Objection: Sir, we are sorry you have struck at the ministry of wise, great, and learned men, far beyond yourself. Pray, if we are not to follow them in this method of the ministry, how must we preach? And for my part, says one, I cannot preach the Gospel if I do not propound the offer of the Gospel to sinners; nor can I reckon that I do preach the Gospel, unless I tender Salvation to all whom I am called to preach; nor dare I do otherwise.

Answer: I might take notice that this is poor arguing, when set in the face of the three former chapters, the strength of which is founded on God’s Word and Spirit. Heb. 4:12 – Psal. 33:6 – Jn. 1:1 – Rev. 19:13. Nevertheless, if men are at a loss how to preach, unless they go on in the old road, let me solve the inquiry more fully. I must divide my answers into one general resolution of the case, how preaching the Gospel must be, and to what end without offers of Salvation; and thereupon enter into many particulars to resolve this point. The one general solution to the question is this, we must preach the doctrine of Salvation to all sinners openly within the hearing; and must preach Salvation included in the doctrine, which is the gift of God, to the elect alone, who are hid among them. But as to propounding an offer, either of the Doctrine or Salvation, it is a form of man’s devising; and because of the evil nature of it, as I shall show hereafter, we must do it in no respect. This in the general, men must preach the Word of God, and the testimony held; that is, they must so preach as to fulfil the Scriptures, Rev.6:9, which everywhere speaks of evangelizing, or of preaching the Gospel, or, what is in its own nature good news and glad tidings, which, likewise, in the whole analogy of faith do give us light to expound the preaching of the Gospel according to the above distinctions, but do nowhere speak of propounding an offer, or tendering either Doctrine or Salvation. As to preaching the doctrine of the Gospel to all, though the Salvation of it reach but to the elect alone, the advantage, so far as intended in the Scripture, is much every way, as the apostle says; chiefly, because the wisdom of God, the government of Christ, the interest of the Church, and the sword of Justice, are all magnified, by the preaching of the doctrine of the Gospel to all sinners, without offers of Grace, or proposals of Salvation made.

From the wisdom of God I argue the solution of the question, how must we preach the Gospel to sinners, if we do not offer the Gospel to sinners? We must preach the Gospel in the doctrine. This is to be made known in the letter, or external revelation to all, because of the wisdom of God in that doctrine, Deut. 32:2, hath engaged to confound the wisdom of this world. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” I Cor. 1:18. The doctrine of the cross of Christ then, or the doctrine of Salvation, in which that Salvation is brought to the elect alone, is a doctrine that must be preached for condemnation even to them that perish; or else how will the wisdom of God in preaching it appear to be foolishness to them that perish? {“For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish; to the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life.” II Cor. 2:15-16.} Especially while they follow man’s wisdom, I Cor. 2:4, which aims to alter God’s way of wisdom, and forsakes his wisdom in their own way of preaching. So verse 21, “for after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching {and pray what was then, is now, the foolishness of preaching, which contradicted, and still contradicts, the method and wisdom the times have contrived} to save them that believe.” And albeit there be many ways of deviating from the pattern, some far more gross than others, as I have plentifully insisted upon in my last book about the Glory of Christ Unveiled; yet this more refined device of offering Christ, where we should keep to the pattern of Preaching, Exod. 25:40, {especially while one generation hath mellowed it for another generation to gather it,} makes the true pattern to be accounted foolishness; while men have learned and found more wisdom to change the form of preaching Christ into the modish form of an offer. God’s wisdom in his Grace hath contrived a way of saving His elect, which the world must hear of, even the efficacy of what they account to be foolishness of preaching, to the end their own wisdom may be baffled, and God’s wisdom glorified. So, Acts 9:22, Paul, in preaching the doctrine of Christ to the very enemies of Christ in their synagogues, increased the more in strength, and confounded, {by the wisdom of God in the Old Testament,} the Jews who dwelt at Damascus, “proving that this is very Christ.” You may be sure he did not carry himself in the matter with what men now-a-days call temper or candour, which is a new phrase got up, calculated only to make the Gospel beg for its entertainment in the world. The synagogues opposed him, but he had strength from Heaven to confound them all. We read of none converted there at Damascus. What then? The Gospel nevertheless is preached, and the end of it there is attained; namely, God’s wisdom glorified, while the faith is preached which once Paul destroyed. Gal. 1:23. The wisdom of God must be preached to sinners, and the report made, though not one soul be converted by the Grace of God in all that synagogue. The net must be let down into the waters, though the fish may not lie where the net comes, and a man may toil all night and take nothing. Lk. 5:5. This is a mighty argument for preaching the Doctrine of Christ, where the Salvation in the doctrine, or the power thereof, may not be applied to one single person. {“And there they preached the gospel.” Acts 14:7.}

I argue from the Kingdom and Government of Jesus Christ. There is a singular advantage reaped by the right of Christ’s Government. It is therefore called preaching of the Gospel of the kingdom of God. “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.” Mk. 1:14.

And again, Matt. 24:14, “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations.” The preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom is the preaching of so high and heavenly a Dispensation in the hands of the Lord Christ, that it’s above all human, secular, and temporal interests in the world. {“Jesus answered, my kingdom is not of this world.” Jn. 18:36.} The Gospel of the Kingdom of God is above all methods, ministrations, and the wise and learned ways of preaching. It consists not in humanity or natural affection, which now passeth for divinity. No, nor in second-hand offers and proposals, which force out of the gift of God, and dishonour the Operations of the Spirit. The way of man is wide from the paths of wisdom; man, left to himself, in the pride and stoutness of his mind, Isa. 9:9, will adhere unto darkness and vanity, until God hath hedged up his way with thorns, Hos. 2:6, or broken him to pieces by humbling or silencing him in the dust! The Gospel belongs to a high and glorious kingdom, and shall give way to no one on earth, but all interests, dominations, wisdoms, ways, and forms under Heaven, shall stoop or be broken by our Lord Christ’s Kingdom and Sceptre, in the efficacy of his Almighty Spirit! All the pride, wisdom, thoughts, and ways of man, must stoop, and shall give way unto the Gospel, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God! The preaching of the Gospel, therefore, is not only to save such souls as are given of God to him who is elect, precious, I Pet. 2:6; but it is also to show Christ’s greatness in the work, and is part of the travail of his soul, Isa. 53:11, to see the saved brought into Gospel- Order, out of which orderly number of the saved his Glorious Kingdom shall arise, and be exalted above the tops of the mountains, Mic. 4:1, at the latter Day. For, order ultimately in the kingdom of glory, as now in the spiritual and established kingdom of Grace. Christ’s present kingdom, on earth, is not of this world, Jn. 18:36, but differs from all other kingdoms; so this order, I say, is, and shall be, a special fruit of the Gospel; consequently, the Government of the Spiritual Kingdom of Christ, under the success of the Gospel, is to be propagated everywhere for the elect’s sake, in the face of men, though they may persecute and despise it. {“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” Isa. 9:7.} All the world must thus hear of Christ’s greatness, and so of the report of doctrine, which, as a King, he hath received by authority from the Father to bring into the world, though they can neither enjoy the Salvation, nor believe into Christ’s Person without a prior bestowal of Grace to grasp hold of God’s mercy in Christ. Sure then, ministers of Christ do know how to preach the Gospel to sinners, that even the non-elect may believe into the testimony of Jesus, without offers of Grace to them. Christ hath a monarchical government in all the world; or all the world are subjects of it in providential administrations. {“The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.” Psal. 103:19.} He has also a special government in the churches of Christ, and in the consciences of believers. The sceptre of this government in all the world extends regally beyond the saving virtue of his priesthood. {“The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion; rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.” Psal. 110:2.} The Gospel, therefore, by virtue of this extensive government, is to be preached on the behalf of God’s elect to all people, to all sorts of sinners, under the whole heavens, in season and out of season, wheresoever there is an opportunity to utter the joyful sound. {“Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound; they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.” Psal. 89:15.} Millions of non-elect sinners have been, and must be, though under other sins, respited, and have not been, nor shall be, damned, before they have heard the Gospel, and sinned against it {worse than what all their other sins amount to} by despising the wisdom of God in it, and trampling on the Government of Christ set up among the elect, being included within the monarchical government of Christ extending over all the world. {“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mk. 16:15-16.}

