“And there was a rainbow round about the throne.”—Revelation 4:3

Mark this, my soul, and connect with it what God said after the destruction of the old world by water: “I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh.” And was not this rainbow round the throne which John saw, to tell the church of Jesus, on whom the Father is always looking, to remember his everlasting covenant of grace? And what doth it say but this, there shall be no more a deluge, nor floods of vengeance poured out upon the sinner that believes in Jesus. He looks to Christ, while the Father beholds Christ: he trusts in Jesus, whom the Father hath trusted with his honour: he accepts Jesus as the whole of the covenant, in whom the Father beholds the whole of the covenant fulfilled. Help me, Lord, in the view of every renewed token of the rainbow in the heavens, to connect with it the promise of Jehovah to his poor redeemed upon earth. Yes, blessed Lord, there is a rainbow round about the throne; and Christ is the bow which Jehovah hath set in the cloud. On him, my soul, gaze and feast thy ravished eyes. On him thy God and Father looks, and is well pleased.

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AN ORDER OF SERVICE FOR DIVINE WORSHIP; DESIGNED FOR PRIVATE DEVOTIONS, FAMILY GATHERINGS AND CHURCH MEETINGS.

Sermon—“Offended Because Of Jesus”

For the full order of service, including hymns and reading, please follow this link…

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A Sermon Delivered By William Gadsby At The Baptist Chapel, St. George’s Road, Manchester On Lord’s Day, January 1, 1826

“For there are Three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and those Three are One.”—1 John 5:7

Beloved of the Lord,

Through an infinite variety of changing scenes, our over-to-be-adored covenant God has brought us thus far. The various troubles that we have had to grapple with in the past year only leave their number less. We shall never have to wade through them again; and if God the Holy Ghost has sanctified them to our souls they have done us no real harm. If we have learned through them, as instruments in the hands of our glorious Teacher, more of the emptiness of this vain polluted world, and been made, by a precious faith in Christ, to sit looser to all creature-joys and cling closer to our blessed Christ, let us not for a moment regret that we have been visited with them, but rather praise and adore our glorious Lord that he has taken the advantage of them to confirm our souls in the immutability of his love, by proving himself to be our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Honours crown his brow for ever! Nothing shall induce him to forsake his dear blood-bought family. He may chastise, and for a small moment appear to forsake us, but with everlasting kindness will he have mercy upon us; so that his chastenings are but momentary, whilst his loving-kindness is everlasting. (Isa 54:8-10)

Another year has rolled round, and here we are, the monuments of God’s mercy, met together to commemorate the wonderful kindness of our covenant God toward us; and with deep humility to confess our vile ingratitude towards him, our best, our faithful Friend. May we begin the year in the blessed Spirit of the Lord, and may it not only be the beginning of a new year but may it prove in deed and in truth the Lord’s day to our souls. O for a sweet enjoyment of our glorious Alpha and Omega. Then we shall have another confirming proof that our glorious Christ is an almighty Friend. The Lord grant that we may this morning approach our blessed Triune Jehovah by a living faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and sit under his precious vine with a conscience consecrated with the blood of the Lamb, under the divine anointing and blessed teaching of Cod the Holy Ghost.

Since the last year commenced some of. our friends have taken flight, and gone to their eternal home. Well, beloved, “Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, for they rest from their labours.” Soon, very soon, we shall follow them. This may he the last year, yea, the last day, that our adorable God has designed us to live in this polluted world. May the few remaining swift-flying minutes of our natural life be spent in the faith, fear, and love of God. May we be thankful for mercies already received; and, in sweet confidence in the immutable promise and oath of our unchanging God, may we trust him for all that is to come.

Few and evil have the days of the years of our life been, and to us belong confusion of face; but adored be our blessed Jehovah, to the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness. Though we have rebelled against him, yet, thanks be unto God, Jehovah himself, Father, Son, and Spirit, in the glorious economy of redemption, is our salvation. “For the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song, he also is become my salvation.” Blessed Spirit, thou divine Comforter and Sealer, condescend to lead our souls into this…

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It is not certain what hymn Jesus and His disciples sang together though it was usual for the Jews at the passover feast to sing sections from Psalms 113-118 called the Hallel. It would be very appropriate and applicable if some of these passages should now be sung by the Lord as He looked forward to Gethsemane and anticipated the events of the coming night and day.

Praise and prophecy

For example, may we not with benefit hear upon the lips of our Substitute and Surety such words as, ‘The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow’ (116:3)? Or view Him, whose death for the redemption of His people is of the highest value, being spiritually comforted in His own soul while singing, ‘Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds’ (116:15, 16)? I do not see why not.

Crossing Kidron brook

Then out into the night goes the Lord towards the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane. He is followed by His disciples – Judas apart, who makes his way to the chief priest to arrange Jesus’ arrest. John tells us the group cross Cedron Valley and the Kidron brook, a channel between the hills into which the sewage and filth of Jerusalem now flowed, and into which the blood and dirt from the animals slain in the temple was deposited. Even the Lord’s route to Gethsemane this night is full of spiritual application.

The Shepherd slain, the sheep scattered

As the little group makes the two mile journey the Lord has more to say. He tells them He is about to be betrayed and killed and they would all be filled with such fear and dread that every one of them will…

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“He hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted: neither hath he hid his face from him: but when he cried unto him he heard him.”—Psalm 22:24

My soul, behold Jesus, the Lamb of God, in this sweet scripture. Is it not said of him, that in the days of his flesh “he offered up strong crying and tears, and was heard in that he feared? Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” And was Jesus the Holy One, the afflicted One, also? Was he truly so, when he bore thy sins? And was this the time to which the scripture refers, when God the Father had respect to the sufferings of Jesus, and neither despised nor abhorred them? Did the Father behold him then through the whole as the sinner’s Surety, and graciously accept Jesus and the church in him? Oh then, my soul, think of this in all thy trials and afflictions. Carry all thy sins and sorrows to the throne. Jesus knows them all, sees them all, nay, appoints them all. He is always looking upon thee, and presenting thee in himself to the Father. And depend upon it, as thy afflictions are not only known by him, but appointed by him, he will measure out no more to thee than he will sanctify. And so far from abhorring or despising thy affliction, he will with every sorrow grant support, and with every temptation make a way to escape. Go then, my soul, cast all thy care upon him; for he careth for thee.

