September 2012


Posted September 2, 2012

{Selection of the Week}

Eternal Covenant of Grace: The New Covenant requires nothing by way of a condition on the creatures part, without which it is not made good, and without which the Promises are not made good, as appears by Hebrews 8:9, where he saith, “Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.” So that his not regarding them, proceeded from their not keeping the conditions of his covenant; but it is not such a Covenant; for (saith he, vs. 10-12) “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people; and they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” See also the Prophesy of this Covenant, Jer. 31.31-34. In all which, we find nothing as a condition put upon the Creature, but God hath engaged Himself to do the whole work for them. James Pope {Unveiling of Antichrist, 1646}

Blood of the New Testament: If the blood of Christ {and not the blood of beasts} is the Blood of the New Testament, then here is the great privilege of Saints, the blood of the first Covenant. “For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” {Mt.26:28} And this blood purges the conscience from dead Works, to follow the living God. “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.9:24} By this blood we have Remission of Sins, and a way made into the holiest through the veil, which is his flesh; and that with boldness, by that new and living way, and have a high Priest over the house of God. {Heb.10:18-21} Nay, it is not only our privilege that we enter boldly, but it is our duty, we ought to draw near in full assurance of faith. “And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” {Heb.10:21,22} So that which is our privilege, is our duty; and duty is our privilege. In this, we may take notice of the unspeakable freeness of the Grace of God, and magnify it; as also, the wonderful happiness of the Saints that are made to partake of such grace. When the blood of the first Covenant was to be offered, none could go into the holiest, but the High Priest, but now the veil that did keep the people from the holiest is done away, or rather the substance of that shadow is consecrated to be our New and Living way of entrance by the Blood of Jesus, into the Holiest; and this blessed way unto the Father is open to all the people of the Covenant, that they go as freely before the Mercy Seat, as the High Priest who is already entered. {Heb.9:24} But the way was not made manifest while the first Tabernacle was standing. {Heb.9:8} This shows us that for men to teach, that the people of God ought to mourn for sin, not declaring in what sense, is antichristian; because there is no need to offer this blood, year by year, nor a remembrance of sin every year, as under the Old Covenant; {Heb.10:1-3} but by one offering Christ has perfected forever them that are sanctified. {Heb.10:14} So that now for the people of God to mourn for sins as under sin, is sinful; since it undervalues the Blood of the Covenant, as if it needed to be offered yearly, as the blood of the first Covenant was. Again, it is sinful, because it opposes duty; for it is the duty of Saints to draw near in full assurance of Faith, but to apprehend ourselves to lay under the guilt of sin, keeps us off of this duty; so that those who are truly humbled for sin {those that are in the Covenant} are not humbled from a sense of guilt, and fear of wrath, but because they by sin do dishonor God, who is their loving Father, who also hath pardoned their sin. James Pope {Unveiling of Antichrist, 1646}

Posted September 9, 2012

{Selection of the Week}

Sovereign Reign of Grace: Conceit of knowledge makes man unteachable, and hard hearted; as a man that sits on high, looks down to the dungeon, can see nothing there; but sitting in the dungeon, looking up, sees the light of sun; so a man, sitting above and looking down to the Gospel, as a thing under him, sees nothing; but he that sits in the darkness of his own heart, and looks up to the Son of Righteousness, sees everything, waiting the beams of Christ’s light to shine; and though a man know all the mysteries of life to be in Christ; yet without Christ he knows nothing that he dare trust to. Objection: To what end then should man labor for knowledge? Answer: This condemns not knowledge, but that a man should seek it at Christ, and enjoy it in Him alone, in whom it is hid from the flesh in all the treasures thereof; but not that man should store it up, thereby to comprehend God; but to know, that when he thinks he knows all, he knows nothing, as he ought to know. Where then are the wise? Where is the scribe? All the wisdom of this world is but foolishness; and yet these count the Truth of God foolishness; these all think most basely of the Gospel. Be content therefore to be counted a fool with those that consider themselves the wise of the world. Well worth low and childlike minds, that dare not trust their own wit or strength, but wait upon the Father. “It is so O Father, because thy pleasure was such.” {Mt.11:25-26} Here he shows the ground and prime cause that babes, and not wise men understand the Gospel. Not any power or worth in man, but the good will of God, which is not only his absolute will, but also the free love and good will of God toward man, without any respect of his worth; so that, the good will of God, and his good pleasure is the only cause of all good to man. “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.” {James 1:18} Our election is from this ground, that God hath chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world was laid, who hath predestinated us to be adopted in Christ Jesus, according to the good pleasure of his will, not according to our works, but according to his grace he saved us. {Eph.1:3-12} So he chose Israel. “The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people; but because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” {Deut.7:7,8} Who can give a reason in himself why God doth any good to man, but his good will and pleasure alone. For it is God that moves man, and sets him a working, not man God. Hereby does he take away all boasting from man, and lays him low to depend upon Another, and live by sheer grace. For he is absolute Lord over all; and there is no resisting of his will, to which man is ever brought into subjection thereto. Thus from the Doctrine of free mercy, doth the kingdom of God thrive in man, and grow vigorous. Nothing brings down but this, and for lack of subjection and believing of this good pleasure of God, man still seeks a cause in himself, as this and that good quality, and so never trusts his good pleasure. Man would still know a reason of his good will, which he will not suffer; for Christ doth not here curiously seek out a reason of the Father’s will, {“Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight,”} but gives thanks that God hath revealed it by the Gospel, to teach us, that we do not rashly presume to search his councils, but wait upon his good pleasure in his Word. What place then hath free will, which depends only on God’s good pleasure, and not on thy right use of free will. For there is no more willingness in thee than in others that never obeyed the Truth; but it was only his good pleasure to thee; for by nature, man fights against God, and would have rest any way rather than this; and averse to commit himself to his good pleasure, but still would have a hand in his own safety, and to share in the glory. But Christ takes all boasting away, that faith may live, and man thereby; that God’s pleasure may stand, and man subject thereto, that his grace may be communicated, and man praise his goodness. But this doctrine of free will destroys faith, sets his pleasure aside and binds God; lifts up man in pride and presumption, and makes secure in a few faint endeavors of his own. This is the continual exercise under the cross, in patience not to fret, and lust and strive, seeing that the will of the Father orders all things; and herein is our happiness, that it is his good will toward all little ones that are subject as children, for the meek and lowly shall find his good will towards them. This good will of God is not to be comprehended by man, for it rests in the Word of God, and there to be made known in time, and only to be believed. For all the works of God are never known until they be wrought, only to be believed before. For to our carnal reason, many times God seems to be a severe Tyrant, nay his Word a fable, which speaks of great privileges, and they seem in their own sense to be forsaken in affliction, but God gives them a Word that will stand, and his good will shall be revealed in time. In the meantime sit still. “Be still, and know that I am God…I will be exalted.” Ps.46:10. Roger Breiley {Bundle of Soul Convincing, Directing & Comforting Truths, 1676}

