May 2013

 Posted May 1, 2013

{Writings of Thomas Collier}

Church of Christ: Objection - The churches are under much weakness and many divisions, therefore not the true churches of Christ; for the Church of Christ is one, and ought to dwell in unity, &c. Assertion – True, we indeed acknowledge ourselves to be weak, yet weakness argues not the Church to be no true Church, no more than weakness argues a man to be no true man, or weakness in faith argues a believer to be no true believer; for if there be so much of God made manifest, by which souls come to see their interest in Him, and their relation to Him, by virtue of which they enjoy communion and fellowship with Him, which is the greater; doubtless they may and ought to yield obedience to Him which is but an effect of the former; and if true believers in relation, then they are Christ’s though weak, and if united together upon the account of Christ by his Spirit in the obedience of faith, they are the Church of Christ; for the word ‘Church’ signifies an assembly or company of believers walking together in and according to the revealed will of the Lord; and so this weak company of believers thus waiting upon Him, and walking with Him in the expectation of his strength are then strongest, {II Cor.12:10,} and to them is the promise made, {Is.40:29-31,} therefore weakness with the sight and sense thereof is no ground of discouragement to the saints in their waiting upon the Lord and in their walking with Him. And as for divisions, if that will prove the churches to be no churches of Christ, the same argument will prove that there never was a Church of Christ; for I suppose there was never a Church yet without divisions. {I Cor.1:10, 3:3} It is true that unity is desirable and to be sought after, {Eph.4:3,4,} and those that cause divisions are to be noted, {Rom.16:17,} by which it appears that there were divisions. Paul and Barnabas were divided; {Acts 15:38-40;} Paul and Peter were likewise divided; {Gal.2:11;} and these were the chosen ministers of Christ, yet divided in their principles or opinions. Objection - This was in churches, not between churches, as now it is, one of one opinion and another of another opinion, so un-churching each the other. Assertion - So it was in the primitive times, the believing Jews did un-church the believing Gentiles, for they did un-saint them, for they taught, that unless they were circumcised after the manner of Moses, they could not be saved, {Acts 15:1,} which occasioned a great dissension; yet neither were the believing Jews or Gentiles either un-churched by it; so that divisions in the Church is no good argument to prove it no Church. Objection - There hath been a cessation of the practice of Ordinances a long time by reason of the Apostasy, so that there is no succession; therefore it is requisite that there should be some men extraordinarily gifted and called of God for the raising and renewing of the Ordinances of Christ. Assertion - First, it is true there hath been an apostasy, and by reason of that a cessation of the Ordinances of Christ; so there was amongst the Jews in their Babylonian captivity, a type of the mystical Babylon, and spiritual captivity of the saints, and Ordinances of Christ under the Gospel; but when the times of their deliverance was come, the Lord brought them forth, not by might, nor by power, but by his Spirit, {Zech.4:6,} so in the spiritual deliverance now in the last days, we find the Lord’s work to be the same, not by might or power of signs and wonders, but by his Spirit; and indeed here is a great and precious work of the Lord to bring over souls to believe in him, and to follow him by his Spirit in the ministry of the Gospel without signs and miracles according to the words of Christ himself. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” {Jn.20:29} And we shall find that when the Lord brought his people out of the material Babylon, he did not raise up any new Moses, but they found the Book of the Law, and read in that, and so came to find out the mind of the Lord, and practiced accordingly, and that with great joy too. Read Nehemiah the eighth chapter. And thus hath God dealt with his people, notwithstanding the great apostasy and captivity, yet the Lord hath preserved the Scriptures, the Law and Rule of saints, and hath given his Spirit, the Enlightner and Director of his people; we have as truly Christ and his Apostles as the Old Testament saints had Moses and the Prophets; and it were well if it were more the saints joy, that the Lord hath dealt thus graciously with us, for he hath not dealt so with all people, neither have they the knowledge of his will, so that we are to have recourse to the Scriptures, Christ being the same unto us, as he was to the saints in the primitive times; and we as truly having the mind of Christ, by his Apostles, as they; and the Apostles are truly our Apostles, and the Gospel of Truth recorded by them is ours who believe in Jesus as truly as it was theirs; so that the saints by the light of the Spirit coming to know the Lord, and believe in his Name, are to do his will revealed in the Scriptures; and I know no reason why we should look for a succession of Ordinances any more than a succession of Faith; for if the Lord hath left us the Scripture and Ministry by which the Spirit worketh faith, this Word and Ministry is sufficient for the practice of Ordinances. {Is.8:20, Rev.22:13} Objection - But the Scripture hath been carried along through the Apostasy of the man of sin, and may be corrupted, &c. Assertion - First, suppose there may be some circumstantial corruptions, yet in the body and substance thereof, it is the Word of truth, and whosoever denies this, must deny all: God, Christ, and all Truth. But secondly, that it is not corrupted is evidenced by the work and witness of the Spirit of Grace in the hearts of the saints bearing witness, for hereby we know the truth of the Scriptures, the answerableness of the work of the Spirit in us, and then the Lord’s work by his Spirit in us is witness by the Scriptures. Likewise, we know the truth of it, by its power through the work of the Spirit in converting souls; and if antichrist had corrupted the Scripture, surely he would have done it for his own ends; but he hath not done it upon that account, for there is nothing in it for his gain, but enough to destroy all. Likewise, there is no special practice in the Church taken not from one single Scripture, but it hath the test of many, and the joint harmony of Scripture confirming all; and all matters of justification, sanctification and obedience are therein plainly asserted, that whoso runs may read it, &c. Thomas Collier {Right Constitution & True Subjects of the Visible Church of Christ, 1654}

Posted May 3, 2013

{Writings of Thomas Collier}

Religious Priestcraft: The person that you mention with whom you disputed, and as you say, occasioned this pulpit discourse, was, a Carpenter, a Baker, a Farmer, a Weaver and a Baker’s Boy; and as it appears clearly in this, and all of your discourse, in which you often mention them, that you mention them in a way of reproach, as if it were a reproach and scandal for a Carpenter, a Baker, a Farmer, and a Weaver to preach the Gospel. I cannot but take notice of two things in this particular; first ignorance and secondly envy. 1. Your ignorance, and that under two considerations: First, ignorance in not knowing; else willfulness in not acknowledging that God hath always, and in all ages of the world hitherto made, and will make use of men of callings to be the ministers of his Gospel unto the people, as Moses, David, Elisha, Peter, Paul, &c., and I challenge you again to produce any example in the Scripture, that ever God made choice of any to be ministers of his mind unto the people, who were bred up idly all the days of their life, without a calling, as the priests of our time have been; that whereas idleness is forbidden in all ages, and God hath called men of particular callings to minister in the Gospel; but forsooth we must have idlers, and them only, drones that never knew what it was to live lawfully in the world by a particular calling, that must be put into the priests office, that they may eat a piece of bread and clothe themselves with the wool, and feed themselves with the fat of the people; and none must preach but themselves, lest their idleness and baseness should be discovered. Objection: There are many prophets and ministers in the Scripture whose callings are not mentioned. Assertion: True, but it’s enough, first that many, nay most are mentioned. Idleness was forbidden, and was altogether unlawful; therefore we may not judge that God made choice of loafers, because they were so, nay but that it is the devil’s choice, and Sodom’s sin, pride and idleness. Objection: The ministers are not bred up idly, as you say, but have particular callings, being bred up to learning, which is a calling. Assertion: That is no calling; for a calling is that, in and by which men may in the sweat of their face get their living, {Gen.3:19, Eph.4:28,} breeding to school is proper to children, when they cannot labor, to fit them for some calling. {Pv.22:6} Secondly, ignorance in not knowing that it is that which tends most to the glory of God, and wherein his power, wisdom, &c., is the more made manifest and magnified, in gifting weak ones; and this he doth that no man might glory in his presence, nor in his own wisdom, parts, arts, sciences, &c., that men might not give the glory to those outward base things of the world, which glory belongs to God; and of this it seems that you and the men of your generation are ignorant, worst and more blind. “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” {Acts 4:13} But you are so blind that you cannot take knowledge of the Lord’s servants, that they have been with Jesus, being ignorant of the truth that, “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger;” {Ps.8:2;} God ordaining strength out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, and in that way making his power and wisdom to appear, that so he might still the enemy and the avenger; but you are such an enemy, that you will not take notice of God’s working in this way, but you will be an enemy the more, and avenge the more and blaspheme the free operation of the Spirit in the saints, Pharisee like, a dangerous sin indeed. Thomas Collier {Pulpit Guard Routed, 1651}

