January 2013


Posted January 4, 2013

{Writings of John Johnson}

Remission of Sins: Remission of Sins is to be considered judicially; as it is a legal acquittance in the court of God’s justice; or the judicial sentence, whereby the sinner is pronounced righteous, his person justified, his sins remitted, and himself acquitted from all indictment, charge, guilt or condemnation in the sight of God; a consequence of the full atonement, and ample satisfaction made by the blood of Christ; as the Surety and Representative of His people; who strictly personated the offender, and properly suffered in his name, in his place, and on his behalf; and hence it is, “there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” For God himself is Judge, and Jesus Christ is Advocate; and the cause appearing perfectly obvious; that Jesus Christ stood as our proxy, that our sins were actually laid to his charge, that our justification or condemnation depended entirely upon his success in the engagement that he undertook; and that the sacrifice of Christ was absolutely perfect, “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world;” that he, “through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God;” and that, “by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” Therefore, in the perfect court of God’s omniscient judicature; where everything appears in Divine light; Christ, “the Lord our righteousness,” and we, “the righteousness of God in him;” the sentence must pass in truth and all the chosen of God must be pronounced, “justified from all things;” and their sins blotted out forever; which is the same with remission of sins, in a Law sense. “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died; yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Thus Jesus, by his death, justified us, in bearing our sins; and by his life, he justifies us, in appearing as our Advocate in the presence of God. “Who was delivered over for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.” John Johnson {Evangelical Repentance, 1776}

Posted January 6, 2013

{Selection of the Week}

Salvation in Christ: As for us Christians, generally speaking, we seek acceptance with God as it were by the obedience of Christ, but in reality by our own works; as it were by faith, but in reality by the actings of something called by that name. We speak of God as already well pleased in Jesus Christ, or placated by what he hath done; yet we hold it necessary, that some advance should be made on our part, and some good endeavors exerted in order to begin our friendly correspondence with him. At bottom we consider the gospel, as presenting to us a God almost placated, and requiring something of us to make him fully so; yet very ready to help us out with that something, provided we set about it in good earnest. Or, to vary the expression, we look on God as become fully well pleased, through the atonement, to assist our feeblest effort to attain the qualifications necessary to gain his favor. But alas; what a poor use is this for the atonement? At this rate, all our concern about the gospel must turn out to much ado about nothing. For, what great benefit do we reap from it? I think it must amount to this, that we have now an authentic divine revelation assuring us, that the divine character is such, as the pride of man, in all ages, has imagined it to be; namely, that God is disposed to assist and favor those who are presumed to be the well-disposed. And none of us will readily admit the thought of himself, that he is altogether ill-disposed. We Protestants have indeed renounced the gross idolatry of our Popish fathers, even as the Jews returned from Babylon did that of their forefathers; yet, we have closely imitated the Jews contemporary with Christ and his Apostles, in their notions of the Divine character, and in their connecting their temporal interest with their religion, or their zeal for a worldly kingdom to the Messiah. Human wisdom has been employed in all ages to shorten the distance betwixt God and man. All the various methods that have been tried, agree in one respect. They all serve more or less to lower the Divine character, and more or less to exalt that of man. And thus it has been thought the distance might be removed, and friendship restored between God and man. Here the gospel differs from all the devices of human wisdom. It shows us the living and true God coming down the whole of the infinite distance himself, not to meet returning man, but to overtake and prevent him, when hastening to utter ruin; to seek and to save them that were lost. It shows us God come down to men, Immanuel, God with us. The great truth for which we are indebted to the gospel is, that God was made manifest in the flesh. In the person of Jesus Christ, the distance between God and man is entirely removed. There appeared man in his lowest misery that he can either feel or fear. There appeared the just God in his highest majesty of character. The fullness of the Divine good pleasure rests on Him, who became exceeding sorrowful even unto death. There we see Divine vengeance executed against sin to the utmost, yet the eternal God become the refuge of the guilty. There God appears, not working deliverance by halves, not co-operating with sinful man, not restoring his depraved faculties, and assisting him less or more to deliver himself; but working complete deliverance for man without his concurrence in the least. So that, according to this time, it may well be said. What hath God wrought? When Paul gloried only in the work finished by him who died on the cross, he was not afraid of being guilty of any degree of idolatry, or of derogating in the least from the honor of the true God. He was confident, that he was well kept in countenance by the words of the Prophet Isaiah, “In the LORD {Jehovah} shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.” {Is.45:25} So he restricts the blessing to as many as walk according to this rule, as being the only true Israel, saying, “peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.” {Gal.6:16} And to the Philippians, he says, “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” {Phil.3:2,3} He was in no fear of incurring the curse, or forfeiting the blessing pronounced in these words, “Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.” {Jer.17:5} - Thus; he who finds nothing that can give him any importance, but the work of Christ, rejoices in knowing that the Divine good pleasure rests there. So his happiness arises wholly from that which God hath provided, without his concurrence in any respect; and the grateful sense of his happiness always terminates in that work. - Righteousness being only found in Jesus Christ, the substitute for the guilty, to him alone the blessing has respect; in him alone God declares himself well pleased. The blessing rests only on his righteousness, and follows it wherever it goes. To whomsoever it extends, the blessing is also conveyed. In vain shall any sinner expect to find about himself any reason why God should be well pleased with him, or even better pleased with him than with others. In vain shall he pray to God for grace to enable him to find any such reason. In vain shall he expect to hear one syllable more from God, to encourage him to draw nigh to him, than that he is well pleased in his beloved Son; that Jehovah is well pleased for his righteousness sake. He who is persuaded, that Christ hath done enough to procure the Divine good pleasure for the guiltiest of mankind, loves that truth, and counts all things loss for the excellent knowledge conveyed by it. He who is not satisfied with this, is disaffected to that wherein the fulness of the Divine delight rests; for he says in his heart, “I do not believe that Christ hath done enough; I do not believe that God is fully placated by what he hath done, unless I also can find some reason why the Divine favor should bear a more peculiar direction to me than to others.” Thus it is that men give the lie to God, while they believe not the record that God gave of his Son. And must not God’s jealousy burn in favor of His sole delight, and against all dissatisfaction to Him? For, says the apostle, “our God is a consuming fire.” Robert Sandeman {Letters on Theron and Aspasio Addressed to the Author, 1757}

Posted January 7, 2013

{Writings of John Johnson}

Gospel Faith: There is a sanctification in the affections and passions of the soul; or in the operative and passive faculties of the mind; for according as the understanding is enlightened with Divine truth, the heart will be affected with the special influence thereof; and dispositions conformable to the sacred Gospel of Christ will be produced in the inner man; or the blessed manifestation and communication of sovereign grace will make a certain impression, and have its due effect upon the intellectual powers. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” {II Cor.3:18} By the direct influx of the Spirit; and through the knowledge of the truth the soul is blessed with faith in God; or firm trust and confidence in Him. As saith the psalmist, “they that know thy name will put their trust in thee; for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” {Ps.9:10} That is, not they that know how to spell and pronounce his name with a proper accent and natural sound; but they that know the truth, virtue, power and excellency of his nature and attributes, of which his name is expressive; these do, by his word, receive strength to commit themselves to him without reserve, for time, and for eternity; for life, for salvation; for righteousness, for peace; and for every branch of sanctification. For they see such absolute, infinite, eternal, immutable all-sufficiency in Him, that they cannot distrust him. His truth being incorporated into their very souls, and their innate powers incorporated into his faithfulness, nothing can intercept the united affection they feel towards him, and their unshaken confidence in Him. “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.” {Is.12:2} This is true faith; at least, in one of its special operations; but faith, in its utmost extent, includes all the branches of spiritual grace that a believer is made partaker of during this life; for as all spiritual blessings are held forth in the word of truth, and faith is nothing else but that truth received into the heart, and dwelling there; all the spiritual blessings that can possibly be enjoyed are bestowed by faith; and every branch of experimental sanctification is no other than faith in a different mode of operation; and that particular branch, of fixed recumbence on the Lord; that is on the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; is a blessing promised to all the chosen of God. “My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust.” {Is.51:5} Again, “I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD.” {Zeph.3:12} John Johnson {Evangelical Sanctification, 1776}

Posted January 13, 2013

{Selection of the Week}

Divine Sovereignty Asserted: No doctrine in Scripture wears a more amiable and inviting aspect to the self-condemned, than that of the Divine Sovereignty, as described by Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, especially, chap. ix. This removes every cause of despair to the most wretched of mankind. For who can be led to despair by the view of any deficiency about himself whatever, who knows that none but the utterly deficient are chosen of God to salvation? As no doctrine is more encouraging than this to the miserable, so none is more provoking to the sons of pride, who want to stand upon their distinctions before God, and are not yet reduced so low as to be entirely at mercy for their salvation. Though this doctrine is not yet erased out of the standards of either of our national churches, yet it is generally opposed, and held in great contempt both by clergy and laity, as well as by the Dissenters. Many declaimers about the Divine Benevolence, with open mouth, show their spite against the Divine goodness preached by Paul. Many zealous disputers against Deists and Infidels, with great arrogance renounce the Sovereign of the Universe. And if we observe the artifices of the popular preachers, we shall find them likewise denying that “the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” Yet this hated article of the Sovereignty of the Divine choice, will ever be held most sacred by all who love the Ancient Gospel. To them it is highly acceptable, because they know that there was no occasion for such Sovereignty to appear, but that grace might be shown to the worthless. They know that otherwise all mankind, without distinction, had perished according to every rule of equity. The popular preachers are greatly disgusted at this doctrine, because, according to their own style, "here is no visible ground for faith to rest upon." Here no man's pride is flattered; no man can find any ground to presume that the Deity regards him more than others. Therefore, while they are busy in stimulating their hearers to the exercise of faith, they are at great pains to keep this doctrine as far removed from their thoughts as possible. But when once the hearers, by their assistance, have prepared some ground for faith to rest upon, then they are freely allowed to solace themselves with the doctrine of election, because they have now acquired some reason why God in his choice should respect them more than others. - The consequence of this change in the Arminian controversy, from that way wherein Gomarus {Franciscus Gomarus, 1563 – 1641, Dutch theologian, a strict Calvinist and opponent of the teaching of Jacobus Arminius, which was formally judged at the Synod of Dort in 1619} held it was a great alteration in the strain of preaching amongst the most zealous Calvinists. For in place of free justification by God's grace, through the redemption that is in Christ's blood, much insisted on by the Reformers against the Roman Church, even as it had been before by the Apostles against the Jews and Judaizing Christians, laboring more in setting forth the revealed righteousness to be believed against everything opposed to it, than in any descriptions of the exercise of the mind and heart in believing; they now began to insist much more in their sermons on free electing grace, but especially on the efficacious power of that Grace in the conversion of the elect, working unfeigned faith in them, and turning them to God in a sincere repentance; and then this took the place of the answer of a good conscience toward God by Christ’s resurrection, {justified by his resurrection; not as the matter, or cause, of the remission of our sins in the sight of God; but as a full demonstrative evidence, that his life was an adequate ransom; and that “the Lord is well pleased for his righteousness sake;” a manifest declaration, or irrefutable proof that the work was finished, and that the Son by his “one offering had perfected forever them that are sanctified,”} as the spring of Christian religion. This was attended with large descriptions, how a man should find himself under the operation of that free and efficacious grace, calling him effectually, regenerating, and converting him to receive Christ by a true faith, and to repentance unto life; while the things set forth in these descriptions were often not things accompanying salvation. The effect of this strain of doctrine, upon them that hearkened to it, was, their seeking peace with God, and rest to their consciences, by what they might feel in themselves, the motions of their hearts, and the exercises of their souls, in compliance with the call to faith and repentance, under that efficacious operation of grace, which they hoped to find in using those means, whereby they supposed it to be conveyed; or if they could persuade themselves that they had found it, then they looked on themselves as already converted, and in a state of favor with God; comforting themselves against the fears of losing the Divine Favor again, by the inamissibility of grace, or the perseverance of the saints. But, however different this be from the doctrine of the Arminians, concerning electing and converting grace and perseverance; yet it comes to the very same thing with him at last, as to the grand point of the justification of a sinner before God. For whether the Pharisee in the parable, opposing himself to the Publican, as more fit for acceptance, did thank God in whole, or in part, for what he was in distinction from him and other sinners; yet his confidence in coming before him for acceptance, was in what he found himself to be, and in what he did, by the efficacious operation of God’s special grace, working all in him irresistibly. How opposite to this is the Publican’s way of coming before God, finding nothing about himself but what makes him the object of Divine Abhorrence, and having no better thing to say of himself, than that he is a sinner, and so a meet object for Divine mercy and grace, justifying freely through the Propitiation for sin, set forth to declare the Divine Justice in justifying the ungodly? He has no other ground of confidence but that, in appearing before God, nor anything else to encourage him to hope for his favor and acceptance with him. And so his address to God is in these words, “God be propitious to me a sinner.” Now, he went down to his house justified rather than the other! - Hence it is, that in leading their hearers to faith, they constantly instruct them how to qualify themselves, so as they may be in a condition to advance some claim upon the Deity, and treat with him on some rule of equity; or so as they may find some reason why he should regard them more than others, and, accordingly, grant the favors they desire of him. They maintain, indeed, that men can obtain no benefit from the Deity but in the way of grace; yet, it is evident, that grace obtained in the way they direct is improperly so called, at least it is very different from the apostolic notion of Divine Grace. Paul, when speaking of the Sovereignty of the Divine choice of men to salvation, as proceeding upon grace, in opposition to every notion of desert in those who are chosen, distinguishes that grace in the following manner, “And if by grace, then is it no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace; but if it be of works, then is it no more grace; otherwise work is no work.” If this one text were well understood, the whole body of the popular doctrine would fall to the ground at once. Here we see how different the Divine choice is from that of men, who choose what is best and reject what is worst. God in blessing men, or choosing them to blessedness, has no regard to any distinction among them. All the objects of his favor are such as deserved equally to be rejected. According to the Apostle's reasoning, when God blesses any man with grace, he has no regard to any work, requisite, or motion of his will, by which he excels another; for if he had, then the grace thus said to be bestowed would be no more grace, but rather the respect due to worth, or the reward belonging to the work. - “Much more then being now justified by His blood, we shall he saved from wrath through him.” Whatever doctrine then teaches us to think, that our friendly correspondence or acceptance with God is begun by our own good endeavors, seconded by the Divine aid, or even first prompted by the Divine influence, leads us to look for acceptance with God by our own righteousness; for whatever I do, however assisted or prompted, is still my own work; otherwise the most common actions of life could not be called our own, seeing in all these we must still acknowledge our dependence on God, “in whom we live, move, and have our being.” Agreeably to what is now said, we may find Philosophers and Pharisees, both ancient and modern, in the height of their self-applause, acknowledging Divine assistance, and ready to agree in using language like this, “God, I thank thee for my excellency above other men.” We must begin our religion then as we would end it. Our acceptance with God, first and last, must rest entirely on the work finished by Jesus Christ on the cross; or we must betake ourselves to what many call the religion of nature, and what God warrants us to call the religion of pride, as being no less opposite to the law of nature, than to the Gospel. Robert Sandeman {Letters on Theron and Aspasio Addressed to the Author, 1757}

