; or {Arminian-wise} we are not clean until after we believe. If we are cleansed before, then the mystical cleansing and Gift of the Holy Ghost too depend not on the antecedency of our going to Christ by faith, as the Arminian is wont to lay it upon faith, and presses sinners to believe, and then they will have all, and without believing they receive nothing at all; and there is nothing mentioned in regards to Regeneration and Washing of the Holy Ghost towards motion-faith, but all the emphasis is upon getting an ‘interest in Christ’. So the Arminian lays it all out in creature-acts in his exhortation to sinners; and shows that sinners have nothing before they give up themselves to Christ; consent to receive Christ; get an interest in Christ; receive Christ; give up themselves speedily to Christ; flee to Christ; come to Christ; believe on Christ &c., thus it goes on and on; as if all regeneration followed these acts, and not as if Regeneration was a state of grace that infallibly produced them. Thus the Arminian intermingles such frights and threats with his exhortations as can be executed upon none that pass under regeneration. “If you die out of Christ you will find yourselves miserably mistaken.” Why, if born again, how can they die out of Christ? If not born again, how can they perform the acts that he exhorts them to? By all this it appears that the Arminian makes no more of the Cleansing in Regeneration than he doth of the Life thereof. Joseph Hussey {Glory of Christ Unveiled, or the Excellency of Christ Vindicated, 1706}

Posted August 12, 2012

{Writings of John Taske}

Gospel Standard: That a Rule of Faith there is, not only the Holy Scriptures do witness; Rom.12:6, Gal.6:16, Phil.3:16; but all men that profess the knowledge of the Doctrine of Faith do assent thereto; and they call it the Analogy, Rule, or Proportion of Faith. In all their confirmations of what is true, they say this agrees with the Analogy of faith; and in their constitutions of error; this is contrary to the Rule, or Analogy of Faith. Neither hath the Holy Spirit left us precepts to try the spirits; that is, the doctrines of men; without a Rule for to try and examine them by; or how can we know what is true, or what is false? What right, what wrong, what is to be held fast, what to be rejected; if there be not a known and infallible Rule to examine things by; that all things being tried, we may cleave only to that which is good. I Jn.4:1, Phil.1:10, I Thes.5:21, II Jn.9,10. Neither can this Rule be any long, dark, uncertain, or private way, which all men to whom the Faith is preached, and by whom it is received, cannot enjoy; but it must be short, plain, certain, and a public way, common to all the faithful; learned and unlearned, high and low, rich and poor, in prison and at liberty, in all places and times, and conditions that the Saints are found. It is not then the early Church ‘Fathers;’ nor Councils, not Confessions, nor Cannons, or Pope’s decrees; nor yet the large expositions and writings of men of contrary spirits, though ever so excellent. It is not the Church, nor yet the whole volume of the Bible, nor every private man’s spirit that can be the Rule of Faith at all. For the most of them are impossible for every believer to know, or use, and they are also all of them contrary to one another, in so many things as cannot be reconciled; and if it be left to every man’s private spirit, then so many men, so many minds, as it is at this day, among such as understand not what this Rule is, or are not regulated thereby. The Rule cannot be the Church, as many say; for it is a Rule for the churches, to be ordered thereby; and if faithful men be the matter of those churches; this Rule is that by which they are to try all things, and to walk in the Way which they find is of God. Neither can the Rule be the whole volume of Holy Scriptures, no more than the sea is the map and compass; or the timber to be framed the building. But the Rule is, and ought to be such a thing as is profitable for men to know whether the doctrines taught, be true or false. It may not be the men, the Church, nor the sea of doctrines, even the whole Scriptures; for either of these for a Rule are absurd, and intricate, if not impossible to discern. For can any know the Church, her sentence of every doctrine that he hears, every private book he reads, every conference he is at in difficult things? Besides such as are subject to the Rule cannot be the Rule, except it be granted, that some only are subject, and others exempt, and if any be subject, they are termed laity; and if any be free and exempt, and so not to be judged by the Rule itself, these must be termed clergy; and so they shall appear to be lawless, and liable to no examination or control; which if it be not above God, let all judge. Or on the other side, can any know the Scriptures meaning so exactly, upon every occasion, and everything? Is it possible that any true believer can have all the Scriptures by heart; and know what their scope and interpretation is, so as not to miss it upon any occasion? If any such be showed, such as are for the Scriptures to be the Rule, have said something to the purpose; but otherwise they are as far from the Rule as the former. To show therefore what this Rule is, this Golden Reed, this measuring line; albeit some may scorn it, and other stumble at it; though many may say, “what will this babbler say?” {Acts 17:18} What new Rule will he produce? Will he take upon himself to be wiser than all men; and to teach his teachers, and guide his elders; and men so much superior to him for age, learning, holiness, and excellency of parts in every way? Yet with submission to the true churches of God, and to all true believers in Jesus Christ, and in honor of the Lord Jesus, and for no other cause but that discord may cease, and concord increase; that the elect may not be without some help against the delusions of these desperate times; that Christ’s sheep may know his Voice, and not attend strangers, and do expose them as seducers, whatsoever they be; that neither force may drive them from their resting place, nor flattery move them from their standing; but that they may indeed be able to try and examine all things that they hear, and be established in that which is good. Know that the Rule is, one only; short, plain, ancient, infallible, universally useful, impartial, and of great authority; whatsoever it be, it must be one, for believers are of one way, and of one heart. {Jer.32:39} It must be short, that it may be always remembered. {II Pet.1:12-15 & 3:1-2} It must be plain and easy to be understood, that it may serve for babes and simple ones to whom the Gospel is to be revealed, and to them chiefly and above all others. {Mt.11:25, I Cor.1:26, Is.35:8, Prov.4:18, I Cor.3:1, Rom.14:1} It must be ancient; yea, from the beginning of the world; since man stood in need of a Rule, that it may be the same that Adam, Seth, Enoch, Abraham and the rest did walk by, {Rom.4:12,19,20,} that it may be made apparent that we are of the same Faith, which was before either Law or Prophets, or the Gospel was written; and so this Rule must be before the Scriptures themselves, much more before the termed Catholic Church. It must be infallible; or else it may be a ground of uncertainty, and wavering; and such as doubt, and waiver, and are not established in the Truth, they are condemned in the Scriptures, and often reproved by the Lord Jesus Christ; {Mt.14:31, James 1:6-8, Mk.9:19,23;} and confidence, assurance and steadfast standing is much more commended and commanded by the Holy Spirit. {II Cor.5:6,8, Heb.10:22, I Cor.15:58, Col.2:7} It must be universally useful, as fitted to the trial not of some, but of all man made doctrines, and therefore it must be such a thing as is found {for substance} necessary to try whatsoever doctrine may seem profitable, whether it be true or false; or else it will be but as weights and scales that serve but for some pieces of coin, but not for all; but God’s Rule that he bestowed must be a perfect Rule, like unto Him that giveth it; for that his gifts are all perfect, as his way is perfect, and his works perfect. {James 1:17, Ps.18:30, Deut.32:4} This Rule must be impartial also, and not lean to this side or that, it may not be swayed to one part nor other, {which the Church may, and the whole Scriptures are often made to do by wrested and forced interpretations,} but must stand firm between God and believers, and between believers amongst themselves; for as weights and scales, and measures in cities must be the same in every like thing, and should they be various, it would breed confusion, and great loss to some, as gain to others; and therefore to continue peace, and that justice may be maintained, a just balance and just measures are provided. {Deut.25:15, Prov.20:10, Rev.11:1,2} So this Golden Reed, this Measuring Rule is so straight that it sways no way at all, but leads right on without the least partiality. {Prov.4:18, Prov.8:8,9} Last of all, this Rule of Faith must be of so great Authority, as all men may be compelled to stoop, and submit to the determinations and conclusions that it makes; in all controversies this Rule must be the umpire and judge, and have the deciding voice. What the Rule saith, so it must be, and none otherwise; and what then shall this Rule be, if not the very kernel, the subject or principal scope of the Holy Scriptures. For howsoever the whole volume of the Bible cannot be the rule, as many have affirmed, and do still maintain; {with much difficulty, as they themselves best know, with their tedious and large volumes, and the use of all their arts, and languages, and wits, and authors have proven insufficient;} yet such honor is to be yielded to that sacred, most absolute, and reverenced Volume of the Holy Scriptures, that this one, short, plain, ancient, infallible, universally useful and impartial and commanding Rule is there revealed and nowhere else! {II Tim.3:15-17} It is not only that evangelical light set up in the soul of true believers, that law of the mind, Christ in us, that mind of Christ, that anointing of the Holy One, by which we know all things, {Rom.7:25, Col.1:27,} and what is true, and what is a lie; {I Jn.2:20,21,27;} nor yet can the Rule be known to any that are destitute of that Gospel light, for the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; {I Cor.2:9-14, 1:18-21, Jn.3:3} and this Rule is spiritual, and for such as are spiritual, and spiritual things are spiritually discerned; yet may even the natural man be convinced that it is the Rule; and as in other arts and sciences there are rules to be held fast, and not to be parted with; and though none but artists do truly understand the rule, yet may it be evinced to be a rule for that art or science whatsoever it be. As for instance, there are rules in grammar, in logic, geometry, music, astronomy, in arithmetic, and so of the rest. As in grammar the parts of speech and the attendants known well, the rules of congruity and regiment, and the rest are also known to the grammarian himself, and to none else. So in logic, invention of arguments, and disposition of them to the things argued are known to the exact Logician, and to none besides. So geometry hath its instruments known to the artist himself, and to none but him. In music, the tune must be well known, and is known to the musician, and to none besides, and so the rest. So here, albeit a Rule there is, that the believer must be, and is acquainted with; yet is it that Rule discerned, nor can be made use of by any but such as are believers, and are endued with the Spirit of God; and to hold you no longer from the discovery of this Rule, it is this: The Lord Jesus Christ Hath Already Done All That Is To Be Done, For All True Believers, To God, And Doth All Good, In And By Them, To Themselves And Others. This Rule is but one, it is short for memory, plain for the capacity of the simplest babe in Christ. It is as ancient as the doctrine of Christ itself; it is infallible and cannot deceive; it is universally useful for the discovery of Truth in all the doctrines that shall be propounded for Gospel, as having in it all the three offices of Jesus Christ. {Prophet, Priest & King} It is impartial, and cannot be wrested without violence being done to the Lord Jesus Christ, and that violence offered, cannot be hidden from such as understand it; and it is also of the greatest Authority in the world, for all power is given to Jesus Christ in heaven and in earth, {Mt.28:18,} and therefore all of necessity be subject unto Him, {Ps.2:11-12,} and be silenced by Him and his great Authority. In this Rule we see that fully verified, and expressly declared, which was spoken of the Son of God at his Baptism, and in the Holy Mount at his Transfiguration, where we read it thus proclaimed of him; “this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye Him.” {Mt.3:17 & 17:5} So here is Christ’s only Priesthood and Sacrifice, of which all the priests of the Law, especially the high priest and all the sacrificers were only shadows; {Heb.chap.9 & 10;} and that in these words, the Lord Jesus Christ hath done all things already that are to be done for all true believers to God. This Rule being adhered to in all disputations, conferences, preachings or writings; that God is already pacified, his justice fully satisfied; all mans merit, satisfactions of God’s justice, all mans performances in turning away God’s wrath and indignation, fall to the ground; all heresies, and errors of that kind are fully discerned, and may be by this part of the Rule opposed, and the conscience pacified, {Mt.11:28,29,} and the soul find true rest; though mans repentance, humiliation, sorrow for sin be defective; and are liable to question; yet Christ’s humiliation, sorrow for sin; that sin which he took upon him, {II Cor.5:21,} gives full rest unto every soul that is enlightened in the Infinite Power of his Blood; and the Absolute and Everlasting Perfection of the glorious, rich, royal and unspotted robe of that Righteousness of Jesus Christ, yielding full, strong, and abounding joy and delight, when it is known to be the blood of God. {Acts 20:28} The death of the Prince of Life, the Lord of Glory, of God Himself, {Acts 3:15, I Cor.2:8,} though not of the Godhead, or God nature; the Righteousness is acknowledged, and cannot be denied to be the Righteousness of God; {Rom.3:22, 10:3;} by the personal union of both Natures in Christ. {Jn.1:14, I Tim.3:16, Heb.1:1, 2:3, Col.1:14,15,19,20, 2:9,10, Jer.23:6 & 33:16} Again, in this Rule we have the Prophecy of Christ, {Acts 10:43, 3:22,23,} of which all the prophets were but shadows, and to which they all bear witness, from the beginning of the world; of which Moses wrote, {Deut.18:15,18,} and the prophets foretold with a joint consent; and this prophecy of Christ is contained in this Rule, in these words, that: Christ doth all good in us, to ourselves; that is, by informing us of our Reconciliation, Adoption, Election, Calling, Justification and Glorification; with all the concomitants whatsoever; for so it is written, “we shall all be taught of God.” {Is.54:13, Jn.6:45,46, Mt.11:25,26} Now who is the Teacher, but the Lord Jesus Christ, for he it is that reveals the Father unto us. {Jn.1:18, Mt.11:27,28} God speaketh only now by His Son; {Heb.1:1-3;} to the dead, {Jn.5:25, I Pet.4:6,} or to the living; for their awakening, and raising unto their new relation, and growth to all manner of perfections that the Word reveals. This part of the Rule silences all other teachers, that bring us their own traditions, whatsoever; and not simply, purely, and only, {II Cor.1:11-13,} and at all times the doctrine of Jesus Christ. {I Jn.4:2-5, II Jn.9-11, II Cor.2:17 & 4:1-2, II Pet.2:2} When we hear not the Voice of our Shepherd, the Voice of the Bridegroom only; {Jn.10:3-5, 27, 3:29;} and this stops their mouths forever that are contrary minded. Lastly, this Rule contains the Kingly Office of Jesus Christ; who not only teaches and informs us; but also dwells in us, and unites us together; {Col.1:27, Jn.17:21,23;} and rules and leads us truly into all Truth; {Rev.7:15-17, Jn.14:6;} causing us to submit to his only scepter, and to stoop to his only government; {Is.9:6,7;} to give him the Supreme Glory of being the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, {I Tim.6:15,} and to be above all the princes of the earth; who were all, as far as good princes, but shadows of Him, and His Government, as David, Solomon, Hezekiah, Jehoshaphat, Josiah, and the rest; and are all but His vice-regents and deputies to rule for Him, and receive all their directions from Him alone; and to be as subject to Him, as any else; and not to advance any government but His, to make no laws, but grounded upon His; nor set up any officers, but by his Divine Appointment and Direction; {Is.33:22, Rom.13:1-3;} to praise the good, encourage well doers, and suppress the evil, and punish transgressors, only for Him, and in the way that He requires, and hath prescribed in His Word; and this is contained in these words of the Rule; that, the Lord Jesus Christ doth all good in, and by us, to ourselves; and to others. And this good he doth is not only by mortifying the deeds of the flesh, by the power of his Spirit, in setting our affections upon a better Object, which is Himself; {Col.3:1-5, Gal.2:20;} and the privileges attending Him; but also by casting forth the bright beams of His Glory {Mt.5:16, Phil.2:15,16} in love, joy, peace, virtue, knowledge, temperance, and the rest; {Gal.5:22,23, II Pet.1:4-6;} by which we are made to shine out before men; but also causing us so to stoop to Him, and whatsoever He commands, we are enabled also to do it; {Mt.28:20;} by the only working of his Almighty Spirit. {Phil.2:12,13} In sum, this Rule discovers not only our election, adoption, vocation and justification to be free, all of grace, but also our sanctification, renovation, translation and conformity to Christ to be His own free and only work, {Eph.1:3-5, Rom.3:24, II Tim.1:9, Col.1:29,} and we always but as agents, acted by Him, and as instruments used in his hand alone; and subjects which he hath created for his own Glory, and doth only and always use to the same end. {Col.1:18} And so you have a short epitome or summary of the Rule of Faith, or that Doctrine which is according to godliness. John Traske {True Gospel Vindicated, from the Reproach of a New Gospel, 1636}