Posted May 5, 2013

{Selection of the Week}

Omnipotent Reign of Grace: It is the work of the day to cry down Babylon, that it may fall more and more, and it is the work of the day to give God no rest, till he sets up Jerusalem as the praise of the whole earth. {Is.62:7} Blessed is he that dasheth the brats of Babylon against the stones; {Ps.137:9;} blessed is he that hath any hand in pulling down Babylon; and beautiful likewise are the feet of them that bring glad tidings unto Jerusalem, unto Zion, saying, “the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” {Rev.19:6} Though Christ’s Kingdom be for a while darkened, yet certainly Christ will reign in his Church gloriously, at the which the saints will sing Hallelujah. Why, did not Christ reign before? Yes, but not in that manner that now he is to reign, for the Kingdom of Christ hath been exceedingly darkened in the World; though it now begins to appear a little more brightly, it hath been exceedingly darkened. When Christ came in his own Person, how did he appear to reign, and be the Lord God Omnipotent? I mean outwardly, for he was a man of sorrows; one that was rather a worm than a man; as it is said of him, He was one, in whom appeared no Form and Beauty; for which he should be desired. {Is.53:2} He was bruised by his Father; he was in the form of a servant; yea, made in the likeness of men; being made sin for us, and beaten like a condemned malefactor; yea, made a curse for us; and so how did he reign? They made him a king in way of derision, put a reed into his hand instead of a scepter, and bowed the knee in scorn, and called him the King of the Jews; and thus he reigned outwardly, and not otherwise, in his own Person. And afterwards in the primitive times how did he appear to be Lord God, and to reign there, when the Heathen Emperors reigned over his Subjects, and had their wills imposed upon them? His Subjects were but a company of poor distressed and forlorn people, wandering up and down, persecuted, and destitute of all comforts. Afterwards when God brought Constantine the Emperor and others to reign, the Church enjoyed a little Peace, though this was but for a little time. In the 8th of the Revelation, it is said there was silence in Heaven for half an hour, which may perhaps be applied to that little time of respite that the Church had in Constantine’s time; for when Licinius who was joined with Constantine in the Empire, presently fell off, and grew a Persecutor, then spread Arianism over all the World, that all the World seemed to be an Arian, so that Christ was not acknowledged Lord God; and therefore not {recognized as} reigning. Then Antichrist spread himself, and he set himself up as Lord God, and prescribed laws to the consciences of men, and Christ was cast out {in the hearts of degenerate men} of his Throne; yea, to this day how little hath Christ reigned as to any outward display of his power? The Devil himself appears a greater king, I mean in regard of the multiplicity of his subjects. Divide the World into thirty parts, and there are not above five of those that even acknowledge Christ; and out of those five take them where Antichrist reigns, and how little doth Christ appear to reign? And among them where Christ is acknowledged, and Antichrist rejected, how is his Kingdom persecuted; and of the better sort, how is his Kingdom slighted, and many forward professors and zealous Ministers have trifling thoughts thereof. Yea, even among those that set up his Kingdom, in regard of their miscarriages his Kingdom is darkened; so that Christ doth appear to have but a little reign in the World; and it is a glorious thing spoken of to John, that Christ, “the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.” What shall we say to these things? That Christ should be King of Heaven and Earth, and should appear so diminutive in his reign as he hath done, and yet doth to this day. Let us stay a little here, and admire at the infinite Depth and Wisdom of God’s Counsels that are past finding out. What God should aim at and indicate {if we may speak with holy reverence} to order these things, that his own Son so infinitely dear unto him, should have his glory so darkened in the World as he hath. We may think of some reasons why God doth ordain this; but what his aim and intentions are in the depth of his Counsels, is infinitely beyond us. It may be it is to be a stumbling-block to wicked and ungodly men in his just Judgment that they should see and not understand. {Mt.13:14} And it was upon this ground that God suffered his Kingdom to be darkened hitherto, that Antichrist might prevail, because of much Glory {that is, vindicate Glory as made known in the “day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God”} that he intended to bring out of the prevailing of Antichrist in the World; therefore in his Providence he hath so ordained it, as that the Kingdom of his Son for many years should indeed be darkened. And {my Brethren} if the Kingdom of Christ had been kept in Congregations, in that way that we and some other Churches are in, it had been impossible that Antichrist should have got head. But God in his Providence, because he would so order Antichrist to rise and to Rule for a long time, as he had many things to bring out of the Kingdom of Antichrist, to work for his Glory; therefore God hath left this particular truth {that of his absolute sovereignty & complete reign} to be so dark; that is, the setting up of Christ in his Kingly Office. Thirdly, because God would exercise the Faith and other graces of his Spirit in his own Children, that they might believe in and love Jesus Christ for his spiritual Beauty, though {at particular seasons} there appears nothing but spiritual Beauty, and no outward Beauty, as no outward Kingdom doth appear, but he reign as a Spiritual King only. It was a great and a glorious thing, in those three wise men that came to Christ that offered Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh to Christ when he was in a Manger; and so for God’s people now to believe in him, now to love, now to rejoice in him, now to offer all to him; for now his Kingdom is darkened, now he doth appear so despised as he is; for this is a glorious work of Faith, and we should desire much to be found in this way of faith, in looking upon this Spiritual Beauty that is in Christ, and satisfying our souls in that; that so we may not be offended at the darkening of Christ’s Kingdom outwardly in the world; and the less Christ doth appear to reign outwardly in the world, the less glorious his Kingdom doth appear outwardly, the more let us labor to bring our hearts under his spiritual Reign of Grace. The more others say, “we will not have this man reign over us,” the more let our souls subject themselves to him, and say, “Christ is our KING,” and may he reign forever over us; yea, let us labor to sympathize with Jesus Christ in the darkening of his glory and of his Kingdom. Jesus Christ, though he be the glory of his Father, “the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his Person,” yet is he contented to have his glory darkened for a season. Therefore who are we that we must have glory in this world and outward excellencies, when Christ is willing to be without them? Let us be willing to go like the Witnesses, clothed in Sackcloth, till Christ comes to reign. There are white shining garments prepared, but that time is not yet, though it will not be long. The Bridegroom yet seems to be absent, and therefore it is fit for the Spouse to go low and mean in the mourning weeds as a widow; the trimming of the Bride in her outward glory, may come hereafter, when Christ shall come in glory into the World. Lastly, the Kingdom of Christ is darkened for a while outwardly, and therefore it should teach us to bless God so much the more for that opportunity that we have of setting up Christ as King amongst us; for thus far, the Voice is not heard much, that the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth abroad in the world, though lately some noise we have heard; but, blessed be God, in our Congregations amongst us, may we hear the Voice, that the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. It is through our own wretched wickedness, if his Kingly Power be not fully set up amongst us in all his Ordinances; and that we should have an opportunity to set up his Kingly Power amongst us here, while it is so much opposed, and so little known in the world, it is a great mercy indeed. Therefore let us take heed of abusing that opportunity we have, for darkening the Kingly Power of Christ, which we profess to set up; especially in these {apostate} times, when there comes to be a Voice, though confusedly, from the Multitude, and some kind of Voice of thunder from the great ones. But though it be dark for a while, certainly he shall reign, and the Voice will be glorious and distinctive, saying, “Alleluia; for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” William Kiffin {Glimpse of Zion’s Glory, or the Churches Beauty Specified, 1641}

Posted May 6, 2013

{Writings of Thomas Collier}

Law & Gospel Distinctions: Accusation - That Christ hath removed the Law, and now the pure Gospel is the only Rule. Assertion - What yet more ignorance and malice? Is this one of the wrinkles and deformities, one of the delusions of that deluded sect that is everywhere spoken against? I wonder you have left out one; this comes very near it, that they expect Salvation by the Free Grace of God in Jesus Christ. Is this such a strange wrinkle and delusion with you, that Christ hath removed the Law? I pray what was the end of his coming, if not to remove the Law as a dispensation held forth in the hands of Moses? “For the law was given by Moses, but Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ.” {Jn.1:17} First, he came to fulfill the Law, every jot and tittle of it. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” {Mt.5:17} He fulfilled all the righteousness of it; “for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness;” {Mt.3:15;} and so Christ is the End of the Law for righteousness to all those who believe. {Rom.10:4} Secondly, he hath removed the Curse and Condemnation of the Law. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.” {Gal.3:13} “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” {Rom.8:1} Thirdly, he hath removed the rule of it as in the hands of Moses; for there it was the rule that produced the curse, it was a ministration of death, and now the pure Gospel is the only rule of saints; and is this such a mystery and deformity to you; you, a minister of the Gospel and ignorant of this truth? Sir, I must tell you, that if you were a Christian in good earnest, you should not, you could not be ignorant that the Gospel, the Law of Christ, is the Rule of the saints. “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” {Mt.28:8} “And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that Prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” {Acts 3:23} They are married to him, and subject to him. “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” {Rom.7:4} Christ takes all that old dispensation, both moral and ceremonial into his own hands, and is the Substance of the ceremonies and righteousness of the Law, and now gives forth the substance of the Law again, to them, in them, not as a rule of righteousness, but as a Law of love, a Law of Grace, and pure Gospel if you will have it; though you think the word ‘pure Gospel’ is reproach enough; although you cannot be literally ignorant that the Gospel signifies glad tidings, and is not this glad tidings think you and pure Gospel, when a soul comes to see that all the wrath and enmity that was against him contained in ordinances taken away and fulfilled, and now there is no ministration of death against him; {Eph.2:15,16;} the Law of God in his heart, within him, without him, a Law of love and grace; no death, no wrath, nothing but love and grace, and the love of Christ constrains such souls to yield obedience to him, and to follow him wherever he goes. Thomas Collier {Pulpit Guard Routed, 1651}

Confession of Faith in Christ: It seems that our errors are so great, so dangerous in your eye, as that you fear miserably some great disaster come upon us; you cry out lamentably upon our doctrine, as that it will bring destruction to Church, State, souls and all. But what are our principles that are so full of danger? Answer: I shall give some brief hints. 1. That Justification and Salvation is by Grace alone through Christ, without any relation to anything done by the creature. 2. That this Justification and Salvation is enjoyed by faith. 3. That this Faith is the gift of God. 4. That where this faith is truly wrought, it produces a universal obedience to the whole Law of Christ, and that it is the believers privilege only to be baptized. 5. That obedience to Magistrates is the will of God, and we submit for conscience sake. 6. That believers are to press forwards after perfection, in the use of means, as prayer, preaching, conference, fellowship, &c. 7. That none are the Ministers of the Gospel but such as have received the Spirit, and Power from on High. 8. That the Spirit of Christ and the Scripture is sufficient for the calling of a minister, and for our salvation. 9. That it is the work of the Lord and of Him alone in the ministry of the Gospel to convert and build up souls. 10. That all the saints may and ought to exercise their gifts for the good of others, according to the measure that they have received. 11. That it is their duty to be men of peace and as much as in them lieth, to live peaceably with all. 12. That a mask and show of holiness and innocency to deceive others, without the power and life of godliness, is the deepest hypocrisy, and shall be punished with the deepest damnation. 13. Our expectation is of a change in the day of the Lord, wherein we shall be made conformable to Him in glory. 14. And in the meantime we are saved by hope, that as the anchor of the soul is cast into that which is within the veil, where we are held both sure and steadfast in Christ; where we are cheered and comforted against all the black mouths, false scandals, and lying tongues of devils, priests, or men that shall be opened against us; notwithstanding they fear not, neither tremble to do the work of the devil, in laying false scandals and accusations to the charge of God’s elect without just cause; the Lord will in his time reprove and rebuke you. Thomas Collier {Pulpit Guard Routed, 1651}

Posted May 10, 2013

{Writings of Henry Denne}

True & False Religion: There is but one true Religion, but there are many false; the false Religions seeming to differ exceedingly amongst themselves, in very many things even in the object of worship, and in the matter, and manner; yet be they never so different, there is one common foundation, wherein they do all agree, and wherein they differ from the true. The true Religion declares unto us a God in chief reconciled, pacified, pleased - a justice already satisfied, a propitiation made, sins taken away; and we have not one jot, not one apex in all the new Covenant to be found of reconciliation to God. The new Covenant manifesting unto us a God already reconciled to us, and the whole ministry of reconciliation propounding our reconciliation to God. Now this is the common character of all false religions of what sort whatsoever, Jews, Turks, Papists, Pharisaical Protestants, Heathen; yea all propound to some degree or other, an angry God, a deity not reconciled, and then prescribe certain means and services whereby to appease his wrath, and to quench his displeasure, and to obtain his love and favor. Man does not oftener seek after salvation, but he naturally stumbles upon this principle; 'What shall I do to be saved?' The world would be saved by doing. Luther speaking of this difference, does more than once compare the false religions unto Sampson's foxes, Judges 15:4; their heads looking divers ways, but they were fastened together by the tails. They differ indeed in some circumstances, but in the main substance they agree in one. Do we not see some men contending with the Papists, with wonderful eagerness? Do we not see others tugging, and halting, one one way, the other another, one for this ceremony, and another for that, as though there were a mortal difference between them; yea the difference so great, that it is sometimes the greatest reason for one side to refute this or that because the other uses it. Now he that shall search into the innermost secrets of these antagonists, shall find, them that so eagerly differ about circumstance, {who could have believed it?} to agree in substance. Like ships that sail in the sea a great way asunder, yet all tending to one haven. All tending to this end, to win or obtain the favor of an angry God. This that hath been spoken may prove a help to administer a spirit of discernment unto the simple, in these distracted times, wherein the Commonwealth is not more distracted than the Church. Now among so many diversities of opinions, how shall we know which is the old and the good way, that we may walk in it? One saith I am Christ, another nay, but I am Christ; for thy direction, search for that religion that abaseth man, that giveth the glory of grace to God; that propoundeth the free love of God in Jesus Christ, without mixture of anything in the creature, that is the true religion, all the rest are false; that is the true way, and strait line, all the rest are counterfeits, and crooked. Henry Denne {Grace, Mercy & Peace, Reprinted 1696}

Justification and Faith: The foundation being laid, the next that follows is the right application of this foundation; and this is the greatest task; for I find that the greatest difference between the Protestant and the Papist, is not about the foundation, who it is, but about the true and right application of this foundation. How this Christ becomes ours, before, or in the sight of God; for what learned Papist denies Christ to be the only foundation? What man so impudent, that subscribes not to the verity of this proposition? There is no other name under heaven whereby men must be saved, &c. Yet so great is their absurdity in the application, of this foundation, that they do no other thing but indirectly deny that which before they did directly confess, and so cannot shake from them that character of antichrist, to deny Christ coming in the flesh. They imagine a Christ prepared of God for us, and {I dare not say given} sold unto us, upon certain conditions, by us to be performed. They will say I do them wrong, I will therefore ask the wise Jesuit, How we come to be partakers of Christ's Righteousness; and I am sure I shall hear this answer, by Sacraments, by Penance, Faith and other good Works, which are as means to apply Christ unto us. This is the doctrine of the Papists; and I know you are not ignorant, that there is no small difference between the Protestants themselves about this matter. I appeal to your judgments, how they differ from Papists, who say that Christ's righteousness is made ours before God by Faith and true Repentance, which is by them defined to be a sorrow for sin, and amendment of life. I frame this argument, that which makes Christ's righteousness ours in the sight of God, may be said truly to justify us before God, or at least, to concur actively to our justification; so Faith, and sorrow for sin, with amendment of life, make Christ's righteousness ours in the sight of God; therefore {fearful be the conclusion!} - faith and sorrow for sin, with amendment of life justifies us before God, or at least concur actively to our justification. I believe you judge these, not to deserve the name of Protestants! Some Protestant 'holy' men, do say that Christ is made ours {in the sight of God} by Faith alone; Christ being the garment, our Faith the hand that putteth this garment on, yet me thinks that here is Christ set forth, upon some conditions, and not so freely given. I must profess my ignorance, that I cannot conceive how faith should put on Christ, apply Christ or make Christ ours in the sight of God. I therefore profess myself openly, to lean unto them that say, that Christ's righteousness is made ours in the presence of God, before God, by God's imputation, before the act of our Faith, and therefore necessarily without it. Even as our sins were made Christ's, so is His righteousness made ours. Now how were our sins made Christ's? Let the Prophet Isaiah speak, the Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all; so that God, which calleth things that are not as though they were, makes us righteous by His imputation of Christ's righteousness. But it will be objected, How then is Faith said to justify? I answer, if we take Faith for the object of our Faith {that is Christ} then Faith is properly said to justify us, for by Him we are justified, he being our righteousness. If we take Faith for the act of our Faith, apprehending this Object, then we are justified by it, declaratively in our Consciences. Henry Denne {Doctrine and Conversation of John the Baptist, Delivered in a Sermon on Dec.9, 1641}