Posted January 18, 2013

{Writings of John Johnson}

Romanism: “Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters.” {Rev.17:1} This angel points out the great whore, the most famous false church; not the only false church, for there be many false churches, or at least, many distinct branches of the false church; but there can be no more than one true church. {Song 6:9} By a whore, in a spiritual or mystical sense, is meant a false church, or a body of false worshippers; and by the great whore, is intended that church which hath vaunted, boasted, exalted, and magnified herself above all the rest; and that this is the church of Rome, needs no proof, being visible to all the world; for though the whores of this kind are very numerous, none has been supported by such multitudes of people, as are here represented by the waters on which she sits. “With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” {17:2} Her fornication is her corrupt pernicious doctrine, and abominable delusions in regard to God; and her absurd practices, under presence of the worship of God. The wine is the vain fancies, and intoxicating traditions of men, so invented, so mixed, and so sophistically maintained, as to amuse the imagination, and gratify the carnal mind. The other whores have their intoxicating cups, whereby to ensnare persons into their fornication; but some of their wine is so much of one mixture, that it will not please the taste of all; but the church of Rome has outdone them all; for her wine is of so many kinds, and mixed with so much art, as to please, allure, and intoxicate persons of every call, even so far as to obtain the name of universal. The art and study of whores, is, by intoxicating potions, to draw men into infatuation, so as to become a prey to their filthy embraces; and all false churches are the same. “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness; and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.” {17:3} The saints must be carried in the power of the spirit of holiness, and in the light of the word of truth, to take a distinct view of the abominations of the mystery of iniquity, and of the righteous judgments of God against idolaters. Here we are taken away from seeing and hearing what proceeded from the temple and the altar, into the wilderness, to see a whore of an uncommon character, and of an enormous size; whom, therefore, God will judge in an uncommon way, with punishments adapted to herself. As she has not only fallen to idolatry, worshipping devils in the place of Christ, but has been guilty of crimes the most flagrant, both against God and men, setting her mouth against the heavens, and insulting all the nations upon earth; therefore she shall be punished according to her sins, not only with the pouring out the vials of his wrath, as he will do upon all false harlots, but for her open abominations, God will pour upon her his open vengeance. This woman is the Romish body of popes, cardinals, archbishops, bishops, priests, clergy, and unholy orders; who reign over, sit, and ride upon the people, who are only vassals, to bear their burden, and uphold their grandeur. The beast which carries her hath a twofold signification. That which sustains her idolatry is the same beast spoken of before; that is, the delusions of Satan, formed into a system of religion, upon the plan of a perverted gospel, or the truth of Christ turned into a lie; but that which supports her external dominion is the worldly powers. Yet these are become one beast, for the earthly principalities have been made drunk with the abominations of the counterfeit Christ. These seductions are the soul, and the secular powers are the body, which is actuated thereby, and these constitute the beast which carries the whore. It is of a scarlet color, to show the deep dye of the abominations; full of names of blasphemy, having adopted all the blasphemies of Antichrist, not only in their worship, but in their civil orders, calling almost everything by the name of Saint, by the name of the Trinity, by the name of Jesus, by the name of the Holy Ghost, &c.; thus profaning every sacred thing, to make the name of the Most Holy become common, contemptible, and ridiculous. The beast has seven heads and ten horns; for all the heads and horns of the Antichristian beast are in it; and yet it has another signification, pointing to the seven heads and ten horns of earthly power, by which the state of the whore is maintained. John Johnson {Book of Revelation, 1779}

Posted January 20, 2013

{Weekly Selection}

Christ’s Two Witnesses: “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod; and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.” {Rev.11:1} The first thing given to the Apostle John here is a reed, that he was a wise master builder might exactly measure his work and leave a pattern to all believers, as those that must work and walk by rule. This reed is the same with that measuring line, that plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel, by which Jerusalem {in all ages} must be measured. {Zech.2:1, 4:10} This reed is not an Egyptian reed, {too weak for such a work,} {Is.36:6,} nor such a reed as was put for a mock scepter into the hand of our crucified Lord. {Mt.27:29} But this holy reed is that royal scepter of Christ’s kingdom, whereby he ruleth his princely subjects, which he hath won by conquest from death and hell, being none other than the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, put into the hands and hearts of his faithful ministers, {II Tim.2:2, II Pet.1:15,} whom he had authorized to direct, guide, and govern his select sheep until his second coming. This royal reed is that staff of doctrine which was the great joy and solace of King David’s soul. “Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” {Ps.23:4} This is the staff of beauty and the staff of bands, with which the Lord led and fed his flock of old, and with which he will have the Gospel Temple, and the Altar and every Worshiper therein exactly measured thereby. As Christ the foundation was {in all his actions} measured by this line of truth, {that the Scriptures might be fulfilled, as it is written according to the Scriptures, and the like, Jn.17:12, Mt.26:31, I Cor.15:3,4 …,} so must every living stone, every true branch be squared, ruled, and measured by the same reed. “Thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.” “For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me.” {Jn.17:6,8} ”When ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God.” {I Thes.2:13} Those stones that were admitted into Solomon’s Temple were first hewed, squared, prepared, costly stones; and can it be imagined that a promiscuous heap of rugged, polluted, deformed, unpolished stones should be fit matter for the second more glorious Temple? Is it probable that Christ will admit of scandalous, ignorant, profane persons, {neither resembling, nor in a capacity of discerning his blessed body of truth,} as choice materials for this true tabernacle which the Lord hath pitched and not man? {Heb.8:2} Would such dirty patches be seemly in his seamless coat? The Lord abhorreth such a mixture! {I Cor.5:7} The true glory of this Gospel Temple consists in the purity of the materials, living lively stones, exactly measured, and fitly framed together, growing to an holy temple in the Lord; an habitation of God through the Spirit; a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people. {I Pet.2:5,9, Eph.2:21,22} - “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.” {Rev.11:3,4} These two olive trees are plainly called the word of the Lord. “And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, this is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” {Zech.4:3-6} Not Zerubbabel and Joshua as some imagine; nor Enoch and Elias as others conjecture; nor Christ and his saints as a third conceive; but all with as much show of truth as that the two houses of this present Parliament should be them; but all these conceits and all other fancies of like nature are not worth the answer, as having not the least ground or warrant in that blessed Rule that is able to make us wise unto salvation. But some who have thought that these two witnesses are the Word and Spirit, do come nearest the truth, and in some sense this is truth, of which more hereafter. The two olive trees which we are inquiring of are called the witnesses distinct from the candlesticks; for though our translators have coupled them together by the conjunction ‘and’ yet we have been informed, that ‘at’ or ‘besides’ is more proper and significant according to Zech.4:3. But I have determined never to receive any testimony of man however excellent, unless it be strongly backed and substantially supported by that clear Fountain of Life, the Testimony of Truth; “to the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them;” {Is.8:20;} and this testimony, even this very word discovers more heavenly light than I was aware of; for in this text the Scriptures are plainly called a Testimony or Witness; let the answer to Zechariah’s question clear the truth hereof more fully, the prophet having a vision of these two olive trees, {which are plainly said to stand by the candlestick,} asketh the Angel what they were; to which he answered, “this is the word of the Lord;” that is to say, the Scriptures which before are called the Law and the Testimony; and this word of the Lord held forth by two olive trees is purposely produced for the cherishing and establishing of that Temple work that Zerubbabel had in hand, as if the Lord should say, let this inform and assure you, that though mountains of difficulties appear, though Sanballat and Tobiah {the exact type of Pope and Cardinals} {Neh.6:1} and many false brethren use all means to hinder and destroy my Temple work; though my candlestick be now in a low, mean and obscure condition; yet my work shall go on and prosper; the word is gone out of my mouth, it is upon record in the writings of my prophets, and therefore cannot fail; but these Scriptures of truth shall continually stand by my candlesticks like two olive trees, conveying by my seven sorts of instruments as by so many pipes, such plentiful nourishment as shall be able to support my churches in the most exiled wilderness state. And now the word of the Lord is the only visible support, and supply of the poor distressed woman; and this word of the Lord stands like two olive trees on each side of the candlesticks, or true churches, yielding constant nourishment to the saints. {Zech.4:11,12} This light the Spirit of truth is pleased to communicate in this fourth verse of the eleventh chapter of the Revelation; that these witnesses are two olive trees, which must be so understood as Christ is a Vine, a Door, a Stone, a Nail, &c.; that is, not really, but figuratively, so these blessed witnesses have the same use, and therefore are fitly compared unto olive trees. First, that these two olive trees are expressly called the word of the Lord hath been already shown from Zechariah, and though this might abundantly satisfy being joined with that of Is.8:20, yet for the further evidence of this truth, let us consider the nature of the olive tree, {Rom.11:17} from which the Jews were broken off, and I believe it will clearly appear, that the olive tree there mentioned is none other but the word of God growing up, and drawing sap from the Eternal Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Root of this tree, whereof faithful Abraham was only a type. And that the breaking off the unbelieving Jews was their separation from, {procured by their contempt of,} the doctrine of salvation contained in the Scripture; these, and only these were the children of the kingdom, {as a type of the spiritual seed of Christ,} to whom only the pure oracles of God were committed, to whom only the Gospel was commanded to be preached, {Mt.10:5,6,} and to whom only for a long time it was preached, {Acts 11:19,} until they rejecting this heavenly juice, putting away the sap and fatness of this olive tree, thereby judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life. {Acts 13:46} So that this act of theirs in putting from them the word of God, {causing those words of Paul, and Barnabas, “lo, we turn to the Gentiles,”} was the breaking of them off from the Olive Tree, {the eternal word,} and it is worth our consideration, that the Apostle calls it their own Olive Tree, {Rom.11:24,} as the Lord Jesus also calls the word of salvation their bread. {Mt.15:26} They are here said to be cut off from the Olive tree upon which they did grow, and we are grafted upon that stock, or tree from which they were cut; now it is plain that we are built upon the foundation of the apostles, and prophets, {Eph.2:20,} which I am sure are the two Testaments that make out the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the root of this Olive Tree. For the further illustration of this truth {that it was the doctrine of salvation contained in the Scriptures, from which these Jews were broken off, and consequently that this olive tree is none other than the word of God,} let us examine what those two staves in Zechariah are with which the Lord himself fed this stiff necked obstinate people, and this will plainly appear to be the holy Scriptures, or word of God; and lest it should be deemed the human fancy of a conceited brain, take the naked words as they lie in the Scripture. “And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock.” “And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people, and it was broken in that day; and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD.” {Zech.11:7,10,11} That then from which these stubborn Jews were broken off, is the word of the Lord, or the holy Scriptures; but the Jews were broken off the true Olive Tree; therefore the true olive tree is the word of the Lord, or the holy Scriptures. All which being compared, it will evidently appear, that the two olive trees in this of the Revelation, and that of Zechariah are none other than the holy Scriptures, or word of God. Secondly, it is as plain that the Blessed Scriptures are the proper food and nourishment of saints. {Rev.12:6} What else is that feast of fat things, that wine on the lees well refined, {Is.25:6,} that fatness of the Lord’s house wherewith he satisfies the souls of his saints, those rivers of pleasure that he makes them drink of, and to which the Lord Jesus so freely summons them. “O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.” {Song 5:1} But I pass this briefly, as not to be denied, that the holy Scriptures are the proper food and nourishment of the saints; for which employment these holy witnesses are designed, namely to feed the Church in her exiled wilderness estate. {Rev.12:6} But, if any should cavil, that I attribute that to the Scriptures, which is peculiar to the Spirit of God, I have this to say, that I have no thought of the Scriptures without, or beside the Spirit of God; I receive all Scriptures as the Lord Jesus delivered them. “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life,” “quick, and powerful,” “able to make wise unto salvation.” {Jn.6:63, Heb.4:12, II Tim.3:15} And therefore the blessed Scriptures are the proper, fit, suitable nourishment for the saints, and particularly for the Church in her afflicted despised wilderness estate. Thirdly, that the holy Scriptures are called witnesses, and which is yet more plain, that these very witnesses of Christ, will appear in the examination of several Scriptures; and first that the Law is called so. “Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.” {Deut.31:26} And it appears as clearly to me that the Gospel is so called also. “This is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.” {I Jn.5:9} If it be objected, that it is the Spirit &c., that is here called the witness, it is readily granted; neither dare I call the Spirit one thing, and the word another, {except it be said that the Scriptures are the mind of the Spirit,} it is above noted that the Lord Jesus saith they are both one thing, “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life;” {Jn.6:63;} therefore the Scriptures have ordinarily the same appellations and operations ascribed to them, as are to the Spirit itself; the Spirit is called Truth, so also the word is called Truth; {I Jn.5:6;} the Spirit is said to sanctify, so the word is likewise said to sanctify, {Jn.17:17,} and the like; and certain I am, that the properties ascribed to the word are not communicable to any essence below the Spirit of God. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” {Heb.4:12} “Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth; and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth.” {Hos.6:5} When I compare these Scriptures with the fifth verse of this eleventh of the Revelation, {Is.11:4 with Rev.11:5,} it doth so wonderfully clear this truth to me, that the Scriptures of the two Testaments, and only these are the two witnesses; that if there were no other ground but this, it would abundantly satisfy and confirm me in the discovery of this abstruse and wonderful mystery. To conclude, this truth so manifest already, is yet further cleared by those blessed lips where never guile was found, the Lord Jesus Christ himself affirming it himself in these words, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me.” {Jn.5:39} Here it is plain, that they are not only called witnesses, but these very witnesses here spoken of, for the words carry with them this clear sound, “search the Scriptures, for they are my witnesses.” Thus, as these blessed witnesses testify of Christ, so Christ also giveth testimony to them, as to his witnesses, and so puts the point in hand beyond all dispute; that the holy Scriptures of the two Testaments, and only these, are the two witnesses here spoken of; and yet one word more for the more ample discovery of the transcendent excellency of these heavenly witnesses, {the Scriptures of truth,} from the clear evidence the Apostle Peter gives; who having declared the excellent glory of Christ in the mount which he saw; and the audible voice, from the highest Majesty, giving invincible testimony of his Son saith, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” {II Pet.1:17} What; the Scriptures more sure than the voice of God Himself from heaven? Yes, a more certain infallible voice now in these Gospel days, than any miraculous extraordinary voice whatsoever; and here we may admire the wisdom, care, and faithfulness of our Royal Lawgiver, who knowing that many false prophets would arise, and deceive many; and considering how Satan usually transforms himself into an angel of light; {II Cor.11:13,14;} and that his eldest son antichrist would come after the working of this prince of darkness, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders. {II Thes.2:9} To detect this detestable wickedness, and most dreadful blasphemous abomination, so frequently belched forth in these days of Satan’s power, hath our eternal King left his royal will and pleasure upon Record, as a certain rule {Gal.6:16} for his subjects to walk by, till his second personal appearance, denouncing anathema to all such as shall presume to prescribe any other rule, or pretend any voice or vision, revelation or inspiration, beside or against this sure word of prophecy. {Gal.1:8} Here we see the transcendent excellency and unparalleled dignity of these glorious Witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ; upon this sure foundation we are built; to this sure word we do well if we take heed, {as setting forth the glories of Him in whom the Father is well pleased,} it being the character of a truly blessed man, {Ps.1:2,} to make these testimonies his delight, and to meditate herein continually, abominating the witchcrafts, sorceries, and cunningly devised fables of such as come with all plausible and sweet carriage, and mild pleasant behavior, lying in wait to deceive. Thomas Tillam {Two Witnesses, 1651} Brief Biographical Note: Thomas Tillam was an early Particular Baptist, Apocalyptic Radical, Fifth Monarchist and Seventh Day Advocate who pastored a congregation in Hexman, Northumberland, England, where he arrived in 1651, being sent there with the blessing of the Commission for Propagating the Gospel in the Northern Countries by the Baptist Church of Hanserd Knollys. In the ensuing years he had many conflicts with Paul Hobson, about ministerial support, laying on of hands, blessing of infants…which pressures on the Hexman church became so intense that the congregation split into pro and anti Tillam factions, which is probably why Tillam left Hexman about 1656. By 1657 Tilman had begun publically observing the Seventh Day {Saturday} Sabbath; {supposedly Tillam was the first to call the Sunday Sabbath the Mark of the Beast, a cry many later Sabbath-keepers would take up;} and encouraged trades on Sunday, which visible dissention did not sit well with the authorities, and he thus found himself jailed soon after. In 1659 the Quaker George Fox took him to task in his book entitled, “An Answer to Thomas Tillam’s book called the Seventh Day Sabbath, wherein it is showed that a Christian’s Sabbath is Christ, who is Lord of that Day.” Tillam eventually established a millennial colony in Palestine; and little is known as to his latter days. Additional Note: This exposition is not brought forth to make a dogmatic statement in regards to the “two witnesses” mentioned in Revelation chapter eleven, as being explicitly the word of the Lord; but to show the excellency and preciousness of that sacred word, especially as it relates to the doctrine of Christ, and a believers persuasion to hold fast the form {pattern} of sound words. We cannot but distance ourselves from those wild prophetical interpretations that we constantly come across, even by otherwise able expositors of the Word; and especially those that would interpret the book of Daniel, and the book of Revelation by current events, or in the light of worldly conflicts; which cannot but sicken any truly grace taught child of God, who has been made to realize that these things have little, if anything to do with the spiritual conflict {Christ’s kingdom is not of this world, and that warfare in which his subjects are engaged is not in the flesh, but in the spirit} in which the church of God is engaged whilst in their pilgrim state; and we believe that there are many that are grieved and wearied by the blatant extravagancies of this religious sensationalism; and there is no doubt in our minds that the actual events which precede the second coming of Christ will confound most all these crystal ball gazers, just as the Jews were dazed and confounded in the manner in which the prophecies concerning the first advent of our Lord were accomplished.

