June 2013

 Posted June 2, 2013

{Selection of the Week}

Regarding that word found in Genesis 1:1; “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth;” I propounded to myself a question thus: The beginning of what? The beginning of that unspeakable and glorious Essence I knew that it could not be; so that I see that it was the beginning of his works, so consequently the beginning of all things that are here made. I stood amazed to think what infinite Wisdom there must be in God to have all the whole creation of heaven and earth, and all the whole government and management thereof, from first to last, already settled in his Unchangeable Will. {Eph.1:11, Acts 15:18, Pv.3:19,20, Is.45:12} The Heavens and their hosts have their courses; the Angels their numbers and their offices; Men their numbers, their acts, their ends, their gifts natural and spiritual; his Word, Ordinances and Means, were all eternally settled in his Will and Knowledge. The doctrine is this; that the beginning of time was the beginning of God’s working, and the beginning of God’s working was the beginning of God’s revealing of his will, settled in Himself from all eternity. “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world;” {Acts 15:18;} which is spoken in respect of his Government, which is according to his will, settled before the world was, and not of the things that are made, for then he must know things by sight, as we do, and so consequently know no more than we do, which is no less than Blasphemy; for if God must see all things done before he knows it, or if he must look out of Himself to know anything; then, we make him like ourselves. We deny his foreknowledge; and we deny Him that which the heathens themselves will not rob their gods of. Therefore, to do this is heathenism, if not worse! If God knew his works from the beginning of the world, he must know it some way; he must know it either by looking in Himself or out of Himself. We will sum up all with this: God saw Adam before he was made. How did God know that there would be an Adam? God knew that all the world would fall in him. How did God know that there would be a federal Covenant made with him? God knew that there would be no promise made to Adam to uphold him in that Covenant. How did God know that there would be no promise given him to uphold him? It must be answered, that God knew his own will. “I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever; nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it; and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been.” {Ecc.3:14,15} “Being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” {Eph.1:11} And so in respect of everything. The Lord knew that Pharaoh would not let the people go; but how did he know that? Because he would harden his heart. {Ex.4:2} The Lord knew that Cyrus would let his people go out of their captivity; but how did God know that? He knew it, because he knew that he would give him power and will to do it. {Is.45:1-4} And so much for this point. Now in respect of the elect of God in particular, “I know,” saith God to Abraham, “that he will command his children,” signifying all his elect, {Gal.3:7,} that they shall keep the way of the Lord. {Gen.18:19} How did he know that? He knew it, because he would write his Law in their hearts. {Jer.31:33, Heb.8:10, Jer.29:10,11} Know that men were made for Jesus Christ also, not for themselves; therefore it could not be for any good that he saw in them before existence, but only and alone for Jesus Christ; it was not for any good that he saw which they needed, nor any good that they could enjoy by it, that moved God to create them; but only and alone for Jesus Christ, and all other motives were too low to move him, only Jesus Christ, all things were made for Him; therefore let us learn to bless Jesus Christ, the Cause of our creation, for we were created for Him, not for ourselves, but for Him only. “For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall he be called.” {Is.54:5} “Know ye that the LORD he is God; it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” {Ps.100:3} “Even every one that is called by my name; for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” {Is.43:7} “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him.” {Col.1:16} “The LORD hath made all things for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” {Pv.16:4} “This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.” {Is.43:21} “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things; to whom be glory forever. Amen.” {Rom.11:36} “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” {Rev.4:11} We were made for him alone, which is more than Eve could say by her husband; for though she was made for him, she was not made by him. Was Eve made of him? Yet she was not made by him; but we are made for Him, and we are made by Him, and we are made of Him. {Eph.5:30} In respect of Adam himself, Adam was formed of the dust of the earth, {Gen.2:7,} there was the substance of every particular member of his body formed or framed, every organ fitly prepared and composed, fit for action, according to their several offices, only wanting a principle of life to put them in action; and this curious formed body is capable of having a wife taken out of it, and yet remain a perfect complete person; thus organized, the Lord breathed in the breath of life; {Gen.2:7;} and when Adam took in that breath, he took it for himself and his wife, for his life was the life of his wife; for it cannot be proved that God breathed in Eve as he did in Adam. {Gen.2:21,22} The Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam. Adam was not dead when God took the rib out of his side, but God operating and working in that life, built him a wife meet for him, though the life that she lived in him was not intelligible, until an intelligible soul was joined to that life; so before she was taken out of him, she was sustained in him, and by him, for she lived in him, and by him, though not yet made meet for him {by form and reason} to have conjugal communion with her; so Jesus Christ was set up from everlasting. “This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” {Eph.5:32} Note also; that as soon as Adam had eaten the forbidden fruit all his posterity was judicially condemned. “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation.” {Rom.5:18} If the question be, how all could be condemned; the answer is plain. “For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners.” {vs.19} The sentence was already passed upon him, and all his posterity. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” {Rom.5:12} For in whom, as our margin will allow; and though death was not executed to the utmost, yet death seizes upon them in their respective times and places. Consider the extent of this death: First, spiritual; Secondly, corporal; Thirdly, eternal. Death first reigned on the spirit or soul, which consisted first in guilt upon the soul. Now where guilt is, there is filth; and where these are, there is enmity against God, so that God can have no communion there; besides, he was wroth, and so forsook them as part of their punishment. So this spiritual death was part of the beginning of his vengeance upon them, which consisted in the Imputation of sin to Adam and his posterity. I say, the Imputation of Sin is the cause of this enmity, and in conjunction with the possessing of this guilt, so is the enmity vented out against God. {Gen.4:4-8, Rev.16:11} So this guilt seizes the soul, disables it to perform its powers over its sensual life, and so being forsaken of God, is captivated by the devil and its own lusts; and as long as that guilt remains they are subject to the devil, in whom they have believed, and to their own lust which they chose to gratify rather than to keep the Law of God. {Eph.2:1-3, 4:18} What is Original Sin? I answer; first negatively, it is not the enmity that is in us, for that is but the effects of sin and not the sin itself, for this spiritual death is but the wages thereof; the loss of God’s image, knowledge, righteousness, true holiness, and understanding darkened; the lusts of the flesh, and all evil inclinations are but the impressions of that sin. Now positively; it is this, the disobedience of Adam; neither is guilt any part thereof; I say, guilt is no part of that sin, but the offense of that one Man; for guiltiness in the conscience, condemnation, blindness of mind, evil concupiscence, hatred of God and his Law, all these are but the impression of that Sin; for if all these be no part of our nature, but followed the Fall, then these cannot be Original Sin, nor any part thereof, for none of these in us is any part of that act of Adam, but the very impressions that this act had upon his own soul and body, as we may see it upon his posterity, and feel it in and upon ourselves. For if sin, condemnation, death spiritual, corporal, and eternal, came in by One Man, and by One Disobedience of that one Man, then it appears that there was no act required of any of the sons of Adam as a Condition upon which the sentence of life and death depended, or to make that disobedience of his theirs. But the former is true. {Rom.5:12-21, Heb.9:27} Let us now come to Christ, so I say this doctrine, that there is no Act required of the sons of Adam to entitle them in the Covenant of God in Christ; no more than there was to entitle them in Adam’s Covenant; neither can any of the sons of Adam by any act of theirs prevent their being enrolled in these two Great Court-Rolls of Heaven; as for Adam’s Roll, it is a great one; that is, universal. Thou may quarrel with it; but, “Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou; or thy work, He hath no hands? Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou?” {Is.45:9,10} And for the Roll of Christ; “Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him.” {Is.40:13,14} So that as no Act can interest in neither of these, so no Act can disinterest by way of prevention. “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever; nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it; and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.” {Ecc.3:14} But for the first of these, that no Act is required of us to entitle us in the Blessing of that Covenant of Christ, no more than in the Adamic Covenant, for if there had, then this Covenant with Christ should not be so effectual to Life as Adam’s was to Death. Now if this Covenant with Christ is not so effectual as that with Adam, it must be for some of these following causes. First, the obedience required of Christ was not so perfect as that required of Adam; or, Christ was not so full of merit, as Adam was of de-merit; or, that God doth not impute this Obedience to the full, or He doth not look to the utmost of the Dignity of the Person that has offered. As for the first of these, the obedience required of Adam could not be but perfect, and except we say that Christ was imperfect, it must be the same, {that is to say, perfect,} we need not say that the Obedience of Christ was more perfect than that of Adam’s; but we must say it was more glorious, infinitely it transcended Adam’s as much as the Person of Christ did transcend the person of Adam. Wherefore we find that God glorious in his Servant Christ. “Behold my Servant, whom I uphold; mine Elect, in whom my soul delighteth.” {Is.42:1} He being God-man, all his obedience was linked with, and perfumed with the odors of the Godhead, therefore called the Righteousness of God. {II Cor.5:21} What shall I say; the Godhead could not obey, but the Godhead having taken Humanity in his Person was capable of obeying, and this Righteousness is God’s Righteousness, both for kind and providing, and acceptation with God, infinitely beyond all the obedience of men and angels; neither was it short; for, “Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone that believes.” {Rom.10:4} Therefore it is not, nor cannot be short or wanting of that which God required of Adam; besides, the Relationship of Christ to his Father puts such a lustre upon all his Obedience, that the Father, before his Son has finished it, by a pretty good while, {as I may so say with reverence,} cannot forbear speaking how he was pleased with it, and ravished with it; {why may not one Person in the Glorious Essence glory in another, as well as one man in another?} “this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” {Mt.3:17} Surely the Father was infinitely pleased when he saw all the garments finished. “The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake.” {Is.42:21} Let us take his Word and believe that the Obedience of Christ is so perfect, that there can be no conditions of life left for us. Secondly, the Obedience of Christ cannot be short of Adam’s, for Adam was to fulfill his by nature, {Rom.2:14,} but Christ did all he did by the power of an endless life, {Heb.7:16,} and so by the Law of the Spirit of adoption. {Rom.8:2} So his Obedience was of infinite value, which Adam’s had not been, even if he had obeyed. Thirdly, it is not for want of Imputation, for it is Imputed to Justification of Life, {Rom.5:18,21,} and that Eternal too, and such a Life that Adam’s obedience could never had entitled to. So much for the active Obedience of Christ; now for his passive; but before I enter into it, I observe, that if there be any conditions left on our part, he must have left it to do on his part. Now I ask, what part of the Law it is that he has left undone? For if there be something to be done by us, it is not done by him, so his active obedience is not perfect; but if it be perfect, then all that we do as a condition is more than the Law requires for righteousness. Let us see if the conditions be not left in his passive Obedience, and if it be not there, we will say there is none. Now in order to his sufferings, sin must be transferred from us to him, or no Justice can lay hold of him; for God’s wrath cannot kindle this sacrifice without this wood, {Sin,} for no Law can curse without sin. {Christ bear the sin of his elect and the Punishment for Sin, and the Punishment of Sin. I say, that Jesus Christ had the Offense laid on him; that is, Adam’s disobedience and our actual sin, the punishment for that disobedience, and the guilt of all, both original and actual, the Punishment of Sin to the utmost of God’s Wrath.} Now that it {sin} is laid upon him, needs not much proof, but amplification; {Is.53:6, II Cor.5:21;} for that Christ was made sin, is not so much a question, as how? If it be demanded, how was Jesus Christ made sin for us? Since it is the blasphemy to say that Christ was personally a sinner, then he must be made sin by Imputation. Had I been to preach to Adam with the ministry that I have received, I would have told him, that though the act was his proper act, yet the offense was Christ’s by virtue of Christ’s being a substituted Head of a constituted body, as himself {Adam} had once been, and that he was the figure of him that was to come. Let us see what the prophet Isaiah had preached, that preached about eight hundred years before Christ came in the flesh; for Isaiah would have preached and told him that, “unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given,” {Is.9:6;} and Isaiah might as well have preached to Adam as to them in his days, “Adam, when thou hid thy face in the garden, thou hid it from Him that came to publish this to thee, surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; and he was wounded for our transgressions. All we like sheep have gone astray, and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. {Is.53:3-6} How is all this to be understood but by virtue of a Covenant Constitution. Whoever opposes the doctrine, must either say that the sin of the elect was not imputed to Christ at all, or it has been imputed some other way than by Covenant Constitution, or that the Covenant by which their sins was Christ’s was in order of contrivance after the Fall. First, but some may say, what need you labor so much for this point, if we own that the sin of the elect was Christ’s by virtue of Covenant Contract; is it not enough? I answer, that to deny this, is all one as to bring down the Covenant in time; for if the Fall was first foreseen, and then a Covenant of Redemption contrived, this I say, brings down the Covenant in time, for the Fall must have time; and if the Fall must have time, and the Covenant of Redemption after the Fall, then the Covenant of Redemption must be brought in time; and it is not all the pretenses of thrusting it into eternity that will avoid a distance between the Fall and the Covenant of Redemption, by virtue of which the sin of the elect became Christ’s. Now tell me whether I am beating the air in this point or no; for if it be this Covenant that constitutes a body of Head and members, and this Covenant cannot be settled without the Fall and the Fall must have seven days at least; so without eight days the Covenant cannot be settled; so from the eighth day up to eternity Christ is not a Head, for he has no body, and the body is no body, for it has not a Head; and this must necessarily follow upon the denial of this Truth. If the doctrine be denied, Christ was not a Surety in the Fall; but this I say, as Adam was Head and Surety of Eve, Christ was Head and Surety of Adam. I say then as the Apostle; “but I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man.” {I  Cor.11:3} If the elect was not thus secured in Christ before the Fall, then the elect was beloved out of Christ. This would imply that they were chosen out of Christ to be put into Christ; for the denial of Christ’s Suretyship in Adam’s Covenant lets in these absurdities, with many others too tedious to name or mention; besides it supposes a bridge over that Gulf, to pass over from heaven to hell. Let me comment upon that text found in Luke 16:23. “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.” Why Christ is here called Abraham both proves and illustrates the matter; for Abraham was the Head of a constituted body, and therefore a Type of Christ; so that the bosom of Abraham here signifies that Covenant which as a bosom embraced all his constituted body. Although this doctrine was and is denied by him and others, “in hell he lifted up his eyes, and seeth Lazarus in his bosom.” Further I observe, that upon his desiring of Abraham to send Lazarus, Abraham answers him, {vs.26,} that besides Lazarus having had his evil things, and he his good, that there was a Gulf fixed, so that they that were in that bosom that would pass to the damned, could not; nor they that were with the damned, that would pass from them to that bosom, could not. Therefore I observe that the cause why there is no passing from out of that bosom to the damned, nor from the damned to that bosom is not because neither of them would, but because there is a Gulf fixed. Now what this Gulf is, is the matter in hand. I think of all the depths of the mystery of the Gospel, this is the deepest; namely, the non-imputation of sin, so those that are in that Bosom or Covenant, God would not impute sin to them, because he imputed it to the Head Christ. Now if Adam, and all the elect in him had not been secured by this Covenant or Suretyship of Christ, they might have gone or passed over, but Christ tells us that they could not although they would. So we see that this is what the Apostle saith, “so then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” {Rom.9:16} “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” {vs.18} “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” {Rom.4:8} “Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” {Ps.32:2} Is not this the very un-passable Gulf? For who can pass to hell to whom the Lord imputeth not sin? So I have in short confirmed the doctrine, that when Adam fell, he and all the elect were secured in Christ. The doctrine is this, that the elect could not be separated from God, except Christ was separated from him. Furthermore I lay down this doctrine, that there is no act of the sons of Adam that can entitle them in either of these covenants, or any act of theirs can prevent their being in either of these covenants. But you will say, what is it then that doth put them in these covenants and give property to them thus secured in these covenants? I answer, the question is twofold; first, it was neither thy acts, nor the acts of Adam that put thee in this Covenant, but God’s Ordination, and constituting him a general Head of all mankind; but it was his act of disobedience alone that brought death to thee; so it was not thy act of faith, nor the obedience of Christ that put thee in this Covenant, but it was God’s ordaining and constituting Him a Head over his body that put thee in that Covenant; and it was his Obedience alone that brought life to thee and entitled thee to it. David Culy {Glory of the Two Crowned Heads: Adam and Christ, Unveiled. 1726}

