Joseph Hussey, God's Operations Of Grace But No Offers Of His Grace (Complete)

Chapter 4: The Third Principal Point Is To Prove That An Offer Of Grace Is No Gift Of Grace; And Then Where Is Your Offer?

How strangely do men run beyond the bounds of truth and modesty, while their zeal towards the doctrine of the offer, precipitates {or drives} them into this foolish assertion, which afterwards causes them confidently to utter among the common sort of people, namely, that a gift and an offer are both one. How is that Scripture fulfilled, “there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err.” Isa.30:28. {“Because God hath deprived her of wisdom, neither hath he imparted to her understanding.” Job 39:17.} Let these who offer God’s Grace in Christ blush! The transport of their pride does most wretchedly expose their judgment, while it causes me some doubt, whether they can fairly tell me what their Free offers even mean. Besides, it can proceed from no regular chain of thought in men to trump up this identity. It is mere confusion; for a gift and an offer are never one sort of act, nor one sort of thing acted. To make one thing identically of two, that are so different one from the other, is certainly a very inexcusable fiction of the brain.

I will begin to disprove this error from the Scriptures. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned,” I Cor. 2:14, as the Holy Ghost teaches us by the Apostle Paul. Consequently a natural man’s notion of them, will spoil a spiritual man’s apprehension of them, I Cor. 2:12, while the spiritual man forsakes the light of the Scriptures, to dress up the matter of a gift of God in his thoughts, which must be according to the assistance he receives from a natural man about it, who is both dark and blind. My meaning, to speak home to this matter is this, that he who goes by the mere help of his dictionary in this matter, will soon injure his concordance in the very doctrinal parallels of his Bible, and that in very fundamental truths too, by this promiscuous confusion of drawing forth gifts into offers. For what though the infinitive verbs, {dare, donare, proebere, &c.,} be promiscuously or as mixed together be rendered, to offer or proffer, by grammarians; yet still our holy well-ordered Bible admits of none of this blind confusion. Nay, if we consult natural men themselves in the turning of words, and do weigh some texts against it, we may find advantage sufficient on the Gospel’s side.

We are told in Latin that offero is to offer or tender, to proffer or propose, and that the phrase oblatio pecuniae signifies a tendering of money. Now let us bring this to some pecuniary instances {or money instances} in the Bible and see what will come of it. Where can we find that the Scriptures afford us evidence to conclude that an offer and a gift are both one? Is a tendering of money the gift of money? Is a tendering of any other human reward the gift of that reward too? I say a human reward, for in this I begin to fall on humanity, because it is humanity here that has corrupted divinity. And besides, in a mere offer of this instance something may be learned to carry further .

To instance in Naaman the Syrian’s offer to Elisha, who plainly, among other natural good things, which Naaman calls a blessing, II Kings 5:15, tendered him bags of money, as appears by the sequel of the matter in comparing verses 22 & 23. “Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel; now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing {an earthly blessing, some money} of thy servant.” Well, this was but a tender of money, no gift thereof, for the Prophet refused it, verse 16, “but he said, as the LORD liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused.” How then could that be given which never was received? It was offered, and that is consistent with a refusal; it was not bestowed, for that is consistent only with an acceptance. Elisha would not meddle with the money, but it was Gehazi, his covetous servant, who ran after the rich Syrian, and begged of him some of that money, which just before had been offered his master. Gehazi sued for one talent of silver, which is three hundred and seventy five pounds of our money, as Brerewood8 computes it; but Naaman urged him with a large gift of two talents, or seven hundred and fifty pounds; which was more money than the servant knew what to do with, to bestow on himself. Thus Naaman’s proffer and tendering of money to Elisha became Naaman’s gift to Elisha’s servant in procuring that servant’s acceptance of the money. This proves that a gift of money, and an offer or tendering of money, are two distinct things; although some dictionary-divines may take the liberty of confounding or mingling them as much as they please.