Posted August 13, 2012

{Writings Richard Coore}

Old Testament Types Fulfilled in Christ: True believers worship God in Spirit, live by faith, in subjection to all ordinances of man for the Lord’s sake; and suffer in peace, and praying for their persecutors when their rulers would force them to do whatever would tend to deny the name of Christ, and the true life of Faith. And these things were fully shadowed out by Moses and all the Prophets in perfect figures and visions; as every believer in whom Christ is manifested, to the crucifying of the flesh, and the life of the spirit, doth fully understand; as that, Israel’s bondage in Egypt plainly holds forth man’s slavery to Satan, sin, and lust, and their delivery by God’s own hand, and mighty power in many signs and wonders, and a stretched out arm, shows that nothing but Christ {who is the power and wisdom of God unto salvation} and that by a cursed death, deep anguish, bitter passion, and glorious victory over hell and death, can deliver man from this captivity; therefore our Savior bids us, search the Scriptures, for they testify of Him; and Moses was commanded to build the tabernacle according to the pattern showed him in the mount, whereupon the Apostle to the Hebrews shows, that the sacrifices, shewbread, table, alter, candlestick, and all their rights and ordinances, were not heavenly things, but the pattern of heavenly things, all which is Christ, for in Him is every word fulfilled; and the prophet plainly saith, “to the Law and to the Testimony, if they speak not according to these things, it is because there is no light in them.” Namely, if man have the light of the Truth in him, then he sees all things in both Old and New Testament, plainly and fully witnessing the truth of God in Jesus for the Salvation of sinners. Richard Coore {Practical Expositor, 1683}

Gospel Hermeneutics: In the beginning God created, &c., of which some glory that in the Hebrew, {which is the original language of the Old Testament,} it is given out in the plural number, thereby intimating the Trinity of Persons in the Unity of the Godhead; and thereby infer how good it is that men understand the Hebrew tongue, as if that God had bound up the truth in that language; or as if anything availed thereto, but the work of God. Were not the Jews as great enemies to Christ as any people; or when God was pleased to confound languages, was he not the God of them all; and when he gave the Spirit to the apostles, did he not cause people of many nations to hear the Word and wondrous works of God in their own language? What a stammering is this; is it not the idolizing of that language; as if it should in any way avail to the true knowledge of God; when the Truth tells us no man knows the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. Is not knowledge of tongues and languages a great part of worldly wisdom, which is foolishness with God; and whereof our Savior exulting in Spirit saith, “I thank thee Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes, &c.” And the Apostle saith, “Where is the wise; where is the scribe; where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” Or what need is there that the words spoken in the plural number should set forth the plurality of persons; for Moses here setteth forth the Father the Creator, and John setteth forth the Son the Word, and Wisdom of the Father; by which all things were created, and that he was in the beginning with God, and was God, and that nothing was created without him; and this is testimony sufficient, if there were no more for to comfort and establish the hearts of believers, and to answer gainsayers and disputers; this is nothing but to multiply arguments to no purpose. Richard Coore {Practical Expositor, 1683}

Posted August 14, 2012

{Selection of the Week for 8/12/12}

Christ's Mediatorial Intercession: That Jesus Christ is our Intercessor, interceding with God for his People is evident two ways: namely, First. By the Title of Advocate given to him. "And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; And he is the Propitiation for our sins." 1 John 2:1,2. Christ's Person is righteous; His Priestly office is to be our Propitiation, by way of Satisfaction; and our Advocate by way of Intercession. Advocate, signifies also a Comforter, and so its translated when ascribed to the Holy Ghost. John 14:16, 17, 26 & 16:7. But learned men are of opinion, that it most properly and primarily signifies, an Advocate. An Advocate, in common acceptation, were friends of guilty persons called in to entreat for them; and differed from the Patron or Orator that managed their Cause. More strictly it imports an Officer at Law, an Advocate, Attorney, &c., that appears and answers in Court for a man that is there accused, and pleads his cause. Thus Jesus Christ is our Advocate by Office, appointed of God, to appear for us, answer for us, plead and intercede for us; when the Justice or Law of God shall object anything against us for our sins; or when Satan, who is our Court-adversary, {1 Pet. 5:8, with Math.5:25,} the old accuser of the brethren, Rev. 12:10. Secondly. Jesus Christ is our Intercessor, by the Acts of intercession ascribed to Him. He prayed on earth for them that did believe, or should believe. John 17:9,20. He now appears in the presence of God for us. Heb.9:24. He ever lives to make Intercession for us, Heb.7:25. He is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Rom.8:34. The Greek word 'maketh intercession,' properly signifies one that attains the mark intended by darts or other weapons cast, &c., and thence metaphorically it denotes, to impetrate, to obtain what we desire, &c. Thus Christ attains exactly, impetrates and obtains fully, for us from the Father, whatsoever he desires. Francis Roberts {Mysterium & Medulla Bibliorum or Mystery & Marrow of the Bible, 1657}