Posted January 21, 2013

{Writings of John Johnson}

Spirit of Antichrist: “And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.” {Rev.12:15} As the blessings of grace proceed out of the mouth of Christ, in the word of his gospel; so the serpent sends out of his mouth a perverted gospel, or a stream of seduction, under the name of the gospel. He now found it in vain to contend by repellent force; therefore he comes behind her, and sends the flood after her, and the stream moved the same way that she went, that she might be the more insensibly carried away. This can be no other than his counterfeiting gospel doctrines, and gospel worship, with much appearance of truth, to come as near as possible to the word of God, in sound and show; yet so as to retain a lie in the right hand, or a deceivableness of unrighteousness concealed therein, by cunning craftiness, lying in wait to beguile; by subtle arts, and sophistical glosses, coloring over the truth of the gospel with a false paint, as to make falsehood pass for truth, and the wisdom of men to be esteemed as the oracles of God. And for these kind of deceptions, perhaps there never was an age more prolific than the present. Do the children of God declare Christ to be the alone object of their faith? We see parties crying loudly for the Lord Jesus Christ; but come to examine who this Christ is, and we find only a sound of words. Do they confess the Holy Scriptures to be the alone guide to truth? We find numbers crying up the Scriptures; but enquire for what they value them, or in what light they view them, we find little but the historical part, or that they imagine they find something to countenance some peculiar favorite opinion, or they admire some beautiful striking expressions, but no true regard to the solid foundation of truth. Do the saints confess the glorious doctrine of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? We hear a great noise about the Trinity, but examine the ground of it, and it generally proves a vague opinion, gathered from old creeds, without any distinguishing light, or any solid foundation for our faith. Do they confess righteousness and peace alone by the blood of Jesus? We hear great acclamations of the blood of Jesus; but if we come to enquire after the virtue, power, and benefit of that blood, it is only a dry relation; and the righteousness and peace enjoyed thereby is only imaginary, or a vague uncertainty. Do the children of God confess their being born of God? We hear great stories about regeneration; but enquire what this operation is, they only intend some vain amusement, some enthusiastic fancy, some occult impression, or agitation of the natural passions, that has no relation to the kingdom or truth of God. Do believers acknowledge, the baptism of the Holy Ghost? We hear great pretenses to the Spirit, but ask wherein it consists, it is some improvement of the principles of nature, some unintelligible impulses of the mind, something visionary or miraculous, or something foreign to the life and power of God. Do the saints pray for sanctification? We hear a great noise about sanctification; but see to what it amounts, it is either a strict attention to some moral virtues, or an overflow of zeal for religion, or some extraordinary diligence, or abstinence, according to some task which the person has laid upon himself, thereby to perform some work of supererogation, or something caused by painful fear, &c. &c. &c. Thus, by subtle devices, the serpent seeks to beguile; pretending to acknowledge whatever the saints confess, to draw them into a snare, by being made to believe that his children worship the same God that they do; {“Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you; for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither.” Ez.4:2;} that being drawn into a good opinion, they may contract an intimacy, and so be led away to embrace the truths of the gospel in the same sliding manner, and in the same delusive light, as anti-christians do. But the Holy Seed, who shall bruise the serpent’s head, has otherwise taught his children. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God.” John Johnson {Book of Revelation, 1779}

Posted January 22, 2013

{Writings of John Johnson}

Romanism: “And he saith unto me, the waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” {Rev.17:15} The hierarchy of the Roman church, the body of her clergy, and most unholy orders, may very justly be called a great whore; forasmuch as she pretends to be the spouse of Christ, when she is only the paramour of Antichrist. Her whoredoms have prevailed in Europe, and filled it with such abominations, as all other parts of the earth where Antichrist has not been, are strangers to. For no people under heaven can be so deeply polluted, as those that are defiled with the whoredoms of a false Christ; and in the church of Rome, the abominations of idolatry have been improved to the highest pitch, therefore the greatest multitude of nations have been ensnared to drink, and have been intoxicated by her alluring cup. For she is devoted to Antichrist; and she is such an enchantress, that she not only seduces kings and nations into the filthiness of that beast, but to become her dupes and supporters; so there is a quadruple alliance, the dragon, the beast, the whore and the kings of the earth. No wonder then, that the whore, who is maintained by the other three, should make such a brilliant appearance, as to bewitch a multitude of nations to become her vassals, and pay their homage to her. John Johnson {Book of Revelation, 1779}

Counterfeit Christianity: “And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast; who is able to make war with him?” {Rev.13:4} The dragon is the devil, and the beast is his offspring. Now, if we duly observe, we do not find gross outward abominable practices, and wretched filthy communications charged upon the devil, called works of the flesh. The things imputed to the devil, are such as tend to give false ideas of God; to degrade his excellency, or fix some false conception of his perfection, his works, his word, his worship, &c., to draw men aside to some idolatry, which they call religion. It is true, the word religion may be applied to things that are just; and once in Scripture, I find it used in a good sense; {James 1:27;} but in that place, it is not applied to the worship of God, but to an upright conversation among men; but through vain custom, the word is now become so corrupted, that it is seldom heard, but what it naturally conveys some corrupt idea. I do not understand this beast to intend all the religion in the world; as Heathen, Mahometanism, &c., for though these are of the devil, they are not his masterpiece, as the Antichristian beast is; so when I read of this beast, I neither conceive it to be anything more, nor anything less, than what is commonly meant, and commonly understood, by the word Christian religion. In worshipping this beast, they, of consequence, worshipped the dragon, the devil, from whom the beast received life. All idolatry is of the devil; and whosoever worships any idol, is a worshipper of the devil; in whose name and place, and by whose power, that idol is set up. “But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God; and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.” {I Cor.10:20} And all that follow a Christ, as he is described, or set up, by the wisdom of men; these, under pretense of being worshippers of Christ, are only worshippers of a false Christ, a being which has its existence from the suggestions of devils, and the phantasms of men’s brains. It is impossible to worship the true God, if they do not know him, and it is impossible to know the true God by the teachings of any man, without receiving it from the pure word of truth. {Acts 17:11} Therefore that image which is impressed upon their brains, by these false representations, presented by men, but coming originally from Satan {and whose picture soever he pretends to draw, he never paints any real image but his own} this is the thing they worship. Yet, forasmuch as they are ignorant of the true Christ, they have no conception of any other, but the false image which floats in their bewitched brain; and they fancy that delusive religion which they follow, is superior to everything, and that they can challenge and defy any being in heaven or earth to overthrow it. John Johnson {Book of Revelation, 1779}

Posted January 24, 2013

{Writings of John Johnson}

Synagogue of Satan: “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.” {Rev.3:9} Wherever Christ has a church, Satan will have a synagogue; but this synagogue is not what some persons foolishly call so, as a brothel house, a den of thieves, an assembly of riotous wicked persons, &c., for these are conventicles of the sons of Belial, practicing unnatural abominations, and the vengeance of God is upon them. But a synagogue of Satan is of a different nature, and is always established in religion; with all the complicated devices of men and devils, to make counterfeits resemble the true gospel, and lies to pass for the truth of Christ. They call themselves Jews, that is, {in New Testament language} believers, devoted to the glory of God, as his peculiar people, but they lie; being only deceivers, deceived. This sort of people are always the most inveterate haters of the truth, as it is in Jesus, because they are impostors, endeavoring to pass their counterfeits for the truth of Christ; and the more the real truth shines in its purity, the more it discovers the baseness of the cheat; the deceit and falsehood of their doctrines. Therefore {in their way} they are the most violent persecutors of those that keep the faith of Christ. And the children of God look upon them as the most execrable of all the offspring of hell, because, coming nearer to the truth in appearance, it makes their delusions the stronger and more dangerous. “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” {Mt.7:15} These had doubtless shown their virulence against those that kept the word of the Lord, after using all their arts to seduce them, and finding they could not prevail upon them to deny his name. And the Lord assures his saints, that he will make this band of the sons of hell, to come and bow before his people, and confess the difference between their deceptions, and the truth of the grace of God in his chosen. John Johnson {Book of Revelation, 1779}

Posted January 26, 2013

{Writings of Edward Drapes}

Worship of God: The word worship in the Scriptures signifies to bow down, fall down before, sacrifice, to serve, reverence, respect, fear, honor or be subject to one; {Psa.92:6, I Sam.1:3, Lk.4:7,8} of which worship or service we may mind these four sorts: 1. Human worship, which is a service of man’s own invention, that hath a form of the true worship of God, but is will-worship or vain worship that is not commanded by the Lord. {Rom.1:22,23, Col.2:23, Matt 15:9} 2. Devilish worship, as when devils or dumb idols are worshipped. These two kinds being all together vain, carnal and antichristian, I shall have no occasion to speak of them except in a way of reproof as unprofitable works of darkness. {I Cor.10:20, Deut.32:17, Rev 9:20} 3. Civil worship, being an outward expression of reverence and respect to men of authority or eminency {this being in its own sphere unlawful being bounded by the law of God.} I shall have little occasion to speak of it. {Mt.20:20} 4. Divine or spiritual worship; that is, when the true God is worshipped after a true manner, which worship we may fitly describe to be the subjection of the whole man unto God in everything commanded by God, from a true understanding of God, by the power of God, with singular spirituality, faith, reverence, fear and love in obedience unto God in Christ. In this description there are several things to be minded as necessarily required in all true worshippers of God as: 1. A spiritual principle whereby we come to an understanding: Firstly of God, the object of divine worship; the inscription of the saints altar is not to the unknown God, but to Him whom they understand. Secondly, wherein the worship of God doth consist. Every worship will not suit the Lord. Blind obedience is the sacrifice of fools, but that which God approves, his own light reveals which discovers it to consist in subjection unto God. Where there is true worship there must be preeminence; where there is inferiority there is superiority from whence springs subjection. 2. A spiritual power. It is not every strength that is able to build this house. That which God’s light reveals His power produces and effects. 3. The manner how the worship of God is to be performed must be regarded. Every way of offering the Lord accepts not, but He will be worshipped. a. With singular spirituality. As the object, principle and power are all spiritual, so must the heart be offering up sacrifices in a spiritual manner. It is the Spirit in all performances that renders them truly lovely. b. In faith. A soul that worships God must believe God and give credit to the words of God. c. In fear and reverence. The majesty of God commands reverence in all that come before His throne. That infiniteness and unspeakableness of glory that is in the Lord causes a soul to fall down before Him, even at His feet, adoring Him, crying on with Isaiah, “I am undone!” In love. No service without love is acceptable. If the distance was only minded, it would strike such an amazement and terror that none would dare to come to God. Therefore the Lord sends from the brightness of His majesty comfortable beams and rays of love to gather up the soul to Himself through the power of which the soul is stirred with love and flaming, this chariot mounts up to God accounting the hardest enterprise he can achieve for God to be his greatest honor. 5. Divine worship in all its goings forth to God makes its addresses in the Lord Jesus. Spiritual and gospel worship receive all from God in Christ, return to God in Him, who is that way in which God and the soul meet embracing each other, who is that ladder on which God descends to him and he ascends to God. He loves, fears, serves and lives to God in Christ and in Him alone. This true worship of God appears in a twofold consideration: 1. Invisibly; which is only in the inward man, in the spirit which no man sees or knows, but he in whom the Spirit dwells. 2. Visibly; {as in an assembly of believers,} which others may take notice of and whereby an invisible enjoyment and filial affections are clearly demonstrated. Edward Drapes {Gospel Glory, 1649}

