David Dickson on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel

The Sum of Saving Knowledge

The Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel in the Sum of Saving Knowledge

 

Commentary on the Psalms

p. 143

“Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.  When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.”

Ps. 27:7-8

“In the second place, having thus strengthened his faith, he enters the lists with his present trouble and temptations, and encounters them by prayer to God upon the foresaid grounds, in three petitions.  In the first he prays for the sensible experience of God’s favor, as his present condition required; wherein he strengthens his faith by three considerations.  The first is, because he had gotten grace to close with the word of God, inviting him to seek what he sought, v. 8.  Whence learn,

1. Confidence in God is diligent in prayer, and despiseth not the means whereby the mercy hoped for may be brought about; but by prayer it makes particular application of the Lord’s good-will, offered to all, unto itself, that it may be helped in the present need, as here David does: hear me when I cry, have mercy on me, answer me.  

2. As the Lord’s word encourages us to seek things of God which, without a warrant, we durst not seek; so, when we have gotten grace to embrace God’s warrant given to us by precept or promise, we may ask with confidence to obtain: hear me, answer me; why? when thou saidst, seek ye my face; my heart answered, I will seek thy face, O Lord.”

 

on Ps. 32:6

2. There is a time when God may be found, to wit, so long as God is offering grace, and sparing extremity of wrath, which time men ought to lay hold on, not knowing how short while it may last: They shall pray in a time when thou mayest be found.

 

on Ps. 40:10

7. The plain preaching, declaration, and manifestation of this Gospel with the grounds thereof, is able by the blessing of God to persuade a trembling soul to lay itself over upon Jesus Christ, and to rest upon the unchangeable truth and kindness of God offered to every poor humble sinner, without exception; for the preaching of these things, not refraining of the lips, not hiding of this precious and saving truth, the declaration and not concealing of it…

 

on 57:1

3. The Lord offers relief and protection in Christ to miserable sinners, in as warm a manner as the similitude of a hen gathering her chickens [Matt 23:37], or the type of the stretching of the wings of the Cherubims about the Mercy-seat could express; and faith does creep no less warmly in unto this offer in time of straits, than this similitude does import; yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge. 

 

on Ps. 63

10. As one experience should call another to remembrance, so the calling of experiences to our memory should oblige and encourage us in all conditions, joyfully to make use by faith, of Gods standing offer of grace to us in Christ, shadowed forth by the wings of the cherubims stretched out always over the mercy-seatBecause thou hast been my helper, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice; for here, and here only is the remedy of all sin and misery.

 

on Ps. 68

1. How great soever be the majesty of God, and the riches of bounty and grace offered in Christ, yet will men be found even within the visible Church, who will wickedly refuse his grace, and oppose his Kingdom, but all to their own shame and damage; But God shall wound the head of his enemies. 

 

on Ps. 78

4. The Lord uses by his Word in the mouth of his messengers to convince his backsliding people of their defection, and to press upon them to return to the rule, and walk in his obedience, but when this admonition and offer is refused, then no wonder judgment come: for here, They turn back in the day of battle; when, and wherefore? They refused to walk in his Law. 

 

p. 254-255

“Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!”

Ps. 81:13

“…and if it be asked, what may be imported by this speech properly?  We answer, O that my people had hearkened unto me, etc., shows these six things:

1. First, what order the Lord has set in giving blessing to His visible Church; namely, that they begin and believe in Him, and study to obey Him, and that they by means appointed by Him, should look to have such blessings, as He has promised to believers, and to obedient people.  

Next, this manner of speech shows how acceptable and pleasant unto God it is to see the faith, obedience and welfare of His people, all joined together in His appointed order.  

4. Fourthly, that God delights not in the death or destruction of His people, but that they should repent and live.  

6. Sixthly, that God requires a suitable meeting of His people to His dispensations, that is, that they may be so willing to hearken to His voice, and so loath to offend Him, as He does manifest by word and works His willingness to save them, and His loathness to destroy them.

From the Lord’s lamenting, Learn further [4 points]:

3. He who hears God uttering His wishes for the conversion of His people, and lamenting that His Word is not believed, and that His offer of grace is not received, does give God an evil meeting, and neither believes God’s goodness, nor cares for his own salvation, except he join with God, lamenting his own misbelief in time past, and do with heartily the same with God for his own conversion for time to come; for this speech, O that my people had hearkened unto me, etc., is framed to this very end, to make the hearer willing, and so to convert him, or else to convict him, if he take not hold of the offer.