Law & Gospel Distinctions: What is the reason that amongst men professing the same Christ, and reading the same Scriptures, so many irreconcilable controversies do daily arise? Is it not chiefly from hence; that men distinguish not rightly between the Law and the Gospel? He that shall search into the most material controversies, even between the Protestant and the Papist, and look into the original of them, he shall find the error of the Papists to arise chiefly from hence; the want of distinction between Law and Gospel. From this fountain proceeded the troubles of the Church of Antioch, Acts 15. From this fountain proceeded the apostasy of the Church of Galatia; and from this fountain proceed the perverse disputations of the Popish Schoolmen about repentance. And what heresy is it that hath not a part, either more or less, in this? Henry Denne {Doctrine and Conversation of John the Baptist, Delivered in a Sermon on Dec.9, 1641}

Law & Gospel Distinctions: It is the part of a faithful minister, to divide the word aright, which in Martin Luther's exposition, is aptly to distinguish between Law and Gospel. It was prophesied by Luther, that after his time the difference between the Law and Gospel should be neglected. Our age hath proved him too true a Prophet, for it is a thing not ordinarily observed. But will some say, what; shall not the Law now be preached? I say not so. I wish we could hear it oftener than we do; for I know that the Law is good, if a man use it lawfully; but the fault is not rightly to apply it; as when we apply it to troubled consciences to give satisfaction. Let us take heed of mingling these two, and so producing a confounded and compounded doctrine. Let us not sow the Lord's field with mingled seed, nor clothe them with a linen woollen garment {Lev.19:19}, for whom the Lord hath provided a vesture of fine linen. Take we good heed that we present not unto the sheep of Christ water, that we have puddled with our feet, Ezek.34:19. What are puddled waters? What is a linen wollen garment? What is mingled seed; but confused and obscure doctrine? Henry Denne {Doctrine and Conversation of John the Baptist, Delivered in a Sermon on Dec.9, 1641}

Christ the One Foundation: Let us have a care to lay a sure foundation, and to make a right application, that we may clear the way unto the distressed conscience, in the light of the knowledge of God. Far be it from us, to think the duty of a minister discharged, by crying out against Sin, Drunkenness, Adultery, and the rest. These things are to be done in their order; but we must know that there is a difference between a minister of the Gospel, and a moral Philosopher, between Plato and Paul, Aristotle and Apollos. Alas what profits it to salvation if we have reclaimed men from sin to virtue, from drunkenness to temperance, &c. not having laid a sure foundation? Have we brought them any whit nearer the Kingdom of Heaven? Nay, have we not made them seven times more the children of Hell than they were before? Publicans and Harlots enter into the Kingdom of God before you. Far be it from us to build without a foundation! Henry Denne {Doctrine and Conversation of John the Baptist, Delivered in a Sermon on Dec.9, 1641}

Contending for the Faith: What is become of Apostolical zeal of primitive courage; when we are so careful and so fearful, that we dare not inform truly, rebuke boldly, for fear of displeasing our hearers, for fear of losing, or hope of getting advancements. Let us put on resolution and go forward boldly, like men that neither care to rise, nor fear to fall. Henry Denne {Doctrine and Conversation of John the Baptist, Delivered in a Sermon on Dec.9, 1641}

Repentance: What is true mortification, but the apprehension of sin slain by the body of Christ. What is vivification but our new life? The just shall live by Faith. I have observed some to confine Repentance, within the bounds of our conversation, and make no difference between the Repentance which was taught by the Prophets, and that Repentance which was taught by the Son of God, and his Ministers, whose error doth sufficiently appear by that which hath been already spoken. I know this seem strange to some; and yet will they still say, they must agree with men in this, that Faith is a part of true Repentance. Otherwise, what will become of that Doctrine, so often heard in your pulpits; namely, that repentance washes away sin? I demand how and where? Out of the sight of God? No, for it is God that washes, it is God that justifieth; as before, and the blood of Jesus Christ washes us from all sin. How then does Repentance wash away sins out of the Conscience? This is Faith's office to purge the conscience, by declaring the favor of God in Christ Jesus, and neither the office of sorrow, or reformation, which may purge the conversation, but not the conscience. - To preach that tears do wash away sins, out of the sight of God is blasphemy against the precious blood of Christ. Besides the hideous effects that this Doctrine works in the Church of God; for the simple people being asked how they think to make satisfaction to God for sin, they have answered by lamenting and amending. Good people hearken, it is dying, not crying, that must give satisfaction for sins - without blood there is no remission. And it is not the blood of bulls or goats, or the flood of tears that can give satisfaction, but only that water and blood that issued from the side of the wounded Saviour. Henry Denne {Doctrine and Conversation of John the Baptist, Delivered in a Sermon on Dec.9, 1641}

Law & Gospel Distinctions: God hateth all the workers of iniquity, and God loveth the ungodly, are both in Scripture, and therefore both true; yet in a different sense. The first, The Lord hateth all the workers of iniquity is the voice of the Law; the other, the Lord loves sinners, is the voice of the Gospel. Now the Law and the Gospel speak divers things; the one being the manifestation of God's justice, tells us what we are by nature; the other, being the manifestation of God's mercy, tells us what we are by grace in Christ Jesus. The Law saith, that every sinner shall be accursed. The Gospel saith, Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. The Law saith, God will by no means clear the guilty, Ex.34:7. The Gospel saith, God justifieth the ungodly. The Law showeth wrath without forgiveness. The Gospel showeth Mercy, Grace and Peace in Jesus Christ. Thus far is the objection answered; but yet all difficulty and scruple not removed; for the Law, you will say, is an eternal verity, whatsoever it saith is true. I confess it so, and one jot or tittle thereof cannot fail. But I say, with the Apostle, that whatsoever the Law saith, it saith to them only who are under the Law, and to none other. I say again, that the righteousness of the Law is fulfilled by Christ for us all; yea in all that walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, Rom.8:4. So that although the elect of God are sinners in the judgment of the Law; sense, reason, yea, and oftentimes conscience; yet having their sins translated unto the Son of God {in whom they were elected} they have the righteousness of the Law fulfilled in the Mediator, and so become to be accounted righteous in His sight, that as God on the one side delivered the innocent to death, as though He had been a sinner, being made accountable for our sins. So on the other side, God loveth, justifieth, cleareth the guilty and sinners, as if they had been holy, righteous, and blameless. The sum is this, that as Christ was no sinner indeed, and yet a sinner by imputation; so they that are Christ's, are no sinners by imputation, and yet sinners indeed. Henry Denne {Grace, Mercy & Peace, Reprinted 1696}

Prayer & Assurance of Pardon: The judgment of Interpreters in the Protestant Church, upon a like place, is occasioned by an argument urged by Cardinal Bellarmine {Robert Bellarmine 1542-1621 an Italian Jesuit and Cardinal} and other popelings, against the Protestants, on this wise: If, saith he, the Protestants have pardon of all their sins, in such wise, as they say they have, why do they yet pray, forgive us our trespasses, if they be already forgiven? The Protestants answer with one consent; that they do beg at the hand of God, greater certainty, and assurance of His grace towards them; the Petition forgive us our trespasses, may well stand with assurance of pardon. The condemned person that is upon the ladder, having received the pardon of a gracious Prince, hears it read, is assured of it, and rejoices in it, yet this person being called into the presence of the King, if he should fall down and say, Pardon me my Lord the King; who could lay folly to his charge? So, we having received the free pardon of sin at His hand already, yet as oft as we come into His presence we cry to the glory of His grace, forgive us our trespasses; for while we beg at the hand of God, that which we have before received, we do magnify His grace, that hath freely given it. Again; who so sure, and certain of pardon, but that he either needeth a greater assurance, or at least that assurance to be by God's mercy continued. Henry Denne {Grace, Mercy & Peace, Reprinted 1696}

Faith & Works: Thus you see the office of your faith and works. Because we say that God loves us as well before conversion as after, do we therefore make faith and works void? God forbid! Must I needs put out my fire, because I will not set it on the top of the house? No, I will keep it within the chimney, which is the proper place. Woe be to that City, where the fire shall overtop the houses, for fire is precious in the chimney, but dangerous elsewhere. Precious is the gift of faith, if kept within its own sphere; but if we shall begin to lift it up, and place it in the throne of Christ, what fire more dangerous to the soul? The Brazen Serpent was a great blessing so long as Israel looked at it by God's appointment, to be healed of the bites of the fiery serpents; but when once Israel shall burn incense unto it, let it be Nehushtan, a piece of old cankered brass, II Kings 18:4. Henry Denne {Grace, Mercy & Peace, Reprinted 1696}

Spiritual Idolatry: What foolish fancies have possessed our souls? How often have we thought God to be like unto ourselves? How many times have we imagined an angry God, a wrathful Majesty; and sought to appease His indignation by fasting, by prayer, by alms, by tears, and such like things? O foolish man! If God's wrath should not be before appeased, what creature could stand in His sight? Do we not see when some lion-like man is incensed, the whole house trembles, not one servant, no not a son dares come into his presence, before his wrath be over? If we so fear the unjust wrath of man, how terrible would the just wrath of consuming fire be? What great presumption were it for the creature to come into His presence, if His wrath were not appeased? We complain of idolatry crept into our unhappy nation. We complain of bowing, of cringing, of crossing, and many such {Popish} fopperies. Search we, I beseech you, if idolatry have not hitherto crept into your hearts, if you have not set up a great idol, and bowed unto that image, with all it worships. Learn to make clean the inside as well as the outside of the cup. Learn to banish out of the soul those foolish and vain conceits; learn to see the glory of the face of God in Christ, and to worship Him in spirit and in truth. There cannot be a greater idolatry committed than to conceive a possibility of gaining the love and favor of God, by works wrought in the creature. This is as great an idol as that which was set up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon, threescore cubits high. Daniel.3:1. This is the Beast that hath made the whole earth to partake of her fornications. Henry Denne {Grace, Mercy & Peace, Reprinted 1696}