Prayer & Confession of Sin: Christ triumphed over our sins and the law on the cross, and made a show of them openly, so that they could never be able to return upon us to condemn us, and under this consideration I affirm all sins past, present and to come were then pardoned by the blood of the cross. For as Christ at once died for all sins past, present and to come, so were they pardoned, which pardon was given to Christ for Him to communicate to us. - We preach remission of sins by Jesus Christ, for every one that believeth is justified from all things {mark the word} from all things, from which he could not be justified by the law of Moses. And in another place, You hath He quickened, who were dead in sins, having forgiven you all trespasses. Mind it, the work is done. The law cannot charge him so that if a saint sins now {as in truth we do, For he that saith he hath no sin is a liar and deceiveth himself} he may look to his Advocate, pleading satisfaction already given, triumphantly singing, There is now no condemnation or damnation to him that is in Christ with a sure confidence. None can now legally {though many may unjustly} lay anything to his charge, for God justifies him. He that was offended is satisfied. Neither can any condemn him, for 'tis Christ that died for him. Now, in this sense likewise it is very sure all sins past, present and to come are pardoned, for this second is only the declaration of the first. Objection: Against what I have here written, I know many object that the servants of God in the Old Testament, as David, Daniel, &c. prayed for pardon of sin and that Christ commanded His disciples to pray for the pardon of their sins and that we are required to confess our sins one to another, and pray one for another and God Himself saith, If we do confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive them; therefore, they are not all pardoned at once, if they were, what need we pray for them? Assertion: As to the examples or precepts concerning praying for pardon of sin, I answer, that it is a suitable act to that state and service that consisted in a legal dispensation. They saw not so clearly the things we see. They were continually to offer sacrifice for sin and surely those that might offer sacrifice for sin might pray for the pardon thereof. So that their praying for pardon of sin no more proves it our duty then their offering sacrifices makes it a duty to us so to do. As to that precept of Christ to His disciples, we are to mind that Christ intended not always to confine His disciples to that manner of praying, but that form was agreeable to that dispensation, for the Kingdom of Heaven was not then come, It was but at hand, but now it is come and we may boldly go to God. As concerning the other Scriptures that say, Confess your sins one to another, and If we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us. If you consider what I have said before, it might be sufficient. These expressions only speak of a forgiveness and acquittal in a man's conscience. So though a soul may be in some doubt, these are an encouragement for him not to hide his face and run away in fear, but boldly to acknowledge them upon the head of the Scapegoat, the Lord Jesus and God is just and faithful to forgive them, that is to say, to manifest the forgiveness of them to thee, for sin is either chargeable before God, or in the conscience. Before God it is not; therefore, in conscience only and as it is chargeable, such is the forgiveness. It many times fares with a saint, as with a man arrested with a bond formerly canceled. The man hereupon is filled with fear, beginning to call in question whether his surety hath canceled it or no, and so calls upon his surety for the producing his bond that he may be assured he is freed from it by the Law, though unjustly vexed with it. Even so, I say, fares it many times with a saint. Jesus Christ hath told him, The law is satisfied, his debt paid, the bond canceled. The devil assails him, sets his sins, his debts in order before his eyes and charges the law upon him whereby the soul begins to fear again and is ready to question whether Christ hath told him so as he did before believe and now he cries out for his pardon that the bond may be taken out of his way that he may be set at liberty through the manifestation of Christ's love. Yea, I say further, a man that hath obtained a pardon from his Prince may be attached for the same offense and now may desire, in confidence that his surety, in whose hands the pardon is, to give it him that so he may be set at liberty. Let me tell you, Satan many times assaults the soul and troubles it and then many a soul in faith asks his pardon, or the benefit of his pardon that so he may be freed from Satan's buffetings and thus in the Scriptures it is frequent to ask the thing producing a benefit for the effects sake, as for instance, we may desire to eat the flesh of Christ when we mean the benefit that redounds to us from it, so that the sum and substance of what I have said is: First, That sin is fully satisfied for by Christ's death in the sight of God and shall never be charged upon a saint which pardon is in the hands of Christ for him. Secondly, That sin lieth in the conscience till believing and when the soul believes, is forgiveness given to him, that is to say, published, made manifest and declared. Thirdly, That though he may be freed, yet be in trouble or fear again {for according to the measure of his faith, such is his assurance and consolation} & then he may pray for the pardon of sin, that is to say, the fuller assurance of it and may ask for pardon of sin, as it includes his right to be freed from trouble or wrath for them anymore. So that I say, all sins are pardoned in the sense I have already declared, past, present and to come. Objection: You say that a saint after believing may fear again, which if it be true, why doth the Apostle say, we have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear? Assertion: In answer to this, we must know, Paul is not there going about to tell them that it is impossible for them to fear again, but his intent is there to hold forth the excellency of the Spirit. It was not the spirit of bondage, engendering to fear, that they had received through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but the Spirit of adoption whereby they could cry Abba, Father, and therefore the same Apostle demanded of the Galatians whether they received the Spirit by the preaching of the law, or by the hearing of faith, commanding them to hold fast their liberty and not to be entangled with the yolk of bondage, which is the spirit of fear in the law which the Galatians were subject to, not through the preaching of Christ, but through the subtlety of deceivers preaching the law. And the truth is so far as we are subject to be in bondage to fear, so far we run to the law. There is no such thing produced by the Spirit of Christ Jesus. Edward Drapes {Gospel Glory, 1649}

Worship of God: Showing what is the spiritual principle in true worshipping whereby we come to know God, and what of God may be known to the saints. Principles are so requisite to all manner of actions that nothing can be done regularly or honorably without them. A true principle is that which crowns every act. If as man be unsound in his principles, all his building will prove but rotten. What this principle is: By this spiritual principle, I mean a sure ground, or original, seated in the heart by the Lord, whereby the soul ascends to the true worship of God. And this is two-fold: 1. Light. Until the Sun of righteousness shines into the soul to discover the mind and will of God, the duty and privilege of His creature; the soul is a dark dungeon, a sleepy, dead confused habitation, but when God comes in the appearance of Himself, the soul is enlightened. Which light is: A. Sent forth from the Lord. It is a spiritual, divine, supernatural light. In thy light {saith the psalmist} shall we see light. It is not in the light of the world, or of the first creation, but a new light to him that he had not, knew not, nor enjoyed before. B. It is sent into the soul, as the light of the sun is conveyed to the natural eye whereby that eye discerns natural objects. So is the heavenly light darted into the spirit of a man, whereby that man being in this light, seeth it, and nothing spiritually without it. 2. Love. Love unto God and the truth and light of God, though a man may know much even by the true light, yet if love be not one with the light, that is to say, if love and light walk not hand in hand, the soul worships God not aright; therefore, as we hear the Saints breathing out their desires to the Lord that He would send forth His light and His truth to lead them to compass His altar, that is to say to worship God. So likewise we hear of receiving the truth in the love of it. If I know anything, and yet love it not, I cannot cheerfully entertain or embrace it. Love, love I say unto the Lord, produced by the light and love of God, both implanted in the heart become that spiritual principle that carries forth the soul certainly unto God. God is the one object of the Saints light and love. We are to consider this spiritual principle with its object; for light and love are vain, empty, a mere fancy without a suitable object. The object of true light and spiritual love is that God who is to be worshipped, God over all, God in all, God above all, which light discovers what of God is to be known by the saints and wherein the appearances of God are. This light of God reveals to the soul that God is. Hearken what the eternal Spirit saith in the Scriptures: “He that cometh to God must believe that God is.” When the Lord sent Moses to deliver the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage, He bids Moses, “Go and say I AM hath sent me,” whereby He signifies to them His being, that He is, distinguishing Himself from heathen vanities. He is in Himself and of Himself. Therefore God frequently styles Himself by the name of Jehovah whereby He points out to us in a most excellent manner that God’s being is Himself from eternity, the same without diminution, addition, or subtraction. Though “the fool hath said in his heart there is no God,” the voluptuous man makes his belly and pleasure his God and although the world makes Satan, the Prince of the world their god, yet God only is; namely, the Unspeakable Substance who lives of Himself. What all creatures are, they are by God and have their dependence upon God, but God Himself is only truly independent. Edward Drapes {Gospel Glory, 1649}

Knowledge of God: To know God is to know Him after a sort or manner; namely, as He hath revealed Himself to the sons of men, for the incomprehensible and invisible Being hath made Himself visible after a sort so that our obedience may not be without knowledge, nor our eyes without an object; and so, if thou art made partaker of the Spirit and so dwellest in the light of God, thou mayest see him; for God is: Firstly; incomprehensible. If man; poor, silly man; nay, wise, understanding man was able to comprehend the infinite One, he would then be God himself or greater than He. For 'tis only the greater that is able to comprehend the lesser. As soon may the smallest point in the circumference comprehend the whole, as the creature his Creator. Therefore wisely did Empedocies {ancient Greek philosopher} answer one that demanded of him what God was, that He was a Sphere whose center was everywhere and circumference nowhere; whereby is most excellently shadowed the incomprehensibleness of God. 2. God is immutable. The world is possessed with changes, but in Him there is no shadow of change. The world grows old as doth a garment, but He is the same yesterday and today and forever. This is the record that He gives of Himself saying, “I the LORD change not.” Mutability proceeds from corruption or imbecility, but God’s being is most simple and pure. There is no composition in Him, neither is He subjected to time in which all changes are. 3. God is eternal. God is before time. Time is made by God and shall be done away by God according to that in the Revelation: “Time shall be no more.” Time is that space in which actions are successively brought about, having beginning and ending, but God is not included here for it is impossible that He who made it should be comprehended in it. He is from everlasting and shall remain to everlasting. This is matter of admiration. 4. God is invisible. No man hath ever seen Him or can see Him, therefore the Saints acknowledge Him to be the invisible God. {Col.1:15} {Objection: But some say Moses talked with God face to face. And Christ saith, “blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God;” therefore, He is not invisible. Assertion: To which I answer that God is to be considered either as in His own being or in His operations. As He is in Himself, we see Him not, but as His works of love, wisdom, power, etc. declare Him, so we see Him. Thou seest some glorious and costly building, yet seest not the spirit of that man in whose mind this building was before erected to thy view. But seeing it, thou concludest well in saying surely the wisdom of man appears in it eminently and thou knowest the mind of any man surpasses the matter in his mind. Thou seest a poor creature acting diverse rare feats and excellent arts, but yet seest not the soul or spirit of that man from whence they flow. In all natural bodies there is a spirit from which natural actions flow, and yet seest not this spirit, but art made able to know there is a spirit and from its operations canst speak a little, though stammeringly of it. Exodus 33. Moses saw the face of God, and yet saith God to Moses, “my face cannot be seen.” The face of God is a phrase God useth, descending to the capacity of God’s creatures whereby the Lord holds forth some glory of Himself. Moses seeing God’s face was his seeing the fullest manifestation of God’s beauty and mind that was then for him to see {for the face demonstrates the beauty and mind of a man} and yet he saw not His being. The face of God doth here hold forth no more the being of God than the face of a man his being. A man’s beauty is not his being for a man is a man, though he be not beautiful. And when as Christ saith, “he shall see God,” His meaning is that he shall see what of God may be seen, for He that is in Himself invisible, makes Himself visible after a sort; namely, by the appearance of His love and glory in His Son; therefore, saith Christ, “no man hath seen the Father at any time, but the only begotten Son hath declared Him.” We hear many declarations of God which is the sight of God the creature hath; which declarations define not His being, but describe His operations. Thus it is said, “God came down in the sight of the children of Israel,” when they only saw some terrible appearances of His majesty and authority.} 5. God Is Almighty. The Almightiness of God may be seen by the creature that He is over all and above all and can do what He will is very evident. All power centers in Him as its true original. This omnipotence of God is immutable, boundless and infinite. Who shall say to Him, “this is too hard for Thee?” This power, even this Almighty power which the servants of the Lord feel and know through its irresistible operations enforces them to serve Him with fear and rejoice before Him with trembling. 6. God is sovereign. God’s Sovereignty may be known. God’s sovereignty and supremacy are likewise through the light of God clearly made manifest; that is to say, that God is above all, the principal, chief and worthiest of all, and under this consideration may be known to the sons of men. God is “King of kings and Lord of lords.” This is that which begets obedience; children obey and honor their parents as them that are over them, servants their masters, subjects their kings and rulers as them that are their superiors, and so creatures the Creator as being more worthy than all. His power and sovereignty are inseparable companions. His power fills Him with majesty and authority. 7. Wisdom of God. The light of God discovers the wisdom of God. The wisdom of God may be known, that is to say, that He is wise, understanding, knowing all things. By wisdom He governs all things. By wisdom He made and garnished the heavens. Power, authority and all without wisdom act confusedly. Therefore is He called, the everlasting light, the Father of light, and the God of knowledge. He is wise super eminently and therefore called the only wise God. {Rom.16:27} 8. Justice of God. God is a just God and His saints know Him to be so. God’s justice is His righteous dispensation of love or wrath according to His own law made after His own will and thus He is just or righteous to the creature and He is also just and righteous in Himself, a God of more pure eyes than to behold iniquity and of more justice than to suffer it to pass unpunished. This makes a poor soul bow his knees and tremble before God’s dreadful majesty. Who can approach God’s presence without fear? And for this cause is He called a God of vengeance, a consuming fire, the Judge of all the earth, a Judge most wise. God is most faithful; He cannot lie, He is a true God, a God of truth. 9. God is merciful. That God is merciful, gracious, full of loving kindness, slow to anger, whose mercies are above all His works; His mercy and His justice kiss each other. This consideration begets liberty, freedom and boldness in the spirit to serve, fear, honor and obey the Lord. In this sense is He called a “Father of mercies.” This is discovered to a soul as the argument for a soul’s obedience to God. If ye love me, keep my commands; for we love Him because He first loved us. God is known to be related to the creature. 10. God is nearly related to the creature. Though God be never so glorious and excellent, yet if He had no relation to the creature, it would contribute nothing towards spiritual worship which relation is made manifest in several particulars: First, He is a Creator and all things are His creatures. They are all His workmanship Isa 40:28. In the beginning, God made the world and all things in the world. Secondly, He is a Father. All things are begotten by Him. In Him we live and move and have our being. Thirdly, He is a Husband that espouses souls to Himself Isa 54:5. Fourthly, A King and we His subjects. He rules over all the earth and the sea is His dominion. I might here show at large how the several terms God gives to Himself, hold forth His relation to the sons of men, but I shall not now insist upon them. 11. God is all in all. God is revealed to be all in all, that is to say, in His operations, but “it is the same God that worketh all in all.” All that is good or excellent, beautiful or glorious in all or any creature proceeds from God and this shows the creature’s dependency upon Him. Therefore He is said to “fill all in all;” that is to say, that all fullness in any creature is from the Lord who is above all ruling over us through all, manifesting His power and wisdom in us all, dwelling in us, abiding and delighting in us. 12. God is one. This God is one infinite Being. There are gods many and lords many, but to us there is but one God. Many men are called gods. It is written I have said ye are gods but there is one original Being who is our God in the Lord Jesus. There are not many first beings but one original Who is the first and the last., the beginning and the ending. That is to say, the first in Himself, before all, subsisting by Himself, giving a beginning, and the last, continuing in Himself forever, putting an end to corruptible things by Himself, for He is without beginning or end of days. God is a living God. 13. God is a living God. He is not a dumb or deaf idol, but One that lives forever. Time molders all idols in the dust, but God is not is not subject to time. This infinite Being cannot die, that is to say, be subject to dissolution or corruption. 14. Lastly, God is present everywhere. He cannot be circumscribed for He is an infinite One. Thou canst not say God is not here for He is everywhere, knowing all thoughts, and searching all hearts. If thou canst tell me where God ceases to be, there I will prove to thee God is bounded, limited, and finite; which in no sense can be said of the infinite Being. His Spirit and presence are everywhere. Wherever God is He imprints an appearance of Himself to be there. If thou goest into heaven, that is to say, into the highest place of glory, the Psalmist will tell thee, God is there. Yea, if thou makest thy bed in hell, God is there; there exercising His wrath, justice and indignation. If thou thinkest to hide thyself in darkness, the darkness is as light to the Lord. The darkness and the light are alike unto God; that is to say, His power, knowledge and wisdom cannot be separated from any place or from the understanding of anything. There is such darkness in us that we cannot see, but there is no darkness in God that seeth our darkness by His own light. Thus having according to my measure brought forth my understanding of what of God may be known; namely, His power, wisdom, light, love, justice, presence, and the like, all which terms the Lord uses to express what He is to us in a way of relation to His creatures, in terms that His servants are after some small measure capable to understand. I shall proceed in the next place to show wherein this excellency of the Lord Jehovah our God doth appear. Edward Drapes {Gospel Glory, 1649}