The Jews had the doctrine of Christ preached to the body of them throughout their towns, cities, and villages, to show God’s sovereignty in commanding them to bow to Christ’s authority, though he had not given Him to be a Saviour to any except His elect body. Matt. 11:25. ‘Tis the kingdom of God is concerned in it; and therefore, though you do not offer Salvation to sinners, you must preach the kingdom of God to sinners. So the Jews had it preached to them, Acts 28:31, and the elect of God among the Gentiles had it preached thus to them, openly, in the face of the times, as it was preaching of the kingdom of God, or God’s will, who would have the election to obtain it, Rom. 11:7, though the rest were blinded; and it should be done, whether the world would or no. “And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom,” says he, to them at Ephesus, “preaching the kingdom of God.” Acts 20:25.

Oh! This kingdom of God, this sovereignty, this same I will, and ye shall, among the people, makes man’s free-will to buckle, and puts Satan’s kingdom under daily contribution. When men were sent forth by the Holy Ghost, Acts 13:4, they preached the Word of God to hearers of whom they might be morally confident would oppose, instead of receive the truth as it is in Jesus. When Paul and Barnabas were set forth by the Church at Antioch, they went each of them to Salamis, among the zealous enemies of the Gospel, yet, Acts 13:5, “they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews.” The Jews everywhere, elect and non-elect, must hear of this Man’s sceptre, and the record that God hath given of His Son, I Jn. 5:10, though they had no right to His blood; and that in an especial manner, as Christ was the King of the Jews, Jn.19:19, though they impudently derided him with the title. Christ is a special King to crush gainsayers, as well as a special King to defend the Church, or all those who by virtue of His blood believe on Him, and regard His pure worship entirely. The Holy Ghost saith that “he shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” Luke 1:32. Well then, shall not enemies hear of his kingdom, as well as the elect of God hear of his Salvation? He shall be called the Son of the Highest. Oh, blessed be God for this, it makes me not to fear men nor their reproaches, nor their hatred, nor afraid of their standing aloof from me, Psal. 38:11; {as if the poor creatures were afraid of catching the plague in coming near me, so little have they of Christ;} it tells me, when they come to town, to keep off the infection. We should be bold in Christ’s cause, and they who are made free by the truth are so. {“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Jn. 8:32.} Since we see Christ is to be exalted in our preaching, do any of his ministers now, who see this, cry out, “how shall we preach the Gospel, if we do not offer the Salvation of the Gospel unto sinners?” The Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end. This is the good news which we tell to all sinners, as we have opportunity, within the hearing, whether they will hear or forbear. Though “his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, we will not have this man to reign over us,” Lk. 19:14, yet what came of it; could they withstand this Mighty King, after the solemnities of his Coronation? No; verse 27, “but,” saith he, “those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, {ye angels of God, that are strong enough to bind them,} and slay them before me.” And is not this good news to God’s people, who, for the Gospel’s sake are disturbed by the adversaries of the Lord Christ, and of His throne, yet here is a scope to preach the Gospel of his Kingly Office, the Gospel of the Kingdom, since Christ is a King to them to whom he is no Priest. But now do you go and offer Christ for a priest to all sinners without distinction, and so give them all secret hopes of Salvation? And then cry, if we do not preach the Gospel thus, how shall we preach the Gospel to sinners? The text tells you, you must preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to them, you must exalt the person and work of Christ. Do this then, when you do not preach the Gospel of the blood of Christ to them. For that is a blessing of the kingdom, and to be given to none but to them for whom it is prepared. {“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matt. 26:28.} How can Christ be a priest to all, if he hath not died for all as an expiatory and atoning sacrifice? So, then, as many were made, only to be ruled over by Christ as a King, there is enough of the Gospel to be preached to them; namely, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Ministers are not to offer Salvation, but to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to all sinners that come within the Meeting House. That is, you must preach that the Gospel comes down from Him who hath a Royal and Supreme sceptre in His hand, and that He will give His efficacious blood and His Holy Spirit, after another manner, to whom He pleases. This is the Gospel of the Kingdom; that Effectual Salvation by Christ, conveyed in the good news, must go no otherwise than according to, and shall come in no wise short of the Laws, Counsels, Settlements, and Eternal Decrees of Heaven! Oh, now, this is Good News for me to wait under such a Gospel as comes accompanied with this powerful rod in Zion, Psal. 110:2, till the Spirit of God clears it up to me, as an Effectual gift of the Grace of God upon me. ‘Tis the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and, therefore, not one strong lust in my heart shall master it. God’s Spirit will be too hard for my unbelief, and for all my other corruptions, while I sit under this Unchangeable Gospel, which men and devils strike at it, and yet God hath said shall stand! This Gospel of the Kingdom of God and Christ satisfies me, whilst another meets with no delight in it. It makes out Salvation to me among ten thousands of men who are left to drown in sensuality, pride, covetousness, malice, and wrath; while the Gospel breaks ground, and maintains the field of battle, with the sword of the Spirit, against every false profession; and neither pulpit nor pew can stand before it!

‘Tis to me! To me a sinner! To me a vile worm! It is a melting thought within me that the Kingdom-Sceptre should be a Marriage-Sceptre unto me, which, in the hand of Christ as a Judge, is an iron sceptre unto others. {“But unto the Son he saith, thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.” Heb.1:8. “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Psal. 2:9.} The Holy Ghost now accompanies this distinguishing Gospel, because it is Truth. But he never goes along with men’s sermonizing, because it’s flattery and falsehood.