Fullness of Grace in Christ: “All things are given to me of my Father.” Here he sheweth how this good pleasure is conveyed to man; namely in Christ, for he hath given all things to him. So that, God the Father hath given and stored up in Jesus Christ a treasure of all wisdom, goodness, &c., and whatsoever appertains unto the perfecting of his Kingdom, that in Himself, the Father may be glorified and man abundantly supplied. So by promise, he gave him strength to crush the serpent’s head, and to Abraham, that in him all people should be blessed. In his birth he was to be called Wonderful, Counselor, &c., and a light to the Gentiles, and the glory of Israel, the Deliverer of his people out of prison, a giver of light to the blind. He was the Vine that had the sap in himself; yea, the treasure of wisdom; yea, the fullness of the Godhead; yea, all judgment was committed unto him; yea, in conclusion, all power in heaven and in earth, and victory over hell and all enemies. This was manifested in his Word that was with authority; and never man spake like him; and in his miracles, hath it been seen, that any man opened the eyes of the blind and raised the dead? This the Father did by an eternal purpose for his glory, and this hath been done for the good and salvation of man, that man that was not capable by his fleshly wisdom of God’s ways, yet should have one in flesh like himself; in whom, and by whom, he would convey all things needful, because we cannot ascend to heaven, therefore we might have a God on earth. Where then is that power and ability in man, or in any other creature for guiding or preserving himself, which the wit and pride of man so boasts of? Hath the sparrow power to fall without his Providence? Then, what power in man towards this great work. Whatever then man desires, in Christ he must have it; for it is not elsewhere to be had; whether peace, forgiveness, assurance, comfort or rest. Here it is laid up, and given to the needy; for he hath always to deal with such, and none else. Happy then he that lives by faith in Him, and whose eyes are still towards him, that waits at his posts, and listens to his Word; let all things else pass, work righteousness and live holily, but look for life in none but Him. And yet how loath is man to attend here, but he would have all in his own keeping, because he would not depend on him; and yet were we then most miserable, if our life depended on our own care and keeping. Roger Breiley {Bundle of Soul Convincing, Directing & Comforting Truths, 1676}

Fullness of Grace in Christ: The Father hath hid all the treasures of wisdom in him, hidden from the world; found, not by curious searching, but by humble crying and believing; and found not in man, but in Christ, and there to be enjoyed; for he is made our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. Adam had thought to have known God and the creatures, and himself, and the evil also without God; but knew no good, until God revealed Christ in the Promise; so until we be brought by the truth of Christ, to know no good in anything, but in God, nor no evil in anything, but in ourselves, we know nothing at all; but we seek to see a good in everything, and in ourselves especially; and would see no evil, and so are lifted up, and know nothing as we ought. And for this Christ prays, that the elect may know that thou art in me, and I in thee; and that thou hast sent me; and that I speak not of myself, but these are the words of my Father that sent me, for of myself I can do nothing. {John Chapter 17} And note, that this great mystery was revealed after Christ’s death; for then he sent the Comforter to lead into all truth and not until then. Before this, the disciples had a thousand imaginations of Christ, but now they knew that he was the Son of the Father, and Head of the Church; so we have a world of fancies touching God and Christ, but never truly know him, until the cross reveal him; for until then, we only think him to be such and such, and another thought crosses that. But this makes our weakness and vanity to appear; for every man’s work shall be revealed by fire. How wonderful are the blind conceits that man hath of God and Christ; as, when we still needs comprehend God without Christ in his essence, properties, attributes, eternity, omnipotence, &c., What a foolishness is this, to think to compass in our thoughts omnipotence! Others that frame a knowledge of Christ, in comprehending the story of his life and death, works, &c. Thus we know him by relation, as we do other countries where we never were; but never walk on foot with him in his death and sufferings. None know him, whose miserable heart is not delivered from death by him; who believes his truth above all, then this truth makes free. We see then that all knowledge comes by faith and that Christ is both God and Man. A man, in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwells, to whom all is given; that knows the mind of the Father, and reveals it to us. This is the only God on earth, that man’s mind may be fixed here, and not fly abroad; neither ascend into heaven, nor descend down into hell. Roger Breiley {Bundle of Soul Convincing, Directing & Comforting Truths, 1676}