Posted January 27, 2013

{Selection of the Week}

Eternal Suretyship of Christ: Showing how often this sacrifice was offered, the place where and the time when it was offered. Thus through the power and virtue of this sacrifice, having declared what it is, we come now to consider: 1. How often this sacrifice was offered. The Priests under the law went into the holy place every year. They offered sacrifice continually, but our Jesus by one sacrifice hath done away sin. The multiplicity of the legal sacrifices argued their imperfection, for “those Priests daily ministering, offered sometimes the same sacrifice which could never take away sin, but this man,” saith the Spirit, “after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God,” holding forth the work was done that Christ might sit still needing no more offering. And whereas it is said that He sat down on God's right hand, it declares that He had accomplished His work and the Father accepted it, or else He should never have been placed in the throne of victory at His Father's right hand. Christ was once, {and but once,} offered to bear the sins of many. Many talk of Christ's dying still in us and the like, but indeed instead of exalting Christ {as they pretend to do,} they rank Him only in the Levitical Priesthood, and instead of holding forth His perfection, they render Him imperfect and quite contradict the aforementioned Scriptures. {Heb.9:26,28; 10:10,12,14,18} 2. The place where this sacrifice was offered. The place where Christ was offered deserves our consideration, for it is not said in vain that He suffered without the gate upon the Cross and that between two thieves. It shows the descension of our Savior into the lowest, vilest, contemptiblest estate and condition that could be. Christ died at Jerusalem, a city, not in the heart of a believer; but in Judea, in the world. I mind this the rather because some think the death of Christ at Jerusalem not at all to concern them, but they look for Christ's death within them, whereas in the Scriptures nothing is more clear than this; that Christ's death at Jerusalem is the offering for sin, not Christ's death in any one's heart. The Scriptures warrant no such kind of language. I confess I know this much that though Christ died at Jerusalem, if the power, virtue and efficacy of this death be not seated, revealed and enjoyed in the heart, a poor soul can take no comfort in it, notwithstanding this is certain; that he that enjoys not Christ in him as a fruit of that one offering at Jerusalem, enjoys Him not at all. The Scriptures often speak of our being dead with Christ; that is to say, being implanted into the likeness of His death, by being dead to sin and to iniquity, but nowhere speak of Christ being dead in us, as the sacrifice by which we are saved. If Christ be in us, the body is dead {not Christ} because of sin and the spirit is alive because of righteousness. Christ's death hath a virtue in us; namely, destroying sin and becoming a quickening Spirit. {Heb.13:12} 3. The time when this sacrifice was offered. Concerning the time of this sacrifice being offered. “In the fullness of time {saith the Lord} God sent forth His Son.” It was in the last days, so called in respect of dispensation, for now all under Moses and the Prophets vanished, that Christ might come in and continue, “God who at sundry times and in diverse manners spake in times past unto the Fathers by the Prophets, hath in the last days spoken unto us by His Son,” who once in the end of the world appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself; that is to say, in these last days Christ appeared and offered up Himself, to put an end to all other offerings and to put away sin. This Christ did in the days of Pontius Pilate and Caiaphas, the High Priest, which was many years since. Objection: But I know some are ready to say, "How can this be? For He was a Lamb slain before the foundation of the world; which, if true, how is it that He was slain at Jerusalem, except He was often slain?" Assertion: I answer: It is very true that Christ was slain but once, according to the Scriptures and that in time, in the end of the world; and yet as true, if truly understood, that He was slain before the foundation of the World; which I shall demonstrate clearly from the Scriptures. To see the truth clearly, we must consider Christ Jesus in His death. 1. Christ slain by the decree of God. In the decree of God. And so He was foreordained before the foundation of the world. And all things were present before the Lord before they had being in reference to us. They were in the decree, counsel and purpose of the Lord. So was the Lord Christ in God's decree and counsel before the world. He calleth things that are not as though they were. What are only actually done with us in time, were truly present with Him before all time, who is not included in any time. 2. The virtue of Christ's death was from before the foundation of the world. In the virtue of His death. And so He was slain before the foundation of the world. Christ's death had an influence into the times past as well as to come; therefore, called the blood of the covenant. Now we must know that there was a covenant made between God and Christ wherein it was decreed that Christ should die in time and the virtue of that death which was from eternity in the Eye of the Father should speak for all His generation in all ages. Therefore the fathers of old believed, not in a Christ already then come, but to come, even in the flesh and therefore God led them by the hand to look to a Christ to come, through many types and sacrifices; which, when Christ came, all ceased. Christ's death was that price that was laid down for all His generation in all ages and this is Christ, the same yesterday and today and forever. 3. Christ’s actual death in time. We are to consider Christ's actual death, which was accomplished by the Jews. Therefore saith the Apostle, “this same Jesus whom ye have crucified, hath God raised up,” and thus was Christ manifest in the last days. Jerusalem was not actually always; Pilate not always, for we know that State, City and those persons had a beginning and ending. No more did Christ die actually before the world was. That He might die, He took upon Him flesh and was made like to us, which is only done in time, for we first are in the womb, then brought forth, increase and die. So did He, yet, notwithstanding, the virtue of Christ's death, through the will of God, is as great as if He had actually suffered before the world was, which He did not, but only once in the end of the world. And yet is Christ a Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec. Christ died once and died no more, yet the benefit remains forever. So that as the sacrifice is fully accepted by the Father, who views it since it was offered; so it was accepted by Him that saw it before it was offered, for all things that God doth before us in time {which time the Scriptures tells abundantly, Himself had made, ordered and disposed, which time is that space wherein things are done successively} He saw, liked, ordered and decreed should be before time was. - In summation, the sacrifice of Christ was an eternal Sacrifice. It was offered in time, but ordained before time and the influences of it reached eternity. A virtue sprang from it to all His generation that fell asleep before it was actually offered. And now being offered, it remains in as full virtue as ever. For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified. And so He was a Lamb slain before the foundation of the world; being the same yesterday, and today, and forever; even the same Jesus, the same Savior and Deliverer. The same High Priest that saved Paul, saved Abraham and shall save all that shall be saved. {Heb. 10:14. Edward Drapes {Gospel Glory, 1649}

{Writings of John Spilsbury}

Particular and Effectual Redemption by Christ: Christ hath not by his death taken away the sins of all men; for the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience for their sins. {Eph.5:6} But this is that which he declares Himself to have affected by his death, “that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” {John 3:14-16, Acts 10:43} And it is this given to the elect, and to them only, to believe in Jesus Christ. {Rom.8:29, I Pet.1:2} Christ intended not by his death to save all men from their sins, but thus to save the elect only. {John 10:15, Eph.5:25-27, Heb.2:14, Gen.3:15, I Pet.2:8} Christ hath not presented unto his Father's justice a satisfaction for the sins of all men; but only for the sins of those that do, or shall believe in him, which are his elect only. {Rev.5:9} Those sins for which Christ hath presented a satisfaction to his Father's justice, he hath so fully satisfied for, that they are not to be suffered for again. {Heb.1:3, 9:26, 10:10,14, Rev.1:5, Rom.5:9, Is.53:5, Lev.17:11} It must needs be thus: 1. Because the satisfaction that Christ hath presented to his Father's justice is sufficient for the full and final putting away of all their sins for whom it is presented; and this cannot be denied. 2. Because Christ died as a public person, representing all those for whose sins he presented a satisfaction to his Father's justice. {II Cor.5:21} Even as the first Adam fell as a public person, representing all those that fell by him, and in him; {Rom.5:14-19;} and as the high priest went into the holy place as a public person, representing all elect Israel. {Ex.28:29,30, Heb.9:24,25} Hence it is that we are looked upon as smitten in Christ, and buried with Christ, and revived and raised up in Christ, and with Christ, and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ. {Hos.6:1,2, I Cor.15:3,4, Col.2:12, Eph.2:5,6} Now surely they who were thus represented by Christ, when he presented to his Father's justice a satisfaction for their sins, shall not themselves be punished for the same sins. 3. Because else the satisfaction presented by Christ would fall short of the type of it. {Lev.4:20,26,35 & 5:10, Heb.9:13,14} 4. Because this satisfaction is accepted of the Father for all those for whom it is presented by Christ. {Is.53:10} For Christ the beloved Son of the Father presented this satisfaction according to his Father's will. 5. Because it were an unjust and unreasonable thing that God should receive a satisfaction presented to his justice for the sins of men, and yet punish the same men for the same sins. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” {Gen.18:25} But reprobates or final unbelievers shall suffer eternally for all their sins. {Eph.5:6, John 3:36, John 8:24, Mt.12:36, Eccl.12:14, Jude 15} Yea, for their sins considered as breachers of the Law. {I Tim.1:9,10, Gal.3:10} Therefore Christ presented not unto his Father's justice a satisfaction for the sins of reprobates, and consequently not for the sins of all men. John Spilsbury {Enlarged by Benjamin Coxe, “Peculiar Interest of the Elect in Christ,” 1646}

Particular and Effectual Redemption by Christ: The Passover {a type of Christ} was not killed for any uncircumcised, but only for the Israelites, and those that were joined unto them. {Exodus 12} Neither were the priests to offer sacrifice for any other. All this was appointed of God to signify, that when the Messiah through the eternal Spirit should offer himself without spot to God, he should present unto divine justice a satisfaction for the sins of the Israel of God, and none other. Whereas it is objected, that many of the Israelites for whom the Passover was killed, and sacrifices were offered, were unbelievers and perished. I answer; so also the high priest himself might be an unbeliever and perish; yet in his priestly office he was a type of Christ notwithstanding that disparity. So the whole nation of the Israelites separated from the world to be a peculiar people unto God were a type of God's chosen Israel. Also; when Christ prayed unto his Father that they for whom he laid down his life, might receive the benefit of the same; he expressly affirmed that he prayed only for the elect, and for none other. {John 17:9} Whereby he sufficiently declared that he did not then present to his Father's justice a satisfaction for the sins of any other, but only of these. Consider as well that; the highest degree of God's love to man as set forth by his Son being given, and giving himself to die for men's sins, that so he might present to his Father's justice a satisfaction for their sins. {John 10:11,15, 15:12,13, Rom.8:32, I Jn.3:13, 4:9, Rom.5:8} If then we shall say, that Christ in his death presented to his Father's justice a satisfaction for the sins of all men, we shall be found to extend the highest and choicest love of God as well to hated Esau, as to beloved Jacob; as well to the seed of the serpent, as to the seed of Christ; which doctrine the Scripture will not endure. John Spilsbury {Enlarged by Benjamin Coxe, “Peculiar Interest of the Elect in Christ,” 1646}

Particular and Effectual Redemption by Christ: Another place from which an objection is made against our views, is Hebrews 10:29, “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden underfoot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” This is clear that by the blood of the covenant is here meant the blood of Jesus Christ, which he himself calls the blood of the New Testament or Covenant. {Mk.14:24} But who is the person that is here said to be sanctified with his blood? Our adversary say that the sinner is here spoken of. But this sinner is not in Christ Jesus. {Rom.8:1} He is not made a partaker of Christ. {Heb.3:14} He is not sprinkled with his blood. {I Pet.1:2} How then is he sanctified with his blood? Those that are sanctified with this blood of Christ, by one offering Christ hath perfected them forever. {Heb.10:14} Therefore they are saved eternally. It is not therefore the sinner that perishish, but Jesus Christ himself {spoken of by the name of the Son of God in the word immediately afore going} who is here declared to have been sanctified with this blood. There is a sanctifying of Christ spoken of in John 10:36. That was the Father’s setting him apart to the office of Mediator. That is not the sanctifying here spoken of; but that you may rightly understand the sanctifying that is here spoken of, you must remember that Christ did bare our sins. {I Pet.2:24} The Father did lay on him our iniquities. {Is.53:6} And so he was made sin for us. {II Cor.5:21} Now that our sin might neither return upon us, nor still lie upon him, it was necessary that he should purge it away from himself. This he did by himself, Heb.1:3, by his blood, Rev.1:5. Doing this he sanctified himself with his own blood; and had he not done this, he had not sanctified us with his blood as the Scriptures declare him to have done. {Heb.13:12} Therefore when he was near to his death, in which he was to do this work, he said to his Father concerning his disciples, “for their sakes {or, for them, as some understanding the Greek tongue, do say the words may be rendered; that is, for their good} I sanctify myself.” {John 17:19} As this interpretation seems to be genuine and proper, and no way forced, so it fully agrees with the Apostolic scope, which was to hold forth the Excellency of the blood of Christ, that so he might also show their odious sin that count it an unholy thing; and the Excellency of the blood of Christ could not be more clearly declared, then by showing that Jesus Christ when he was made sin for us all {all our sin then lying upon him} was sanctified by his own blood. Thus this Scripture being truly understood, and so made to agree with other Scriptures. John Spilsbury {Enlarged by Benjamin Coxe, “Peculiar Interest of the Elect in Christ,” 1646}

Particular and Effectual Redemption by Christ: Let it be minded that the opposing of the truth which I have now asserted, brings forth {among other} these evil fruits. 1. It makes men deny the truth of the Scripture doctrine concerning Divine Predestination. 2. It robs God of the glory of his special and singular love and mercy to his chosen ones. 3. It tends to puff up professors with pride, persuading them that they have distinguished themselves from the rest of the world, and so save themselves; for Christ for his part did no more for them, then for those that perish. 4. It robs the saints of assurance of perseverance, and so of assurance of salvation; for if men come to be believers by a common grace afforded to all, then they may also cease to be believers through that weakness and corruption that is in all. Now take away from saints their assurance of salvation, and ye take away from them their joy, their thankfulness, their love, their life. 5. It holds forth God as making a show of being equally loving to all, when indeed and in his purpose he is not so; and seeming most graciously to forgive the sins of all men, though he determines to punish the vessels of wrath eternally in hell for all their sins. John Spilsbury {Enlarged by Benjamin Coxe, “Peculiar Interest of the Elect in Christ,” 1646}