Christ's Mediatorial Intercession: The Execution of Christ's Intercession. Christ Executes his Priestly Intercession - First: Inceptively, on Earth, in his State of Humiliation, by Prayers for all and singularly his elect people, with strong cries and tears and in such posture or gesture, as lifting up his eyes, kneeling down, prostrating himself or falling to the ground, &c., as was suitable to his Humiliation. John 17:9,20, Luke 22:31,32, Heb.5:7, John 17:2, &c., Luke 22:41, &c., Math.26:39, &c., Mark 14:35, John 11:42, Mat.3:17 & 17:5 & 26:53. Secondly: Christ Executes his Priestly Intercession perfectively and consummatively in Heaven in his State of highest Exaltation. And this he doth, (1) By his appearing or presenting of his Person God Man, as our Mediator and Surety, in the presence of God for us, Heb.9:24 with Heb.8:6 & 7:22. As Judah mediated, and engaged as Surety for Benjamin, Gen.43:8,9; or, as Paul mediated, and became Surety for Onesimus. Philem.vs.9,10. Christ Appears as a public officer in our stead; as the High-priest of old did appear in the Holiest of all with the Names of the twelve Tribes of Israel upon his breast, and upon his two shoulders for a Memorial before the Lord, that Israel might never be forgotten, Exod.28:9-12, 17-22. To which the Church alludes; "Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine Arm." Cant 8:6. That, denoting Christ's Love; this, the Manifestation of his Love. Jesus Christ still appears before God, for an Everlasting Memorial of his Elect; that none of them may be forgotten before God. (2) By his presenting his Obedience and Death, together with the infinite Satisfaction and Merit thereof, before his Father in Heaven. 1 John 2: 1, 2, Rom.8:34, Heb. 7:25. This was notably typified in the Action of the High-priest of old, who killed the sin-offerings, and then brought the blood of them within the veil into the holiest of all, and sprinkled it upon the Mercy-Seat, and before the Mercy Seat. Lev. 16:11, 14-16. This was one continued action of the High-Priest; his Act was not complete, till the blood was presented within the veil, before the Mercy-Seat. Thus Christ first shed his blood, and offered himself by dying; and then entered as our Intercessor within the veil, into heaven itself, there to present his blood before God, to sprinkle it as it were on and before the Mercy-Seat, and to present his satisfaction and merit perpetually there for us. Heb.8:1-4. Otherwise, if Christ were still on earth, he should not be a Priest (that is, not a complete Priest) seeing that there are Priests that offer gifts according to the Law; that is, till Christ, by consummating his sacrifice, in presenting it before the Mercy-Seat in heaven, did abrogate the Levitical Priests. The inchoation of Christ's Priesthood did not abolish the Levitical Priesthood on earth, but the consummation thereof in heaven by his Intercession did. Now Christ in his Appearing, presenting his Satisfaction and merit, and Interceding for us in Heaven, doth not fall down, kneel, prostrate himself or pray to his Father as he did on earth; for such acts are inconsistent with the Majesty of his Glory and Exaltation; but all this must be understood to be performed suitably to his present and most excellent glory. Thus, the Perfections and Excellencies of Christ's Intercession are many and matchless. For it is grounded and bottomed upon his satisfaction and meritorious Propitiation, which was, by reason of the dignity of his Person God-man, of Infinite value. 1 John 2:1, 2, Rom.8:34, Heb.9:12 to the end. He first pacified God for us; then Intercedes with Him on our behalf. - Thus; His Satisfaction, was properly Expiatory by his death and sufferings. Heb.1:3 & 9:14. His Intercession is especially presentatory, presenting Himself and his Merits for us in Heaven. Heb. 9:24. – This Satisfaction was made but once by once dying, though the virtue of his Death be everlasting; {Heb.9:25,26 & 10:10, 12, 14} His Intercession is continual and incessant for evermore. Heb.7:25. His Satisfaction, obtained our Redemption, Reconciliation, &c.; His Intercession tends specially to apply those Benefits obtained to us. Francis Roberts {Mystery & Marrow of the Bible, 1657}

Christ's Mediatorial Intercession: The difference between Christ's Intercession from his Spirit's Intercession is observable: Christ and the Spirit, are both of them called our Advocate. Compare 1 John 2:1 with John 14:16, 17, 26 & 16:7; and both of them are said to make Intercession for us. Compare Rom.8:34, Heb.7:25 with Rom.8:26, 27. But there's a great deal of difference between their Intercession. For, 1. Christ intercedes without us, with the Father {1 John 2:1, Rom.8:34}; but the Spirit intercedes within us, to the Father {Rom.8:15,26,27} 2. Christ intercedes for us, as our High-priest and advocate by Office, by Presentation of his Death, Satisfaction and merit, and undertaking our Cause with the Father against all contrary charge, or accusation of any adversary whatsoever; {Heb.7:24, 25, 1 John 2:1, Heb.9:24, Rom.8:34;} but the Spirit intercedes, not as our High-Priest, but as an Assistant to us by his Energy and operation who by Christ are made Kings and Priests to God to offer up spiritual Sacrifices acceptable to God by him. {Rom.8:26,27, Rev.1:5, 6, 1 Pet.2:4} The Spirit instructs, counsels, inspires, acts, moves, suggests, assists us; and so makes intercession for us, by enabling us to intercede for ourselves, and plead our own cause with God in Christ. 3. Christ intercedes for us, by the voice of his own blood speaking better things then the blood of Abel, by the Merit whereof he covers our infirmities and iniquities {Heb.12:24;} but the Spirit intercedes for us, by raising up in our hearts groans unutterable, by his virtue and efficacy helping our infirmities. {Rom.8:26,27} Francis Roberts {Mystery & Marrow of the Bible, 1657}

Posted August 16, 2012

{Writings of Richard Coore}

Christ – the One Foundation: Here the Watchman {Ezekiel 33} is the Minister; the negligent watchmen is the false teacher, who though he presses his hearers to perform every duty that the Word requires, and to be constant in all exercises of religion, fervent in prayers, bountiful to the poor, zealous in fasting and keeping Sabbaths; yet he sees not the Sword come, for in thus doing he promiseth them peace, and says that the Lord hath said it, when the Lord hath not so spoken, nor sent them, but the true minister seeth the Sword; yea he draws out the Sword upon them, for the Sword of the Spirit is the Word of Truth, which is double edged, quick and powerful, and divides between the marrow and the bone; searches the secret intentions of the heart, and inward parts; therefore this messenger of God, this faithful watchmen tells them that they may do all these things, yea and beyond, give their goods to the poor, and their bodies to be burned, and be yet nothing but vaunting glossing hypocrites, like sounding brass and tinkling cymbals, unless they be regenerate, “born of the Spirit,” saith our Lord Jesus; “made new creatures in Christ,” saith Paul; “begotten of God,” saith James; “built upon Christ,” saith Peter, “born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God,” saith John; “have a new heart given, and the old stony heart taken away, and a right spirit, even the Spirit of God poured out upon them,” saith the Prophets. “This I would not have you ignorant of, that a fiery trial shall come upon all,” saith Peter; “every man’s work shall be tried by fire,” saith Paul; “our God is a consuming fire, and an everlasting burning, who can dwell with him,” saith David. Therefore the faithful watchmen saith, you that desire to be hearers of the Law; namely, to live in form of religion, the creed whereof is do this and live, behold the Sword cometh, for there is none of you that keepeth the Law, and yet you will not yield yourselves under the judgment of God by the Law; that every one that is under the works of the Law is under the Curse, that the Law might be a battering hammer to break in pieces your hard hearts, and a burning fire to destroy your pride, cruelty and oppression; that the Lord might meet you with this Sword drawn, and tear you in pieces like a lion, or as a bear robbed of her whelps, and from day to night make an end of you, till you yield, and recognize the voice of the Lord, who hath done it; and what shall we now say or can do? And you that profess Repentance; behold the Sword cometh, even the mighty Word of God, which saith not to you, “do you truly repent of your sins and steadfastly purpose to lead a new life?” The Lord puts not this work upon you, for he knows what is in man, and that there is no truth and steadfastness in him. “Every man is a liar,” saith David; and when the Lord gives repentance to any, he makes him to number his sins, that they are more than the hairs of his head, and makes him feel the weight of them, that they are too heavy for him to carry; he makes him to cast his gorgeous attire, and delicious diet, as John Baptist, that preacher of Repentance did; he makes him to confess not one or many sins, but cry out that he is a mass of sin, infinitely wicked, causing him to weep bitterly as Peter did, and making him to confess that he is the greatest of sinners, and that all his righteousness {as touching all external performances blameless} to be loss unto his soul and as filthy as a menstrous cloth or stinking dung in the sight of God; and he makes him seek from East to West, from Sea to Sea for a true minister, one that hath the tongue of the learned, even one taught of God, that can speak a word of comfort in due season to an afflicted soul, as he made Cornelius send to Joppa for Peter; and you that profess the Gospel, behold the Sword, for other Foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, even the Lord Jesus Christ; therefore let everyone take heed what he buildeth thereon; wood, straw, stubble, silver, gold or pearl; for some build upon it a base work, turning the grace of God into wantonness, and using Christian liberty as a cloak of maliciousness, which are compared to wood, straw or stubble; others build upon it a beautiful outside, seeming holiness in the sight of men, and these are compared to silver, gold and pearl; and of these are many sorts, even as many as there are several forms of religion, for the form always resists the Power, and the Gospel is not in word but in Power; for its the Kingdom whereby Christ takes unto him his great power, and reigns in the kingdoms of the earth, and whereby he makes us kings and priests unto our God. Richard Coore {Practical Expositor, 1683}

Christ – the One Foundation: If you will hear the Gospel, you must come as lost and undone souls, hunger starved for bread, as the prodigal, crying “I have sinned, I have sinned,” that dare not look up toward heaven, but smiting your sinful and sorrowful breast, and crying for mercy in the realization that if you have not this wedding garment on, you must be bound hand and foot, and cast into outer darkness, to weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Behold the Sword. Christ is made of God unto us all things; the life, light, way and truth, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. If your life be in your own works, and not in Christ who is the Head, that came down from heaven and gives life to the world; if your light consists of your own perceptions in seeing, reading and hearing, and not in Christ making known the Father - the true God, and revealing all things of God to you by his Holy Spirit; if your way be the strict cleaving to your form of religion, and not to that Christ that hath sanctified a new way by his cross; if your truth be to follow that which you conceive most agreeable to the Word of God, and not in Christ manifesting the Father; if your wisdom be the guiding of your ways, after the letter of the Word, and not Christ confounding your wisdom, that the true wisdom of the Father may lead you by his Holy Spirit into all Gospel Truth; if your righteousness be the ordering of your life and conversation aright, according to the commands and exhortations in the Scripture, and not in suffering and dying with Christ, that you may also live and reign with him; if your sanctification be your walking holy in the sight of men, and not the renewing of the mind by faith in Christ, whereby you give up yourselves - body, soul and spirit unto God daily; yea, if you be not circumcised by Christ with a circumcision made without hands; if ye be not baptized into the fellowship of his death, and raised by him into the participation of his Life; if your Sabbath keeping be not standing steadfast in faith whereby you entered into his rest, ceasing from your own works that you may do the works of God. Nay, if you join the least thing with Christ as conducing to righteousness here, or salvation hereafter - behold the Sword, for Christ shall profit you nothing, you are debtors to the whole Law, to obey it in all its commands, and that continually in word and deed, or else you are cursed. Richard Coore {Practical Expositor, 1683}

Valuation of Christ: “God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas; and God saw that it was good.” Gen.1:10. Here is the Truth of God that gives to everything its proper name; for he calls not the churl liberal, nor the niggardly bountiful; all of the wisdom and professed righteousness of the world is on the contrary, as it calls light darkness, and darkness light; it takes evil for good, and good for evil; condemns the generation of the just, and speaks good of the covetous whom God abhors; this is that which in the Scripture is called the language of Canaan, and the language of Ashdod; the Word of God, and what God speaks to the soul of man, and what he teacheth his people to speak is the language of Canaan, for he makes them all of a pure language, to speak the truth every man to his neighbor; but that man which speaks in all human wisdom, in all external righteousness, religion and zeal is the language of Ashdod, for it is all falsehood and deceit;  {“In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab; and their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people.” Neh.13:23,24,} for men in nature are all deceivers and deceived; therefore David saith, “let God be true, and every man a liar.” God only, or man by the wisdom of God calls everything by its own name; and this is good, and God seeth it to be good; while man in his natural state knows not the earth to be Earth, for he takes it for heaven, and makes his resting place there, so man calls his house or lands after his own name, and thinks that his memorial shall endure forever, so he takes the devil to be god, and worships him; another makes his belly his god, as the luxurious and the covetous idolize their riches, and bless themselves in their great plenty; saying, “Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry;” and all these things, because blind man knows them not by their right name, but esteems them everlasting treasures; but Paul saith, “trust not in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;” and again, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” How imperative that man know everything by its own name, that all things under the sun are vanity and vexation of spirit; that man, the chief of God’s creatures is lighter and vainer than vanity itself; that he trust not in the arm of flesh, and though riches come in well gotten, that he set not his heart upon them, but give his heart to God, and love Him and serve Him, worship, honor and desire Him above all; yea, and nothing but Him; therefore “the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward;” {Gen.15:1;} and David said, “the LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” {Ps.18:2} Richard Coore {Practical Expositor, 1683}

