Williams was a British presbyterian, having dissented to take the oath that proclaimed that the King was head of the Church in 1661, at the restoration of King Charles II. He was buried in the famous graveyard for dissenting ministers, Bunhill Fields. He is perhaps most well known for leaving his books to form Dr. William’s Library, which has become a specialists’ library for research on English Dissent.
It will be noted that the book below is intended to refute the teachings of Dr. Tobias Crisp (1600–1643), a prominent Hyper-Calvinist. Williams’ method through the book is to accurately state the true doctrine and then to refute the hyper-calvinist errors.
The book was endorsed by 49 prominent ministers of William’s day, including notable puritans such as Thomas Doolittle, Obadiah Hughes, John Howe, William Bates, Vincent Alsop, Richard Mayo, John Showers, George Hammond, Daniel Burgess, Edmund Calamy, et al.
Gospel-Truth Stated and Vindicated: wherein some of Dr. Crisp’s opinions are considered, and the opposite truths are plainly stated and confirmed, 1692, 2nd edition, pp. 67-68, this quote was compiled by Andrew Myers.
Of the Free Offer of Christ to Sinners, and of Preparatory Qualifications
Truth. Christ is freely offered to be a Head and Saviour to the vilest sinners, who will knowingly assent to the truth of the Gospel, and from a conviction of their sin and misery out of Christ, are humbled, and truly willing to renounce all their Idols and sins; denying their own carnal self and merits, and accept of Christ as offered in the Gospel; relying on Him alone for Justification, Sanctification, and Eternal Life.
1. Christ is freely offered to the vilest sinners, for their acceptance of Him according to the Gospel,
2. He is not offered so, as if any sinner might have a saving Interest in Him, till they are willing to deny themselves, renounce all sins and idols; and do accept of, and rely on him as a full Saviour, according to the terms of the Gospel. There cannot be an acceptance of Christ, without a renouncing of Sin and Idols, and denying carnal self, and our own merits, as opposites to Him: And on the other hand, to renounce sin and idols, and deny our selves, will not avail us, without an acceptance of Christ, and reliance on Him.
3. I mention some things that are antecedently necessary to [necessarily come before] our renouncing of sin and idols, and to our acceptance of, and reliance on Christ; as Knowledge, Assent, Conviction of Sin and Misery, and some humblings of soul, which must attend all true convictions: These are preparatory qualifications; not that an interest in Christ always follows these, but they dispose the soul to a hearty acceptance of Christ, in opposition to all rival opposites, and are necessary thereto in some degree.
4. The declared design of the offers of Christ to sinners, is, that they may be thus willing to accept of Christ, and so partake of an interest in Him.