4. Whatsoever be the Lord’s secret decrees concerning the salvation of some, and condemnation of other some in the visible Church, yet the means of execution of those decrees, are so holy and just, and wisely carried on, as those decrees shall not be particularly revealed to the stumbling of any man, but the offer of grace and declaration of God’s goodness is so laid out in common that whosoever does not embrace the same, is made inexcusable; for when God says, O that my people had hearkened unto Me, he that does not answer the Lord, with ‘O that thou wouldst frame this heart of mine, to the obedience of faith,’ has nothing to say if he be damned, for his slighting of the offer so freely held forth unto him, and pressed upon him.

 

p. 296

“O Lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee: Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry;”

Ps. 88:1-2

“In the first place he fastens his faith and resolution to pray constantly to God, till he receive answer, and requests for comfort now at last.  Whence learn:

1. Whosoever have fled to God for grace, and have received the offer of reconciliation made to the Church in the Messiah, are entered in Covenant with God for their everlasting salvation, and ought to stand fast in the holding of this Covenant, whatsoever hard condition they may fall into, as Heman does here, saying to God, O Lord God of my salvation.  

2. When a soul has received the offer of grace made to the Church, in the common tender of the Covenant of Grace, he is entered into Covenant with God so particularly, as if the indenture were past between God and that soul by name, so that the believer may read his own name in God’s everlasting stiles and titles, and may read in himself the mark of God’s interest unto him, and the mark of his interest in God for evermore; for O God of my slavation, imports no less.

 

p. 348

“With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.”

Ps. 91:16

“…and this is the sixth promise.  Above all which promises what can be more added, to induce a soul to embrace the free offer of grace in Christ, tendered in the Gospel to sinners, or to move him to entertain friendship with God, by still believing in him, and resting on Him?”

 

“For He is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.  To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness”

Ps. 95:7,8

4. The present time only is the opportunity of salvation, or embracing of the offer of God’s grace, and testifying of our obedience of faith; we are not sure how long the Word shall remain with us, or we with it: To day if ye will hear his voice. 

5. How ignorant, weak, and unable soever a man be by nature, to believe and obey the voice of God, yet seeing God does offer Himself by his Word to cure him of all his evils, He cannot endure that a man should wittingly and willingly reject the counsel of the Lord, and resolutely strengthen himself in his natural misbelief and disobedience, for this were to harden his own heart yet more, which here is forbidden: To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart. 

[Notice that, according to Dickson, the purpose of God in offering Himself to the gospel-hearer (including the reprobate) is “to cure him of all his evils”.]

 

on Ps. 98:7-8 

2. As the Lord can never be sufficiently praised for salvation through Christ: so cannot any hearers dutifully, and as becomes them, hear this doctrine without great joy or stirring up themselves to rejoice therein: for if senseless creatures in their own kind be called upon to rejoice [the floods to clap their hands and the hills to be joyful, etc], much more sinful men, to whom the grace of Christ is offered [that is, all gospel hearers], and for whom the work of Redemption is wrought.

[Note that Dickson says that the work of Redemption is wrought for a revealed purpose for those to whom the grace of Christ is offered, that is, all gospel hearers, including the reprobate]

 

on Ps. 99

1. Then is God rightly acknowledged, when his Covenant of grace offered in Christ is embraced, when men join themselves to the true God of Israel, and when they esteem of God and acknowledge him, as supreme Lord and King over all: Exalt ye the Lord our God 

 

Commentary on Matthew

on 3:2

Verse 2,  And saying, Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

The sum of John’s preaching was to move men to repent, because the kingdom of God’s grace offered in the Gospel, was now ready to receive the penitent. 

Doctrines: 

1. The Gospel finds men mad, and out of their wits, in an evil way; when it is sent unto them, they are men who must return to their wits, as the original of the word repent imports.

2. The end of the preaching of the gospel is to persuade men unto repentance, for repent is John’s main scope.

3. The grace of God offered in the gospel is in effect the Kingdom of heaven, for it opens the way unto it, and enters the man not only in the right, but also in the begun possession of the Kingdom of heaven. 

