July 2013

 Posted July 1, 2013

{Writings of Henry Denne}

Free Grace in Christ: That we may yet more admire the Grace of our God, the Lord is pleased to use familiar expressions to declare unto us that it pleased God to betroth unto himself a wife, whom he would admit into so much favor as to call him, Ishi, my Husband, unto whom he would vouchsafe so much honor, as to call her his spouse, his love, his dove, &c., and to betroth her unto Himself forever. “And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali.” “And I will betroth thee unto me forever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness; and thou shalt know the LORD.” {Hos.2:16,19,20} Who is it unto whom the Lord vouchsafeth such Grace? What person is it to whom the Lord will take to be his spouse? Was there ever such a thing as this heard? That poverty should sue unto riches? That deformity should sue unto beauty? And with reverence and trembling be it spoken that the mighty God of Heaven betroths unto Himself, and swears unto vile, poor, deformed, sinful, diseased and loathsome man. When man intending to take a companion of his love, some aim at nobility, some at beauty, others at riches; these are the three that commonly attract the liking and love of man; but it is not so with God. Look we at the nobility of his spouse, at her parentage, from whence she is descended? “Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite.” {Ez.16:3} She is base born, a daughter of whoredoms. But it may be that beauty might recompense the baseness of her birth. Look we at her beauty; her native beauty is blood and pollution, a deformed creature; her artificial beauty, neither washing, nor swaddling, nor salting. But peradventure, that which was lacking in birth and beauty might be supplied in riches and plenty; {for riches make many marriages;} but let us survey her riches. Behold, instead of an habitation, “thou wast cast out in the open field, to the lothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born.” {Ez.16:5} Instead of illustrious raiment, nothing but nakedness. “Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness; yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.” {Ez.16:8} Here is a spouse that hath not wherewithal to buy herself a wedding garment. O the depth of the riches of the mercy of God! Neither noble, nor beautiful, nor rich; and yet the Lord hath set his love upon us. Nay, here is one thing exceedeth all this that hath been spoken. So miserable was our condition that it hath cost the Lord a great dowry; and the Lord must buy us unto Himself, not with silver or gold, not with two hundred foreskins of the Philistines; but with the precious blood of the Son of God. I desire to leave you in admiration of this transcendent love. Here are the queries of thy burdened soul answered. What goodness must I find in me? What conditions? What qualifications, before that I believe God to be a Father to me in Christ? What must I do to be saved? Thou seest here the freeness of God’s Grace, the glory of his Reconciliation; and I will be bold to say unto thee, as Moses speaketh unto Israel in another case, “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you today.” {Ex.14:13} He came to call sinners, not righteous to Repentance. Oh what injury do we unto the Grace of God in that we imagine God to be like unto some niggardly man, who will not bid us welcome to his house, unless we bring our cost with us; for the Lord looks for nothing at our hands to obtain his favor. Henry Denne {Grace, Mercy & Peace, Printed 1696}