{Writings of John Traske}

Contending for the Faith: Truth in all ages hath its opposers; and the greatest enemies it hath are often times its most seeming friends. It is not safe for anyone to dig up the buried faults of others, and yet men of the lowest lives are most busy with the blemishes of their brethren. It is no great marvel to stagger about the Truth, whilst men are still drunk with the whores cup; nor to waiver in opinion till the Lord Jesus Christ is made known to be the Way, Truth, and Life - the King, Priest and Prophet of his own people. To stumble at the Law of God in the infancy of faith is common with the most sincere, especially such as are educated by legal principles. The liberty by Christ, though confessed by all believers, yet is not so easily understood as it may not be limited through ignorance of the truest, yet weak believers. He that still doubts of salvation, believes not yet; as he that never doubts, may be justly suspected to have no truth of Faith. Men “shall run to and fro, {saith the Spirit,} and knowledge shall be increased.” {Dan.12:4} The Lord alone hath power to make men to see, and to preserve his eyes from dimness, to cause him to hear and attend doctrine; yea, his rash heart shall understand knowledge, and his stammering tongue shall speak plainly. He which hath so erred in spirit, shall come to understanding, and he which hath been amongst the murmurers shall learn doctrine. Neither is it any discouragement to his proceedings to hear of reproaches; but he esteems it his glory to be thus slandered, for the Name of Christ; but albeit the slanderer hath sought all means to cast out his name as evil, yet the Lord that never leaves his own, knows a way to deliver him, and to make His Righteousness Imputed to him to come forth as the light, and his sincere and upright proceedings as the noon day. John Traske {True Gospel Vindicated, from the Reproach of a New Gospel, 1636}

Law and Gospel Distinctions: Accusation - the Law is a rule of the flesh; and to live after the Law, is to live after the flesh. Assertion - the Law requiring absolute perfection, and the flesh at enmity with it; to seek life by obedience of works is to walk after the flesh. This was never any of the Gospel grounds, nor written in a letter, nor ever so delivered, as the slanderer hath it; but it is a false collection from discourses that dealt with the difference between the obedience of faith, and the obedience of works; that we can perform by our own personal obedience to the Law of God, in our most exact walking according thereunto; and that which we believe is performed for us by the Lord Jesus Christ, and found only in Him, and his rich, royal, glorious and Everlasting Robe of Righteousness. This walking by Faith is to walk after the Spirit, and that walking by works of the Law was termed a walking after the flesh. {Rom.8:1, 7-8} And for adding works of the Law, in this sense, to faith in Christ, the Galatians were called foolish and bewitched by that great Apostle; and again foolish, so beginning in the Spirit, and seeking perfection by the flesh. {Gal.3:1-3} John Traske {True Gospel Vindicated, from the Reproach of a New Gospel, 1636}

Law and Gospel Distinctions: Accusation - the Law did once discover sin, it doth so no more; nor yet for direction, for love herein transcends Law, as far as life doth death. Assertion - the Law discovering sin doth not set forth the horribleness of the least sin, as the sacrifice of Christ doth; and for direction, it is not fetched from without, from the letter of the Law, but flows from the love of God shed abroad in the heart; and this kind of obedience doth as far transcend that other, to the letter, by the flesh, as Life doth Death. {II Cor.3:1-7} And doth anything so set forth the odiousness and horribleness of the least sin, as the sacrifice of the Son of God, that Prince of life, and Lord of glory, that image of the invisible God, the brightness of his Glory, that he must die to purge away the least sin, as well as the greatest transgression. What error is there in this; to say, believers are occasioned more to detest sin by the Death of Christ, then by all the legal terrors that can be used? {I Cor.2:8} And doth not that obedience, which flows from an inward principle of love far transcend that which is forced by fear. Is not love of God, and God love; and the Law made only for the creature; and not for God himself, as no way limited by any Law; and if God does transcend the creature in his best estate, so infinitely, as cannot be conceived, why may not Love be said to transcend Law, as a Life doth transcend Death? John Traske {True Gospel Vindicated, from the Reproach of a New Gospel, 1636}