4. There can be no greater allurement to move a man to change his evil course, and turn unto God, than the offer made unto the penitent, of the Kingdom of grace and glory through Christ: for this is the motive which John uses, saying, Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is near. 

on 11:16-17

…and this He does, by comparing their disposition toward the Gospel, with the disposition of the rude people toward music: for as they cared for no melody, and could not be moved either with piping or lighter springs; nor with mourning and sadder songs, as the minstrel boys use to sing; So the Jews could neither be moved to sorrow, unto repentance, by John’s austere preaching of repentance and judgment; nor to rejoice at Christ’s sweet offers of Grace and Salvation, made to them in a more gentle and loving way.

on 12:31-32, the sin against the Holy Ghost

…that not every sin against conscience or against the Gospel is this sin: but that this sin is an open, willful, deliberate and malicious rejecting and opposing of Jesus Christ totally, and of the way of Salvation by him; and that after the holy Ghost, has by a supernatural operation convicted the Person of the Salvation offered to the World through Christ: And therefore it is called, A blasphemy against the holy Ghost.

on 17:17

2. The longer that Christ has offered himself to a people or person, and the more patience he has shown towards them; the more he is provoked by their misbelief to reject them, and depart from them; therefore says he, How long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? 

3. He is not so angry, as any passion can move him to forget to be merciful to the miserable; for incontinent He says of the poor boy, Bring him hither to me.

p. 278-79

The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.  Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.  But they made light of it, and went their ways…  But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth…”

Matt 22:1-7

The scope of this parable is to set forth the manner of acceptance of the gospel preached.  Some reject the offer altogether; some not only reject the offer but abuse and persecute the Church and preachers of the Gospel; some join themselves in truth into the fellowship of the grace of God in Christ; and some join themselves to the Church in hypocrisy, being called only externally, but not elected.  All this is represented in a similitude of the marriage of the King’s son, in which parable or presupposed history we are given to understand:

1. Communion and fellowship with Christ in all graces, in His Church visible, daily preached to the world, is like a feast, a marriage feast of the King’s son, abounding in all means of life, and joy and honor; ready prepared and offered to men liberally and freely to be bestowed on such as will receive the offer, as is described (vv 1-4).  

2. The acceptance which the offer of the grace of Christ in the gospel receives at the hands of many men is like that which was given to the invitation to the King’s feast; for many make light account of the offered favor, every man preferring his own naughty matters to the King’s grace tendered to them (verse 5), and some not only reject the offer but also persecute and kill the preachers (verse 6).  

3. The rejectors of the gospel of God’s grace in Christ, offered to them in the gospel, and much more the persecutors of the Lord’s servants who make the offer, shall be served as these wicked and rebellious murderers were, that is, they shall be destroyed and perish in the just indignation of God (verse7).”

 

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the Prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not?”

Matt 23:37

In this lamentation, our Lord is not to show what power is in men’s wicked nature to convert themselves, or to make use of the means of conversion, nor what power there is in corrupt nature to oppose that power which God puts forth in conversion of souls: neither is he lamenting their case, as one unable to obtain his own desired end in the salvation of such as he intended to save: for no reason can extract these conclusions necessarily from these speeches; and the true sense of them is obtained without any such inferences; for our Lord, as man, and a kindly Minister of the circumcision, moved with humane compassion of the miseries of his native Countrymen, lets forth his love in this lamentation and weeping, while He beholds the desperate obstinacy of the multitude running to perdition, thereby intending to make the reprobate, who should hear of His tender bowels, inexcusable; and to move the Elect unto repentance by this means. Doctrines: 

1. Our Lord, as man, in the bowels of compassion was moved in the days of his flesh, with the misery of the most wicked, as this lamentation shows.

2. When Christ was most moved with the provocations of the wicked, there was no sinful perturbation in Him, to make him forget to fulfill the law of love unto his most desperate enemies; therefore he laments thus, Jerusalem, Jerusalem. 

3. As oft as the Lord sends forth his Ministers with offers of mercy to sinful people, so oft is he lovingly calling them to come in unto him; so says he, As a hen gathereth her chickens, how oft would I have gathered thee?