Posted June 9, 2013

{Selection of the Week}

Sovereign Reign of Grace: Introduction - The knowledge of God and of his Son Jesus Christ is said to be life eternal. This knowledge is the gift of God, and whatever he gratuitously communicates does not essentially belong to any of its recipients, being a gift from above; the vigor with which it operates is always in proportion to the degree of its communication; hence we can easily account for the manifest disproportion there exists between the attainments of believers in the acquisition of knowledge; “there are diversities of gifts, but the communication of them is by the same Spirit, {I Cor.12:4,} and the end proposed is the spiritual advantage and the increasing profit of the mind, the Spirit of God being the Spirit of Truth, can never be supposed to teach different men different systems as true that are wholly subversive of each other. Men have ever {whatever system they have adopted} found it advantageous to father all their errors upon God, forgetting, however, that it is as impossible for God to contradict himself in his Word, as it is for Him to disgrace himself in his Works. Hence I conclude that as the Spirit of God applies that system, whatever it may be, which is founded in infinite wisdom, He can apply but that one system, as the idea of infinite wisdom eternally precludes the idea of a second choice, as the first effort must be the best. To know what that system is, we must have recourse to the Divine Testimony, and there we find, that Christ is said to be “our life,” to “have life in Himself,” that he is come into the world to seek and to save that which was lost; and this conduct is not imputed to the compassionate feelings of the moment, when our misery gained its dreadful ascendency over the mind, but the ordered result of an Eternal Council; the necessary consequence of a Covenanted Agreement, preparatory to the execution of which, all things were made for Him and by Him. In this light our author considered the subject, and although neither he nor any other adopting the same principles, can boast of an host on their side; yet, they have that to boast of, which is of infinitely greater consequence, for the hosts we see are formed by human interest and human wisdom, but with us is the eternal God. We have his Word, and where his Name is recorded, there will he be to bless it. We have to this day the protecting hand of God visibly with us, for notwithstanding the clamorous opposition of priests and their hirelings, we have continued to the present moment; and as the interest of God and the interest of Truth are one and the same, God can never desert the one without trampling under his feet the glory of his Name and the dignity of his Crown. {End of Introduction} Sovereign Reign of Grace: God’s will is nothing else than God himself willing, consequently it is Omnipotent and Unfrustrable; hence we find it termed by Austin and the schoolmen ‘voluptas omnipotentissima’ {all powerful pleasure} because, whatever God wills cannot fail of being effected. This made Austin say, “Evil men do many things contrary to the revealed will of God, but so great in his wisdom, that he directs all things into those channels which he foreknew.” And again, “No free will of the creature can resist the will of God, for man cannot so will or nil, as to obstruct the Divine Determination, or overcome the Divine Power.” Once more, “it cannot be questioned, but God does all things and ever did, according to his own purpose; the human will cannot resist him, so as to make him do more or less than it is his pleasure to do, since he does what he pleases with the wills of men.” Whatever comes to pass, comes to pass by virtue of this Absolute, Omnipotent will of God, which is the primary and supreme cause of all things. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” {Rev.4:11} “He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” {Dan.4:35} “Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.” {Ps.135:6} “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing, and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.” {Mt.10:29} To all which Austin subscribes, when he says, “Nothing is done, but what the Almighty wills should be done,” as does Luther, whose words are these; “this therefore must stand; namely, the unsearchable will of God, without which nothing exists or acts.” God would not be such if he was not Almighty, and if anything could be done without him. And elsewhere he quotes these words of Erasmus; “supposing there was an earthly prince who could do whatever he would, and none were able to resist him; we might safely say of such an one, that he would certainly fulfill his own desire; in like manner the will of God, which is the first cause of all things, should seem to lay a kind of necessity upon our wills.” The will of God is so the cause of all things, as to be itself without cause, for nothing can be the cause of that which is the cause of everything. So that the Divine will is the ultimate standard of all our enquiries, for when we ascend to that we can go no farther. Hence we find every matter resolved ultimately into the mere sovereign pleasure of God, as the spring and occasion of whatsoever is done in heaven and earth. “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” {Mt.11:25} “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” {Lk.12:32} “I will; be thou clean.” {Mt.8:3} “And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would; and they came unto him.” {Mk.3:13} “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.” {Js.1:18} “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” {Jn.1:13} “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” {Rom.9:15,16} And no wonder that the will of God should be the main spring that sets all inferior wheels in motion, and should likewise be the rule by which he goes in all his dealings with his creatures. Since nothing out of God; that is, exterior to himself, can possibly induce him to will or nil one thing rather than another; deny this, and you at one stroke destroy his Immutability and Independency. Luther, says, “God is a Being, whose will acknowledges no cause, neither is it for us to prescribe rules for his sovereign pleasure, or call him to an account for what he does; he has neither superior nor equal, and his will is the rule of all things; he did not therefore will such and such things because they were in themselves right, and he was bound to will them, but they are therefore equitable and right because he wills them. The will of man indeed, may be influenced and moved, but God’s will never can to assert the contrary is to undeify him.” We should therefore be careful not to give up the Omnipotence of God, under a pretense of exalting his holiness; for he is infinite in both, therefore neither should be set aside or obscured. To say that God absolutely nills the being and commission of sin, while experience convinces us that sin is committed everyday is to represent the Deity as a weak, impotent being, who would fain have things go otherwise than they do, but cannot accomplish his desire; on the other hand, to say that he willeth sin, doth not in the least detract from the holiness and rectitude of his nature; because, whatever God wills, as well as whatever he does, cannot be eventually evil; materially evil it may be; but, as was just said, it must ultimately be directed to some wise and just end, otherwise he could not will it, for his will is righteous and good, and the sole rule of right and wrong, &c. As God knows nothing now which he did not know from all eternity, so he wills nothing now which he did not will from everlasting. Furthermore, the absolute will of God is the original spring and efficient cause of his people’s salvation. I say the original and efficient; for, sensu complexus {sense of the complex} there are other intermediate causes of their salvation, which however all result from, and are subservient to, this primary one, the will of God.  Such are his everlasting choice of them to eternal life, the eternal Covenant of Grace entered into by the Trinity, in behalf of the elect, &c. Since this absolute will of God is both immutable and omnipotent, we infer, that the salvation of every one of the elect it most infallibly certain, and can by no means be prevented, &c. God is essentially unchangeable in himself, were he otherwise he would be confessedly imperfect; since whatever changes must change for the better or for the worse; whatever alteration anything undergoes, that being must, ipso facto, either become more excellent than it was, or lose some of the excellency which it had, but neither of these can be the case with the Deity, he cannot change for the better, for that would necessarily imply, that he was not perfectly good before; he cannot change for the worse, for then he could not be perfectly good after that change. Therefore God is unchangeable, and this is the uniform voice of scripture: “For I am the LORD, I change not.” {Mal.3:6} “With whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” {Js.1:17} “But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.” {Ps.102:27} “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” {Heb.13:8} God is likewise absolutely unchangeable with regard to his purposes and promises: “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent; hath he said, and shall he not do it; or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” {Num.23:19} “The Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent; for he is not a man that he should repent.” {I Sam.15:29} “I the LORD have spoken it; it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent.” {Ez.24:14} “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” {Rom.11:29} “He abideth faithful; he cannot deny himself.” {II Tim.2:13} The decrees of God are not only immutable as to himself, it being inconsistent with his nature to alter in his purposes, or change his mind, but that they are immutable likewise with respect to the objects of those decrees; so that, whatsoever God hath determined, concerning every individual person or thing, shall surely and infallibly be accomplished in and upon them. Hence we find that he actually sheweth mercy on whom he hath decreed to show mercy, and hardeneth whom he resolved to harden. {Rom.9:18} “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” {Is.46:10} Consequently his Eternal Predestination of men and things must be immutable as Himself, and so far from being reversible, can never admit of the least variation. The Apostle says, who may resist the will of God? {Rom.9:19} By the word ‘will’ Paul gives us to understand, that God actually willeth those very things unto which men are hardened by him. When Paul adds, who may resist; he in fact points out the necessity, which they whom God hardens, are under of doing those things. When God would harden Pharaoh, in order that he might not obey the commandment; it was the actual will of God that Pharaoh should not obey. Yea, God himself wrought in Pharaoh to oppose the commandment sent him. Pharaoh therefore did in reality that what God willed him to do; yea, he did no more than what God himself had wrought in him to do; nor was it in Pharaoh’s power to act otherwise than he did. You will conclude that these are hard sayings; “nay, but O man, who art thou that repliest against God?” {9:20} Paul does not accommodate, nor does he soften down a single syllable of what he had just asserted. The sacred penman does not deny that they who are hardened by God perish according to the will of God. The Apostle does not admit it to be even possible, that a person who is hardened from above can perform what is good. Paul {instead of setting himself to answer our reasoning} contents himself with giving us a solemn caution, not to sit in judgment on the decrees of God, assuring us, that we cannot arraign the Deity at our own bar, without being guilty of the utmost boldness and impiety. Does God turn the wicked into hell, with all the nations that forget God? Is it a crime to say, he resolved to do it before hand? {Rom.9:13-23} All things were not only made for Him, but by Him; and if we admit wisdom, infinite wisdom, concerned in the execution of the work, we shall find that all things were made in the best possible state, to accelerate the accomplishment of the perfect end proposed. For the admission of any circumstance whatever, that tends to impede its accomplishment, is either a mark of weakness or ignorance; for if power exists, it is its province to prevent the impediment; and it is the part of Wisdom to point out its existence. As neither of the above considerations can apply to Christ, {who is emphatically called the All-wise and Omnipotent God,} I conclude, that everything was performed with an unerring eye, to the accomplishment of the design, without any deviation whatever in any single circumstance; and particularly man, either in his creation, in the ends and motives that determined his conduct, or his fall the result of both. Since the Scriptures of God positively assert, that Christ is a Lamb, and the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, and that all things were made by Him, and for Him in that capacity; and that man, the most glorious part of the works of creation, received a law from the hands of his Maker, which law had he obeyed, his obedience would have defeated the end proposed in constituting Christ the Sacrificial Lamb. We ought to enquire what could be the design of God in giving Adam such a law. Most assuredly God had a design in this, and a design perfectly in unison with the exaltation of Christ, to his Mediatorial Office; for, be it known, that in the mind, in the word, and in the works of God, there can be no schism. It is written, and that by the finger of God, that Jesus was exalted to be a Prince, in the management of the complicated concerns of every system, particularly of those that bear any affinity with men; who alone, amidst all the systems that have been formed, are called his portion; as if all other things and beings were no more than the necessary appendages of his church. “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” {Acts 5:31} United with his Princely dignity is his saving power, “and a Saviour, &c.” In consequence of this lifting up, “his goings forth were of old, from everlasting.” {Mic.5:2} Therefore; if God gave to Adam a law, with a design that Adam should obey that law, and in consequence of its obedience, secure the happiness of that state in which he was created. Adam did not obey, though God designed he should, according to the above reply. Adam did not obey, though God delighted in his obedience; Adam did not obey though God expected it; for whatever God designs, he expects the accomplishment; and if God delighted in the prosperous happiness of Adam, arising from his obedience, and expected that obedience to the given law, he must have been disappointed in the one, and deprived of the other. {According to this unscriptural scheme.} Attendant upon disappointment is misery, and misery commensurate with the nature of the disappointment; the disappointment arising from the above considerations must be an infinite one, {I really shudder in following this felonious sentiment to that gibbet it richly deserves,} being the disappointment of God himself, consequently attendant with infinite misery; and if thus infinitely miserable, he is rendered incapable of constituting others happy; for how can he communicate that to others, of which he himself is deprived; and, if disappointed once, he may continue to meet with disappointments through an endless succession of eternal ages. The thought is blasphemous; and blasphemous as it is, it is the necessary consequence of the above blasphemous reply. Let the reply, with its infernal cargo of horrid consequences be hissed with abhorrence around the world. “We have a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place.” {II Pet.1:19} This Divine Testimony yields an impenetrable covert, to screen us from every blast of error. Here we find that amidst all the fluctuating state of human affairs, the affairs of God are undisturbed. “I am the LORD, I change not” is his memorial still. {Mal.3:6} Suppose we contrast the reply with the known attributes of God? Did God, before the fall, view the apparently calamitous event? Yes, this cannot be denied, for he seeth the end from the beginning. “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” {Is.46:10} Did he possess power to prevent it? Yes, for he is the Lord of Sabaoth, being the original source, from whence all power proceeded. He must, of necessity of nature, possess that attribute in an infinitely higher sense than all the power, in all creatures collectively considered. The non-prevention of it must therefore be the result of a determination of mind; and the determination of such a being must have for its governing principle, the best, and the happiest consequences. {The exaltation of Christ, and the complete salvation of all the elect in Him.} Before I come to ascertain by the Divine Testimony, the design of God in giving the law in question, you will permit me to propose a few questions, for the perusal of the contemplative reader. Did God, and that from all eternity, design that his people should be redeemed by the death of Christ? While you retain, or profess to retain, any veneration for the Bible, you cannot answer in the negative. Did God design to redeem them in any other state but as fallen creatures? There are but two states in which they possibly can be considered, either innocent or guilty; as innocent they could not be redeemed, for the innocent needs no ransom; then they must be considered as guilty; for Christ was made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law; under the curse of the law, and their guilt reduced them to that state. Has God ever decreed any end, without implying in the decree, the means that will accomplish that end? If he has, he has designed to obtain an end, without means to effect it. To believe this, is to suppose, that God decrees not only without any certainty of obtaining the end, but also without a possibility of attaining it; for there can be no possible effect produced without a corresponding cause. Let those who cavil at the truths of God, seal their tongues in silence, until they see that all the ways of God are mysteriously awful, yet mercifully consistent. Has the Fall been succeeded by a dispensation of greater wisdom, greater goodness, greater love and compassionate tenderness, than could otherwise have been revealed? Yes; the mysteries of electing love, the unsought grace of the Everlasting Covenant, generate in the mind such exalted, and such transporting ideas of the Most High, that nature, could we even pry into all her hidden secrets, and explain all her mysterious laws, appears but a feeble effect of his power; while the other unbosoms his heart, and brings the weary and distracted mind of the guilty to repose upon the covenanted lap of uncreated faithfulness. What sight can be compared with a God in our nature bleeding, that the wounded infant, weltering in his blood might live? Ezek.16:6-14. Do the children of God here and in Heaven, consider themselves under greater obligations for their redemption than creation? Yes; for in Heaven, where every power of the mind is properly attuned to celebrate the praises of God, there is no mention made of creation, but redemption, {Rev.1:5,6,} and this is perfectly consonant with the nature of things, for the means that obtain an end, have no glory, by reason of the glory that excelleth in the end itself. It is admitted, {such in fact are the professions of all that have an attachment to revealed religion, whether Calvinists or Neonomians,} that greater glory results to God, and greater happiness flows to man, in consequence of the ‘new order’ of things, than could have been, had Adam retained the dignity of his original state. How can we exonerate man from some kind of obligation to the Devil, for the introduction of that misery into the world, which has been succeeded by such a bright effulgence of compassion, which, while it absorbs the guilty tear, and removes misery from the heart, awes the power of Satan into nihility, and obliges him, with a distracted roar, to contract his claw and drop his prey, “thus the prey is taken from the mighty.” The idea of an event, {which involves such astonishing consequences,} taking place without the consent, {nay, if God gave them a law in order to prevent it,} contrary to the will, against the inclination, and in opposition to the designs of the Supreme Governor of the world is so derogatory to God, so dishonorable to his Character, and so contrary to the written Word, that I cannot admit it; for, upon its very surface I read a vile impeachment of all those attributes that endear his Government and that constitute God the Object of my worship. When I view the circumstances that existed before, and that succeeded the event, I am additionally confirmed in my opinion, respecting its appointment; and I will defy the world to prove, with all its subtilized sophistry, any difference between the fore-knowledge of God and his Divine decrees. The circumstances I refer to are inseparably connected with the Eternal Settlements of the Covenant of Grace. Why then will any impute that to God, which would render a polluted wretch hateful and detestable to wretched men? Why should God’s government be tarnished by such a foul and unfounded obloquy? When God said that, “all was very good,” he had no reference whatever to any supposed stability in the things created to abide in that state. God knew the contrary, and his having given all things unto Christ, before their existence, is a proof of his appointment. Had God designed the streams of happiness to flow from the pure fountain of nature’s excellency, could Satan contaminate the fountain that God had made pure, or dam up the streams that he commanded to flow, and gladden the world if he could, against the will of the Lord, and in opposition to his Divine Appointment, our miserable minds are called upon to contemplate a reigning Devil, a ruined world, a vanquished and a disappointed God. The works of the Lord were all impeccably good, internally so, for all were perfect in their kind. They were good in their tendencies to produce those effects that accelerated the accomplishment of the Divine Plan. The decrees of God, and the motives of human actions, are essentially different; yet, under the inspection of Divine wisdom and under the control of Divine power, they are necessary parts of that indivisible whole that accomplishes the decreed end. Men in their actions, are as guilty as if they opposed the designs of God; for the decrees being hid, cannot be a motive of action. Numberless instances are easily adduced to prove this. The crucifixion of Christ was an event decreed of God; for this end he came into the world; he could not be crucified without means, the means and the end being inseparably connected. We find that both are equally the subject of prophecy; and as the prophecy is founded upon the Decree, both must be equally the subject of that decree. The oracles of Truth inform us, respecting Christ who was to be crucified, that he should be a “stone of stumbling and a rock of offence,” &c., {Is.8:14,} being an offence to them, their angry passions were soon irritated, and under the influence of Satanic power, they released a murderer, and crucified the Lord of life and glory. Are we to suppose that the ignominious death of the cross was the effect of diabolic influence, and of Jewish opposition, irrespective of the Appointments of God? We find in the word, that his crucifixion was decreed; and that the Jews, as the means, were decreed also; and further, that the decree was not the result of their time-state rebellion, but from eternity. “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” {Acts 2:23} “And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient; whereunto also they were appointed.” {I Pet.2:8} The existence of Judas, to complete the works of redemption as a mean, was as necessary as the existence of Christ. One of the ends of Christ’s death was the fulfillment of prophecy; he could not have been betrayed without Judas, for Judas was appointed thereunto; and the appointment of him forever exclude all others from the power of doing it; and had it not been so, the Scriptures would not have been fulfilled. “Those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” {Jn.17:12} I know the squeamishness of moderate divines, and of moderate professors, {though the idea of moderate Christians and moderate divines has something in it very problematical,} when speaking, or more properly when thinking of speaking of the decrees of God, instead of adhering to the plain testimony of Scripture, instead of feeding the doubtful mind with established truth, they substitute a palaver of their own, which is only intelligible to the Egyptians. None can effect a cure, but him who is constituted our Covenant Head, and he effects the cure, not by laying an additional weight upon the palsied shoulders of agonized humanity, but by giving the soul, to see that according to the design and eternal purposes of Jehovah, that there is a divine oneness between Christ and his people; and that all preceding dispensations were only preparatory means in the hands of God, to the introduction of this. Christ was constituted from eternity the Head of his church, which is his body; and if so, his church must of necessity, had a virtual existence in Him, otherwise it is impossible for us to conceive of a perfect Head, irrespective of the body over which he presides; and as the blessed Redeemer was constituted not only a governing, but a suffering Head, the number of members which composed his body were ascertained, and the degree of sufferings he was to endure specified. As a head of a public body, “Adam was a figure of him that was to come.” We existing in the loins of Adam, in consequence of that existence, are involved, and that justly, in the guilt of that act; and, as Adam never existed without bearing this relation to all the generations that sprang from him, so neither was Christ considered as the anointed of the Father, irrespective of his church. What God discovers to us in time, was eternally effected in his Divine purposes; and the purpose of God gives existence to all persons and things. This Divine Union is thus represented by the late Dr. Gill; being so truly excellent in itself, and so consistent with the Scriptures, that I shall introduce it in the author’s own words:

I. An election union in Christ: This flows from the love of God, election presupposes love; {II Thes.2:13;} particular persons are said to be chosen in Christ, as Rufus, {Rom.16:13,} and the apostle says of himself and others, that God had chosen them “in Christ”, and that before the foundation of the world. {Eph.1:4} Election gives a being in Christ, a kind of subsistence in him; though not an actual being, yet at least a representative being; even such an one as that they are capable of having grants of grace made to them in Christ, and of being blessed with all spiritual blessings in him, and that before the world began; {II Tim.1:9, Eph.1:3,4;} and how they can be said to have a being in Christ, and yet have no union to him, I cannot conceive. Besides, in election there is a near relation commences between Christ and the elect; he is given to be an Head to them, and they are given as members to him; and as such they are chosen together, he first in order of nature, as the Head; and then they as members of him; and nothing is more common with sound divines than to express themselves in this manner, when speaking of the election of Christ, and his people in him; particularly, says Dr. Goodwin “as in the womb, head and members are not conceived apart, but together, as having relation to each other; so were we and Christ {as making up one mystical body to God} formed together in the eternal womb of election.” And in the same place he says, “Jesus Christ was the Head of election and of the elect of God; and so in order of nature elected first, though in order of time we were elected together; in the womb of election he, the Head, came out first, and then we, the members.” Now what relation can well be thought of nearer, or more expressive of a close union, than this of head and members? Christ is the chosen Head of the church, the church the chosen body of Christ, “the fulness of him that fills all in all,” {Eph.1:22,23;} hence is the safety and security of the saints, being in Christ through electing grace, and united to him; and therefore said to be “preserved in” Him; herein and hereby put into his hand, made the sheep of his hand, out of whose hands none can pluck them, nor they ever fall. “To them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.” {Jude 1:1} II. There is a conjugal union between Christ and the elect, which also flows from love, and commenced in eternity. By the institution of natural marriage, the persons between whom it is contracted become one flesh, as did Adam and Eve; and a nearer union than this cannot well be conceived of; whose marriage was a shadow and representation of that between Christ and his church; whom, having espoused, he nourishes and cherishes as his own flesh; and they become one, and have one and the same name, Christ, that is, Christ mystical,. {Eph.5:29-32, I Cor.12:12} Now though the open marriage relation between Christ and particular persons takes place at conversion, which is the day of their espousals to him, {Jer.2:2,} and the more public notification of it will be when all the elect of God are gathered in, and shall in one body be as a bride adorned for her husband, and the marriage of the Lamb shall be come; and this declared in the most open manner, and the nuptials solemnized most magnificently, {Rev.21:2;} yet the secret act of betrothing was in eternity, when Christ, being in love with the chosen ones, asked them of his Father to be his spouse and bride; and being given to him, he betrothed them to himself in loving-kindness, and from thenceforward looked on them as standing in such a relation to him; and which is the foundation of all other after acts of grace unto them; hence, because of his marriage relation to his church, he became her Surety, and gave himself for her, shed his precious blood to sanctify and cleanse her from all the impurities of the fall, and other transgressions; that he might present her to himself a glorious church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing; even just such a church, and in such glory he had viewed her in, when he first betrothed her. {Eph.5:25-27} So with the Jews there was a private betrothing before open marriage, and the consummation of it; at which betrothing the relation of husband and wife commenced, {Deut.22:23,24,} and so Christ is said to be the Husband of the Gentile church before she was in actual being. {Is.54:5} III. There is a federal union between Christ and the elect, and they have a covenant subsistence in Him as their Head and Representative. The covenant flows from, and is the effect of the love, grace, and mercy of God; these are spoken of along with it as the foundation of it, {Ps.89:2,3,33,34, Is.54:10,} hence it is commonly called the Covenant of Grace, and this was made from everlasting; Christ was set up as the Mediator of it, and his goings forth in it were so early, {Pv.8:23, Micah 5:2,} eternal life was promised before the world began, and blessings of grace so soon provided, {Tit.1:2, II Tim.1:9,} all which proves the antiquity of this covenant. Now this covenant was made with Christ not as a single person, but as a common Head; not for himself, or on his own account only, but for and on the account of his people; as the covenant of works was made with Adam, as the federal head of all his posterity; hence he is said to be the figure or type of him that was to come, {Rom.5:14,} so the Covenant of Grace was made with Christ as the Federal Head of his spiritual offspring; and for this reason a parallel is ran between them, {Rom.5:1-21, I Cor.15:1-58,} as if they had been the only two men in the world, the one called the first, the other the second man. Christ represented his people in this covenant, and they had a representative union to him in it; all that he promised and engaged to do, he promised and engaged in their name and on their account; and when performed it was the same with God, as if it had been done by them; and what he received, promises and blessings of grace, he received in their name, and they received them in Him, being one with him as their common Head and Representative. IV. There is a legal union between Christ and the elect, the bond of which is his suretiship for them, flowing from his strong love and affection to them. In this respect Christ and they are one in the eye of the law, as the bondsman and debtor are one in a legal sense; so that if one of them pays the debt bound for, it is the same as if the other did. Christ is the Surety of the better testament; he drew nigh to God, gave his bond, laid himself under obligation to pay the debts of his people, and satisfy for their sins; who being as such accepted of by God, he and they were considered as one; and this is the ground and foundation of his payment of their debts, of his making satisfaction for their sins, of the imputation of their sins to him, and of the imputation of his righteousness to them. In short, it is the saint’s antecedent union and relation to Christ in eternity, in the several views of it in which it has been considered, which is the ground and reason of all that Christ has done and suffered for them, and not for others; and of all the blessings of grace that are or shall be bestowed upon them, and which are denied to others; the reason why he became incarnate for them, and took upon him human nature with a peculiar regard to them, was because they were children given to him; and why he laid down his life for them, because they were his sheep; and why he gave himself for them, because they were his church; and why he saved them from their sins, because they were his people. {Heb.2:13,14, Jn.10:14,15, Eph.5:25, Mt.1:21.} In a word, union to Christ is the first thing, the first blessing of grace flowing from love and effected by it; and hence is the application of all others; “of him are ye in Christ Jesus”, first loved and united to Christ, and then it follows, “who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.” {I Cor.1:30} So Dr. Goodwin observes, that union with Christ is the first fundamental thing of justification and sanctification and all. Christ first takes us, and then sends his Spirit; he apprehends us first; it is not my being regenerate that puts me into a right of all these privileges; but it is Christ takes me, and then gives me his Spirit, faith, holiness, etc. {John Gill, Body of Divinity, 1767}

The fourfold view we have of this Divine union in the above representation, is grounded upon the Divine Testimony, and has for its basis the Authority of God; and while it secures the glory to his name, it establishes forever the absolute perpetuity of that state, to which the guilty offender is admitted by the parental efforts of electing love. As this choice which God made of his people was independent of their concurrence, so neither does the certainty of its application nor its continuance arise from the unison tenor of their minds with the means of its manifestation. “Sinner I have loved thee, I have passed by thee, in thy blood, I said unto thee, in thy blood live.” There exists in all men naturally, a disposition of mind which induces them to believe, that God takes a gracious notice of them in proportion to the pious resolutions they have formed, and the piety {falsely so called} of their lives. They cannot suppose it possible that God has fixed his affections upon a guilty wretch, whose swinish nature has led him to the thickest and deepest mire. They suppose that we are first to choose God and his ways, and then there is no fear but God will choose us. This is not the established order of Divine Operations. “Ye have not chosen me but I have chosen you, &c.” {Jn.16:6} The choice originated with God. “I am found of them that sought me not.” As this choice is the act of that God who cannot be mistaken, he therefore knowing the end from the beginning could not choose them from a mistaken view of their real characters. Men choose, and they as far as it in them lies, counteract the effects of their original choice, because they are deceived in the objects of that choice; but blessed be God, this cannot in any possible sense whatever apply to him; for his Divine Perfections cannot admit the idea of a secondary act, superior in its effects to the primary efforts of his mind. God knew from the remotest period, what he would constitute them in time, and to what state they would be brought by their disobedience at any given period of that time-state existence, he having laid upon him {Christ} the iniquity of us all, must have known them in their number, in their malignity, and in their demerit, otherwise how could the sins, all the sins of God’s people, be charged upon Christ; and how could the charge by being brought home with all its weight to him heal us, without a union being constituted between Christ and his people, and a covenant responsibility on his part for them? However awful the scene, for this end Christ was the elect of God, for this end and purpose; and God knowing the state of his chosen people, constituted him who never approved of sin, a sin-offering for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. {II Cor.5:21} Having, by an unremitting adherence to the preceptive part of God’s law, obeyed, and by his painful death, met the full penalty annexed to the transgression, he removed the curse and rendered it eternally honorable. The result of both obedience and sufferings, in the language of the Holy Spirit, was well pleasing unto God; pleasing, as it afforded a sufficient protection to the objects of his love, from the awful consequences of sin, and served as an impenetrable shield against the malignant opposition and the destructive power of Satan. “The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honorable.” {Is.42:21} The truth of this is further corroborated by the existence of a covenant, a covenant well-ordered in all things and sure. {II Sam.23:5} Being well ordered it necessarily meets with all the wants and difficulties of God’s people, and in its bosom are contained all that they can need. This covenant is their stay in adversity; it forms an immoveable base for their hope, and assures them a safe conduct through the storm, and a sure protection from danger; and whatever circumstances attend the Christian, whether they are adverse or prosperous, they cannot affect the stability of the covenant or the interest of the Christian in its eternal blessings. “For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.” {Is.54:10} This covenant as it respects us, is all of grace, as it respected Christ with whom it was made. “I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David {Christ} my servant.” {Ps.89:3} It was an solemn arrangement of obedience and sufferings, and having complied with all its terms as our Surety and Head, this Divine Covenant irresistibly operated to the removal of all the obstacles arising from the breach of the Adamic covenant. We were originally branches of that family, and the only method by which we could possibly be betrothed unto another, was by becoming dead to the law; in ourselves it could not be obtained, for the rights of the law are unalienable, but being dead to the law through the body of Christ, we are lawfully married to another. This truly interesting subject is thus expressed by the Holy Spirit; “for the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” {Rom.7:2-4} Now, in consequence of this procedure of mercy and mysterious love, the sinner, or rather the church, is legally constituted the bride of the Lamb. This Divine union has therefore these four divine pillars for its support; the electing love of God, the covenant of eternal mercy, the actual betrothing of the church by Christ, and the justice of God sanctioning the whole, seeing the whole is lawful, just, and right. All the attributes of God are glorified, his truth substantiated, and his mercy magnified; the release therefore of a Christian is neither the effect of an unworthy compromise, nor a disgraceful flight, it is the regular result of eternal determinations, the legal consequences of their effect, the just reward of a suffering Saviour. “As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.” {Zech.9:11} Thy prisoners, perfectly correspondent with the argument that Jesus uses, in order to ascertain the right of the guilty to divine protection; “thine they were, but thou gavest them me.” {Jn.17:6} The design of the gift was this redemption; the consequences of that redemption is an indubitable right to all the blessings of the New Covenant; and in the words above cited, there is a solemn recognition on the part of the Father, of the complete satisfaction arising from the blood-shedding of his Anointed. Samuel Reece {Commentary upon the work of David Culy; entitled: GLORY OF THE TWO CROWNED HEADS, 1800}

Posted June 16, 2013

{Selection of the Week}

God’s Absolute Will & Sovereign Decree: {Especially in Relation to Sin} Sin did not step in unperceived among created beings; no! He, whose single thought at once comprehends eternity’s unbounded round, ordained its being, and fixed its limits with the utmost precision; nor shall a single thought, more or less, than is fixed, in the all-wise plan, be ever found among rational beings. Moral evil, that seemed to threaten with destruction the whole empire of God, is made by infinite wisdom, subservient to the manifesting and glorifying of all his moral excellencies, and must have been ordained and determined for that very end, as evidently appears from the Everlasting Covenant of Grace, in which such ample provision is made to deliver the guilty subjects from the dire effects thereof. Christ could not have been set up from everlasting, and appointed to appear in the fullness of time, to purge away sin by the sacrifice of himself, had not the being of it then been fixed and determined. His engagement with the Divine Father in eternity is a full and clear demonstration that sin or moral evil is no accidental thing, but a wise and holy determination of God, for the manifestation of his own glory, in the Person of his dear Son, the adorable Redeemer, from it. Sin could not have existence contrary to the Divine will, it’s being must be a consequent of the sovereign purpose. This is demonstrable from the infinite wisdom and unlimited power of God, by which he might, with the most perfect ease, have prevented its being, from its increase, and the extensive spread of its dire effects, when God could have stopped its progress in a moment, at any period of time, had it been his pleasure. And also, from the glorious provision and remedy prepared for its destruction, and the delivery of millions of its guilty subjects from its baleful and ruinous effects. These things, among others, indubitably prove, that the being of moral evil was a certain consequence of the Divine purpose; for if God had not determined its existence, it could not have had being; unless we suppose sin to be greater than God. It is objected, that this sentiment interferes with man’s free agency. What is free agency? Why, as applied to any being save God, it is what Luther calls "freewill - a downright lie;" for, who else is, or can be a free agent, but one who acts in thought, word, and deed, independent of any influence out of himself. This I confess is what proud man would like to be, and, though he is not so, he would like to be thought so; and therefore, those hirelings who will sell their consciences to teach such a doctrine, are the most approved and the best rewarded by their deluded followers. Such an agent, man never was yet, not even in his primeval standing. Man may, or may not; sometimes he does, sometimes he does not act freely in what he does and thinks, but there is a wide difference between a man’s doing what he does freely, and his doing what he does independently. This, however, is too plain in the language of common sense, and therefore, easy to be understood to need explanation, or to admit of refutation; consequently, I need only remark, in further refutation of the supposed ostensible objection, that man’s crime can only originate in his not being a free agent, for where there is free agency, there can be no law to prohibit or bind, and no law no sin; a bond on law, being directly opposed to the very idea of independency, bring the Deity under law, and God himself at that moment ceases to be a free agent, insomuch, that Toplady has wisely argued, "that Christ himself was an absolute necessitarian," indeed he might have gone much further, and said that God himself in his covenant character, is not a free agent but a necessitarian, for such truly is the case, inasmuch, as he bound himself over to the service of the elect, from which he is not at liberty to retract. This therefore, disposes at once the foolish idea, which says, man cannot be the subject of crime, unless he acts as a free agent, not considering the difference between even a slave’s doing what he does freely, and doing it independently. Did either sinner or saint act as free agent, the latter would have whereof to boast with "a well done I," in direct opposition to Jer.9:23,24, 10:13, Gal.2:20; while the sinner Judas, must be regarded as becoming the son or heir of perdition of his own freewill, and Pilate consigning over Christ to be crucified without power being administer or given to him, for the express purpose of his doing as he did. No sinner, the most diabolical, ever yet acted as a free agent; although every sinner, in the perpetration of the vilest deeds, invariably commits such acts freely, and from choice; the latter therefore, is sufficient to constitute crime, and render the subject of sin obnoxious to the justice of that God in whom he lives, moves, and has his being. Jeremiah most positively avers, "I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps," Jer.10:23. Daniel also is equally positive in his declaration, that "the wicked shall do wickedly;" Dan.12:10; while Solomon does not hesitate to say, "the disposings of the heart in man, are of the Lord;" texts point blank against the notion of man’s being a free agent, though in perfect concord with the Scripture doctrines of man’s accountability and culpability, the former originating in man’s dependence, as a creature, justly obnoxious to the revealed commands of his Creator, as the rule of his actions; while the latter consists in his violating freely, by choice, the Decalogue, imposed as the guide of his actions; although in breaking the same, he, like those who crucified the Son of God, did only fulfill the determinate counsel or decree of God, in which Jehovah himself had appointed not only when, how, and where every human being should come into the world, but when, how, and where, every human being should go out of the same. This, therefore, ought to suffice for an answer to the fourth foolish objection. "Therefore," said the Son of God, to account for the unbelief of the Jews, "they could not believe because that Esaias had said again, he hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their hearts, that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them." Jn.12:40. "These things," says Calvin, "many do refer to sufferance, as if, in forsaking the reprobate, he suffered them to be blinded by Satan. But that solution is too fond, forasmuch as the Holy Ghost in plain words expresseth, that they are stricken with blindness and madness by the just judgment of God.” Such is the ridiculously foolish exposition of Scripture, given by modern Calvinists, who contend that when the Holy Ghost teacheth that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, he only means that God permitted his heart to be hardened; wherefore, with what pertinence does Calvin rebut such sophists, by turning their objections on themselves, by rendering the text, Ex.8:15, as follows, "but when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he permitted his heart to be hardened," &c.; although this fantastical twisting of the sacred text goes no further towards the cause of freewill than does the true sense of it; for, where the sinner is hardened, it matters not who hardens him, seeing he is thereby incapacitated for free volition." What then becomes of the golden calf called man’s free agency? Is it not, as I before stated, what Luther designates, "freewill - a downright lie," designed to make the creature on a level with the Creator. This, however, by modern divines, is styled horrid blasphemy, "originating," to use the language of a fifth objector, "in my not distinguishing between God’s prescience and his decretive will." In this objection, I am urged to adopt a system, {to avoid the charge of blasphemy} which represents the Almighty as foreseeing and foreknowing the existence of events in his dominions, which he did not will should occur; therefore, they occur, contrary, yea, in direct opposition to, and at war with, his Sovereign pleasure. But the question is not, whether the Almighty foreknew that angels and man would become sinners; but whether he foreknew those events, in consequence of his having decreed and determined both their occurrence and effects. In reply to this interesting inquiry, I shall here insert the unanswerable reasoning of great Tucker, "God must be infallibly sure of the things foreknown, or he could not be said to foreknow them. But whence could this certainty arise, if not from his own immutable will? His having determined them, must be the source, both of their certain existence and of his own immutable knowledge. For, as a late great master in Israel has observed, certain and immutable knowledge, is founded on some certain and immutable cause; which can be no other than the Divine will. God knows that such and such things will be; because he has determined in his will that they shall be. And, therefore, nothing can be infallibly foreknown, but as it is known to be his immutable will. How, Antichristian therefore, and not less stupid, must it be in modern scribes, to teach, that God foreknew and foresaw that man would sin, but he did not will that such should be the case; whereas God himself can foreknow nothing but on the broad principle of his first willing the existence of the thing foreknown; let it be otherwise, and the Divine prescience must be founded, not in the Divine will, but in the contingencies of mutable existences. And then, what becomes of God’s foreknowledge? Why, it will amount to a mere nonentity. It being demonstrated that the doctrine of Divine prescience, and the doctrine of absolute decrees or predestination, must stand and fall together. Indeed, I am at a loss to know how any person, especially a student in the Holy Scriptures, can read the prophecies contained therein, and afterwards object to believe in the absolute will of God, as the originating cause of all? What are Scripture prophecies, but the matter of Divine prescience predicated? And in what does God’s foreknowledge consist? Why, in nothing else but his absolute knowledge of his own immutable will. For God, therefore, to foreknow his own mind, concerning what shall or shall not take place even to a creature’s thought, his mind being his absolute decree, God prophesied {if I may so say} to Abraham, that his seed should go down to Egypt, in which place they were to exist four hundred years; also, that the people, among whom his seed were to sojourn, should afflict them, &c. Now, what was this predicated fact but the Divine prescience, foretelling the Divine Decrees, the latter being the life of the former. But was there no sin connected with the Egyptians afflicting the Hebrews? I should think there was indeed, if killing innocent children is sin; and was that sanguinary tragedy included in the Divine prescience? It was most certainly. Then must it not have been included in God’s absolute will and decrees? Necessarily it was; nor can anyone living prove to the contrary, but by proving that man to be the only Christian, who teaches his votaries to believe, that "there is no God." Christian ministers, I add, are to preach the truth. Wherefore, not till it can be proved, that God’s decree, as contended for in this letter, is error, as I at liberty to dispense with it in my ministrations, let wicked men make what use they will of such a sentiment. The Apostle Paul was too well acquainted with human nature, not to know, that not a few of his hearers, indeed all who were uninstructed by the Holy Spirit, would wrest his ministerial testimony to their own destruction, but did that deter him from preaching doctrines, which were hard to be understood? Certainly not; the fact is, {as far as it relates to myself} I should hesitate to continue to preach any sentiment, which did not provoke natural men to rebellion against God; nor do I hesitate to say, that the rebellion produced in the minds, words, and conduct of natural men, will be proportioned to the opportunities they possess of hearing the truth; and the more truth they hear, the more at enmity will they be, against the God of truth, because of the evil it genders in the minds, extorts from the mouths, and produces in the lives of natural men; it affords the most demonstrable proof, that sentiments, producing such effects on natural men, are the very acme of Gospel mysteries. Paul say, "I had not known lust, except the law had said, thou shalt not covet," which Divine prohibition, though the very truth of God, called forth Paul’s lusting after prohibited objects. "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid!" The same may be said of Christ, as the truth, who, when on earth, made the Jews, especially the Pharisees, sin sevenfold more than they would have done, had he never come. And how did he do that? Why, by preaching the Gospel of Free Grace, in opposition to the Mosaic ceremonies. The same may be said of the Gospel of Christ, which I will answer, carries as many men to hell, as it does to heaven; it being, yet, the very preachers of it are said to be, "unto God a sweet savor of Christ," not only "in them that are saved, but in them that perish;" the Gospel of Christ being, through their faithfully preaching it, life to the former and death to the latter. What shall we say then? Is the Gospel sin, or even error, because of the great evil to which it tends, in the minds, lives, and final destiny of those who hear it as natural men? God forbid! "Whence," says Calvin, {when combating the very same objection as the one I am now refuting} "I pray you, cometh the stink in a dead carrion, which hath been both rotted and disclosed by the heat of the sun, yet, no man does therefore say, that the sunbeams does stink; away therefore with this doggish forwardness, which may indeed afar off bark at the justice {and so at the truth} of God, but cannot touch it." Once for all, therefore, without detaining your attention longer on this part of my defense, ever remember, that the truest way to know, what is truth, is to ask, and get an answer to this question: What influence has the doctrine, advocated by your preacher, on the minds of those who hear it? Does it make the wicked do more wickedly? Driving them to desperation, and calling forth the most latent evil of their natures against the Christ of God; calling him, and his ministers, all manner of evil names? If so, you may rely upon it as the truth of God, which will be further manifest, by its opposite influence on the minds, words and doings of those, who are made partakers of the Divine Nature. See this in the life of Paul, the Gospel being like the sun, which while it melts the wax, it hardens the clay; nor can it be otherwise with the truth, it must melt the quickened together with Christ Jesus, to a state of evangelical contrition, while it hardens the unregenerate in their unbelief, impenitency, and enmity; making them reprobate to every good work; and this accounts for the vilest, and most hardened sinners, among mankind, being found among those, who, while they are most conversant with Gospel doctrines, are destitute of God’s grace in their hearts; these are they, who will frame their excuses for sin, from God’s truth; yes, like the philosopher Zeno’s servant, who being caught in the act of theft, either with a design to ridicule his master’s doctrine, or to avail himself of it, in order to evade punishment, said, "It was my fate to be a thief." But did that invalidate the truth of Zeno’s philosophy? I should think not, indeed. And is it not the same with Gospel sinners? Do not these, when told of their abominable deeds, either with a view to excuse themselves, or to ridicule the doctrine of God’s decrees, cry aloud, Oh; you teach that all things are decreed! And therefore, we were predestinated to live in riot, in drunkenness, in knavery, and such like flagrancies, as the open profligate would be ashamed of. But does such vileness of conduct, in which such professors encourage themselves, make God’s truth, thus abused, a lie? Oh, no; truth is truth still, wherefore, let such ridiculers of Gospel doctrines know, that the time will come, when fearfulness shall seize the hypocrite, so that the sinners in Zion, shall be afraid, knowing to their cost, the truth of Zeno’s reply to his hardened servant, who endeavored to ridicule his master’s doctrine, by saying, "It was my fate to be a thief;" received for answer, "and to be punished for it," said Zeno. Wherefore, let such hardened wretches, who think to make a mock at God’s truth, especially the Divine Decrees, by saying, they were predestinated to sin, recollect also, that they are also predestinated to burn in hell! At the same time, I beg to remark, that such abuse of the doctrine, will not be found in the life of any godly person, {except when subjected thereto by the power of temptation, which is not only a possible, but a too frequent case} on which account let me beseech believers to be very careful to avoid this temptation, and at the same time allowing that on some occasions, they feel their vile hearts capable of such demoniac delusions, let them, I say, be cautious, that they do not add to their sin, by denying or even objecting, to the doctrine of God’s decrees, another word for predestination, because they, under the power of temptation, have been left at some seasons of their pilgrimage, to make an unhallowed use of them. Nor will the godly in Christ Jesus follow their pernicious habits, who pretend, that the belief of God’s having decreed all men’s thoughts, words, and deeds, will furnish men with just authority to think light of sin, it being impossible, that those to whose consciences the exceeding sinfulness of sin has once been manifested, can ever by prevailed on, to think otherwise. Sin is to every believer, what it was to Paul, a source of unequalled wretchedness! Washington Wilks “Fearless Defense of the Leading Doctrines, Preached and Received by Modern Antinomians, in Seven Letters.” 1830