Posted August 18, 2012

{Writings of John Traske}

Perfect Gospel Liberty in Christ: How great! How glorious! How costly; and how certain this Gospel Liberty is; for no heart can conceive, nor tongue express, much less any pen describe the glory and admirable excellency it doth contain. This true Christian Liberty, this son-like freedom is that which God himself hath bestowed, Christ Jesus purchased, and the Holy Spirit declared to such as truly believe; and such liberty it is, that if the Giver indeed be respected it must be greatly esteemed, and the cost be greatly valued; for it must be highly prized and the commodity thereof weighed; and it cannot but be earnestly desired, and zealously defended against all that in any wise would limit such boundless love! Wherefore, seeing that God the Father hath bestowed; {Gal.4:4-6;} God the Son purchased it at the price of his own blood; {Jn.8:36, Acts 20:28, I Pet.1:17,18;} God the Holy Spirit declared it to all in whom he also vouchsafeth to dwell; {II Cor.3:17;} and seeing that I am one of them that profess such freedom and have testified before many witnesses that I do now understand more clearly the mystery thereof; I shall in a few words labor to express it to all that are endued but with the least beginnings of that same Spirit. {Ps.51:11,12} That a Liberty there is, if any were so impudent as to deny; yet can none be so ignorant as not to conceive, that such a thing must of necessity be confessed, seeing it is so often mentioned, and a Law {Perfect Law of Liberty} for it declared to all that understand. {James 1:25} But all the strife is what Liberty it is; and who they are who may be truly said to enjoy such freedom? For answer to both; it is affirmed, that this Liberty is a freedom from the Law, from Sin, and so from Hell, and all fear of Condemnation; from sins accusation; the Laws condemnation; and Hells anguish and that eternal separation from God’s presence for evermore. Believers are divorced from the flesh, and so free from it, yea dead thereto, and so at liberty from the Law, as it is written, “Know ye not, brethren, for I speak to them that know the law, how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” {Rom.7:1-4} By this similitude is our Divorce exemplified, yea, our freedom from the Law, by the death of Christ, and our death in Christ, is most plain to all that do understand. And lest anyone should yet doubt, and not rest fully satisfied, the Apostle a little after doth instance in himself, and saith thus, “I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death;” {vs.9,10;} and then having put a manifest difference between his flesh and his faith, his inward and outward man, he concludes with an exclamation thus: “O wretched man that I am; who shall deliver me from this body of death?” And in another place, he saith, “I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” {Gal.2:19,20} What can be more plain than this? That being thus baptized into Christ’s death we are free from the Law; and it hath no more such authority to condemnation, over us at all. By this also are we dead to sin; {Rom.6:1,2;} that is, as obey we cannot, so disobey we do not; and so hath Hell, nor Devil, no more to do against us. If sin would stand up to accuse, God himself hath discharged us; for by Himself we are esteemed just. If the Law would judge or condemn, Christ himself hath died to yield it the due, and is risen again, being sat down at God’s right hand to make intercession for us. If trouble, yea the powers of Hell itself, would endeavor to separate us from the love of God; it cannot, for they can never prevail. {Romans Chapter Eight} So that a Liberty here is, but none to the flesh: {Gal.5:13;} none to sin; {II Pet.2:18,19;} no cloak for malice; {I Pet.2:16;} but a liberty to Righteousness and Holiness; {Lk.1:74,75;} yea, to run the way of God’s Commandments; {Psal.119:32;} as it may stand with faith in Jesus Christ. {Rev.12:17} But for that Liberty from sins power is granted, and freedom from Hell defended, or at least desired by all; and willingly acknowledged by men of sound judgment, to all believers; therefore it is Liberty from the Law, which is here to be proved to such as are willing to know the same; as we are set free from the whole Law which saith, “Cursed is every one which continueth not in all things, which are written in the Book of the Law, to do them.”{Gal.3:19} Free we are from that service, in the oldness of the Letter. {Rom.7:6} Free from that form which was written in stony Tables; and presented to those natural Israelites by the hand of Moses; {II Cor.3:5-18;} and Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to all that believe. {Rom.10:4} Free we are from all punishment which the Law exacteth for time past; and from all rigorous and strict performance of every part thereof for time to come. The same man’s nature, yea, flesh and blood which transgressed, and is obliged to such formal obedience, and exact service, hath now satisfied, and borne the fury due to that transgression; {Heb.2:14-16;} and we by faith in Him have yielded obedience, and all satisfaction; and are so accepted as obedient. {Rom.4:7,21, Eph.1:6} Our Liberty from sin being nothing else but an effect of this freedom from the Law, though that from sin be first known, ere this from the Law can be perceived. {Rom.6:14} For where no Law is, there is no transgression; {Rom.4:15;} and whosoever is not free from the rigor of the Law must needs be subject to the tyranny of sin. Free then we are from the Law, as it is a minister of wrath, as it can do us no good, as it is weak through the flesh; {Rom.8:4;} neither doth it at all avail as to justification. Christ hath satisfied God’s wrath for us, and also performed that formal obedience, which God requireth; so that within and without, all our perfection is nothing else but the perfection of Christ Himself. If then we are free from the Law in respect of Justification, how much more from that Law of Commandments contained in Ordinances; {Eph.2:15;} called also the hand-writing of Ordinances, {Col.2:14,} which was against us, and contrary to us, being a middle wall of partition to keep us that are Gentiles, in the flesh, from any fellowship with Israel’s common-wealth, and from all participation in their glorious privileges. {Eph.2:14} The bond-woman, that Law; and her Son, the flesh, is now cast out and quite expelled by all true Believers; and the free-woman, the Promise; with her Son, the Spirit, is only to be respected, for that the inheritance is now by promise. The Law as Hagar, was added after the promise was made. And as Abraham after the Promise, that he should have a son, took Hagar, {Gen.16,} and of her begat Ismael, who was not the Seed who must inherit; so also long after the free Promise of Salvation made to Mankind, through Christ alone, and that only by Faith in him. Abraham’s seed took the Law, and by the works thereof sought to inherit, but found not the promise, by which any inheritance could be obtained. From all this we learn not to burden ourselves beyond our power, nor to hold fellowship with one that is mightier, and richer than ourselves, for that the Earthen Pot and the Kettle agree not together; nor our outward man the flesh, with the spiritual Law; and for us in the point of Justification to seek to bring our old man into a way of Law obedience is to bring dross to fire; to put a weak Infant, or a lifeless Corpse to the Combat with a mighty Army; yea, to bring the works of the Law to the corrupt mans practice is to set a new piece in an old Garment; to put new Wine into old Bottles; neither can such an earthen Pot as is our old man, and the Kettle, the Law, be smitten one against another, without the pot being shattered; for as the event of these, would be the greater rent of the garment, so fondly patched; the bursting of the Bottles so ignorantly filled; and the dashing of the earthen Pot in pieces; so all that ever endeavor, to yield that Law-obedience, as to seek to be righteous thereby, with this dead body, though a delight they may have in the inward man; and a desire, and endeavor so to do, with the outward man; yet the good, they would, they shall never perfectly effect, and the evil they would not, that shall they perform. {Romans Chapter Seven} This was that which made Paul cry out, for our example to be delivered, or set free from so dead a body; and concludes also that from it he is freed by Christ’s One Death; God hath delivered him from his dead body by Jesus Christ, and so from the Law, and from sin, and consequently from Hell; and this is that Liberty of which we are possessors; and of this, and only this it may be said, “If the Son hath made you free, you shall be free indeed.” If then the flesh be crucified, the Law is satisfied; if the flesh have obeyed, the Law is fulfilled; and this is done, {accomplished in Christ,} even in our own whole nature, and that as it is said by Jesus Christ we live, now no more the life of the flesh; for that all such, as so live, are all their life time subject to bondage, and in fear of death and damnation; and yet that this Liberty, may the better appear, we may consider in the next place, the persons set free. And they are all such, as are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh; nor yet of the will of man, but of God. {Jn.1:12} For that which is born of the flesh is flesh; {Jn.3:6;} and flesh and blood can never enter the Kingdom of God, neither may corruption inherit incorruption. {I Cor.15:50} And we have learned that all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass; the grass must wither, and the flower fall away, but the Word of the Lord endureth forever. {Isa.40:1, I Pet.1:24,25} And we are born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God which liveth, and abideth forever. So that the freemen, and such as are set at Liberty, are not such as are born of men, but those that are born of God; they only know this Liberty, and are truly acquainted with the privileges thereof; they are such, as do now find in them, the power of the Spirit of Life; they do mind heavenly, and spiritual things; are quickened; {Col.2:13;} in part to yield true, and sound obedience to the spiritual Law of Christ; as they have the Spirit of the Son enabling them with boldness to call God Father; and the same Spirit witnessing to their spirits, that they are the children of God. {Rom.8:15,16} They deny themselves, groaning in themselves to be set free in body, as they are in spirit, from the bondage of corruption, and yet can wait patiently, for that full Redemption; having received the spirit of Prayer, and Praise, and are conformable in a great measure to Christ himself. These are called to Liberty, and entered into the glorious Liberty of the sons of God. {Rom.8:21} Neither are such free men Lawless, or at all fruitless; for as sin, that is serve sin, they can never, as they have formerly done. {Rom. 6:1-7, I Jn.3:9} So are they exercised in the fruits of the Spirit, and in them they abound: Love, Joy, Peace, Long-suffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness and Temperance they can now declare. {Gal.5:22,23} These envy not, vaunt not themselves, are not puffed up, behave not themselves unseemly; seek not their own; are not easily provoked; think no evil; rejoice not in iniquity, but rejoice in the Truth; bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things. And if this be lawlessness, such lawless persons are we become; yet are we sure, that such are not without Law to God, but in the Law to Christ. It is the royal and perfect Law of Liberty, which these have attained, and in it they walk. That is their mirror, and continual glass in which they behold themselves, day by day. The glory of Moses is now no glory to them; nor the face of Moses do they any longer look after. It is the glory of Christ Jesus which they admire, and on his most glorious face, they are bold to gaze, and thus are they changed, from glory to glory; {II Cor.3:18;} and have received grace for grace; {Jn.1:16;} and indeed proceed from faith to faith. {Rom.1:17} They have the glory of Christ, for the glory of Moses; the grace of the Truth, for the grace of the type; and are come from faith of conditional Promises, to faith of free Promises; {II Cor.1:20;} they are so far from being obliged to any Judaical Ceremonies or Mosaical Rites, that they are free from the burden of the Ceremonial as utterly abrogated, and the Curse of the Moral Law for which Christ hath satisfied. These then are those free men, true inhabitants of our new Jerusalem; {Gal.4:26;} having that white Stone, with the new name; {Rev.2:17;} have eaten of the tree of life, in the midst of God’s Paradise; {Rev.2:7;} have on the wedding garment; {Mt.22:11;} live by faith; {Gal.3:11;} walk by faith; {II Cor.5:7;} work by faith; {Jam.2:18;} are clothed with that fine white linen. {Rev.19:8} By this it is clear that our Liberty is no carnal, but a spiritual; no servile, but a son-like; no short or momentary, but a lasting and eternal Liberty we do defend. And as men do highly esteem small things if they be but favors from great ones, and do value things at the rate they cost, or rejoice in them for the goodness they have or the benefits they bring. If the favor of Princes be so much esteemed, diamonds of so great value, and Oriental pearls so much desired; at what rate should this Liberty be valued? How dearly prized? How much desired; and how valiantly defended, by all that hear of the excellency thereof, and are entered within the limits of the same? Let Libertines then be as presumptuous and lawless as they wish; and Jews as envious as they may; and false Christians as careless as they are, or as superstitious, as some are known; yet we should prize this Liberty at far more than our lives worth, much more than our Wife, our Land or Friends, or whatsoever else might be most dear unto us. And in this Liberty, let us live and die, and for it, let us constantly stand; and not be so foolish as to begin in the Spirit, and seek perfection by the flesh; to subject ourselves to Jewish Fables, to stretch out our necks to receive that heavy yoke, to turn again to that Prison wherein the Jews were shut up; to those weak and beggarly elements, and be bond-slaves to them, to go again to the Schoolmaster, as if we had not yet learned Christ; to leave the contemplation of the present body for the empty shadows, like mad men, to fly from the day light, to the twilight. Knowing now, that those shadows were for the present time, they were once quick, but not quickening; but since that, they had a time, wherein they were about to die, after once John the Baptist appeared in his Ministry, {Lk.16:16,} a time of transition, when once the veil of the Temple was rent at the death of our Lord Jesus; {Mt.27:51;} and albeit, they had also a time of solemn Burial, wherein their Funeral Obsequies were dispatched; as namely, while the Apostles tolerated Circumcision, as appeared by the circumcising of Timothy, {Acts 16:3,} and the vindicating of Liberty from Circumcision by refusing to have Titus circumcised; {Gal.2:3-19;} yet now they are, long since become mortified, deadly to all that turn back again unto them, seeing they do question thereby the validity of Faith in Christ; and do become debtors to the whole Law, and Christ is made of none effect unto them, they are fallen from grace. {Gal.5:1-4} So that by this Liberty, and only by this, have we all the comfort we do enjoy. And whosoever dare, either oppose it, or scorn it, or at all limit it in any fleshly manner, as by forbearing of meats, or by legal observation of days; they are they, who at least ignorantly, do scorn God’s love, make light of Christ’s Merit, and do set themselves against the Truth of God’s Grace, for which and in which, we do with comfort stand. And yet notwithstanding, the Law stands firm, not abolished, but established by this doctrine, and of it we say, that he that observes the whole Law and faileth in one point is guilty of all; {Jam.2:10;} and except our righteousness do exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees, there is no entrance for us into the Kingdom of God. {Mat.5:20} But this exceeding Righteousness is not ours, but Christ’s alone; as is before showed, for that all ours is as filthy rags; {Is.64:6;} and who can bring a clean thing out of filthiness? {Job 14:4} And we have learned, with holy Paul, to esteem all other righteousness, but that of faith, as dung and loss. {Phil.3:7-9} This is the Righteousness of God by Faith unto all, and upon all that do believe. {Rom.3:22} We seek no promise by the old, but by the new Covenant; not by the Law, but by Faith only; the Law is of force, but not fulfilled by the flesh, but by Faith only. So that by Christ we do fulfill both the Form, and the Truth; the Letter, and the Spirit; the Old and the New Covenant. So that by this the Law is confessed to be holy, just, and good, if lawfully used. {I Tim.1:8,9} It serves still to convince all men of sin, and to bring them to Christ for perfect obedience, and full satisfaction; yea, so far are we from granting the abolishment of the Law, in part, or in whole; that we affirm God will be ever just, and transgressors shall never escape his terrible and powerful hand. Neither shall this Law lose its force in all sorts of men, yea, in the godly themselves, to weaken the old-man and to humble them daily, until it may be triumphantly said, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” {I Cor.15:55-57} And this is that, by which all Enmity is slain and Peace made; yea, all that believe, whether Jews, or Greeks; Male or Female; bond or free; have free access by one Spirit, to worship the Father, through the mediation of the Son, and this Liberty is part of that Glory, which the very Angels themselves desire to behold. {I Pet.1:12} John Traske {Liberty from Judaism, or An Acknowledgement of True Christian Liberty, 1620}

Posted August 19, 2012

{Selection of the Week}

Satisfaction of Christ: The design of the true meritorious cause of our justification. The text declares it to be Jesus Christ by his merits in his obedience, in doing, and suffering. Take it in a brief head thus; where there cannot be justification by plea, it must be by some other proportional means, which we call Satisfaction. The Satisfaction must be proportioned to the offense; this being infinite, that must be alike infinite. Man therefore cannot satisfy, for both his doings, and his sufferings are limited. It must be done by another; now all creatures are both unholy, and finite; and the two requisites necessary to be in the one who satisfies are Righteousness and Infiniteness. These are solely in God, but God cannot be satisfied by himself, that were only to forgive, so he would not be fully just. It necessitates therefore, that he who must satisfy, must be God, truly Righteous, truly Infinite; and in somewhat different from God, that there may be a complete fitness. Let nature fetch this mystery, she will easily be confounded; nay, let the soul that sinned be put upon the search, it leaves studying and falls to despairing. Briefly, it must fall upon the appointment of an higher wisdom; namely, Christ in whom Righteousness and Infiniteness do both meet. Therefore, the righteousness of the justified is that which formally is in Christ only. See how the Apostle enlarges and explains himself in this, in his holy zeal, against proud zealots, who being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God. {Rom.10:3-9} See the same Apostle, in a more practical expression, by his own resolve, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ; and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ.” {Phil.3:8,9} The determination of the Apostle was to go out of himself, and fly directly unto Christ; for he is our Hiding Place, and must be our Strength. “Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength; even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.” {Is.45:24,25} We must not look upon the Law or works, but see them both hid in Christ. This mystery was exactly shadowed when God commanded the ark wherein were the tables of the covenant to be covered with a propitiatory, upon which the cherubs stretched their wings. {Ex.25:17-22, Heb.9:4,5} Christ is that Propitiatory. {Rom.3:25} Let us not presume to uncover the ark, or to take out the Decalogue, for it is happy that the Law is kept shut, and enclosed from us; but let us fasten our eyes upon the Mercy Seat and see how sweetly the cherubs sit and mind not what the chest contains; for to lift up the lid of that, were like the opening of the box of the harmful Pandora and would unleash horror to the imprudent and curiously unwise. Samuel Torshell {Three Questions, 1632}

Posted August 20, 2012

{Writings of John Traske}

Faith: Accusation - Faith is not to be tried by the fruits and effects, but only by the persuasion itself. Assertion – Fruits and effects do not infallibly demonstrate faith to any man’s own soul, but faith only demonstrates them to be the fruits and effects which attend itself; and if faith does not most infallibly prove its fruits and effects to be the fruits and effects of faith; tell us how any may know that faith hath such fruits and effects, and not by the Word; and how we may know the Word is Truth, and not by faith only? John Traske {True Gospel Vindicated, from the Reproach of a New Gospel, 1636}