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Sections.
1. The knowledge of God the Creator defined. The substance of this knowledge, and the use to be made of it.
2. Further illustration of the use, together with a necessary reproof of vain curiosity, and refutation of the Epicureans. The character of God as it appears to the pious mind, contrasted with the absurd views of the Epicureans. Religion defined.

1. By the knowledge of God, I understand that by which we not only conceive that there is some God, but also apprehend what it is for our interest, and conducive to his glory, what, in short, it is befitting to know concerning him. For, properly speaking, we cannot say that God is known where there is no religion or piety. I am not now referring to that species of knowledge by which men, in themselves lost and under curse, apprehend God as a Redeemer in Christ the Mediator. I speak only of that simple and primitive knowledge, to which the mere course of nature would have conducted us, had Adam stood upright. For although no man will now, in the present ruin of the human race, perceive God to be either a father, or the author of salvation, or propitious in any respect, until Christ interpose to make our peace; still it is one thing to perceive that God our Maker supports us by his power, rules us by his providence, fosters us by his goodness, and visits us with all kinds of blessings, and another thing to embrace the grace of reconciliation offered to us in Christ. Since, then, the Lord first appears, as well in the creation of the world as in the general doctrine of Scripture, simply as a Creator, and afterwards as a Redeemer in Christ,—a twofold knowledge of him hence arises: of these the former is now to be considered, the latter will afterwards follow in its order. But although our mind cannot conceive of God, without rendering some worship to him, it will not, however, be sufficient simply to hold that he is the only being whom all ought to worship and adore, unless we are also persuaded that he is the fountain of all goodness, and that we must seek everything in him, and in none but him. My meaning is: we must be persuaded not only that as he once formed the world, so he sustains it by his boundless power, governs it by his wisdom, preserves it by his goodness, in particular, rules the human race with justice and Judgment, bears with them in mercy, shields them by his protection; but also that not a particle of light, or wisdom, or justice, or power, or rectitude, or genuine truth, will anywhere be found, which does not flow from him, and of which he is not the cause; in this way we must learn to expect and ask all things from him, and thankfully ascribe to him whatever we receive. For this sense of the divine perfections is the proper master to teach us piety, out of which religion springs. By piety I mean that union of reverence and love to God which the knowledge of his benefits inspires. For, until men feel that they owe everything to God, that they are cherished by his paternal care, and that he is the author of all their blessings, so that nought is to be looked for away from him, they will never submit to him in voluntary obedience; nay, unless they place their entire happiness in him, they will never yield up their whole selves to him in truth and sincerity.

2. Those, therefore, who, in considering this question, propose to inquire what the essence of God is, only delude us with frigid speculations,—it being much more our interest to know what kind of being God is, and what things are agreeable to his nature. For, of what use is it to join Epicures in acknowledging some God who has cast off the care of the world, and only delights himself in ease? What avails it, in short, to know a God with whom we have nothing to do? The effect of our knowledge rather ought to be, first, to teach us reverence and fear; and, secondly, to induce us, under its guidance and teaching, to…

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“And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house.”—Isaiah 22:4

And who is this but Jesus, the true Eliakim and Governor of heaven and earth? Jesus sweetly explained it himself, when declaring himself possessing the key of David. Rev. 3:7. And hath not God the Father literally given all things into his hands? Is there any thing which Jehovah hath kept back? Hath it not pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell? Is not Jesus the head over all things to the church, which is his body? Is he not the Almighty Lord and Treasurer of all things—grace here, glory hereafter? And is not our Jesus the administrator of all things in the world, both of providence and grace? My soul, is there aught remaining to hang upon Jesus? Pause, hast thou hung upon him all the glory of thy salvation? Pause again, my soul. Is all and every title given? Is there aught kept back? Is there any Achan in the camp of thine heart? Forbid it, Lord. See to it, my soul, (for it is thy life,) that thou art “hanging all the glory of the Father’s house upon Jesus?” Make him not only the Alpha, but the Omega also of thy salvation. And as the Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hands; so do thou come to him for all things, receive from him all things, and ascribe to him all things, in the receipt of grace here, and glory hereafter—that Christ may be all, and in all, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

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As it is my goal to align John Gill’s “Body of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity” with the Framework of Sovereign Grace, I have rearranged the eleven branches of theology, together with the individual chapters, in order to demonstrate how they fit together in the grand scheme of God’s masterplan for the ages.

I have reduced the original eleven “Books” (or branches) to three main headings—(1) Of God; (2) Of God’s Revelation; (3) Of God’s Works. I have also reduced the original one hundred fifty-six chapters to one hundred fifty-one, having subtracted the five chapters belonging to the Appendix (a dissertation on the baptism of Jewish Proselytes).

Under the first heading, “Of God”, there are thirty chapters. The first nine speak on the Godhead in general, whereas the last twenty-one speak of His attributes in particular. As God is a spirit Being, so Gill arranged the divine attributes under the following headings—(1) God, as a spirit being, is uncreated, one chapter; (2) God, as a spirit being, is active, two chapters; (3) God, as a spirit being, is rational, two chapters; (4) God, as a spirit being, is volitional, one chapter; (5) God, as a spirit being, is affectionate, seven chapters; (6) God, as a spirit being, is virtuous, five chapters; God, as a spirit being, is majestic, two chapters.

