William Rushton

The Believer’s Golden Chain

By the Hand, in this plate, is represented the eternal purposes, sovereign grace, and almighty power of God, exemplified in the salvation of sinners. 1 Chron. 29:12, “Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.” Isaiah 41:10, “Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” John 10:28, 29, 30, “And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish ; neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My father, which gave them me, is greater than all, and no man is able to pluck them out my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” 

The Chain, upheld by the hand, is called the Believer’s Golden Chain—the Chain of Salvation; and is composed of twelve Links, this being a figurative number often used in the word of God; as, the twelve tribes of Israel, twelve apostles; and that great City, the Holy Jerusalem, is described with twelve foundations, twelve gates, twelve angels, &c. 

First Link. This represents the Everlasting Love of God, and is revealed in the following portions of his word: Jeremiah 31:3, “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore, with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.” Psalm 103:17, “But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children,” John 17:23,24, “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” 

Second Link. Electing Love. In consequence of the everlasting love of God, poor sinners are drawn, chosen, or elected from the apostate human family, agreeably to these passages of Scripture: 1 Peter, 1:2, “Elect, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,” &c. 2 Thes. 2:13, “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren, beloved of the Lord, because God hath, from the beginning, chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” John 15:16, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained. you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit,” &c. 

Third Link. Predestinating Love. These having been loved and elected, are predestinated to the adoption of sons. This is supported by Ephes. 1:5,11, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ, to himself,” &c. Rom. 8:29, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate, &c. Being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things, after the counsel of his own will,” &c.

Fourth Link. Particular Redemption. Those who are thus loved, elected, and predestinated, are the only subjects of particular redemption; which appears evident by reading Isaiah 43:1, “O Israel, fear not, for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine.” 1 Cor. 12:27, “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” Isaiah 44:22, “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud thy sins; return unto me, I have redeemed thee.” Psalm. 31:5, “Thou hast redeemed me; O Lord God of truth.” Rev. 14:3, “And no man could learn that song, but the hundred and forty-four thousand which were redeemed from the earth.” 

Fifth Link. Effectual Calling. All who are thus loved, elected, predestinated, and made the subjects of particular redemption, are effectually called, or regenerated, and brought from nature’s darkness into God’s marvellous light, and rely for salvation on the precious blood and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, agreeably to the following scripture declarations: Rom. 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called, according to his purpose.” 2 Tim. 1:9, “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.” 1 Thes. 2:13, “The word of God which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” 

Sixth Link. Revealed Pardon. Represents, that all who are thus loved, with an everlasting love. elected, and predestinated by God the Father, are subjects of the particular redemption of God the Son; that they are effectually called by God, the Holy Ghost, and are made the recipients of revealed pardon. This is supported by divine writ, as follows: Isaiah 40:2, “Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned.” Jer. 50:20, “In those days, and at that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none, and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found; for I will pardon them whom I reserve.” Micah. 7:18, “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again; he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” 

Seventh Link. Justifying Grace. It is equally true, that any, who are the subjects of this everlasting love, election, predestination, redemption, effectual calling, and revealed pardon, are also partakers of the justifying righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom they are complete; which is shown by the following quotations from the word of God: Rom. 3:24,28, “Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Therefore, we conclude, that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” Rom. 5:9, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Rom. 4:25, “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” Gal. 3:16, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ.” Isaiah 53:11, “By his knowledge, shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” Thus believers are justified before God, by faith in the Lord Jesus, yet with James 2:20, 26, we can say, “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith, without works, is dead? for as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” 

Eighth Link. Special Promises. The subjects of God’s eternal, electing, predestinating, redeeming love, are regenerated, pardoned, and justified, supported and comforted by the special promises of God, part of which are as follows: 2 Peter 1:4, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Jer. 32:38, 39, “And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” Isaiah 54:10, 17, “For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, said the Lord, that hath mercy upon thee. No weapon that is formed against thee, shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment, thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.” 

Ninth Link. Sanctifying Grace. As an evidence that all who are loved, elected, predestinated, redeemed, regenerated, pardoned, justified, and supported by special promises, they are made the subjects of sanctification, and their deportment gives evidence thereof. It is also supported by the law, and the testimony following: Ezekiel 36:25, “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean from all your filthiness; and from all your idols will I cleanse you.” John 17:17, 19. “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth; and for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” 1 Corin. 1:30. “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who, of God, is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness ,and sanctification, and redemption.” Heb. 10:14. “For by one offering, he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” 

Tenth Link. Supplies Of Grace. And though they are thus loved, elected, predestinated, redeemed, called, pardoned, justified, supported by special promises, and sanctified in the name of our Lord Jesus, and by the spirit of our God, their enemies are so numerous and powerful, both within and without, that they need continual supplies of Grace, to enable them to persevere in the ways of the Lord. This is evident, from the experience of primitive saints, recorded in his word. Psalm 17:5. “Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.” Psalm 40:3. “And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God.” Psalm 84:11. “The Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” 2 Cor. 8:9. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes, he became poor, that ye, through his poverty, might be rich.” Ephes. 4:7. “But unto every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” Phil. 4:19. “But my God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” 1 Cor. 10:13. “But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 

Eleventh Link. Preserving Grace is absolutely necessary to prevent from falling, those who have been loved, elected, predestinated, redeemed, called, pardoned, and justified, who are partakers of precious promises, sanctified by the blood of the covenant, and have received from the fulness of Christ grace for grace; for too often they have cause to exclaim with the great apostle, “O wretched man that I am!” They stand in need of that preserving grace promised in the word of God. Psalm 12:5, 7. “Now will I arise, saith the Lord, I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Proverbs 2:8. “He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.” 1 Thess. 5:23, 24. “And I pray God, your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.” Such souls will pray like David, Psalm 16:1, “Preserve me, O God, for in thee do I trust,” or 40:11, “Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord, let thy loving kindness and thy truth continually preserve me,” or Psalm 119:117. “Hold thou me up. and I shall be safe.” 

Twelfth Link. Eternal Glory. This is the last link in this glorious chain of love and mercy, which proceeds from God, is supported by him, and leads to him; and well may we exultingly say with the psalmist, “Mercy and truth have met together: righteousness and peace have kissed each other,” or, “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory,” or with the great Apostle, “O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” And, though Christians may have difficulties, trials, and temptations from the world, the flesh, and the devil; let them be of good courage, wait on the Lord, and he will strengthen their hearts, and enable them ultimately to say, “Our light afflictions which are but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard. neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him;” “He shall wipe away all tears from their eyes,” and enable them to sing ” Too him that hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” May this be our favoured, happy lot, to His Great Name shall be all the praise for ever and ever, Amen. 

William Rushton (1796-1838) was a High-Calvinist Particular Baptist preacher. He ministered the gospel to the church meeting at Lime Street Chapel, Liverpool, England.