Again, as John the Baptist, before Christ’s coming, first preached the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel, as it is said, Acts 13:24, so the doctrine and testimony of Salvation, and the doctrine and testimony of the forgiveness of sins, ought to be preached to sinners through this Man Jesus. {“Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins; and by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” Acts 13:38-39.}

The doctrine is to be preached to all according to the general command of Christ in the commission that he gave unto his apostles. This commandment of preaching was that they should go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15. Go, preach to every creature, i.e., go, preach glad tidings; for this is the nature of the Gospel to all the elect of God. Go and preach, in a general extent, even as Jesus among the Jews departed to teach and to preach in their cities. Matt. 11:1. And it was done accordingly. The Gospel {says the Apostle} “was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.” Col. 1:23. Go, preach the Gospel to all, making known the doctrine to Jew and Gentile. {“Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” Tit. 1:9.}

It is plain, Acts 10:36, that the word which God sent unto the children of Israel, related to Christ’s Dominion which must be exalted, and that, as it was extended, and as the Commission ran for preaching the Doctrine of Peace by Jesus Christ, through the blood of his cross, Col.1:20, as he was Lord of all, though only Saviour of the body to some, Eph. 5:23, and so was first published throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached, as saith the Apostolic history. Acts 10:37. This produced a more general effect in the sceptre of Messiah’s Kingdom then begun; but more especially under the power of his Kingdom’s rod, while the people had a sight of miracles, and the apostles spake with tongues. The doctrine sometimes had a delegated and commissionated power to close in notionally with their faculties, where it had no special influential power to close in savingly with their hearts. Likewise their faculties had the common power of influence, reciprocally to receive the notion of the doctrine, and the truth in the letter. For hereby the Holy Ghost intended, as we find, to square in more comprehensively a place for the sound of the Gospel to go forth into all the earth, and their words {not their offers, even the Apostle’s preaching} unto the ends of the world. Rom.10:18. And again, a very large area or ground-plot of profession was designed for the new building, and that by the power of the Spirit of God from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum in Paul’s travels, Rom. 15:19, {which in the whole, from his first beginning, until his being prisoner at Rome, are computed by a very ingenious and learned geographer, to be ten thousands of miles; though from Jerusalem and round about unto Illyricum, abstractly taken, it was not more than a thousand miles travel, in all probability,} where that Apostle had fully preached the Gospel of Christ. Moreover, all the whole square of Europe is since taken in. And why so? To this end, that the Owner of the structure might still be exalted, and his title magnified as Lord, who had bought the whole extent of ground in the charter of His covenant, II Pet. 2:1, to plant and to sow in, and to build upon; insomuch that we find the Apostles strove to preach the Gospel where Christ was not so much as named, Rom. 15:20, and so great a square was taken in for the Gospel, partly to this end, that it might be openly seen that Christ’s sceptre had lost nothing, but had gained ground, by the falling off of the Jews. Hence men’s rational powers are made to stoop and witness to the Lord Jesus, whom God hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds. Heb. 1:2. And a community of men, being, by God’s providence, made providentially subject to the Mediator, through teaching and preaching the word of the Lord in every city where the word of the Lord hath been sent to be preached, Acts 15:35-36, though there hath been but here and there of the hearers the elect of God to made spiritually subject to the Lord Christ. {“Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you; and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion; and I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Jer. 3:14-15.}

Besides, it must need be so, for Christ is King of all, and hath a right to govern all by this Rectorial Sceptre; and that, as he is both Lord and Christ the Anointed One, or the Messiah, anointed for the rule and government of all in the natural part of religion, as well as Messiah under the special unction of Jehovah, anointed for the Salvation of the Church alone. {“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.” Jn. 10:14-15.}

Hence, when the Evangelist gives an account of the preaching of the Gospel, he tells us, that all the cities had the Gospel preached in them. Acts 8:40. Likewise it came to pass, from this Universal Kingship of the Lord Jesus, {“and hath put all things under his feet,” Eph. 1:22,} that kings themselves were exhorted to submit to Christ, Psal. 2:10-12, as a greater King than themselves, and were foretold they should lay their hands upon their mouths, and not utter a word against it. {“So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him; for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.” Isa. 52:15.} For God will have it so, or he will pull them out of their thrones as he hath not only threatened, but performed, both to Pagan and Papal monarchs. {“I will shake the heavens and the earth; and I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen.” Hag. 2:21- 22.} Quite often where the Gospel of the Kingdom has been resisted, Psal. 107:40, the LORD then hath destroyed the bloody instruments that did it, whilst he hath been saving his chosen by the Gospel, in giving drink, says he, Isa. 43:20, “to my people, my chosen.” And whilst he has taken upon him to “avenge his own elect which cry day and night unto him,” Lk. 18:7, the Gospel is a Gospel of Free Grace to His elect, and in it is displayed Christ’s full prerogative, both as to them and all the world besides. Thus the Lord our Righteousness, Jer. 23:6, will carry it on amidst the world, even his Gospel, as the proclamation of a Sovereign and Uncontrollable King, the High Magistrate, Justice and Judge, who will have his own laws stand, and make all other laws stoop and give way to His. We must preach Christ thus; and this indeed is good news to the elect, {hid for some time amongst the rest,} to strengthen their hearts.

Now will any ask me, how they must preach the Gospel to sinners, if they do not offer the Salvation thereof unto them? I’ll answer em, there is subject enough respecting the Gospel and Kingdom of Christ to preach to all. Here’s the good news of the sceptre, a sceptre of Righteousness and Power, to make as many as the Lord pleases outwardly bow to the pure Gospel, the whole sceptre being providentially swayed for the good of the elect, who receive the Salvation of the Gospel. {“There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Seth.” Num. 24:17.} This is some of the fruits of preaching the Gospel to all sinners, and for this helpful benefit the LORD will give to non-elect sinners good allowances in this present life; and indeed that is it which natural men most love. But if they will not live peaceably with God’s people, but persecute them, he will make their hearts ache, under the very message which is good news and a joyful sound to His own. So that to the end that God’s people might lead peaceable and quiet lives, I Tim. 2:2, in the exercise of all godliness and honesty, the Lord will have many saved out of the superfluity of naughtiness that drown men in destruction and perdition, and will bring them to the knowledge of the truth. I Tim. 2:4. Accordingly, both Jewish and Pagan worlds, in the general lump of sinners, were exhorted to a natural acceptance of, or submission to, Christ’s Sceptre, in receiving the doctrinal report of the Gospel taught in Christ’s name.

Thus sinners are still, in general, to be exhorted to accept of the sound doctrine, or form of sound words they seem to come short of; that while by a common blessing attending the natural capacity of receiving it, they embrace the doctrine of Salvation, the elect of God may fare the better, whose lot it is to be awakened and fall under the power of godliness in their quarters. This necessary and natural subjection to the King, whose name is the Lord of Hosts, depends upon his relation of being the Universal King. {“And I will make drunk her princes, and her wise men, her captains, and her rulers, and her mighty men; and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts.” Jer. 51:57.} Therefore, a rejection of the Doctrine and Witness hath been, and is, in all ages dangerous; though the Salvation therein, through the influences of the blood of Christ in the Operations of the Spirit, is applied to, and received by the elect alone. Therefore, what with rejecting the doctrine by some, and corrupting the doctrine with Pagan and Jewish mixtures of worship and practice by others, who have outwardly embraced it, as to some parts of the Gospel, under this debasement, it hath woefully involved a vast number of people beneath the desolating strokes of Heaven. Whole countries have been ruined for opposing the revealed Gospel, and rejecting the witness God has given of His Son, or despising the doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ. Many places of the Roman Empire have been dismally shattered and broken up with earthquakes for the same cause. God hath pierced them through with the sword of war, and infected the air with noisome pestilences, for despising the wholesome breathing of the Spirit of his Grace. Yea, as to ourselves, instead of fanning winds to cleanse us, the LORD hath, with stormy winds rent us, because of the reproaches we have cast upon his Spirit in those messengers who have both preached and written, by His authority, under the evident Operations of the Holy Ghost, while the Spirit hath blown in the Doctrine of the Gospel where he supremely wills. Other places too, for the same provocation of the great King of Heaven, have been filled with plagues and covered with inundations of both wars and famines. Kingdoms and nations have been laid together, in one common heap, under wasting and consuming judgments. At times, plagues and judgments have wasted much of the blood and treasures of all Europe. And why? Because the Gospel of the Kingdom of God has been despised among them, both by professor and profane; and the ground of God’s unseen controversy with man, hath been the vengeance of his Temple, and the quarrel of his Covenant. {“The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the LORD our God, the vengeance of his temple.” Jer. 50:28. “And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant; and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.” Lev. 26:25.}