I. Of God

1. His Being (Existence)
2. His Nature (Spirituality and Simplicity)
3. His Unity
4. His Godhead (Plurality)
5. His Personal Relations
6. Personality of the Father
7. Personality of the Son
8. Personality of the Holy Spirit
9. His Names

10. His Attributes and Immutability

1. God, as a Spirit, is Uncreated.

11. His Infinity

2. God, as a Spirit, is Active.

12. His Life
13. His Omnipotence

3. God, as a Spirit, is Rational.

14. His Omniscience
15. His Wisdom

4. God, as a Spirit, is Volitional.

16. His Sovereign Will

5. God, as a Spirit, is Affectionate.

17. His Joy
18. His Love
19. His Grace
20. His Mercy
21. His Long-suffering
22. His Hatred
23. His Anger and Wrath

6. God, as a Spirit, is Virtuous.

24. His Goodness
25. His Holiness
26. His Justice and Righteousness
27. His Veracity
28. His Faithfulness

7. God, as a Spirit, is Majestic.

29. His Sufficiency and Perfection
30. His Blessedness

Under the second heading, “Of God’s Revelation”, there are three chapters. While it is obvious why the “Scripture” has been classified under this heading, it may not be so clear as to why God’s “Creation” and “Providence” are placed into the category. Within the context of the Framework of Sovereign Grace, the Lord makes Himself known by what He has made (Creation), what He does (Providence) and what He says (Scripture). Of course, the Lord also makes Himself known, and especially so, by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, but the chapters dealing with this special revelation to the heart are reserved for the third heading, “Of God’s Works”.

II. Of God’s Revelation

31. Creation (General)
32. Providence
33. Scripture

Under the third heading, “Of God’s Works”, there are one hundred eighteen chapters. The first sixteen deal with God’s eternal decree, whereas the last one hundred and two chapters deals with God’s providential orderings in time. All that God has decreed from eternity, is the blueprint for what He brings to pass throughout the course of history. In other words, God’s providential orderings in time are based upon His immutable decree from eternity. Absolute predestination is to providence, what a set of blueprints are to a house.

With reference to God’s providential orderings, there are seven main sections—(1) Creation of angels and humans, three chapters; (2) Covenant of Works, eight chapters; (3) Covenant of Grace, sixty-two chapters; (4) Christian and church relations, fourteen chapters; (5) Domestic and governmental relations, four chapters; (6) Death and the afterlife, three chapters; (7) World to come, eight chapters.

With particular reference to the Covenant of Grace, there are three main sections—(1) Dispensations of the covenant, seven chapters; (2) In the fulness of time, the Son is sent, twenty-three chapters; (3) At the appointed time, the Holy Spirit is sent, thirty-two chapters.

III. Of God’s Works

1. Eternal Decree

34. Works of God in General
35. Special Decrees of God
36. Decree of Rejection
37. Eternal Union of Elect unto God
38. God’s Eternal Act of Justification
39. Everlasting Council of the Godhead
40. Everlasting Covenant of Grace
41. Role of Father in the Covenant
42. Role of Son in the Covenant
43. Christ as Covenant Head of the Elect
44. Christ as Mediator of the Covenant
45. Christ as Surety of the Covenant
46. Christ as Testator of the Covenant
47. Role of Holy Spirit in the Covenant
48. Properties of the Covenant of Grace
49. Delight of God in Himself

2. Providential Orderings

(1) Angels and Humans

50. Creation of Angels
51. Confirmation of Elect Angels
52. Creation of Man

(2) Covenant of Works

53. Man in State of Innocence
54. Law Given to Adam
55. Sin and Fall of First Parents
56. Nature and Effects of Sin of Man
57. Imputation of Sin to Adam’s Posterity
58. Corruption of Human Nature
59. Actual Sins and Transgressions
60. Punishment of Sin

(3) Covenant of Grace

(i) Dispensations of the Covenant

61. Administration of the Covenant of Grace
62. Covenant of Grace—Patriarchal
63. Covenant of Grace—Mosaic
64. Covenant of Grace—Kings
65. Introduction of the New Covenant
66. Of the Law of God
67. Of the Gospel

(ii) Fulness of Time, Son Sent

68. Kingly Office of Christ
69. Prophetic Office of Christ
70. Priestly Office of Christ
71. Incarnation of Christ
72. Humiliation of Christ
73. Active Obedience of Christ
74. Passive Obedience of Christ
75. Redemption by Christ
76. Causes of Redemption
77. Objects of Redemption
78. Texts Which Seem to Favour Universal Redemption
79. Satisfaction of Christ
80. Propitiation and Reconciliation by Christ
81. Pardon and Forgiveness of Sin
82. Justification
83. Adoption
84. Burial of Christ
85. Resurrection of Christ
86. Ascension of Christ
87. Christ at Right Hand of Father
88. Intercession of Christ
89. Blessings of Christ
90. Scriptural Reign of Christ

(iii) Appointed Time, Holy Spirit Sent

91. Regeneration
92. Effectual Calling
93. Conversion
94. Sanctification
95. Good Works in General
96. Liberty Of The Sons Of God
97. Ten Commandments
98. Object of Worship
99. Internal Worship, Godliness
100. Communion with God
101. Knowledge of God
102. Faith in God
103. Fear of God
104. Repentance toward God
105. Trust and Confidence in God
106. Grace of Hope
107. Grace of Love
108. Spiritual Joy
109. Peace and Tranquility of Mind
110. Contentment of Mind
111. Thankfulness to God
112. Humility
113. Self Denial
114. Resignation to the Will of God
115. Patience
116. Christian Fortitude
117. Zeal
118. Wisdom and Prudence
119. Godly Sincerity
120. Spiritual Mindedness
121. Good Conscience
122. Perseverance of the Saints

(4) Christian and Church Relations

123. Gospel Church
124. Baptism
125. Duties of Church Members
126. Church Discipline
127. Church Officers, Particularly Pastors
128. Duties of Members Towards Their Pastor
129. Office of Deacon
130. Place and Time of Public Worship
131. Lord’s Table
132. Public Ministry of the Word
133. Public Hearing of the Word
134. Public Prayer
135. Lord’s Prayer
136. Singing Psalms

(5) Domestic and Governmental Relations

137. Duties of Husband and Wife
138. Duties of Parents and Children
139. Duties of Masters and Servants
140. Duties of Magistrates and Subjects

(6) Death and Afterlife

141. Death of the Body
142. Immortality of the Soul
143. Separate State of the Soul

(7) World to Come

144. Second Coming of Christ
145. Resurrection of the Body
146. Conflagration of the Universe
147. New Heaven and New Earth
148. Millennium—Reign of Christ
149. Last and General Judgment
150. Final State of Wicked in Hell
151. Final State of Saints in Heaven

By arranging the chapters of Gill’s Divinity in this order, I hope to demonstrate how each branch of theology fits together according to the Framework of Sovereign Grace.