Posted June 18, 2013

{Writings of David Culy}

Conditionalism: You say that Faith is an instrument. I ask you whose instrument it is? Whether God’s or Man’s? God’s it cannot be, for God cannot believe; man’s it is not, {in respect of Justification,} for then man must justify himself, whereas it is God that justifieth. You asked me whether the elect were in a state of grace before they believe; and I ask you whether the posterity of Adam were in a state of condemnation before they felt the guilt thereof? However, I answer you positively, that the elect are in Covenant with God in Christ before they believe, and are heirs of all that is contained in the Promise. {Rom.4:13} What, has their sins been laid on Christ? {Is.53:6} Has he in his own body borne their sins, and has made atonement and reconciled them to God, and yet not in Covenant? If Christ be the Mediator of the New Testament, and a Mediator is not a Mediator of one, then the elect are in Covenant before they believe; but the former is true. “And for this cause he is the Mediator of the New Testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” {Heb.9:15} “And to Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant.” {Heb.12:24} So is the latter. “Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.” {Gal.3:20} Therefore, the elect are in Covenant before they believe. Again, if this Covenant be all the Covenant of Grace that the Scripture reveals, and they are in this Covenant, then the elect are really in a state of grace before they believe. Again, if Christ took on him the seed of Abraham, and this seed was the elect, then the elect are in a state of grace before they believe; {Heb.2:16;} so is the latter, {Rom.4:16,} therefore. Then you say, that except Faith be thus considered, {as you labor to prove it a condition,} no man can have assurance of his Salvation, for the word of Faith saith, “whosoever shall confess, and believe in the Lord Jesus, shall be saved.” Justification by Faith, Justification by Confession, Justification by Repentance, as there seems no end. Truly I know not whether foolishness or impotence hath the prevalence in you, for you are the man that maketh not God his Trust; for what, is not the Truth of God grounds enough for the Assurance of our Salvation, but you must have the confirming of your assurance by some conditions of your own? You durst not rely on Christ alone, but you must seal the Covenant yourself. If this you say be true, Thomas, we will heed no more God’s oath for the confirmation of our Faith, {Heb.6:16-18,} neither will we say anymore, “this is the blood of the New Testament;” but rather, here are the Conditions of the new conditional Testament. But Thomas, do you think that God was not as choice of his elect, as to secure them, and to make the Inheritance sure to them, as well as they are for making it sure to themselves? Or think you that he thought it surer in their hands by conditions, than in his own Unchangeable Grace and Truth? Indeed the elect are dearer to Him than to themselves; they are dear to Him indeed, therefore he will not put the true riches in their hands, therefore eternal life remains a free gift of Grace in Christ, founded and grounded upon his Unchangeable Truth. The Conditionalist therefore must be a builder, which I find you do not disown; but the Stone which the builders disallowed is become the Head of the corner. {Mt.21:42} One argument or two more. If some of the elect are in a state of Grace without Faith, and if all the rest of the elect with them are chosen in one constituted Head, then the elect are in a state of Grace before they believe; but the former is true, else you damn all children. {Eph.1:4} Learn to make a difference between being in Covenant, or a state of Grace, and being sensibly or knowingly in such a state. The first I own, the second I disown, and am as far from saying that the believer goes to glory without Faith and Repentance as you are; yet I am just as far from saying that these are conditions of their interest and inlet in the Covenant; for I will not say that you are not in the Covenant, but I can say and prove that you are not sensibly and knowingly therein. For who denies you that all the elect shall certainly be called? What, how does this prove that Faith, Repentance and Confession are conditions? Why do you beat the air so, Thomas? Then you say, that all that the Father has given to Christ shall come, {for therein is the Absolute Promise,} and him that cometh he will in no wise cast out; and herein {in coming} is the condition? Whoever heard of a conditional promise made to an absolute? You have mistaken yourself here. I answer you, if your fellow Neonomians, as Baxter, or Daniel Williams, should see what you have written, they would have even chided you for it, for stating your absolute promise first; however, all them that the Father has given to Christ shall come to him. Now what is meant by ‘coming’ in this place is the question, for if coming be believing, then all the elect shall absolutely believe in Christ. Here is no condition, Thomas, by your own confession. Now if all the elect shall believe in Christ by virtue of an absolute promise, and if all that believe are justified from all things, then they have no need of a conditional promise; my major is true by your own confession, my minor from Acts 13:39; {And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses;”} therefore, after the absolute promise is fulfilled, there is no place for a condition, therefore you must frame some other exposition, for there is no Grace given for Grace, but this God having graciously given his Son, has given all Grace with Him. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” {Rom.8:32} David Culy {Letters, 1726}

Conditionalism: The Truth of your Neonomian doctrine appears from the consideration of the Curse of the Law; for as no man can know himself to be a sinner without the Law, and if no man can know that Christ is his Savior but by the Gospel, then the Gospel has Conditions {as you assert} as well as the Law; therefore, this is like all your other proofs. But with your leave, Thomas, if the Testament be conditional, as you say, you cannot know yourself, neither by the Law, nor by your Gospel either; for the Law shows you but your own personal sin, and what you are in yourself, but not what you are in Adam, without which you can never know yourself aright. And if the Testament be conditional, the Gospel does but show you what you must be in yourself by Condition, so that your comparison is but jargoning and canting; but the Gospel shows the elect what they are in the first and second Adam, {Romans chapter 5,} without any act of their own. If the force of the Testament consisted in the death of the Testator, and if the Testator be dead, there can be no Conditions. {Heb.9:16,17} Now for your question, whether Christ will judge the world by the Imputed Righteousness? I answer boldly, that all they that shall not be found in Him, but in their own Righteousness, shall be found under the sentence of death pronounced on them in the person of Adam. {Phil.3:9, Rom.5:12} However, I deny that any shall be judged for life and death by their own personal actions. First, because it cannot be proved that God ever entered into a Covenant of Life and Death with any person but with two. Secondly, if God should judge for Life and Death according to their actions, it would be by works that the elect should have eternal life. Thirdly, it would make the word of the sentence in both the heads null. Fourthly, it would strip both the Heads of their head-ships. David Culy {Letters, 1726}

Conditionalism: I much wondered to hear such expressions from you in our conference, as that Faith and Repentance to be the Conditions of the Gospel. Now what you meant by the Gospel, I know not; however I meant the New Testament, or Promise or Ministration; for we must be justified according to the nature of that Testament that we are under. Now if the New Testament be conditional, I would ask you what difference there is between the Old and the New? Now the difference must be either in their natures or in their conditions. In their conditions it cannot be, else the New might be broken as well as the Old; therefore it must be in the nature of them. Now let us consider the cause, or why God enters into a New Covenant. He tells us himself, that if that first had been faultless, there had no place been sought for the second. {Heb.8:7} And indeed had that been faultless, there had been no place found. Now the faultiness of that Covenant consisted in this; first, being conditional, they could and did break it. “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD.” {Jer.31:31,32} Secondly, in breaking of it, they continued not in his Covenant. “Because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.” {Heb.8:9} Thus, he regarded them not; but the defect of this Covenant ceased not here; for, their sins were brought to remembrance; {Heb.10:3;} their conscience was charged with guilt; {Heb.9:9, 10:1,2;} and the Curse of the Law was inflicted on them for the breach of Covenant. {Heb.2:2, Gal.3:10} Now a Covenant must be introduced that was faultless, a Covenant that they could not break, because not conditional, but of Free Grace. {Gal.3:17,17, Rom.4:13-16} Where no Law is, {Christ having fulfilled the Law,} there is no breach. Furthermore; it is a Testament that they must {in accordance with the Lord’s faithfulness to save them to the uttermost} continue in. {Jer.32:40, Is.55:3} It is a Covenant in which God doth hear them, and their Mediator is touched with their infirmities; {Heb.4:14-16;} a Covenant in which their sins and iniquities are not remembered; a Testament that is of force to discharge and purge the conscience; {Heb.9:14, 12:24;} a Covenant whereby they are freed from all punishment for sin; {Gal.3:13, Rev.22:3;} a Covenant of that nature, to justify the ungodly, {Rom.4:5,} which could not be if Faith and Repentance were conditions thereof. It is a Covenant that makes the Inheritance sure to all the seed, {Rom.4:16,} a Covenant which accepts no more offering for sin, {Heb.10:18,} and gives liberty to enter into the holiest of all. {Heb.10:19, 9:8} A Covenant that gives all upon the account of another’s Righteousness, {Rom.5:18,} which could not be if Faith and Repentance were conditions thereof; a Covenant which must exclude boasting, {Rom.3:27,} which cannot be if Faith and Repentance be conditions. Now whether you hold this Faith and Repentance only conditions, or whether you hold it the matter imputed, the Lord knoweth; which soever it be, it is false. If the first, it is foolishness to say we must be clean and then come to be cleansed; which you do in effect say, or we must be clean, and then to be pronounced clean in that same cleanness; I say, which soever it be, it is a Popish point. Wonder not that I said, “come out from among them.” Now suppose that the Babylonish garment should be sought for, {as that it will one day,} will not you then be taken, as it will be found in your tent? {Josh.7:18} I ask you what difference there is between the Church of Rome and the Apostle Paul in respect of the Covenant of Redemption, or the Gospel as you call it. If the Apostle holds it free, and the Church of Rome conditional, then you have been drinking of the wine of her fornication; {Rev.17:2;} but the former is true; {Gal.4:22-28;} therefore, so is the latter, for the Church of Rome has but this way to err in this respect. Conditions are no part of this Testament or Word. I offer this to your consideration. “He that believeth not God hath made him a liar;” {I Jn.5:10;} “and this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” {vs.11} Now this eleventh verse contains the whole sum of the Gospel in two articles. First, God hath given us eternal life; and secondly, this life is in his Son. Now if you will not believe that he has given you eternal life, do you not make him as much a liar, as though you would not believe this life is in his Son? Now if conditions deny eternal life to be a free gift, then the Conditionalist makes God a liar in both these articles, as the Babel builders, the master and the workers in that work made God a liar; for God had sworn that he would not destroy the world anymore by water; {Is.54:9,10;} so as then the beginning of that kingdom was Babylon; {Gen.10:10;} but God confounded their language, that they understood not one another. What is all this cry of the world? One cries out charity; another cries out baptism and perseverance; another holds out Faith and Repentance; so that if the Covenant be free, as before proved, whilst they are begging for strength to perform their conditions, they are giving God the lie, and laboring to alter his course of grace; for if the former be true, so is the latter. No marvel that you fled from the Gospel to your own experience, for if your conversion was according to the Gospel, you would not have wondered so that I said that the elect are saved without Faith and Repentance; for an unconverted man to wonder at it, is no wonder; but for a converted man to wonder that the elect are complete in Christ without any act of theirs is such a conversion as the Gospel will not afford. “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” {Pv.20:11} I ask you one more thing; were the Jews rejected for not performing the Conditions or not believing the Report? But you will say they did not believe that Christ was the Son of God. Suppose so; and if you do not believe that he is a Savior without you, and out of you, you do not believe the Report any more than they. “Therefore the LORD heard this, and was wroth; so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel; because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his Salvation; though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven;” {Ps.78:21-23;} for the Report is that Christ is all our Salvation. {Ps.14:7, Is.33:2, 46:13, 52:7, Acts 13:26} David Culy {Glory of the Two Crowned Heads: Adam and Christ, Unveiled. 1726}