Reconciliation: Consider what is written; "And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them." {II Cor.5:18,19} Now compare we this with that which we find in the next verse; "We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." {II Cor.5:20} In the former place the Apostle told us we were reconciled; and in this place, he beseecheth us to be reconciled. To take up this difference, I say that in the former he speaketh of our original reconciliation, wherein our nature was reconciled to God by Christ, in the second I say, he speaketh of our actual reconciliation, wherein our consciences become reconciled to God, through the apprehension of the reconciliation which Christ hath wrought for us. When we speak of our original reconciliation, I lay down this proposition, that we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, without any previous conditions in us, or performed by us. You see it is the act of Christ upon the Cross, it was done by His death; the Lord Christ taking our nature upon Him; and we are said to do that which He did, and to have that done unto us which was done unto Him. As in the first Adam we all sinned before we were, or had committed any actual transgression; so in the second Adam we were reconciled. "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." Rom.5:19. I say we are said to do that which he did, as to be buried with Christ, by baptism into death, Rom.6:4. We are said to be crucified with Christ, as our old man is crucified with Him, Rom.6:6; to be dead and alive with Him. Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord, Rom.6:11. We are said to be risen with Him, Col.3:1, which is elegantly set forth by the Prophet Hosea, speaking of the resurrection of Christ. He speaketh on this wise, "After two days will he revive us; in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight." Hosea 6:2. Yet more we are said to be placed together in heavenly places with Him, Eph.2:5,6. This is that which I call original reconciliation; whereby we see that not only God was reconciled unto us, but also that our nature was reconciled unto God by the death of His Son, without any condition, or qualification wrought in us. Thus much for our original reconciliation; now follows our actual reconciliation; namely, the manifestation of God's reconciliation to us. Let us learn to distinguish, when God speaketh of His reconciliation to us, and when He speaketh of our reconciliation to Him. Let us learn to distinguish between the actual event, and the manifestation thereof; the want of which distinction, breedeth an horrible confusion in the interpretation of Holy Scripture. Henry Denne {Grace, Mercy & Peace, Reprinted 1696}

Mysteries of the Kingdom: But some may object and say, why doth not the Lord speak in plain terms? I answer, who art thou that wilt correct the Lord, and teach Him to speak? I answer again, in our Saviour's words, when His Disciples ask the question, "Why speakest thou unto them in parables?" Mat.13:10. His answer is, "Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to them it is not given." As if he should have said, in respect of you, that are my people, I need not speak more plain for you {being taught of God} are able to understand the mysteries of the kingdom. In respect of others; I will not speak more plain, because to them it is not given to understand the mysteries of the kingdom. Henry Denne {Grace, Mercy & Peace, Reprinted 1696}

Posted May 12, 2013

{Selection of the Week}

Conditions of Salvation: What are the Conditions of Salvation? If the term condition were at all admissible in reference to that which is the sovereign act of Jehovah, I would give these as the conditions of salvation, namely: 1. That there are guilty, justly condemned sinners to be saved; and 2. That a way was provided in which God is just in saving sinners or in justifying the ungodly. These are certainly inseparable from the idea of salvation though not conditions in the common sense of the term. If we were not sinners ruined in ourselves, and already condemned by the just and unchangeable law of God, we had not been proper subjects of salvation; but on the contrary would still be probationers; that is would be in such circumstances that our future destiny whether of happiness or misery would depend on our acts or the course we take. Could we get to heaven under such circumstances, it would be as much the consequent result of our own acts, as would be our going to hell in pursuing a different course; hence there could no more be salvation in the one case, than there would be unjust oppression in the other. So also in reference to the other circumstance or condition, justice must be satisfied; the law of God must be canceled in its demands or it would forever bar the flowing of grace to the sinner: God cannot deny Himself. Hence the grand leading subjects of revelation are that these circumstances actually exist, or that these conditions are fully met in reference to all who are chosen to salvation. Thus the use of the law on the one hand, to show our guilt and condemnation; "That sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful." See Rom.7:7-13 & 3:19, 20. So on the other hand, the gospel is a declaration of Christ Jesus having magnified the law and made it honorable, and being the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth; and hence, of redemption and salvation in Him. Of Him it is said, "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare I say at this time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Rom.3:25 & 26. Hence the justice of God is manifested in fully acquitting and justifying all them that believe in Jesus though in themselves they have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and are justly condemned by the law. So in christian experience, none can receive the hope of salvation in truth until they know themselves sinners, ruined and justly condemned by the law; and by faith know that God is just in pardoning and saving sinners alone through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. On the other hand he that knows and feels his just condemnation as a guilty transgressor of the law, and the deep pollution of his nature and acts so as to have lost all hopes of escaping the curse by anything of his, is the very character, whom, as declared in the Scriptures, Christ came to save. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. And he that by faith knows and receives Christ as the end of the law for righteousness, his hope for salvation resting upon a foundation that can never fail, is according to the Scriptural decision, a saved one. But I presume the inquirer had in view conditions according to the common notion of the term; something found in us or done by us, which at least gives us the ground to hope for acceptance with God; such as our repenting, believing, sincerely seeking and loving God, &c. The natural mind becomes so completely imbued with this notion of conditions, by hearing and reading of them so much, as set forth by men, that even believers frequently, notwithstanding what they have been taught of themselves, and of Christ's full work, will be looking for some of these conditions as an encouragement to hope, instead of looking to Christ. Hence the propriety of discussing this subject. In contradiction to all notions of conditions performed by creatures interposing in the work of salvation; 1st. We are taught that "Salvation is of the Lord," that "He that is our God is the God of salvation." The consideration that He claims salvation to be of Himself; and that He is self-existent and absolutely independent, that everything else exists of and from Him, and therefore that He cannot be influenced to act from anything out of Himself, shows that salvation being of Him, it must be exclusively of Him. Were He induced to save by the creature's performing certain conditions, He would be controlled in the act by the will of the creature, and could no longer justly claim the sovereignty He does, when He says, "I even I am the Lord {Jehovah} and besides me there is no saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God, &c. Isa. 43:11-12. 2nd. The fact that those who are saved were, from the beginning chosen to salvation, and therefore before they actually existed or had done any good or evil, effectually excludes all conditions or works done by the creature. See II Thes.2:13, Rom.9:11. 3rdly. Salvation as wrought out is embraced in redemption; it is redemption from the curse of the law, and from under the law. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us." Gal.3:13. And receiving the adoption of sons was the result of this redemption, Gal.4:4 & 5. And mark, it was God that sent forth His Son, &c., to redeem, and hence it was not that He was moved to it by any act of the creature. Even in His very birth as a Saviour, all fleshly power was excluded, He was made of a woman; not born by any act of man. And lest men might claim that God's thus sending His Son was the result of conditions performed by Abraham or his posterity, it is declared that, in the very relation in which Christ was born as a Saviour, His goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Micah 5:1 & 2, and Matt.2:5 & 6. Thus effectually debarring all creaturely influence or conditions from having any control over His coming. 4th. The experience of salvation, or being brought to have communion with God as a Father, is so represented in the Scriptures as effectually to deny its dependence on conditions. God is a Spirit, this communion of course must be spiritual, and of which the flesh can have no part. Therefore to enjoy it we must become spiritual. This can only be by our being born of the Spirit; that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. The fleshly birth is the result of being begotten of the flesh. The spiritual birth of course must be the result of being begotten of the Spirit. So says our Lord, It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. Of course the flesh has no part in the quickening or begetting. No room then for conditions here. See John 3:6, and 6:63. And of this birth as sons of God or as spiritual, it is said "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:13. Here all natural or blood descent is excluded, and of course all conditions performed by parents. No fleshly volition wills it, nor any will of man, even though he may be regenerated, produces it; but it is of God's sovereign volition. If we perform a condition as such do we not will the result? In excluding then the will of the creature, is not the condition excluded? - But 5. Not to be extremely tedious in multiplying proofs establishing the same fact, I will confine myself to this one more point of illustration. Paul in confirmation of the view above given of salvation as wrought out, says, Eph.2:4 - 6, "But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, {by grace ye are saved;} And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Here he shows that the saints were delivered from it; and were raised up together and made to sit together in heavenly places - not placed back again in Adam's original state of innocency and like him left subject to conditions or the requisitions of the law; but embraced in the provisions of the heavenly or everlasting covenant, having no ifs in it, no conditions to render it uncertain, but ordered in all things and sure. Well therefore might Paul interrupt the thread of his discourse to exclaim, "By grace ye are saved," every line, and word, shows God as going forth in the sovereignty and independence of His love and mercy, toward guilty sinners; a love that even their being dead in sins, could not check, and one therefore which creaturely works could never have drawn forth. But Paul goes on in verse 7 to show an object God had in raising them up and making them sit together in heavenly places; namely, "That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." In the ages to come, that is, in the experimental deliverance, in all succeeding ages, of those He had made to sit together in heavenly places, He might show the exceeding riches of His grace, &c. One might have supposed that if Paul had mentioned only the riches of God's grace as that which He intended to show, no one would ever think of its being found so scanty as to be limited and confined within the bounds of such conditions as puny man could comply with. But the Holy Spirit knowing the proneness of man to bring everything, even God's rich grace, down to the standard of earthly things and places, which all have limitations, directed the use of the still broader expression, the exceeding riches of His grace. That which is exceeding, must go beyond, over-top everything in competition; but if the grace of God in salvation, were suspended upon any conditions whatever, those conditions uncomplied with must bar that grace and therefore exceed it. And hence where sin abounded in the non-compliance grace could not abound. Not so, such is the riches of God's grace that it must exceed every impediment. So is the testimony, "That where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." Rom.5:20 & 21. It certainly cannot be possible that a conditional salvation can consist with the exceeding riches and sovereignty of God's grace. Salvation must flow as sovereignly free from Him as did creation, for He is alike the God of both. But again, many persons, generally sound, hold the idea of a conditional covenant contracted between the Father and Son, the salvation of the elect being suspended on Christ's fulfilling the conditions thereof. The inquirer may have had reference to this idea. But there is no declaration made in the Scriptures of any such contracting between the Father and Son, nor anything to justify the idea of such a conditional covenant. That there is an everlasting covenant ordered in all things and sure established with the elect in Christ as their Head I think the Scriptures clearly teach. Of this covenant {or testament as the original word is in some cases rendered, though more generally rendered covenant} Christ is revealed as the Surety, Heb.7:22, the Mediator, Heb.9:15, and the Messenger, Mal.3:1, each of these terms conveys an idea very different from that of a contracting party, as will be manifest on a moment's calm reflection. The great mistake in reference to this covenant arises from man being disposed to think of God as such a one as themselves, and therefore when God's covenant is spoken of, they conclude it must be like the covenants existing between men; and to carry out the idea they split up the Godhead into contracting parties having distinct, and therefore clashing interests in the concern. But no such idea is conveyed in the language of any covenant revealed in the Scriptures. As the Psalmist says of the everlasting covenant, Ps.111:9, "He sent redemption unto His people: He hath commanded His covenant forever &c.", so it will be found in every covenant recorded, and in every reference to the everlasting or new covenant made in the Scriptures, that God appears as the sovereign Jehovah establishing every part by His absolute wills and shalls. Look at the covenant God established with Noah, &c., Gen.9:8-17; the one established with Abraham, Gen.15:7-18, and the one, Gen.17 - then to the covenant mentioned by David, II Sam.23:5 & Ps.89:19-37 and see the wording; and David's views of it, as confirmed to him as the type of Christ, II Sam.7, and then pass to Isa.59:21, and to the new covenant - Jer.31:31-34, and see if in any instance God appears in relation to those covenants in any other light than as the sovereign God commanding and promising in His own absolute independency? And then look through the Scriptures and see if you can find a single promise made to Christ as the Head or to His people in Him, depending on an if or contingency. If you cannot satisfy yourself hear Paul's testimony: "For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us." II Cor.1:20. I said above, this covenant was made with the elect in Christ their Head; thus all the other covenants mentioned in the Scriptures were made with certain persons as heads and their seed in them; the head being subject to the provisions of the covenant in common with the posterity. So in this in an infinitely fuller extent; He being their Head, their Life, their all, every provision centers in Him, whilst its blessings terminate in His seed. Thus the purpose and grace which secures their salvation, are given in Him, II Tim.1:9; all the promises of God are in Him, II Cor.1:20; and indeed He is the covenant; was given for a covenant of the people, Isa.42:6 and 49:8. And notice in all this, that Christ instead of being represented as stipulating and coming forward as a contracting party, is represented as the servant, God directing and promising that He shall do it and succeed. So Christ Himself represents the matter. He says not, that I came down from heaven to fulfill my part of the contract; but that, "I came down from heaven not to do my own will, but the will of Him that sent me," &c. John 6:38-39. Thus, in accordance with the above, when the sword of justice was commanded to awake, it was to awake against Him who was the Lord's Shepherd, against the Man that was His fellow. Zech 13:7. Thus, it was not by contract, but as the Lord's appointed Shepherd that He was accountable for the safety of the sheep. See also John 10:11-16. It was not to the God that was fellow to the Lord of hosts, but to the Man that was His fellow. It has been said that fellow means an equal. Not so, its proper meaning is an associate, and it here particularly designates, that Man who is the one Mediator, and who is associated in personal union with the Godhead. I think if the Scriptures are carefully examined on this head by anyone disposed to receive Scriptural truth, he will be convinced that the covenant securing salvation as sovereignly free and absolute as the purpose and grace thereby revealed; that God appears as God commanding it; and that Christ and His people are one in all its provisions. To the inquirer then, in conclusion, I would say trouble not yourself about conditions of salvation. If you have been taught by the law to know that you are altogether sinful in yourself and justly condemned, be assured that God has provided in Christ Jesus a full and free salvation for you as thus helpless. Samuel Trott {Signs of the Times, Volume 16, 1848} 

{Writings of Henry Denne}

Sin & the Conscience: The design of the Lord Jesus Christ to remove sin from the consciences of his called people, whereby those whom the Lord hath called may have the answer of a good conscience towards God; {I Pet.3:21;} and that the consciences of these who are called of Jesus Christ are made clear, white, pure and undefiled from sin and transgression through the apprehension of the efficacy of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, whereby they are begotten “unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” {I Pet.1:3,} whereby they may have boldness before the throne of grace, even the throne of that God who hath eyes that will behold no iniquity, before the throne of that God, who is a consuming fire. {Heb.12:29} This is the effect of the faith of God’s elect, to purify the heart. “And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” {Acts 15:8,9} What can here be meant by the word ‘heart’ other than conscience? Now if the conscience be pure, it is without spot; if it be not without spot, then is it not pure. That by heart is meant nothing less than the conscience is proved by other places of Scripture. “A sound heart is the life of the flesh.” {Prov.14:30} “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance.” {Prov.15:13} But lest some should say, that by the word ‘heart’ is meant less than conscience, I shall desire to speak plain, the Apostle showing the weakness of legal sacrifices and services, saith, that these “could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;” {Heb.9:9;} but the Priesthood of Christ Jesus, the Mediator of a better Testament, established upon better promises, hath done that which the Law could not do. “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?” {Heb.9:14} The Law could not make perfect as pertaining to the conscience, but what the Law could not do in that it was weak, through the infirmities of the flesh, that Christ Jesus hath done by his sacrifice of himself. We reason thus; if Christ did not purge the conscience, then is it yet impure, then is not his purgation as pertaining to the conscience of more efficacy than legal purgations were, they purged not the conscience, no more than he. But it is plain that he did purge the conscience. Now if he did purge, as pertaining to the conscience, then is the conscience pure and undefiled, and if it be not pure and undefiled, then he did not purge it. But that Christ did purge the conscience is plain because, “the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.” {Heb.10:2} It is the drift of the Apostle in this place to show the reason why the Law sacrifices did cease to be offered, because they could not make the comers thereunto perfect, and that they were not made perfect is proved because they had conscience of sin. But now the offering of Christ hath perfected forever them that are sanctified. {Heb.10:14} If they be perfected, then are they purged, and if purged, the comers thereunto must have no more conscience of sin. Now they “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,” having their hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and their bodies washed with pure water. {Heb.10:22} By this we may understand what is meant by those metaphysical speeches which we read of in Rev.3:4, 4:4, 6:11, with many other places, where the saints are set before us in white raiment, from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot. This white raiment signifying not only that purity and cleanliness which they have before God, but also that purity and cleanliness of conscience, consisting in the apprehension of that glorious estate and condition whereunto they were stated by the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. I think it is sufficiently proved, that the consciences of the called people of God are purged and purified from all manner of sin and uncleanliness, and that it would be lawful for me to proceed, did there not an objection lie in the way, which may be an occasion of stumbling, unto those that are weak, and have not their senses exercised in such manner of questions as these are. The objection is this: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” {I Jn.1:8} “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” {I Jn.1:10} “For in many things we offend all.” {Js.3:2} Now saith the objection, if we have sin, how can we be clean; and if we be cleansed, how is it that we have sin? This objection is easily answered by the words immediately going before us; namely, “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin;” {I Jn.1:7;} and then presently follows, “if we have no sin, &c.,” {vs.8} Now here will lie the difficulty; for if we be cleansed from all sin, how have we any sin remaining? If we have yet any, how are we cleansed from all sin? For the clearing of an answer, I must entreat you to consider of sin in a twofold respect, as hath been spoken at large before; namely, sin in the conversation and sin in the conscience. The called of God are not quite purged from sin in conversation, for all our righteousness are as an unclean thing. {Is.64:6} The called of God are quite cleansed from all sin in conscience. I shall be speaking a riddle to some, to whom it is not given to know the mysteries of the kingdom, but you to whom it is given, will understand what I shall say. The thing is this, that as it is possible, for a man that hath been beyond comparison strict and upright in his conversation to have a foul and polluted conscience, a heart clouded with ignorance, and estranged from the life of God; so is it possible, for a man that hath been an exceeding sinner, and is not yet wholly cleansed from all wickedness in conversation {which no man is} to have a conscience, as white as the snow and as pure as the wool; and if this seem a mystery unto you, that sin in the flesh, should stand with purity of conscience, take these reasons to make it plain. If purity of conscience could be found nowhere but where there is purity in the flesh, a pure conscience could not at all be found upon the earth, in regards to the fact that there is none that doeth good, no not one. {Rom.3:12} Again, purity of conscience doth not take its rise from purity of conversation; but purity of conversation ariseth from purity of conscience. The original of purity of conscience ariseth hence, from the apprehension of all our impurities and uncleanliness to be laid upon Christ; {Is.53:6;} to be taken away by Christ. {Jn.1:29} Herein doth the conscience of a believer rest in Christ Jesus crucified and made sin for us. This that hath been spoken, may serve to open unto us a door of understanding, whereby those places which seem so contrary may be made plain. “If we say we have no sin, &c.,” and yet it is said, “he that is born of God doth not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God.” {I Jn.3:9} What have we here? Is not the Apostle born of God? Are not they to whom he writes born of God? Yes, without contradiction; yet doth he confess, that he and they have sin, and again he saith, “he that is born of God cannot sin.” It is not unknown unto many that shall read this, how many windings, and turnings, how many unsound, and unfavorite distinctions, have been invented by the wit of man to reconcile these places, which are easily reconciled by that which hath been spoken. The called of God {even the most upright of them} have sin in the flesh, they have sin in the conversation; but they have no sin, neither can they have any sin in the conscience; for the true faith of God’s elect and sin in the conscience can no more stand together than light and darkness. Let this that hath been spoken become a touchstone to try our faith by. Doth thy faith purify the heart through the apprehension of the blood of Christ? Doth it cleanse thy conscience from all sin, so that not one remaineth behind? Then hath it this property of a true faith. But when the soul shall thus conceive within itself, that this sin, or that sin lieth yet upon me, if it were not for such, or such a sin, {greater it may be than ordinary,} I should judge myself in a happy condition. Give me leave, with patience, to declare thine error. Surely Christ cleanses not imperfectly, he doth not wash away some stains, and leave others; if he cleanse thee not from this sin, he hath cleansed thee from no sin whatsoever. If he hath not cleansed thee from any one sin, surely he hath washed thee from none at all; for he hath perfected forever them that belong to Him. “For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” {Heb.10:14} But thou hast one sin yet unpardoned, not washed away? I demand of thee, who shall wash it away; and when shall it be washed away; seeing that Christ dieth no more, he sheddeth his blood no more, he offereth no more. I confess a man that knows not Christ may presume of the pardon of all his sins, and see his conscience purged by a false Christ; but I will be bold to affirm, that he that seeth not all his sins taken away, has never known the true Christ. Thus have we seen the design of the Lord Christ to purge the consciences of his called people, that they shall have no more conscience of sin. Now if this be so; do you desire that I should show you a place where joy and gladness dwell; where sorrow and sighing {in respect of unpardoned sin} have no more place; but everlasting comforts rest upon their heads. Behold, it is the conscience of God’s called ones that are brought unto the apprehension of the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, whose joy cannot be taken away and whose comforts cannot be spoiled. Now blessed, thrice blessed are the people that are in such a case. Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound, who have their rest in Christ; who hath showed unto them the “path of life;” in whose “presence is fulness of joy;” and at his right hand “pleasures for evermore.” {Ps.16:11} Henry Denne {Man of Sin Discovered, 1646}

Posted May 19, 2013

{Selection of the Week}

Eternal Justification: It gives me no small degree of pleasure, to find that I have another opportunity of addressing you in the defense of those truths which I have preached to you, since God in his providence cast my lot among you. I write not now to maintain a mere logical point, but to vindicate the truth, as it is in Jesus; which ought not to be palliated in order to accommodate it to the vicious and corrupt inclinations of any man; but faithfully and fully decked, whatever be the event; for the soul that is born of God, will not be satisfied without the living bread; and the carnal mind will not be satisfied, so long as one spiritual truth remains. So that either the children will cry because their food is taken away, or the enemies of Christ will hiss at the bread of life. A few days ago a Sermon was put into my hands, which the writer thereof calls Eternal Justification Unmasked, and as the scope of it {I find} tends to subvert some of the fundamental truths of the Gospel, and perplex the minds of the readers; I therefore thought it my duty to fortify your minds against those errors and absurdities which so manifestly abound therein. The author you may observe, begins his preface with a great deal of bustle and noise about ignorance, pride, boasting, &c., so that one is almost led to think, that he is one of those windy, vain, frothy, all-tongued, boastful and empty professors which he makes mention of in his next page. He then produces a great number of heavy charges against some person or persons, such as “being afraid to come to the light - their being ashamed of their tenets - heaping odiums upon the servants of Christ - dissuading their credulous and ignorant hearers to keep from every faithful minister, &c.,” but as every discerning person who is acquainted with the author, will be able to see what all this rancor springs from; and knowing that the truth wants nothing of this kind for its support, I shall pass it by and not render railing for railing. But we must hasten now to consider the subject matter. Our author informs us, “that the notion of eternal justification appears to him a most dangerous one” and professes to “point out to us its dreadful tendency, to ruin the souls of his fellow sinners,” and no doubt but he would inform us also, that the notion of eternal election is just as dangerous, and has the same tendency to ruin their souls as Eternal Justification; since they are both immanent acts of God, and this I have reason to believe, on reading his 15th page, on which I shall shortly make some remarks. He then proceeds to inform us, that “in the Scripture, we read of justification as something to be done in future; {which he tells us} would be a fault, if Justification was from eternity.” Now in order to harmonize the Scriptures on this subject, you have to keep in mind, that very necessary distinction, between our justification, or freedom from condemnation before God and our Justification, or freedom from condemnation in our own consciences; the former is through the redemption that is in Christ, {Rom.3:24,} and the latter is enjoyed by faith, by which alone, we have peace with God. It is a pity, the author cannot make a proper distinction between Christ’s putting away sin before God, and the Spirit’s putting away the guilt thereof out of the believer’s conscience. Having made this remark, let us proceed now to examine those Scriptures which he brings to prove, that “Justification is something to be done in future,” one of which reads thus. “Now it was not written for his {Abraham} sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe &c.,” {Rom.4:23,24,} from which passage he undoubtedly means to suggest, that Christ’s righteousness is not imputed to God’s people until they believe. Now our Lord uses the very same form of speech to his disciples, as is used by the Apostle in the above mentioned passage. “Herein {says Christ} is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” {Jn.15:8, see also Jn.14:21} Now, as it is evident that they were his disciples at this time, our Lord could only mean that their bearing fruit would make it manifest. So here also, in the passage quoted by the author of JUSTIFICATION MASKED, when the Apostle says, “to whom it shall be imputed,” he only means; that such as believe as Abraham did, it is manifest that they have the same righteousness imputed to them as he had. Besides, the persons among whom the Apostle includes himself, must be supposed to be real believers, by which it was manifest that the righteousness of Christ was imputed to them already. Now, if righteousness be not imputed until we believe, then it is not till then accepted of the Father; but if it be accepted of the Father at all, it is accepted on the behalf of all his people; and if accepted, it must be imputed, and if imputed, all those to whom it is imputed, must be justified before God. The next passage of Scripture which he produces to prove that “Justification is something to be done in the future” is, where the Apostle addresses the Galatians saying, “the scripture foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham &c.,” {Gal.3:8,} by which we may learn, that the same righteousness which justified Abraham before God, justifies his people among the Gentiles before him. That this same doctrine of Christ’s righteousness imputed for Justification before God is preached also among the Gentiles, to whom faith would be given to lay hold of and receive this righteousness, whereupon God would pronounce the sentence of Justification in their consciences, and from whence follow peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. And here my brethren, I would wish you to remember, that whenever Faith is connected with Justification, it either relates to Christ and his Righteousness the Object of Faith; or has respect to Justification, in the conscience of the believer, in which sense it is that Justification is spoken of as something to be done in future. He tells us likewise, “that the Gospel was preached many years before the Gentiles were justified.” Now if he mean before the Gentiles were justified in their own consciences, we grant it, but if he mean before God, we deny it; for in that sense they were justified as elect, {Rom.8:33,} and not as believing sinners or saints, {Rom.4:5,} and therefore must be justified, or freed from condemnation before God from eternity; {based upon Christ’s accomplished work on the cross;} and for my part I cannot see how they that hold the one, can deny the other. This author of JUSTIFICATION MASKED; tells us in page the 11th, that “the Scriptures never speak of men in a state of nature as being in a justified state,” to which I reply, that the Scripture speaks of men as Elect, while they are in a state of nature; and as nothing can be laid to their charge the Scripture must speak of men in a state of nature as being justified before God; because our calling has no influence on our Justification before God, for Justification is not a work of the Holy Spirit within us; though till he does so work, no man can know himself to be in a justified state. He tells us moreover in the same page, that “if they {the Ephesians} had been justified from eternity, they never could have been without Christ.” It is a pity he did not give this sentence a little more thought before he wrote it; because then he might have been able to have made a distinction between a man's being out of Christ and without Christ; for even the elect themselves while they are in a state of nature are without Christ, that is Christ does not dwell in their hearts by faith; but there never was a moment in which they were out of Him, because they were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, and preserved in Him and called. He tells us also in the above mentioned page, that “it is evident from God’s Word that unbelievers are condemned.” Now we would be at a loss to know, whether he means that unbelievers are condemned before God, or in their own consciences; whether as considered in Adam, or as considered in Christ; had he not explained his meaning a little lower down, by telling us, that “an unbeliever is condemned before God.” Poor man, he little thinks what would follow as consequences if his doctrine were true; but it will become us however painful, to enquire into them. “An unbeliever is condemned before God,” and as he rightly observes, if the elect of God were unbelievers before they were brought to know the Truth as it is in Jesus, therefore the elect are condemned before God. He then jumbles together a number of Scriptures to amuse the readers, and tells them in page 12th, that “while the elect remain in unbelief, they are condemned, {namely, before God as he thinks,} for he that believeth not is condemned already; because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” {Jn.3:18} Now had he said that the elect as viewed in Adam are condemned; we should have agreed with him, because “by the offence of one, {Adam} judgment came upon all men to condemnation.” But the elect must be considered in Christ, because chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, and therefore if the elect be condemned before God, Christ must be condemned before God, because he is the Head, and they the members, and if this do not border upon blasphemy I know not what does? Again this notion, that “the elect are condemned before God” overturns the doctrine of the atonement, for if the elect be condemned before God, their sin must be charged before him, for sin and condemnation are inseparable; and if the sins of the elect stand charged before God, then God cannot be reconciled, and if God be not reconciled, the author has no Gospel to preach, for can it be Good News for a poor sinner to be informed that notwithstanding Christ hath died for sin, yet that very sin for which Christ died stands charged before God, and the persons who committed it condemned before him? Surely not, and yet this is the author’s opinion if his words have any meaning; so that at the most he can only represent in his preaching, that God is reconcilable, and that he will be quite reconciled upon our believing. I am sorry to find him among such company! Again if this doctrine were true; namely, that “the elect are condemned before God,” it would be no hard matter to prove that he and all to whom he preaches must go to Hell; for if the sins of God’s people stand charged before Him, they must remain charged, for if Christ has not put away sin from before God by the sacrifice of Himself, he never will do it; and it is in vain for the author to say that it is put away on our believing, for though faith receives, yet it does not make the atonement; and if sin be charged before God before we believe, it must remain charged after we have believed for all that faith can do for us. So that every soul, upon this plan must go to Hell, for who can go to Heaven with his sins charged, and he condemned before God? Now the passage which he brings to prove that “while the elect remain in unbelief they are condemned before God” reads thus, “he that believeth not is condemned already, &c.,” and so he is as viewed in Adam, as he is also in his own conscience, but not before God as considered in Christ, for in that sense there is no condemnation to such. He proceeds to inform us, that an unbeliever cannot be in a state of special favor with God; that is, if I understand him right, God has no particular regard for, or love to an unbeliever. Now as he rightly observes the elect are unbelievers by nature, therefore the import of his reasoning is to show that God has no special love towards his elect until they believe. I would ask then, was it no mark of love or special favor towards the elect for God to give his Son to die for them? Was it no mark of God’s special favor for him to send his Spirit into their hearts to quicken, regenerate them? Though perhaps the author thinks that we believe first, and then God gives us his Son, and sends his Spirit into our hearts, and if so, I wish him all the comfort that such a tenet can afford him. Here we may observe my brethren, that he has put faith as the matter of a sinners justification before God instead of the obedience of Christ, or the redemption that is in Him; although the Apostle tells us, that we are justified {before God} freely by his Grace, through the Redemption that is in Christ Jesus, and that by the Obedience of One, shall many be made righteous.  And if this have not a tendency to embarrass the minds of his hearers and to mislead them, I know not what has. Paul tells us, that there is “no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,” {Rom.8:1,} and as we were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, {Eph.1:4} then we must be justified before God as early. Again, as nothing can be laid to the charge of God’s elect, {Rom.8:33,} then all God’s elect must be justified before him in Christ’s Righteousness, which Righteousness is called an everlasting righteousness; {Dan.9:24;} a Righteousness everlastingly accepted of God, on the behalf of his people. But let us attend now to the text which the author brings to prove that “unbelievers cannot be in a state of special favor with God.” It reads thus, “he that believeth not shall be damned.” {Mk.16:16} Now here you have to remark, brethren, that our Lord cannot mean that he that believeth not {now this moment} shall be damned, because many who are now in unbelief may hereafter have faith given them, and they brought to believe to the saving of their souls.  It can only mean then, that he that lives and dies in a state of unbelief shall be damned. And this we acknowledge, which we may do, without saying with the author of JUSTIFICATION MASKED; that “the elect while unbelievers, cannot be in a state of special favor with God.” Now had he said that the elect while in a state of unbelief are not known to be in a state of special favor with God; we would have agreed with him, for although God loves his people with an everlasting love, yet it cannot be known to themselves nor others until they are called by grace. He then proceeds to close the 12th page by telling us, that “the unbelief of Israel of old sorely grieved the Lord and made him angry, that he swore in his wrath that they should not enter into his rest, so that we see they could not enter in because of unbelief. Thus it appears from God’s own Word, that no unbeliever can be in a justified state.” {page 13th} Now the scope of the author’s reasoning is as follows; namely, because Israel entered not into the land of Canaan on account of their unbelief, therefore the elect while in a state of unbelief cannot be justified before God in the Righteousness of Christ. What reasoning! For although unbelief kept Israel out of the land of Canaan, unbelief will never keep the elect out of Heaven, for faith is one of those spiritual blessings which is treasured up in Christ for them; they are chosen to and through it to salvation, and {all the spiritual Israel} shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation. Beside the rest spoken of in the above mentioned passage is not a type of Heaven, but of the spiritual rest of the saints which they that believe enter into. So that this passage is nothing at all to his purpose. He closes the paragraph by saying, “therefore we must be justified when we believe and not before.” Now if he mean in our own consciences we grant it, but if he mean before God we deny it; till he can prove that the Righteousness of Christ is not accepted in the behalf of his people till they believe. Now be it remembered, that although God’s elect have not an actual being from eternity, yet it was certain with God that they should have one; for known unto him are all his works from the beginning, or from eternity. {Acts 15:18} Beside it should be remembered also, that the elect have a Representative being in Christ, even such a being as makes them capable of being blessed in Him with all spiritual blessings, and why not capable of being justified in Him, since justification is not a work that is wrought in them, but an act of grace towards them, as election is. To me it appears plain from the Word of God that the faith of God’s elect is a Divine Grace, and believing is the immediate effect thereof. Faith is not a grace of union, but of communion; and the essence of faith is not merely an act of the mind giving credit to the Divine Testimony; but a Grace of the Spirit in the heart maintained by Christ its Author and Finisher. This idea of a time union made by faith supposes a time when we were out of Christ, or there could be no occasion for grafting us in, and then instead of the Apostle saying, “he hath chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world,” he should have said, he hath chosen us out of Christ, before the foundation of the world, to be grafted into Him in time, for the author tells us, “the branch must be made before it can be grafted on that fruitful Vine Christ Jesus.” So he seems, to have no idea of anything but a time election or union, therefore we find that his election and justification before God bear the same date. The idea of grafting into Christ in time, has not the least foundation in the Word of God; and neither the author, nor any other person can bring us one passage of Scripture to prove a union to Christ by grafting. The word occurs nowhere in the Bible that I know of, but in the 11th of Romans, and whoever reads the 17th verse of that chapter, must see that the Apostle has no such thing as grafting into Christ in view, for it is a grafting in among them which he there speaks of; so that the whole scheme of grafting into Christ by faith is a mere fiction; and without foundation in the Word of God; therefore to be rejected as erroneous. The author informs us also that “while we were unbelievers we were condemned, and if so, we could not be united to Christ;” which implies if we be united to him, we are not condemned, but justified. Now Paul tells us, that we were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world; and Jude says, “preserved in Christ Jesus and called.” So that if we were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world then we could not be out of him; and if we were preserved in him, we were not preserved out of him; and if we were called in him, we were not out of him when called. Therefore as we were chosen in Christ, preserved in Christ, and called in Christ, then we must be justified in Christ; for as all that are out of Christ are condemned before God on account of their sins; all that are in Christ must be justified before God, from every charge that can be brought against them; for as out of him we cannot be justified, so in him we cannot be condemned before God. Thus it appears that according to our author’s own reasoning, as it does also from the Word of God, that eternal election and eternal justification must stand or fall together. I very well know what puzzles the author and those of his sentiments; their not being able to account for a man’s being justified and condemned at the same time. But this difficulty my brethren will soon be removed by considering that all God's people have relation to two heads; namely, Adam and Christ, and while they are condemned in the former, they are justified and complete in the righteousness of the latter. Besides, a man may be justified before God in the righteousness of Christ, as are all the elect; and yet condemned in his own conscience for want of knowing it. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified {manifestly and in his own conscience} by faith. At the bottom of the same 15th page the author says, “if the elect were justified from eternity, they never could fall nor be in a lost condition.” What ignorance! Whereas God’s choosing them to salvation implies, that he viewed them in that state in Adam before the choice was made and he did not choose them in Christ to prevent their falling by sin, but to prevent their falling into Hell for their sin, as before observed and therefore Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost, as were all his people as viewed in Adam; and the coming of Christ in the flesh was to fulfill his Covenant Engagements with his Father, on the behalf of those his people. Though as considered in Adam we were condemned and lost; yet as considered in Christ, we were justified before God, and that too before we believed, though we were not justified in our own consciences until after we believed. Nor can the author of JUSTIFICATION MASKED overturn this truth, unless he can prove that we are not chosen in Christ till after we believed; for if the Head be justified before God, so must the members; and if the members be condemned, so must the Head. He tells us towards the close of the above mentioned page that “if men were justified from eternity, nothing could be laid to their charge; if so, where is the justice of God the Father in causing the sword to awake against the Man that was his fellow?” I answer because Christ in the Eternal Counsel of Peace became a Surety for his people, took their debt upon himself, and promised to pay it; to fulfill which promise, was the errand upon which he came in the flesh. Therefore if the author could but see it just of a creditor to demand the debt of a surety, which he has taken upon himself, when the time agreed upon between them is expired; he might then see the justice of God in punishing his own Son for his people’s sins. Samuel Barnard {An Address to the Congregation at the New Chapel, Dagger-Lane, Kingston-Upon-Hull, in which is vindicated the Doctrine of Justification, 1790}