So the Scripture distinguishes {in humanity} the offer of a thing from the Gift thereof; as in the instance of Balak’s offer to Balaam, Num. 22:17, “for I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me.” Thus Balak proffers him an outward reward, which he also magnified into a whatsoever he would have, I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me, if he would but curse the people of God. And Balaam replies, if Balak would give me {as large as he hath offered me, and far more} even his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord. Here a large proffer was made in Balak’s words, {though not so large as in Balaam’s,} but still as to gift, which lay in the effectual performance of deeds, there was no gift of the proffer, but an absolute disgrace of Balaam, after the proffer was ineffectually made. The gift was supressed, while the offer alone was expressed. If Balak had hit on it, he should have promoted Balaam first of all, that Balaam might have been forestalled by his honour; and then if he had miscarried in his point, Balak could the more notably have degraded him afterwards. But look to Balaam, there was no such thing to be had out of an offer, no gift of honour. For when it came to the upshot, the proffer of whatsoever that covetous wretch would have had, who loved the reward of divination, II Pet. 2:15, all vanished from proffer into persecution, and from the proffer of honour into the pouring out of contempt upon Balaam, Num. 24:11, “therefore now flee thou to thy place; I thought to promote thee unto great honour; but, lo, the LORD hath kept thee back from honour.” An offer of honour here was no gift of the honour. Therefore these two are distinct even in human things. The Scripture does not confound them.

See what will be made of that instance in Acts 8:18, “and when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money.” He made an offer of it, but he could not make it a Gift. They are distinct things, and cannot be made to be the same things in these instances. Yet I observe the Greek word in the original is, he brought it near. For so the preposition in a compound is elsewhere rendered, Heb. 10:22, “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith;” so that in Simon’s act towards the apostles, there was an adduction of the money, but the word is not an oblation of the money. Oblation, or offering of money, is laying money before one as an enticement towards a bargain, although nothing of the enticement should prevail, and while it is unknown whether the money will be accepted or rejected; but adduction, or bringing money near one, as this word for Simon’s dealing in the case signifies, is such a bringing it, as wherein it is morally reckoned the money will be accepted, and as ready money is brought, in actual payment of a sum, to him whom the money concerns. Thus Simon brought it near the apostles, and immorally concluded they would take it up and grant him the thing he desired. So that the translation, he offered them money, comes not home to the elegant original, he brought money near, which the apostles entirely rejected with the severest indignation, “thy money perish with thee, &c.,” Acts 8:20, and here indeed, although it did not prevail on the apostles to become Simon’s gift, yet as an ungodly offer, it brought down an effectual curse upon Simon. By all this it discovered that gifts and offers are very distinct.

We have another instance, in money given into the hands of church officers, at a collection for the saints, or poor. This is the gift of the congregation’s money, not the offer of their money. And it is one thing to give the money in the church, and another thing for the church to propose, as II Cor. 8:4, how it shall be distributed. By the whole it appears, even in the distribution of human substance, that a gift of money is another thing than the offer of money. Gifts to the poor, Psal. 112:9, as the phrase is, Est. 9:22, are not offers to the poor. What advantage then have men for their offers from their Dictionary in the dark, when the Concordance of places in the Bible calls for exposition in the light?

Let me argue against this coincidence further in the distribution of human gifts. A gift either finds, or effectually procures acceptance, or it is no gift. Indeed, in the nature of gifts in general, there must be a mutual concurrence on both sides. A gift is effectual as far as it finds or makes acceptance; an offer is ineffectual, as it neither finds nor makes acceptance; because it ceases not to be an offer, and so falls short of a gift, specifically distinguished by the acceptance. It is not contrary to the nature of an offer, that it is tendered on one side, and yet rejected on the other. But giving and having are reciprocal, that is, where one is, there the other is too. “A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it; whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth,” Prov. 17:8, as the value is upon the score of possession, so it becomes a gift because he hath it. But offering and having are not reciprocal. “Many will intreat the favour of the prince; and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts,” Prov. 19:6, that giveth gifts, not that offereth offers. Sure then they are distinct. So Prov. 18:16, “a man’s gift maketh room for him,” he that starves not a cause in seeing it, hath counsel enough to plead for him. The reason is, his gift prevails, and is effectual on the part of the receiver, to make him a possessor, as well as effectual on the part of the giver, so as not to be alienated from his own possession any longer. Whereas a man’s offering, which, at most, is bargaining, may leave him but where he was. And be sure, if a man’s gift makes room for him, God’s gift is so effectual that it much more makes room for God in Christ, by his Spirit, to enter the heart of a sinner. So, Prov. 21:14, “a gift in secret pacifieth anger,” but an offer only defers anger, if it be hearkened to at all; and if it be not hearkened to, the proposal inflameth anger, as Prov. 6:35.