4. When the Lord is about to save his own Elect children in the visible church, the body or the greatest part of his people may oppose the work, and nil the work which He wills; and albeit they be not able to impede his effectual gathering of so many as he intends to save, yea may they make themselves guilty of impeding and resisting the will of God, which they cannot overcome; therefore says he to this sense, O Jerusalem, how oft was I about to convert thy children, so many as I had elected, by the offers of mercy, which my servants made unto thee, the visible Kirk their Mother?  And thou wouldst not, but opposed my work so far as thou could, in slaying the Prophets, and stoning them who were sent unto thee, for the Elect’s cause who were in the midst of thee.

 

 

Commentary on the Epistles

“But to Israel He saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands, unto a disobedient and gain-saying people.”

Rom. 10:21

The third Testimony, wherein out of Isa. 65:2, he proves in express terms, that the Jews were condemned for their rebellion: Because God all the day long, or all the time of his forbearance, did offer himself to them as a Father, with his arms spread forth, but they refused him: Therefore the Jews are guilty of rejecting His grace, and for this cause are justly cast off by God.

“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”

2 Cor. 5:20

“To this end he [Paul] importunes all, and diligently urges all with his authority as an Ambassador, and also submissively and lovingly, as bearing the Image of God [as an ambassador of God], that every one would more heartily accept the reconciliation offered of God, that the remainders of enmity being taken away, which unbelief cherishes within, all may become the same Spirit with God.”

“We then as workers together with Him beseech you also, that ye receive not the Grace of God in vain.”

2 Cor. 6:1

The first Exhortation is, that they would receive the Grace of Reconciliation more seriously, and with fruit, and suffer not the Grace of God offered in the Gospel (by their fault) to want its full fruit in them that they may obtain Righteousness, Peace, Life, and all things which Christ hath obtained for them.  The Proposition he urges is this.  Ye ought not to receive the Grace of God in vain, i.e. in outward profession only, without its internal virtue; this he proves by three Arguments:

Argument 1: We Ministers of God being co-workers, (that His work may be promoted in you) granted from Him to you by free gift promising our endeavor for the promoting of your salvation, earnestly desired that of you; Therefore ye ought not to receive the Grace of God in vain.

(For He says, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in a day of salvation have I succoured thee: Behold, now is the accepted time, behold, now is the day of salvation.)”

2 Cor. 6:2

Argument 2: In a Parenthesis.  Because now the time is acceptable in which, by the intercession of Christ, the Grace of God is efficacious to the producing of fruit in all those that receive the Gospel with serious affection of heart, and desire to bring forth fruit, which He proves out of Isa. 49:8, where the Father speaks to the Mediator interceding for them, and by his Spirit breathing in them: Therefore you must beware lest this opportunity of Grace be in vain offered to you.

 

“And with all deceiveableness of unrighteousness, in them that perish; because they received not the love of the Truth, that they might be saved.”

2 Thess. 2:10

 

“Because” – Article 7: Touching the subjects of Antichrist, and their perdition, and the causes thereof: The retinue of Antichrist, properly called his household, and familiars, are described to be such as with obstinate minds stubbornly cleave unto him, even to the end, and in whom the Devil is very effectual.

(1) From the property of Reprobates, They perish, they are of the number of those that perish.

(2) From the meritorious cause of their perdition, because they receive not the Truth offered in the Word of God with love, that they might be saved.

 

 

Therapeutica Sacra

There are several dozen more references to the sincere free offer of the gospel in Dickson’s Therapeutica Sacra.  This is only about the first quarter of them.  We are planning on putting the whole book up in a new modern English edition soon

Book 1, Chapter 1

Or more shortly, the Lord hath commanded to repent and turn unto him, (offering reconciliation in Christ) therefore it is my duty so to do.

 

Book 1, Chapter 3

After this manner the woman of Samaria apprehended the gift and grace of the Holy Ghost, and saving grace offered to her by ChristLord (says she) Give me of that water, that I may not thirst again, and may not come again to draw water, John 4:15.

 

Book 1, Chapter 3

Secondly, the Lord, drawing near [at] hand [to] the humbled self-condemned soul, deals with him by way of moral suasion, sweetly inviting him in the preaching of the Gospel, to receive the Redeemer Christ Jesus, the eternal Son of God manifested in the flesh, that by receiving of Him as He is offered in the Evangel, for remission of sin, renovation of life, and eternal salvation, he may close the Covenant of grace and reconciliation with God.