Posted July 7, 2013

{Selection of the Week}

Justification of the Ungodly in Christ Alone: The sinner that works not, but believes on him that justifies the ungodly, even him that raised Christ from the dead, finds nothing about himself that can encourage him to expect Justification, but everything serving to lead him to despair. If justifying Grace were dispensed according to any fitness whereby one man may be differenced from another as better qualified for it; he could find no such fitness, no such qualification in him to encourage him to look for that Grace, but rather the contrary; as Paul says of himself, “Christ came to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” If his acceptance with God should go upon any terms which he must fulfill, he finds himself as much without strength to fulfill them, {and especially that of sincerity, for the “heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it,”} as Abraham found himself for becoming a father when his body was now dead. In a word, he views himself in that same point of light wherein the Divine Mercy held men in sending the Son of God to die for them, and wherein his death respected them; namely, as sinners, and enemies to God; as ungodly, and without strength; {Rom.5:6,8,10;} and so he works not to make himself righteous, but, seeing all his works against the hope of his Justification, prays, as the Publican, “God be propitious to me, a sinner.” For in believing, or giving credit to the testimony of the Gospel concerning the resurrection of the Son of God, who, when we were yet without strength, in due time died for the ungodly, and rose again for their Justification, he finds good ground for the hope of being justified by that revealed Righteousness which is unto all and upon all that believe, without difference. He sees good ground to hope for the blessedness of the man to whom God Imputeth Righteousness without works. So his hope of being justified is against his feeling and experience; but it is according to his Faith; for there is a glorious ground of hope in that which he believes; and so he walks in this step of Abraham’s Faith, “believing in hope against hope.” There was such a certainty in Abraham’s Faith, such a firm persuasion of that which was spoken, that no objection could stand in his mind against the Truth of it, and no room was left there for a thought of the possibility of its being false. He was very certain, that what was spoken was indeed the Faithful Word of God, and so assent to it as his Testimony, for whom it is impossible to lie; for he believed God; he gave credit to him, who calleth those things which be not as though they were; and such was his confidence in the Word of God, that the consideration of his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, and of the deadness of Sarah’s womb, was not able to shake it. His Faith did not admit this to consideration as an objection against the Word of God; so he “staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, - being fully persuaded, that what he had promised, he was able to perform.” {Rom.5:19-21} And such a certainty there is in the Faith of Abraham’s children believing on Him that justifieth the ungodly; as we may see from such texts as these: “A declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us.” {Lk.1:1} “And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” {Jn.6:69} “For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.” {Jn.17:8} “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” {Heb.11:1} “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.” {Heb.3:14} “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.” {I Thes.1:5} “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, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” {I Thes.2:13} “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself.” {I Jn.5:9,10} “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” {Heb.10:22} “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.” {Js.1:6} He that believes on him that justifies the ungodly cannot be doubting of that which he hears God saying; and the consideration of his own unfitness to be justified, even the impossibility of his being justified in the natural way, cannot make him stagger at the Word of God; cannot shake his persuasion, that God, who raised Christ from the dead, for the Justification of sinners is able to make him, a sinner, blessed by the Imputation of Righteousness without works; for he looks on the Word of God which he believes, as of the same power with that by which the worlds were framed, calling the things that be not as though they were, even as did Abraham; and so the Faith of God’s Word has a certainty in it. When we believe on him that raised up Christ for the Justification of the ungodly, we believe that we may be justified by this; and the hope that arises from this Faith or Belief, is the hope of being made just, or of becoming just, by the Imputation of this Righteousness alone. And so the certainty or assurance that is in this Faith, is the assurance of this, that the Righteousness of the Son of God raised for the Justification of the ungodly for whom he died, is enough to justify us ungodly sinners; is sufficient, without anything added, to make us just in the sight of God. - The doubting that is opposed to Faith in the blood of the Son of God for Justification by the remission of sins, must be our hesitating about the sufficiency of that blood alone to justify us, and our not being fully persuaded by the Testimony of God that it is able to make us just, when we can find nothing about ourselves to contribute to our Justification, but everything making against it. Abraham gave glory to God when he believed in hope against hope, according to what was spoken, and was strong in that Faith. If he could have contributed anything toward the making good of that which was spoken, he had then something to glory in before another not so fit as he. But when it was quite otherwise, he gave God the whole glory of that which he believed God alone was able to perform. His Faith glorified him as God who raises the dead and calls those things that be not as though they were. Even so, when we work not to make ourselves just, but believe on him that raised Jesus for the Justification of the ungodly, we give him the whole glory of our Justification, as not pretending to contribute anything toward it ourselves, but acknowledging him who distinguishes himself as God, and manifests his glory in this Justification. A sinner that studies to be made fitter than another for being justified, cannot be believing the sufficiency of Christ’s Righteousness to justify him, nor glorifying God who justifies the ungodly by that Righteousness. He that would work to make himself righteous, must suppose to himself a God that will not punish every transgression, nor curse everyone that continues not in all things commanded. He must suppose to himself a God that will justify by an imperfect Righteousness; and so loves not Righteousness, nor hates iniquity as God, but as he would pretend to do himself. But he that believes on him that raised Jesus from the dead for the Justification of sinners respects him as God, showing the infinite opposition of his goodness unto all iniquity in the death of Christ delivered for the offenses of sinners and showing his love to Righteousness, as justifying by a perfect Righteousness in raising him from the dead; even that Righteousness which the Son of God finished on the cross; and so not being ignorant of the justice of God, he goes not about to establish his own Righteousness, but glorifies the name of the righteous Father, whom the world knew not, as that name is manifested by Jesus Christ. Again, the sinner that works to make himself just, must suppose to himself a God that has no mercy to show to the worthless and miserable, {the only proper objects of mercy,} nor any Grace to manifest but unto those who differ from others by some excelling qualifications. He must suppose to himself a God who cannot show mercy to whom he will, but according to those differences whereby sinners may glory over one another, saying, as the Pharisee, “God, I thank thee I am not as other men, or as this publican;” but he that believes on him that raised Christ for the Justification of sinners acknowledges the glory of the Divine Mercy and Grace in sending the Son of God, substituting him in the room of the ungodly to whom God would show mercy, delivering him for their offenses and raising him for their Justification, without respect to any difference wherein one man can find himself excelled by another. And he that works not, but believes to be justified by Grace freely through the redemption that is in Christ’s blood, gives God the glory of his mercy; saying, as the publican, “God be propitious to me, a sinner.” Thus we have seen the steps of Abraham’s Faith wherein they walk who believe in Christ for Righteousness, and we may be encouraged to walk in them by these words of the prophet. “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD; look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you; for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him. For the LORD shall comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.” {Is.51:1-3} John Glas {Notes on Scripture Texts Concerning the Imputation of Sin & Righteousness, 1748}