Regeneration: Accusation - Regeneration is not to be tried by any other fruits, effects or signs but only by faith, wherein it consists. Assertion - Regeneration hath no infallible trial for man’s own assurance, but only by the truth of his faith by which it is made manifest. This, nor any of the former were ever any of the Gospel grounds, except some pieces stolen mischievously from them; and it is confirmed, as it is now explained, in the confirmation that faith is the only infallible evidence of salvation to the believer’s own soul; only this may be added, that whereas he saith it consists in faith, it was affirmed that it is attained, apprehended and enjoyed only by true believers; for we may truly convert the terms, whereas we read, “whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God;” {I Jn.5:1;} thus, whosoever is born of God, believeth also that Jesus is the Christ. And if faith be only the evidence of things not seen, by the eye of the natural man, {Heb.11:1,} then it is the evidence of Regeneration; and if any powerful effects attend Regeneration, faith only witnesses to the believer, that they are the effects of the new birth; or else they must show us something else, by which we believe things that are not discernible by human reason or sense at all. {I Cor.2:14,15} John Traske {True Gospel Vindicated, from the Reproach of a New Gospel, 1636}

Sanctification: Accusation - Sanctification is not by the Spirit in ourselves, but only in Christ, showed in the acts, and not in the habits of grace. Assertion - Sanctification is not by the Spirit in ourselves, that is in the flesh; but only as we are in union with Christ. {Jn.17:19,21} Sanctification is by the Spirit only, as we understand it of its operations by mortification, or quickening these our mortal bodies, yet it is not so in us, as mingled with uncleanliness; but as distinct absolutely from the flesh; and being another, or a new nature; indeed, a participation of the divine nature, {II Pet.1:3,4,} which though it make up one person, yet it is none at all of the old man, nor of the old creation, but it is that new creation, that new heart and that Spirit of God which is bestowed upon us, {Ez.11:19 & 36:25-27,} which yieldeth no new habits in the flesh, as if the flesh were changed or renewed, but is so subsisting of itself, that it is of power to manifest itself by acts of subduing, and acts of quickening, and reviving, and in enabling this mortal flesh as the life of Christ in us to do, though not perfectly, yet to do that which is good, so that the sanctified person is no further sanctified than he is in union with the Lord Jesus Christ; and it is not he that hath any habit of grace in his flesh, but the Lord Christ dwelling in him who doth put forth the bright beams of his glory, and in such virtues as do best fit the time and place in which he lives. {Rom.8:9-11, II Cor.1:8,9} John Traske {True Gospel Vindicated, from the Reproach of a New Gospel, 1636}

Believers Sorrow over Sin: Is there any precept, or warrantable pattern of such desperate sorrow, as that may be as is destitute of all joy; may we not dispense with the absence of sorrow after sin, or frailty, as are all the sins of true believers, and may we dispense with the absence of joy at all in any sense, when we find that a precept calling for perpetual obedience thereunto? To speak in the slanderers legal sense; if the Law command joy, doth not the least omission makes such as are under it as liable to the curse as the greatest transgression? - Even so it is with those persons of so much sorrow for sin, and joyless mourning; instead of magnifying the grace of God in Christ Jesus, and the Almighty Power of the Son of God; and setting forth the Glory of his Sacrifice, and of his Prophecy, and Princely Power, these do set forth the strength of sin, and power of Satan; and the dangers to which poor souls are subject; and thus conceal liberty by Christ, and God’s readiness to receive all that come unto Christ, and to Him in Christ’s name; and the glory, honor, happiness and excellency; the safety and perpetual felicity by the Everlasting Covenant, to which believers are come; so that by this means, such as are not believers, are discouraged and hardened; and such as are but weak in the faith, are exceedingly perplexed, and ensnared by such miserable men; and the only opposition of this dangerous way, by which all things are turned upside down; conversion hindered, religion scandalized, and God’s people put to a stand in their happy progress, by the ignorance and pride of envious men; for this only were these, and this accusation raised and published by the malicious and avenging enemy; but it shall proceed no further, for his madness is now made manifest to all men. John Traske {True Gospel Vindicated, from the Reproach of a New Gospel, 1636}

Dependence upon Christ: Accusation – Careless Christians are the choicest believers because they depend wholly upon Christ. Assertion - Careless Christians whose care is cast wholly upon the Lord are the choicest believers; for they are not negligent in the use of lawful means. And why may not carelessness be used in an holy sense; seeing that all our care is to be cast upon the Lord, who only careth for us; and seeing carefulness for anything, is also expressly forbidden, and prayer put instead thereof. {I Pet.5:7, Phil.4:6} What if such a conclusion were so set down as the explanation shows; as an antidote against the pernicious carking care that cuts of throat of all true religion and discovers infidelity in many who make great profession? John Traske {True Gospel Vindicated, from the Reproach of a New Gospel, 1636}

Posted August 21, 2012

{Writings of John Traske}

Love of the Brethren: No man can truly say he doth love his brother until he hath trial of his own love; neither may believers say, without vain ostentation in saying so; but yet may they perceive that others do so, preferring others to themselves, and that of I Jn.3:14, {“we know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death,”} is to be understood of the mutual love that is in believers one towards another. And though some may say that they do love the brethren, yet like Joab take them by the beard with one hand, and ask how they do, and let out their bowels with the other; {II Sam.20:9,10;} just as he that slanders the Lord’s children doth; who pretends love to them, and yet exposes them to everlasting reproach by his devilish lies. And who can truly say that he so loves the brethren as he ought, and as Christ commands, not knowing whether he can lay down his life for them as Christ did. {Jn.15:12,13, Eph.5:1, I Jn.3:16} This was only urged to show the vanity of that common mark of faith taken from I Jn.3:14 - {“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death;”} which neither can be an infallible mark, but as it can be directly proved to proceed from faith; and the Apostle contrasts the love of the brethren one to another, as a sign of their translation from death to life against the wonder at the hatred of the world, vs.13. {“Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.”} And such is the nature of true faith, that it carries the creature so out of its own love, and all; as that it pitches it upon Christ’s only love; neither do true believers ever boast of their love, for faith excludes all such boasting. And yet they rejoice to see the love of others, and do prefer it to their own; they press so to perfection in love, that want of love, and the rest of those fruits, being their daily just complaint of themselves, though they question not the favor of God for that; nor are not infallibly assured by it at all; sometimes sensible they may assure their hearts so before God; but their infallible assurance is only by faith in Christ. {Heb.10:22, I Jn.3:14, 19} John Traske {True Gospel Vindicated, from the Reproach of a New Gospel, 1636}

Posted August 22, 2012

{Writings of John Traske}

Law and Gospel Distinctions: Accusation – The Law is not to be preached to believers by Gospel ministers. Assertion – The Law, as Law is not to be preached to believers, seeing all edification is in faith. And why may it not be affirmed, that seeing there is no commission to preach the Law at all now under the Gospel, and seeing the Gospel contains the whole mind and will of God, and that the Apostles did never preach the Law at all, but as subordinate to the Gospel, and Paul doth charge Timothy, to charge some that they teach no other doctrine but the Faith; and brandeth such as were desirious to be Law teachers to have swerved from the doctrine, and to be vain janglers, and such as know not what they said. Why shall we not say; that the Gospel only is to be preached to all, as well as to believers; except any can show a larger commission than Christ himself, or dare leave apostolic doctrine, or will deny the Gospel only to be God’s power to save all those that believe. Need believers anymore but God’s power to save them now? {Mk.16:15, I Tim.1:3-7, Rom.1:16, &c.} Yet, whoever denied the use of the Law or its excellency to Discover Sin, convict such as the Gospel shines not unto, be a ground for all human Law, a notable confirmation of Gospel precepts, the very rule of Love, and a means to show the greatness of sin, so that Grace may appear to be the greater; that it is of use for the lawless and unholy, and for such slanderers as these who accuse; and of very plentiful use for true believers, and against any that oppose the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. {I Tim.1:8-11} Is this to abolish the Law; nay, rather it establishes it. When men are showed no life by the Law, but all hope of happiness only in the Lord Jesus Christ. - If the Gospel be able to beget, {I Cor.4:15,} to edify, {Acts 20:32,} to save perfectly all that are begotten, {Rom.1:16;} then what need the Laws help? As much as Christ did need the aid of Moses and Elias when Peter desired ignorantly their cohabitation with his Master, that answer from heaven might stop their mouths, if they were not bereft of knowledge, when it was spoken by God himself, “this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.” {Mt.17:5} - The Law only is a Rule of Life to such as know it in the infinite holiness thereof; and so denying all power in themselves to keep it, do look altogether to the Lord Jesus Christ, to keep it for them, and in them. John Traske {True Gospel Vindicated, from the Reproach of a New Gospel, 1636}

Growth in Grace: Accusation – Believers {however it may seem} do always grow in faith and love, and answerable fruits. Assertion – This needs no explanation to vindicate it from any show of error, but may stand and stare forever in the accuser’s face, to his shame here and condemnation hereafter, without his unfeigned repentance and like publication of his malice or ignorance, if we appeal to that commonly known principle, which is ‘that not to proceed is to retreat; or not to go forward is to go backwards.’ And how can such as are true believers, for so it must be understood, whose root, stock, mountain, living waters; in, and on, and by which they are planted, and watered, the ever rising sun that warms them, and gives them life is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; who waters them day and night and waters them every moment; therefore, how can they but grow, and bear fruit continually. John Traske {True Gospel Vindicated, from the Reproach of a New Gospel, 1636}

Posted August 23, 2012

{Writings of John Traske}

Preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ: To the benevolent reader. Reader, I call thee presupposing that thou wilt read; and I add benevolent to differentiate a holy reader from a profane scorner; for I would be loath to prostitute such pearls to swine. Public and Powerful Preaching is the prevalent means to prepare men for reading; and until that hath made way, reading {& hearing} is no more available than to the Eunuch who without Philip’s guide to the true sense. Such readers I call upon to read this tract, that they may see the powerful effects of preaching; not only in the general separation which it makes between Pagans and Christians; but in that it divides between idolaters and true worshipers; and between such as have the form, and such as have also the power of godliness; yea, between such as have the power only in seeking; and such as walk familiarly with God; and again, between the spirit and flesh; the seed of God, and of man; the new man and the old; the inward and outward man; Christ in us and Adam on us; the regenerate and unregenerate part; yea, which is most of all, between the soul and spirit. If in these any light be yielded, let God have all the praise; and I wish thee this benefit, that it may discover thine election, {II Thes.2:13, I Thes.1:4,5,} and make it sure unto thee; either by manifesting thee to be at least a seeker of God’s favor, a laborer for sensible reconciliation with God; one I mean, in the throbs and pains of the New Birth in that first general or universal Repentance that makes way to remission and prepares for admission into the inheritance by Faith in Christ Jesus. If thou be so wounded, may thou be directed to that place of healing {in Christ.} If thou be healed, and at liberty, it will warm, comfort, cleanse, quicken; yea, renew thy strength. If thou know all this already, I shall have thy assent; if more, I expect thy best aid, and humbly and as heartily desire thee to perfect so weak beginnings. And above all things, let us now pray that the Gospel so plentifully preached may have these powerful effects in these frozen and benumbed times; that Repentance may be distinctly preached and Faith in Christ plainly unfolded. Now is the time to be industrious; especially for us of the Ministry; to gather those whom Satan hath scattered; and to comfort saddened hearts and confirm weak hands against approaching trials. O let us double our pains in preaching and especially in putting up fervent prayers with strong cries and tears to Him that is able to cause our peace to flourish; Christ’s Kingdom to spread abroad; antichrists kingdom to decay and come to naught; that so God’s people may be established, to stand fast, fight valiantly and be more than conquerors in the evil day; and as for me, the least of all God’s ministers, I desire your prayers, that I may make foolproof of my ministry in redeeming the time I have lost by Satan’s wiles. John Traske {Preface to his book entitled: The Power of Preaching, 1623}