Next is the consideration of common gifts of God or Divine gifts in human things. A gift is Effectual in what kind soever it is. The wise man says, Eccl. 3:13, that eating, drinking, and enjoying the good of a man’s labour is the gift of God. It is not written, it is the offer of God, the tender of God. No, but the gift of God. Then they be not both one thing. The rich men, Lk. 21:1, did not make proposals of their bounty, but cast their gifts into the treasury; and this also was of God that opened their hearts to do what they did, who yet opened the widow’s heart more, though she threw in but two mites, because she cast in all that she had, summed up in one farthing. Mark 12:42. And here we see in God’s gift of human things, giving and having are reciprocal and mutual. “Every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that,” I Cor. 7:7, it is not offered him, so as that he might have it if he would, or he hath it not because he refuses it. But every man has it, the text says. Where one is the other is. Where the gift is, the having of the gift is too. On the other hand, having and offering are not reciprocal. Why then do we make fools of ourselves with the notion of a Grace-offer? Besides, it is said of God, in the dispensation of natural and spiritual blessings, that he giveth, whereas it would spoil the sense to say, he offereth. Therefore these twain are not the same thing.

This is proved in natural things. “He giveth to all life and breath and all things.” Acts 17:25. It is not that he offers life and breath and all things. So, I Tim. 6:17, “the living God giveth us richly all things to enjoy.” It is not that he proffers us richly, etc. Thus Job 5:10, “who giveth rain upon the earth, and sendeth waters upon the fields.” It is not, who tenders rain by causing his thick rainy clouds to hang over, or before the earth, as they say a tender of Grace is laid before a sinner; but the Holy Ghost saith, who giveth rain and sendeth it. Acts 14:17. These are operative and effectual phrases. So, Jer. 5:24, “let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season; he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.” He giveth rain, not he offereth rain. Accordingly, Psal. 147:16, “he giveth snow like wool; he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.” Now, if he offered it, as sometimes clouds in hard frosty seasons make a show of it, but do not yield it, neither does it come, so the earth cannot receive it. Also, Psal. 146:7, “he giveth food to the hungry,” with Psal. 147:9, “he giveth to the beast his food,” and Eccl. 2:26, “for God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy.” Likewise, Jer.31:35, “the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night.” Deut. 26:11. Yea, Eccl. 5:18, God giveth unto man “all the days of his life.” It is not in any of those natural things, spoken of as in an ineffectual way, as God offereth to man or beast. Not so, then giving and offering are not both one.

This is proved in spiritual things. “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” Isa. 9:6. So, I Thess.4:8, “God who hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit.” It is not, to us a Son is offered, nor that God hath offered his Holy Spirit. It is said, II Pet. 1:3,4, “according as his Divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue; whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises.” The promises are not offered, but are given us, Gal. 3:18, and Christ keeps the gift in his own hand for us, and so manages it to serve all the gracious ends of the Donor. So in Psalm 16:7, “I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel.” And, Heb. 2:13, “behold I and the children which God hath given me.” Also Job 35:10, “God my maker, who giveth songs in the night.” And, Isa. 40:29, “he giveth power to the faint.” Moreover, Psalm 84:11, “he giveth Grace and Glory;” and that is quite another thing than the offer of Grace and Glory. Also, Phil. 1:29, “for unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” So the Object of faith is given, Jn. 6:32, “Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.” And, II Thess. 2:16, “now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace.” Again, Prov. 3:34, the LORD “giveth grace unto the lowly.” And, Job 34:29, “when he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble?” He giveth quietness; not he propounds the offer of quietness. So, II Tim. 3:16, “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” The Scripture is not offered, but bestowed. Then in John 14:27, “peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” Also, Mal. 2:5, “my covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.” So, II Cor. 3:6, “the Spirit giveth life.” And, James 1:5, “if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” And lastly, I Cor. 15:57, “but thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” So that a gift is no offer.

Objection: Gifts and offers in Scripture seem to be coincident, or words that mean one and the same thing, as Psalm 72:10, “the kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.”