Posted September 16, 2012

{Selection of the Week}

Antinomianism: For was he, or are we indeed Antinomians, enemies to the Law? God forbid. Nay, we never were, we never could be truly friends with it, until it pleased the Lord to discover unto us the Words of this Life. The Law looked upon us as an enemy, shaking over us continually the rod of God’s indignation, scourging and piercing our souls and consciences with scorpions, with menaces, with curses, with terrible and austere exactions, and that we had no strength. How then could we look upon it, but as upon a most bitter and implacable adversary? But after the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, who not according to the works of righteousness that we have done, but according to his mercy hath saved us. After the Lord Jesus had taken the hand-writing that was against us, and nailed it to his cross, and exhibited a full satisfaction to all that the Law could demand of us, or lay to our charge; this only was able to settle us in an everlasting peace, and reconcilement with the Law. Right reckoning, men say, makes long friends; but when the creditor and debtor not only agree in their accounts, but also the debtor is able to produce a full acquittance for the uttermost farthing that was due, there can be no breach, no jarring between them. The case is ours, {everlasting praise and thanks be rendered unto the Lord our righteousness,} our acquittance is recorded everywhere in the Word of his Grace; Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth. {Rom.10:4} Wherefore we are become dead to the law by the body of Christ, and delivered from the law. {Rom.7:4, 6} So that the Lord will remember our sins and iniquities no more. {Heb.10:17} For we are not under the law, but under grace; {Rom.6:14,15} which is the most constant doctrine of that apostle; it is also sealed unto us by the blood of our Redeemer, inasmuch as the New Testament of grace is in force by the death of the Testator. {Heb.9:16,17} But let them take heed of the just charge of Antinomianism, who when the law requireth a perfect fulfilling, and continuing in all things, {Gal.3:10,} will make it content with lame, imperfect performances; nay, it must accept the will for the deed, rather than they will be beholden for a full and free acceptance of wills and deeds, and all, unto the Beloved of the Lord, in whom the soul of the Lord is well pleased, and the faithful are freely accepted. Is not this to frustrate and make void the very end of a bond, to make it content with some few farthings, when so many thousands were due? Let them also take heed they be not guilty of Antinomianism, who take and leave what of the law they see good; who cut off the curse, the rigor, and all the punishment of it at one blow. Surely it is not easy to separate what God hath joined without good warrant from him. The apostle affirmeth, that whatsoever the law saith, it saith to them that are under it. He saith not something, but all whatsoever the law saith, it saith to them that are under it. So that there is never a curse in the law, which it doth not pronounce upon the head of him that is under it. And our Saviour himself saith, that heaven and earth shall pass away, but “one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law” till all be fulfilled. {Mt.5:18} Surely the curses are as much as one jot or tittle. He that should deny unto the laws of England the power to punish such offenders as are under them, might justly be thought and called an enemy to, and a destroyer of the laws of the land. But as for us, we make not void the law through faith, but establish it; we affirm that it remaineth in its full force and power, not only of commanding, but also of exacting, of terrifying, of cursing, and punishing every son of Adam that is under it, without the abatement of the least jot or tittle. And whether this be Antinomianism or no, let the church of Christ consider, and judge by the Word of Christ. He that saith this doctrine teacheth licentiousness, we are sure he is a stranger to it, and never felt the power of it in his own heart; for can anything else effectually teach to deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts, but this grace of God appearing? {Tit.2:11,12} Can any man truly find and prize this pearl of the kingdom, and not sell all that was of high esteem with him before? {Matt.13:46} Is there any other reason why we love God but because he hath so freely and abundantly loved us first? {I Jn.4:19} Doth not love manifested, as truly and infallibly kindle love again, as fire kindleth fire. {Song 8:6} Nay, rather the want of the more full and pure and powerful preaching of the Free Grace of Christ is the very root and ground of the continuance, in all sensuality and profaneness, in those that are notoriously wicked. For what can men do but catch at shadows and appearances of good, such as honors, and pleasures, and profits, and transgress for a morsel of bread, whilst they know not the glory of their own durable riches and righteousness, whilst the true substance is absent or covered, whilst Christ and his benefits are seldom, and coldly, and darkly proposed? It is the true cause also of all unbelief, self-love, and slavish fear in legal professors, and of all the evil fruits that spring from these roots of bitterness. For how can they believe, when they do not hear this Free Grace preached, but rather reviled and slandered? How can they cease from self-love, and seeking their own things, whilst they see not how infinitely, how all-sufficiently they are beloved of God their Father in Christ? And how can they be otherwise, but continually invested with slavish fear, when they are kept under by the spirit of bondage, when they may not dare for fear of presumption to be assured of God’s free love, and joyfully to apply Christ and his benefits unto themselves, from whom the Spirit of Adoption cometh, whereby we cry Abba Father? Or; if this assurance be allowed, it is upon such hard and high terms, that men must bring so much goodness to Christ, before they must dare to partake of him; that if a man will deal faithfully with himself, and not make lies his refuge, by making himself better than he is; he must needs be enforced to renounce all claim unto Christ, and to live in horror and despair all his days. Yea, the chief, or only cause of the weak and inordinate walking of the professors of the gospel, is not because they have received the doctrine of free grace; {for the devil labors to make men believe;} but because they have not received it so fully, so freely, and so abundantly, as it is plentifully held forth unto them in the word of the gospel. In a word, we entreat all those that are possessed with this groundless fear, that the preaching of free grace opens a way unto licentiousness, seriously to consider how contrary the divine reason of the apostle, {Rom.6:14,} is unto all their carnal reason, when he affirmeth that the cause why sin shall not have dominion over us; that is, why we shall not run out into all licentiousness, is “because we are not under the law but under grace.” The prudence and wisdom of man thinks quite contrary, that if men be not under the law, if they be not bridled, restrained, and kept in by the law, they must needs run into all uncleanness with greediness; but let God be true, and every man a liar; let the foolishness of God be wiser than men. He needs no instructor or counselor to teach him how effectually to work upon men; for he knows what is in man. {Jn.2:25} Robert Lancaster {Preface to the Works of Tobias Crisp, Christ Alone Exalted, 1643}