Posted August 24, 2012

{Writings of John Traske}

Preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ: Is God’s hand shortened; {Is.59:1;} or his power weakened? Is not Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever? {Heb.13:8} Hath he not promised to be with his servants in preaching to the end of the world; and that with the assistance of all power in heaven and in earth. {Mt.28:20} Is not the Holy Ghost the power of God in Christ’s ministers at this day? {Lk.1:35} Doth not the evangelist John record a promise that is lasting, where it is written that whosoever believeth on Christ Jesus, the works that Christ did, shall such a believer do; yea, greater works than these that Christ did in the days of his flesh. {Jn.14:12} Is there not as much need of like power in the preaching of the Word now, as there was then; yea, and more so, seeing we have no miracles to confirm the Word. Have we not devils and damned atheists to oppose and condemn the Word at this day? Are there not such of whom it may be said, as of Elymas the sorcerer; that they are full of all subtlety, and all mischief, children of the devil, enemies of all righteousness, which cease not to pervert the right ways of God? {Acts 13:10} Are not ministers at this day as fathers to beget; mothers to travail and bring forth; nurses to nourish; watchman to warn; soldiers to fight for; and stewards to give every man his portion of meat in due season? Yea, is not one minister sometimes a father, a mother, a nurse, a watchman, a soldier and a steward at one and the same instant; and doth not all this require great power? Are there not blind men at this day that want sight; lame that want strength; lepers that need cleansing; sick that want health; strayers that must be sought out; such as are fallen to be raised up; dumb, deaf and dead men to be made to speak, hear and come out of their graves? And do not such works require great power? And that there is required wonderful power at this day, consider further, that we have not only dead men to raise, blind men to make to see, wounded to heal, sick to recover, imprisoned to set free, strayers to seek out, lambs to tender, sheep to feed, babes to whom we give milk, and stronger to whom strong meat is belonging; but we also have sorcerers to withstand, bears and lions to combat with, Philistines against whom we must go, Scribes and Pharisees to entrap us; high priests to scorn us; Pilate to condemn us; a multitude to slander us, and the truth we teach; and if it should come to pass, as it hath befallen our brethren {the martyred Reformers who died by execution,} is not here still a work of great power? Should we shrink in such straits? Add hereunto that the Word is the same forever; yea, the words of God are as nails, which being well driven, do hold with power; an ax to hew down; as a fire to burn up; as a hammer to break asunder; as an arrow that wounds; a sword that divides; yea, a sharp sword with two edges to divide between the soul and the spirit, the joints and the marrow; and so the Word is at this day, quick and powerful. True preaching is always powerful, whether in respect of God’s power that is unchangeable and Christ’s promise of the assistance of all power in heaven and in earth; the powerful work of the ministry, in respect of their charge or the power of the Word itself that cannot be abated; yea, that by how much the older the world waxeth, and the riper in sin, and by how much the more all miracles are granted to be now ceased, by so much the more power must of necessity appear; seeing that God’s power is manifest in the greatest weakness; and where sin most abounds, God’s grace in powerful preaching abounds much more in such as are called. John Traske {Power of Preaching, 1623}

Posted August 26, 2012

{Selection of the Week}

Remission of Sin by the Blood of Christ: Do not think that I go about to persuade you to hold any phrases but those found in Holy Scripture, for I intend it not, but to hold the substance of that you have professed to your faithful friends that you know are in Christ Jesus, but you shall come to clip the Lord’s Righteousness if you assert that God sees all our enemies, therefore our sins, and that the Spirit sees sin, {in those whose sins have been put away by Christ.} This will prove leaven at the least. It seems these have forgotten the two grounds: First that God doth not behold his children under the Law, but under Grace, therefore their sins are all drowned in the Red Sea of Christ’s blood, like the Egyptians in the bottom of the Red Sea. Secondly: God doth behold men in Adam or in Christ, who were once darkness, but now light in the Lord; once the children of wrath, now sons and heirs risen with Christ and seated with Him in heavenly places; once in their sins, now a glorious Church by Christ, except you will make mongrel Christians between Adam and Christ that should stand before God sometimes in Christ, and sometimes out of Christ; sometimes in Adam or half in him, and half in Christ; half darkness and half light; half a new creature and half an old creature, which the Scriptures will not allow. So for any to say that God sees all our sins is to deny the first and second part of Free Justification, and to say namely that Christ hath not loved us, nor washed us from our sins before his heavenly Father, and that his Righteousness hath not covered us, and made us kings and priests unto his Father. And to deny the perfect Remission of Sins and to bring them under the Law before God, and then who shall not lay anything to the charge of God’s elect, contrary to the Scriptures. And to say that the Spirit sees sin because we by the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the flesh is to affirm that the Spirit sees us who belong to Christ in darkness, or sees not how Christ preserves his whole Church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, or that the Spirit doth not see the Blood of Christ or the Wedding Garment of Christ’s Righteousness upon us. For though we by that Spirit do mortify our members upon the earth, that is to be understood to manward, therefore called members upon earth, not in heaven for we are dead to sin already before our Father in heaven, and buried too, as the Apostle saith, “ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God,” and how should we that are dead to sin live any longer therein before God? Therefore reckon yourselves dead; believe yourselves to be dead to sin before, for thus he who would have you believe, and that you are so, and alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord; for he would not have you count that which is not, therefore you believers are dead to sin before God and buried also, for you are buried with him by baptism into death. And as men do not mortify him that is dead and buried already, so believers do not take away their sins out of God’s sight by mortification, because they are dead and buried unto sin before God in Christ already. So that though you by virtue of the Spirit do mortify your members upon earth, yet the Spirit of God doth know that their sin is pardoned, washed away and put out of God’s sight, covered and not imputed, which all signify the same thing; that is, the perfect remission of sins. And though sin do now lay upon thy conscience and thou art mortifying it by the Spirit, yet we know that sin is forgiven us for His Names sake; and that we have Redemption through his Blood, the Forgiveness of our Sins. And the Spirit witnesseth to that which Christ hath made us; therefore we are to believe, that the Lord sees us such as he would have us to believe that we are made before God by the blood of Christ; so it is one thing that we see and feel, when as by the virtue of the Spirit of God we do mortify our members on the earth, before ourselves and the world, and it is another thing what we are to believe in regards to what we are made before God in Christ. Therefore I believe the Spirit of God seeth every believer in the Wedding Garment of Christ’s Righteousness at all times. John Eachard {Letter written by Eachard, Vicar of Darsham, Suffolk, concerning the London minister Samuel Prettie, a young London preacher who was at this time imprisoned and awaiting trial before the High Commission, 1631}

Posted August 27, 2012

{Writings of Richard Coore}

Christ – the Heavenly Manna: The Lord hath provided and given to man that trusts in Him, another food, even the True Manna; whereof that given to Israel, was but a figure, as our Lord Jesus told them; that their fathers did eat of that manna and were dead, but he that did eat of the manna that he should give, should live forever; {Jn.6:49-51;} but they not understanding that to be united to him by faith, that mighty gift of God, whereby men as separated from themselves and the world, which Paul calls, {Rom.11:24,} cut out of the wild olive, and planted into Christ by the Father’s hand, {which the Lord calls by Hosea,} to espouse them to himself in faithfulness and judgment, and mercy, and everlasting compassion; {Hos.2:19,20;} they {I say} not knowing that this is to feed upon Him, said, “how can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Even as Nicodemus not knowing that this was to be born again, without which, our Lord Jesus told them, that “no man can enter into the kingdom of God,” said, “how can these things be?” He knew no birth, but that from his mother’s womb; and they knew no eating, but that of the teeth to satisfy the belly; so our wise and learned teachers {as they would be called} because they have learned some doctrine and logic which teach entirely contrary to the Word of God, not knowing that this is the laver of regeneration, the true baptism of Christ, the baptizing with fire and the Holy Ghost, wherein whosoever is baptized is baptized into death, buried with Christ by baptism, wherein also he is raised up with Him by faith, in the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead, that they might walk in newness of life; these, I say not knowing, are busied, some to sprinkle water in the face of a child, and to sign it with the sign of the cross, and thereby declare that the child is regenerate; and others to cast men and women that have stolen the truth from their neighbors, and can tell a story of faith and hope which they have learned from them, although they themselves are unacquainted with the issues of death and life, that are from the Lord; yet they cast them into a river, and then these are numbered as such as do believe and are baptized, although they never knew themselves touching that Righteousness which the Lord requireth, nor the true Faith or Baptism, nor never knew that a man could be zealous in preaching and practicing, that hath not so much as heard tell of the Holy Ghost. {Acts 19:2} And again, our strong religious professors, not knowing this to be the eating of that bread which the Lord gives, and drinking that cup which is the New Testament in his blood that is shed for the remission of our sins, and that whosoever lives in this faith, feeds continually upon this bread, and drinks none other but of this cup; for this is the true Vine, even the Lord Jesus Christ which is the new food of the Father’s kingdom; therefore they feed upon this heavenly manna as they abide with {and partake of} Christ, and he with them; for without him they can do nothing; but by him strengthening them they can do all things; so that as oft as they eat this bread, and drink this cup, they remember the Lord’s death till he come; which they being ignorant of, are busy to eat a bit of bread and drink a cup of wine in remembrance of the death and doctrine of Christ, when they know nothing of his doctrine but after the letter, not remembering that he said, “the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life,” {II Cor.3:6,} “it is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life;” {Jn.6:63;} therefore great zeal they have to do all after the letter, to receive this their sacred sacrament often or seldom, sitting or kneeling, or the like trifles, as though these could kill and make alive, or comfort an afflicted heart. Richard Coore {Practical Expositor, 1683}

Posted August 28, 2012

{Writings of Richard Coore}

Number of the Beast: “Here is wisdom,” saith John, “let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” {Rev.13:18} Here is man numbered, and his time numbered unto him, the time of his work, all that God wrought was very good, but all that man works is complete vanity, he himself is “lighter than vanity.” {Ps.62:9} So his number is the number of a Beast, for he is like the beast that perisheth without understanding; so his number is six, the days of work, though he attain to six in all the dimensions of it, 666 and 6666 and 66666, all is but six, for he cannot attain to seven; for seven is the day of God, the day of rest, the day of the manifestation of Christ, whom none can know except the Father reveal him; but man sits still in darkness, and labors in the very fire for complete vanity, which our wise and learned men not understanding, busy themselves to put this beastly name upon others; some upon the Turk, some upon the Pope, to be the Beast, and the Antichrist, because they know not that it is in themselves until the Lord reveal it. Richard Coore {Practical Expositor, 1683}

