To the Godly in Christ Jesus. Respecting Mr. Hussey’s treatise on God’s Operations of Grace, permit me to say, that in every age Satan has had his engines planted against mount Zion “the church of the living God, the beloved city,” either to distress or to destroy her. Among others, false apostles, false ministers, false doctrines, were none of the least, in order to pervert the right ways of the Lord, and to turn aside the simple from the paths of understanding.
In the days of Mr. Hussey, the author of this precious and experimental treatise, they abounded. Ministers of Satan transformed into angels of light, appear to him more detestable and more dangerous to the church and fold of Christ, than open opposers of the truth as it is in Jesus. Such wolves in sheep’s clothing had crept in unawares, not merely to spy out, but, if possible, to root out the liberties and privileges of the children of God.
These base ends they endeavoured to accomplish, not by fair, open, avowed opposition to the truth, but by holding it in unrighteousness; walking in craftiness, and half-heartedness, and hypocrisy; by feigned words, making merchandise of the simple and their experiences, holding the letter of the word, but denying the spirit thereof; holding the form, but denying the power, from such he turned away.
Their business was to aim oblique strokes at Christian experience and confound the marks of sound Conversion; so that the hope of the righteous is removed. These base ends were to be accomplished, by calling an assurance of faith, vain presumption – a good hope, a false notion – communication with Father and Son through the Spirit, forged imagination – repentance unto life, a thing uncertain – an application of the word of life and promise to the soul, fanaticism and delusion; in short, that a life of faith in the Lamb of God, was not so much to be depended on as a life of doubting; that the love of God shed abroad in the heart, was not sufficient to produce good works, unless slavish fear was mixed therewith.
Thus, these arch heralds of Satan attempted to destroy the believer standing on the Rock of Ages, to tear from his bosom every ground of comfort, and to pluck him from the strongholds, by first obliterating the marks of his regeneration, sonship, and interest in Christ; and then, if possible, debase him to the level of their own uncertainties.
Yet, to give a finishing stroke to the whole, brand him with the odious name of Antinomian, while themselves, as enemies to the power of godliness, were the only characters in the world that deserved it.
In opposition to such, and in order to stop the mouths of such betrayers of the flock of Christ, the Lord raised up our author, and caused him to send forth this treatise, on God’s Operations of Grace; who, well aware of the craft of his adversaries, was, in the strength of the Lord, enabled to hold forth and defend those truths that his enemies had endeavoured to obscure; describing, the marks, evidences, privileges, difficulties, and temptations of the children of God. Likewise, the Glory of Christ, and his Kingdom, Offices, Characters and Covenant Engagements, &c., the abiding influence and sufficiency of the Holy Ghost to teach his people, and to guide them into all truth; the privileges of saints, and the portion of hypocrites; the work of Christ’s ministers, and the devices of Satan’s messengers; the sufficiency of Christ, and the insignificancy of everything short of him.
Now reader, for your sake as well as my own, I have republished this; if you know your interest in these things, happy are you. If you do not, be advised to rely on no man’s bare word; hear for yourself, read for yourself, pray for yourself, and get a knowledge of your interest in Christ for yourself; such a thing is to be had, and without it religion is vain. Therefore, prove all things, hold fast that which is good, be not deceived, God is not mocked, whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap, for he that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. That the latter may be your portion, is the wish of yours, &c.
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).