Posted September 23, 2012

{Selection of the Week}

Antinomianism: To all those that live godly in Christ Jesus. Precious Hearts; it is your honor, above many professors in the world, to seal in your sufferings the most refreshing and ennobling truths of Christ. Your life which is hid with Christ in God is that spark of glory which hath always attracted the most venomous envies of those men who make the flesh their residence. Be confident of this, that did you live in yourselves, you should live more quietly in the world; were you lower as saints, you should be higher as creatures. Never expect to build peaceably upon earth, while you lay not your foundation in the dust; the carnal mind cannot but be enmity against that which is the basis of your principles, suitable to that expression of our Saviour, “the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” {Jn.17:14} It hath ever been the policy of usurpers, to keep down those which can justly prove their decent from the royal blood, lest they and their ill-gotten glory fall together; so those that have unduly invested themselves with the title of saints, presently contend for a room in the seat of the scornful to disparage and destroy those who can clearly show their communion with a higher blood than their own; where Christ doth most sweetly and clearly reign, there the flesh will most presumptuously and cruelly tyrannize. However {saints} though it be your Father’s pleasure to allot you the valley of the shadow of death for flesh to walk in, whilst your condition is in its infancy, yet know, that your glorious union with the Son of God shall be more than enough in this state to refresh and secure you; the world may outrun you, and come first to the top of their glory; but surely in the end, the inheritance will be yours; their first shall be last, and your last shall be first. Esau out-wrestles Jacob in the womb, and comes first into the world, and according to the signification of his name, he is a great doer, a cunning hunter he was; but Jacob that comes forth last, takes the game; Esau was the first-born, but Jacob goes away possessed of the birth-right and blessing also. Thus doth your Father deal with you to make your latter end in brightness to outshine your beginning; neither will your God deny your bread here in the midst of famine; heaven rains manna in a wilderness, the rock gives water in the heat of drought. Believe it {you Gospel Christians} your Beloved shall be all to you in the want of all; that possession which he hath in you, will forever entitle you, “a spring shut up, and a fountain sealed;” he will be in you an Everlasting Head for your supply to all expenses in all conditions, when the moisture of everything below Him shall be exhausted by the creatures, which suck all they have from thence, even then, and so to eternity, shall Jesus Christ be to you in the height of his fullness. I know nothing you have that is long-lived but Jesus Christ. Earth, more grossly carnal, and the heavens more refinedly carnal, shall pass away; even the kingdom of heaven, so far as it is made up of forms and administrations, shall wither and die; but the kingdom of God within you shall never be shaken. That divine nature which hath swallowed you up shall forever satisfy you with variety of contentments. Let not therefore your hearts be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in Christ; you are satisfied, that the fullness of all things dwells in God, be also convinced that Jesus Christ, by his Father’s appointment, is made partaker of the same fullness; “for it pleased the Father, that in him should all fullness dwell.” Now, whatever Jesus Christ hath as a Mediator, you, in your measure enjoy; for it is the great ordinance of God, that all the saints should be sharers and partners with Jesus Christ; we are fellow-citizens with Him, and so interested in the immunities and privileges of the same charter with Him; that as in our first estate we had all which Adam had, so also in our second, we have all which Christ hath; why then doth paleness appear in your faces, and trembling sit upon your lips? As if in the frowns of the creature all your felicity was buried. Oh remember you are one spirit with Him, whose presence is a constant spring, in a vision of whose glory your beauty will be always lovely. I leave it as my humble request to you, that you would not forget your resting-place; for the least ignorance of that will make you apprehend every condition full of anxiety. This was that which was the bottom of Israel’s misery. “They have {saith the text} forgotten their resting-place;” {Jer.50:6;} or, their place to lie down in, as the original will bear it. If you make the creatures, or your ordinance privileges, or your duties, or your own righteousness to be your resting-places, the least disturbance in the pursuit of all, or any of these, will be very grievous and distracting; but if the Spirit enables you to remember Christ to be your rest, who is the rest of God, trouble upon any of your enjoyments below Himself will not have an uncomely influence upon you. To see a man fretting and vexing, that whilst he was riding his journey, noises did keep him waking, would evince our reason to believe that this man had forgotten that his resting-place was somewhere else; so to see you, whilst you were in your travel, discontented at that unquietness wherewith you are infested, would bring you under this suspicion, that you had forgotten your resting-place. Israel expected beds in the wilderness, when God had appointed Canaan to be their rest, and this was the ground of all their murmurings against God’s dispensations. Oh that the Spirit therefore would always in the midst of sin and misery, lead you to the Rock that is higher than yourselves, or anything you esteem above yourselves. Many, as they create troubles, so also create remedies; even such, which God never sealed; many times we sin, and then endeavor to make use of sin for a cure; we break a command of God, and then call upon some duty or other fix below Christ, to make up that breach; and thus we bring a double pain and vexation upon ourselves. When a wound is made by a weapon, a contrary plaster applied, makes it more incapable of cure than it was before; so it is with all distempers in your souls, by reason of sin; if you look upon any beside the brazen Serpent, your distemper will return with double vigor upon you. But certainly, one vision of Jesus Christ will bid defiance to the stoutest of your lusts, and all the powers of darkness combined with them, and in an encounter will more than conquer them. The host of Israel was very great and well prepared for the battle, but if ever the day be won, David must come into the field. Our fastings and prayers appear a huge host, but they will rather gaze upon than engage against an enemy, if Jesus Christ be not in the field; but the very countenance of Jesus Christ doth soon still the enemy and the avenger, and makes all the issue of sin in the soul to prove abortive. The marrow of this you have clearly laid open in the demonstration of the Spirit, in the following Sermons, which I am confident, to all that are led by the Spirit, will be a full vindication of the truth of Christ, and of the worthy Author from those base aspersions cast upon both by pride and ignorance. You shall find the sum of this Work, to be the sole exaltation of the Lord Jesus in saints and duties, and the debasing and trampling upon all flesh that shall aspire to the seat of Christ; the reviving and encouraging of drooping hearts, by presenting Christ, not themselves, in all his accomplishments to them. Now, if the world shall baptize this doctrine Antinomianism, the Lord grant that all the doctrine preached throughout the world, may deservedly be called by that name. Ye that know Christ, be not afraid, notwithstanding all the censures of the world, to read the book, and receive the truth; be assured it is not presented to thee as a bait, which is an introduction to a snare, but if the spirit of Christ accompany it, thou wilt certainly say, as Christ did, “I have meat to eat which ye know not of.” I should rather cloud the work, than honor it, if I should proceed to a further commendation of it. I leave it therefore to the Spirit to make out the worth of it to the spirits of the saints, and am concluded under this faith, that all the malice and carnal wisdom of this generation shall never be able to interrupt the course of it. As for the Author, though he never was known to me, yet those writings of his which I have perused, do encourage me to believe that whilst he lived in the world, he lived in God, and now his earthly tabernacle being dissolved, he is taken up into that fullness which he only saw in part whilst he lived here; and though whilst he was upon earth, it might be his portion, with his Lord and Master, to be mocked and buffeted in the High Priest’s hall, yet now sits with him in the fruition of that glory for which he was then a sufferer. What now remains, but that ye which through the Spirit have tasted the sweetness of his ministry in the same spirit, look up to our Father, and beg of him, that those who survive in the work of the gospel, may go on where he left, and in the plentiful effusion of the Spirit, the glorious truths of Christ may be amongst the saints, as the sun in its height? And among the rest, forget not him {though unworthy to be numbered with them} who is ambitious of nothing else, but to be All in Christ, and nothing in self. George Cokayn {Preface to the Works Of Tobias Crisp, Christ Alone Exalted, 1646}

Posted September 24, 2012

{Writings of Richard Coore}

Light of Christ Shinning in Darkness: “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” {Gen.1:5} Here is set down the order of all things, the evening before the morning, the darkness before the light, following still the excellent allegory, as the Apostle also in Abraham’s two sons, for he that was after the flesh, was before him that was after the promise; that which is of man, is before that which is of God; therefore it is called the old man, and the other the new man; and so God makes two covenants, the one established in the works of man, saying, “Do this and live,” and this brings all under the curse; the other established in Christ, saying, “I will be their God, and they shall be my people, I will be their Father, and they shall be my sons and daughters.” The Apostle calls the first the ministration of death and condemnation, and that which is to be abolished; and the latter the ministration of faith and righteousness, and that which remaineth; so that the former is called the old covenant, and a covenant of works, and the latter a new covenant, a covenant of Grace; so that the whole Scripture or written Word is contained in two Testaments. In the first is the Law, in the latter is the Gospel or Covenant of Grace; thus we have the order, the evening is before the morning, darkness before the Light, flesh before the spirit, the old man, old testament, old covenant, works, curse, condemnation, death, before the new man, New Testament, New Covenant, grace, blessing, righteousness, eternal life; but the old ones are all to be abolished; as the Apostle saith, “old things are passed away, behold all things are become new.” So it is written, “sorrow may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” So the Spirit in all the prophets, pronouncing the judgment of God against all nations for sin, never speaks of a day, but when he foretells the mercies of God in Christ, and his wonderful works of redemption, justification, sanctification, and salvation of sinners; he saith of that day, or after those days, or the like; so here when God hath turned darkness into light, and separated the light from the darkness, and called the light day, and the darkness night, then the evening and the morning make a day. And this is the first day, before that God hath wrought his mighty work in the soul by Jesus Christ, all darkness; yea man himself is darkness. “Ye were sometimes darkness,” saith the Apostle, there is no day, no light, so that Peter tells the Church, “ye have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts;” till the day star, the Lord Jesus and those Gospel Truths concerning Himself arise in our hearts; as the prophet saith, “we sit in darkness;” therefore though the Word of Truth be clear and plain, for the vision is written in large characters, so that he that runs may read it, yet understand it not; for it is written, “the light shineth in darkness, but the darkness comprehends it not;” nay we pervert it, and turn the truth into a lie. Therefore see what great darkness we live in until God command the light of everlasting life to shine in our hearts; therefore the prophet compares it to being in a dungeon, where there is no light, under gates of brass and bars of iron, because there is none that can loose us out of the prison but Jesus Christ, who is the power of God and wisdom of God unto salvation; and the Apostle saith that, “the god of this world,” namely, the devil, “hath blinded our eyes, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ should shine in our hearts;” so that this state is called bondage, captivity, darkness, gross darkness, and the like; therefore this is the first day, when by the light of God we see what darkness we have lived in, and are ashamed of the blindness of our minds, of our vain pleasures, our lustful desires, the unfruitful works of darkness, wherein we are found in the day of our ignorance; and now we know that the issues of death and of life are from the Lord, and that our destruction is from ourselves; and that our salvation is of God; that there is no good thing in us; that we can do no good thing of ourselves, for we are not sufficient for one good thought, that God alone doth all, for it is He that worketh our works for us, and worketh in us both to will and to do according to his own good pleasure; and now we call all creation to praise the Lord with us; for God hath put a new song into our mouths, and hath filled our souls with his own works; as now he proceedeth after He hath created the light, to fill heaven and earth with his creation glory. “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie; though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” {Hab.2:3}  Richard Coore {Practical Expositor, 1683}