Jared Smith

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John Gill’s “Body of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity” was originally published in four volumes.

The first two volumes were published in 1769, and were entitled, “A Body Of Doctrinal Divinity”. They were divided into seven “Books”, each of which dealt with a particular branch of doctrinal theology—Book 1: Of God, His Word, Names, Nature, Perfections And Persons; Book 2: Of The Acts And Works Of God; Book 3: Of The External Works Of God; Book 4: Of The Acts Of The Grace Of God Towards And Upon His Elect In Time; Book 5: Of The Grace Of Christ In His States Of Humiliation And Exaltation, And In The Offices Exercised By Him In Them; Book 6: Of The Blessings Of Grace, And The Doctrines Of It; Book 7: Of The Final State Of Men.”

The last two volumes were published in 1770, and were entitled, “A Body Of Practical Divinity”. They were divided into four “Books”, each of which dealt with a particular branche of practical theology—Book 1: Of The Worship Of God; Book 2: Of External Worship, As Public; Book 3: Of The Public Ordinances Of Divine Worship; Book 4: Of Private Worship, Or Various Duties, Domestic, Civil And Moral.” The last volume includes an Appendix with a dissertation concerning the baptism of Jewish Proselytes.

The order in which these “Books” and chapters appear are as follows:

“A Doctrinal Body Of Divinity”

Book 1: Of God, His Word, Names, Nature, Perfections And Persons

Chapter 1—Of The Being Of God
Chapter 2—Of The Holy Scriptures
Chapter 3—Of The Names Of God
Chapter 4—Of The Nature Of God
Chapter 5—Of The Attributes Of God In General, And Of His Immutability In Particular
Chapter 6—Of The Infinity Of God, His Omnipresence And Eternity
Chapter 7—Of The Life Of God
Chapter 8—Of The Omnipotence Of God
Chapter 9—Of The Omniscience Of God
Chapter 10—Of The Wisdom Of God
Chapter 11—Of The Will Of God, And The Sovereign Of It
Chapter 12—Of The Love Of God
Chapter 13—Of The Grace Of God
Chapter 14—Of The Mercy Of God
Chapter 15—Of The Longsuffering Of God
Chapter 16—Of The Goodness Of God
Chapter 17—Of The Anger And Wrath Of God
Chapter 18—Of The Hatred Of God
Chapter 19—Of The Joy Of God
Chapter 20—Of The Holiness Of God
Chapter 21—Of The Justice Or Righteousness Of God
Chapter 22—Of The Veracity Of God
Chapter 23—Of The Faithfulness Of God
Chapter 24—Of The Sufficiency And Perfection Of God
Chapter 25—Of The Blessedness Of God
Chapter 26—Of The Unity Of God
Chapter 27—Of A Plurality In The Godhead; Or, A Trinity Of Persons In The Unity Of The Divine Essence
Chapter 28—Of The Personal Relations; Or, Relative Properties Which Distinguish The Three Divine Persons In The Deity
Chapter 29—Of The Distinct Personality, And Deity Of The Father
Chapter 30—Of The Distinct Personality, And Deity Of The Son
Chapter 31—Of The Distinct Personality, And Deity Of The Holy Spirit

Book 2: Of The Acts And Works Of God

Chapter 1—Of The Internal Acts And Works Of God; And Of His Decrees In General
Chapter 2—Of The Special Decrees Of God, Relating To Rational Creatures, Angels, And Men; And Particularly Of Election
Chapter 3—Of The Decree Of Rejection, Or Some Angels, And Of Some Men
Chapter 4—Of The Eternal Union Of The Elect Of God Unto Him
Chapter 5—Of Other Eternal And Immanent Acts In God, Particularly Adoption And Justification
Chapter 6—Of The Everlasting Council Between The Three Divine Persons, Concerning The Salvation Of Men
Chapter 7—Of The Everlasting Covenant Of Grace, Between The Father, And The Son, And The Holy Spirit
Chapter 8—Of The Part Which The Father Takes In The Covenant
Chapter 9—Of The Part The Son Of God, The Second Person, Has Taken In The Covenant
Chapter 10—Of Christ, As The Covenant Head Of The Elect
Chapter 11—Of Christ, The Mediator Of The Covenant
Chapter 12—Of Christ, The Surety Of The Covenant
Chapter 13—Of Christ, The Testator Of The Covenant
Chapter 14—Of The Concern The Spirit Of God Has In The Covenant Of Grace
Chapter 15—Of The Properties Of The Covenant Of Grace
Chapter 16—Of The Complacency And Delight God Has In Himself, And The Divine Persons In Each Other, Before Any Creature Was Brought Into Being

Book 3: Of The External Works Of God

Chapter 1—Of Creation In General
Chapter 2—Of The Creation Of Angels
Chapter 3—Of The Creation Of Man
Chapter 4—Of The Providence Of God
Chapter 5—Of The Confirmation Of The Elect Angels, And The Fall Of The Non-Elect
Chapter 6—Of Of The Honor And Happiness Of Man In A State Of Innocency
Chapter 7—Of The Law Given To Adam, And The Covenant Made With Him In His State Of Innocence; In Which He Was The Federal Head And Representative Of His Posterity
Chapter 8—Of The Sin And Fall Of Our First Parents
Chapter 9—Of The Nature, Aggravations, And Sad Effects Of The Sin Of Man
Chapter 10—Of The Imputation Of Adam’s Sin To All His Posterity
Chapter 11—Of The Corruption Of Human Nature
Chapter 12—Of Actual Sins And Transgressions
Chapter 13—Of The Punishment Of Sin

Book 4: Of The Acts Of The Grace Of God Towards And Upon His Elect In Time

Chapter 1—Of The Manifestation And Administration Of The Covenant Of Grace
Chapter 2—Of The Exhibitions Of The Covenant Of Grace In The Patriarchal State
Chapter 3—Of The Exhibitions Of The Covenant Of Grace Under The Mosaic Dispensation
Chapter 4—Of The Covenant Of Grace, As Exhibited In The Times Of David, And The Succeeding Prophets, To The Coming Of Christ
Chapter 5—Of The Abrogation Of The Old Covenant, Or First Administration Of It, And The Introduction Of The New, Or Second Administration Of It
Chapter 6—Of The Law Of God
Chapter 7—Of The Gospel