Posted May 26, 2013

{Selection of the Week}

The Righteousness of Christ as Comprehensive of all Divine Grace: “For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” {Rom.5:17} With regard to the gift of Righteousness; this the people of God receive passively, forasmuch as it is secretly applied to their persons, and constantly operates for their good, even before they are regenerate; and is indeed, the meritorious cause of their being brought into the actual or sensible enjoyment of all saving benefits. Hence it is that Peter speaks of the saints, as obtaining “like precious faith through the righteousness of God, and our Saviour Christ Jesus.” {II Pet.1:1} Keeping the branches of the text distinct, after the present version, the term ‘righteousness’ as applied to the Divine Being may intimate his veracity and faithfulness; but, as applied to Christ, his Mediatorial undertakings, or righteousness in particular. But reading the words thus: “through the righteousness of God, even our Saviour Christ Jesus,” or, as it is in the margin: “through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Christ Jesus;” as the whole of the matter will then rest with the Mediator; so the precise doctrine of the text will be; that it is upon the foot of Christ’s righteousness, by or through this means, that we are brought to believe to the saving of our souls. The consequence of which must be, that we have, somehow or other, such interest in his Righteousness; or, to speak in the language of our text, receive it in such a manner, and this before our conversion, or as I may say, before our open existence, as to secure the production of our persons, the preservation of our lives, and the actual possession of all the promised blessings in the time appointed. And what greater instance can we desire of this, than that of our Apostle, who by virtue of his secret interest or passive reception of this Righteousness was preserved in the loins of his parents, till brought into personal being, and actually wrought upon by Divine Grace, notwithstanding the tribe of Benjamin, to which he belonged, was entirely cut off, excepting only six hundred, who hid themselves in the rock Rimmon. {Rom.11:1 compared with Judges 20:47.} As to what concerns the first operations of Divine Grace upon the soul in Regeneration, to say nothing of a future influx, or repeated impulse; why here again, the reception is equally wholly passive. In this state of things, there is no difference between the new creation and the old; for as we had no hand in raising the natural man, so neither have we any share in producing the spiritual. We are in both respects God’s workmanship, and both cases alike passive. {Ps.100:3 compared with Eph.2:10} And where are there any hardy enough to dispute the matter with the Almighty? Can it be, that any will not resign to Him? That any dare refuse Him the preference? What can we possibly think of more preposterous than to set the creature before God? Or make the actions of the man lead those of the Deity? What say the Scriptures to these things? He first quickens us, and then we live, {Eph.2:1,} enlightens us, and then we see, {I Jn.5:20, II Cor.4:6,} he first calls us, and draws us, and then we hear Him, and run after Him. {Isa.65:1, Rom.10:20, Cant.1:4} He first loves us, and then we love him; {I Jn.4:19;} in one word, he first works in us, both to will and to do of his own good pleasure, and then we work in or about, our own salvation. {Phil.2:13} Thus it was in particular with Paul; for God had apprehended, or laid hold upon him, and then he wanted to apprehend that which God had apprehended him for. {Phil.3:12} Not barely with respect to duty and comfort in this life; but perfection and happiness in the future. This also is the order with respect to the gifts of grace; particularly, as to the righteousness of Christ; God first puts this grace or righteousness upon us, clothes us with it, imputes it to us; and then enables us to see it, to receive it, to take it home to ourselves, and put it on by faith. He gives us power to trust in it, and depend upon it; and privilege to plead it as our justifying righteousness, both with Him, and at the bar of conscience. {Ps.71:16, Is.45:24,25, Rom.3:25, 5:1} By this means we see at once, and readily understand, how it is, that we receive that grace which was eternally resident in the heart of God, and there operative for us; as also, those spiritual blessings which were given to us in Christ before the foundation of the world; and lastly, whatever it is, that we possess both as to righteousness and grace, within the limits of time; namely, by the lively exercise of true faith, or as it is sometimes expressed, apprehensively and experimentally. And indeed, if I may be allowed the question; what is it but a view of God’s love, as eternally engaged in the interest of the soul, making such settlements for him, before time, and such applications, {though secret only, at first,} in time, as his necessities required; that gains upon the hearts of his people and provokes them to the return of love upon their conversion? This if I mistake not, is the account which God Himself gives of it, when he speaks to the Church by the prophet, saying, “yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.” {Jer.31:3} Agreeable with what has been now said, and farther to illustrate this active sense of the word ‘receive,’ it may also be observed, that it is, in short, by this means alone, through this applicatory reception of the Grace of God and the Righteousness of Christ, that our interest in the great privilege of the text, rises to us with satisfactory evidence, since it is absolutely in this light, that a child of God is enabled to conclude, that the dominion of sin is broken, that the sting of death is taken away, and that he shall reign in life, by One, Christ Jesus. It is to such only that the promise is made, and therefore the text says, “he that hath the Son {in the sense that we are now speaking of} hath life;” {I Jn.5:12;} “is passed from death to life,” and shall live forever. {Jn.3:3,6} And therefore this is laid down as a rule by which we are to judge of our interest, according to what Moses says, “the secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed, belong unto us and to our children forever.” {Deut.29:29} Thus it is, that the persons capable of this act, this spiritual vision, {this revealed spiritual apprehension of the ground of their salvation; namely, the Blood & Righteousness of Christ alone,} receive an abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness. The aboundings of Divine love, particularly the settlement of all grace upon them in Christ, and the gift of righteousness to them for justification, stand displayed to the eye of faith in such sort, that they receive the evidence of their interest in these things; together with that joy, which necessarily results therefrom. In this light they behold all the perfections of God united in the Mediator, {II Cor.4:6,} for their present and everlasting happiness; and therefore they receive Christ as the brightness of his Father’s glory and the express Image of his Person; {Heb.1:3;} as the Repository and Medium of all grace. {Col.1:19, Jn.1:16} They look upon Him and therefore, in the language of our text, receive Him as the Bright and Morning Star; {Rev.22:16;} as the Sun of Righteousness; {Mal.4:2;} as One fairer than the children of men, {Ps.45:2,} in a spiritual, as well as a literal sense. In fine, they make the same estimate of Christ as the Church once did; he is the “chiefest among ten thousand,” and “altogether lovely.” {Cant.5:10,16} “He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear;” {Mt.11:15} for the Gospel is described not only as the word of Faith, {Rom.10:8,} but as the joyful sound, {Ps.89:15,} as a proclamation of peace, and as glad tidings of great joy. {Is.52:7} And in truth, where persons are blessed with this spiritual ear, they receive the Grace of God and the Gift of Righteousness as Good News from a far country, to allude to an expression in the Proverbs. {Pv.25:25} The Gospel summarily comprehended under the blessings last mentioned, proves the most agreeable news, the most delightful report, {Is.53:1,} they ever met with. The time was, indeed, when they were entirely averse to this gracious message; the Jubilee trumpet of the Gospel had nothing musical, nothing entertaining in it; but when the Lord has once planted the ear of faith; when they once come to hear as new creatures; it is all melody, all rapture to the soul. A malefactor, who lives ready for execution, never received the news of a pardon with such transport as one who hath the sentence of spiritual condemnation in himself and receives the glad tidings of the everlasting Gospel. And how should it be otherwise, when he hears of that grace, which abounds over all the aboundings of his sins; {Rom.5:20;} and of that righteousness, which is much more prevalent to save, than the one offense of Adam in conjunction with all his numerous offenses is to condemn? Who can hear the Divine Being proclaim Himself the “LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth;” {Ex.34:6;} saying to his soul, “be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee;” {Mt.9:2;} and again, “fear not, I am with thee; be not afraid, I am thy God;” {Is.41:10} but must be all ecstasy at the sound, and meet the Report with that joy, which is unspeakable and full of glory. {I Pet.1:8} Now, I have only farther to observe, as it were, in the general, to complete what I design under this head, that the action in the text, as expressive of the means by which we claim interest in the grace of God and the righteousness of Christ, may be accommodated to the faculties of the mind, as well as the organs of the body. Thus, for example, when we receive these things, {heavenly treasures in Christ,} it is natural to suppose that they gain upon the judgment or find admission with the understanding. Upon this, the receiver is undoubtably furnished for a spiritual estimate of the Mediatorial Constitution. He must, as necessary to this act, be so far a judge of the Person and Offices of Christ, the Characters he sustains, and the Compass that he takes, as to be able to pronounce, that salvation by the Righteousness of Christ is not more agreeable to the Perfections of the Divine Nature than it is adapted to the necessities of his own soul. Upon which it follows of course, that the mind, thus enlightened, will make a farther advance in this spiritual act, and in the next place, receive the Person and Undertakings of Christ as comprehensive of all salutary blessings, into the will and understanding; where the judgment is so thoroughly confirmed in the fitness of this Constitution, a child of God, in the exercise of faith, cannot but make choice of it. He has already viewed the Redeemer in his full capacity, in the variety of his characters; and is, upon the best conviction so entirely satisfied with Him, that he has no desire, no voice for any but Christ. Every false lover is discarded, every pretended refuge disclaimed; and as he sees there is salvation with none but Christ, Christ alone shall be his Sanctuary. Not that this is the whole of it either; for now the doors of the heart are immediately thrown open to her Beloved. Such as are capable of this spiritual act are impatient until the Lord Jesus Christ is exalted in their souls. All distance is lost and all reserve is banished. They receive Him with the utmost stretch of affection and confidence; and as they love Him above all, so they trust Him with all, by putting their souls into His hands; believing with the heart unto righteousness and confessing with the mouth unto salvation. {Rom.10:10} But then finally, as the soul is concerned in this work, the Grace of God and the Gift of Righteousness are received by the believer into his conscience for the complete removal of guilt and the establishment of peace and comfort. This was a service too important for the legal sacrifices; as they could not purify the conscience from guilt; for there was still a remembrance of sin and therefore still a repetition of them; {Heb.10:1,2 &c.;} but the blood of Christ hath prevailed, {Heb.10:14,} that cleanseth from all sin; {I Jn.1:7;} that speaks peace and pardon wherever it descends; and as it is a Fountain set open, {Zech.13:1,} a Spring that perpetually flows, the believer under a sense of guilt cannot but apply to it and entreat that his heart may be sprinkled with it. {I Pet.1:2} Note also that; the Grace of God is not only abundant in itself, but also in its fruits. This will appear a just account of Divine Grace, whether we consider the fruits of it more generally, as including all new Covenant Blessings in Christ; or whether we restrain it, after the manner of some, to the particular Gift of Righteousness as mentioned in the text. We cannot contemplate the various productions of this Grace, both with respect to those blessings which God has bestowed upon us, and the many great things which he has wrought in us, but we must acknowledge with the Apostle that his grace towards us has been exceeding abundant. I will not here pretend to recalculate the several fruits of Divine Love, but leave you to collect the principle of them, from what has been suggested, only to animate you for this necessary work, and if the Lord please, warm your affections in the discharge thereof. Suffer me to repeat that heavenly ejaculation of the royal psalmist, where addressing himself to the Lord, he breaks out as one transported with the thought: “Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!” {Ps.31:19} And again, in another place: “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God; how great is the sum of them!” {Ps.139:17} But this is a general view of the Divine gifts by which the grace of God, as the source of them, appears greatly to abound. Wherefore we have to observe, that the case will be entirely the same, should we restrain the expression to the particular gift of righteousness here in the text {Rom.5:17} - the Righteousness of Christ as comprehensive of all Divine Grace, will, for several reasons, challenge the exuberance that we are now speaking of; because, in its original or spring, it takes its being from those eternal riches of Divine Love as generating from the Throne of Grace of God’s infinite love in Christ. For such were the aboundings of this grace in itself; and in such a manner did it flow forth towards us, that neither the foreviews of our great personal unworthiness, nor the number and aggravation of our sins, could prevent it in operating for us, could hinder it from discovering itself in a way of kindness to our souls! The Divine Being, from the pure impulse of his goodwill, pitched upon our persons, as the objects of his love; and he gave it full scope to exert itself in all proper acts of beneficence for our recovery; particularly in the contrivance and production of this Righteousness. Such Riches of Grace are there with our God! So much has his love abounded towards us, both before, and in time! The Righteousness of Christ may deservedly be called abundance of grace, because it was the overflowing of his love which engaged him to submit to those duties and undergo those sufferings which are considered as necessary parts of our justifying righteousness. Hence it is, that the New Testament with general consent, perpetually attributes all that he did and suffered as our Substitute and Representative to the love and to the grace of Christ. Thus in the general, he is said “to have loved the Church,” and, as a consequence of this love, to “have given Himself for her.” {Eph.5:2,25} With which corresponds the acknowledgment of the Church itself in the Revelation of John, where they begin their doxology by saying, “to Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood, &c.” {Rev.1:5} And our Apostle, in this case, appeals to the conscience of those who believed at Corinth to witness to the truth thereof. For his words are “for ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” {II Cor.8:9} And when he comes to bring it down to himself and speaks of his own interest in the obedience and sufferings of the Redeemer, he is bold enough to say, “who loved me and gave Himself for me.” {Gal.2:20} Well, that is another good reason, why the Grace of God, as it includes or signifies the Righteousness of Christ may be called abundant. I add; that it merits this ascription, because we are obliged to consider this Righteousness as the means or meritorious cause of our deliverance from all those numerous evils and enemies, which we either fell under or lie exposed to through the Fall; such as, the guilt of sin, the curse and condemnation of the Law, the wrath of God, death in all the significations of the word, together with everything, that either threatens with distress in this life or misery in that which is to come. Whatsoever calamities can be charged upon the sin of Adam, or can be supposed to take place through his disobedience, the Righteousness of Christ is still exhibited as a certain antidote against them all, a complete deliverance therefrom. Of which the passage before us {Rom.5:17} in connection with the context is a sufficient proof. Once more, what is here said of grace, as it terminates upon the righteousness of Christ will farther appear worthy thereof because it is by this means, on the foot of this righteousness, that a way is open to instate us in the possession of everything valuable. An abundance of good descends to us by this avenue; all the good, indeed which we have either at present in hand, or which our hope reaches out after in a glorious futurity. All the blessings of time and eternity, whether they concern our deliverance from evils or our enjoyment of mercies; grace here or glory hereafter are conveyed and secured to us through this medium. Hence, the Scriptures perpetually ascribe them to the overflowings of his Blood and the perfection of his Righteousness. It is by this, that Grace reigns to us at present, and that we shall hereafter reign in eternal life with Christ. This again is the doctrine of our text, supported by what follows in the same chapter. I add only, that Grace in this sense of the word may well be said to abound, since the Righteousness of Christ, as such, not only overspreads, but covers and hides all those aboundings of sin and iniquity which are found with us. Nay verily, such is the nature and efficacy of this Grace that notwithstanding in many things we offend all; notwithstanding every day is big with some new transgression, in thought, word or deed; yet it keeps its hold on the beloved object where it settled at first, and there it abides forever. Though it be certain that the manifestation of this Grace or the comfortable views of interest in this Righteousness may and often are, by reason of sin, very justly intercepted and cut off; but we never say, there is no sun, though it be frequently invisible in our horizon. In like manner, be the outward discovery as it will, more bright or more obscure; it however makes no difference as to the nature and reality of the thing; and so, whatever this grace be as to personal apprehension, it is certainly unchangeable in itself; and therefore is that Righteousness, which Christ has wrought out, said to be an Everlasting Righteousness. {Dan.9:24} And if the righteousness itself be of this kind, no doubt but the fruits of it are equally durable. If any here should suddenly start a further inquiry, and ask, but why is it said to be the Gift of Righteousness? If the question be with respect to the things intended by the word ‘righteousness,’ why they bear that denomination; my answer is, because by God’s imputation of them to us, we are made righteous; for Christ’s righteousness becomes ours after the same manner that our sin became his; namely, by imputation; and therefore Paul says, “that He was made sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” {II Cor.5:21} The obedience and sufferings of Christ, not excluding his personal holiness, commonly called the purity of his nature, are what God is pleased to account to us for righteousness; and by means of which, he looks upon us and deals with us as righteous. The believer hath no other righteousness under the convert of which he dare venture into the Divine presence; neither, if we may be allowed to make our Apostle a precedent in this case, does he desire any other. In this respect, they possess one common desire, and speak one common language; “and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the Righteousness which is of God by faith.” {Phil.3:9} But if the question be concerning the gift of this righteousness, why it takes that character; I answer, that it is or may be represented in this way for two reasons. First, because our claim to it is founded in God’s imputation; for we have no natural title or right to it, but it becomes ours as imputed or reckoned to us for righteousness. This we have just spoken to; and therefore observe secondly; that this righteousness may farther bear the name of the gift, because it is originally the produce of Divine Grace, because it descends to us as unmerited favor, as that which is freely given, freely imputed to us by God. Hence, in one verse of this fifth chapter, it is styled the “gift by grace,” and in another, “the free gift;” {Rom.5:15,16} and here in our text, “the gift of righteousness;” to suggest to us, that this righteousness is conferred upon us as an instance of undeserved bounty; as an act of mere free and sovereign grace. Sayer Rudd, M.D. {A Funeral Sermon for Mrs. Elizabeth Ginn, late of Newington Butts, Widow; who deceased, June the eleventh, 1738, in the 60th year of her Age; upon the subject of a Believer’s Subjection to Death by the Offence of Adam, and our Reigning in Life through the Righteousness of Christ. 1738}