Posted September 25, 2012

{Writings of Richard Coore}

Providential Reign of Grace: God teacheth us that it is “in Him we live and move and have our being,” {Acts 17:28,} and as the prophet testifies in regards to the Lord who “created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work;” {Is.54:16;} so that any weapon that is formed against his people shall not prosper, the sword cannot wound, the water cannot drown, the fire cannot burn, nor can anything or anyone destroy those whom God will preserve; for he brought the greatest monarch and the strongest creature from nothing by his Word, and he orders all their ways at his pleasure, and cuts them off in a moment by the most contemptible creature; as Pharaoh and his sorcerers by lice, locusts, caterpillars etc., and Herod by worms; so preserves he his own children against all their wrath, and bitterness; as Daniel in the lion’s den, and the three children in the fiery furnace, so our God sees all our goings out, and comings in; he knows the secret counsel and imaginations of our heart, and we cannot fly from his presence, or hide ourselves in the depth of the sea, or darkness of the night, {Ps.139:1-7;} therefore to trust in Him alone is our greatest strength; to seek to hide ourselves or our ways from him is our greatest folly; for by Him kings reign and princes decree judgment; he puts down one and sets up another at his pleasure; therefore the prophet saith, “blessed are all they that put their trust in him;” and again, “cursed is he that maketh flesh his arm, &c.,” as also they that have their confidence in graven images. Richard Coore {Practical Expositor, 1683}

Posted September 26, 2012

{Writings of Richard Coore}

Life of Faith in Christ: To all true believers, the just that live by faith; Dear brethren begotten by the Word of God, born of his Holy Spirit, poor pilgrims and strangers in this world, with whom, yet, you must live, as with a hateful stepmother, that will not give you, no nor suffer you to have bread, but leavened with her own leaven; nor sincere milk, but mixed with water; and yet not with the water of the Well of Life, but of her own broken cisterns. After you my spirit breathes, in you my soul rejoices, for you I give thanks to the God of all Mercies, that Christ is formed in you, and that your souls are established, rooted, and grounded in the Truth; because Satan your great adversary transforms himself into the likeness of an angel of light, and sends forth his ministers like ministers of the Light, and shapes the religions of the world into all seeming holiness, voluntary humility, will worship, self-denial, burning zeal, strong devotion, meek suffering, steadfast resolution, and everything that may make them seem to be Christ’s flock; that you may receive them, and join with them. And indeed it is very difficult for you to stand fast in the Faith, and to withstand their deceitful appearance, but that our gracious Savior hath forewarned us all to be aware of them that come to us in sheep’s clothing, for inwardly they are ravening wolves; but their show is so specious, that you are afraid to speak or think evil of them. Alas my dear brethren in Christ, look not on their outward appearance, regard not their words, for they are smooth as oil, soft as butter; but under their tongue is the poison of asps, and swords are in their hearts. These are those locusts come out of the smoke of the bottomless pit; they have faces of men, hair like women, but their teeth are of iron, there is stings in their tails. {Rev.9:7-9} In a word, as the Jews cried up the Law, the Temple, &c., so these cry “Lord, Lord, the Light, the Word, the Spirit,” &c., yet all is but to join men’s observation, devotion, zeal, diligence, &c., with the Son of God, that he may not be all in all to his Church, the Justifier of the ungodly; that he should die for his enemies, and give gifts for the rebellious, and quicken them that are dead in sin, and be both the Author and Finisher of Faith, the Beginner and Perfecter of every good word and work, and though the failings of his people should be great and many; yet he will heal them, and pardon all their backslidings, he will continue faithful, and by cords of love draw her to remember from whence she is fallen, and bring her to her first Love again, and then delight in her more than before; and briefly, that true Christian Religion should consist in nothing but man living in the sense of his daily failings, and mourning under the burden thereof, and receiving from the Lord the Cup of Salvation, even the forgiveness of his sins, and comfort of his soul daily. This the worldly wise in religion cannot endure; but are still devising some other way whereby they may be godly, that God may justify them in their godliness, and so they pacify their conscience, and beget in their minds a hope of happiness, and persuade themselves that they are beloved of God, as they live in security, and judge others that do not as they do, and dance not after their pipe. But you hath the Lord Jesus quickened, that you may live in brokenness of heart, in sense of our own sinfulness, and not in security with them, but continually watching lest your enemies that are so near you, even the world, the flesh and the devil should prevail against you, either to bring you back in neglect and forgetfulness of your redemption, or lift up your hearts in pride, to bring to God any other sacrifice than a broken heart and contrite spirit, and live in the sense of the freeness of his Love; that you cease not night and day to sound out his praises who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous Light, and with the price of his own blood hath redeemed you from sin and folly, and daily doth redeem you from your infirmities and failings, and the world’s allurements, the flesh lustings, and Satan’s temptations. Oh you little flock that have not bowed the knee to Baal, who are but as one of thousand, gathered out of the world, glorious in the power of your gracious Redeemer, who hath bought and brought you out of Egypt, an acceptable present unto the God of Glory, and hath given that living command in your hearts, that you should worship not the gods of the people among whom you dwell, nor say a league to whom they say a league, nor fear their fear; that is, not to join with them in their forms of religion; for their fear of God, and all their forms of religion is taught by the precepts of men; therefore by his power and daily preservation you walk as lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, who hate you, and persecute you; and if at any time they favor you, take care that you eat not of their dainty dishes, but be content with your own pulse. Blessed and forever praised be the Lord, who hath vouchsafed so great grace, that there should be some amongst the sinful generations of men through his Mercy alone whom he brings to so great a Redemption; that all the world be not as the deluge and the destruction of Sodom, and the cities adjoined in that horrible spectacle of his dreadful judgment. Now what have I to say to you my dearly beloved brethren, ye children of Grace, but to communicate with you, though I know you not in the flesh, yet I see in the spirit how you with me are carried out by Divine Instruction to try all things, and hold fast to that which is good; that our souls are wearied with trying, yet finding nothing in men’s preachings, nor writings concerning that good Counsel of God, the Dictates of the Spirit of Truth and Comfort, that either by his sharp reproof, whereby He reproves of sin, righteousness and judgment, men might be sound in the Faith, or by His sweet consolations, souls sick of love, and daily grieved in seeing the filthy conversation of the men of the world, might be refreshed and upheld, and armed with patience to wait for the coming of their loving Bridegroom - the Lord Jesus, with joy and comfort; who in the meantime hath given us so many admonitions to take heed to what we hear, and how we hear; that we hear nothing but what the Spirit saith to the churches. So we need not to lend our ears, or spend our time in hearing their preachings and following their writings, which tend only to contention, and lift up men’s minds for one minister, and one form of religion, against all others; which even to hear and see, is very grievous to our souls, how they deceive and are deceived; but let us possess our souls with patience, and let the world alone, knowing that these things must be, for the wicked must be wicked still, and the blind must lead the blind, and both will fall into the ditch. Let us lift up our hearts more high, to extol his Name and Mercy towards us, that he hath granted us such grace, and called us with an holy calling, and made us to differ from the world, and hath abounded towards us in all good things through Jesus Christ; in whose Name let us pray unto the Father, to keep us even as the apple of an eye by his Power through Faith unto Salvation, that all the deceitful transformations of Satan may not draw us to be conformed to anything but the Life and Death of Christ, even that we may die daily to our own wills and lusts, and live unto and with our God and Savior, our Redeemer, both in this life, and that which is to come, forever and ever, world without end, Amen. Richard Coore {Preface to his Practical Expositor, 1683}

