The Sovereign love of God the Father, the free gift of his Son Jesus Christ, the saving, irresistible and abiding operations of the Holy Ghost, together with the revelation and application of them to the mind, and consciences of his own elect, and none other, irrespective of any worth, worthiness, state, or condition whatever, are the truths testified and maintained in this work, in opposition to pretended Calvinistic preachers of the Gospel; who in his, as well as our days, are the greatest opposers of the cross of Christ, for instead of being content to stand in the counsel of God, and point sinners to Christ; as John did, with “behold the Lamb of God,” or, as the Apostles did, showing the way of Salvation; or as the Spouse did, describing Christ’s beauty, till someone falls in love with him, leaving our Lord to make his own choice.
They, under pretense of extra-liberality, go a step, one awful step further, than the Counsel of God, by offering Christ to all their hearers; and very often, that none may mistake their presumptuous generosity, will then intently urge upon their hearers, one in all, to accept, and not to miss, but at that very moment to accept their offer of Christ.
How men came by such authority I know not, and how the transfer can be made without the Holy Ghost, who is generally left out of the question on such occasions, would be as difficult for me to explain, as for them to perform. If this is not spiritual wickedness in high places, and Popery in the abstract, I know not what is!
Such conduct, such offers, such proffers, may very well agree with the traders of Rome, who have Christs in wood and in stone, hanging at the girdle of every popish priest. Such Christs as these, such preachers may offer and proffer to all men; such men may and can accept such Christs, and may as easily part from them again, when they have got them.
A popish Christ is a Christ of wood, a false preacher’s Christ is a Christ of words; but Christ Jesus, our Lord, whom Paul preached, and Mr. Hussey holds forth in this book, is the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace; who fills Heaven and Earth, by whom all things exist and consist, by whom these very beings are held in being, that vainly and presumptuously pretend to offer and proffer him one to another.
The Christ of God, who is equal with the Father, seated on the throne of his Glory, holding all power, dominion, and might; made higher than the heavens, to whom all principalities and powers are subject; and at whose presence both the earth and the heavens shall flee away, is neither to be offered, proffered, lent, borrowed, bought, sold or given of men. He is the gift of the Father, to as many as the Father has ordained to eternal life, and none other. This Christ, this gift of the Father, is revealed and applied to the heirs of Salvation by the Holy Ghost, when, where, and how he pleases; not when, where, and how men please. And the man that attempts to supersede such plan of operations in any respect sets himself against the Counsel of God, the Covenant of God, the Work of God; and, as far as he goes, sins against the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God.
It is not to whom men will offer Christ; but to whom the Father will give him, even to such as he hath ordained to eternal life; to such, and such only he gives power to believe on him, to receive him, and become the sons of God, even to as many as believe on his name.
These gifts and callings of God, the Holy Ghost reveals, while Christ is preached, or pointed to; not while he is offered, from one sinner to another. The Holy Ghost countenances no such conduct. When he, the Spirit of truth, shall come, he shall guide, not offer, you into all truth, for he shall take of the things that are Christ’s, and show them unto you.
The Holy Spirit does not teach men to offer, but to preach, or expound Christ; it is wickedness in any man as a fallen finite creature, to attempt to offer Christ who is infinite in Majesty, Glory, and Holiness, indiscriminately to all men, who are by nature rebels, in chains of guilt, having no desire towards him, and seeing no beauty in him.
But it would not be wickedness to describe or preach Christ, though infinite in majesty and glory, to such rebels; neither would it be wickedness to direct enemies in chains, to petition Christ, though he be infinite in Majesty, and glorious in Holiness; because he says of such, that they shall come after me in chains, and with weeping and bitter supplications, will I lead them.
These and other glorious truths Mr. Hussey not only preached, but very ably defended; against whom? The avowed enemies of Christ? No, these were not half so dangerous in his opinion as they who pretended to hold a form of sound words, calling themselves Calvinists, when, at the same time, they privately hated the doctrines he held, and by a kind of underground way of proceeding in their matter of preaching, kept back the Sovereignty of Christ, and held him forth in a conditional way of offers and proffers; so artfully, if possible, as to overturn with one hand, what they pretended to build with the other.
The glorious truths, contended for by Mr. Hussey, having a direct tendency to discover the hypocrisy of pretended half-hearted preachers of Free and Sovereign Grace. The only way left them to escape detection, was by calling him an Antinomian, and by warning people against reading or hearing him; so, by blinding their eyes, and prejudicing their minds, till they can neither see the hypocrisy of their counsellors, nor their own souls interest in Christ, may be easily led away to the slaughter.
Now, reader, if you value your soul’s prosperity, or the favour of Christ, beware! And whenever you hear men call such doctrines Antinomianism, ask them for their experience, and you will find that they are no more than Arminians in disguise, though Calvinists by profession.
Seek a blessing of the Lord, then read it for yourself; afterwards take the book and ask their opinion; if they are not sound at heart, they must immediately, to prevent your discovering their Arminianism, call it Antinomianism. Adieu, while I remain for Christ’s sake, the truth, and your soul’s sake, yours sincerely,
Joseph Hussey (1660-1728) was a Congregational preacher. He was converted to Christ in 1686 after reading Stephen Charnock’s, “The Existence And Attributes Of God.” In 1688, he was ordained to the Gospel Ministry and was appointed the Pastor of a church in Hitchen. In 1691, he was appointed the Pastor of a church in Cambridge. In 1719, he was appointed the Pastor of a church in Petticoat Lane, London. He nurtured high views of sovereign grace, setting out a clear case against the free offer of the gospel. His teachings on this subject were published in a book called, “God’s Operations Of Grace But No Offers Of His Grace” (1707).