Conditionalism: Prove me that Faith and Repentance is the condition of your Justification, or that an elect person is not righteous without them, or say with Job, that “I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? Therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak; I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” {Job 42:2-6} Let Job serve us both. Again, you bid me not to separate that what God has joined together. Is this honesty to strive to make your scabs to cleave to my flesh? But is it you or I that are guilty of this? Let us see; for if Faith and Repentance be conditions of your justification, then you must interest, unite, and incorporate yourself into Christ; and if these unite you to Christ, then the Head and the body was two in your behalf, until you were united and tied to Him by that slender cord of your conditions. Now do you or I separate that which God has joined together? What do you but cut off the Head of Christ crucified in the Passover? If you hold these Conditions, the consequences must follow. Besides, what a strange, raw, undigested, unsavory, crude and inconsiderate question is that which you ask me; namely, how I know that I am elect or reprobate but by Faith? Did you ever hear such an expression? However, I am glad to hear that you own Faith but a Sign of your election and not a condition; but I had been better pleased if you had owned it but a Sign or Seal of your Justification. The sum of your doctrine is this; no Faith and Repentance, no Union, no Justification, no Imputation of Righteousness, no Sin Covered, no Persons Accepted, no Actual Reconciliation until you Believe and Repent. Let shame, shame cover your face! David Culy {Glory of the Two Crowned Heads: Adam and Christ, Unveiled. 1726}

Efficacious Blood of Christ: “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” {Rom.4:6-8} But perhaps you mean a more internal cleanness than this? You may mean meticulous walking, keeping close scrutiny of thoughts, words and actions to keep the conscience from accusing the soul; this, {if alone,} is as abominable as the other. {Phil.3:4-8, I Pet.3:21} I add, that it is not the keeping of the conscience free from offense that can clean it from guilt, though a man could keep his conscience free from offense from the day of his birth to the day of his death. I say this is the doctrine of devils; if this be not antichrist, I know not what is. “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” {I Jn.2:22} If that doctrine is to be rejected {as damnable doctrine} that denies Christ and his sacrifice; and to say that walking without offense to the conscience will clear the soul of guilt, be a denying of Christ and his sacrifice; then to say that walking without offense to the conscience will cleanse the soul of guilt, and make it fit for glory is a damnable delusion; but the former is true, and so is the latter. {Heb.9:22,23, 9:14,15, Gal.2:21} I say that the soul that is not washed and purged by the blood of the Son of God shall never enjoy eternal glory, whatsoever his conversation may have seemed to be. {Jn.13:8} He that is not thus cleansed, there is nothing pure to him, neither the word of God, nor preaching, nor hearing, nor ordinances, nor wife, nor children, nor natural gifts, nor learning; there is nothing pure to such a person, nor life, nor death, nor things present, nor things to come; but to the other all things are pure. {II Sam.22:27, Ps.18:25,26, Tit.1:15} “There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.” {Pv.30:12} David Culy {Letters, 1726}

Faith: But unfeigned Faith is to be free from hypocrisy, but then the understanding must assent to the Truth, else it cannot be either feigned or unfeigned; for if the understanding assent not to the Truth, it is more properly erratical than feigned; but when the understanding assents to the Truth, and the affections of the soul do not embrace it for its chiefest joy, {“because they received not the love of the truth” II Thes.2:10,} that is feigned faith which reprobates and devils may have. True Faith is when the understanding assents to the Truth, and the will relies, rests, dependence, trusts and confides alone on the Truth of God in Christ, and the affections of the soul embraces it as its chiefest joy, and owns, employs and exercises itself in love, to glorify the riches of his Grace and Truth; {Eph.4:14,15, Gal.5:6, I Tim.1:5, I Pet.1:22;} which I find you have not yet attained unto. David Culy {Letters, 1726}

Justification in Christ: Let me advise you, never speak against Papists, nor Socinians, nor Arminians, nor Quakers, for in so doing, thou speakest against thy own brethren, and thou slanderest thine own mother’s sons. But I will tell you what you need the Spirit for; first, to reprove you of sin, because you believe not on Him; secondly, to convince you of Righteousness, because Christ is gone to the Father; and thirdly, you need the Spirit to glorify Christ, in taking of Christ and showing Him unto you. {Jn.16:7-11,14,15} But let me rub up the brazen side of your coin, and bring it to the touchstone. If you be justified by a Law, then you must be justified by conditions; than it must be by merit. The touchstone of Holy Scripture is this; “now to him that worketh is the reward, {that is, Justification and eternal life,} not reckoned of grace, but of debt. {Rom.4:4} So that you are justified by works, by conditions, by merits; for if by conditions, then by works; if by works, then by merits. One would think that if God gives Faith and Repentance, that you should be the more indebted to Him, and not him to you; for how foolish and brutish is this line of reasoning! My life for yours, that this coin and passport of yours will never give you entrance in the Kingdom of God and of Christ. The touchstone describes your coin, for we are justified freely by his Grace, {Rom.3:24,} resting alone upon what he is, and has done. This is the rest; wherewith he shall cause the weary to rest, and this is the refreshing of the Lord. {Is.28:12} “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you.” {Acts 3:19,20} If ever you write more, proved that God has ever entered into a Covenant of Life and Death with any but two, {Adam & Christ,} or never pretend to hold your judgment anymore. David Culy {Letters, 1726}

Particular and Effectual Redemption: Now let us see what glory you put upon the sacrifice of Christ, what value, price, estimate and efficacy, you put upon it; surely if you be a priest, you would have both waved it, heaved it and tasted of it. If his sacrifice extended no farther than the disobedience of Adam, do you not prize him equal to Adam? If you esteem his sacrifice but satisfactory for one offense, do you not put a limited esteem upon it, as though there was no more in the one than in the other? As for the efficacy of it, you limit both in respect of God and of man, for you disown that that Sacrifice has atoned the Father, or made Reconciliation for all sin; and in respect of man, you disown the discharge of the guilt of sin of the conscience alone by that Sacrifice. But you will say, do you not limit that sacrifice, by saying that it was offered but for some? No, if the whole world had been designed to be saved, there need no other Sacrifice; but the Acceptor of the Sacrifice and the Offerer designed it but for a limited number; {Is.53:8,12, Jn.10:14-16,26-29;} and as for the rest, some disown his Person, some the efficacy of his Death, as you do, {I Pet.2:8,} whereunto they were appointed. Now because you have not the Faith of God’s elect, {Tit.1:1,} you profess yourselves that Christ has died for all, so you are sure that he died for you; but I pawn my life upon it, that if you have no more benefit by the death of Christ than what the Universalist shall have, {and you can expect no more,} you shall lie with him in sorrow. {Is.50:11} You trample underfoot the blood of the Everlasting Covenant, and in effect tread underfoot the Son of God; for I look upon him that limits the value, merit and efficacy of the death of Christ, and he that denies the Godhead, as all of one piece of the man of sin. But let us come to some resolution; for you say that it was the will and design of God that all men should be saved. I only ask you this question; if it was God’s will and design that all men should be saved; and if that sacrifice was imputed to all, and all are not saved, then there must be some insufficiency in that sacrifice. Now you must disown your principle or disown the Godhead of Christ; for if he was God-man that bled and died, and therefore the merit was infinite. {Acts 20:28} David Culy {Letters, 1726}

Reconciliation: God has and will perform his promise of grace, notwithstanding all the opposition that it has met withal from the devil, from antichrist, or even from the elect themselves, for they can no more hinder it then they can hinder death; for there is no more acts of ours that can make the disobedience of one, {Adam,} or the obedience of the other, {Christ,} ours, but the imputed act of God constituting them two heads over us. Were it suspended upon our conditions, we might hinder it, the devil might hinder it, the world might hinder it to reign, sin might hinder it; but no, the devil is but a creature, the world is but a creature, I myself am but a creature, and so not able to hinder it, for God has promised his Son, that he will be merciful to our unrighteousness, and our sins and iniquities will he remember no more. {Heb.8:12} Sin can do nothing at it, for “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” {Rom.5:20} The doctrine is this, that Jesus Christ hath reconciled God and man in his own Person, and by his own Person; for in him this Reconciliation was made. “God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ.” {II Cor.5:18} Paul is here showing that the mystery of Reconciliation was given him; and then comes to show what this mystery was; namely, “that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” {vs.19} David Culy {Glory of the Two Crowned Heads: Adam and Christ, Unveiled. 1726}

Reign of Sovereign Grace: I cannot say as many do, that the Fall had happened unawares to God, or through Ignorance or Carelessness. Now if the Fall was not ordained of God, it must then have happened to God as a thing unexpected, through Negligence or Ignorance. Rather, the Fall was a consequence of his love to his Son Jesus Christ. I need not prove it farther, for there are so many universal affirmatives, that I am easily confirmed therein, for nothing can be denied of all these, but it must be derogate from the Glory of Christ; so that as none can deny the doctrine without robbing Christ of his glory, I shall be content to be robbed of mine {in derision} until that time that my Lord will recover my honor in recovering his own glory. Rom.11:36, I Cor.8:6, Col.1:15-18, II Cor.5:18, Jn.1:3, Eph.1:9-11. I say, that the Fall was a consequence of the Father’s love to his Son, therefore not likely to enkindle any enmity in Him, for without it the vessels of mercy could not have held {received} that mercy unto which they were predestinated, neither can this love be by virtue of Covenant; for the Covenant might bind God’s faithfulness, but it could not be the cause of his love, for it looks to me, rather the Effect of his love than the Cause thereof; for I am bold in the Lord to say there was something beyond the Covenant, and that was the relation of his Son to them, {the elect,} of whom they were flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone. “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” {Eph.5:3-32} So that we see plainly that the Covenant is an effect of his love of relation in Christ, and so in God; for if the love that God bears to his Son be the same love to his body, then the Fall could never anger God so; but all his dealings with his Son and his body were all effects of his love. {Jn.17:26, Rom.8:38,39} David Culy {Glory of the Two Crowned Heads: Adam and Christ, Unveiled. 1726}

Reign of Sovereign Grace: “Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” {Gen.3:4,5} From whence our parents gather that God did not intend them good in forbidding them to eat. Here lieth the knot; but I answer, God did intend good in all his intentions, whatsoever they be. That God did forbid them, we all know, but what intent God had in forbidding of them is not known by many; however, if his intent or purpose had been according to his Law, then his intent and purpose did not stand; so God was frustrated of his purpose and design, and so mistaken. Do we think this can be said without manifest blasphemy? No, I shall not need to reason so, for I can set the objector to work it if he will. But some may object and say, God would that Adam should have kept it, if Adam would; but Adam would not. Well, here is Adam’s will and God’s will contradicting each other in the point of eating. God’s revealed will forbids Adam, Adam’s will is for eating; now which must yield the point? Now if God’s secret will had been like the Law or Command, Adam could never have eaten. For the revealed Will or Law of God can never yield; broken it may be, but yield it cannot! Now if God’s secret intent was the Law, it must either yield or be forced; if it yielded, the point is granted, that the secret Law of God was that Adam should eat; but if like the Law, then the will of God is forced, and so God is overcome by man, and so man reigns by his own will, and God is forced to stand and look on to see whether man will be pleased to obey his Law or not. Secondly, if the revealed will of God or the Law be like the secret intent or purpose of God, and the secret intent cannot be forced, then the Law must yield, and where is sin then? So that we must say, that it was God’s secret intent that Adam should sin, or say that Adam did not sin, or blasphemously say, that God is overcome by Adam, and could never recover himself since, except it be in a few that out of their freewill will serve him a little; by the by, I think this will do, for the secret intent can no more be forced than the Law can yield to be broken. To clear the point farther, we must observe, that all the intent of God were all for the Exaltation of his own Glory in Jesus Christ. “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things; to whom be glory forever.” {Rom.11:36} Therefore whatsoever he has purposed in himself, is all for his glory, and shall rebound to this end. But in respect of the subject of this Law, his intent was not to hinder Adam to eat; no, this intent to let him eat was diverse; as for his intent or purpose towards the vessels of wrath, he never intended to them any good, therefore the Fall was not for their good, though they cannot complain of injustice in God; {Note: If Adam’s dominion over all creatures below his nature, to dispose of them at his will, was part of God’s likeness, then God had power over every creature to dispose of them at his will. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion.” Gen.1:26;} but in respect of the elect it was for their good, the event proves it; therefore we may perceive that our parents were reaching at the secret will of God. David Culy {Glory of the Two Crowned Heads: Adam and Christ, Unveiled. 1726}

Reign of Sovereign Grace: How much of Christ Adam had knowledge of is not well known; but I mean after the promise of life was published unto him; for after that he must look out of himself, and see himself in Another, as he had seen all in himself; for in that promised Seed, he might have seen himself complete, without any more conditions than his posterity had need of if he had stood; he might have seen that the Obedience of that Seed was alone accepted of God, as his had been to all his, if he had stood; furthermore he might have seen that the offense of his which God imputed to all his posterity, with all the punishment for sin, and all the punishment of sin, the Seed was to make satisfaction for them all, in breaking the serpent’s head; {that is, to spoil principalities and powers;} he might have seen, that being God made Covenant with him, with his wife in him, before she was taken out of him, that it was so with this other Head {the Seed;} he might have seen that it was the perfection of his Love to his wife that moved him to eat, so it was the perfection of the love of the Seed that moved him to eat of the fruit of their eating; {Note: What should be the cause of his eating then? Some think that he did eat on purpose to be in the same condemned state with his wife, but that could not be, because she was not judicially condemned until he did eat;} he might have seen, that death beginning to reign already through his disobedience, so as he felt life beginning to reign, he might be sure that it was through Righteousness, for Grace reigns through Righteousness; he might see that the Obedience of that Seed was already accepted; he might have seen, being his Covenant was confirmed by a Seal; {namely the Tree of Life;} he might have seen that there was some Seal belonging to the Seed’s Covenant also; he might have seen, that as all his posterity had never died had he kept that Covenant, so he might have seen that the seed of the woman was secure in that Seed; he might have seen, that this Seed was before him, and was his Creator, for he was made in his image; he might have seen, that as he had brought in death, so this Seed would bring in the resurrection from the dead; he might have seen, that as all his posterity would bear the image of his disobedience, so all the body of that Seed should bear the image of his Righteousness; he might have seen, that as he and his, should be sown in dishonor, the Seed would raise it up in glory and power. He might have seen that though it be sown a natural body, it would be raised a spiritual body; he might have seen, that as all his must have been where he was, so all the body of the Seed should be where he was. I say that all these things he might have seen, and doubtless did in some measure. However this doth greatly confirm it to us as well as manifest it. “For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” {Rom.5:15} Besides, we find that the same seal of that Covenant made with Adam did amplify and confirm that Covenant of God in Christ to us. David Culy {Glory of the Two Crowned Heads: Adam and Christ, Unveiled. 1726}

Representation: For the clearing up of the Truth, {I dare not say your understanding, for that may remain as dark as ever,} I distinguish the blotting out of sin in three courts: First; they are blotted out in God’s will; that is, God’s will not to impute sin, nor punish the persons of the elect for sin in a way of Justification is the very essence and quiddity of Justification. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” {Ps.32:1,2} I say, this act of God not to impute sin, but to impute Righteousness is an eminent act or internal in God. The Apostle makes this eminent act of God the essence and being of Justification. {Rom.4:6-8, 9:15,16} There is no priority to this act, I mean nothing going before out of God. {Rom.11:35,36} Secondly; the effects of his will, which is Christ’s active and passive Obedience. The Representative being risen from the dead, the whole body is juridically justified and discharged from all the demands of the Law and its curse. I say they are juridically freed and discharged from the Law, both from its commanding, reigning, condemning or cursing power. {Gal.3:13, 4:4,5, I Cor.15:55-57, Rom.4:25} Thirdly; the court of conscience in which their sins stand recorded, as far as knowledge and remembrance can keep account of them, so that though the will of God was not to impute sin and they were justified in that court; and that God had justified them in their Surety and Representative; yet as I said before, they were not justified in the court of conscience until they believed. “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace;” {Jn.1:16} and so it all proceeds from his fullness. But so far I grant, that this Righteousness of Faith is a gift of Grace, and if there be any gift that follows, as I deny not for there are many, yet it is not for the act of believing, but for that Righteousness believed in. {Rom.8:32, 4:13} This is the Fountain and Spring of all blessings in whom all the promises of God are yea and amen. David Culy {Letters, 1726}

Representation & Imputation: First, you say that my doctrine savors of the Antinomians, because you say that the Antinomians hold that the elect are perfect and complete in Christ; which you say is a Truth. I am glad that you hold that truth; though indeed it is a pity you should hold it in unrighteousness as you do. {Rom.1:18} However, if the elect are perfect in Christ and complete in Christ, {Col.2:10,} as we find they are, it is easy to know which of us two be the liar. The Apostle bids the Colossians of being beware of being seduced. {Col.2:8} Now whatsoever errors derogate from the Perfection of this Representative is confuted here. If the elect be complete before God in their Representative, then Faith and Repentance being brought in as conditions is a forsaking the Head, and denying Christ, our Representative. - Adam’s disobedience was ours federally, by virtue of Covenant, Adam being a constituted Head of all his offspring federally; so ours by Imputation. Secondly, Adam’s disobedience is ours by nature; for though my person has not eaten, yet my flesh has; so that flesh and nature has eaten in the person of Adam; so that his Disobedience is imputed to my person, for it is the proper act of my flesh. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” {Rom.5:12} “For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous.” {Rom.5:12} Where are you going now Thomas; for you say that Adam was the figure of him that was to come. Now I ask you whether their actual existence or being was any cause of their condemnation? Again, you say that all mankind was guilty before God because of Adam’s disobedience; and I say that if they were guilty before God, then they are condemned before God. {Rom.5:16,18} What Thomas, is existence and feeling of guilt of the disobedience of Adam, and the Curse of the Law, all one with you? What ignorance is here! However, the Truth which I received from your erring pen is this, that the posterity of Adam were sinners, and guilty and condemned persons before God by that one disobedience before and without feeling or existence; and this is the figure of Him that was to come by your own confession. Now if we were sinners and condemned before our personal existence, there is no Act of ours to make us so, and when we come to feel it, it is but that Sentence that was passed on us in the person {Adam} of another, terminating or reigning in us. If the Scripture reveals nothing but the Disobedience of the first Adam to make us sinners and condemned before God; and if he {Adam} be the figure of Him {Christ} that was to come, then the Scriptures has revealed nothing but the Obedience of the second Adam {Christ} for our complete justification before God. “By whom also we have access by Faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” {Rom.5:2} “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” {II Cor.5:21} If death reigned by one in us, and he {Adam} is the figure of the Second, {Christ,} then in our Justification it is the sentence of Life seizing, apprehending, terminating and living within us. “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the Faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” {Gal.2:20} {Ez.16:6, Jn.10:28, Phil.3:12} Now I readily grant and am ready to subscribe to this article, that the elect have no sensible enjoyment of this until they believe; but I resist this, that the elect have no union with Christ until they believe, for if the elect have no union with or to Christ, then have they no right, nor interest in the Covenant, nor any right to Christ. What now, Thomas, will you make the elect cry out with devils, “what have we to do with thee?” {Lk.4:34} Will Christ say to his elect; yea, “ye shall have to do with me if you perform the conditions;” then this is all the privilege that the elect have above devils. Are you a fine doctor Thomas? How do you like it? Now let us see whether my question be absurd to ask you? What was the conditions of your Faith, being it was part of the Covenant of Grace? But Thomas, I hear no more of Repentance; what have you dropped that? But let us inquire if you can find out a place for conditions, for if there be any, they must either respect the Office of the Father, or of the Son, or of the Holy Ghost; for the office of the Father was to accept the Offering, and to be atoned, or justify; the Son’s to offer, to make reconciliation; and the Holy Ghost to make Application. Now all these Three are concerned in the Covenant, and make up the Sum thereof. Now if there be Conditions, it must be that the Father is not fully atoned; but here is no place for conditions, for {if complete Reconciliation was not accomplished in the Person and Work of Christ,} then we must come in with Christ to perfect the Atonement; neither can it be any defect in Christ’s offering, neither active nor passive; so then it must respect the Office of the Holy Ghost. Now if Faith and Repentance be the Conditions of the Covenant, whose office of the Three do they respect? The Holy Ghost it cannot be, for the Holy Ghost must be in you before you believe and repent. Now you must believe by some natural power of your own if Faith be a condition, for if the Spirit works Faith, it must be in you {in order of working} before Faith. Now Thomas, is my question absurd? So you may see how you shut up the Kingdom of God against yourselves, with your conditions being your door to enter into the Covenant. David Culy {Letters, 1726}