Book 5: Of The Grace Of Christ In His States Of Humiliation And Exaltation, And In The Offices Exercised By Him In Them

Chapter 1—Of The Incarnation Of Christ
Chapter 2—Of Christ’s State Of Humiliation
Chapter 3—Of The Active Obedience Of Christ In His State Of Humiliation
Chapter 4—Of The Passive Obedience Of Christ, Or Of His Sufferings And Death
Chapter 5—Of The Burial Of Christ
Chapter 6—Of The Resurrection Of Christ From The Dead
Chapter 7—Of The Ascension Of Christ To Heaven
Chapter 8—Of The Session Of Christ At The Right Hand Of God
Chapter 9—Of The Prophetic Office Of Christ
Chapter 10—Of Priestly Office Of Christ
Chapter 11—Of The Intercession Of Christ
Chapter 12—Of Christ’s Blessing His People As A Priest
Chapter 13—Of The Kingly Office Of Christ
Chapter 14—Of The Spiritual Reign Of Christ

Book 6: Of The Blessings Of Grace, And The Doctrines Of It

Chapter 1—Of Redemption By Christ
Chapter 2—Of The Causes Of Redemption By Christ
Chapter 3—Of The Objects Of Redemption By Christ
Chapter 4—Of Those Texts Of Scripture Which Seem To Favor Universal Redemption
Chapter 5—Of The Satisfaction Of Christ
Chapter 6—Of Propitiation, Atonement, And Reconciliation, As Ascribed To Christ
Chapter 7—Of The Pardon Of Sin
Chapter 8—Of Justification
Chapter 9—Of Adoption
Chapter 10—Of The Liberty Of The Sons Of God
Chapter 11—Of Regeneration
Chapter 12—Of Effectual Calling
Chapter 13—Of Conversion
Chapter 14—Of Sanctification
Chapter 15—Of The Perseverance Of The Saints

Book 7: Of The Final State Of Men

Chapter 1—Of The Death Of The Body
Chapter 2—Of The Immortality Of The Soul
Chapter 3—Of The Separate State Of The Soul Until The Resurrection, And Its Employment In That State
Chapter 4—Of The Resurrection Of The Body
Chapter 5—Of The Second Coming Of Christ, And His Personal Appearance
Chapter 6—Of The Conflagration Of The Universe
Chapter 7—Of The New Heavens And Earth, And The Inhabitants Of Them
Chapter 8—Of The Millennium, Or Personal Reign Of Christ With The Saints On The New Earth A Thousand Years
Chapter 9—Of The Last And General Judgment
Chapter 10—Of The Final State Of The Wicked In Hell
Chapter 11—Of The Final State Of The Saints In Heaven

“A Practical Body Of Divinity”

Book 1: Of The Worship Of God

Chapter 1—Of The Worship Of God, Or Practical Religion Of The Object Of Worship
Chapter 2—Of Internal Worship, And Of Godliness The Groundwork Of It
Chapter 3—Of The Knowledge Of God
Chapter 4—Of Repentance Towards God
Chapter 5—Of The Fear Of God
Chapter 6—Of Faith In God And In Christ
Chapter 7—Of Trust And Confidence In God
Chapter 8—Of The Grace Of Hope
Chapter 9—Of The Grace Of Love
Chapter 10—Of Spiritual Joy
Chapter 11—Of Peace And Tranquility Of Mind
Chapter 12—Of Contentment Of Mind
Chapter 13—Of Thankfulness To God
Chapter 14—Of Humility
Chapter 15—Of Self-Denial
Chapter 16—Of Resignation To The Will Of God
Chapter 17—Of Patience
Chapter 18—Of Christian Fortitude
Chapter 19—Of Zeal
Chapter 20—Of Wisdom Or Prudence
Chapter 21—Of Godly Sincerity
Chapter 22—Of Spiritual Mindedness
Chapter 23—Of A Good Conscience
Chapter 24—Of Communion With God

Book 2: Of External Worship, As Public

Chapter 1—Of The Nature Of A Gospel Church, the Seat Of Public Worship
Chapter 2—Of The Duties Of The Member Of A Church To Each Other
Chapter 3—Of The Officers Of A Church, Particularly Pastors
Chapter 4—Of The Duties Of Members Of Churches To Their Pastors
Chapter 5—Of Of The Office Of Deacons
Chapter 6—Of The Discipline Of A Church Of Christ

Book 3: Of The Public Ordinances Of Divine Worship

Chapter 1—Of Baptism
Chapter 2—Of The Lord’s Supper
Chapter 3—Of The Public Ministry Of The Word
Chapter 4—Of The Public Hearing Of The Word
Chapter 5—Of Public Prayer
Chapter 6—Of The Lord’s Prayer
Chapter 7—Of Singing Psalms, As A Part Of Public Worship
Chapter 8—Of The Circumstances Of Public Worship, As To Place And Time

Book 4: Of Private Worship, Or Various Duties, Domestic, Civil And Moral

Chapter 1—Of The Respective Duties Of Husband And Wife
Chapter 2—Of The Respective Duties Of Parents And Children
Chapter 3—Of The Respective Duties Of Masters And Servants
Chapter 4—Of The Respective Duties Of Magistrates And Subjects
Chapter 5—Of Good Works In General
Chapter 6—A Compendium Or Summary Of The Decalogue Or Ten Commandments

Appendix: A Dissertation Concerning The Baptism Of Jewish Proselytes

Chapter 1—A Dissertation Concerning The Baptism Of Jewish Proselytes Of The Various Sorts Of Proselytes Among The Jews
Chapter 2—The Occasion Of This Dissertation
Chapter 3—The Proof Of The Baptism Of Jewish Proselytes Inquired Into; Whether There Is Any Proof Of It Before, At, Or Quickly After The Times Of John And Christ
Chapter 4—The Proof Of This Custom Only From The Talmuds And Talmudical Writers
Chapter 5—The Reasons Why Christian Baptism Is Not Founded On, And Taken From, The Pretended Jewish Baptism Of Israelites And Proselytes

The four volumes of Gill’s “Body of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity” contains a total of eleven “Books”, or, branches of doctrinal and practical theology, with one hundred fifty-six chapters combined.

