The Peculiar Interest of the Elect in Christ

John Spilsbury, 1593-1668, was a leader among the Early Particular Baptists. Possibly as early as 1633 he was instrumental in forming the first Particular Baptist Congregation in London. Spilsbury’s flock, which met in Cold Harbour, Thames Street, was apparently a thriving congregation, for in 1644, we learn that he was assisted by both Samuel Richardson and George Tipping. Like Richardson and Kiffin, he seems largely to have supported the Protectorate and to have opposed the Fifth Monarchists; and above all was an Exalter of Christ Alone & fervent Setter Forth of Christ’s Glory & Preeminence in Salvation. What exists of his writings, and public records show that he was most definitely a formative leader of the early English Particular Baptists, and one of the twelve signers of the 1644; and slightly revised 1646 London Confession of Faith. During the 1650s his house appears to have been used as the meeting-place for weekly gatherings of believers; and he seems to have lived into the 1660’s, but the exact date of his death is uncertain.

This work was printed in 1646, and was titled, THE PECULIAR INTEREST OF THE ELECT IN CHRIST, AND HIS SAVING GRACE. Wherein it is proved that Christ hath not Presented to his Father’s Justice a Satisfaction for the Sins of all men; but only for the sins of those that do, or shall believe in him; which are his Elect Only; and the Objections of those that maintain the contrary, are also answered. Spilsbury in this short treatise rigorously sets forth the Scripture Doctrine of Christ’s Particular & Effectual Redemption, and demolishes those oppositions that are levelled against it. At the conclusion of the work, he sums up his arguments thus, “let it be minded that the opposing of the truth which I have now asserted, brings forth {among other} these evil fruits. 1. It makes men deny the truth of the Scripture doctrine concerning Divine Predestination. 2. It robs God of the glory of his special and singular love and mercy to his chosen ones. 3. It tends to puff up professors with pride, persuading them that they have distinguished themselves from the rest of the world, and so save themselves; for Christ for his part did no more for them, than for those that perish. 4. It robs the saints of assurance of perseverance, and so of assurance of salvation; for if men come to be believers by a common grace afforded to all, then they may also cease to be believers through that weakness and corruption that is in all. Now take away from saints their assurance of salvation, and ye take away from them their joy, their thankfulness, their love, their life. 5. It holds forth God as making a show of being equally loving to all, when indeed and in his purpose he is not so; and seeming most graciously to forgive the sins of all men, though he determines to punish the vessels of wrath eternally in hell for all their sins."

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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