Book 1, Chapter 3

Whence it comes to pass, that the new creature begins to look kindly on Christ the Redeemer, and to desire to be united unto Him, and does stretch forth itself to embrace Him heartily, for obtaining in Him righteousness and salvation, as He is offered in the Gospel: And so he casts himself over on Christ with full purpose never to shed from Him but by faith to draw out of Him grace for grace, till he be perfected.  

Book 1, Chapter 3

So when the Holy Spirit does powerfully and effectually move and turn the will of the man to embrace the sweet and saving offers of Christ’s grace in the Gospel, and makes him deliberately choose this blessed way of salvation, and to renounce all confidence in his own, or any others worth or works, He does not destroy, but perfect the liberty of the will, and raises it up from death and its damnable inclination, and makes it most joyfully and most freely to make choice of this pearl of price, and bless itself in its choice for ever.

Book 1, Chapter 3

Wherefore, whosoever in the preaching of the Gospel, are charged and commanded to repent, to believe in Christ, or turn unto God, they are commanded also to use all these external means [“hear a Sermon preached, to read the Scripture, to be informed by Catechizing, and conference of Religion…”] whereby they may be informed of the duty required, and of the means leading thereunto; in the exercise of which external means, they may meet with sundry common operations and effects of Gods Spirit, before they be regenerate or converted, whereof the use may be sound not only in, but also after, conversion; And if any man shall refuse, slight or neglect to follow these preparatory exercises, which may prepare him for conversion, he is inexcusable before God and man, and guilty of rejecting of the offer of reconciliation, yea guilty of resisting of the Holy Ghost, of which sin and guiltiness the holy martyr Stephen charges the misbelieving Jews, Acts 7:51.

8. As for the regenerate man, he it is who in the acknowledgement of his sinfulness and deserved misery, and of his utter inability to help himself, does cast away all confidence in his own parts, and possible righteousness of his own works, and flees to Christ offered in the Gospel

Book 1, Chapter 4, 2nd Proof

He is called a propitiatory sacrifice, wherewith God is so well pleased, that He makes offer of Him to us, and sets Him forth to us for pacifying our Conscience through faith in His blood

Book 1, Chapter 4, 2nd Article

how great the dignity and excellency of the Lord our Redeemer is, for whose cause reconciliation is granted to all that take hold of the offer of grace through him

Book 1, Chapter 4, 3rd Article

all which gifts and graces, are summarily comprehended in that one gift of God, spoken of, John 4:10, which gift is Christ, who is freely offered unto, and given to, the elect believer for righteousnesse and eternall life

Book 1, Chapter 4, 5th Proof

The use of this article is, first, that all these who hear the Gospel, and have in any sort embraced it, should in the acknowledgement of their natural corruption and perverse wickedness, humble themselves before God, and pray for, and expect grace according to the promises offered in the Gospel.

Book 1, Chapter 4, 4th Article

Another mean is, the bringing of so many as profess their acceptation of the offer of grace by Christ Jesus

Book 1, Chapter 5

For, the grace which was offered to them in Christ under the veil of Levitical types, figures and ceremonies…

Book 1, Chapter 5

…might in the sense of the burden lying on them, and of their damnable estate under it [God’s Law], fly to Christ the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world, as he was, represented and offered to their sight in the sacrifices and burnt offerings.

Book 1, Chapter 6

“Together with these external means, serving for drawing on the covenant and going on in it, the common operations of God do concur; common to all the called, both elect and reprobate, and gifts common to both, are bestowed, such as illumination, moral persuasion, historical, dogmatic and temporary faith, moral change of affections, and some sort of external amendment of their outward conversation, saving grace being the special gift of God to His own.”

Book 1, Chapter 6

But the condition of the covenant of grace, is the receiving of Christ by faith unto righteousness and life, offered in the Gospel, without the works of the law; which covenant, may thus be described.  The covenant of grace is a contract between God and men, procured by Christ upon these terms, that whosoever in the sense of their own sinfulness shall receive Christ Jesus offered in the Gospel, for righteousness and life, shall have Him and all the benefits purchased by Him…

Book 1, Chapter 6

but in the common offer of grace and reconciliation by Christ, he makes the promise [in baptism] jointly to the parents and the children;