Posted June 23, 2013

{Selection of the Week}

Complete Sanctification in Christ Alone: My reasons for not believing the sentiment of progressive sanctification are founded more particularly upon the following considerations. First, I cannot find it deducible from the work of God’s Salvation. Secondly, I cannot find it in the experience of any of God’s people. Thirdly, I have proved it to be in direct opposition to God’s Word. First, I cannot find the sentiment of progressive sanctification, deducible from the work of God, to whom the sanctification of the whole family of God is ascribed, without the least thought, word, or deed, of the creature. The sanctification of God’s elect, as ascribed to the first Person, in the glorious Trinity, is men¬tioned in Jude, verse the first, which includes the Father’s Eternal Act of setting apart, from the rest of human nature, the persons of the elect in Jesus Christ, his Son, as the Federal Head, Repre¬sentative, and Everlasting Father of God’s chosen people. {“Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.”} Now the object of this Eternal Act of the Father’s sanctifying the church, was, Paul tells us, that they might “be holy and without blame before Him in love.” {Eph.1:4} Note, holy, not partially so; that is, in some small degree, admitting of a progress to be carried on, and consummated by the creature; no, but that they might be perfectly, spotlessly, holy. The believing spouse was told by her Lord, whose judgment may, and ought to be the standard of our faith, concerning the church’s sanctification in Christ, that she was ALL fair, and that there was no spot in her. {Cant.4:7} Paul says, that Christ loved the church, and as a proof of this love, he gave himself for it; and the object of this gracious outgoing of love, was, that he might sanctify and cleanse it, that it might be like Himself, glorious in holiness, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but, that it should be holy, and without blemish; read the full account. Eph.5:25-27. Now, I suppose for the church to be without spot is to be perfectly holy in Christ, neither needing, nor admitting, of any after degrees acquired by the efforts of the creature. Christ, {Heb.9:14,} is said to have offered himself without spot to God; and if Christ’s perfect holiness was thus described, we are bound to allow the same force of meaning, to the words, “without spot,” when applied to the church. Ezekiel says, that the beauty of the church, which means her holiness, was perfect through the comeliness; that is, holiness of the Lord God, which was put upon her; and this is a blessed key to Cant.1:8, where the poor mourning and sorrowful spouse, bewailing her own deformity, and intimating her own ignorance, is told by her Lord, that she was “the fairest among women;” expressive of her sanctification, and holiness, which were superlative, admitting of no increase, or addition; for I contend, that the church, and every believer is arrived to, and partakes of, the highest and most perfect pitch and degree of holiness according to her covenant standing in, and eternal union to, her dear Lord, Head, and Husband, Jesus Christ. Secondly, the sanctification of the whole family of God is also ascribed to the Lord Jesus Christ. {Some people are warned against the sin of adding to the word of God, others have need to be warned against the sin which presumes on adding to the work of God.} The church, or people of God, are revealed in Scripture, as being, from eternity, - in Christ; and according to this doctrinal state¬ment, of a believer’s Eternal Union to Christ, the church must have been perfect, and complete, in their perfect Head, for there is no unrighteousness or unholiness in him; and if perfect and complete in Christ, they must have in Him, what was essential to their going to heaven, or seeing the Lord, i. e. holiness, or sanctification; wherefore, for proof, that this was, is, and will be the case, consult the following Scriptures. Paul, writing to the church at Corinth, I Cor.1:2, salutes them as “the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus,” who is made unto them sanctification, ver.30. And if we wish to know how, or in what sense, our Lord is made the sanctification of the church, and the quality thereof, we must read Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, who treats on sanctification, as a chief subject in that epistle, as he did on justification in his Epistles to the Romans, and Galatians. The church’s eternal sanctification, in Christ, is derived, first, from the eternal union that exists between Christ and his people; he being their Federal Head, whose holy nature, as the second man, was theirs, by their union to him, in the very same sense as Adam’s pollution became mine, by my being federally united to him, nearly six thousand years before I had an ex¬istence. Yes, the human race, were not only constituted dead, but unholy in, or by Adam’s death, and unholiness; and just in the same sense, the church is not only made alive, but holy in Christ Jesus. Modern Calvinists consent to the doctrine of imputed sin, but not to the doctrine of imputed holiness. Christ is the church’s sanctification, inasmuch as the church IN Christ, is perfectly absolved, cleared, acquitted, and made free, from all the uncleanness, pollution, and sin of the Fall; yes, they, whom the Son, by his atonement, makes free, are free indeed, for he cleanses them from all sin; they are, indeed, glorious to relate, and more glorious to believe, and live upon; by his precious blood, sanctified and separated from all the sin that accompanies their lives in general, and also their prayers, their reading, their meditations, their preachings, their writings, and their best obedience. The hymn writer justly observes; “Sin is mixt with all I do.” And so it is, and yet O glorious belief; our Lord has so efficiently sanctified, and cleansed us from all general and particular sins, that it is not our sin, but his; for however angry poor mortals may be, at such a declaration, it is a fact, that Christ gave himself, that is, his holiness, innocency, and freedom from all exposure to judicial sufferings, to us, and took {by imputation} on himself, all our pollution, guilt, and liabilities to the wrath, and vindictive suffering, which must have been, either ours or his, but cannot possibly belong to both. It was this view of Christ, to which Paul referred when he declared that Christ “was made sin;” {II Cor.5:21;} yes, I add, Christ sanctifies the church, and absolves them, by delivering them from all sin, and doing the will of God himself, in their stead; which will, as done by Christ their Sanctifier, is their sanctification. “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” {Heb.10:10} And on this account, he hath “perfected forever, them that are sanctified.” {Heb.10:14} Yes, “he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one; for which cause, he is not ashamed to call them brethren.” {Heb.2:11} Yes, one in perfect holiness, in the eyes of the most Holy God, so that neither iniquity, nor perverseness, does God behold in Jacob; {Num.21:23;} he is pure, even as Christ is pure. Of One; that is, of Christ. “For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy; and if the Root be holy, so are the branches.” {Rom.11:16} If the Hebrew church, in the old dispensation, which was a type of the spiritual, under the new dispensation, were only freed, or absolved from the guilt of their sin, through the medium of the scape-goat, and not from the pollution of their sin, by the blood of the slain sacrifices, then, of course, they went back to their tents, in a state of defilement, though not of condemnation; and on an analogy of reasoning, the most scriptural, if God’s elect, are only freed from the guilt of their sin, by Christ’s bearing their sin away, without being delivered from the pollution of it; by the same medium then, of course, they have only freedom from the guilt of sin, in Christ, they must look elsewhere for sanctification from the defilement of it; but let the advocates of such partial benefits, connected with union to Christ, read Is.1:18: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Now then, to what does this refer, but to their sanctification, from the defilement of the sin, which is mentioned as a loathsome disease, in verse the sixth. {“From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores; they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.”} And because the people of God, are sanctified by the will of God, done by Christ, as well as justified by his being the end of the law for righteousness, I think the Scriptures speak as much of the imputed sanctification of the people of God, as of their imputed righteousness unto justification; but where can we find in this account, of Christ being the Perfect Sanctification of the Church, anything about progressive sanctification? Thirdly, I observe, that the sanctification of the people of God’s choice, is ascribed to the “sanctification of the Spirit,” {I Pet.1:2,} which sanctification, is much spoken of in the Scriptures. It is a New Covenant blessing, exclusively belonging to, because exclusively provided for, and bequeathed to, the children of God. This is the altar mentioned by Paul, whereof others have no right to eat, none but the elect, have either part or lot in this matter, neither can they, any more than fallen angels. The sanctification of the Spirit flows wholly {as the originating cause} from the love of God to the persons of the elect, while the fountain, or source of the Spirit’s sanctification is in Christ, in whom, by faith in him, and his perfect doing of the will, or fulfilling the law of God, believers by the indwelling of God the Spirit, in them, receive the personal manifestation, knowledge, and enjoyment thereof; they receive out of his fullness, and grace for grace. They being sons, by eternal election, in due time; that is, according to the time of God’s eternal purposing, the “Spirit of his Son comes into their hearts, crying Abba Father.” {Gal.4:6} Observe, not they cry, but the Spirit of his Son cries, in their hearts, and this agrees with Romans 8:26,27. “The Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered; and he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” The Holy Ghost works all our works in us, He quickens us together with Christ. Sanctification of the Spirit, of which all believers are the subjects, is a perfect work? Why, doubtless it is, nor can any sentiment be fraught with more relative evils, than that which represents the work of the Spirit as imperfect; nothing can be more derogatory to the glory of the Spirit than to represent his work imperfectly holy. The Holy Ghost says, Ezek.36:25, “A new heart,” not a mended, or old heart new modeled, but “a new heart will I give you;” wherefore, I should conclude, that such a heart would be perfectly holy, but I need cite no more Scriptures or produce any more arguments to prove that the sentiment of progressive sanctification is not, nor can be deducible from the work of the blessed Trinity, to whom the perfect sanctification of the church is ascribed. God is the Rock, “his work is perfect.” {Deut.32:4} Before I conclude my communication upon sanctification, I shall advert to the false reasoning, of a late popular, modern Calvinist, notorious, for his avowed hostility to those of his brethren, who could not see with his eyes upon this Controverted point; I refer to the late Dr. Ryland, who, in his preface to Mr. Fuller's pamphlet, on Antinomianism, undertook to write in defense of progressive sanctification, by affirming, that it is not only a scriptural doctrine, but it is a duty imperiously enjoined on all believers; this, I confess sounds very strange, that the sanctification of believers, begun as they tell us, by the Spirit in regeneration, should become the duty of the professor to perfect. After the doctor had made a most unchristian like, and false insinuation, concerning his brethren who believe in the imputed sanctification of Christ to believers, by insinuating that they deny internal sanctification, for he goes on to say, “but if there be any internal Sanctification, is it progressive; is there any such thing as growth in grace; and is growth in grace a duty? Here I understand {says the doctor} there are professors, who would return a negative answer.” This question, I reply, is evidently complex, and plainly shows, either, that the doctor could not see afar off, upon his subject, or that he intentionally jumbled these two distinct objects into one question, as a designed snare, and net, for the unstable reader; for the last question or part, “is there any such thing as growth in grace,” is evidently intended, as an underhand insinuation, that the persons who do not believe, and are not afraid to deny the dogma of progressive sanctification, disbelieve, and deny also, the same sentiment, the believer’s growth in grace, or his perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord; a sentiment, the most remote from their minds and words, who disbelieve, in either creature holiness, or progressive sanctification. No Sir, but on the contrary, myself as an individual, and everyone who believes with the heart, and confesses with the mouth, the belief of the church’s perfect sanctification in Christ, believes also that their perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord, wholly originates in, and flows from, the perfection of their sanctification or holiness, which they have in their Head, Christ. Ryland not only taught and urged, most vehemently, the sentiment, here opposed, but urged also that it was the creature’s duty. With what propriety has that worthy author of a sermon, entitled “God the Doer of all Things;” {Edward Vaughan, 1823;} remarked, that “many who call and account themselves Calvinists, or Calvinistic, are in heart and understanding, if not avowedly, freewillers, squaring, as they seek to do, the testimony of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to the deductions of blinded human reason, and making a god for themselves, by blending shreds and patches of Scripture, with shreds and patches of their own imagination, instead of simply studying, lying at the feet of, and inhabiting, that Living and True One, whom the Scripture hath set forth, and the Spirit has published to make known;” though really such is the confusion of the sentiment, it being made up of contradictions; the most opposed, that all who have written, or spoken in defense of it, have only darkened counsel with words without knowledge. Whatever controverted point in theology is at war with that which is incontrovertible, is founded on falsehood, and not on truth. It is incontrovertibly true, that we are COMPLETE IN CHRIST, that we are blessed with ALL spiritual blessings IN HIM, and that, from the period of our being the elect of God, accepted in the Beloved; {in Christ;} also, that God’s work is perfect. It having been proved, then, that the believer’s sanctification is the sole work and achievement of the Holy Trinity and that the believer’s sanctification must be perfect in Christ; and to contend otherwise, is to contend that the creature is bound, in duty, to perfect the work which God has begun. Now, progressive sanctification is directly opposed to the above incontrovertible text of Divine Revelation; and this proves, that progressive sanctification is human error, opposed to God’s Truth. The Holy Ghost asks, with a view to discriminate between things and persons that differ, “Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from sin?” {Pv.20:9} To which I answer, none can say that in truth, {though many others have pretended to it falsely,} but the spiritual in Christ Jesus; and can they? Some will exclaim, with as much amazement as if I was introducing some doctrine never yet found in the Bible; this however, shall not deter me from giving the most positive answer in the affirmative, this being the express case of all “who are born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the WORD of God, {Christ,} which liveth and abideth forever.” “Ye,” says Peter, “have purified your souls, in obeying the truth, through the Spirit.” {I Pet.1:22} It is positively affirmed, that the persons referred to, had purified their souls; here I might leave it, it being the testimony of the Holy Ghost, and warrants the most implicit faith; but we may remark further how they did it, “in obeying the truth;” what is implied by this? Why, believing the Gospel, which says, “Christ is made unto us sanctification,” that “by one offering, he hath perfected forever, them that are sanctified,” that he is his people’s sanctification, by doing the will of God, in their stead, which will, as done by Christ, was in fact their doing it themselves, not in their first Adam’s existence, but in the Second. So then, as “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness,” so it is also in sanctification, for God is said, “to purify {sanctify} the hearts of his people, by faith,” that is, faith apprehends Christ as the object, the source, or matter of heart purification, for “he that hath this hope {Christ as revealed in the Gospel, for the obedience or apprehension and reliance of faith, as the very substance of the believer’s sanctification} purifieth himself, even as Christ is pure.” {I Jn.3:3} But we must not overlook the power, or agent, by which believers purify their souls, which is, “the Spirit;” through the Spirit, believers purify their souls; how so? Why, by the Spirit taking of Christ, as provided by the Father, as his people’s sanctification, and showing him in that covenant character, and union relationship, to the heaven-born soul, whose faith, by the sight of Christ, thus divinely provided, and divinely revealed, is called forth to act upon Christ, as such, and by which medium, the believer can say, “thanks be to God, for his unspeakable gift,” by which “I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin.” But in which of all these texts, that treat so pointedly, and exclusively on sanctification, is there the most distant trace of the sentiment of progressive, in opposition to complete sanctification in Christ? Does not Christ call his church “a dove;” and does he not also compare them to “a chaste virgin;” in which representation, are we not taught to view the bride, the Lamb’s wife so completely sanctified, as to be “without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing?” But to all these plain and positive Scripture references, in defense of what I am contending for, the chimera of progressive sanctification is directly opposed. Washington Wilks “Fearless Defense of the Leading Doctrines, Preached and Received by Modern Antinomians, in Seven Letters.” 1830.