Answer: Gifts and offers in Scripture have been plainly distinguished; and therefore no instances can be brought down to prove a coincidence. Whatever that phrase shall offer gifts, may mean, it doth not justify the pretension, so long as offer signifies proffer, for that is the sense in which we are distinguishing it. But rather, that phrase of the Psalmist signifies the mincha among the Hebrews, or the un-bloody sacrifice, a gift and present made in the offerings of God, under the Law; as appears too by the Apostle’s use of the phrase, in his coupling it with the zebach or bloody sacrifice. For sacrifice and gift went together in the same legal worship at the altar. “For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.” Heb. 5:1. So Hebrews 8:3-4, “for every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices; wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law.” So that there too in Psalm 72:10, as there the term is used for the offering of gifts, in the same sense as gifts were offered to God at the altar; and what is this to the offer of Grace and offers of Christ to sinners for their acceptance? What cognation or kin is there between the two phrases? I see none whatsoever. Again, Heb. 9:9, in the first tabernacle “were offered both gifts and sacrifices.” And Heb. 11:4, “by faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts.” His sacrifice in the repetition of the same thing is called his gift. Every sacrifice is an offering till accepted, and then it is a gift. So that we see a gift and an offering, where they are coincident, are of kin, but in the dry offerings, and also in the Law of the zevachim, or bloody sacrifices. But yet they are not so of kin in the preaching of the Gospel to sinners, as to make a gift of the Gospel and an offer of the Gospel to be the same thing. No, it will not hold to argue that these are the same, because offering of sacrifice and gift of sacrifice are sometimes understood to be the same thing; for we have express Scripture to identify a gift and an offering to God, but none to identify a gift of Christ and an offer of Christ to be the same to a sinner. The phrase of the Psalmist evidently comports with the Juridical Institution about the offering of the minchah, {grain offering,} the dry sacrifice or gift; to which particular there are many texts in the Old Testament that speak. {“The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts; for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever; and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.” Jer. 33:11.} And upon this consideration is that phrase of sacrificing praise to God to be understood; because it holds good even under the New Testament, that praise is one of the spiritual sacrifices, {or un-bloody sacrifices, like the mincha, except as sprinkled with the blood of Christ,} which are offered up to God. For he that offereth praise glorifies God. Psa. 50:23. {“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” I Pet. 2:5.} Also, under Grace, by Christ Jesus we are to offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name, instead of offering to God the fruit of the ground, and the first-fruits of all our increase, Prov. 3:9; as those did under the Law; and then it is joined with “to do good, and to communicate, forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” Heb. 13:15-16.

But further, as to Psalm 72:10, I need only to observe, that the phrase of offering gifts is common to all sorts of things given to God in general, and therein comprehends the gifts, which even according to the Law, the kings of Sheba, or the wise men from the East, Matt. 2:1, should offer gifts to the Lord Christ, which they did of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matt. 2:11. For otherwise we have the same phrase of offering gifts applied also to the Jewish firstborn, who were given or offered to God under the Law. The place is Ezek. 20:31, which answers to this phrase of the Psalmist, “for when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day.” When ye offer your gifts, what is the meaning? Why, when you offer your first born, you do it after the manner of the idolatrous ceremonies of Molech. Their firstborn were their principal gifts, which, as they thought they offered to God. These were the first-born of man and beast. They were given to God, according to his own institution. Exod. 13:2,12. The ground of it was in remembrance that the first-born of Israel were preserved, when all Egypt were smitten in their first-born, and destroyed. {“To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn; for his mercy endureth for ever; and brought out Israel from among them; for his mercy endureth for ever.” Psal. 136:10-11.} You pollute yourselves, says God, with your idols, in that you make your sons {to which the gift of the first-born answers} to pass through the fire, Jer. 32:35, pretending to dedicate them to me according to the statutes of Molech, Amos 5:26, which I have severely forbidden. Lev. 20:1,2. That is the meaning of the place in Ezekiel. Now the kings of Sheba {or the princes, the chief ones for human wisdom, as the wise queen of Sheba who came from the South to hear the wisdom of Solomon} offered their gifts; it was a part of Christ’s reward that he should receive honorary gifts, and offerings of sustenance in his infancy. Accordingly, the wise men from the East, the princes or chiefs of all the Arabian astronomers, devoted and gave their substance to the Lord Christ, who, as God, telleth the number of the stars, and calleth them all by their names, Psal. 147:4, though as the infant Jesus, he was born king of the Jews. Matt. 2:2. Therefore it was that they gave Christ the honorary hire, as the Hebrew-root for gift in Psalm 72:10, will bear, “shall offer gifts.” It’s spoken in the same sense with the phrase, “offer an offering” unto the Lord, even in the sense of sacrificing, or offering at the altar; and Christ being an Altar too in his priestly consecration of God, whereof, or of which offerings at that altar we have a right to eat, Heb. 13:10, the gifts presented to Him, were in the offering of the wise men, and likewise in our offering of praise to God, sanctified by the altar.