I argue again, separately, from the common advantages which accompany the interest of Christ, in preaching the Doctrine and Testimony of Salvation to all, notwithstanding Salvation by the doctrine is received by none but the elect. And I argue thus, to solve the question, how must we preach the Gospel to all without offers of Grace, or tenders of Salvation? To answer this end, the doctrine is to be held forth in preaching the Gospel to all people, Lk. 4:43, whether the Salvation of the doctrine has accompanied it or not. This sound was to come to, and upon, all whom Christ had sent the apostles forth, Acts 10:42, to preach the doctrine of the Gospel to. The reason is, because God had an elect people up and down in the cities, as in Rome, Rom. 1:15, in Corinth, Acts 18:10, in Troy, II Cor. 2:12, in Antioch, Acts 13:48, in Derbe, Acts 14:20, and in other nations abroad likewise, that have heard the Gospel preached since. For, indeed, to the elect, lying hid, the Salvation in the doctrine hath ever belonged; and the elect have fared the better in that the doctrine hath come to others, Mk. 16:20, to whom the Salvation doth not belong. For which cause the body of the nations are punished who reject the doctrine, which, as an highway of common profession serves as an outward conveyance of bringing home that Salvation in Christ to all for whom it is intended, which way is distinct from the external highway of profession, furnishing temporal advantages to the elect. {“And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those; the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.” Isa. 35:8.} And accordingly in the very first ages of the church, the power of Salvation attended the doctrine of godliness to the called, and chosen, and faithful, Rev. 17:14, the Lord’s own in Election-Grace, chosen from the beginning to Salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth; for such have been always, more or less, a scattered people. {“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth; whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” II Thes. 2:13-14.} And faithful preachers sometimes through havoc of the church, have been scattered abroad, and made to go everywhere preaching the word, Acts 8:4, which, through the power of the Spirit, finds the elect. The chosen generation, I Pet. 2:9, have ever been found out by the preaching of the Gospel, as they have lain hid among the pots, or among a greater number in the world, as Acts 11:20, and sometimes among a greater number of Jews, as when the apostles travelled as far as Phenice, and the isle of Cyprus, and the city of Antioch, preaching the word to none but the Jews only, as saith the Holy Spirit, Acts 11:19; and sometimes among other visible professors of the Gospel round about them, and among them, while God hath been bringing forth his chosen with gladness, Psal.105:43; at which angels have rejoiced, Lk. 15:10, even when one sinner hath been brought to repentance; although the world have remained angry and have not done so, but has reviled them for leaving them, contrary to Egypt at the coming forth of Israel; for Egypt was glad, Psal. 105:38, when the children of Israel departed.

Furthermore it is, that within this common extent of Old, through the dominions of the empire belonging to Rome Pagan, the elect of God, even the chosen and sanctified, II Chron. 7:16, were more advantageously covered, and thereby the sheep of the Lord’s hand were folded. {“For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.” Psal. 95:7.} This distinction between the letter of the doctrine and the power attending it makes the very doctrine of election useful, in preaching it among all nations, to find out the elect of God, and to bring Jacob, Isa. 41:8, whom the LORD hath chosen. Whereas the other pretence in offers of Salvation are but the quieting device of fallen nature to lull the doctrine of Election asleep, thereby to please the Times, and give less disturbance to the world. Besides, the outward and additional advantage gained in defending the true church of Christ against the wild boar out of the wood that wastes it, Psal. 80:13, or from the infidel world that would root up the very doctrine preached, Acts 17:18, is a greater good to the true church of Christ than without that ordinary Providence, would accrue unto it by Effectual Grace alone. The testimony of the Spirit’s Operations on the elect, the chosen inheritance, Psal. 33:12, have been demonstrated by ordinary providences and judgments, whereby the outward safety of the church from the malice of the devil, hath been affected by an earth, which hath helped the woman, Rev. 12:16-17, while the dragon hath been wroth with the remnant of her seed. This hath prospered on the Church’s side, beyond what could have been visibly brought about, if only the number of the elect, chosen in Christ to Everlasting Life, had been called by the Gospel, and if all the rest of the world, Rom. 11:7, had remained in their utter enmity unto it. For the fruits would then be too naked, being alone without the leaves. And as the leaves of a tree, though not fit for the table, are serviceable to the fruit, and ornamental to the tree, without which it must be naked, and exposed to ripen on naked twigs; so are professors in this case of preaching the Gospel.

Hence there are texts that speak of provincial preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom among the people of the Jews, while Jesus preached in their synagogues through all Galilee. Mk. 1:39. So again, Matt. 4:23, Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom. Likewise in Matt. 9:35, Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom. The Scripture tells us of preaching Jesus Christ the Son of God, among the Corinthian Gentiles, II Cor. 1:19. So it tells us, Gal. 1:16, of preaching the Son of God among the heathen, and of the Gospel which Paul preached among the Gentiles. Gal. 2:2. So, Eph. 3:8, preaching among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. For there are many saving conversions with power, where the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto Himself, Psal. 135:4, or Gospel experience, where the Lord hath chosen Jerusalem, Zech. 3:2, which may be compared to grown and ripe fruits. And there are many serviceable conversions of quite another kind, which are only in form, which may consist of an acceptance of the doctrine of the Gospel, either in part or in whole, as it happens; and so the Apostle implies, II Cor. 11:4, by putting the case of another Gospel which they had not accepted. Now an acceptance of the doctrine of the Gospel, Matt. 7:28, where it is not accompanied with the Salvation of the Gospel, may be compared to leaves or branches that only shelter and protect the fruit; so far they are serviceable, but not valuable in God’s account, nor in man’s account, except it is to be burnt. And as there are several kinds of these serviceable formal conversions, so the brighter and more evangelical the form, still the more serviceable is the conversion, though not the more valuable. The leaf of the vine, Psal.80:8, does more good to the grapes against a scorching sun, than the leaf of other trees does to their own fruits which may need the leafy covering less.

Now the doctrine of Grace, in the common lump of it, Isa. 28:9, hath been made useful, and may be made of special use again, to some of the elect of God, or the children of Jacob his chosen, through an external acceptance of the Gospel among the non-elect party; such, likewise, may serve, in God’s purposes and providences, to form a kind of bridge for the Gospel to pass over more effectually unto others of the chosen number, for the sake of the elect. God may make use of them to take the common cluster in the garden of nuts from among scholar-like preachers, and thereby to carry the kernel still further on, where it profits the eater, being stripped both of case and shell.

Therefore, the Gospel ought to be preached to all, to maintain its orthodoxy, where yet it’s Salvation doth not come. There was need of the general notion and common reception of the doctrine of Christianity in the world to a common end. Hence the Gospel was preached apostolically in whole provinces, Acts 10:37, as likewise in the cities; “and when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia, as the witness is, Acts 14:25, and so it must go on still ordinarily in that outer and visible doctrinal way among the non-elect, as well as among the elect of God. It was formerly useful to maintain the general expectation of Messiah’s coming, Lk. 3:3-6, and his dying for sin; that God was in Christ reconciling the world, II Cor. 5:19, i.e., was taking off the common enmity of the world, both of Jew and Gentile, against this doctrine of Messiah; and so was a bowing of the world promiscuously to Himself, as to the general reception of Gospel Truth.

Hereby his own elect have often been outwardly shaded and covered through men embracing the common doctrines of Salvation, that a handful of them would have been preserved in towns or countries, in the times of Open and Pagan persecution. And still such a general reception of the Gospel still keeps up the common interest; for there is a great deal of Christ naturally, fitted to the reason of man. “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” Jn. 1:9. Christ is the Head of nature, the Ruler of nature, &c. Now in the common notional acceptance of Christ, there is room for nature in common light and gifts of reason, in temper, largeness of intellectual capacity, and other endowments and human qualifications thereof, to stoop to Jesus Christ professedly and externally, and to exalt Christ nominally by men’s falling in with the surface of the Gospel, and by espousing the outward face of the Christian religion. Thus it tends, under a wise and providential management, in the hands of Him that hath made all things for Himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil, Prov. 16:4, to fulfil the Scriptures; for thus “the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind; which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.” Matt. 13:47-48. We are therefore to preach and witness the doctrine of Christ with expectation of fruit, at least according to a doctrinal profession; and that many will be brought in professedly to serve, at least, for an outward defence in the works and ways of Providence, round about the Lord’s own; for thus it shall be by preaching the doctrines and records of the Gospel in the external forms of truth, profitable works, necessary to all within the sound, and to all that usually come in and go out among us. We must therefore preach the Eternal Salvation of the Gospel more discriminately in the Lord’s hand, to gather together his elect from the four winds, Mk. 13:27; and that as the Spirit works in them savingly to believe on Jesus Christ, guiding and leading them to this eternal life in Christ, Rom. 8:14, if the Spirit of God owns us, as ministers of the New Testament, II Cor. 3:6, powerfully to gather together his elect, under our voices, as the angels shall collect their bodies, and gather His elect together, at the latter day. {“And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matt. 24:31.} We must now preach in such a discrimination of the power from the form, as the Spirit of God will own our preaching for the elect’s sake, who have already, perhaps most of them, accepted so much of Christ as to have built their out-works of profession. For as to out-works now among professors they are for the most part extensively wide enough, as we want more of the inward work of the Spirit, testifying to the extensive framework of Gospel Truth. We wait for more of the special power to accompany the common form, as there once lacked common power to cause the common form. But there lacks no power now to cause the form, because not only education and custom, but the liberty of the day, have made it {the Christian Religion} the common fashion. Moreover, as to the outward works of profession, raised in all ages out of the mere doctrine, where salvation into Christ Jesus {the true Gospel ark} hath not accompanied it, the doctrine in and of itself hath been sufficient to advance an outer court profession. Which likewise, in the several ages of God’s purifying and trying Dispensations hath been made serviceable to the inner- court change, for defence and protection. For God will raise out-works to beautify and protect the in-works. By this means the Jews, through a long process of time have been able to see, that the nations of the Western Empire have been as much outwardly devoted in zeal to Jesus Christ, as their Nation had once been outwardly devoted in zeal to God, as to his Temple, and the Law of Sacrifices. Hence they have seen how Messiah’s interest hath visibly grown to an advance of worldly glory, which they, as men, might somewhat judge of; since once they imagined in their disobedient and gainsaying forefathers, Rom. 10:21, that it could never have risen to so honourable a pitch, as in a little time it was brought. Again, both Jew and Pagan have necessarily seen, that there is such outward substance in the Doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ, as that all along it hath yielded a great foothold to the common steps of Christianity, where multitudes, notwithstanding the first persecutions, have both naturally and rationally embraced it. And so the Christian Religion in the success of it has weighed down the Jew, Acts 19:17, and weighs likewise against a great bulk of the Pagans. And yet all this advantage is short of what the elect of God have been brought unto in the Gospel by the Effectual Operations of God the Spirit. For these have inwardly partook of God’s Salvation, whilst others have shared but in some of the Christian doctrine, according to the common lot. Thus it appears, why the doctrine of Salvation ought to be preached to all in respect of God’s wisdom, and Christ’s right of governing, and also in respect of the common advantages to the interest of Christ in the world which are reaped thereby.

I argue for the necessity of preaching the doctrinal report of Christ unto all, distinct and separately from a revelation of the arm of the Lord, as Isaiah distinguishes, Isa. 53:1, or distinct from the Salvation in the doctrine to the elect, from the personal advantages that accrue unto men by a mere doctrinal believing of the Gospel, short of a vital and evangelized believing into Christ Jesus. And this I argue to a further resolution of the question, how must we preach Grace if we do not offer Grace to sinners? The preachers of the Gospel must preach the doctrine, though it be not accompanied with the Salvation, and to those to whom Salvation may not belong. There are temporal advantages to the mere doctrinal receivers, which the Lord doth bring along with their outward acceptance of the notion of the Gospel. Wherever God sends the Gospel of the Kingdom, it is not in vain. The doctrine, we are assured, shall be received by many; and doctrinal advantages, as gifts, learning, reputation, and rewards of common usefulness to be received in this life, shall crown the outward reception of it; and that often far beyond the measure of these outward things in this life, Lk. 16:25, which shall be given to real receivers of Salvation itself. Protection in Providence is a constant fruit of the outward reception of God’s messages. A common faith that hath entertained the doctrine, has saved nations from many common judgments; it has reprieved them from national calamities, for such are the favourable consequences of a natural entertainment of Gospel Truths.

This natural receiving of the doctrine of the Gospel, and the temporal effects of it in the Divine Providence, hath been much like the natural repentance of Nineveh at the preaching of Jonas; and may be compared to the sparing of that great city the space of forty years, Jon. 4:11, which are meant by the prophetical forty days in that prophet’s message, “yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” Jon. 4:11. {“The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it; because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.” Matt. 12:41.} At the end of which days, or years, Nineveh was appointed to be overthrown, for the wickedness that had passed already. And albeit, the Ninevites took the limits of the prediction to be forty natural days, in which space the threatened overthrow not coming to pass, as they apprehended it would at forty days end, they returned to their wonted wickedness; and so Nineveh was destroyed to purpose, according to the true intendment of the Lord in Jonah’s preaching; even at the end of forty prophetical days; which destruction we read of in the first and second chapters of Nahum, containing the substance of the fearful overthrow of that city. A common reception of the truth of the Gospel hath sheltered nominal Christians from the ruinous seizure of infidel nations, and hath been blessed to an expulsion of the Turks in Germany, and of the Moors in Spain. So great numbers of doctrinal believers have been protected, for the sake of their doctrinal believing, among ourselves; as the Lord hath rewarded that doctrinal faith in this life by the preservation of our public liberties, which a mere handful of the new-born sons of God, who are scattered through this isle of Great Britain, could never, humanly speaking, have enjoyed without the others, who make by far the greater figure. So the more extensively the doctrine and the testimony of Grace is received in every Congregation, the more God pours out the fruits of that doctrine, and blesses the substance of congregations, to spiritually enrich men for the maintenance of doctrine and ordinances necessary in the said Assembly. If the elect in all nations who are called inwardly, were to be brought forward without a vast number of others called outwardly, and lodged in the out-buildings of Zion, they would be swallowed up in this world, because of the abounding wickedness of it, were it not for so many thousands of professors, where the Gospel comes, who temper the common profession, and allay the prodigious enmity that is in man against the Sovereign Grace of God. So a common profession may bring the peace of man to men, having many common advantages in it, where yet the Salvation of the Gospel may not come, or the peace of God in their souls. Peace with the times, peace in families, or peace from the common miseries of war, may be the fruit, either of countenancing, or of entertaining the Doctrine of the Gospel. On the contrary, the Romans destroyed the Jews, over whom yet they would have had no power if the Jews had embraced the common doctrines of Messiah.