Jared Smith

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Note 5. It is sometimes urged that Faith in Christ is always in the New Testament represented as preceding and leading to salvation, but that we preach it to saved sinners only. Hence we are accused of keeping from men the glad tidings of salva­tion through Faith, until practically they do not need them.

The preceding Note answers this. It is not our custom to tell men indiscriminately that “There is life FOR a look at the Crucified One,” or bid them, “Only believe, and they shall be saved.” We, however, have much to say on the origin, Object and operations of Faith. We love to simplify, aud illustrate, and exemplify this important branch of truth. Faith can be preached scripturally, without unscripturally urging a living act on a dead sinner.

Moreover, the objection is as delusive as it is disingenuous. Those whom we bid trust in the Saviour, though as we hope saved essentially, are not saved experimentally, till they have fled for refuge and laid hold upon the hope which it is our prayerful endeavour, by our testimony, to “set before them.”

We do not command men, who obviously have no concern for their souls, to come to that Christ of whose personality they may bo iguoraut, and in whose character and grace they feel no interest; but to assert that we bid none to trust in Christ who are not consciously and joyously the recipients of salvation (for this is really what the objection in question means) is wholly untrue. Joseph Hart’s well-known hymn, “Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched,” exemplifies how, we judge, conscious sinners should be addressed. Their characters are beautifully described; poor, wretched, weak, wounded, sick, sore,—yet they “feel their need” of Christ, since the Spirit has shown them it by the first beam of light He has darted into their hearts. To such, exhortations to believe—to come—to venture—are scriptural and appropriate.

To sinners, however, who are not thus concerned, simple in­ struction about Faith is all that a preacher has scriptural warrant for advancing; while commanding them to believe,— or to close with Christ—or to take Him at His word,[1] is as irrational as it is contrary to the Gospel.

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[1] When addressing the unregenerate, unsound preachers in our own pulpits often urge texts of a certain class upon their hearers, and entreat them not to trouble themselves about their own condition and feelings, but to do as Mr. Hart says, “only take Him at His word.” This is an exemplification of the “craft of meu, who lie in wait to deceive for simple hearers are apt to think that, as the preacher quotes Hart, he cannot be preaching error. The poet’s words, however, do not carry the above sense. He is addressing (Hymn 56,) “tempted souls,” whom he bids take their “dying Lord ” at His word,—“It is finished.”

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“Thou shalt prepare thee a way, and divide the coasts of thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee to inherit, into three parts, that every slayer may flee thither.”—Deuteronomy 19:3

Sweet thought to my soul, that He who is the refuge is also the way to every poor soul-slayer, who hath murdered his own soul by sin. And who, my soul, could prepare thee this way, but God thy Father, who gave both Jesus for the way, and Jesus for the refuge? And how hath God the Spirit pointed to the way, cast up and prepared it, by taking up the stumbling-blocks out of the way, as God saith of his people? Isa. lvii. 14. Is it not God the Holy Ghost that sets Jesus up, as Moses did the serpent; points to his person, to his blood, to his righteousness, as the sanctuary and the city of refuge to every poor sinner that is the manslayer of his own soul? And if what the Jews have said be true, that magistrates once a year made it their duty to have the roads examined, lest any obstructions should arise to block the path of the poor fugitive; and that they were obliged to set up a post at every turning and avenue, with the word miklat—refuge, upon it, to direct the murderer in his flight; well may ministers, every day, and all the day, stand in the gates of the city, and in the high places of concourse, pointing to Jesus, and crying out, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!” Precious Lord Jesus! lo, I come to thee; thou art my city of refuge—thou art the miklat of my soul! Under thee, and in thee, I shall be safe. Cease, ye avengers of blood, your vain pursuit; Christ hath taken me in. Thou shalt answer for me, Oh Lord my God.

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AN ORDER OF SERVICE FOR DIVINE WORSHIP; DESIGNED FOR PRIVATE DEVOTIONS, FAMILY GATHERINGS AND CHURCH MEETINGS.

Sermon—“Knowing You Are God’s Elect”

For the full order of service, including hymns and reading, please follow this link…

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AN ORDER OF SERVICE FOR DIVINE WORSHIP; DESIGNED FOR PRIVATE DEVOTIONS, FAMILY GATHERINGS AND CHURCH MEETINGS.

Sermon—“Stand Fast In The Liberty Of Your Union With Christ”

For the full order of service, including hymns and reading, please follow this link…

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“How much owest thou unto my lord?”—Luke 16:5

My soul, if this question, which the unjust steward put to his lord’s debtors, was put to thee concerning that immense debt which hath made thee insolvent for ever, what wouldest thou answer? Never couldest thou conceive the extent of it, much less think of paying the vast amount. A debtor to free grace for thy very being; a debtor to free grace for thy well-being; ten thousand talents, which the man in the parable owed his master, would not be sufficient to reckon up what thou in reality owest thy Lord, for even the common gifts of nature and of providence. But when the calculation goeth on in grace, what archangel shall write down the sum total? To the broken law of God, a bankrupt exposed to the justice of God; to the dreadful penalty of everlasting death; to the fears and alarms of a guilty conscience; to the worm that dieth not; to the accusations of Satan, unable to answer one in a thousand! My soul, how much owest thou unto thy Lord? Are there yet any other outstanding debts? Oh yes, infinitely and beyond all these! What thinkest thou, my soul, of Jesus? How much owest thou to the Father’s love in giving; to the Redeemer’s love in coming; and to the Holy Ghost in making the whole effectual to thy soul’s joy; by which Jesus hath paid all thy debts, cancelled all the demands of God’s righteous law, silenced Satan, answered justice; and not only redeemed thee out of the hands of everlasting bondage, misery, and eternal death, but brought thee into his everlasting kingdom of freedom, joy, and glory! Say, say, my soul, how much owest thou unto thy Lord? Oh precious debt! ever increasing, and yet everlastingly making happy in owing. Lord Jesus! I am thine, and thy servant for ever; thou hast loosed my bonds.

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“Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?”—Jeremiah 8:226

Yes, there is both balm in Gilead, and a physician there. For the blood and righteousness of Jesus is the truest balm; and Jesus himself a Sovereign and an Almighty Physician. But if that blood be not applied, if Jesus be not known nor consulted, how shall health be obtained? My soul, hast thou known thy disease, felt thy disorder? Art thou convinced that it is incurable by all human means—no medicine, no earthly physician, can administer relief? Hast thou known these things? And convinced of the infinite importance of seeking elsewhere, art thou come to Jesus? What sayest thou, my soul, to the enquiry? Art thou acquainted with Jesus? Hast thou made known thy case to him? And hath he told thee all that is in thine heart? Hath he taken thee under his care? Is he administering to thee the balm of Gilead? Oh my soul, see to it that nothing satisfieth thy mind, until that thou hast heard his soul-reviving voice, saying, “I am the Lord that healeth thee,” Exod. xv. 26. Seek it for thy life. Say unto the Son of God, “Speak but the word, Lord, and my soul shall be healed.”

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In the year 1999, I became the pastor of Bethesda Chapel, a Strict and Particular Baptist church[1] in London, England. I was a Moderate-Calvinist for the first ten years of my ministry, although I refused to identify with the Reformed Baptist Movement.[2] In the year 2010, the congregation came under internal and external pressures to adopt a plural eldership.[3] I resisted this pressure for scriptural, historical and practical reasons, but at the time, I was not well informed on the issues. Three years later, I completed an exhaustive study on the subject, resulting in an unpublished book, in excess of a thousand pages. My initial resistance to the Reformed Baptists’ views on plural elderships was confirmed and staunchly defended.

It was at that time, early in my research of the origin and development of the Strict and Particular Baptist churches in England, that I came across a surprising fact. Bethesda Chapel was organized around Hyper-Calvinist views.[4] What is more, Bethesda Chapel belonged to a large circle of churches which subscribed to the same teachings. Needless to say, I was startled by this information, especially because I had been told by the Moderate-Calvinists that Hyper-Calvinism is a false gospel, embraced only by those who have lost all measure of common sense and biblical balance. But if that were true, then how could so many Strict and Particular Baptist churches have subscribed to those teachings? And, what exactly were those teachings which made them Hyper-Calvinists? Thus began my journey in grace, leading to deeper and sharper views of the gospel of Christ.

During the early part of this journey, I frequently got lost in the details of the issues, often ending with much confusion and frustration. I therefore changed my approach—first, discover God’s masterplan for the ages, then, consider how the details fit into that overview. I was familiar with the elaborate charts of Dispensationalism drawn up by men such as Scofield and Larkin. Although I did not agree with that framework of history and doctrine, I appreciated the way those teachings were illustrated. I was also familiar with the intricate diagrams of Covenantalism drawn up by men such as Perkins and Bunyan. Although I did agree with this framework of history and doctrine, it did not set out the teachings in the exact way I understood them. I therefore began the lengthy process of drawing up my own diagrams, none of which provided a sufficient or accurate overview of the gospel. Eventually, while studying the scriptures, I was captured by the analogy of a potter and the clay. I wondered whether this picture could serve as an overview of God’s masterplan. I gathered together all scriptural references to the analogy, after which two texts stood out with distinction—Romans 9 and 2 Timothy 2. Within minutes, a diagram of the potter and the clay took shape, with every word of both texts fitting perfectly together in what appeared to illustrate the grand scheme of God’s purpose in creation and redemption. Having secured this basic overview of history and theology, I returned to the detailed issues of sovereign grace. To my delight, every branch of theology, together with every event of history, fit perfectly together. Only then did I begin a careful study of John Gill’s “Doctrinal and Practical Body of Divinity”. It was a joy to discover the close alignment between the diagram and Gill’s teachings. This diagram became known as the Framework of Sovereign Grace.[5]

By the year 2014, I fully embraced the viewpoints of Hyper-Calvinism, using as a teaching tool the Framework of Sovereign Grace for my private and public ministries. Such was my passion to help others on their journey with the Lord, that I began the slow and tedious project of modernizing each chapter of Gill’s Divinity. Over the next four years, I completed a large portion of this work. However, in 2018 the project came to a grinding halt. This was largely due to a season of discouragement, having not received much support from peers or elder ministers. It was around that time I spoke with Don Fortner[6] regarding an unrelated matter. In the course of the conversation, I made an indirect reference to the work I was undertaking with Gill’s writings. Bro Fortner explained he had been asked by a publisher, several years prior, to do a similar project on Gill’s Divinity, but that he declined the request for three reasons. First, tampering with Gill’s writings will necessarily change his intended meaning—it is best to leave the reader to interpret the original text; Second, it is impossible for an editor to modernize Gill without his own prejudices standing in the way—it is best to let Gill represent himself in his own words; Third, a gospel preacher should focus on communicating his own convictions, rather than echoing that of others—people want to know what you (the living preacher before them) believes. Bro Fortner suggested it is far better to present to others my view of the gospel, rather than rewriting the works of Gill.

As one might imagine, my initial feeling to Bro Fortner’s feedback was not that of encouragement. Had my time and effort for four years been in vain? I sat on Bro Fortner’s counsel for several months, not knowing what I should do next. Around that time, I was conversing with another preacher on some of Gill’s teachings. We took different views on Gill’s position. However, having already meticulously examined and rewritten every line of Gill’s chapter on the subject, I was well informed on his point of view. I explained this in some detail, ending with my friend conceding the issue. It was then I realized, the time and effort given to modernizing Gill’s Divinity was intended by the Lord to be a benefit to me, rather than to others. The last four years of work was not in vain. Like a warm blanket on a cold night, there was a peace that ran over my soul which to this day remains a stay and comfort. Bro Fortner was correct! I would not meddle with Gill’s writings, unless it be strictly for personal use.

Four years later, in the year 2022, I began teaching a series of studies on Bible Doctrine. The first twenty to thirty sessions are preliminary in nature, dealing with the significance of systematic theology, establishing definitions for commonly used labels and setting forth a historic backdrop of the Strict and Particular Baptists. After these preliminary studies are finished, I will begin examining the major branches of theology. As a supplement to these teachings, I will be aligning the chapters of Gill’s Divinity with my own studies on those topics. Not only will this provide a helpful resource to venture deeper into the various branches of the gospel, but it can also serve as a guide to the teachings of Gill. I will be showing how each of Gill’s chapters fit within the Framework of Sovereign Grace. In this way, I hope to honor Bro Fortner’s counsel—to present my view of the gospel, while promoting Gill’s Body of Divinity, without making changes to his writings.

If the Lord is pleased to make any part of my gospel labor profitable to the souls of His people, then I will find the utmost joy in knowing my work in the Lord is not in vain.

Jared Smith

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[1] Bethesda Chapel, Kensington Place, organized in 1866. In the early 1870’s, the first pastor of the church (David Crumpton) spearheaded the inception of the Metropolitan Association of Strict Baptist Churches. Between the 1870’s and the 1950’s, virtually all of the churches belonging to the Association were Hyper-Calvinists. I believe William Styles was the Secretary of this Association in the latter part of the 19th century. In his “Guide to Church Fellowship”, he points out on pages 78,79, “Duty-faith is the doctrine that it is the duty of natural men to exercise spiritual Faith in the Lord Jesus, and so to obtain salvation. Its emphatic denial is a distinguishing feature of the Strict and Particular section of the Baptist denomination.”
[2] Dr. Kenneth Dix (Baptist Historian) traced the Reformed Baptist Movement to the 1950’s, with the influences of such men as Ian Murray, Sidney Norton and Erroll Hulse. Together with the publications of the Banner of Truth Magazine (Est 1955) and Reformation Today (Est 1970), Baptist churches were Presbyterianized and the “Hyper” elements of Calvinism repressed.
The Reformed Baptists eventually commandeered the Strict and Particular Baptist chapels, revising their…

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Sir:

It is understandable that one who identified himself so closely with the English Reformers, Whitfield and the Marrow Men should be criticised by Arminians. For Huntington, Arminians were Antinomians who rejected the condemning and convicting use of the law in evangelism, inviting sinners to approach God “as if they had never apostatized”. They believed that man was not totally fallen but was naturally able to make saving decisions. Huntington preached a full gospel whereas his Fullerite and Wesleyan critics taught respectively that the doctrines of grace were for believers only or to be rejected as ‘the religion of the Turks’.

Contrary to adverse criticism that Huntington stood alone, he was supported by a relatively large number of Independent, Anglican and Baptist ministers. Huntington upheld the Biblical teaching of Christ’s imputed righteousness which Fuller rejected and Wesley often ridiculed. Huntington was a great winner of souls and preached to thousands. He was able to reap a prodigious harvest, especially in his old age. Andrew Fuller complained of the increased blessings and church growth in the churches associated with Huntington whilst his own association churches shrunk.

Huntington’s congregation, though composed mostly of poor people, though even members of the Royal family attended his meetings, gave so liberally to the work of the gospel that Huntington’s major critics sent their people to approach those leaving Providence Chapel after the service, asking them for gifts to support their own churches. In his recommendatory foreword to J. H. Alexander’s fine book More than Notion, Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones relates how he advised his Westminster Chapel congregation to make this book on Huntingtonian piety compulsory reading. Lloyd-Jones thanked God for the book and said that the people he described “show the vital difference between a head-knowledge of the Christian faith and a true heart experience.” This was the essence of Huntington’s ministry.

George Ella

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George M. Ella is a historian, author and biographer. His writings may be accessed at the online archived, ”Biographia Evangelica”.

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“The justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”—Romans 3:26

And who is this, indeed who can it be, but Jehovah? “It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth?” But, my soul, mark how each person of the Godhead is revealed in scripture under this character; as if to convince every poor sinner that is looking for redemption in Israel only in Jesus, that God can be just, and yet the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. God the Father justifieth the poor believing sinner: for he manifests that he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, having found a ransom in the blood of his Son for sin, whereby he is faithful to all his covenant promises in pardoning us, having received at our Lord’s hand double for all our sins. God the Son justifieth also his redeemed: for it is expressly said by the prophet,” In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.” And that God the Holy Ghost justifieth, is as evident also; because it was through the eternal Spirit the offering of the body of Jesus Christ was offered, by which Christ is said to have been justified in the Spirit; and believers are said to be justified by virtue of it in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. Hence all the persons of the Godhead concur in the act of justifying every believer in Jesus; by whom we have peace with God, fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. Here then is a portion to live upon through life, in death, and to all eternity.

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Kevin Price is the presiding minister of “Zoar Particular Baptist Chapel, Bradford“, and the minister with oversight of The Baptist Church, Kensington Place ”.

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“Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grapegleanings of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat: my soul desired the firstripe fruit.”—Micah 7:1

It is always encouraging to discover we are not alone when we face a problem or have to struggle with a challenge in life. For believers in Christ the scriptures provide practical examples of men and women who have travelled the pilgrim’s way before us, learning and experiencing what it is to be a stranger in a strange land.

When Micah said “Woe is me” at the beginning of chapter seven in his little prophecy he was declaring effectively, “What a miserable man I am. How wearisome my life has become.”

It might seem strange to hear a gospel preacher make such a statement. After all, are not preachers the ones charged with comforting and encouraging the church? If they are depressed, what hope for the rest of us!

It is interesting to note what causes Micah to lament. What is it has provoked this man of God to so much grief? Simply this, he cannot find a spiritual man with whom to fellowship; an upright man, a kindred spirit, with whom to worship God!

Perhaps knowing this we might feel a little more sympathetic towards this lonely soul. Do we imagine the church in the Old Testament was strong and vibrant and faithful? Certainly, there were moments, periods when it seems a widespread recognition of the work of God in the nation Israel did occur, yet mostly it seems the Lord’s true people, the spiritual people, were only ever a remnant, widely scattered, frequently isolated, often downcast.

In many ways Micah is like us, or we like him. If we are blessed with the…

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