Posted June 30, 2013

{Selection of the Week}

Divine Imputation of Sin unto Christ: When God, by a Sovereign Act of Preterition passed by the iniquities of his people, when by a glorious act of oblivion, that promise was substantiated; “and their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more.” Divine Justice accumulated all the iniquities, transgressions, and sins of God’s people, as an infinite heap, as an immense sum, in all their complicated nature, vileness, and demerit, not so much to make them known as to inflict punishment upon the Son of God for them; as it was in the riches of stupendous grace, the pleasure of the Lord Jesus, to stand as the sinner’s Surety and Saviour, to pay all their debts for them; so it was the pleasure of Law and Justice to charge all the bills that were filed in the Court of Heaven against them, upon the Son of God; and indeed upon the footing of his Suretyship engagement for them, they had a right to present all their bills as one vast sum before him; they looked upon the Saviour as responsible, therefore Law and Justice drew upon him for debts of many thousands standing, and for thousand years to come. As Christ had not only engaged to make an atonement for sin past, but likewise for sins present, and sins to come, therefore he had the whole charge presented to him at once, the whole file {if I may so express it} thrown into his lap, he being the bank of Heaven, and having all the essential riches and treasures of the Deity in his nature, he was able to make full compensation to every demand, which brought upon him the sum total of all the transgression of his people. And here we are to consider, that it was not only the many debts or transgressions of a single soul that Christ engaged to bear, but the innumerable transgressions of thousands and thousands of a number that no man can number. {Rev.7:9} All their transgressions in all their sins were transferred unto him, and charged upon him, when He was "made sin for us, who knew no sin." Thus Aaron’s confessing the iniquities, transgressions, and sins of the children of Israel, over the live goat, might be typical of the innumerable crimes that Christ bore for his people. “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed.” {I Pet.2:24} And; whereas it is said, that Aaron shall put the iniquities, transgressions, and sins upon the head of the goat; the which, I apprehend, is a radiant prefiguration of the transferring of our sins to Christ, of their being imputed to him and charged upon him; for Christ did not only take our nature, but he likewise, took our sins upon him, that he might suffer in our room, place, and stead, and thereby make an atonement for them with his own blood; dying the Just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. Sin therefore was imputed to Christ that he might suffer for it, for had not sin been transferred to Christ, it would not have been just to have punished him, as he did no sin, neither could it ever have been removed from us, had not Christ engaged to bear it in his own body upon the tree; therefore it follows that sin was the meritorious cause of Christ’s sufferings, or that he suffered in consequence of sin being imputed to him, that when sacrifices, offerings, and burnt offerings, the blood of bulls, and the blood of goats, would not take away sin; “then said I, Lo, I come {in the volume of the book it is written of me,} to do thy will, O God.” {Heb.10:7} Besides, I would observe, that if Christ did not bear sin, all the sacrifices under the Law would cease being typical of him, especially this great and comprehensive type of the scape goat, upon which it is said, “and Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness;” {Lev.16:21;} which did, in the most lively manner, shadow forth the imputation or transferring of iniquities, transgressions, and sins to the Son of God; and, by Aaron putting the iniquities, transgressions, and sins upon the goat, they were thereby typically and figuratively removed from them; so our sins being {by an act of rich grace} removed from us to Christ, they are hereby eternally taken away by his death, which could never have been if he had not first taken them upon him; “but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” {Heb.9:26} This important truth is clearly revealed in the Scriptures, typically all the sacrifices pointed it out, though it is acknowledged that none of them are said to bear sin but the live goat; which was not sacrificed, yet they are called a sin offering; “it is a sin offering for the congregation,” {Lev.4:21;} likewise a guilt, or a trespass offering; “and he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned;” {Lev.5:6;} which Character our Lord’s sacrifice bears; “when thou shalt make his soul an offering,” {Is.53:10;} for trespasses, or as the Greek translates it; “an offering for sin.” Also the offerings under the Law are called the offerings of atonement, of sweet savor to the Lord, which evidently proves that they did typically bear sin. The slain sacrifices under the Law did typically bear sin, and thereby spiritually pointed out to the offerer, the removal of his iniquity by the great Messiah. The scripture proofs of this are plain, positive, and unequivocal, “for he shall bear their iniquities.” {Is.53:11} Here the prophet points out the work and office of Christ, as a Savior and a Sacrifice for his people, that he should “see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied,” and by his knowledge he shall justify many, and gives this as the reason or argument to prove it, for “he shall bear their iniquities,” which in the original signifies, to bear it as a man bears a burden; he stood under the heavy load of our guilt, until it was wholly atoned for, the weight of which would have been too ponderous either for men or angels to have bore. He bore, which denotes that it was a massive weight, a ponderous load, a heavy mountain, inasmuch as he bore that which the blood of bulls, and of goats, nor all the legal sacrifices could take away; he likewise bore that which we are conscious of; namely, sin; inasmuch as that brings such distress and inexpressible sorrow upon the mind, and is no ways removed {as pertaining to the conscience} but by faith in his sacrifice, which proves that he bore it, and that our guilt was imputed to him, or else his sacrifice could not remove it from our minds; but, saith the Apostle, “whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood.” {Rom.3:25} Again, the Prophet observes, “that he bore the sins of many;” {Is.53:12;} and what can be more full and satisfactory, the argument is strong and evident, God is satisfied with it, and on account of which he hath said, “I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he hath poured out his soul unto death, and he bore the sins of many.” This hath the Apostle confirmed, “so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many;” {Heb.9:28;} and how glaring is the evidence given by the prophet Isaiah; “and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all.” {Is.53:6} The foundation of Christ’s bearing our sins was his Suretyship engagements for us, therefore he is called the Surety of a better covenant. Now a surety is one that has engaged for the safety and security of another; thus Judah became a surety to his father, for his brother Benjamin; “I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him; if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame forever.” {Gen.43:9} Christ in his Suretyship engagements for us, saith in our behalf, “if they have wronged thee, or owe thee ought, put that to my account, I will repay it.” A surety is one that engageth by bond or promise in behalf of an insolvent to pay his creditor, upon which engagement the creditor has a right in law to charge the whole debt upon the surety, in order to receive full satisfaction for the same. And we being by nature insolvent debtors, owing more than ten thousand talents, and having nothing to pay, our treasure {the covenant of works} being broke, Christ therefore undertook to become the Surety of a better covenant, to pay all our debts to law, and thereby to free us from condemnation, which engagement laid a proper foundation for his having all our debts imputed to him, and charged upon him, as saith the prophet, “all we like sheep are gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” {Is.53:6} The intrinsic motive and impulsive cause of Christ’s bearing our sins, and enduring such dolorous sufferings for them, was his own distinguishing love; it is true sin was the meritorious cause of his sufferings, but the foundation cause of his bearing our sins and suffering for them was his love. Sin being laid upon Christ, of necessity the guilt and punishment was, as there is such a close connection between guilt and punishment. Yes, sin with all its guilt and horrid contamination, with all its vileness and dreadful apostasy from God, with all its aggravated guilt and breach of Jehovah’s Law, with all that depth of evil which is contained in the heart of man, was imputed to and charged upon the Son of God; that fountain of iniquity which dwells in our hearts, and resides in the carnal mind, that infinite sea of transgressions which is contained between the banks of our corruptions, together with all the abominable filthiness of our corrupt nature from the womb till our final departure, were all by act of the Father transferred to Christ. “For he made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might made the righteousness of God in him.” {II Cor.5:21} Though Christ as man was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, as he did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth, yet by his own Suretyship engagements, and the Father’s Imputation of sin unto him, he became, {says Dr. Crisp,} the greatest sinner in the world! How? Not that he had any moral taint of sin, but because he had all the sins of the elect, in all their aggravation, filth, and vileness, imputed to him and charged upon him at one time; for, saith the prophet, “the Lord hath laid upon him the iniquities of us all;” and saith Daniel, “Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself;” and Peter saith, “who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree.” This description of Christ bearing sin is directly applicable to the type alluded to; for Aaron was to confess over the head of the live goat, all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins. Mark, in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat; which was a lively adumbration of the imputation of all our sins, in all their number and aggravating nature, as one round sum, upon the Son of God. The original spring of all these sufferings was his love, and the procuring cause of them was sin; but what laid him under a necessity of suffering, was his voluntary engagements to suffer, and his Father’s imputation of sin and guilt unto him, for He said unto his Father, “Sacrifices and offerings, thou wouldst not; and in burnt-offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hadst no pleasure; then said I, Lo, I come;” “I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straightened until it is accomplished;” “to this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world.” Christ’s sufferings therefore were not violently imposed upon him, though he was led as a lamb to the slaughter, yet his heart was in every step that he trod; it was what he engaged from everlasting to do, therefore styled, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” But the cause of the real sensation of his sufferings was his Father’s imputation of sin and guilt unto him. “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him.” {Is.53:10} He impressed his mind with a piercing charge of our guilt, and excited a most painful sensation in his soul of the dreadful evil, contamination, and vileness of sin; and as he stood as the Surety of his people, he made known to him the demerit of sin. NATURE OF IMPUTATION: Though Christ suffered for our sins, yet it was impossible that his holy nature should be polluted, for Imputation is not transfusion, as transfusion is the communication of the same nature from one to another, and makes an internal change in the object, whilst Imputation is an accounting or reckoning another’s act, as though it was our own; in this light the Apostle explains it, “for by one man’s disobedience, many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous.” {Rom.5:19} Christ is said to bear our sins, and not his own; such a transaction is common in all acts of suretyship; the surety is not looked upon by the law or any other, as the contractor of the debt, but one that becomes debtor for, and instead of the principal, he taking the debt upon him, and set down paymaster, is called a surety; and such is Christ a Mediator by way of Suretyship. “By so much was Jesus made a Surety of a better Testament.” {Heb.7:22} He also obeyed and suffered as a public person, a Prince of peace, a second Adam, in our room and stead, and there became a lawful change of persons and condition between him and us upon this very account. “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” {Mt.20:28} “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.” {Eph.5:2} “For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh; how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God; and for this cause he is the Mediator of the New Testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." {Heb.9:13-15} Christ was made sin in the same manner as we are made the righteousness of God in him; that is, imputatively, blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth righteousness without works. Imputation is reckoning, accounting, or placing to account, and esteeming thereupon. The act of imputation therefore, whether of sin or of righteousness makes no internal change in the object of the act, for it is not a transient act, but it is an inward act of the mind, which cannot produce a physical change in the object upon whom it passes, and consequently the imputation of sin to Christ, was not, nor could be productive of any internal change in him; notwithstanding the placing to his account in the Divine mind, our guilt, our criminal actions, he remained innocent, pure, and spotless in himself. This one thing being duly attended to will enable is to answer various trifling objections which are raised against the doctrine of the Imputation of our sins to Christ beyond any solid reply. Some have objected that if sin itself be imputed to Christ, he must be defiled by it, but that must be a great mistake; for sin as imputed defiles not, if it did, the imputation would be impossible with God, not only with respect to Christ, but also sinners themselves, because Infinite Purity cannot put forth any act that would render the object of that act morally impure. If the imputation of sin to the guilty creature doth not pollute him, which is a certain truth, how should the imputation of it to the holy Jesus defile him? Imputation is not transfusion; in the latter the person becomes the subject of that which is imputed by the act of imputation; and therefore, though the transfusion of sin, if that could be, which it cannot, would necessarily defile, the imputation of sin doth not pollute the object of that act, and consequently the imputation of sin to the blessed Jesus, did not, nor could pollute his holy nature. This doctrine contains no false or mistaken idea in it; on the part of the Father, who imputed sin to Christ; nor on the part of Christ to whom it was imputed; not on the part of the Father, for he did not consider our criminal actions, which he placed to the account of Christ, as his acts, as perpetrated by him, but as our acts committed by us. Nor does this doctrine, on the part of Christ, include any mistaken conception in it, for it doth not suppose that he had a consciousness of the perpetration of those criminal actions which were imputed to him; or, that under the charge of them to him, he esteemed them acts that he himself had committed; therefore this doctrine is attended with no dangerous consequences relating to Christ, nor is anything contrary to Truth supposed therein respecting sin, which he was made for us. Besides, if guilt was not charged on Christ, his sufferings could not have been of a penal nature, for penal suffering under a charge of offence, and without a just imputation of guilt cannot in equity be inflicted upon any subject; it is a most unrighteous thing to punish any considered as innocent, and therefore if it was not possible with God to impute sin to the innocent Jesus, neither could he inflict punishment upon him, and if Christ did not endure proper punishment, his sufferings were not, neither could they be satisfactory to the Law and Justice of God for our sins; of such necessity and importance is the doctrine of the Imputation of Sin to Christ that we cannot be saved without it. John Allen {Christian's Grand Treasure}

{Biographical Sketch}

Biographical Sketch of John Allen: In 1764, at age 23, John Allen was ordained and installed as the pastor of the Particular Baptist Church in Petticoat Lane, near Spitalfields, London. It was during that period that he published his “Royal Spiritual Magazine; or, Christian’s Grand Treasure,” in 3 volumes. Upon his settlement in London, he took a shop in Shoreditch, and commenced business as a Linen-draper; but in this pursuit he soon thereafter failed. When his business failed, Allen’s debt grew, and he spent some time incarcerated at the King’s Bench Prison. When the Petticoat Lane Congregation dismissed him, he briefly found a new pastorate at Broadstairs, near Newcastle. In 1767 he was dismissed by the Broadstairs congregation, and in 1768 returned to London as a schoolteacher. By January 1769 he was again in financial trouble, and he was tried at the Old Bailey for forging a ₤50 note; but acquitted. {Apparently; Allen found a forged bank note in the street. A simple handwriting sample cleared him of the charge of forgery. But the fact that he tried to cash it in did not reflect well on his character.} Although he was acquitted, this trial destroyed his reputation, and its stigma followed him. His religious sentiments were High Calvinism with Strong Supralapsarian leanings. He was considered to be slightly unorthodox in some of his views; as he was a warm advocate for the preexistent scheme, in opposition to most Trinitarians. Allen showed no regard for the rising Arminianism of his day; and though admiring John Wesley as a gentleman, scholar, and historian, Allen rejected Wesley’s profession of Christ in his book entitled “The Spirit of Liberty.” Some suspected Allen had sympathy for the much-despised Sandemanian sect {followers of Robert Sandeman} because of comments he made in the same book. Whilst in London, notwithstanding his engagements in trade, he found leisure to compose, and to publish various pieces, to which he generally prefixed titles of a sufficient length. The first of these was, “A Chain of Truths; or, a Dissertation upon the Harmony of the Gospel; Delivered as a Compendium of Faith, before many Witnesses, at the Baptist Church in Boarsyard, Petticoat-lane, where there is a Lecture upon Cases of Conscience, every Sabbath-day Evening at Six o’clock; by J. Allen, a Strict Trinitarian, Author of the Spiritual Dialogue in the Spiritual Magazine. Delivered at his Ordination, and published by Request. 1764.” In 1765, he published a piece on the Trinitarian Controversy, entitled, “The Beauties of Truth Vindicated.” In the same year, “The Christian Pilgrim; or, the Travels of the Children of Israel Spiritualized.” Soon afterwards there appeared, “The Glories of Christ; or, the Crown of Crowns set upon the Head of King Jesus; wherein is displayed his Glory as Jehovah by Nature, and his Mediatorial Glories as the Messiah and Saviour of his People; Together with a Letter to an Arian. 1765” Another of his works is entitled, “The Door of Knowledge Opened in a Spiritual Campaign; or, the Operation of War Divinely Improved.” Most, if not all of these pieces have been re-printed, and are in high repute amongst persons of Supralapsarian sentiments. Mr. Allen also wrote notes upon the Bible, in two volumes folio, which have also been re-printed. Some of his works have been published with recommendations by the late Mr. Romaine, a Clergyman of the Church of England. In 1770, Allen published “The Spirit of Liberty.” Already showing his radical political views and his sympathies for the developing American cause, this pamphlet argued for the return of John Wilkes to Parliament and defended the rights of the individual. Most chroniclers believe that he left London for New York in 1771 though Allen did not re-appear in the historical record until 1772. At that time John Davis, the pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Boston had left his post due to failing health, so the congregation was searching for a new teaching Elder. Davis knew of Allen and made it clear before he died that he wanted Allen to preach at Second Baptist. The church committee knew something of Allen’s reputation in England and so was reluctant to invite him to speak. After some debate, they asked him to give the annual Thanksgiving Day Address. This sermon preached on Dec.3rd, 1772 was later printed as a popular pamphlet; entitled, “An Oration on the Beauties of Liberty; or the Essential Rights of the Americans.” This sermon was actually reprinted seven times in four different cities, making it the sixth most-popular pre-independence pamphlet in British America prior to the publication of the Declaration of Independence.  Elder Allen remained as a “visiting pastor” for just nine months, November 1772 until July 1773. Second Baptist never extended a permanent call to him. In 1774, Allen moved to New Hampshire where he died in obscurity sometime between 1785 - 1788. This biographical sketch was largely taken from Walter Wilson’s “History and Antiquities of Dissenting Churches, Vol.4, 1808.” MPJ

{Writings of Henry Denne}

Eternal Suretyship of Christ: I come now to show you the taking away of sin considered in the third respect, as it is taken away out of the sight of God; the design of Christ by the appointment of the Father, to take away sin, out of the sight of God. Christ is set forth unto us as a Propitiation and a Lamb of Atonement, an Offering for sin. “It pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief; when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.” {Is.53:10} Our first consideration will be to set forth that Christ offered an offering to God. The second will be, to declare the end and effect of that offering. First, that Christ offered a sin offering to God. Christ was made by God our High Priest. Now every high priest is ordained for men in things pertaining to God to offer up sacrifices for sins. {Heb.5:1} This Christ did once, when he offered up himself. {Heb.7:1} That is, he once offered for the sins of the people, which is confirmed unto us. “Who through the Eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God.” {Heb.9:14} By this it appears, that Christ Jesus was an offering unto God. But what was the effect of this offering? Even to make atonement, to make peace, to redeem us from the curse of the Law, from the tribulation, anguish, indignation and wrath which the Law had threatened, and must have of necessity fallen upon us, had not Christ been made a curse for us. But in him the Father hath declared himself well pleased; I say, well pleased in Him, that so through Him the Father might manifest unto us, his eternal pleasure; and we again, might through Him have boldness of access before the Throne of his Grace. Here comes a difficult question to be discussed; whether wrath and indignation did now lie upon those, for whom Christ stood as Eternal Surety, for sin in respect of God. I answer, No; and my reason is, because we have an High Priest over the house of God, which is without beginning, and end of days, between whom and the Father all things are acted and transacted before the world began; and therefore we read of eternal life promised before the world began. {Tit.1:2} But if this be so, how is Christ said to deliver us from wrath? I will show you in the words of the Apostle, who saith that, “Jesus which delivered us from the wrath to come,” {I Thes.1:10,} which must have fallen upon us, if Christ had not been a Mediator. Give me a time wherein his priesthood and sacrifice were not present and effectual with the Father; and I will grant, that at that time, the creature lieth under wrath. But that you may see that these things were transacted with the Father {according to his good pleasure} before the Messenger of the Covenant had offered himself upon the cross, you have the witness of the Father from heaven, “this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” The Son had not yet actually suffered, his blood was not yet shed upon the cross, and yet the Father saith, I am well pleased, I am contented. The Father is well pleased, but it is in the Son, and that before his sufferings, to show that he was a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. But if the Father were well pleased before his sufferings, what need was there that his blood should be shed. The Justice of God revealed in the Law did require that his blood should be shed, and that the Father manifests himself well pleased in his Son before his passion, doth presuppose {I lack words to express what I would} his death and sufferings {that in respect of man was yet to come} to be perpetually present with the Father. Great is the mystery of godliness, and who is sufficient for these things? Henry Denne {Man of Sin Discovered, 1646}