Christ in all the Scriptures: Our Saviour saying, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me,” and “ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” {Jn.5:39,40} Men in their wisdom {which is always foolishness with God, and in their zeal which is always void of true knowledge} take this to be a Command or Exhortation, to Search into the Scriptures, either for rules and lessons, by obeying which, they may attain salvation; or when they hear a preacher, to test whether those things he delivers be so or not, both which declare man’s ignorance of the Doctrine of our Saviour; for he testifies to Nicodemus that no man can enter into the Kingdom of Heaven unless he be regenerate, thence it is manifest that he cannot be saved, nor understand the Scriptures, whether they testify of Christ or no, unless he be regenerate; namely, begotten of God and born of that Spirit which always gives testimony unto Christ; for the spirit that is in man lusts to envy, as James saith, {Js.4:5,} and the object of that envy is Christ and his elect as appears by Paul when he was a Pharisee; for the unregenerate, though ever so religious are children of the devil, which never cease to envy and persecute Christ and his saints; {as our Saviour tells the Pharisees;} therefore the true meaning of that saying of our Saviour is; first, that there is no portion of Scripture, but if it be rightly understood, that speaks not concerning Him. Secondly; that these Scriptures witness by the Spirit that no man can by any means attain to eternal life but by Him; and these two are abundantly testified in the Scripture; as first that all the Prophets prophesied of Him, and certainly all the Writers of the Scripture were Prophets; for they spake not out of their wit or reason, but as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, as Peter witnesseth; and again, every Word of God is in Him Yea and Amen; not yea and nay; which is as much to say, perfectly true by the general testimony of all the servants of God, without any denial; which is signified by the word Amen; used when the preacher hath delivered such a true testimony, that all the people say Amen to it; and again, unto the second it is plainly testified that “there is none other Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved,” but the name Jesus; and therefore was he called Jesus, because he shall save his people from their sins, as Matthew saith; and Paul saith, “he is the author and finisher of our faith;” the Beginner and Perfecter of every good word and work. John calls him the “Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, &c.” These are sufficient and perfect testimonies! Hence is perfect direction given for the true reading of the Scriptures with understanding; namely, that every sentence of the Scripture is to be understood concerning Christ; if it speak not directly concerning Him, it is either a Type of Him, and evident testimony of the Operation of the Holy Spirit by Him, or of the evil spirit against Him and his Spirit; or it is a type or figure of those operations, so that all real, holy, good, righteous and honest thoughts, words and deeds are the operations of the Spirit of Christ in believers. – Hence every precept, exhortation or instruction must be so understood; as also all promises to be given to them that are in Christ, regenerate, begotten of God, born of the Holy Spirit, adopted sons and daughters of God, to whom alone these things are given. Richard Coore {Practical Expositor, 1683}

Posted August 29, 2012

{Writings of Richard Coore}

Irresistible Grace: “And it was so.” {Gen.1:7-30} Here is the conclusion; every word that God speaks is fulfilled; every command that he gives is obeyed, as it is written, “the Lord gave the word; great was the company of those that published it.” {Ps.68:11} When he gives forth his voice, the dead shall hear and live; many come to hear the Word, but their ear is not opened, nor their heart turned; many hear the Word, but receive it not as the Word of God, but of man; but when God commanded the light to shine out of darkness, it was so; so when he commands the light of Everlasting Life to shine in our hearts, it will be so; otherwise the prophets may preach, but Israel will not be gathered, which made Isaiah complain, “Who hath believed our report; and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?” {Is.53:1} Again; “Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?” {Is.51:9} So David saith, “The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire. The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests; and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.” {Psa.29:7-9} It is not so with man, for the prophets are sent to a rebellious people, that some will not hear them, others hear, but hate and persecute them, others come and inquire of the prophet as if they desired to hear the Law, and to know the judgments, but all in dissimulation and hypocrisy; though the prophet is “unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument;” {Ez.33:32;} but when God commands, they will hear; and unto the people that sat in darkness a great light shines forth and “to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up;” {Mt.4:16;} therefore he saith, “they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest; {Heb.8:11;} for they shall all be taught of God; so that when the Lord saith; “Seek ye my face;” the Church answers, “Thy face, LORD, will I seek; {Ps.27:8;} for our hearts are in the “hand of the Lord,” and the Lord “turneth it whithersoever he will.” {Pv.21:1} Here therefore is manifest the order, as the Apostle saith, first that which is after the flesh, then that which is after the Spirit; first the teaching of man, and man comprehending the Word of God in his reason and carnal wisdom, and thus in his puffed up heart thinking that the whole work is wrought, but it is not so; but when God commands his servants to cry out, and they reply, “What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field; the grass withereth, the flower fadeth, because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it; {Is.40:6,7;} and then it is so; so that David saith, “thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled,” {Ps.30:7,} his soul refusing comfort; so when the Church lies under affliction, the Lord commands, “Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins;” {Is.40:2;} and then it is so, “and the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken; the heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly; {Is.32:3,4;} the blind see, the deaf hear, the halt and lame leap for joy, and the dumb sing out the praises of their God; the Church is brought out of captivity to Zion with joy; everlasting rejoicing upon her head; for thou Lord in love to her soul hast freed it from the pit of corruption, therefore will I sing my song in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. Richard Coore {Practical Expositor, 1683}

Glorying in Religion: To him that glorieth in prayer, the Lord saith, “where art thou?” Art thou multiplying words like the heathen that think to be heard for their much babbling, or like the priests of Baal that called on him from morning till noon; knowest thou not that none call upon God but they that know him; and none know him, but they that believe in him; and none can obtain anything of God, but they that pray in Christ’s name; and none can come in his name, but they that are his, implanted into him by the Father; that is, to whom the Father hath given faith to believe in Christ, or upon whom he hath poured the laver of Regeneration through Christ; and knowest thou not that the prayers of the wicked and unregenerate are an abomination to the Lord; and that none can pray as he ought, unless he have the spirit of faith, and unity of a sound mind; and no man receives the Spirit by the works of the Law, but by the hearing of faith; and as long as man hath in his religion, “do this and live;” he is under the works of the Law, for he is not yet stripped naked, his heart is not yet humbled, his spirit is not broken; he is gaping after the praises of men, he is seeking to please God with his praying, praising, baptism, and other such actions. – And to him that glorieth in baptism, the Lord saith, “where art thou?” Art thou washing with nitre and much soap? {Jer.2:22} Art thou forming thyself after the fashion of the world, into some society of men, after their manner of will-worship? Knowest thou not that the baptism of Christ, {whereof it is said, “he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,} was not by water, neither sprinkled in the face, nor drenched into our head, but it was by fire and the Holy Ghost; what John the Baptist or the Disciples of Christ did, was but an outward figure of that inward washing of the Holy Ghost by the blood of Christ; wherefore it is said, “as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death;” {Rom.6:3;} and again, ye are “buried with him by baptism into death;” {Rom.6:4;} again “buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God;” {Col.2:12;} so that they that are baptized with him, are not gathered into any visible congregation of professors, but rather are separated from them all; as the Church saith, “For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid;” {Is.8:11,12;} of whom also our Savior saith by the prophet, “I and the children whom the LORD hath given me,” are accounted as a strange thing to both the houses of Judah and Israel; {Is.8:18;} which is as if he had said, to all that professed thy worship, for only Judah and Israel were worshipers of God then, and all other nations worshipers of idols. - To him that glorieth in the Lord’s Supper, the Lord saith, “where art thou?” Art thou binding the body and blood of Christ unto bread and wine, either in transubstantiation that it should be changed; {no, the unchangeable God cannot be changed into any created thing, nor the created thing into him;} or in consubstantiation; no, the invisible God cannot be joined to the visible creature, nor the visible into him, while it is visible; or by faith thou believest that he is the food of thy soul, as bread and wine is of thy body; and is he not so at all times, in all eating and drinking? Needs not thy soul food daily as well as thy body? And is he not also the covering to thy soul to cover it from nakedness and shame, and to defend it from heat and cold, and storms, as thy garment is to thy body; and is he not thy support in the day of weakness, as well as a staff to thee in old age? And is not he thy strength that gives the victory over thy soul’s enemies, as well as an army with an able commander, and weapons of war in the day of battle? Is he not thy wisdom to answer all gainsayers, and oppose thy soul’s enemies, as thy natural understanding and reason is in temporal things; therefore see how many ordinances are contained in this one, if thou refer to faith; are not all these outward visible signs of inward spiritual grace? Richard Coore {Practical Expositor, 1683}

Posted August 30, 2012

{Writings of Richard Coore}

Christ our Altar: See the doctrine of the sorcerer, “build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven oxen and seven rams,” {Num.23:1,} which figure out all hypocrites in their several forms of religion; all are for multiplying of sacrifices to God, {as Saul, when he saved the fat cattle of Amalek for sacrifices - I Sam.15:20-25} all are for doing much, striving to be blameless as touching the righteousness of the Law, and to outstrip all their companions; {as Paul did when he was a cruel persecutor of Christ and all his saints;} none remember that God will not be worshiped but in one Temple at Jerusalem, and one Sacrifice only; namely, the blood of Jesus Christ perfecting all that believe therein, and if any man join anything with it, he is fallen from grace, Christ shall profit him nothing; much less do they understand what it is that God will neither be worshiped at Jerusalem, nor in the mountain of Samaria, but in spirit and truth; for to be worshiped in the temple at Jerusalem only, and not at Jerusalem seem contrary; therefore understand that whatever place, or any external thing is appointed for the worship of God is but a figure whereby the inward true spiritual worship of God is figured out; as the Apostle to the Hebrews declares, that all are but patterns of heavenly things themselves; {Heb.8:5, 9:23;} therefore God will not be worshiped at Jerusalem, the city wherein the Temple and all the external service was, for these things were not forever; but Jerusalem signifies the Temple of peace, which is the body of Christ; by offering which, he made an everlasting atonement for sinners, and absolute peace betwixt God and sinful rebellious man, and by faith therein will he be worshiped forever. Now when Israel came to worship God they must have an Altar to offer sacrifice on, and a Tabernacle wherein to meet to perform their worship, and that was built in the wilderness, and a Temple must Solomon build for that service in Jerusalem; concerning the Altar they are commanded to build it of unhewn staves, for if they lift up a tool upon it, it was polluted; {Ex.20:25;} and concerning the Temple it is said, when it was reared, there was no sound of any tool heard in setting up that mighty and beautiful building, which figures out plainly the work of Christ, even the work of regeneration poured upon us abundantly through Christ by his Spirit, wherein if we do anything, we pollute it; and if we join anything with Him we are fallen from grace; and therefore also Christ was born of a pure virgin that had not known man to signify that man must not meddle at all in this vital work of regeneration, for it is God’s own work and he worketh all our works in us, working in us both to will and to do of his own good pleasure; and this was also figured in commanding Israel not to yoke the ox and ass together, nor to weave linen and a woolen together, {Deut.22:10,11,} that the whole work of man’s salvation may be from his Free Grace in forgiving sins, sanctifying the soul, giving a new heart and a new spirit, renewing the mind, dissuading the affections from this world, and drawing them to Himself, whereby man may be wholly employed in praising the Lord. Richard Coore {Practical Expositor, 1683}


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