Posted July 14, 2013

{Selection of the Week}

Resurrection of Christ as the Proper Foundation of our Faith: To show how we come to have an interest in this righteousness; and how this righteousness, which is originally and subjectively without us, comes to be made ours, and we to have an interest therein, so that we may say in the style of the text, “in the LORD have I righteousness;” {Is.45:24;} to which I answer in general, that this is done by Imputation. God mercifully and graciously imputes and reckons it to the believer, and so we come according to the tenor and constitution of the New Covenant to have a real and pleadable interest therein. Not that he reckons we wrought it out in our own persons, so that the individual obedience and sufferings of Christ are judged to be our obedience and sufferings, for this destroys the Imputation of that which is done by Another for us, and is not according to the judgment of truth; nor that he takes it from Christ, and transfuses it into us, so that we become the seat and subject of it by way of inherency, and this righteousness an inherent quality in us, for that is impossible in the nature of things; but the meaning is, that he graciously accepts it for our pardon and justification, as if we had personally wrought it out ourselves and as it was performed in our room and stead, by a proper Substitution of Christ to bear the guilt and punishment of our sins, and as such he considers it in his Law, and deals with us accordingly, and all the benefit and advantage of it by the constitution of the New Covenant redound unto us. This is what we mean by Imputation and such in general is the way in which we come to have an interest in this righteousness; and in this very sense, or in a sense that has a near relation to it, we find the word used in Scripture. That God the Supreme Judge is fully satisfied with the Righteousness of Christ as a proper provision for his own honor, and accordingly hath declared his acceptance of it; and this lays a yet farther ground for the Imputation of it to us. The honor of God is fully provided for therein, and he can now be a just God and a Saviour; just and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. There is no dispensing with the honor of the law, no receding from the sacred rights of justice. The righteousness which Christ fulfilled as the Surety of his people, is just such, as the Law and Justice of God required it to be. And accordingly God hath all manner of ways declared his acceptance of it. Christ loved the church, “and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” Eph.5:2. God smelled, as it is said of Noah’s sacrifice, {Gen.8:21,} a sweet savor of rest in the sacrifice of Christ. From an unconceivable eternity he was in this view the great Object of the Father’s delight. “Then I was by him, as one brought up with him; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him.” {Pv.8:30} With what pleasure does he speak of him in prophecy long before his appearance; “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth.” {Is.42:1} When he was actually receivemanifested to the world, and going forwards in his great work, with what solemnity does God proclaim, “this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” {Mat.3:17} And when he had laid down his life in an accursed death, which was all that the law could insist on, how does God himself knock off the fetters of the grave, throw open the prison door, and in his resurrection, give him a public and solemn acquittance? As the Prophet observes, “that he was taken from prison and from judgment.” {Is.53:8} Released and discharged from the prison of the grave in full evidence that he had paid the whole debt which he had taken upon himself, and that God had accepted the payment at his hands; as the Apostle makes a particular remark upon this; “whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death; because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.” {Acts 2:24} Not possible as it is not just or righteous that the prisoner should be kept longer in prison who hath fully satisfied every demand that the law hath upon him. The resurrection of Christ therefore, was an open and authentic acknowledgment, that God, considered as the Supreme Rector and Judge of the world, acquiesced in the death of Christ, as a full, proper, and perfect satisfaction for sin; and in this light the Apostle considered it, as being the immediate foundation of our justification, or the virtual and fundamental justification of all the elect, as some have properly enough called it. “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” {Rom.4:25} And this, I conceive, gives us the proper sense of that expression, where Christ, who was God manifest in the flesh by his dwelling among us in our nature, is said to be “justified in the Spirit,” {I Tim.3:16,} being openly and solemnly acquitted and absolved as the Head of the church, and as having made full and complete satisfaction to Divine Justice, in his resurrection, which was performed by the powerful agency and operation of the Spirit. “And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” {Rom.1:4} And this with regard to his having received such full satisfaction to his justice, and accepted the atonement in the death of Christ that God is represented as acting under the peculiar character of a God of peace in his raising Christ from the dead. “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.” {Heb.13:20} The words of John Owen upon this passage are very remarkable. “Christ, as the great Shepherd of the sheep, was brought into the state of death by the sentence of the law, and was then led, recovered and restored by the God of peace. The law being fulfilled and answered, the sheep being redeemed by the death of the Shepherd, the God of peace to evidence that peace was now perfectly made, by an act of sovereign authority brings him again into the state of life, in a complete deliverance from the charge of the Law.” What a delightful view does this give us of the resurrection of Christ! A risen Saviour and a reconciled God! How safely may we trust in the one, and with what humble hope apply to the other for pardon and every blessing? As the Apostle argues, when pointing us to the resurrection of Christ as the proper foundation of our faith. “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” – “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.” {I Cor.15:17,20} He is risen, and our faith may rise with him in the assured and joyful expectation of every blessing, that as the Surety of his people he purchased in his death for them; whereas had he continued under the arrest of death, what sufficient foundation could we have had for our faith in him, or indeed what foundation at all? Finally, as God raised him from the dead, in evidence that he had fully satisfied his justice and perfected the work of our redemption, so he received and welcomed him to glory, and this completes the evidence hereof. For Christ, when he went to Heaven, entered it as the Surety and Redeemer of his people, must therefore enter it upon the foot of his having done all that was necessary for their redemption and salvation. And in consequence hereof, how was he as Mediator crowned with the highest honor and invested with the fullest power, that he might be in every capacity to perfect the designs of his grace? And this leads us into the true meaning of that remarkable text, where Christ promises his Spirit, to convince of righteousness because says he, “I go to the Father and ye see me no more.” {Jn.16:10} In Christ going to the Father; that is, in his ascending and being welcomed into his immediate presence in glory, the Spirit convinces not only of the righteousness and innocency of Christ’s Person, but that there is in him a perfect and sufficient righteousness for the justification of his