Gospel Ordinances: If some godly persons have not had like experience with others of God's effectual blessing following the use of the Ordinances, it may partly be imputed to some weakness of their faith, and partly to their ascribing to the ordinance, somewhat belonging only to Christ. And sometimes God here tries his children, whether they will live by faith, and wait on him in obedience, even against present sense. And some Saints have had experience sometimes of the like deadness in and after prayer, and hearing, and conference; yet these things are neither to be refuted, nor neglected. Let it also be minded that the same false principles whereby men are now taken off from obedience to Christ in the use of his Ordinances, if they be followed home, will also take men off from obedience to all Christ's commands; for upon what ground any one command of Christ may be disobeyed, upon the same ground all may be disobeyed. {“I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.” I Tim.5:21} And if the authority of Christ's New Testament be weakened in one thing, it is weakened in all. To come to particulars; the same principles will take men off from preaching the Gospel, and from hearing the Gospel preached to be edified thereby, and from assembling themselves together, and from joining together in prayer and thanksgiving; yea from meditation and study of the Word of God; for all these are Ordinances of Christ, and are no more appointed in the Word for these times, then Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Mind also that as these principals carry men to the denying of the Church and Ministry, which denial is most contrary to the Scripture; see Eph.3:21; {“unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end;”} and almost the whole Book of the Revelation; and the promise in Mt.16:18 & 28:20; so they carried them by degrees to the rejecting of all the Scripture, and to the denying of faith and salvation; as lamentable experience hath showed in some. And some upon the aforesaid principles have {with as much ease and as fair a color, as the no-church-men dispute from any Scriptures against Ordinances, though with as gross fallaciousness} hitherto wrested our Savior’s words in Mark 16:17,18. The answer whereunto doth fully overthrow the main arguments of the opposers against Ordinances. Indeed if any one of those three witnesses in I John 5:8, {“and there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and these three agree in one,”} were to be excluded and slighted, then were they all to be in like manner slighted, and so all lost. But we know that they are all to be regarded and made use of. It is also observable by what contrary ways the enemy endeavors to make men refute the right use of Christ Ordinances. Sometimes he persuades men that God's people are not yet fit for the use of these Ordinances, because their light is so dim, because they have so small a measure of gifts, of knowledge, of faith, etc.; and sometimes again he persuades men that they are above Ordinances. He might as well tell them that they are above Jesus Christ, who commands the use of his Ordinances, and communicates Himself unto his in his Ordinances. Thus anything shall serve the turn, whereby believers may be diverted from the right use of the Ordinances of their Lord and Master, and from obedience unto Him. Surely the enemy is mindful of the great advantage that he thus gets over believers, and how much he makes them herein to sin against Christ, robbing him, what in them lies, of the Glory; and themselves of the comfort and benefit of his Mediatorship. Oh that the Saints were more sensible of the depth of this mystery of iniquity! I am constrained in my conscience now to speak with earnestness, conceiving the cause to be great; and remembering our duty to contend earnestly for the faith, {Jude 3,} which was once delivered to the saints, where I desire that the force of this word ‘once’ may be well weighed. I therefore advise, and earnestly exhort all them that believe to beware of those doctrines and ways; {how fair soever they may seem to be before they be tried, and what safety soever in these times of trouble they may seem to promise;} which indeed take men off from obedience to Christ, and from acknowledging the authority of the Holy Scripture. Have no fellowship with that doctrine which weakens and questions the power and authority of Jesus Christ, and the perpetual validity of his Testament; which disarms his soldiers, disbands his armies, and so gives them up into the hand of the enemy; which empties men's hearts of faith, and deprives the world of the appointed means of salvation, teaching men to shut up the kingdom of heaven. Beware of that doctrine which making void the authority of the New Testament, pulls Christ's scepter out of his hand, his crown from his head, and himself from his throne. Remember that the saints in their communion and order, are the Lord's portion, the declared object of his love in Christ, and the expressed subject of his promises and blessings; yea they are Christ's relative perfection, as a wife is to her husband, and the body to the head. They are his prevailing army against Antichrist; the standard bearer to hold Him up before the nations, and so the means of the world's conviction, and the conversion of the rest of the elect. You therefore that believe in Christ for salvation, hold forth the confession of Him before men. Remember that by Him you are made the sons of God, and kings and priests unto God. {John 1:12, Rev.5:10} Withhold not yourselves then from worshiping God, and enjoying the appointed privileges of sons. Fear not, but believe; for you being Christ's, all things are yours; and have you not then a right to his Ordinances? Remember Christ's love in giving you his Ordinances to confirm your faith. Remember the need that you have of these Ordinances. And of that effectual blessing with which Christ useth to follow the right use of his Ordinances. Mind your communion with Christ, and so be not slow to have communion with him in his Ordinances. Have fellowship with us; for truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. But especially mind the command of Christ, and that charge of his in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John Spilsbury {“Saints Interest by Christ in all the Privileges of Grace,” 1646}

Duty Faith: What every man is commanded by God to believe, that I grant to be true. Nevertheless, God commands every man to believe what He affirms, and declares, and no more. This then, He declares to be truth, and so commands every man to believe it, that through Christ’s name, whosoever believes in Him, shall receive remission of sins, Acts 10:43. This I say, God commands every man to believe, and to receive it as the true and good word of God, and so to rest upon it, and obediently to depend upon Jesus Christ held forth in this word, as the Prince and Savior exalted of God, Mark 1:15; John 12:36. When a man thus believes, then both the Spirit and the Word of God does testify and declare that Jesus Christ has presented unto divine justice a satisfaction for His sins in particular, and that accordingly his sins are forgiven unto him. This then he is now (and not till now) bound to believe as a certain truth; as indeed it is and now appears to be. And touching the unbelieving and disobedient person, who obeys not the gospel of Jesus Christ, this is one part of the truth that God reveals, and commands all to believe; viz., that persons still continuing such, remain under the curse and wrath of God, and must be judged, condemned, and punished for all their sins, John 3:18; Jude 15; 2 Thess. 1:8,9. As also has been already fully proved. Now God does not command any man to believe contradictions. John Spilsbury {Peculiar Interest of the Elect in the Death of Christ, 1646}

Constitution of a Church: It is the promise, or the Covenant of Grace, that produces a Christian, and gives him a being in such an estate of grace, and so consequently the Church itself; for that which is true in a part, is the same in the whole. Now for the constituting causes by which God ordinarily uses to effect this work, they are these: 1. The Word of God, which is to fit and prepare the matter for the form. 2. The Confession of Faith, which is to declare the fitness of the matter for the form. 3. The free and mutual consent and agreement of the particular persons, upon the practice of the same truth believed and confessed, as aforesaid. 4. And lastly, the Spirit of Christ, uniting and knitting up their hearts together, in and by the same truth; and of each of these a word. First, of the Word of God, fitting and preparing of the matter; and this appears in the Ministry of John the Baptist, who was to go before Christ in the spirit and power of Elisas, for to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedience unto the wisdom of the just, and to make ready a people prepared for the Lord, as Luke 1:17, compare with this Luke 3:4, 5, 6; where he is said to prepare the way of the Lord, and to make His paths straight. And now the manner how this is to be done, is to fill up every valley, and to bring down every mountain and hill, and to make the crooked ways straight, and the rough ways smooth. And so verse 6, the valleys are to be understood of such whose hearts were possessed with fear, either of God's displeasure against them for sin; or fear of the dangers, straits, and difficulties, that attend the Gospel of Christ, in the true profession of the same. From both which the hearts of such are to be freed, that are fit to follow Christ, and prepared subjects for His Kingdom. Luke 14:26. In which sense the Gospel is a preparative means to fill up such valleys, by pouring in the great abundance of God's rich grace, and free love in Christ towards all such as believe and His all-sufficiency to preserve such as suffer for His name's sake. And for laying low the Mountains and hills; that is, to humble and bring down the proud heart of man, that exalts himself, and cannot submit unto the simplicity of the Gospel, and to that low and mean condition of Christ upon His cross, as Isa. 2:11, 22; with 2 Cor. 10:4, 5,6; and for the crooked to be made straight; that is, the crooked and Serpent-like nature, and evil dispositions of men, these shall be changed; and made conformable to Christ. And so for the making of the rough smooth; that is, the hard and rough turbulent spirits of men, that will admit of no rule, order, or peaceable society, at all, shall by the Word of God be made soft, smooth, and of such a meek temper of spirit, as that all such shall live together in love, innocent and harmless, with unity, peace, and uniformity to Christ in all things, as Isaiah 11:6, 7, 8, 9. All which Christ Himself often affirmed, that except a man deny himself, he cannot be His disciple. All which charge thus upon the hearts of men, is by the power of the Word of God, by which they as matter are fitted and prepared for the form. James 1:18. The second constituting cause, is the confession of faith, which declares the fitness of the matter for the form; which confession of faith is produced by the power of the Gospel, shinning into the heart of man, and draws away the same after that which is by the gospel revealed. Which truth is of such a working nature, that it will not be kept in, but like unto leaven which so seasons and sweetens the whole man, that as fire at length it breaks forth and discovers itself, or rather such as have it, and not only so, but it brings them together by which they come now to confer about the same, so that at length they come to be one and the same mind and judgment in it, and withal convinced of their obedience thereunto. And upon this, here follows a third constituting cause, which is their free and mutual consent and agreement upon the practice of that truth so by God revealed, and by faith received, as His will in their obedience thereunto; which agreement is between God and them in His truth, Who by His power subjects them to Himself by the same, and where this is in truth. Matt. 3; Mark 16; Acts 2; Acts 8; Acts 10; Psa. 110:3; Eph. 2; Eph. 4; Col. 2. Now comes the cause in the last place, which effects and concludes the whole work, and that is the Spirit of grace and power, going forth in their hearts by faith, uniting and knitting them up together in one, for the manifestation of their obedience to God, in their practical subjection to Christ in the said truth, by them received and agreed upon as aforesaid, and this is the Covenant that forms the Church, which ever goes in order before the external administration of any other ordinance than the matters agreement together for orderly practice; for persons must be informed of the truth in judgment, and bound by the same in conscience, and agree upon the practice, before the same can orderly be put into execution; which union is the Holy Ghost's conjoining and uniting the said persons together in one and the same truth by faith, and so consequently into an orderly body among themselves, immediately under Christ their Head. Which conjunction is called in Scripture the unity of the Spirit, Eph. 4:3; and the gracious covenant, by which God becomes their God, and they His approved people in such a visible relation, Gen. 17; as Deut. 29:12, 13; with Deut. 26:17, 18; Ezek. 16:8; Jer. 31:3. This is called also a joining to the Lord, as Jer. 50:5. They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thither ward, saying “Come let us join ourselves unto the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.” And the son of the stranger that joins himself to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love His name, and to be His servant; &c. Isa. 56:6. And he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit, I Cor. 6:17. And of the rest durst no man join himself unto them, Acts 5:13. And when Paul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself unto the Disciples, Acts 9:26. And the whole body fitly joined together, &c. Eph. 4:16. And fitly framing of matter together for a house or habitation of God, as Eph. 2:21, 22. John Spilsbury {Treatise Concerning the Lawful Subject of Baptism, 1652}

Confession of Faith: Objection - It may be some will ask me, If I condemn all Churches, but only such as I have described. Answer - To which I answer, that I condemn no Church that God approves of in His word; for I go not about to show who are false, but what is true, and it is enough for me, if such a Church as has been spoken of be granted to be true, and let all others alone, to stand and fall to their own Master; and in regard of those reproachful clamors cast upon all without exception, that seem to be of my judgment, I shall yet make bold with my Reader, briefly to declare a word of my faith, what I believe and hold to be truth, and desire to practice the same, and so leave all to God, and for the godly Reader to judge, what difference there is between him and me, in the main, that men should be so incensed against me, as to seek my life, as some have done, the Lord in mercy forgive them, and lay it not to their charge. And now for my faith briefly in a word: 1. I do believe that there is only one God, who is distinguished in three persons; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; yet but one in nature, or essence, without divisions, and incommunicable, who made the world, and all things therein, by the word of his power, and governs them by his wise providence. 2. I believe that God made man in his own Image, an upright and perfect creature, consisting of soul and body; which body God framed of the earth, and breathed into the same the breath of life, and man became a living soul. To whom God gave a law, upon his keeping of which depends all his happiness, and upon the contrary attended his misery, which took effect; for he breaking that law, he fell under the curse, and the wrath of God lay upon him and all his posterity. By which fall man lost the knowledge of God, and utterly disabled himself of all ability ever to recover the same again. 3. I believe God out of the counsel of his will, did, before he made the world, elect and choose some certain number of his foreseen fallen creatures, and appointed them to eternal life in his Son, for the glory of his grace; which number so elected shall be saved, come to glory, and the rest left in sin to glorify his justice. 4. I believe that God in the fullness of his own time, did send his son, the second person, who in the womb of the virgin Mary, assumed mans nature, and in the same he suffered death upon the cross, only as he was man, to satisfy his Father’s justice, for the sins of his elect, and that he lay three days and three nights in the grave, from whence he arose the third day by the power of his Godhead, for the justification of all for whole sins he died, and that in the same body Christ died, he arose from the dead, and afterwards ascended into heaven, the place of glory, where he was before, and there to remain until he comes at the last day to judge the world in righteousness. 5. I believe that God of his grace, in his own time, effectually calls such as shall be saved to the knowledge of the truth, who is said, of his own will to beget us by the word of truth; in which work of grace, nature is as passive, as a child in the parents begetting of it; and so God by His Spirit works faith in the hearts of all such to believe in Christ, and his righteousness, only for justification. And thus they are made righteous before God in Christ, and so conformable to the will of God the Father through the Son; and also made holy through the work of regeneration, and the holy Spirit of grace dwelling in them; yet all such have still, as long as they live here in the flesh, remaining in them, an old man, that original corruption, the flesh that wars against the spirit, which hinders them in their obedience both to God and to man, and many times draws them to that which is evil, and contrary to their intentions; yet all of them shall through Christ overcome, and safely be brought to glory at last. 6. I believe the holy Scriptures to be the word of God, and have the only authority to bind the conscience to the obedience of all therein contained, and are the all sufficient rule, by the Spirit of God to guide a man in all his obedience both to God and man. 7. As for the absence of original sin, and power in the will to receive and refuse grace and salvation being generally offered by the Gospel, and Christ dying for all persons universally, to take away sin that stood between then and salvation, and so laid down his life for a ransom for all without exception, and for such as have been one in God's love, so as approved of by him in Christ for salvation, and in the Covenant of Grace, and for such to fall so as to be damned eternally, and all of the like nature, I do believe is a doctrine from beneath, and not from above, and the teachers of it from Satan, and not from God, and to be rejected as such that oppose Christ and his Gospel. 8. I do believe the resurrection of the dead, that all shall rise and come to judgment, and every one give account of himself to God, and receive according to the things done in their bodies, whether they be good or bad; therefore no conscience ought to be forced in the matters of Religion, because no man can bear out another in his account to God, if in case he should cause him to sin. 9. I do believe the powers that are, as the civil Magistrates, and so, are of God, to whom God hath committed the Sword of justice, for the punishing of evil doers, and for the good of such as do well, in which respect they ought to be honored, obeyed, and assisted by all men, and of Christians especially, and that out of conscience to God, whose ordinance and ministers they are, and bear not the sword in vain, Rom. 13, I Pet. 2, Tit. 3. And lastly, I do believe that there is an holy and blessed communion of Saints, that God of his grace calls such as belong to life by election, unto the fellowship of his Son by the Gospel, of which matter, God by his word and Spirit joins them together in his Covenant of grace, and so constitutes his Church, as I have before showed; and as God hath thus built for himself an holy habitation of such pure matter, and also after so holy a manner, even so hath he provided a way of preservation and safety for the same; as Isa. 26:1. “We have a strong City, salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks;” which City is said to have a wall both great and high, and built upon twelve foundations; great, that none shall break through, and high, that none shall overtop or get over, and strong in the foundation, that nothing shall shake it, and God hath said, that he will be a wall of fire round about, and the glory in the midst of it, and that he will keep it, and watch over it by night and by day, that nothing shall hurt it; and as God hath built himself a house after his own mind, and is a guard to the same; even so he is also said to beautify the same with salvation, and to make the place of his feet glorious, and that he will lay all her stones with fair colors, and her foundations with Sapphires, and her windows of Agars, and her gates of Carbuncles, and all her boarders of pleasant stones, and all her children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of her children. And as Christ does thus signify unto us the nature of his church both in respect of her matter, her form, her grace, and comely order in Him her Head; even so he holds forth his love to her, and delight in her, by these and the like expressions of comfort and solace. The Lord hath chosen Zion, &c. Pas. 132.13,14; Eph. 2:21,23. Pas. 87.2,3; Gal. 4:26,31. Isa. 2.2; Isa. 62. 1,12, Ezek. 48:35. Rev. 21. 12,14, Zech. 2.5, Isa. 26.3, Isa. 4. 11,12,13. Rev. 21. 11,18,21, Cant. 4.7, Psal. 45.13. FINISH. John Spilsbury {Treatise Concerning the Lawful Subject of Baptism, 1652}

Posted January 28, 2013

{Writings of Edward Drapes}

True & False Worship: All nations in all ages have acknowledged a God and that He is to be worshipped, but have not known nor worshipped Him aright. The very heathens were ashamed to deny this. Ransack all ages and wherever you find men inhabiting either in East, West, North or South and you shall find them agree in this: That there is a God and this God is to be worshipped. The Athenians built an altar with this inscription: “To the unknown Go.” Acts 17:23. All people have a kind of religion and serving god with prayers, sacrifices and the like; therefore, the heathens chose their priests and others to have a care of their gods, and the service of their gods. Men of learning and fools acknowledge this. The schools of the Academics, Stoics and Peripatetics rung of this doctrine. The barbarous Indies gainsay it not. But notwithstanding the harmony in this; namely, that there is a God and that this God is to be worshipped is so great and wonderful; yet the discord concerning this God, what He is and what is His true worship is as great as strange. The Athenians acknowledged Him to be, but knew Him not. Man being unable to comprehend the incomprehensible Being hath from time to time, according to his vain imagination, fancied a god or gods to himself. The Romans had as many gods as towns. What they received any good from they reverenced as their god. Hence it came that they worshipped the sun, moon, stars and fire, yea, even dogs and birds for their gods. The people of Lycaonia perceiving a miracle to be wrought by the Apostles, presently lift up their voices saying, "the gods are come down to us" calling Paul, Jupiter and Barnabas, Mercurius, the names of their heathen gods. And the Apostles could scarcely restrain the priests from sacrificing to them. From this blind conceit arises as blind a sacrifice. Sometimes men, women, children, beasts and birds have been offered by them as well pleasing sacrifices to their gods. From this ignorance of the true God and His worship hath sprung that ataxia confusion and disorder that is in the world. Hence comes murders, rebellions, treasons, witchcrafts, sorceries, uncleanness, contentions, persecutions, self-exaltation and all abominations in the world. This deluge hath not only drowned some families, towns, cities, countries, kingdoms and generations, but hath overwhelmed the whole world in all ages. Man no sooner steps into the world, but darkness is his dwelling place. Nature once was adorned with all this glory of knowing God the Creator in the true light of the first creation, but now through transgression are all shut up and concluded under sin, wrath and darkness that it might be made manifest that salvation is only in the Ark that swims above all these waters; namely, in the free grace, mercy and goodness of the Lord in Jesus Christ by revealing Himself to the sons of men and giving them a righteous law to worship Him by; that so they might not ignorantly forge a god in and by their own understandings to themselves and fall down and worship their own creature instead of the Creator of heaven and earth, but might see God in His own light. For in Thy light O God do Thy Saints see light, even the true light, the Lord Jesus. As that light hath discovered Him to me and the only acceptable service and worship of Him, this ensuing treatise declares the invisible worship of God. Edward Drapes {Gospel Glory, 1649}

Particular Redemption: Let us now inquire of the persons who are the subjects of this sacrifice, which Christ declares to be His sheep. “I lay down my life for my sheep.” {John 10:15} Those sheep are the elect of God, whom the Lord hath appointed a place for at His right hand in the last day; therefore, saith Christ, “Other sheep have I which are not of this fold, them also I must bring in and they shall hear my voice.” {John 10:16} Again saith He, “I know my sheep.” Christ makes it His work to redeem a company of poor silly sheep from wolves. These sheep are those who are given by God to Christ. “Thine they were,” saith Christ, that is to say, thine by choice, knowledge, decree and purpose; “thou gavest them me;” that is, they being in the world a company of poor, despised, sinful creatures, thou commitedest them to my charge, to rescue them from the paw of the lion and mouth of the bear, and to keep them in thy name that they may never depart from thee. These are they Christ prayed for, these only, not the world, that is to say, those that were not given to Him to bring over by the power of His own Scepter, to the obedience of the Gospel, to the salvation of their souls and therefore you shall find Christ's prayer is not limited to the small number of His faithful Apostles, but He likewise prays for all that should believe in Him. {John 17:6} For their sakes He sanctified Himself, that is to say, He set Himself apart and made it His work to offer sacrifice and become a Redeemer. So much the word sanctify imports. There were a certain number that Christ knew and the Father loved, as He loved Christ, which in another place are called children as testifies the Spirit, saying, “Forasmuch as the children were partakers of flesh and blood, He likewise took part of the same,” that He might deliver His children; which children are those that are His peculiar generation. “Behold” {saith Christ} “I and the children which thou hast given me,” which children He calls His brethren, saying, “I will declare thy name unto my brethren.” For this cause is the Lord Jesus called the Captain of the salvation of many sons, because He sanctifieth Himself for them. For He is a perfect Captain through sufferings to bring many sons into glory, which sons are called His family, His house, household, spouse, His city, His soldiers, His purchased ones which He governs, orders, disposes, represents and trains up to eternal life. For Christ is faithful as a Son over all His house. Edward Drapes {Gospel Glory, 1649}

Posted January 29, 2013

{Writings of Edward Drapes}

Arminians Anatomized: Objection - The Scriptures tells us that Christ by the grace of God died for every man and that He is the Savior of the world, and the propitiation for the sins of the world. How is it then that you say He offered up a sacrifice only for some chosen ones? {Heb.2:9, I Jn.2:2} Solution - In answer to this question, I shall first show you how the Scriptures are mistaken by most, then show you how it cannot be that this sacrifice was offered for every individual son and daughter of Adam as the objectors conceive. 1. Concerning the Scriptures upon which this objection is bottomed, I shall only instance the principal. As first, that in the Hebrews, “who by the grace of God tasted death for every man;” from whence they infer every particular person in the world. Let us see the truth of it by comparing it with what follows. This every man in the next verse is declared to be many sons; yea, brethren and children. The word in the original is for all, which we must take with some limitation. It is said, “all Judea came out to be baptized of John in Jordan.” Now I suppose no one will imagine he means every particular person, every infant, but a great number. So here by all we may understand a great number. Or, if you read the word, ‘every one,’ we likewise read that Jesus Christ commanded the Apostles to preach the Gospel to every creature. By every creature, I suppose we take not in the beasts of the earth, fishes of the sea and fowls of heaven. If without all limitation we take the word, we cannot excempt them, except we deny them to be creatures which I hope we are all better informed. So that Christ’s dying for every man must be restrained to those only Christ intended it; namely, those many sons whom God appointed unto glory. The next Scriptures is that in John which saith, “he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.” From whence many infer that Christ is a propitiation for the sins of every individual person in the world, strengthening their opinion from those Scriptures that affirm Christ is the Savior of the world; and that God so loved the world and would have all men to be saved. In answer to these, we must necessarily be able to distinguish concerning this word ‘world.’ For; I affirm, it is not always taken for every particular one; therefore, it is said “and the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the devil and Satan which deceiveth the whole world;” which world is only meant of the wicked, or of many in the world. Therefore it is said in the verses before that there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his and there was a remnant in the world, a woman in the wilderness that was not deceived. So that by the whole world was only meant those that were deceived in the world. So it is said, all the whole world wondered after the beast, which is not meant of every particular person; therefore, is it interpreted afterward to be all those that dwell on the earth, whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life. In another place it is said God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their sins. Now we know the Lord doth impute sin to some; therefore, it is not of every one that he speaks. So it is said God is the Savior of the world and yet in another place, the world shall be damned. So that it is very evident where he saith that “he is the Propitiation for ours and the whole world,” he means them that did believe and hereafter should believe, all them he writes to, and all in all ages that shall be saved and so the rest of the Scriptures must be understood. The world is sometimes taken for every individual, sometimes for many, for some of all sorts for the Gentiles, before it was said, salvation is of the Jews, but now of the whole world, that is to say, of Jews and Gentiles. Therefore it is said God so loved the world that whosoever believed should not perish. He so loved it, that is to say, after such a manner as those, that is, whosoever shall believe should not perish. So that His love is clearly restrained to them that should believe. Therefore the Scriptures so often speak, that God hath chosen people out of the world, the poor of the world. He hath redeemed us out of every nation, kindred and tongue, some of all nations. So that as there are two worlds spoken of, this world, and that world, namely, the world to come, so are the subjects of both worlds, which subjects are called the world and they are either the world of the ungodly, that cannot receive the truth, or the world that shall be saved and is reconciled to God. Edward Drapes {Gospel Glory, 1649}

Arminians Anatomized: Objection - The Gospel is declared to be glad tidings to all. {Lk.2:10} Solution - What I have said before is a sufficient answer to this. For all is taken for some of all and therefore saith the Scriptures, it is the savor of life unto some and of death unto others. {II Cor.2:16} Objection - The Gospel is to be preached to every creature, which could not be if Christ died not for all. {Matt.28:19} Solution - To which I answer true it is the gospel is to be preached to all, and yet Christ’s death is but a sacrifice for some. The publication of the Gospel is universal, the application particular. The sun shines on good and bad, some things it quickens, others it withers. Now the act of shining is alike to him that is blind and him that sees, but the virtue of it is only to some particulars. A man that is blind hath not the benefit of the light. This appears more plain if we consider what the Gospel is that is to be preached. What the gospel is that is to be preached to the world. It is that there is life and salvation freely in Christ for sinners which is to be told, preached, and declared to all men; yea, every man, but now the application of it is only to him that believeth this and trusteth in it which is the work of the Spirit to accomplish. We are not to preach Christ died for you Thomas, or you, John, but for sinners. And thus the Apostles preached and if anyone asked what they should do to be saved, their answer was, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, whether thou are a Jew or Gentile. {Acts 16:31} Objection - But all are commanded to believe the Gospel. Solution -  If I should without a further answer grant it, yet it follows not that Christ offered up a sacrifice or died for them, for that is not to be preached to any particular man, for the Gospel is that there is life in Christ Jesus for whosoever believeth. Now I say, he that believeth not this Record which God hath given of His Son doth as much as he can to make God a liar. He gives God the lie {as we use to say;} but I shall say this more; that the Scriptures nowhere holds forth any command from God to every man to believe Christ died for them. Objection - Those that believe not are threatened with damnation because they believe not on the Son of God. {Jn.3:36} Answer - Unbelief is the very condemnation of every soul. It is not an act, but a state in which every man is plunged. {Jn.3:19} For when Adam had sinned by transgressing the Law, which {Law} cursed and seized on him and all his posterity in him, but yet Christ was immediately promised. So; that notwithstanding, his sin, all that looked to, or believed on that Brazen Serpent should be healed. Those that did not should perish in their sins. This state of unbelief seized on the creature, which is the cause why he trusts not in Christ, nor comes to him, which is to be understood in this sense in that it hath taken such hold on man that he cannot come forth of it, for if he could but believe, he should certainly be saved, but he cannot; therefore he is condemned, though this is not the original or first cause of his destruction, for his sin that he fell into was that which put him into an incapacity of believing according to the purpose of God, which indeed is the original cause why they cannot believe, for if God had purposed they should believe, neither themselves, nor men, nor sin, nor devils could have hindered it for who hath resisted the will of God? For as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. “You believe not,” saith Christ, “because you are not my sheep.” That is, because you are not given to me, neither have I undertaken for you, for if I had, you would come unto me, for my sheep know my voice. The whole Scriptures proclaim death and damnation to unbelievers and so the light reproves their darkness, adjudges it and condemns it. Therefore it is said, “he that believes not is condemned already,” because he hath not believed, or as the word will bear it, in that he hath not believed, which is thus explained a little after. “This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men love darkness.” It is the condemnation itself. Edward Drapes {Gospel Glory, 1649}

Arminians Anatomized: Objection - But those to whom the Gospel is preached, and refuse it, are declared to adjudge themselves unworthy to eternal life and to neglect salvation, which if Christ had not died for them, they could not do. Solution - To this I thus briefly answer. Man is truly said to refuse the gospel, when he rejects it, despises it and persecutes it and then declares himself unworthy of it. All men are unworthy of it, but the Jews in the Acts eminently declared themselves to be so. Here we may take notice how the Gospel is to be preached to all, not for all, for when he knew who was unworthy, he turns away from them, but he was sent to preach to all, not knowing who was made worthy to receive it by the Lamb. That God’s own might be called in, he preached it to, or among, or in the hearing of all and this was lawful for him so to do, but he applied it to none but upon believing. Objection - But peradventure some are yet ready to say, the Apostle saith, “how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation;” which they could not do, if it was not for them. {Heb.2:3} Solution - To this I say thus much. All that can be inferred rationally, or spiritually from those words is this, that destruction is the portion of them that neglect, {that is to say,} mind not, or receive not salvation, which excellently holds forth this truth; that there is no other way of salvation, but by giving heed to, or embracing the Gospel, which he exhorts them to a steadfastness in. Objection - But may some say, If Christ died for them, they shall be saved {as we say} and if so, what need the Apostle mind them not to neglect it; for if it be for them you say they shall have it. Therefore his exhortation is vain. Solution - To which I answer, that although the saints eternal happiness depends on the Father’s purpose for their salvation, yet the true ground of visible administrations is from the visible profession of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For with the heart man believeth, and with the mouth he confesseth to salvation. The Apostle judging according to their profession thus speaks. For though a man cannot fall from the Father’s love, yet he may from his profession, which, when he doth, it is {though not an infallible} yet a sad symptom. He is in a sad condition, nigh to burning, having neither part, nor lot in the thing professed, as saith the Apostle. Now because some did profess to be bought by Christ, to have received the Lord Jesus, to be sanctified by the blood of the covenant, and yet by their works denied Him, whom they said, and saints so judged {judging by their former profession} had bought them and sanctified them and made shipwreck of faith and a good conscience, that is to say, the profession of them. The Apostle not knowing by revelation who should stand, nor having any rule to judge men should attain to the glory of the end, without continuing to the end, knowing likewise that the Father hath as well ordained the means to attain the end as well as the end itself, thus speaks; therefore, saith the Apostle, “we are persuaded better things of you and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak,” and desire you to continue to the end. {Heb.6:9} Objection - The Scriptures saith, some may perish for whom Christ died. {I Cor.8:11} Therefore all He died for, shall not be saved, which proves He died for all, for them that perish as them that shall be saved. Solution - To which I answer, by perish is not meant eternal death or condemnation, for the word perish many times signifies to wound, defile or corrupt and so it is there used; therefore, the Apostle in the next verse interprets the meaning of perishing to be the wounding the weak conscience, or stumbling, or offending their weak brethren. Edward Drapes {Gospel Glory, 1649}

Arminians Anatomized: Objection - The Lord Christ wept over Jerusalem and would have gathered it as a hen her chickens, but Jerusalem would not, which is an argument that He loved it and died for it. Solution - That Christ wept over it and would have gathered it is true, but yet that He did not lay down His life a Sacrifice for them that He did not gather is as true. Christ’s weeping over them shows Him to be a man subject to like passions with us; sin only excepted. He laments their deplorable, miserable, undone and lost state and whereas He saith, “how often would I have gathered them, &c.,” he there speaks as a visible minister of the Gospel that holds forth the truth to men, not knowing their eternal state, for if you consider Him otherwise, He could not weep over them, for it is said that He knew all men and would not commit Himself to a people that did profess Him. He knew {as He was the wisdom of the Father} well enough who should not believe, but die in their sins; therefore, this He did as a man having natural affections and so it is said when Jesus heard Lazarus was dead, “He wept,” which showed not that Lazarus might have lived longer, but His love, His natural love to him. In this sense Paul wished himself accursed for his brethren’s sake according to the flesh. In this sense; I say, this and all such other places must be understood. Objection - But yet John saith, “Christ came unto His own and His own received Him not;” and also there is that parable wherein all are invited, &c. Solution - To both of these one answer may suffice. The Jews were Christ’s own countrymen, the then only visible Church of God. He came out of that stock and for the invitation say I, it was to the Jews and Gentiles wherein we may say that all are summoned by the outward, visible ministry of the Gospel. For many are called, but few are chosen. Now not the called, but the chosen are the subjects for whom Christ died. Objection - The Scriptures tells us of a common salvation. And God is the Savior of all men, especially of them that believe. Solution - The salvation is called common because now it is extended to Jews and Gentiles; therefore, Peter being bidden to go to the Gentiles, he accounted them a common people. Salvation he thought must be only of the Jews, but God’s thoughts were otherwise and the wall is broken down; and to the other, I say, God is the Savior {preserver &c.,} of all men, for in Him, all live and move, and have their being; but especially, that is to say, eternally and spiritually by Jesus Christ. He is the Savior of them that believe. Eternal life is only their portion. Objection - But it is said, Christ died to redeem from the sins of the first testament, {Heb.9:15,} so that there is no condemnation for them, but condemnation is for not believing Christ died for them. Solution - The Scriptures objected proves not that Christ died for all, neither saith so, but this it holds forth; that those transgressions which were under the law are done away in Christ. Now we may see, {if we will not wink at noon-day,} that all men are not redeemed from the sins under the first testament; therefore, saith Christ to the Jews, “Ye shall die in your sins;” that is, in all your sins; therefore, He saith again, “the wrath of God abideth on them.” Christ took not away wrath for the first and brought it again for the second. But say they, they were condemned for unbelief. Well, let us reason out the case. I demand of thee whether unbelief be sin or not. If thou say it is, I ask thee whether Christ died for that or not. If He did not, then His dying for all other sins was of no moment, nor concernment. If a man should do never so much to redeem a man from prison and not perform the chiefest part required, do you think the prisons would be delivered? Surely not! What availeth it for Christ to die for all my sins if not for my unbelief, seeing that, without any more {I speak in thy language} may condemn, but it may be thou wilt say, that He died for the unbelief of some and the other sins of others. Vain man, thou sayest thou knowest not what. Thou pleadest Christ dying for them for some sins and yet He hath left the chief not died for. For what purpose is then His death? What benefit have they by it? They are but pulled from the water and hurled into the fire. But if thou sayest Christ died for unbelief, how then can it condemn? For all that Christ conquered, He triumphed over in His cross. How comes it to return upon Him again? Thou wouldest be wise, but indeed thou instead of exalting Christ as a free Savior makest Him but half a Savior. If He be not able to save to the uttermost, woe and alas. We were all unbelievers before we believed. If Christ make us not to believe, what shall we do? The Priests under the law were as great as He if they doctrine be true, but surely I hope thou by this time seest thy vanity. Edward Drapes {Gospel Glory, 1649}

Arminians Anatomized: Argument to prove Christ died not for all men. Those that Christ died for, He offered a Sacrifice for. For His death was a Sacrifice for sin, as I have at large proved before; but Christ offered not a Sacrifice for all men, therefore He died not for all. This second proposition is clearly proved, if you consider this; that all those for whom this Sacrifice was offered are sanctified and perfected by it, having through it remission of sins which is evident; “for by one offering hath He perfected forever them that are sanctified;” and again, “we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ, once for all.” He bore the sins of many, and by that Sacrifice He carried them away, inasmuch that God remembers them in a way of judgment no more. This will be more manifested if you consider what I shall say in the virtue of Christ’s death; but there are a people that shall never be made perfect, nor have their sins removed. This is so evident by itself that it needs no demonstration. Consult with the 25th of Matthew and you may there {if you doubt} find a resolution. Having thus handled the Subjects for whom this Sacrifice was offered, I am now come to show you to whom it was offered, namely, to GOD, to an offended, displeased and angry Majesty, who could not endure sin and who threatened death to sinners. Objection - God saith, “Fury is not in me;” how then say you, God is an angry God? Solution - The same God that saith, “fury is not in me,” saith also, “they are full of the fury of the Lord;” so that we must know, fury, wrath, anger is in God by a Law which is the righteous dispensation of justice and judgment, by His own Law against the breakers of it. And yet fury is not in God; that is, God in Christ hath so taken away the Cup of Trembling, and the dregs of His fury, that fury is not in Him to His children, for God in Christ is love, full of love. God in the Law is a Recompenser of tribulation and anguish to all that obey not the Gospel of Christ. Edward Drapes {Gospel Glory, 1649}

Posted January 30, 2013

{Writings of Edward Drapes}

Law & Gospel Distinctions: The law we are freed from is the law given to Adam, or the law given on Mount Sinai. It is needful for us to know those two dispensations, the one by God to Adam and all the world; the other to Moses and the children of Israel, to be one and the same substantial law; which we may perceive in the Epistle to the Romans where it is written, “for when the Gentiles which have not the law;” namely, as it was given to Israel by Moses in that dispensation or ministration; “do by nature,” that is to say, by that original instinct or principle that is in their hearts by creation, “the things contained in the law;” that is, of Moses; “these having not the law,” {that law} given to them by Moses, “are a law unto themselves;” that is to say, they have it in their hearts; “which show the work of the law written in their hearts.” This appears yet more evident if we consider the punishment threatened by both was the same; therefore, is it said verse 15, “their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts the mean while accusing or excusing one another;” their own hearts accusing them is a manifest proof of wrath to be the fruit of sin, and condemnation the portion of sinners; therefore, saith the Apostle, “by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin,” and this death is explained to be judgment to condemnation. Objection: If the law and punishment be the same, that of Adam and that of Moses, to what purpose serves the law by Moses, is it not needless? Solution: I answer, no verily. Though the substance was the same, yet the administration was diverse. The law of Moses was added because of transgressions, the law entered, that the offense might abound, that the exceeding sinfulness of sin might be discovered, that so it might discover the dead, sinful estate they were in that thought themselves alive. For by the law is the knowledge of sin. The offense was before, but abounded not. Man, I say, was even dead in sin, stupid and careless until the law was given on Sinai. Then thundered out curses; that is to say, now God was resolved to make appear the wickedness of sin, but this was only to Israel, a chosen people, other nations had not this privilege, for this law we must understand was given alone to them, for the service of God and the promises were annexed to it. They had many types to hold forth their Saviour, the Lord Jesus to do that for them that might answer for what they themselves could not do. And by this were the Gentiles {for so the Jews called the rest of the nations} hedged forth. This was a partition wall. Now Paul was once alive without the law; namely, in his own conceit, but when the command came, sin revived, for the law was given that the offense might abound and Paul died, {when he saw his dead condition, so that the commandment which was appointed to life, that is to say, to drive men to Christ, for the law was a schoolmaster to Christ, even the law of commands, whippings and lashings, as well as the law of ceremonies, shadowing forth Christ to us, “who is the end of the law for righteousness;”} he found was death to him; that is to say, through the deceitfulness of sin slew him, as being the executioner against him, so that this law was but the fuller discovery of the other law, for the curse was all one. Now, if you consider the law as a covenant of works to Adam, though we were under it, we are freed from it. For what curses the Jews were subject to by the law, as written in Tables of Stone; we were, as the law at first was written in our hearts, likewise subject to. For Abraham had two sons; the one by a bond-maid, the other by a free-woman; the one from Sinai engendering to bondage, the other from Mount Zion; one of works, the other of grace. We are now freed from the curse of the law, and there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. As by the first Adam sin entered into the world, and death by sin, so by one man, Jesus Christ, the free gift came of many {ye all} offenses of them He died for to justification of life. It is not now said to us do this and live, but because you live; therefore, do this. It is not now said, if thou eatest {I mean to the Father’s chosen ones} thou shalt die, but being dead thou shalt live by Jesus Christ. If thou sinnest, thou hast an Advocate, Jesus Christ the Righteous, who covers all thy sins, so that the Gospel brings good news and hence it is that we hear so much of life eternal and freedom from the curse. - The same God that spake before sundry times and divers manners, hath in these last days spoken by His Son. Now life and immortality is brought to light by the Gospel. Edward Drapes {Gospel Glory, 1649}

Chastisement: God doth afflict His people for sin, yea, His beloved, but, secondly, I say afflictions are to them no curse at all, but a loving correction of a loving Father; not to satisfy His wrath {for He hath seen the travail of His Son and is already satisfied,} but to manifest His mercy, it being for His children’s healing, safety and prosperity. They rather publish His love than His wrath; “for whom He loveth, He chasteneth, and whom He receiveth He scourgeth.” Therefore saith the Spirit to the saints, “if you endure chastening, you are dealt withal as sons.” Affliction is for their profit, as necessary for them as their meat and drink. Before we be afflicted, we go astray. Afflictions are a fruit of the Father’s love in Christ’s death; therefore, called the dyings or marks of Christ Jesus. They are sent to crucify the sins in us that crucified Him. They are as fire, to purify, not destroy the gold. They yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness {though for the present they are not joyous} to them that are exercises therein. If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him. Edward Drapes {Gospel Glory, 1649}

Posted January 31, 2013

{Writings of Edward Drapes}

Prophetical Office of Christ: Concerning the Prophetical Office of Christ; it is the Lord Jesus that was anointed to become the Teacher of His people. The prophets under the law were anointed with oil, our great Prophet, the Lord Jesus with the Spirit. He was made full of grace and truth and God the Father raised Him up, as it was foretold by Moses, and furnished Him with sufficient abilities to discharge His trust for the fullness of wisdom was in Him; therefore is He called the Counselor. The same man that was anointed to be a Priest was anointed to be a Prophet; who was a Priestly Prophet and a Prophetical Priest. - Christ teaches the soul infallibly. There is no guile in His mouth. His words are not yea and nay, but the truth of God, the unquestionable truths of God. He speaks not at peradventure, as most men in our days do whose constant language is I think this is true, I suppose it to be true and the like doubtful phrases, but saith, this is the voice of God, of the Lord of Him that cannot lie. O blessed are all that are thus taught of Jesus Christ. His words are the sure words of prophecy whereto we do well to give heed. Lastly, a word or two to the subjects to whom this light reveals the matter which I have before shown to be the substance revealed and they are two-fold according to the diversity of the matter discovered. 1. Now the matter revealed is either the mysteries of the Father’s love to a poor soul which is hidden from the wise men of the world and this the true light discovers only to the children of the kingdom; or else; {2;} the matter revealed is the truth of God barely and nakedly as it is in itself without the souls interest in it to whom it is revealed. And in this sense Saul was among the prophets, and the Spirit of God was upon Balaam, whereby he knew Israel to be blessed, though himself partook not of that blessing. In this sense, the Spirit gives gifts to the rebellious. This is a receiving truth, but not in the love of it from which a man may utterly fall away. Though a man hath all knowledge, yet if he be not a chosen vessel of the Father, and have not the understanding of the Father’s love, he may, as Judas, fall away from his profession and go forth and hang himself, as he did. Yea, he may be a cast-away for all that. It is not man’s knowledge, but God’s love that saves a soul. 3. Christ many times makes use of men for His own glory whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life; but it is the portion of the chosen, called and faithful ones of God to be taught savingly, knowingly and powerfully through which teaching the wisdom of the world in them and the mystery of iniquity that before had taken the soul captive, are now put to silence and to flight. To these, His words are as a fire going out of His mouth to the consumption of that dross that remains in them whereby they become a pure and refined people. Edward Drapes {Gospel Glory, 1649}

Arminians Anatomized: Objection - Have not all men free will to be saved? Solution - To which I answer; if by free will you understand a voluntary desire or choice of the will from the true understanding of salvation, I say no man, as a mere man in the world, hath any such will for our will is enslaved; we are servants of sin by nature and 'tis the alone work of the Spirit to renew this will, to rescue it from the tyranny of Satan, but yet may some question. Objection - Whether every man that wills salvation may have it? Solution - To which I answer; if you mean by willing salvation a desire of salvation from a true understanding of God in Christ which is the hungering after Christ, I say, whoever thus wills salvation or the Lord Jesus, let such a soul fear not, but boldly go to or believe on, rest upon, and be confident in Christ. For all that hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be saved; but the power thus to will or desire is only of the Lord, who only worketh to will and do of His good pleasure. Our King Jesus in the salvation of any soul, first, discovers His own excellency, then causes man’s will, before averse, to choose it which He doth through the mighty power of His Kingly dignity. Christ overcomes our affections. The Lord our King works upon the affections. We that before had all our joy in the earth, love in, to and upon the world whose fears were of a carnal nature, are now made able to love Christ, delight in Christ, rejoice in Him, fear Him and obey Him and that is performed by Him as a mighty King that rules in the midst of his enemies, whose power is irresistible. For whom the Father foreknew, He did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son. 'Tis not said, whom He foreknew would believe and be conformable, them He glorified, but whom He foreknew, He did predestinate or fore-appoint, or ordain, should believe and be comformable to the image of His Son. And whom he did predestinate, He called, and whom he called, He justified, and whom he justified, he glorified. We love him because He first loved us; and therefore it is said we are transformed from the Kingdom of Satan unto the Kingdom of His dear Son. Edward Drapes {Gospel Glory, 1649}

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