Posted September 27, 2012

{Writings of Richard Coore}

Glorying in Christ Alone: As Israel could not be freed from her bondage, but only by God himself, and that with a strong hand, and a stretched out arm in the pouring out his judgments upon Pharaoh and all Egypt; so cannot man’s soul be brought out of his carnal and hypocritical estate by any means but by the sheer power of God, by his vials poured out upon all green things, to destroy them; signifying the taking away all earthly things that gave contentment to the carnal mind, as also all pleasing ways of religion; and by vials being poured out upon the seat of the beast, signifying the carnal and hypocritical mind of man that delights in anything besides God; as Israel was said to worship all the host of heaven, beasts of the earth, fowls of the air, and even creeping things, anything but the true God; so now men worship their forms of religion, their Sabbath keeping, their baptism, their forms of baptizing, &c., anything except faith in Christ. Again; men lead one another from one form of religion to another; none destroys all but God, as he leaves nothing for man to look upon but Christ crucified. Richard Coore {Practical Expositor, 1683}

Light of Christ: “And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.” {Gen.1:18} Though all this be spoken to before, {vs.16,} yet this reverberation thereof by the Holy Ghost, signifies it to be a matter of consequence for the instruction of man, and needful to be diligently regarded; and the sum of it lies in this; that the lights from heaven must rule; the day and the night must have no establishment in themselves, but as the lights of heaven to rule over them by God’s Divine Appointment, and divide them one from the other; otherwise all earthly things tend to their own confusion and destruction; therefore also God saw that this was good, for his goodness is communicated by his creation, by his ordinances and appointment, to preserve the creature from ruining himself. So with man, by his own wisdom he runs headlong to perdition, breaks all bonds, perverts the Truth of God, and turns it to a lie, abuses the gifts of God, corrupts all his ways, likened to a wild ass in the wilderness that hastens to destruction; therefore God puts a hook in his nostrils, and a bit in his jaws, and brings him back by a way that he hath not known; and that is by a way of subjection, that the Light of God, even Christ, may rule over him, that he may no more rejoice in the ways of his own heart, or the works of his own hand; but that he may rejoice that his King cometh, that a Branch of the stem of Jesse ruleth, that the Lion of the Tribe of Judah hath prevailed, that the captives of Zion are brought again, and the shout of the King is in the midst of them. Oh how averse is the mind of man to this in nature! Pride and folly reigns in his heart, and therefore he himself would be king and lord alone; yea, Lucifer’s pride is in his heart, that he exalts himself above all that is called god, in heaven and in earth; but God that is good, communicates his goodness and casts down all that is high and haughty in man, and brings every thought into subjection unto the obedience of Christ. Thus the Light of God rules over man both night and day, and divides between that which is of God and that which is of man; for man in his pride and folly would ruin himself, and doth cast himself into captivity; for pride goeth before the fall, and a haughty mind before destruction; but God preserves the lowly in heart, and gives grace to the humbled and meek; therefore he saith, “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help Israel,” {Hos.13:9,} thy destruction is of thyself, thy salvation is of me; and God saw that this was good, that when nothing but evil was left in man, it should be reduced to goodness, and established there by the goodness of God himself, and all man’s seeming goodness should be discovered to be evil, his wisdom to be foolishness, his light to be darkness, and that a perfect division should be made, to separate that which is of man, from that which is of God forever. Richard Coore {Practical Expositor, 1683}

Posted September 28, 2012

{Writings of Richard Coore}

Babel Builders: We have the building of Babel; in order whereunto it is said that “the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech;” and they said, “let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” {Gen.11:1-4} Here is the figure of all carnal religion; when man will be religious out of his own carnal wisdom, before that God reveal the Lord Christ to him; here is his intent through his own work and wisdom to get to heaven and to get him a name to be more holy than others, that he may be not accounted like other men of the earth; therefore Solomon exhorts, “be not righteous too soon;” for the house that is built too soon is built without a Foundation. Paul’s righteousness wherein he was touching the Law blameless was too soon, because it was before that Christ {who is the true Foundation of all Righteousness} was revealed to him; so that religion is mere hypocrisy whereby man seeks his own glory, to get himself a name or praise among men, as our Savior said the Pharisees and Sadducees did. “But all their works they do for to be seen of men.” {Mt.23:5} The children of God are quite contrary; as the Lord saith by the prophet, “I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders;” {Is.8:18;} and to whom, but to both the houses of Israel; even to all professors of religion, or to all that have a form of religion. And Paul speaking of them under the name of a true Jew, that hath the truth circumcision, saith that their “praise is not of men, but of God.” {Rom.2:29} Therefore as this building displeased God, and he confounded their language, and scattered them over all the earth, so doth this hypocritical religion, and he scattereth them into divers forms, and sets them at dissension one with another, upon any trifling conceit, or opinion, or circumstance; that even a rational man will think them mad, to place religion in such foolish and trivial things; thus as the builders of Babel, by that way which they thought to get them a name, that they should not be scattered over the earth, even by the same means they were scattered and confounded, so are all followers of formal religion. Richard Coore {Practical Expositor, 1683}