Beside, the word here in Psalm 72:10 “to offer” is but a word that appertains to a person’s external act in drawing near to the object; and yet hath no inherent power to enter, where it comes nearest. It comes from a Hebrew root that signifies only to approach, or draw near, approaching, came to, or was near. The word from the same root is used about offering sacrifice of sweet odors in the original, or chaldee of Ezra 6:10, “that they may offer sacrifices of sweet savours unto the God of heaven,” offer sacrifices or mehakrebin, offering sacrifices, as we read it in the participle. So the gifts of those rich men, Luke 21:1, are called “the offerings of God.” The phrase therefore, of offering gifts, in Psalm 72:10, is not any proof that a gift of Grace in the Gospel, and an offer of Grace, are one and the same thing, as some would ignorantly pretend.

Let us come fully to the direct matters of the Gospel, and there let us see how an offer can claim equal efficacy with a Gift; and how men can prove them both one in the matter before us. Be sure, the gifts and calling of God go together, and both are without repentance. Rom. 11:29.

1. In the Gospel we have positively God’s gift of Christ, which no offer can come up to. I argue, therefore, from the efficacy of the gift against the inefficacy of the offer, to prove, they are not the same in preaching the Gospel, or as means of converting sinners. God’s unspeakable gift of Christ effectually procures acceptance, II Cor. 9:15; it’s contrary to the nature of the gift of God, that there should be no Effectual acceptance of what is given. The Son of God did receive on Him the gift of God, and was to all the full intents of God’s purposes the Mediator, the Father giving him to be Christ, or giving the Manhood of Christ unto his only begotten Son, that his Son thereby effectually became the One Mediator in the Person of Christ as God-man; and although the elect, for some time after their being and standing in the world, knew not this gift, Isa. 55:5, received not this gift themselves, yet their Head {as was most congruous and agreeable to the nature of the relation for a Head to do} first knew it, and received the gift of God in Himself for them. Hence, John 4:10, “if thou knewest the gift of God, &c.” It was an absolute gift, and had been received, though the woman of Samaria as yet received it not. Yet it had been received in the Eternal Settlement by the Son of God, who chose to become Christ the Free-gift, before any person in the world had received, or could receive the same gift. A gift always is effectual, an offer ineffectual. So, John 3:16, “God gave his only begotten Son.” God gave him into the world in the visible Human Nature from the womb of the Virgin, according to the secret settlements of Christ, where he was effectually received, first in the womb of the virgin under the overshadowing of the Power of the Highest, Lk. 1:35, and hence received by as many as received power to believe on Him. Jn. 1:12.

2. In the Gospel we have directly God’s gift of the Spirit, or the Holy Ghost, by and through Christ, which no offer of the Spirit can equal, for it is an Effectual conveyance, and so not an offer, for that is ineffectual. The gift of the Spirit’s Person, as he is the Paraclete, or, as in office called another Comforter, besides Christ, to accomplish the same ends, which is manifestly above any offer of Grace. The Spirit himself is bestowed, as the Comforter, or as a Person in office, to work and maintain his gifts and graces. Thus, Acts 2:38, “ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost,” for as one Person in office was given, which Person is Christ, as the Object of Gospel- Believing; so another Person is given as a Sealer, Eph. 1:13, after he was given as a Sanctifier, and that other Person is the Spirit or the Holy Ghost. Again, Acts 8:18, “the Holy Ghost was given,” and verse 20, he is called “the gift of God.” The gift, as to his several distributions in the Office, or the distributions of his gifts to the Church, unto some members in one kind; unto some again in another kind. Thus, Heb.2:4, the apostle speaks of these distributions, as God the Holy Spirit’s gifts according to his own will. Above all, the distribution of them is most plenteously displayed, I Corinthians chapter 12, where, verse 1, they are called spirituals, i.e., spiritual gifts, as much as to say gifts of the Spirit, or gifts that accompany the gift of his Person in the free bestowment of the Spirit on the elect of God. The same are called, verse 4, diversities of gifts, but by the same Spirit, who works them and maintains them according to the will of God; yea, they are called diversities of operations, verse 6. This plainly distinguishes gifts from offers, for Grace- offers can be no Grace Operations. Then in verses 9, 28, 30, another distributions of these gifts, as suited to the former times of working miracles, are called the gifts of healing. These could be no offers because of their efficacy and operations still. So that, let us instance how we may, in Scripture, gifts are most certainly not offers; because these gifts being spiritual, as distinguished from all the temporals of this life, of which I wrote before, they are called the “best gifts.” I Cor. 11:31.