Book 1, Chapter 6

4. Of this manner of covenanting and taking into Church-fellowship, all the called that consent in a moral way to the condition of the covenant, regenerate and unregenerate, we have a pattern in the Lord’s covenanting with all Israel, Ex. 19, the covenant is offered to all the Israelites, without exception; all are invited to enter in covenant without exception, arguments, motives and moral inducements are made use of [including the reprobate], from their experience of the Lord’s goodness and gifts given to them before [including the reprobate]; most ample promises of spiritual benefits, are made unto them, conditionally to be bestowed on them both in this life, and in the life to comeverses 4-6, the people embrace the condition of the covenantv. 7-8, the people are sanctified [including the reprobate, in a certain, limited sense], and prepared to receive the holy commands and will of God, in the rest of the chapter;

Book 1, Chapter 6

The same way of covenanting did John Baptist follow, admitting to his baptism the seal of this covenant, all those that came from Jerusalem and out of all Judea, and from the borders of Jordan, without exception; whosoever confessed their sins, or that they were sinners, and professed they did receive the offer of grace, made in the Name of Christ Jesus, the true lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, Math. 3:5-6, and so far was John from waiting for evidences of saving grace and regeneration, before he admitted them that came to his baptism, into the fellowship of the external covenant of grace and reconciliation, that on the contrair, he made public profession, that the fan whereby the chaff is separated from the wheat, and the hypocrite discerned from the sincere Christian, was not in his hand, or in any other man or men’s hands, but in the hand of Christ Jesus Himself only.  And therefore (which is worthy to be observed) after he had publicly testified his suspicion of the hypocrisy and old poysonabled is position, in the Pharisees and Sadducees that came to his baptism, and offered to receive the covenant of grace and the seal thereof, verse 7, forthwith, without inquiring into their regeneration and sincerity of heart, he baptized them among the rest, v. 11, and left them to be examined thereafter by Christ Himself, whether they were upright in heart or not.

Book 1, Chapter 6

This way of receiving into external covenant, all these who receive the offer and the condition of the covenant, without inquiring into their election or reprobation, their regeneration or unregeneration for the time, (which may be called a covenanting outwardly and in the letter) in the deep and wise counsel of God, is appointed for the gathering and constitution of the visible kirk: for, by this mean, first, God so executes and perfects the decree of election, that in the mean time He hinders none, of all the hearers of the Gospel from receiving the grace of Christ offered thereinHe excludes no man from embracing the covenant; but, on the contrair, he opens the door to all that are called, to enter into (as it were) the outer court of his dwelling house, that they may so draw more near to him; and so he does not particularly manifest any man’s reprobation.

Book 3, Chapter 6

Thirdly, the Lord makes use of this outward and common covenanting with all receivers of the offer, as a mean to draw the confederate in the letter, to be confederate in the spirit; for, the faith which he requires as the condition of the covenant, he works in the elect, if not before, or with the external covenanting, yet undoubtedly after, in a time acceptable, and that by the ordinary means, the use whereof is granted to all confederate externally: and so as common illumination is a mean to that special, spiritual and saving illumination; and dogmatic or historical faith, is a mean unto saving faith; and external calling, is a mean of effectual calling, So external covenanting in the letter, is a mean most fit, and accommodate to make a man a covenanter in the spirit.

Book 1, Chapter 6

As for the next, the condition of the covenant upon which the man is received, and whereby the man becomes a confederate, it is his consent to receive the grace offered, even Christ with his benefits, as he is holden forth in the Gospel; or, the condition of the covenant is faith, receiving Christ for righteousness and eternal life.

 

Truth’s Victory Over Error  (the first commentary on the Westminster Confession)

Chapter 1, Question 1

(6) Men destitute of supernatural Revelation cannot know their own corruption and misery, by the first Adam, nor the remedy which is offered by Christ, the second Adam…

Chapter 3, Question 4

(10) Because, to all and every one, the Grace of Regeneration, which is simply necessary to Salvation, is not offered: Neither do all, and every one get remission and pardon of their sins…

Chapter 10, Question 5

Is a Man in effectual calling only passive, until being quickened, and renewed by the holy Ghost, he is thereby enabled, to answer this call, and to embrace the Grace offered, and conveyed in it?

Yes. 1 Cor. 2:14; Rom: 8:7; Eph. 2:5; John 6:37; John 5:25; Eze. 36:27.

 


 

These quotes were compiled by Rev. Sherman Isbell and Travis Fentiman

 

 

Related Pages

The Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel