The first text mistaken is Rev. 22:17, “and the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” This text is of another tendency than that in John 7:37, “if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink,” which text I have opened in my last book. “Let him that is athirst come.” Athirst for what? It’s plain, for the “pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Rev. 22:1. Athirst, when? Why, this is also plain, ‘tis when that pure river of the water of life runs. {“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” Rev. 21:6.} Nothing is said of it now so distinctly, so as to make the children of God {set in opposition to the dogs, verse 15, &c.,} to thirst for it. No. Such drink under muddy preachers, and are almost everywhere satisfied with mingled streams. But, when the day spoken of comes, it will be otherwise. Then men will find all sermons and waters they have hitherto had, did not satisfy their thirst. And the reason is, they will know that the New Jerusalem Glory is come, all old things and mixtures are passed away, and behold all things are become new, Rev. 21:5, and eminently this same pure river of the water of life in the paradise of God, is ever new; but there is a time coming when the church of God will drink more largely of the waters of life without mixture, than ever she has done yet. The waters that now make glad the city of our God, Psal. 46:4, have some mixtures of our own in them, and the River is not yet seen that’s to be as clear as a crystal. John was here shown such a pure river as had never yet flowed. No; not in the days of the Apostles themselves. It is therefore no offer of Grace in our sermons to sinners to believe on Jesus Christ, but it is an invitation of the glorious church at the later day, to the members of the gracious church; and so is spoken of glorified saints with the Holy Ghost to invite believers to come and drink of the New Jerusalem Waters they thirst after, which then will be in the Land of Promise, Heb. 11:9, but now are not yet set abroach. The arguments for this interpretation are these that follow: 1.The tree of life, verse 2, shows us that it must be in the midst of the paradise of God. Revelation 2:7 is a parallel text that helps clear it, “he that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” This paradise can be no other than the New Adam’s paradise, in the purified land of promise, given to Christ’s seed for an everlasting possession, Gen. 17:8, wherein dwells righteousness, where the church will be brought to Christ and married to him, Matt. 24:31, as Eve was brought to Adam and joined to him in marriage, Gen. 2:22, which was done in old Adam’s paradise, a type and shadow thereof. The elect of God had their death there, by eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Gen. 2:9, but they shall have life and immortality in their bodies from Christ, in his new paradise, limited to the glorious church for a thousand years on earth, as well as they had life in their souls and immortality from Christ, when their souls departed from their bodies, and went to Christ to be prepared for the Bride’s dressing, Rev. 19:7, and making herself ready against this time. 2. The thirsting for this pure river of the water of life, is in a day when there shall be no more curse, 22:3. {“And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.” Zech. 14:11.} The Spirit and the bride then will say, Come, &c. 3. This time is when risen saints in their bodies shall behold his face, I Jn. 3:2, and his name is written in their foreheads, 22:4; then these saints shall make the invitation to the eminent thirsters for Christ, for these gracious thirsters are the children of the glorious church in the Land of Promise, over whom she shall then have power to make them princes in all the earth. {“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” Rev. 21:6.} 4. It is when there shall be no night in this land of promise, where the Jews dwelt once at night, Isa. 26:9, and their souls had desired him in the night. {“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.” Isa. 60:1.} And when there shall be no candle, no light of the sun, but the Lamb shall be the light thereof. Rev. 21:23. 5. It is at a time when the Lord God of the holy prophets sends his messengers to show unto his servants the things, which, under their ministry in gathering the elect “from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven,” Mk. 13:27, must shortly be accomplished, 22:6, so that it is when he cometh in the clouds, and every eye shall see him. {“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” Rev. 1:7.} 6. It is at a time when the Lord comes with this clear water, and the fruits of the Tree of Life together, as the rewards of the risen saints, Zech. 14:5, which he brings with him for his Kingdom. The thirst and invitation to the waters is plainly spoken of to be in the same glorious day, when the contexture of the chapter is made good; for then it is they do gloriously, upon the gathering of them by the angels, even more abundantly, through the gates into this city. {“For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” II Pet. 1:11.} 7. It’s at a time too when all the wicked that rise to everlasting shame and contempt, Dan. 12:2, are without this glorious palace, where the carcases of the men shall be looked upon that have sinned against God, and made the monumental spectacles of Justice, in their appearance in “dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” 22:15. {“And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.” Isa. 66:24.} 8. Lastly, it is only after men have had a greater discovery of the Person and Kingdom of Jesus Christ in the ministry of the Word, than what is now received in the churches; for Christ hath many things to say to the churches, but the churches under the present measure of the Spirit cannot yet bear them; yet some churches now to their everlasting honour can bear a great deal more than others. However, a great deal of light which shall be received about the Kingdom of Christ will be first relinquished and neglected, as it hath been with other truths, and lo, then he appears the second time without sin unto Salvation. {“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Heb. 9:28.} And then comes the invitation when the church is completely made the bride, and fitted to join with the Holy Spirit, and to say, “come.” But is the church got to this glorious pitch and height yet? Is the New Jerusalem come down from Heaven? For as Revelation Chapter 21 describes her state and structure, {her bridal state and her triumphant state,} so likewise, Revelation Chapter 22 sets forth her entertainment and joyfulness in Christ.

Do men indeed pretend to justify their offers from the word of the Spirit; then hear what He says in the same chapter, “he that is unjust, let him be unjust still. He that is filthy, let him be filthy still.” If these Scriptures are taken in the gross literal sense, they contradict one another. Neither offers nor invitations can be justified from the one, any more than an encouragement to sin can be inferred from the other. Do ministers indeed now tell sinners from Matthew 11:28, that they must come to Christ weary and heavy laden, believe that the church will be thus in her old clothes, with dust and worldly business, and bear burdens upon her wedding day? No, no, Jesus Christ’s bride when she says, come, will not be up to the ears in muck, nor cumbered, as she is now, with much serving. Lk. 10:40. For burdens, toil, trade, worldly business, and such as produces the weariness spoken of in Matt. 11:28, that where she is most spiritual makes her even weary of the toil, will all be ended, {which is part of Adam’s curse,} and shall be no more, when her Lord is come to take her home into this matrimonial joy and marriage glory of his Kingdom! It is plain then to me, that this verse, Rev. 22:17, is no more a proof of the offers of Grace to sinners, as men now make use of it, as Genesis 1:1 is a proof that any of us in the ministry have been brought up at the feet of Gamaliel. Acts 22:3.

Some henchmen run to a second text, “ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price,” Isa. 55:1, to justify their offers and proposals of Grace to sinners. But the answer is plain. On the contrary, for it appears by plain interpretation, Acts 28:23, that the text falls under two branches of matter, according to the distinct time and way of revealing a Divine Message. A prophecy, and so it concerned Isaiah’s time, and is lodged as a prophecy upon record, throughout the remainder of the Old Testament Dispensation, till Christ came. An accomplishment of the prophecy, or waiting upon Gospel ordinances, by Christ’s coming into the Ministry of the Gospel in Person, and his continuing to be with Gospel Ministers by the Holy Ghost, to the end of the world. Matt. 28:20. Now in the accomplishment, three things more are to be considered, which take in the whole meaning of the text; all which are evidently against their exposition who labour to carry the place to justify offers and proposals. For I look upon this to be a text that fully disproves them. The first is a proclamation, “ho! every one that thirsteth,” the second is invitation, “Come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat, yea, come buy wine and milk without money, and without price.” The third thing is, ministration of the commodities, I Pet. 4:10-11, called selling them to the heavenly merchant-men without money and without price. Now there is not one of these things can justify an offer of Grace; for, the proclamation of Grace can be no offer, because that is only a voice crying and declaring the will of the Superior, Isa.40:3, by a person in authority under him. So John the Baptist cried or proclaimed the Ministry of Christ, Lk. 3:4, by giving notice that he was to come after him into the wilderness. The invitation can be no offer, for an invitation is of persons, that are absent from the entertainment, and spoken to in order to a future treating them with provisions made ready in another place; yea provisions killed and prepared to entertain them; for it not only says, come to the waters, but come and eat. {“Tell them which are bidden, behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready; come unto the marriage.” Matt. 22:4.} The invitation of them to the Gospel treat is not to entertain them on the spot where invited, but elsewhere. {“And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, come; for all things are now ready.” Lk. 14:17.} Of this nature is that common invitation to hear the preaching of the Gospel, when notice is given that the Gospel will be preached at such a time, and in such a place, to which any that are desirous, may repair and find the means freely. The invitation is to them that are scattered about in places, either where Jesus Christ never met with their souls, or that desire still to meet with fresh entertainment of his love, I Pet. 2:3-4, would come locally to the place where Christ is to be found occasionally, and come often, to the place where he dwells constantly, after present refreshment in the means and ordinances of the Lord’s own appointment. These means and ordinances and Gospel doctrines, through which are communications of spiritual life, set forth by waters, wine, milk, &c. Men comply then with the Invitation, and are come to the waters, when of absent from the means they are come unto the means. {Invitation supposes a local distance of guests. Men present cannot be called to come, though they may be called to buy.} Whereas, an offer can be no Invitation. An offer {where offers take place} is where the person is come, and spoken with upon the spot, but an invitation is by a message sent forth, where Christ in the Gospel is absent, or a call to go where he is not yet present. There is a ministration which must be understood to be in this text which is beyond the invitation. For when sinners are come to the waters, and are present at them as the conduits of God’s Grace in Christ, are they still to be invited or to be entertained? Our work therefore, when men are come together now, is to open the Mysteries of Salvation, and set that these living waters abroach. Proclamation and Invitation now have found out the thirsty, and the thirsty are come, what do you now for that time? Do you minister the provisions Jesus Christ has prepared, the fatted calf and the paschal lamb; or do you stand inviting yet? O foolish generation! O foolish people and unwise! Deut. 32:6. {“The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” Lk. 16:8.} For when men are thirsty and ready to perish for drink, and they are invited where it is, and stand round the vessel, doth the drawer instead of broaching the vessel and giving to every one drink, stand impertinently and invite them to this vessel of liqueur to which they are come already? No; he that ministers draws it out, he gives it round to the company. So should we when we preach the Gospel, in such case, minister it, not offer it; for the ministration can be no offer. Because a ministration is the Lord’s communication of the benefit by his servant, his conveyance of the Grace by the minister he employs and blesses. For the ordinances of Christ are as vessels of water, so Scriptures are vessels of this water; promises are vessels of water, wine, and milk; so are experiences of God’s ministers themselves who have believed, and they should tell their experiences in the pulpit, because they have believed, that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth may speak, Matt. 12:34, and out of their belly may flow rivers of living water. Jn. 7:38. {“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” I Jn. 1:3.} All these should be broached that souls who are come to drink may be refreshed with the waters, the wine and milk of the Gospel. Milk is drawn out of the breasts; the mother feels it before she parts with it to the infant; so the church of Christ that gives her breasts to poor sinners, I Pet. 2:2, and to young converts by the ministers of Christ, must have ministers that can speak from experience, Rom. 1:11; and these ministers of Christ in the churches must impart their experiences, by setting inward truths abroach, that poor sinners may see how God’s Word and his work meets. {“That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.” Isa. 66:11.}

Our ministration must lie in opening Scriptures, pouring forth the liqueur of life from them, and preaching the Grace of God so freely, that we should give the cup of Salvation into every thirsty man’s hand. For the hand and the thirst do radically go together. {“They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.” Psal. 36:8.} For the hand that I am speaking of is the new creature’s faith formed by the Holy Ghost. We should not offer Christ, thinking under the offer he will work Grace; but we should minister Christ, knowing by what we have experienced in our ministry upon our own souls, that the hand is formed and prepared of the Holy Ghost, and that he doth work Grace. Therefore, let us put the cup, the water, the wine, and milk, into the hand of faith created, and tell the elect roundly, it’s for thee, for thee, and thee! For the thirsty groan and complain; you hear their cries and their calls, and may know their election of God by their spiritual appetites. {“Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.” I Thes. 1:4-5.} I shall only further note, that this text, Isa. 55:1, is a restrained and restricted invitation of the grace of God to the whosoever that thirst by Grace, for Grace. But offers are made to men, whether they thirst, or thirst not. Otherwise, what means the indiscrimination of them to all within the sound? Now if souls do thirst, give them drink, do not offer them drink that you cannot give; and if they do not thirst, why do you offer them the waters? {“It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.” Matt. 15:26.} What though good, great and learned Mr. Obadiah Sedgwick upon this text may speak so much in the language of offers; he hath not attempted to give one word of proof for offers in all his treatise of the Fountain Opened upon this text, and plainly it makes nothing for them. How then can men confound the offer with this invitation! Because their silver is become dross, and their wine is mixed with water. Isa. 1:22.

The third text is II Cor. 5:20, “now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” It is plain, by the first verse of the next chapter, how we are to understand this, and by this text how we must understand the same, II Cor. 6:1, “we then, as workers together with him, {not workers together with Him, as is corruptly added to the original, but workers together, i.e., Paul with Timothy, and Timothy with Paul, &c.,} beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.” It is plainly meant, that you honour not Christ’s blood, if you despise his governmental sceptre. {“The government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. 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. 9:6-7.} We expose the Gospel to grievous reproaches, making many question whether we have the truth of faith, if we are not reconciled to God’s in the points of Church Government. The text, II Cor. 5:20, speaks evidently of the new creature’s act, in reference to Christ as King in his own throne at Zion, and to be the absolute Master of Church Government and Gospel Holiness, requiring good order in his house, which {is plainly known} these Corinthians, when Paul wrote to them, needed enough. {“For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.” Isa. 33:22.} To be reconciled to God in this matter of Christ’s Government, is effected by God’s Grace through Christ’s blood, as he is the High Priest forever, Psal. 110:4, who hath once made atonement by it, and always pleads the virtue of it. And as this can never be disproved, so nothing else that is substantial can be proved out of these texts. There is a great deal of Christ suited to believers as Christ is King, upon the Foundation of his being Priest in Zion; and this is the true order of the Gospel, which many believers may not be reconciled to presently, who yet at bottom may have a true work of Grace. Now Faith and Order must not be parted; and if souls are under the blood of Christ, and yet do not honour the sceptre, we must speak to these as new-born babes, after another manner than we must speak to such sinners as are not begotten by his blood, and with the Apostle must say to saints, be you reconciled to Christ. But how to Christ? To Christ as Lord, Psal. 45:11, as well as reconciled to Christ as Priest. Hence the ministers, Paul and Timothy, are not here considered as dealing in the message of the blood to sinners who were not at all converted; for that had been already effected, and the end answered, as they were saints in Corinth, I Cor. 1:2, under the sprinklings of that blood by Jehovah the Spirit. But those ministers are considered as dealing in the message of the sceptre, and so are pleading for church-order among the saints, which they were not so reconciled in to God from their hearts, by embracing it, as they were reconciled to God in Gospel-faith and Gospel-gifts; whence they {Paul and Timothy} are called ambassadors, as coming from Christ their King with his positive orders, how he would have things through the external parts of profession, worship, and ordinances among the saints, better managed in his Kingdom. But what has any of this to do with offers of Grace to sinners? The words of the Apostle are spoken as a part of the Epistle, and that under the same style as it was in the salutation directed; but the style of salutation was not unto sinners; it was unto the church of God at Corinth, with all the saints in all Achaia. II Cor.1:1. Now he continues to speak of these saints, and of these church- members, still as a new creation, II Cor. 5:17, so putting in himself and Timothy, and these saints, and lays all together in an “us.” All things are of God, I Cor. 8:6, who hath reconciled “us” to himself by Jesus Christ, II Cor. 5:18; whereas, if this had been an offer of Grace to sinners, and had meant their first coming to Christ, it had been utterly beside the apostle’s contexture, to run it all along thus without any difference in the style, as to say “us,” and yet not mean it of the Church of God. He hath reconciled us, and, he hath made Christ to be sin for us, vs.21; for he doth not say, “you sinners, here I offer you Christ, come to Christ, lay hold of him, that so what God hath made Christ, it may be for you.” The Apostle doth not argue thus, as some Nonconformists do to sinners. But positively God hath made Christ to be sin for us and hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, Isa. 53:10, and shall we not then, as the saints of God, be reconciled to God in his government also by Jesus Christ? Here is the plain force of the argument.

The fourth text of Scripture is Isaiah 27:5, “or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” This also has been brought to uphold offers of Grace, but there is no hold in it, for any such purpose, as a proffer of grace to a sinner to accept of Christ, and be justified. The truth of this text will appear by seeing more into the foundation of all peace with God, and of that peace brought in to the soul in the strength of God. {“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Isa. 53:5.} The words inserted in another character, and put into the translation of the Original have but as a superfluous amplification, interrupted the text, and troubled it. For as “or” may be changed into “oh” so “that” and “and” have nothing to do in the verse, nor ought to have any place in the verse; it being spoken divisively and separately of two persons, not of one alone. It’s spoken of a sinner who wants peace, and the rest is spoken of Christ the strength of God who makes his peace. {“Therefore being justified, by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Rom. 5:1-2.} And so the words ought to be read thus, “Oh, let him take hold of my strength; he may make peace with me, he shall make peace with me.” And this reading which makes the former part of the verse is an Instruction to the sinner, {by the effectual ministry of the Gospel, not an offer of Grace,} as likewise the latter part of the verse is a Covenant Declaration of the undertaking of Christ, the Days-Man and the Surety-Man, who in God makes up the controversy between God and the sinner, and is exactly according to the contexture of the place, agreeable to what goes before and what follows after. The sense must be carried thus, of advice to the sinner, in the former part of the verse, because it’s according to the scope of verse the 4th, “fury is not in me; who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. Oh, let him take hold of my strength, &c.,” and so the sense runs thus. Let him {the sinner} says the Lord, who would set the thorns against me in battle, consider again, as a reasonable man, that I am far above his match, and that he will find it ruinous to pitch upon a resolution of siding with his briars against me, his Maker. For says God, “I am a consuming fire,” Heb. 12:29; I shall go through the opposition, and shall burn up all his thorns. Does he think that the bands of the wicked set against me will save him? What’s all the strength he can trust to, if he takes it up of the world’s side against me, and the interest of my right hand? I shall be too hard for it all. {“He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.” I Sam. 2:9.} Thus the sense is plain, as I have rendered it with the contexture of the verse preceding. “Who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. Oh, let him take hold of my strength,” &c., or rather, let that sinner be wiser, and take hold of Christ who is my strength, and in that Salvation is revealed to be the strength of God. Let him take hold of God in Christ who speaketh in Righteousness through all his pleas for sinners, and is mighty to save. {“Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” Isa. 63:1.} Then it follows without a that, which entangles and corrupts the sense, he may make peace, {he, my strength, may make peace,} with me. It is not an attribute of strength in God spoken of, but a Person of Strength in God, a personal strength. {“O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” Psal. 19:14.} Even he who is my Christ, says the Father, on whom I have laid help. Psal. 89:19. This strength of mine, says he, in the very battle when I am fighting against sin by my Wrath and Justice in the conscience of a sinner, is what I look at. This engagement of my Son, who is my strength in Christ, and that even as he lay under the legal imputation of sin unto him, Isa. 53:6, is something indeed, that shall stop the outgoings of my wrath in the sinner’s conscience; for upon the account of this atonement made, “fury is not in me.” Isa. 27:4. He shall make peace by the efficacy of his blood, because, by covenant from everlasting he is my strength. “He, {says the Father,} my Christ, the strength of God, engaged his heart, as God-Man to approach unto me, and so he shall make peace.” Jer. 30:21. Accordingly, he ever lives, being God’s strength, to make intercession to the uttermost for all that come unto God by Him. {“This man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Heb. 7:24-25.} The Old Testament language was thus, he may make peace, he shall make peace. For having received a special commandment of the Father to go and lay down his life, Jn. 10:18, he stands engaged, says God, as Surety of the better covenant in my strength, Heb. 7:22, that cannot lie, Tit. 1:2, to do so, and confirm the Everlasting Compact; and it shall become unto all intents and purposes, through the laying down of this life in the greatness of my strength, Isa. 63:1, a full, a clear, and a most Effectual ransom in the very face of times. {“Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, deliver him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom.” Job 33:24.} He shall make peace. Oh, precious language to stay the heart of a mad and desperate sinner, whom, nevertheless, still in God’s eye as his own, being among the election of his Grace, while he is thinking, poor creature, to come off in sin, by having a thorny world and the briars of the earth, of his side against God. No, thorns and briars of our side will not do; for neither the world nor sin shall hold God’s chosen; they going from faith to faith, Rom. 1:17, from the faith of reason to the faith of gracious evidence, now at last by a supernatural power, the sinner having had a sight of armed justice in his conscience, and next, on a view of Christ, engaging that justice for the sinner, till the sinner feels an Effectual Grace that engages and turns his heart in upon this strength, Jer. 30:21, and so he is sweetly brought by an act of Omnipotent Grace to an act of holy believing, in taking hold of this Divine Strength in the Person of a Crucified Jesus, I Cor. 1:23, and he finds the promise of his peace sure, that this strength hath made his peace with God in a way of sprinkling his conscience sensibly, I Pet. 1:2, even as Christ hath made his peace, Heb. 12:24, and an atonement with God in a way of Justice federally. {“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.” Eph. 1:13.}

Hence it is the poor soul now can sing, “my mouth shall show forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof. I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only,” Psal. 71:15-16, “not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.” Psal. 115:1. Now this interpretation of Isa. 27:5, is the clear Gospel, free of the Arminian muddying, and agrees with the whole scope and analogy of the Faith, as well as with the coherence of the place; but the translation by a “that” an “and” hath so muddied the stream, and preachers still going over it one after another in the Arminian footsteps, to uphold offers of Grace from it, have kept it muddy, that a man could not see the Gospel therein, till he went up higher in the stream nearer the Hebrew fountain; yea, the Gospel fountain in conjunction, without which by the Spirit of the Lord, the Hebrew would not do it, as is evident by the error of the Hebrician Translator and Supervisors. From hence it hath come to pass, that instead of the true Gospel in the text, many a poor sinner has thought, under some natural convictions, to clap in themselves believing and repenting, as their own mediators between God and them, so to make peace. {“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” I Tim. 2:5.} From hence, likewise, hath sprung that ignorant and common question out of the natural Popery and Arminianism of men’s hearts amongst us, “have you made your peace with God?” By which the Mediator is thrown out and made to stand for a mere cypher. And no wonder the people throw him out of their thoughts, when the preacher so often throws Christ out of the text.

The sense must be carried thus, of a Covenant declaration of the undertakings of Christ in the latter part of the verse, as I have also opened; because it’s according to the scope of what follows in verse six, “he shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root.” A glorious promise! Now what connects this, except the foregoing “he” that may and shall make peace. And where shall this promise have its yea and amen? Shall it be in the creature or in Jesus Christ? {“For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” II Cor. 1:20.} Who shall cause of them that come of Jacob to take root? Is it he that believes, or he that is believed upon? Is it he who is directed in Effectual Grace to take hold of God’s strength? Or is it not rather this Strength himself, who may, who shall, God says, make the peace? {“Trust ye in the LORD for ever; for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.” Isa. 26:4.} Thus we see how wrongfully our Lord Christ hath been thrown out of this text, and surely it’s a just interpretation of a text which restores Jesus Christ to his own, though perhaps some will not be aware of their idle words, Matt. 12:36, but say it is new and extravagant; as they have unjustly done upon the other Scriptures in my former book, not proving their assertion.

The fifth text of Scripture they may be beaten out of is, what they pretend can warrant them to think, that if men have not Grace offered them, they cannot be justly condemned for unbelief. The text is II Thes. 2:10, “and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” Upon this matter some adventure to go without any distinction so far as to say, here you see there are some that perish who might have been saved if they had had a love to the truth. And this they look upon to the unanswerable and direct meaning of the text. Others will make this to comport with it, that if an offer of Grace be not made to a sinner, that sinner cannot be guilty of, nor condemned for unbelief; as if Grace could be no otherwise affronted, opposed and abused, but where it was rejected under the offer, a notion that has been confuted enough in this treatise already. I shall only take notice further upon this erroneous and unhappy notion of theirs, that it is founded in Arminianism Calvinistically dressed up, but not in the Holy Scriptures. I will make good my assertion by this proof out of the Arminians who use the like plea. Say they, “where no Grace is, there no contempt of Grace can follow.” The Arminians mean, where no Grace is given, where no Grace is offered, {for they all along in that book erroneously make a gift of Grace and an offer of Grace both one,} there men can’t be guilty of rejecting it. So that when the offer-men say that a sinner that hath not Grace offered him cannot be condemned for unbelief, amounts to what the Arminians say, “he that hath no Grace can contemn none,” for be sure that unbelief is a contempt of Grace, Psal. 106:24, and the contempt of Grace lies in an unbelief thereof. Then unbelief is condemned because it’s a sinning against the evidences of what is taught about Christ. But to open this text in the Thessalonians, “because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” Here was a possibility, {say they,} of the Salvation of these sinners that perished, if they had accepted the offer of Grace, and had not refused the tender of Salvation. For Salvation at the 10th verse is set in opposition to damnation at the 12th verse, they tell you. God never intended to bestow eternal Salvation on them; for, if he had, he would have revealed to them that Salvation through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth, as he did to those in the 10th verse.

But the answer is plain, for it is evident that the saving there spoken of is a temporal Salvation, Acts 2:40, it is to be freed from the particular plague or judgment, Isa. 1:19, which the Apostle there specifies. And what that was he tells you; the mystery of iniquity coming after the working of Satan, with all power and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. II Thes. 2:8-10. These were to be the agents and factors of that wicked one to be revealed, as a punishment of the Roman Empire, after Constantine’s time, for men not receiving the love of the truth, or the true Glory and Mystery of the Object of Faith, but loving a lie rather. For as to subjective love in the faculty it’s not received from without, as the love of God is, but is wrought within and begins there. The love of the truth they received not, was the doctrine of God’s everlasting love, Jer. 31:3; which is the top and quintessence of the truth of Christ. The love of that truth {in which Christ in the whole revelation of the Gospel is manifested, is love itself, and the image of the invisible God, Col. 1:15,} thus they throw off, and would not hear, the doctrine of Election and Everlasting Settlements. For as Election is the great article of God’s love, Mal. 1:2, and to receive Election is to receive the love of the truth. And this very point steadfastly believed amongst them, would have been a security of their other principles from the common inundation of Popery, which strikes at Election, or the love of the truth objectively, in all deceivableness of unrighteousness. A doctrinal principling them in the truth of God’s Absolute Sovereignty in Electing Grace would have protected them from Popery, and have given them an insight into the cheats which occurred to propagate and establish the doctrine of this mystery of iniquity in the world. {“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Rev. 13:8.}

Now to be outwardly and temporally saved from this deceivableness of unrighteousness, &c., which was to run along in the stream of Popery, was a great saving, though not that great Salvation, as mentioned in Hebrews 2:3. And that it’s plainly meant thus, appears further, because the damnation spoken of, verse 12, is not set in opposition to the saving at verse 10, but only in distinction from it. Ii is not a contrary salvation to it, but a diverse salvation from it. Because the executing of the Decree of Damnation comes in upon another score than a mere not receiving the love of the truth, that they might be saved from this same all-deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perished, viz., as the instruments of that wicked one to be revealed, 2:8, in their bringing in Popery into the world. And this other score or reason rendered, upon which their damnation is executed, 2:12, is their believing a lie, and having pleasure in the unrighteousness that promoted it. Now this is quite another thing than their not receiving the love of the truth, in the doctrine of God’s special favour towards his own chosen in Christ. Nevertheless, their not receiving the love of the truth, in the orthodoxy and sweetness of that doctrine of the love of God, is the cause and reason of God’s sending them strong delusions to believe this lie of Popery, which plague and judgment of Popery {from which the elect are saved from} God was righteously provoked to send, as a punishment for their entertaining the truth by halves; the truth in some superficial branches, yet apostatizing from the truth in the fundamental doctrines thereof; so that the only things to be gathered out of the 10th verse set in the face of the light, are: 1. That the Love of the Truth distinct from the notion of the love, is God’s Everlasting Love to the persons of his elect chosen in Christ Jesus; and that God’s own elect shall never come short of this love of the truth experimentally made known in the unction of the Holy Ghost. 2. That many men professing the out-parts of truth, and receiving the notion of some parts of it, have never yet received the love of it, which is the foundation of all; which is evident by their still shutting out the love of the Father, towards the elect in Christ Jesus. 3. That a sound orthodox notion of the love of the truth is God’s appointed fence against error and deceit; and particularly against Popish or Arminian cheats, though they come to us with signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, by the bringing of it in, to eclipse, and then in the dark to alter, corrupt and destroy the glorious Gospel, founded in Christ who is the Truth, as Christ the Truth is founded in the Love of God. 4. That the believing of a lie and the having pleasure in unrighteousness is a farther sinning into other kinds of unrighteousness, than a not receiving the love of the truth which made way for it. 5. That the supreme cause of men’s further sinning in their believing of a lie, and having pleasure in unrighteousness, than they had first sinned in their not receiving the truth of the Gospel in the love of it, is God’s sending strong delusions towards this latter sin, as a just judgment to punish, the commission of their former sin. “Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish.” Jer. 6:21. 6. That the decree of damnation is not executed till sin be finished which bringeth forth death, Gen. 15:16, Rom. 1:28, as we of the Supra-lapsarian side {for absolute Election and Non-Election of persons in fixing the Decree, as to Love and Hatred of the persons; and yet too of the Sub-Lapsarian side for Absolute ways and means of executing the Decree, as to Salvation and Punishments} do hold; though we are slanderously reported, Rom. 3:8, by one of the Sub-Lapsarian way, as if the Supra-lapsarian theology {in Gomarus, Voet, Piscator, Perkins, Twisse, &c.,} held, that God from Eternity sentenced the greatest part of mankind to Eternal Flames not for any prescience of their future ill behaviour, but because he would have it so, and to show forth his Absolute Dominion over his creatures, and to manifest his Unlimited Power. Wherein now doth this text appear to propose the notion concerning offers of Grace?

The last text I shall mention as an objection against what I have written, and as brought in defence of offers, is that noted place, Rom. 3:25, “whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood.” If upon this text I have at any time used the word proposed, it is because my thoughts were not directed to consult the Original; for we are prone to bring in abundance of errors into our work through laziness, in not carefully consulting the Scriptures in their Originals. There the word is fore-ordained or fore-appointed, and not proposed. Indeed, the original word which is proetheto in that text, as much as to say fore-appointed, is not to be read “set forth.” Much less is it setting forth in the nature of an offer or a proposal. Besides, supposing it was the sense of the original, yet setting forth here could even then be nothing else but God’s Demonstration of Christ to the soul. What has this to do with the common way of these offers; after this unwarranted form, “come, poor sinner, I have been setting forth Christ; come and take Him, &c.,” whereas, suppose the form of translation was right in the text, it should have run after this manner, “well, poor sinner, how hath God been setting forth Christ in the eye of thy soul? How has God struck in and quickened, encouraged, raised thy poor soul by his own arm, the Holy Spirit of the Lord.” Nevertheless, as the original word signifies fore-appointed, we are not to alter the efficacy of the word, since the Holy Ghost’s own work upon the soul absolutely depends upon what is signified thereby unto us, sanctification of the Spirit unto belief of the truth, II Thes. 2:13, being wholly built upon the fore- appointments of the Father. Note, that all other texts, which are by men brought to uphold Grace-offers, are misunderstood, when they are not opened in the same Gospel-way with the texts in this chapter.



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