How then will men, who make preaching of Christ and offering of Christ to be both one thing, reconcile this, that the offer and the gift of Christ are one thing too? The gift of Christ and preaching of Christ surely are distinct things. Preaching of Christ does not lie in tendering but in proclaiming the glad tidings. It lies in showing, telling, and declaring, &c., the things of the Kingdom of God. These are the proper acts of our ministry in the word and doctrine. Then preaching, and the gift of what is preached, are not the same. Therefore, if you supposed that preaching of Christ and tendering of Christ were both one, yet still gift and offer could not be one. For preaching lies in glad tidings, but the gift of what is preached, is an effectual interest in the glad tidings, and these are very distinct. Besides, gift in the things of Christ and the Gospel is never called offer, proffer, tender, as we can find in the Bible, neither in the original, nor in the translations. And it’s strange to me, if they were both one, why a gift should not be sometimes rendered an offer in the translation, or at least sometimes rectified in the margin, which we do not find. Without doubt it would have been so if preaching the Gospel, and the gift by Grace, had been the same as an offer or a proffer of the Gospel. Are these words and phrases ever used synonymously in our Bibles? How readest thou? Men have taken up an ill custom, and they seem loath the people should take notice they have been mistaken! But nevertheless the people do see it, and will see it more and more. Yea, the more men seek by such means to cover their nakedness, the more they expose it.

Gifts of the Gospel, explained as such, are in God’s word thus distinguished; gifts for, gifts to, gifts upon, and gifts into. I may pursue it according to this quadruple distinction.

1. Gifts “for;” gifts are for the elect, and are received by One chosen for them, even by their Head, before they are accepted of themselves who are the heirs. {“Then thou spakest in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people.” Psal. 89:19.} As the Holy Ghost saith, “thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive; thou hast received gifts for men.” Psal. 68:18. They are Effectual gifts, inasmuch as they are received by Another, even the Lord that hath chosen Zion, Psal. 132:13, the Lord Christ for them; or rather, according to the original, in the Man. Thou, Oh Son of God hast received gifts in the Man, in the Man Jesus, the chosen of God, Lk. 23:35, as the head of the corner, I Pet. 2:7, for every one of the members; and so in the Man for all the elect of God. Thus Christ Himself, the Man in the Son of God is a gift of God for His people to know and believe on, in the time God hath set. This truth will appear in Scripture under a double branch of donation. As to God’s gift of Christ for, so Rom. 8:32, “he that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,” i.e., gave Him for us all. This act of God, in giving Christ to the cross for us was Effectual in him that was so given; for he was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Phil. 2:8. Here a gift is distinguished from an offer, and cannot be the same.

As to Christ’s gift of Himself, for, in point of saving benefit, as the preposition signifies. This also was an Effectual Act. {“Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” Gal. 1:4.} Christ gave Himself for our sins. He gave Himself, being above the power of them, to bear away the heavy burden, I Pet. 2:24, as a porter bears away a load, as the word sebalam, Isa. 53:4, signifies. {“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.”} That is, gave himself to come under the imputation of them. Here was not an offer of Grace, but rather an Operation of Grace. So Gal. 2:20, the Son of God “loved me, and gave himself for me,” says Paul. He gave himself for me to be above the reach and power of my own sins in particular.

And withal, Eph. 5:25, Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it, even for the church, to sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water, Heb. 10:22, {or with the abundant gift of the Holy Ghost,} by the word, verse 26. Likewise, Tit. 2:14, “who gave Himself for us,” to wit, for this end, “that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works,” and Jn. 10:11, “the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep;” for this end, that the sheep may be saved into the life of Grace here, and into Everlasting Life and Glory hereafter. {“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isa. 53:6.} “Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,” saith that scripture, I Tim. 2:6, for all who have their election of God. {“Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.” I Thes. 1:4.} In point of Substitution and Suretyship, as the preposition, or that sort of “for” signifies. See Matthew 20:28, “even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many,” in the stead of many, or in the room and place of many. To give his life for many; not to propound the offer of his life for many.