Furthermore, I argue from the Justice of God that must be glorified, even upon those who refuse the sound doctrine of Salvation, when that doctrine hath been preached among them and rejected. {“Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof. I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.” Prov. 1:24-27.} And this also I argue in defence of preaching the word to all men, notwithstanding Salvation by the word is to be preached to God’s elect alone. For a further solving of the question, how must we preach Christ, if we do not offer Him, and tender Salvation unto sinners? I answer, the doctrine is to be preached with an eye to God’s mercy as to the elect, and an eye to his justice, as to despisers. It is also to be preached boldly, as Paul preached at Damascus. Acts 9:27. For though Salvation cannot be offered, yet we are to bear a testimony of the word of the Lord, notwithstanding it brings down a judgment upon men for refusing it. {“Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, saying, Go unto this people, and say, hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive; for the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Acts 28:25-27.}

Our work is to testify of Christ to men not to offer Christ to men. Peter and John “testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.” Acts 8:25. When an assault was made, both of the Gentiles and also of the Jews, with their rulers, to use Paul and Barnabas despitefully, and to stone them, {saith Luke in his history of the matter, Acts 14:5-7,} “they were aware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about,” and there they preached the Gospel. We cannot suppose the Gospel could be preached in whole regions, II Cor.10:16, but the Justice of God would meet with provocations enough among contemners and clamorous Christ opposers to send forth his wrath upon such heathens till it consumed them as stubble. {“And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee; thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble.” Exod. 15:7.} The kingdom of God is not only to be preached where it hath met success, but also where it has been rejected; as Christ said, Luke 4:43, “I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also; for therefore am I sent.” And no question but in such a variety of places the Gospel preached doth arrive where the open refusers dwell. The disciples went through the towns preaching the Gospel. Lk. 9:6. Now when the Gospel is preached in any town or country, fame carries the tidings, and tells men, by hearsay, what the doctrine or report is. The message brought is soon broached, and dispersed in all our coasts. The errand comes mixed with heavy tidings, to condemn a generation of gainsayers in Chorazin and Bethsaida, as well as with glad tidings, to delight the Lord’s Jerusalem.

The doctrine and witness of Christ comes to all, but principally on the errand of Salvation to God’s elect, to bring the true efficacy of that eternal redemption, Heb. 9:12, which is in Jesus Christ, derived from the main fountain of God’s eternal purposes. On the other hand, while men refuse and bespatter glorious truths, such truths as most exalt God in Christ, and most debase man in himself, some of the other ends, even purposed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, are accomplished. It was once said of Christ Himself, for the glorifying of God’s Justice, as well as setting forth the mercy of God, that “this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against.” Lk. 2:34. Of which words I can truly say, it is a text which God the Spirit has marvellously used to strengthen my own faith in Christ. For if it was once so with Christ, I need not wonder if it is still so with a book or a sermon that does most eminently exalt Him. One righteous end of bringing the Gospel to a place, is the condemnation of the enemies and opposers, who stand up against the doctrine of Christ; for as to the main and essential points of the doctrine of Christ and Salvation, they are made out so plain in God’s word, that when made out agreeably, by preaching according to the common light of the word to interpret them, none can deny them. For which cause non-elect wranglers and refusers of the pure doctrines, Acts 4:2, by which Salvation comes to a Rufus, chosen in the Lord, Rom. 16:13, or to an elect sister, 2 Jn. 1:13, will be justly condemned for their hard speeches spoken against them. {“To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” Jude 19.} The Lord only knows what a sermon, or what the very title-page of a book, that exalts Christ more than flesh or blood may desire to hear of, have extorted from the mouths of men of a reprobate mind! All which has been taken in shorthand, and being written in Heaven, will one day be produced out of the mystical character against them! {“And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing, MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” Dan. 5:25-27.} A refuser of the doctrine of Christ dies with the greatest aggravation under the Law of Works! Mal. 3:5. The doctrine will come in as a swift witness against such as reject it, whether they be opposing preachers, or incensed people. For there be of both sorts whom Satan stirs up against some of the eminent points of the Gospel, yea, against the frame of the whole Gospel; some men not being able to endure it, because the wisdom of God in a mystery, I Cor. 2:7, confounds their own darkness. {“According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, unto this day.” Rom. 11:8.} It’s no difficulty to produce individuals of these sorts who are mounted up to a very high profession in the church. Howbeit I am to preach every true doctrine as Christ preached them in the synagogues of Galilee, Lk. 4:44, though the mystery of godliness, I Tim. 3:16, as the alone foundation of all true religion as it stands in Christ will surely be despised in Galilee, and in every synagogue will be spoken against. This now is a way of preaching in which God is glorified, though it be eventually in the condemnation of many who have shut out the very doctrine and record as soon as it hath arrived at their cities, towns or villages, Acts 14:4- 5; likewise, it will more evidently and triumphantly condemn the assembly of the wicked, Psal. 22:16, who have gathered themselves together, not to answer it, but protest against it. As for the Salvation in the Mystery or Doctrine, it is a free gift, the Lord bestowing it upon whom he will; and those whom he wills to possess it are the Jesurun, or the upright, whom he hath chosen, and whom, by the Gospel, he effectually calls into it, to an acknowledgement of it. {“Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.” Isa. 44:2.} But the doctrine, as distinct from Salvation, is to be preached to ministers and people, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, Ezek. 2:7, because the doctrine or report reaching their consciences, will have some sure effect to the glory of God. And if that effect be the glorifying of God’s justice, by aggravating the condemnation and torments of those haters of God in the doctrine who do not belong unto the Lord, then the Gospel of the Kingdom is not preached in vain. For this is an end which must be accomplished against the wicked, who have eyes to see and see not, ears to hear and hear not, Ezek. 12:2; as well to be glorified in those to whom the Spirit makes it effectual for life, comfort, and salvation. By this it appears, that sinners who neglect and despise the doctrine of Christ, by slighting him either upon the Cross or upon the Throne, by neglecting his Person, or despising his Offices, by denying the Divinity, or stumbling at the glory of the Humanity, which broke out in open apparitions of the God of Israel, as the Glory-man. {“And they saw the God of Israel; and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.” Exod. 24:10.} They will each one have a dreadful account to give unto Him that will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom he hath ordained, and whose glory hath been manifested in God’s raising him from the dead.

We preach the hidden glory of the Man Jesus, I Cor. 2:7, since God hath now opened that Heavenly Glory in the Scriptures. We tell all men the glory of the Man Christ Jesus. {“And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.” Ezek. 1:26.} For indeed, Christ is often called “the Man.” {“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” I Tim. 2:5. “And speak unto him, saying, thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD; even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” Zech. 6:12-13.} See also, Zech. 13:7; Judges 13:10-11; Ezek. 47:3; Psalm 80:17; Ezek. 10:2, 6; Ezek. 40:4; Dan. 12:6; Ezek. 9:3, 11; Zech. 1:10; Lam. 3:1, &c. And Christ is likewise called “this Man.” {“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.” Heb. 10:12. “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins.” Acts 13:38.} See also, Mic. 5:5; Heb. 3:3; 7:4; 7:24; 8:3, &c. Thus the Holy Ghost hath honoured Christ under that very character of reproach which he had suffered by his adversaries; as appears, “but his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, we will not have this man to reign over us.” Lk. 19:14.

We preach a whole Christ, and believe into his whole Person God-Man, “whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen,” Rom. 9:5; though some have believed and confessed His humanity, as Messiah, who had no understanding or belief of his Divinity; so John 7:31 & 46, John 9:33 & John 10:41. We tell all men, I say, the glory of the Man, as Joseph said unto his brethren, “ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen in Egypt.” Gen. 45:13. For Christ’s sake, and for Zion’s sake, we cannot hold our peace. {“For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.” Isa. 62:1.} We tell all men of the glad tidings of the everlasting love of the Father, Jer. 31:3, in the glory of His Son Jesus! We tell all men of the glory of the Man, that it was a glory before time; a glory hid with God! We proclaim to all, the glory and pre-eminence of the Man, Col. 1:18, clothed with wonder, under the Old Testament, Dan.7:9, and fore-appearing to give most certain notices of the New. We preach the glory of the Man, as Alpha; and His glory, as Omega; for He is the beginning of the creation of God, Rev. 3:14, and the ending of all the works of wonder! {“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Rev. 1:8.} They are begun and finished in Him. They run on apace to an open consummation of the Glory Union, as the works run on through the channels of redeeming love into the ocean of eternal wonders and the bosom of Everlasting Grace! We tell all men that Christ, as Mediator, is fitted to overlay and establish our study and knowledge of the glorious Trinity; thus we still keep Christ in our eye, as we pass in our thoughts through Him into the knowledge of God; so that albeit that Christ hath a Divine Nature, before he received on him his second Nature, as Man-Mediator or the Nature of Christ in God; therefore as a believer, I must pass in my thoughts through Christ, to discern and look upon that first Nature of God. Otherwise, I am a natural Deist, and act as a poor, proud and dead philosopher still; {and yet this is the common way of our systems and bodies of divinity,} but under the vain application of my thoughts to God in the darkness of Babylonian confusion, I am nothing of the Christian.

However men cavil at the antiquity of the Human Nature of Christ, and loose themselves in their own notion about a real Incarnation of Christ, resolving to lean upon the staff of philosophy in this matter, instead of leaning upon our Beloved, Song. 8:5; yet it is plain to him that believeth, that Christ’s Humanity was real, really rich and glorious, Jn. 17:5, before the foundation of the world, a real blessing of the church under the Old Testament, Heb. 13:8, and for our sakes really became poor under the New. II Cor. 8:9. {“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Phil. 2:5-8.} His fore-appearances, {for I reject that most scandalous word of most authors, praeludium, in the business, suggested from the stage, and not from the Spirit of Christ,} under the Old Testament, were real, and not imaginary. Christ was no incomplete Christ, though not come into the world in the flesh, under the Old Testament. {“These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.” Jn. 12:41.} The Human Nature of Christ was federally complete in him, body and soul, as the Great Exemplar, pattern and draught of our nature from him. {“For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” Eph. 5:30.} Nevertheless, the Humanity of Christ was not after the same manner as it was in the times of his descending from Heaven and his open Incarnation from the womb. His humanity was spiritually real under the Old Testament, though not palpably or physically real till the New Testament. Christ was the substance of the manna in the wilderness, Jn. 6:31-33, and so was the super-Essential bread of Heaven, Jn. 3:13, even as the Lord’s Prayer teaches us, “give us this day our daily bread.” Matt. 6:11. {“I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” Jn. 6:51.} He was infallibly as the Man of the right hand, the bread in Heaven before his descent, or before he came down from Heaven, Jn. 6:38, as largely made out in my other book, of the Glory of Christ Unveiled.

The humanity of Christ was a spiritual body in the Old Testament, as it was a natural body in the New Testament from a supernatural cause. It was a subsisting Humanity before time, and it was an existing and pre- existing Humanity in the times of the Old Testament. It was subsisting, as it stood personally in God the Son. It was existing and pre-existing, as it stood forth {from Christ’s secret subsisting with God} to be seen by men, and stood forth to be so seen in Christ’s fore-appearances in the Old Testament; while his body was spiritual and super-celestial, {higher than celestial, especially in spirituality or divinity,} and such as was every way fitted to give being to the shadows of the Law; for these were all necessarily younger than the body of Christ that was cast upon them, or from which Body of Christ the shadows of the Law fell. {“Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.” Rom. 16:25. “To make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.” Eph. 3:9.} Now as this pre-existence was peculiar to Christ, because of the true fore-appearance of his Incarnation, so it confirms unto me, that Origen’s hypothesis about the common pre-existence of souls, was as a dream fetched from the schools of Plato; because it is essential to all pre- existence, that there be a fore-appearance. But this reality was peculiar to Christ’s Human Nature, as a fore- display, Exod. 33:23, of the future Incarnation from the womb of the Virgin palpably, and hath never been common to all souls in general, as the Platonists and Origenians have asserted. So, we tell all men of the Ancient Glory of the Human Nature of Christ, and of the Everlasting Love of the Father to all the elect of God federally in Him. Gen. 1:26 – 2 Cor. 8:9. We tell all these things from the housetops! Matt. 10:27. And though we gather but handfuls of corn, Psal. 72:16, yet the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon! We tell men that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. Jn. 3:19. We tell men that in the very preaching and professing at this day, there is a neglect, Heb. 2:3, and awful despising of Christ’s Great Salvation. Poor creatures neglect Christ who is the great and only Salvation of God’s elect. For indeed the words there in the second chapter of the Hebrews are but an application of what the Apostle had opened of the Person and Righteousness of Christ in the former chapter. {“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Heb. 1:1-3.} We tell sinners how dreadful it is to be found refusing of the doctrine or report of Christ, in their not submitting unto this point of Truth, the doctrine of Ultimate Supremacy, to wit, that God is the Master of his own Grace, and that he calls out whom he wills to partake thereof amongst us. Matt.20:15. We preach that there is an Operation of Power under the Doctrine to discover by an Effectual call who are God’s elect. We teach men, that there is an aggravated condemnation upon the refusers of the doctrine. That this doctrine comes to all; that Salvation comes in and by the doctrine to many, and is put into every chosen vessel. We declare to men, that the refusers of glad tidings are such as put away from them the Doctrine of Jesus Christ, and put a slight upon the doctrines of the highest Grace. We preach the truth of God, whilst some call it error, who never would, nor could go about laboriously from God’s Word to prove it error.