{Biographical Sketch}

Sayer Rudd {date of birth unknown} was assistant in 1716, ‘when very young,’ to the Baptist Church at Glasshouse Street, London. Later he was a member of Edward Wallin's church at Maze Pond, Southwark. There he was publicly set apart for the ministry, with laying on of hands, on 2 July 1725, as successor to Thomas Dewhurst at Turner's Hall, Philpot Lane, London. In 1727 the congregation of the Baptist Chapel in Devonshire Square {this was the assembly which the early Particular Baptist, and signer of the London Confession, was instrumental in gathering together in 1638} was united with his own, which removed to Devonshire Square. In April 1733 he became much unsettled in mind, and applied to his congregation for leave to visit Paris. This being refused, he nevertheless left for France anyway, which severed his connections with the Devonshire Assembly. Soon thereafter {upon returning from France} he was invited to preach at Maze-pond, after the death of Mr. Edward Wallin, with a view to his settlement there. This however, was prevented by a discovery which the people made that his sentiments upon some points of faith were different to what they had apprehended, and that with regard to the doctrine of the Trinity in particular, being suspected of doctrinal views that tended towards Sabellianism. Being dismissed by those of the Calvinistic Baptist Board, whose leaders, including John Gill & John Brine; who were his chief antagonists, as stated by himself – page 5 - in his 3rd defense against their charges, entitled: “A third letter to the ministers of the Calvinistic Baptist Board 1735.” In fact; Rudd claimed that because the names of Gill & Brine were attached to those ‘false’ accusations against him, it had the effect of spreading like ‘wild fire’ throughout the land. His exact words are: “You have given it out, and it works as you designed it; it spreads like wild fire; and you are all too sensible of your advantage upon this account; for whatever comes from your quarter, you very well know, is sure to succeed with the bulk of the people; for they being so weak as to receive all that you say for truth, they readily become your drudges, and propagate it as such.” Around this time he offered his services as preacher to the Quakers. Regarding his association with the Quakers {though true to an extent, but not as it has been portrayed,} he had this to say: “being dissatisfied with the judgment of the Quakers in doctrinal matters, I was far from being under any temptation to sacrifice my conscience or complement them with my faith; so far from it, that if ever I was more expressly Calvinistical {as you call it} than otherwise, it providentially happened about this time; and besides that the people at Devonshire Square may remember, I became less acceptable to them in the latter part of my ministry on this very account.” As the Calvinistic Baptist Board accused him of Unitarianism, and issued a minute against him. He defended himself in three ‘Letters,’ published 1734, 1735, and 1736, and in ‘Impartial Reflections,’ London, 1735, 8vo. The board, which met at Blackwell's Coffee House, Queen Street, disowned him on 26 Feb. 1735. Mr. Rudd still found friends who were willing to patronize both him and his cause. These, however, do not appear to have been very numerous; for in a dedication to his congregation, prefixed to the above discourse, he speaks of them as “but few in number.” In this circle of his friends, a Mrs. Elizabeth Ginn appears to have been one of the most affectionate, both for reputation and substance, and it was principally at her expense that a Meeting House in Snow’s-fields was erected for Mr. Rudd and his adherents. Mrs. Ginn, a widow, passed away in the 60th year of her age; and Rudd preached her funeral sermon, which was later published, entitled: “A Funeral Sermon for Mrs. Elizabeth Ginn,” upon the subject of a believer’s subjection to Death by the offence of Adam, and our reigning in Life through the Righteousness of Christ. Mrs. Ginn was a woman of very remarkable zeal in her strict attachment to the revelation of Scripture Truth, and firmly Baptist in her persuasion; who in the latter part of her life, met with much unreasonable and cruel treatment. Notwithstanding, her exemplary virtue and good behavior as a serious upright Christian, could not screen her from the censure of those who lay more stress upon mysteries, upon speculative notions, and needless distinctions than on the power of Christ’s reign of grace in the soul of the believer. But her ill treatment only served to increase and quicken her inclination to attempt promoting the liberty of private judgment and Christian charity in a better way. To that end a place of worship was erected at her own expense, and encouragement given, that truth in its native purity and plainness, might again be preached, and the religion of Christ freed from obscurity and imposition. After her death, the congregation was soon dissolved, and the chapel soon thereafter fell into the hands of the Arminian Wesley. Following soon after, and no doubt in part because of his being excluding from preaching amongst the Particular Baptists, it would appear that he had some inclinations towards the Established Church {Church of England} as he applied to the Lord Chancellor for admission. Regarding his attempts to the conformity of the Established Church of England; it was to the effect that he perceived a greater liberty of speech would be granted him, and though his sentiments, in most respects, conformed to their doctrinal standards, his conscience would suffer manifest injury in regards to the sprinkling of infants and the common prayer. During this turbulent & unsettled period in his life he speaks of coming afresh to the Throne if Grace, in all his bewildered circumstances, as one begging direction of the Lord; and resolving in His strength to act as conviction might open. He finally studied midwifery under Grégoire and Dussé of Paris, and proceeded to the degree of M.D. at Leyden. On returning to London he had some practice, and attended and took down in shorthand the lectures of Sir Richard Manningham {Male midwife, afterwards Bishop of Chichester}. One of these, ‘The certain Method to know the Disease,’ he published at London in 1742. After his conformity he was presented by Archbishop Potter to the living of Walmer, Kent, and in 1752 to the vicarage of Westwell in the same county. He then lived near Deal, and kept a school. Rudd died at Deal on 6 May 1757. This brief biographical sketch was largely taken from Walter Wilson’s {History and Antiquities of Dissenting Churches, Vol.2, 1808} and interlaced with a few extracts from other sources. MPJ


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