2. Gifts are “unto;” the meaning is, gifts in Scripture {touching the Gospel, or the good news about the Kingdom of God} are home, effectual and discriminate. They come so “unto” and on the behalf of some one person, as that he is by special Grace singled out from every other person. The elect are given “unto” Christ by an Act of God within himself, purposed from eternity. {“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” Eph. 1:4.} Neither is there any other Head or Saviour trusted with the bestowment of these gifts, but he in whom God’s soul delighteth. Isa. 42:1. Our persons are an absolute gift to Christ, without any qualifications foreviewed in them to incline God unto the choice; and so was done immediately by a gift of God the Father. “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.” Jn. 17:6. Thou didst not propound an offer, but didst promote thine own Free Choice. And, Jn. 6:37, “all that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” It is a mighty effectual home act which an offer is not. The Father hath given many to be under Christ, who were never given to be in Christ, or to be of the mystical body in the Everlasting Settlements. This giving unto, is a very effectual gift.

Christ is given “unto” the elect. Unto them, so that there is a conveyance of the grant and purchase. {“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” II Tim. 1:9.} Christ is given in his Person to be a Head over all unto the church, which is his body. Eph. 1:22. His body is of a different consideration; some of his body are glorified already; some are called, and not yet glorified; others are neither yet glorified, nor yet called, but yet all are of Christ’s mystical body still, and shall be called and glorified, if there was no other reason for the assertion but Christ’s interest alone; because they make up Christ’s fulness. “Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” Eph. 1:23.

Again, Christ is given in his righteousness “unto” the elect of God. This righteousness unto the elect of God, is the gift, Rom. 5:16, and the gift by Grace, verse 15, and the free gift, verses 15-16, and is expressly the gift of righteousness, verse 17. {“For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” Rom. 5:17.} And, Rom. 6:23, “the gift of God is eternal life,” for as death, the wages of sin, is paid, not offered, so eternal life, being the gift of God, in opposition to wages, is not offered, but bestowed. And yet ministers come with their propounding of an offer, and telling sinners that the offer of God is eternal life. Oh, how do these fat ones on earth, when they eat and worship, stain the velvet cushion by pouring out foolishness, and changing, Rom. 1:25, the truth of God into a lie! {“The mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.” Prov. 15:2.}

The Spirit is given “unto” the saints. “God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 11:17. So, Matt. 7:11, “if ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Which text compared with Luke 11:13, bring us to this interpretation of the Scripture by Scripture, that the good things which are given to God’s children by their Father, are summed up in this one gift, the Spirit of Christ. And why? Because the Holy Spirit is the worker and the principle of the good things. Wheresoever God hath given Christ, he giveth the Spirit of Christ to be and to testify of Him. Rom. 8:9.

Grace and privilege are given “unto” the elect. Thus says the apostle, “unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” Eph. 4:7. And, Acts 11:18, “when they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.” There is Grace as a fruit of the Spirit; and likewise by the same Spirit there is the fruit of the ministry, in the spiritual distribution of the Holy Ghost given by preaching the Gospel. So, Rom. 1:11, “for I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;” that is, more Grace of the Gospel under privilege and operation of the Spirit; and other gifts of Christ by His Spirit, are explained to be the officers of the church, wrought up by the Holy Ghost, for the ministry of the Gospel; both extraordinary officers given to some churches, as apostles, prophets, and evangelists; and ordinary officers given unto others, even such as continue by a constant succession in the said grant, being pastors and teachers of the saints and mystical body of Christ. {“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.} All are for his body, the church. And so he doth not name to whom they are given, as sinners; but in naming the officers or ministers, he comprehends the objects to whom they are given unto, according unto Grace, and that is as to their mystical relation, being the body of Christ, though so many thousands of them may be yet in their blood, Ezek. 16:6, unconverted. What an encouragement is here for faithful ministers of Christ in all ages to go on, and preach the absolute Gospel, and throw away all these offers, with their if’s and but’s, {as ill placed,} being assured that Christ will own their labours by his Spirit, who preach the pure and unmixed Gospel to sinners, holding Christ in view; because it will be for the perfecting of saints in the issue; being sure to have them brought forth under the spiritual labours of such a ministry. Also verse 12, shows it to be a grant unto the church, as the most special object of Grace; because as to the first object of all in this grant, it is more general, and said to be “unto” men, verse 8, “he gave gifts unto men;” that is, by his gifts he discriminated men from evil angels who received no benefit at all by Christ; for in his ascending, when he had given gifts unto men, Christ spoiled the very chief of them that were fallen angels, the devils, even principalities and powers, and made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it, Col. 2:15, after he had wrought out a full victory for such as he had chosen and had not cast away. {“Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive; thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.” Psal. 68:18.} Well, in all these instances the matter is home; a gift is “unto” but an offer is before, and laid down over against the sinner, and there, according to the nature of a proposal, stops, and comes on no further than midway-block. How then, is a gift and an offer the same thing?