Justification & Faith: Question - When is the time that sin is taken away out of the sight of God? Answer - Remission of sins is even as ancient as satisfaction for sin and at what time Christ Jesus taketh our sins upon Himself at the same time are the persons of God’s elect justified before the tribunal of Almighty God. Question – Sir, please show us authority for this, for I have always thought that faith itself, is first in order of causes before our actual Justification in the sight of God? Answer - The act of our Faith is a consequent of our Justification, and not an antecedent is plain; for God justifieth the ungodly; and we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son when we were enemies. {Rom.5:10} Now believers cannot be called enemies, but friends; but we were reconciled when we were enemies. {Is.32:17} The effect of Righteousness is assurance; and they that are engrafted into Christ Jesus are justified; but we must be engrafted into Christ Jesus before we can believe, therefore we must be justified before we can believe. To believe is a good fruit, but we can bear no good fruit until we be engrafted into Christ Jesus. “Ye are the branches…for without me ye can do nothing.” {Jn.15:5} The branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it be incorporated into the Vine. - Know that Christ is made ours by God’s Imputation or Accounting, {Rom.4:3-9} Look by what way or means our sins were made Christ’s; and after the same manner, and by the same means, his Righteousness is made ours; but our sins became his by God’s accounting, as the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all, so by the same account of God, {who calleth things that are not as though they were,} his Righteousness is made ours; and just as he became sin for us, so are we made the Righteousness of God in him; thus are we justified freely by his Grace, by his blood; and thus it is God that justifieth. Question - How are we said to be justified by faith? Answer - Faith is taken two ways; first, for the Object of our Faith; that is the thing which we do believe, as also hope is taken, {for Christ is our hope,} so we are justified by faith; that is, by the blood of Jesus Christ. Secondly; faith is taken for the act of our Faith beholding the glorious Object and so we are assured of our Justification; justified before God by the Object of our faith, assured by the act of our faith, appropriating this Object. Question - I perceive now that they only are righteous whom God accounteth righteous, whose Salvation is wrought in Christ Jesus; but how shall I know whether Christ hath satisfied for me, and so whether God accounteth me righteous or not? Answer - The knowledge of this comes by Faith, for the promise is made to believers; and this is the proper office of faith, {assurance,} to be persuaded of God’s mercy to us in particular. Henry Denne {Conference Between a Sick Man and a Minister, 1643}

Law and Gospel Distinctions: It is a design of Christ to purge the conversations of his chosen and called people; for the smock of hell hath sometimes said, “if I be elected, I may live as I list;” but what saith the Spirit of God, “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” {I Pet.1:2;} That God that hath elected thee in Christ Jesus before the world began, hath elected thee unto obedience, and not unto disobedience. Thou are not chosen to be like the Prince of darkness, to walk in the vanity of thy mind; but to walk in holiness as becometh saints; and to contend for the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, as to free it, and the Revelation of the Riches of his Grace from that cloud which doth eclipse it from the eyes and affections of very many, because it hath by reason of the evil tongues, and credulous ears incurred an unjust suspicion of liberty and licentiousness. But is this so? We call heaven and earth to record that the Gospel teaches holiness, sobriety, temperance and whatsoever is of good report; yea it teacheth to avoid even the occasions of evil; yea, we call heaven and earth to record whether the Gospel do not draw us unto an holy obedience with as forcible {I will be bold to say, more forcible,} and effectual cords than any doctrine whatsoever; for the true Gospel draweth with the cords of love; which is as strong as death, for nothing can be able to resist it, for “many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it; if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.” {Cant.8:7} I call again, heaven and earth to record, whether any Doctrine can confer such power, {if I speak improperly I will be contented to alter my speech,} whether the Spirit of God do works so powerfully in the soul by any doctrine as by the Doctrine of the Gospel. The Law indeed shows us what is to be done, threatens us heavily if we do not, rewards us plentifully, {in things pertaining to this life,} if we do it; but all this while it ministereth unto us no quickening power; but leaves us dead, yea the more we hear it, {if we hear it aright,} the more dead we are. “For I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died, and the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.” {Rom.7:9,10} But the Gospel, the word of Grace, is the ministration of a quickening Spirit, not only calling upon us to do, but also giving power to perform. Therefore is the word of Grace called healing words, “even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness.” {I Tim.6:3} But if these things be so, how come so many foul accusations, so many heavy charges are cast upon this Doctrine of Grace? I answer, the servant is not greater than his Master, “for they shall say all manner of evil against you falsely,” for Christ sake. {Mt.5:11} I must say of these men, as the Apostle of the Jews, “had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” {I Cor.2:8} But now, “they speak evil of those things they understand not.” {Jude 10} I desire to pray for them, in the words of our crucified Savior, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” The Law of man exempts all blind men from going to war, lest they should do more hurt than good, and be rather burdensome than profitable; and likewise, the Law of God admits of no blind priest to serve in the sanctuary of God. Men used to scare their children with a blind priest, {a very terrible thing,} the builders are ignorant, and therefore have they rejected the chief corner stone. Therefore have they refused the fountains of living waters, and dig unto themselves cisterns which will hold no water. They speak evil of the Gospel, both preachers and people, {like priest, like people,} because they know it not. Henry Denne {Man of Sin Discovered, 1646}

Christ & Antichrist: There is a great question as to who is Antichrist, and diverse answer, many things diversely; everyone according to his thoughts; some thinking that the Pope of Rome is Antichrist, some the Bishops, some the Turks ,&c; but give me leave to tell you what I conceive, that to tie the name of Antichrist to a particular man, or to any particular succession of men is to confine him unto too narrow a bound. I will not deny but that the Pope is a principal member of antichrist, of the man of sin, the Head, if you please; but I do believe the Pope and Antichrist to differ, as the part, and the whole, as the head, and the body; and I conceive the great Antichrist to be that mystical body of iniquity which opposes Jesus Christ. Antichrist is as much as to say, against Christ; whosoever doth seek to destroy that which the Lord Jesus hath built up, or to build up that which the Lord hath plucked down, the same is against Christ, and is so much a member of the great Antichrist. It cannot be denied, but that he that will endeavor to set up sin in the conversation of the people is indeed against Christ, and so a man of sin, a limb of antichrist; but yet our Savior hath declared unto us, that the great man of sin, the great Antichrist, shall not be so palpable as to set up sin in the conversation; but that he shall come unto us in great holiness, zeal, and strictness, with eyes and hands lifted up to heaven, as though his conversation were indeed there. Thus is fulfilled that which was forespoken by our Lord. “Beware of false prophets, which come unto you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravaging wolves.” {Mt.7:15} Like those prophets of old, who did wear rough garments to deceive; {Zech.13:4;} “for there shall arise false Christs, and false Prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; inasmuch that if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” {Mt.24:24} “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ; and no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” {II Cor.11:13,14} They are zealous, as they “make a fair show in the flesh.” {Gal.6:12} The coming of the man of sin is “after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness.” {II Thes.2:9,10} “He doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men;” {Rev.13:13;} even bringing many excellent truths of God, kindled at the flames of his altar. One thing more observable is that such shall be his carriage, that he shall not only deceive others, but himself also; so that in his own esteem he shall be none other than the servant of the true God, and his Son Jesus Christ. We are deceived within ourselves, if we look for Antichrist to come like the heathen Bacebus, staggering up and down in the streets, wallowing in his own vomit; we are deceived, if we look for Antichrist among the lewd sons of Belial, roaring in the taverns. No, we shall find him in the Temple; rather, find him in the Pulpit; you shall find him at devotion, with great zeal, inasmuch that whosoever hath not the spirit of discerning shall presume that he is one of an excellent spirit. How often do those men lie unto deceit; who have no other touchstone for doctrine, but the zeal and holiness of the conversation. This must needs be true, say some, for I heard a very holy man deliver it. Alas poor soul; dost not thou know that beast-like doctrine which drops most often from men of holy conversation? Dost not thou see that the man of sin is as tall in the holiness of conversation as the true saints of God; as the Apostles of Christ themselves? His garment as rough, his countenance as steadfast, the supplications as frequent, his zeal as great. Oh then beware of false prophets, search the Scriptures, try all things. But you will say, if it be so, how shall I know the man of sin if I meet him? Is it not said, “by their fruits you shall know them.” {Mt.7:16} If such be the fruits of the man of sin, how shall I be able to discern him? To this I answer; that there are two sorts of fruit; the fruit of conversation and the fruit of doctrine; the fruit of the lips, and the fruit of the hands. “I create the fruit of the lips.” {Is.57:19} Now the surest way to discover Antichrist is by the fruit of his lips, by the discipline of his mouth; for if we look upon the apostles of Christ and the man of sin, we shall find both of them holy in conversation; yea so holy that who can discern them, the one from the other. Therefore must we inspect the voice, and ponder the doctrine. “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed.” {II Jn.10} “Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” {Gal.1:8} When a wolf cometh in sheep’s clothing, how shall we discern in the flock, which is the wolf, when both are fleeced alike? Must we not wait until they utter their voices, and then we shall discern that the one bleats and the other barks. We read of a beast, {the Lord to deliver us from him,} who hath horns like a Lamb, and who speaks as a dragon. {Rev.13:11} Though we cannot discern him by his horns, yet we may easily know him by his dragon-like voice. What was the course that Jephthah took to discern the Ephraimites from the Gileadites, at the banks of the Jordan, for their faces were alike, their harness alike, their colors alike, their garments alike; and yet he discerned them by their tongues. “And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites; and it was so, that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay; then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth; and he said Sibboleth; for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan; and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand. {Jdg.12:5,6} This will be the trial of the man of sin, of the members of antichrist, when they that have their senses exercised, shall discern them to cry Sibboleth in the doctrine of godliness. Sure it is that this is the only certain way of discerning. There is indeed another way, which is very probable, but not so certain in a double respect. It is a by his scarlet coat or gown; for the woman that sits on the beast is arrayed in purple and scarlet color, {Rev.17:4,} the beast himself was scarlet colored, {vs.3,} the great dragon is for color red, {Rev.12:3,} and that great city was clothed in fine linen, purple and scarlet. {Rev.18:16} Henry Denne {Man of Sin Discovered, 1646}

Repentance & Faith: The Gospel propoundeth unto us a Sacrifice already offered, Propitiation, Atonement and Reconciliation already made, sin already finished, and then by the Ministry of Reconciliation calleth upon us to repent unto remission. This is the Ministry of Reconciliation; namely, “that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” {II Cor.5:19} Christ is our Priest, our Sacrifice, our Atonement; he offered for our sin, he made peace through his blood, and calls upon us to believe this peace and atonement made. But this will more plainly appear, when I shall prove unto you, that not only remission, but even Faith, {the knowledge of remission, whose Object is remission of sins in Christ,} must needs be before godly contrition. “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” {Rom.14:23} All contrition that proceeds not from Faith is no better than sin; but godly Repentance is not sin. Therefore it is not before Faith, but from Faith; we do not therefore believe remission of sins because we repent; but we therefore repent, because we believe remission of sins in Christ. Again the question is, whether or not, Repentance is not a sacrifice of thanksgiving? If so, it presupposes the knowledge of a benefit received. I would not be understood, as though I thought the Faith of God’s elect to remain any time in the soul void of Repentance; but my meaning is to show you the order of the work of the Spirit of God who produces not Faith by Repentance, but Repentance by Faith. Doth any man declare unto you Repentance as a means to obtain remission and forgiveness at the hands of the Father? These are the footsteps of the man of sin, of the son of perdition; and you have seen how contrary this is to the Grace of God manifested in the sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ; and how contrary to the voice of the glorious Gospel, which “through this man {that is Jesus Christ} is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins.” {Acts 13:38} Let us then learn to be wise, let us learn to discern this wolf by his bark; let the opinion, the show, the profession of holiness be never so great; yet if they bring this doctrine, {Conditionalism} believe them not, for it is the man of sin, the limbs of antichrist, a wolf in sheep’s clothing that seek not to feed you, but to feed upon you. Take heed and beware! Henry Denne {Man of Sin Discovered, 1646}

True Person & Office of Christ: There being indeed, no doctrine more available to the manifestation of the glory of God, more comfortable to the souls of the people, more profitable to the edification of the Church than the doctrine of true Repentance truly taught and learned. There being also no doctrine more destructive to the Truth of God, and the comfort of his people, then that cloudy and misty doctrine of Repentance taught by the factors of Rome, whereby they seek to overthrow at once, the whole building of the temple of God. The summation of all is this; that whereas God saith that the justice of his Law is fulfilled, and he is well pleased in his Son to declare that sin and iniquity will be remembered no more; this man of sin will be more just than God, and say, that the Law is not fulfilled until you repent, the Father will not be well pleased in his Son, until you have repented of your sins. Thus you see how the man of sin exalts himself above the Justice, the Mercy, the Wisdom, and the Truth of God; and indeed it will be found true, that there is not any one attribute of God, but he hath sought to depress and to exalt and lift up himself, and his own doctrine; and that by this means he might fulfill that which hath been foretold of him; namely, that he “opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God.” {II Thes.2:4} As it was fore-spoken of him by the Holy Ghost; “and the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished; for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall magnify himself above all. But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces; and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.” {Dan.11:36-38} He will say; it is written, “who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” {I Jn.2:22} “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” {II Jn.1:7} From hence Rome, and all her children will argue, that they are not antichrist, that they are not the man of sin because they confess that Jesus is the Christ; yea whosoever shall deny that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, they hold him accursed. For the better clearing of this, and the opening of some places of Scripture, we must take it into consideration what it is to deny and confess Christ coming in the flesh. There are two things necessary to be believed unto the constitution of the Faith of God’s elect, and if either of these shall be found wanting, the faith will be found lame and imperfect; yea, altogether no faith at all. The one is to believe rightly the office of the Mediator and Redeemer; the other is to believe rightly the true Person of Christ; now he that believes the Person, and denies the Office, what doth he else than deny Christ coming in the flesh? Again, he that confesses the Office, but denies the Person is as faulty as the other. We do not lay unto Rome’s {or Arminians,} charge that they deny the Person of Christ; we have not any controversy with them concerning the Person of Christ, but we charge them with a denial of his Office, with denial of the effect of Christ’s death and resurrection. {These two are inseparable, for if we deny the office of Christ, we indeed deny his true Person as well!} For when it shall be declared that the effect of Christ’s death requires on our parts a condition, and that Christ’s death is not effectual unto us until the condition on our parts be performed, we say that this is to deny the office of the Messiah, this is to deny the Priesthood and Sacrifice of Christ to take away sin and to finish transgression; and unto us it doth appear, that the pre-requiring of a condition doth diminish the glory of the efficacy of Christ’s work. Henry Denne {Man of Sin Discovered, 1646}

Justification in Christ Alone: He that is in Christ is justified; but we must be in Christ before we can believe, therefore we must be justified, before we can believe. The major is plain and the minor is proved, that we must be in Christ before we can believe, for to believe is a fruit of the Spirit. Likewise, we must be in Christ before we can bear fruit; therefore we must be in Christ, before we can believe. “As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” {Jn.15:4} Secondly, if Faith be a good fruit, it is required that men must be good trees before they can bring it forth; otherwise, grapes should be gathered of thorns, and figs of thistles. {Mt.12:33} If you will, the argument may be stated thus; he that hath the Spirit of Christ, hath Christ; but we have the Spirit before we believe, therefore we have Christ before we believe. - We were made sinners in the first Adam, before we had done good or evil; therefore we are made righteous in the second Adam, before we have done good or evil. This consequence is proved; “therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” {Rom.5:18,19} If you will place the emphasis of this text in ‘all’ and ‘many,’ you will cause the hearts of the Universalists to leap for joy, which you would not willingly do; therefore we must be forced to place the emphasis in ‘as’ and ‘so.’ As we all sinned in the loins of the first Adam, so were we all made righteous in the loins of the second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ; and this agrees with the Ministry of Reconciliation; namely, “that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” {II Cor.5:19} Where there is full satisfaction made in the parties offended accepting that satisfaction and contented to rest therein, there must needs follow perfect remission of sins; but in Christ crucified {before we believed} was full satisfaction made and God was contented to rest in that Satisfaction. Therefore there will follow perfect remission of sins, &c. “For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” {Heb.10:14} That God is content to rest in that satisfaction, we have the witness of the Father. “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” {Mt.3:17} “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.” {Is.53:11} If we are not justified in his sight before we believe, then are we unjust sinners, workers of iniquity; then doth the Lord hate us, for he hateth all the workers of iniquity. {Ps.5:5} You know what absurdities will follow, if you say that we must believe before God can love us; but if God hate us today and love us tomorrow, let Arminius with his disciples hear this and wonder, why they should be blamed that say, we may be loved today and hated tomorrow; children of God today and of the devil tomorrow; when they who would seem their greatest adversaries, will not spare to say, we may be hated today and loved tomorrow; the children of the devil today, and of God tomorrow. But that God loved us first, before we believed, when we were enemies, in our blood, &c., is so plain that I will not willingly so dishonor you, as one to conceive that you will deny it. Again, this proposition, that we are justified by Faith is very ambiguous; for he was not a fool who {a hundred years since} said, that this proposition was one of those things hard to be understood; which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest as they do other Scriptures to their own destruction. {II Pet.3:16} I would that our age had not proved it true, that the misunderstanding of this proposition has turned upside down the doctrine of Justification amongst puddling preachers. There is in this proposition two words ambiguous and doubtful; the first, ‘justified’ which sometimes in Scriptures signifies to be reputed, reckoned or accounted just; as, “it is God that justifieth.” Sometimes it is taken for to be declared or manifested to be just. If you take ‘justified’ in this sense, then I say that we are justified {that is, declared to be just} by believing, faith manifesting to our conscience, that we are just before God; by faith understanding that God hath freely justified us in his Son. Another word ambiguous in this proposition is ‘faith’ which is diversely taken; sometimes for the act of Faith, or believing; and sometimes for the Object of Faith, the thing believed; as, “Faith was reckoned unto him for Righteousness;” {Rom.4:9;} that is the Object of Faith; so that it is all one as if he had said, God or Christ was reckoned to him for Righteousness. If we understand the act of Faith; then I say, as before, that we are not reckoned just by the act of our Faith; if by Faith we understand the Object of our Faith; then I say, that we are reckoned or reputed just by God, in, by, or through Christ Jesus, our Faith. Henry Denne {Seven Arguments to Prove, that in order of Working God doth Justify his Elect, Before they do Actually Believe. 1643}


                 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