We preach the deep things of God, I Cor. 2:10, while men who pretend to fathom them, run up and down anywhere, to friends or enemies, all is one to them, saying, these mysteries of Christ, because they do not relish them with their carnal and prejudiced spirits, are heresy, blasphemy, delusion, and count our message damnable. {“But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.” Acts 24:14.} Oh, but when it is found to be otherwise, what will become of men’s tongues that have been set on fire of Hell! James 3:6. How will men be horribly afraid, who have let fly their passions against the Lord Himself, because He was Man before Adam! Fearfulness will surprise the hypocrites, {“the sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites,” Isa. 33:14,} that pretend to believe in a crucified and humbled Christ, and yet reject the doctrine of his condescension to the womb and cross from that high and exalted throne, where the Son of Man in the Lord from Heaven, or Man of the Right Hand, was set up of old, yea from everlasting! {“What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?” Jn. 6:62. “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.” Isa. 6:1.} Besides, how many hypocrites have we in Zion that will not have this Man to reign over them! For ought I know, of five hundred pulpits, even of our Dissenters, there may not be five and thirty of them, that, in fulfilling their ministry, do ordinarily honour or call him the Man, or speak of him as this Man, God-Man Mediator.

How many cowards have we in Zion, who refuse to receive Christ joyfully, Lk. 19:6, and take up all from this green fir tree alone, Hos. 14:8, in whom our fruit is found! {“Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” Phil. 1:11.} Especially, when they have climbed up the sycamores of their own wisdom, with a wanton design from the top of their parts, to take their prospects of Christ for curiosity’s sake. Have they ever in temptation, poverty of spirit, sense of sin dwelling in them, or true humbleness of mind, heard the voice of Christ {that bids every self-confident climber, whom he saves, Lk. 19:9, to come down} calling them to make haste, and receive him as their own. How many faithless preachers, have we nowadays who dare not preach Christ according to the measure of their light? Oh! Such a rich man that I am most beholden to, will be offended if I speak out all that God shows me out of his counsel. But what do I think Christ will be, whose riches far exceed that of any poor rich man which you might fancy. Again, how many reproachers and despisers of a full Christ fill our pulpits; how many haters and dividers of a whole Christ; how many fighters and disputers against the Christ of God, have we. {“Where is the wise; where is the scribe; where is the disputer of this world; hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” I Cor. 1:20.} Indeed, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the Day of Judgment; and it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Day of Judgment, Mt. 11:22, than for some of these, whom the Lord will surely make examples of.

How dreadful will their condition be for sinning against the doctrine, after all this light of the glorious Gospel which is broken forth! The doctrine of Christ breaks out more and more. And it’s prophesied of Christ, who is the path of the just, that he shall, as their path, shine out more and more unto the perfect day. Prov.4:18. And no wonder, for Christ is the light of the world, Jn. 8:12, and the path of the righteous too. {“I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Jn. 14:6.} Howbeit, men grow angrier at the light, bitterer, more violent, more enraged, more subtle and cunning, nay, as the apostle says, more devilish, James 3:15, to supplant it than ever! And the most, even of whom we are ready to call the best, do visibly prefer their theological blunders to a preaching of the Everlasting Gospel, and advance {dreadful to be spoken} a natural and powerless religion in mere external methods and forms of salvation, before and above what they will venture to say of the mighty Operations of God the Spirit, in Effectual Calling, whilst they speak of the things of God. And where there is one sermon preached to advance God’s new creation in the soul, I fear there are twenty sermons read, uttered, and offered, merely to jog, beautify, and bolster up old corrupt fallen Adam.

Well then, having been helped to fix the distinction of the Gospel into Doctrine and Salvation; and to show that both are to be preached to the elect, and the former alone, as to visible interest, is preached to the non-elect. Some pains have been taken to show how we must preach the doctrine, and not offer it; preach Salvation, not propound it; how preaching becomes a sure means of reaching God’s true end in the Gospel of Christ towards all men, wheresoever the Gospel comes, whether the hearers are the elect, or the non-elect. For that great end hath been declared, namely, the glorifying of God’s Mercy and Justice; on the one hand, in the Saving, with a special Salvation, all the elect of God; and on the other hand, in securing the common advantages of Providence, which attend the doctrine in a way of common good, where there is a withholding of God’s Grace unto Salvation. And thus, as the doctrine is taught the people, and the doctrine preached to the mixed multitude, Lk. 20:1, we have a general resolving of the question, how must we preach the Gospel, if we do not offer the Gospel? Why we must preach the Righteousness of the Gospel Doctrinally, even the Righteousness of God. Rom. 3:22. Thus Christ declares of his Ministry, as it’s represented in the person of his type, “I have preached righteousness in the great congregation; lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation; I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.” Psal. 40:9-10. And for proof that this is spoken of David in the Person of Christ, Lk.1:69, we may depend upon the witness of the Holy Ghost in John 7:14 & Luke 20:1, where the very auditory, or great congregation is fixed, as to determine what great congregation was principally meant. The doctrine is to be preached to all, but still the Salvation of the Gospel is to be offered to none at all. An offer of Salvation being no means towards God’s putting forth his power; no, not so much as upon the elect themselves. I have insisted so much upon the doctrine of Christ, as separate from the Salvation, that now the distinction is plain and incontrovertible to him that seeth the Son of God experimentally, and believeth on him, some having known the form of doctrine, before they have seen the mystery, or brought under its power. {“And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” Jn. 6:40.} For in regeneration the truth is said to be a form of doctrine whereto ye were delivered, as the Greek reads that text passively of the converted, into which type, or style of doctrine ye were delivered, Rom. 6:17, though the translators, not seeing the mystery, were contended to read it passively of the form itself, as the form of doctrine which was delivered to you. He likewise, who hath the love of God dwelling in him, I Jn. 3:17, hath far more than the orthodox doctrine of the love abiding in him; and this indwelling love, because of the Spirit of Christ who upholds it, Rom. 5:5, is a strengthening experience in the soul concerning God’s Grace, and so will cause a true believer faithfully to prefer God’s honour in the Gospel to all other interests. God’s thoughts and ways are honourable; even whilst they debase our own thoughts and ways. And he that is practically in his own heart led into the truth of God, will see a large field of the doctrine of Christ to preach at all times, faithfully, and will be contented to preach evangelically, and not trust in lying words that cannot profit, Jer. 7:8, in the common flattery of offers and proposals of Salvation, to all men before whom he stands up to preach. We should take heed of a blind arrogance in the pulpit! We are to eye the fruits of our ministry under the Operations of the Spirit, and not entertain a fruitless philanthropy, or a love of all men to Salvation in the gross. We ought to have a fervent love for Christ’s body, but not a fond love for the members of a harlot. I Cor. 6:15. We are to take heed to our spirit, lest, while we offer Salvation to all, we deal treacherously against the spouse of Christ, Mal. 2:15, in not holding forth the blood and righteousness of Christ to her edification. {“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Eph. 4:11-12.} We have field-room enough in doctrine to deliver all our holy errands, if the Lord be pleased to make us wise to know, and faithful to keep our own bounds. The Lord guide the steps of his ministers, so as they may not err in vision, nor stumble in judgment, Isa. 28:7, by making the preaching of Doctrine and preaching of Salvation in the doctrine, to have both one object, and to be both of one latitude. The Lord enable all his ministers to preach discreetly; and while they preach the Gospel, not to propound it as an offer; but preach the Gospel doctrine to all, and preach the Salvation of the Gospel, with their hearts set Salvation-wise upon the elect of God alone. Finally, the Lord grant, that we may neither attempt to rob the Father’s gift, nor the Spirit’s power, by degrading God’s faithfulness into man’s flattery. Amen, Amen.



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