3. Gifts are “upon;” upon the person favoured. The gift of Christ’s Righteousness, even the Free Gift, came upon all men {saved by Grace} unto justification of life. Rom. 5:18. All the elect of God are universally passive under it. There is not one of the whole number that concurs in the least unto it.

The gift of the Spirit is “upon,” so in Acts 10:44- 45, “while Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.” And Tit. 3:5-6, “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.” Where now will you find an offer upon any? An offer cannot close, it sticks upon terms, and stands aloof from the sore. Psal. 38:11. It talks of wine and oil, but pours none on. Whereas the Gospel is a free gift. When they had nothing to pay, {neither Pharisee nor Publican,} he frankly forgave them both. Lk. 7:42. Oh, now this works upon a sinner. The Holy Ghost is in it. The power of mortification eats into old Adam, and, as a principle of new life, takes away the disease sweetly.

But moreover, the gift of a common mercy may even be upon men in a general sense. We read of such an outward mercy as has eminently come on God’s servants, in the fruit of prayer. And how? As the Spirit, who works up the heart to Gospel prayer, and is the principle of it in the soul, comes upon us from God and Christ, and so the mercy bestowed is a fruit of prayer, as prayer is a fruit of the Spirit, and that mercy is a gift upon us; and this must be the meaning of that place, II Cor. 1:11, “ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.” The gift here meant, was that gracious deliverance from death; aye, from a very severe sentence of death for the cause of Christ, which Paul and Timothy had been threatened with by their persecutors, and of which death they had the sentence in themselves, II Cor. 1:9, concluding they should not escape the peril, and that there would be no further enlargement for them. However the prayer of many, praying in the Holy Spirit, Jude 20, altered the case; for God, by this means, granted their deliverance from so great a death at that time, as was in all appearance at hand, and ready for them in a perilous hour. This he calls a gift upon them by the means of many. It came upon them from God the Spirit effectively, who wrought it out graciously for them, and was bestowed on them by the means of many; it being evidently an answer to their prayer, and obtained by the intercession of many. {“The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.” Psal. 145:18.}

4. Gifts are “into;” spiritual gifts into the nature of the person endowed. So that the gift is in inwrought by the Spirit; as the word for inwrought prayer is called effectual fervent prayer, James 5:16, and hereby God’s Gift in the Gospel effectually procures acceptance of the sinner. Hence too, God’s Spirit being given, is put within a man, within the nature of persons effectually wrought on. {“And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Ezek. 36:27.} Therefore, Eph. 2:8, “by Grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Faith is within us; and if faith be a gift, that gift is within us. But now let any man tell me how offers can be within a man, whereas it is the nature of an offer to be only without a man? Upon the whole, it is plain, that an offer is not equal to a gift. An offer approaches, but a gift enters. An offer is near, but a gift comes home upon and within one. Thus I have proved that an offer of Grace is no gift of Grace to sinners.

Last of all, upon the matter of this chapter I ask, why doth not the preacher sometimes say, “here I give you Christ, sinners,” as well as he will dare to say, “here I offer you Christ, sinners,” if a gift of Christ and an offer of Christ be both one? But surely his own modesty would blush at the harshness of the expressions. “Here, sinner, I give you Christ, I give you Salvation!” Why, then, does not their wisdom blush at their folly of confounding these two things, and running both into one? Is it not because their folly is overlaid with flint and obstinacy, and till God takes away the stony heart, and gives them an heart of flesh, Ezek.36:26, they cannot be ashamed, Jer.6:15, or blush thereat.

[1] Edward Brerewood, 1565–1613, was an English scholar and antiquary. He was a mathematician and logician, and wrote an influential book on the origin of languages.

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).

Joseph Hussey, God's Operations Of Grace But No Offers Of His Grace (Complete)