Lord’s Supper: The Rock yielding water to Israel in their great thirst, and the Lord giving manna from heaven, is a perfect figure of the feeding the soul with the body and blood of Christ, as Moses also testifies, when he saith that Rock was Christ; for hereby is signified, that the souls hunger can be satisfied with nothing but Food from heaven, and that administered miraculously by the power of God; therefore the due preparation of man for the Supper, is that his soul is hungry and thirsty for such food, which is figured out in the prodigal, whom nothing could satisfy but the Bread of the Father’s house; as also expressed by David. “They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures;” {Ps.36:8;} “blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts; we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple;” {Ps.65:4;} “hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them…then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.” {Ps.107:5,19} But to examine himself whether he repent him truly of his former sins, steadfastly purposing to lead a new life, to have a lively faith in God’s mercy through Christ, with a thankful remembrance of his Death, and to be in charity with all men, is to fill a man’s heart with a good conceit of his Christian-like condition, which makes him not hungry, but full; and the full stomach loathes the honeycomb. “The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” {Prov.27:7} So such men receive the Supper for nothing, but because it is a custom for men to do so, or because it is an order of the Church, and therefore they ought to do it. Richard Coore {Practical Expositor, 1683}

Posted September 29, 2012

{Writings of Richard Coore}

Free Grace Salvation in Christ Alone: In this 119th Psalm it is observed that one of these eight words is in every verse: the Word, the Law, the Testimony, the Decrees, the Statutes, the Commandments, the Precepts, and the Judgments. By the Word understand, the Lord Jesus Christ, the living Word. By the Law understand, that Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, which makes us free from the Law of sin and death; not the Law of the Ten Commandments, which lays every man under the Curse. By Testimonies understand, the testimonies which God gave unto Christ, that he is his Son, and that in Him alone he is well pleased; and this giveth wisdom to the simple, that everyone may know, even the most simple, that God is pleased with Christ and not with the works of man, in any way of religion or holiness whatsoever. Decrees and Statutes are both one, and they are great. The first decree of God is, that “flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God;” the second is, that all the wisdom of man shall be confounded, and all his righteousness or obedience to God’s Word is abominable, because they proceed from his carnal mind; the third is, that his Law shall make known this sinful state, and bring every soul of his elect under condemnation, curse and death. The fourth is, that Jesus Christ shall loose those that are brought under curse by the Law, from their captivity to sin, and from the curse of the Law, and give them eternal life only by Free Grace. So likewise Commandments and Precepts are both one, and by them understand the Commands that God hath given to all concerning Christ, first that they shall hear Him, secondly that every one that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity; and this gives light to the eyes of the mind, that every soul may know, that the true and only obedience of God is to hear Christ; namely, to believe in Him for the whole of Salvation; that is, for the gift of eternal life by Free Grace, and that to believe in any other or to join their own holiness or anything else with Him is iniquity. By Judgments understand, the judgment of the great Whore, as it is called in Revelations the 17th; namely, hypocrisy, or man’s confidence in his own works, which hath made all the kings of the earth drunk with the wine of her fornications; namely, hath bewitched all forms of religion to trust in their own works, and not in the living God; or to join something with Christ; as the Galatians were bewitched to join Circumcision and the keeping of the Law; and now all forms are bewitched to join works of merit, or good endeavors, great zeal, and wisdom, or covenant keeping, right baptizing, right communion, right speaking and acting, as other holy men have done, or the like; anything that Christ may not be all; and therefore this hypocrisy is called Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of whoredom, and of all abominations of the earth; for she hath been in all professors of religions, and have corrupted all Administrations of God, &c., and therefore that judgments of God be poured out upon the carnal mind, in which she lives and acts, is to the servants of God sweeter than honey, and more to be desired than much fine gold. - It is Christ that must do all; man’s wit is diligently employed to bring something of man into the business of salvation; so the Spirit of God in his servants, never ceased either by parables, similitudes, or plain words to set forth the Free Grace of God in Christ doing all for us, and therefore our Savior saith, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me;” but, “ye will not come to me, that ye might have life;” {Jn.5:39,40;} whence I conclude that Holy Scripture is not rightly expounded, that witnesseth not every man concluded under sin that all may be saved by Christ. - The devil transforms himself into the likeness of an angel of light, and would deceive the elect if it were possible; but that God hath sealed them in the hand and in the forehead; and Satan hath made his false teachers like ministers of light, that with cunningly devised fables they may deceive the world, and draw all men after them. Thus the false apostles went out from the professors of truth; as John saith, “they went out from us, but they were not of us;” {I Jn.2:19;} and even so now all forms of religion, have crept away from the doctrine of Free Grace; as Papists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Independents, Anabaptists, Quakers, &c., for none of them deny that in some sense salvation is by free grace in Christ; but as John said, “they were not of us,” for if they had been of us, doubtless they would not have gone out from us; namely, if they had been regenerate, begotten by the Word of Truth, born of the Holy Spirit, and led by Him in all the ways of God, and had the free grace and operations thereof, and faith that worketh by love in their souls, they would have said it’s by Free Grace alone, and shouted his praises with us, who hath done all for us, casting their crowns to the ground, and crying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.” {Rev.5:12} Richard Coore {Practical Expositor, 1683}