people, such as the Father approves of, and does, and will eternally acquiesce in; and when 'tis added, “ye see me no more,” that clause seems to have a peculiar emphasis in it, and to direct us to that sense of the foregoing words which I have mentioned. The high priest under the law, when he had finished his work, slain the sacrifice, carried the blood of it into the holy of holies, sprinkled it towards the mercy-seat, and so made the fullest expiation for sin, which that dispensation would admit of, was seen again; for he came out of the holy of holies, and upon the return of the year was seen to go in again. But our Jesus, our great High Priest over the house of God having by the one oblation of himself, made full atonement for sin, and been accepted of God in it, was seen no more; he did not, as he needed not, return to add anything to the one sacrifice of his death, to make it more complete and perfect than it was; for “this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God.” “For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified. {Heb.10:12,14} As the Apostle in the foregoing chapter, when showing the superior excellency of the priesthood of Christ to that of all the priests under the law, represents his entering once into Heaven, as an evidence of the complete virtue of his death for the expiation of sin, and the redemption of his people, “but Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” {Heb.9:11,12} And this is of so much importance to establish our faith in the sufficiency and acceptance of the one sacrifice of the death of Christ, that he brings it over again in the most express manner in the 24th, 25th, and 26th verses of the same chapter. “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world; but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” I would add hereto, that I cannot but think, that this is what the Apostle designed to suggest, when describing the priesthood of Christ, as having everything in it that was of necessary use in the priesthood under the law, {Heb.8:4,5,} for he adds, that if he were on earth he could not be a priest seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law. Not that we are to confine Christ’s priesthood to what he transacts in Heaven, in exclusion of the great and important acts of it, which were completed in the oblation of himself upon the cross; as the Socinians do, {the whole weight of our controversy with the Socinians upon the doctrine of Christ’s satisfaction, hinges here; for they will readily grant, that what Christ did in his sufferings and death was for our good, for our benefit and advantage, and that the effects thereof might some way or other extend to us; but I think we are able to prove with the clearest evidence out of the scriptures, that his obedience and sufferings were not only for our good, but strictly and properly on our behalf, and in our room and stead,} who denying the doctrine of Satisfaction, own no oblation of Christ, but what is made in Heaven; for we must shut our eyes against the most glaring light of scripture, to exclude Christ’s shedding his blood upon the cross from being a part of his priestly office; but when the Apostle says, that if Christ were on earth he should not be a priest, his meaning is, either, that if he had always remained on earth without going to Heaven at all, we should have wanted one great evidence, which we now have, that he had offered up a perfect and acceptable sacrifice to God, conformably to what was done by the priests under the Jewish dispensation; or else, that he could not have entered upon the full discharge of his priestly office, one branch of which lies in making intercession for his people, as it was a known part of the ministry of the high priest, when he carried the blood of the sacrifice on the great day of atonement into the holy of holies, to sprinkle it before the ark, and so to offer it up with the prayers of the people, and to intercede for them. But now being entered into Heaven he hath, as the Jewish priests had under the law, something to offer; for what is Christ’s intercession but the presenting or exhibiting the merit of his death and sacrifice on the behalf of his people? And as the prevalence and success of Christ’s intercession depend so much upon the excellence and efficacy of his sacrifice, what a clear and evident proof is this, that the death of Christ was a proper and perfect satisfaction for sin and that God accepted it as such, for otherwise would it be the ground and plea of his intercession? And thus every blessing, which the believer enjoys in the virtue of Christ’s intercession, will at the same time be an evidence of the value and efficacy of his death, and of its acceptableness to God; and so the Apostle, in the seventh chapter of this epistle, where he represents Christ as a priest of a superior order to Aaron, not made after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life, a priest, as he calls him, forever after the order of Melchisedec and that hath an unchangeable priesthood, what neither needs nor admits of a successor. When he comes to give us the proper inference from these several representations, he does it in establishing his complete and absolute all-sufficiency to save. “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” {Heb.7:25} The priesthood of Christ drew into it everything that was valuable and important in the priesthood of Aaron and Melchisedec, and in some things differed from them both, particularly in this, that “he offered up himself,” as the Apostle farther observes, “who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's; for this he did once, when he offered up himself.” {vs.27} He was himself both priest and sacrifice and such a sacrifice offered up by such a priest, and whose virtue is renewed, as it were, in his intercession, how acceptable must it be with God, and how effectual for the expiation of sin, and for the perfected salvation of all that apply to God in and through him? He may ask what he will, he can ask nothing but what he hath purchased, and shall never be denied. In short, by Christ’s sacrifice offered up upon the cross, atonement was made; and by Christ’s sacrifice presented to God in Heaven, the atonement is applied and made effectual for all the purposes for which it was designed. Hence the Apostle, when speaking of the security which the elect have in the death of Christ from condemnation, puts a ‘much rather’ upon it, when he comes to look to his resurrection, ascension, and intercession, “who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” {Rom.8:34} I have been the more particular in tracing out the Apostle’s way of reasoning, when representing the efficacy and acceptableness of the death of Christ for our pardon and justification, because the more we examine into it, the more forceful and beautiful it will appear; whilst we shall see at the same time, how the securing and perfecting these blessings was uniformly carried on, with the full acceptance of God, through all Christ did and suffered on earth, and is still doing in Heaven. And now, to bring what has been offered upon this head to a point; has God, considered as the supreme Lord and Judge of all, so many ways testified his acceptance of Christ’s righteousness, as a full provision for his own glory, and every ways effectual for the purposes for which his children want it, what a firm and sure foundation must this lay for it’s being imputed to us, and for our receiving the full advantage of it? If it were not accepted of God, in vain do we plead it, and trust in it; but God’s acceptance and approbation concurring, the believer has as full a claim in it, and it is as much his for his pardon and justification, as if he had himself wrought it out. Richard Rawlin {Christ the Righteousness of his People – Sermons preached at Pinner’s Hall, London, 1741}

Posted July 21, 2013

{Selection of the Week}

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

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

Posted July 22, 2013

{Writings of John Johnson}

Infant Baptist – A Pillar of Popery: The things of the kingdom of God are accommodated to the understanding, to be received by faith, without which no creature can possibly enjoy any spiritual blessing; the worship of the gospel is of a spiritual nature; but the baptism of infants is a mere carnal ceremony, taught by the precept of men, therefore the worship must be in vain; it is a profane mimicry of a most solemn ordinance of Jesus Christ, under pretense of doing something spiritual, by a carnal operation, to a creature who is incapable of knowing anything of the nature thereof; as if the Son of God were a whimsical superstitious being, like one of the vanities of the heathen, or as if it were done in direct opposition to the grace and truth taught in the New Testament. It cannot be the worship of the true God, as no such thing is found in his Holy Oracles; yet worship it is, of the kind, and of consequence it must be the worship of devils. A man must believe in a false god, before he can follow such false worship; but I cannot conceive it possible for any believer, or sincere lover of the Son of God, to have any hand in such a practice; for nothing more foolish and wicked, or that more manifestly appeared to be the device of Satan, was ever invented since the world began; or anything more abominable ever practiced by Heathens, Mahometans, Jews, or Antichristians; and in one point, this idolatrous practice exceeds anything that Heathens ever were guilty of; that is, in the deep profanation of the sacred name, or taking in vain the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. As far as is possible for men and devils to conspire to the eternal destruction of the infant, it is done in this delusive branch of will-worship, by laying a foundation to train it up in lies, and make it believe that some great thing was then performed, to secure its eternal salvation, which is all gross seduction. For as long as any man is made to believe, that in his infancy, by some carnal performance wrought for him, or upon him, by men, he was initiated into the Mysteries of Grace, taken into the New Covenant, regenerated, made a Christian, a member of Christ, a child of God, and an inheritor of the Kingdom of Heaven, it is impossible for him to know in truth what those blessings mean. And it is perfectly adapted to seduce the parents, as well as the child; for it is done under pretext of the faith of the parents; therefore it is always suggested, that the parents are believers, though they know no more of true faith than the stones; nay, were it only to make a common confession with the lips, there is not one in three that could give any more tolerable account than this, that they believe as the church believes. But if they had true faith, they must know better than to be guilty of treating the Lord with such contempt and solemn mockery in so profane a manner. There is not a man upon earth, that has true faith, but he does know better than to imagine it can be communicated to his children. John Johnson {Book of Revelation, 1779}

Posted July 23, 2013

{Writings of John Johnson}

Gog & Magog: In the two following chapters, {Ezekiel 38 & 39,} under the names of Gog, Magog, &c., and under the similitude of armies, &c., are represented the spiritual enemies of the church, making war against the saints, and using all means to root out and destroy both the truth of Christ, and the peace of the children of God. This must be in the days of the Gospel, for it was not done before the coming of Christ; and it is said to be in the latter years, and in the latter days. And this war is against the life and power of the gospel; not by armies of soldiers and horsemen, for believers never stand as nations, provinces, cities, or worldly bodies; therefore no war, in that form, can be made against them. They have three sorts of enemies; the profane world; they that go about to establish their own righteousness, in opposition to the righteousness of Christ; and they that profess Christ in name, but deny him in power. The first of these are least malignant, and the last are the most inveterate enemies to the truth; for while the openly profane disregard the Son of God, and treat his Word with contempt; and the self-righteous set themselves in open rebellion, and bid defiance to the Righteousness of Christ; they that call themselves by his name, but not in truth, act the part of traitors, pretend to be of his church, and introduce themselves among his people, that they may artfully sow their false doctrine, and with subtlety bring in a mixture of false worship, that they may insensibly undermine the faith of the saints, and sap the foundation of the truth, as it is in Jesus. These are always pointed at as the most mischievous and most dangerous enemies of the children of God; and these plainly appear to be intended by the army of Gog, as they are enemies under cover, which is said to be signified by the name Gog. The prince of this army is the darkness and delusion of the false Christ; and the army is the seduced people over whom the deceptions of Satan reign; for no prince can reign without subjects. The other enemies join with these, to act their part; but they are not so dangerous, as they are enemies uncovered, which is said to be signified by the name Magog. - Some think this war is made by the Turks against the Christians, as most of the nations mentioned are either under the Turk, or at least of the Mahometan party; but they ought to consider, that this expedition is against the real followers of Christ, whom the Turk knows nothing of. I do not think the Turkish Empire can anywhere be found particularly mentioned in the Bible, only as some mention is made of the ravage of the Mahometan powers, in which that empire must be included; and as to the nations mentioned, we have no reason to think it intends the natural people of those countries; one nation does not hate the disciples of Jesus more than another, they are hated of all nations; only the false professors of Christ are their avowed enemies above all other people. Others think Gog and Magog intend the Pope and Turk, warring against the true Christians. Perhaps these may bear some resemblance to the things pointed out, as the Pope is an enemy to Christ under disguise; and the Turk, or Mahometan, is an enemy professed; and they both do what they can, but neither of them, nor both united, come up to the described enemies. For be it observed, that under the gospel, Israel is the true children of God, and the Land is the spiritual rest given them in Christ; the enemies described as lying on all sides of that land, east, west, north, and south, shows that they shall be attacked on every side, and in every form, with all sorts of deceptions, traditions, false doctrines, carnal worship, and deceivableness of unrighteousness, which come as storms and clouds to cover and darken their happy enjoyments, and which are intended by horses and weapons; no national armies can enter this holy land, nor can any carnal weapons touch the blessings of the saints; this can be nothing else but the very beast, or false Christ, inspiring the universal body of Antichristian professors, among whom the Pope is doubtless included, but not particularly pointed at. The design of this overspreading army is to spoil the church of God of their spiritual blessings; and the weapons brought from the gates of hell are so divers, so numerous, and so formidable, that it will take so much time to burn them; and everything relating to them is so infectious, that it will make the children of God so assiduous to have every bone buried. - By his being called Gog, the land of Magog, it should seem as if Gog were the prince, and Magog the land of his dominion. We find all the rest mentioned as nations, but Gog seems to be an original; and after him all the multitude is named; and cannot be any other thing than the man of sin, the son of perdition, the mystery of iniquity, the false Christ, the beast that rose out of the sea, and out of the bottomless pit, who now reigns over those whose names are not written in the book of life; and at this very time is at the head of all his multitude, making war with all his might against Christ and against his saints. And it is in the spiritual land of Israel that the making shall be at his fall; there shall his weapons be burnt, and his graves made. {Nahum 1:14} - There are many other prophecies which relate to gospel blessings, and cannot admit of a literal fulfilling; and they ought to be read with deliberate attention; for notwithstanding every part of the Word of God is plain and clear, it is only to them that understand, and is to be learned by comparing spiritual things with spiritual. Some predictions were fulfilled in the Person of Christ, and in his Apostles; some relate to the preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles; some to the blessed effects of the Gospel in the hearts of God’s elect; some to the trials of the saints in the world; some to the coming of Christ in the power of his Spirit, to make the Gospel effectual to all the nations; and some relate to his personal coming, to judge the quick and the dead, with the events that shall follow. And now, from the time that all vision ceased, the Book of the Revelation opens all the future events that are necessary to be made known to the church, till the Son of God shall appear in the glory of his kingdom. John Johnson {Book of Revelation, 1779}

Posted July 24, 2013

{Writings of John Johnson}

Christ - the Faithful and True Witness: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” {Rev.1:8} These two characters, Alpha and Omega, being the first and last letters in the alphabet of that language, in which this book, and the chief of the New Testament was written, were intentionally mentioned, both in this, and divers other places, to direct us to the fullness of the written word. For all that is written in the holy volume, relates to the Son of God; and all that can be known of Jesus Christ, is contained in the sacred word. He is the beginning and the ending of all the counsels, works and ways of God, of everything that does, or ever did, or ever shall proceed from God; and of all the blessings that are, or ever were, or ever shall be enjoyed by men. For he is, and was, and is to come, the Almighty; possessing all the perfections of the Father. For the Father dwells in the Son, and the Son in the Father; so as they are absolutely, indivisibly, and essentially one. Whatever is ascribed to the Father, whether essence, attributes, will, words, or works, the same is ascribed to the Son. What the one is, the other is; and this is the foundation of our faith. - “These things saith the Amen; the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.” {Rev.3:14} Our Lord Jesus Christ is the beginning of the creation of God, as he was the First of all, in the Divine Counsel, Sovereign Will, and Delight of the Father. {Prov.8:22-30} And by the going forth of the same perfect wisdom, power, and goodness which now goes forth in the Man Christ Jesus, all the beings in the creation were made. {Jn.1:1-3, 14} For all the works of nature, in the creation, and all the manifestations of grace, in the word of truth, which were before the actual appearing of the Lord of glory, were no other than signals of his approach; and proceeded immediately from Himself, as the rays of light in the morning dawn proceed from the sun, and betoken his appearing. He was not the first born of every creature, with respect to the actual coming forth of the man in time; but in that he was first, for excellency and dignity, in the Eternal Purpose; the ultimate perfection of all things, in the all-comprehending mind of his Father, and that nothing in the creation of God ever had any existence but in Himself. {Col.1:15-18} And next in place, his church was formed for his delight; {Prov.8:31, Eph.1:22,23;} and then, for his pleasure, and as servants to his church, all the rest of beings were created. {Deut.32:8,9, Heb.1:14, Rev.4:11} He is the faithful and true witness, in that he testifies of his Father’s love, and opens his eternal counsels towards his church; in taking his everlasting residence in our nature, and manifesting the mystery of divine wisdom and love; {I Tim.3:16;} in opening to us the depths of the bosom of the eternal mind; {Jn.1:18;} sealing this love with his blood; {Rom.5:8;} in his appearing now as our Representative before the throne; {Heb.7:25, 9:12, 24;} in giving us the word of his grace; {Jn.17:14;} and in anointing us with his Holy Spirit. {II Cor.1:21,22} As he also stands our Witness, in the presence of the Father, to maintain our cause; {Rom.8:34;} and will be a faithful witness in the day of judgment. {Mt.25:34-40} He also is the Amen, the perfect Truth of God, the Ratifier of all his revealed will, the Accomplisher of all the promises of God. {II Cor.1:20} Whatever grace he begins, he completes; {Phil.1:6;} whom he saves, can never be lost. {Jn.10:28,29} Where he gives his Spirit, he never takes it away. {Jn.14:16, Hag.2:5} He will complete his work in the resurrection; {Phil.3:21;} and establish it in eternal glory. {Jn.17:24} John Johnson {Book of Revelation, 1779}

Posted July 26, 2013

{Writings of John Johnson}

Pale Horse & Death: “And I looked, and behold a pale horse; and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” {Rev.6:8} Wheresoever the light and glory of gospel grace makes its appearance, the church may be assured that Satan and his instruments will try all their efforts to evade, to diminish, to degrade, to quench, to kill, to bury, and to destroy; as there is nothing in existence that the souls of religious people more abhor. And the reason why the light and truth of the gospel is so detestable to them is because they are dead, yet they want to persuade themselves that they are alive; but the real life that shines in the Gospel of the Lord of glory discovers the counterfeit, and breaks the bubble; which fills them with the utmost enmity and malice. The pale horse is a perverted gospel, destitute of life or spirit; and death, which rides thereon, is the depth of corruption, whereby the truth of Christ is turned into a lie, so as to coincide with the dead carnal mind. And hell that followed, is the gross darkness that envelopes the consciences of all those who, through hardness of heart, withstand the true light. For the way to obtain the victory over the witnesses of the true God is by paleness, death, and darkness; yet these have not power over the saints, but only over the fourth part of the earth. This fourth part of the earth may not intend a proportional quantity either of number or measure, but a fourth division, class, or party of earthly minded and carnal men; of such a cast as are adapted to such a purpose; for there be three parts which are by no means fit to engage in this work; there are the loose, empty, vain, and profane, who think nothing of God, and seek nothing but sensual gratification; there are the self-righteous, who have no higher ideas of God, but as a being like themselves, or as a master requiring service from his creatures, and if they perform some sort of work, such as pleases themselves, they think it must please him; and there are the dreaming professors of the gospel, who think all is well if they believe the report of the gospel to be truly recorded and profess to expect salvation by Christ, going on in a cursory round of what they call religious duties. Though all these do verily belong to the kingdom of darkness, they are not the veteran troops of hell; and though they often skirmish with the truths of the gospel, they are not qualified to fight the strongest battles of the dragon. But the fourth part here intended, may intend men of sensible feelings, a quick prying genius, carnal minds, and malignant spirits, who in going about to kill the truth of Christ, have power given them to kill themselves, or death and hell have power to kill them, and they are killed with their own consent. {The saints against whom they fight, they never kill.} Some kill with the sword; beating down the truth with arguments, sophistical reasonings, and the wisdom of men. Some kill by hunger; pretending to own and acquiesce in the truths of the gospel, but not in the true spirit, only to soften, to qualify, to meliorate, to detract, and to drain away the life and power, leaving the soul to famish for want of substance. Some kill by death, pretending to embrace the great things of the gospel, but turning them all into amusements to gratify the carnal mind, enthusiasms, phantasms, bubbles, and all chimera. Some kill with the beasts of the earth; either the poisonous, swelling men with pride, on account of speculative knowledge of divine mysteries; or else the voracious, tearing and rending with reproach and calumny all that confess the glories of Christ; calling them proud, conceited, arrogant, presumptuous, self-willed, uncharitable, censorious, whimsical, oddities, notions of their own, &c. Thus they bear down, overcome, and carry away all those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. John Johnson {Book of Revelation, 1779}

Posted July 28, 2013

{Selection of the Week}

Imputation of Christ’s Suretyship Righteousness: Query: If Christ’s Surety-obedience to the perceptive part of the Law is imputed to believers in its infinite value, are not then believers, in Law-reckoning, as righteous as Christ? Is not this, saith the teacher, to set the believer on a level with Christ himself? What more wicked and injurious to the adored Emmanuel? Assertion: This is the very consequence which is managed by the patrons of the papal hierarchy against the Imputation of Christ’s Surety Righteousness altogether; a consequence also very much improved by the Neonomians against the same orthodox doctrine, and also by the Arminians, particularly by John Goodwin, in his scandalous treatise on Justification. This being matter of fact, no honor can rebound to this querist, in managing such a weapon, considering the Armory to which it belongs. What then can he intend by digging up this stale artifice, which has been exploded as a mere fraud in all ages? Can he expect to carry the cause of his new Gospel by this craft? No, no. For, it will readily be granted, that believers, in Law-reckoning, are not as righteous as Christ in the Essential Perfection of his Person. The Surety, and the principal debtor, are not one physically, but legally and juridically. It is not the essential Righteousness of the Son of God, the moral perfections of his nature, which is imputed to believers in their Justification; but it is his Surety Righteousness, his perfect obedience and complete satisfaction to Law and Justice. The believing receiver of the Surety-righteousness is not, in Law-reckoning, the author and finisher of it, not his own Savior and Redeemer, not subjectively righteous like Christ, or in point of inhesion, {condition of being,} but objectively righteous, or in point of Imputation. In the act of Justification, the Surety obedience of the person God-man is not transfused into us, so as to be made inherently and subjectively ours; but it is placed to our account, ours in Law estimation. The Justification of the sinner being a relative change, a change of state, not a change of nature; the Righteousness of the Law is not fulfilled in us formally, subjectively, inherently and personally, but rather imputatively. Thus, it is not in us as a Righteousness inherent, but upon us as a robe or garment, and so can in no way metamorphose the nature of the object to whom it is imputed, as the authors consequence would insinuate. Thus, in Law verdict and estimation, our Lord Jesus Christ is righteous as the Son of God in our nature, righteous as a Surety Representative, as the glorious Head of the mystical body, as the one only Mediator between God and man, as the Savior and Redeemer of an elect world; wherefore believers are not, in Law-reckoning, in this sense, righteous; for the Law’s judgment being always according to Truth, can never confound the believing receiver of the Surety-righteousness with the Author and Finisher of it. That, then, believers are as righteous as Christ himself in respect to the Essential Perfection of his Person is a position that must be rejected; but, will this teacher refuse, that believers, in Law-reckoning, are as righteous as Christ himself in Law estimation and in truth? If this is his sentiment, I must dissent from it, upon the following considerations. 1. It counteracts the express testimony of Heaven, which is sufficient to overthrow it. “He that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” {I Jn.3:7} 2. If Jesus Christ and believers, the cautioner and principal debtor, are one in Law-reckoning, then there can be no separating of them, in Law, in point of life and death. Hence says our Lord, “because I live, ye shall live also.” {Jn.14:19} The Law Covenant can have no action, no suit, against a justified person, anymore than it can have against his glorious Head; it can lay him no more under an arrest, than it can his Surety Representative who has got up his discharge. {Rom.8:33,34} Thus the principal debtor in the eye of the Law may be said to be as righteous as the Surety without prejudice to the dignity, honor, and preeminence of the Surety. For to be as righteous as Christ in Law verdict and estimation respects not the manner; for the Surety and the debtor are not physically one, but the truth and reality of our being righteous; and if it was nowise injurious to the glorious Surety, that he, and the principal debtor become legally one, then how can it be injurious to Him, that the principal debtor become legally righteous with him? Since, as it is well observed by Mr. Rutherford, concerning the nature of suretyship in his treatise on the Covenant, {part 2, pg. 251,} “though physically the Surety and the debtor be two different men; yet, in Law they are one and the same person, and one and the same legal party, and the same object of justice; whosoever in Law pursueth the Surety, doth also pursue the debtor. The debt and sum is one, not two debts, not two ransoms, not two punishments, not two lives to lose, but one. It is one and the same solution and satisfaction; there cannot, in Law justice, come another reckoning, dying, and payment-asking, after the Surety hath paid. There is one and the same acceptation upon the creditor’s part; if he accept of satisfaction in the payment made by the Surety, he cannot but legally accept of the debtor, and cannot pursue him in Law, but must look upon him as no debtor. It is one and the same legal effect. Christ justified in the Spirit, and we in Him, as in the meritorious cause are legally justified.” Hence it is evident, that, as the debt of the principal debtor becometh the debt of the Surety, and affecteth him; so also the satisfaction and payment of the Surety, and his discharge and relief, becometh the satisfaction, payment, discharge, and relief of the principal debtor. 3. It is therefore not Antinomianism to affirm that believers are legally righteous in the sight of God, with the selfsame active and passive obedience wherewith Jesus Christ was righteous. This doctrine shines everywhere in the Sacred Oracles with an abundance of evidence. The Neonomians, therefore, in branding it as a doctrine of Antinomianism, are guilty of impeaching a most precious Truth with a most injurious calumny. Why, is not the mystical union between Christ and believers legally sustained at the bar of Law and Justice in so far as, that, upon this union, what Christ did and suffered for them is reckoned in Law as if they had suffered and done it themselves? Are not Christ and believers legally one in point of interest by the mystical union? Inasmuch as Christ becomes one mystical person with them, in finding himself their federal Representative at the bar of Law and Justice, and having the guilt of all their sins imputed to him; so, on the other hand, all that he did and suffered in his obedience to death is imputed to them. The guilt of their transgressions was imputed to him as if he had been personally guilty; and what he did in their Law room and stead is placed to their score, as if done by them; thus having, in Law-reckoning, as really obeyed in Christ, as they disobeyed in Adam, the righteousness of the Law is said to be fulfilled in them. How? Why imputatively, or in point of legal estimation. It is therefore a doctrine that may be admitted as genuine, that believers are as righteous as Christ in Law-reckoning; and what other consequence can follow from the Imputation of our Lord’s Surety-obedience to believers in its infinite value? This then, is a doctrine neither wicked, nor injurious to the adored Emmanuel; a doctrine which makes no encroachment upon the preeminence and prerogative of the glorious Head, nor carries in it the least prejudice to any of his precious truths, but is a part of, and fully consonant to the whole system of Divine Revelation. John Dalziel {The Doctrine of the Unity & Uniformity of Christ’s Surety-righteousness in the Imputation thereof to Believers in its Infinite Value, 1760}

Posted July 30, 2013

{Writings of John Heydon}

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


                 Index of Authors                

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