Posted September 30, 2012

{Writings of Richard Coore}

Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus: The preacher {as the word Ecclesiastes signifies} concludes that the whole duty of man is to “fear God and keep his Commandments;” {Ecc.12:13,14} and this is another shadow to hide the glorious mystery of Truth from the wise of the world; for now thinks man that he is sent back to Moses, to the Ten Commandments, that Law that saith, “do this and live;” not understanding, that the work of that Law is wrought when man is becomes sensible of his sin, and he and all his ways are condemned of folly and vanity, for by the Law is the knowledge of sin, and whosoever is of the works of the Law, is under the curse. {Gal.3:20} But now when he saith, the whole duty of man is to fear God and keep his Commandments, he speaks of those Commandments whereof it is said that the days of that ignorance God winked at, but now hath commanded all to believe and obey the Gospel; for these are the commands of God, after that Christ is manifested; the Father carries not man back to Moses, nor yet bids him hear John the Baptist, nor any other; but calls upon all from heaven and commands all to hear his Son, and this is the work of God, to believe in the Son, for they that believe in him, are passed from death to life, and shall not come under condemnation; but they that believe not, are condemned already, because they believe not the record of God concerning his Son. Therefore God in mercy drives not man back to Moses, but when man sees his sin by the Law, he draws him to Christ through whom sin is pardoned, and the soul sanctified. Therefore the Apostle to the Hebrews saith, “ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest &c.,” {Heb.12:18,} which is as much as if he had said, “ye are not come to the Law of judgment;” for so was that Law delivered; but ye are come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, &c., and to Jesus the mediator of the New Testament, and to the blood that speaketh better things than that of Abel; {Heb.12:22-24;} namely, ye are come to the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, that frees from the Law of sin and death. {Rom.8:2} Richard Coore {Practical Expositor, 1683}

{Selection of the Week}

Sin & the Sovereignty of God: Objection - The Cause of the Cause is the cause also of the effect, therefore if Adam had but the seeds and Principles of sin in him, at his Creation, though he were not actually a sinner, yet you make God the author of sin. Assertion - First; what if I say, that God was the cause without which Adam had not fallen, is there any hurt in that? God might have made Adam in such an Immutable condition that he could not have fallen, and then certainly you would have said, God was the cause of his standing. Secondly; a blind child is not in so good a condition as one that hath his eyes; yet the blindness of the child is neither his fault, nor his fathers, though it be the cause of the child’s stumbling and falling. Adam is called the son of God; this Adam was created blind, as to the spiritual understanding of divine things; yet neither did this man {Adam} or {God} his parent sin, in that he was born blind; but that the Workmanship of God in Christ might be manifested in him. {Jn.9:2,3,} It was not the fault, but the Wisdom and pleasure of God to make Adam so, that he might make way for the exaltation of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the magnifying of the riches of his grace and love in Christ. Thirdly; once more take it thus; a virgin not yet deflowered, but retaining still her chastity as in the day she was born, you will not say, but this chaste and pure virgin hath the Seeds and Principles of propagation, and a desire too of natural issue; yet this damsel cannot be reproved of fornication as an harlot, nor hath she sinned if she marry and have children; she is not to be accused of folly, unless she give up herself to a stranger in an illegitimate and meretricious way. Who more chaste and innocent than Adam? Yet did he violate that primitive and created purity, when he turned aside to couple and close with the allurements of the Serpent. He had not offended, if he had betrothed his soul to God in the Sacrament of the tree of life; yea, it had been more honor, happiness and safety for him so to have done. The Devil is called the father of murder and lies; {Jn.8:44;} indeed he is the father of all that is evil; and therefore it is said, that the whole world {all that is of the world in opposition to God} lieth in the Wicked one; {I Jn.5:19;} every wicked and sinful act lieth in the loins of the Devil, as the father thereof; but except Satan had gendered with the heart of Adam, there had been no such bare born brat as sin ever brought into the World, there was first lust in Adam, which by the injections of Satan, conceived and brought forth sin; {James 1:13-15;} when he had completely finished his sin in the actual eating of the forbidden fruit, then he died and not before, {Gen.2:17,} though he was mortal at first. Satan is the father, man’s heart the mother of all evil. Henry Pinnell {Word of Prophesy, 1648}

Death in Adam – Life in Christ: There is therefore a two-fold image of God. 1. Of Life: In this Adam was formed, when he was made a living soul. This life, and the righteousness, perfection and glory thereof, though it be but natural, is so precious unto man, that skin for skin, and all that he hath will he give for it. {Job.2:4} It is the master-piece of Satan’s temptations, and the last plot usually, that he hath on man to set upon him as he did on Christ. {Matt.4:8,9} The Devil will carry a man to the highest pitch of the first Adam, as to the top of an exceeding high mountain {for Adam’s created state was far more exceedingly high than any present, natural and worldly condition of man now} and there show him all the dominion that Adam had over all that earthly creation, and what a glorious state he was in; and then this old serpent tempted and enticed man to look upon this golden ball of vanity, and accept of it, tells him he shall be {as} God. But the spiritual man discerns and foresees the danger, espies the serpent under the herbs, knows there is death in the apple, and therefore despises all the pompous vanity of the first creation. When Satan, by despair, cannot break a man’s neck from the fall of Adam, he will bring him to the brink and brow of his created state, and from thence endeavor to call him down {as the Jews did to Christ} and make him run headlong to his flattering ruin. {Lk.4:29, 5–6} When the Devil cannot drive a man away from God by the corrupt Adam, he will draw him to himself by the pure Adam, and there hold him as a close prisoner, in fetters of Gold, as he did before in shackles of Iron. The Kingdom, Power, Glory of this creation is delivered to the god of this world. The Serpent took away man’s excellency and glory; the Serpent offers it him again upon terms. Surely that cannot be worth the taking up, which the Devil proffers, and if Satan have dominion, and be lord over man’s riches, to give and take at his pleasure, I can hardly be persuaded that it is spiritual. The enemy of man hath laid his earthy honor in the dust, and trod his life to the ground. I wonder that we should so much dote upon the painted beauty of man! Tis a sign our eyes are weak, and that we are dim-sighted, not able to behold the beauties of holiness in God. Besides, what hope is there for us to recover Adams State? For if there was a total privation, {as doubtless there was of Adams life,} there can be no more regress to it. Adam is not said to swoon or faint, but to die in the day he did eat; not the death of the body, for he lived many hundred years after; but the death of that State, to which he was not to return again. And therefore we are bid to mortify the old man, not labor to recover him to his health and strength. Nor will it serve the turn to say, that as we died in Adam, so we are made alive by Christ; as though our reviving by Christ were no more than a restitution to the life or the first Adam; for our life which we have by Christ, is by Resurrection not by regression; not a returning to the same life, but a raising to another life. There is also the image of God as it consists in knowledge. {Col.3:10} And this image I do not find attributed to Adam; but is peculiarly appropriated to Christ, and those that are his. Not Adam, but Christ hath the spirit of Wisdom and Knowledge; and in Christ not in Adam, are hid all the Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge. {Col.2:3} If Adam had received a true Spiritual and Divine knowledge of God and Christ in the Tree of Life, he had been immortal and could not have died, for the seed of that Knowledge is Eternal, and so is the fruit too. {Jn. 17:3, I Jn.3:9} Every man is brutish in his knowledge, saith the Prophet. {Jer.10:14} Yea, he is become brutish by his knowledge. {Jer.51:17} Not only in his low, base and fallen state; but even in his high and honorable state; man {in honor} is but as a beast, for want of understanding. {Ps.49:20} Henry Pinnell {Word of Prophesy, 1648}


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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