Henry Ainsworth on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel





Annotations on the Pentateuch, Psalms, and Canticles, 1616-1623, reprinted 1843, Blackie and Son, vol. 1, vol. 2

Gen. 6:3 “And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man…”

My Spirit.

This is that holy Spirit of Christ, by which He preached in the patriarchs, and especially in Noah, to the disobedient spirits of the old world, 1 Pet. 3:18-20; 2 Pet. 2:5.

Not strive.

Or, not judge, that is, ‘not contend in judgment,’ for so this word is elsewhere also used, Eccl. 6:10, and may here import, both contending by preaching, disputing, convincing in the mouths of the patriarchs, (as Neh. 9:30) and by inward motions and checks of conscience, which his Spirit gave them for their sins, against which they that struggle, fall into sin ‘against the Holy Ghost,’ despiting the Spirit of grace, Heb. 10:29 So the Spirit of God is said to be tempted, resisted, grieved, Acts 5:9 and 7:51; Isa. 63:10; Eph. 4:30.

With man.

Or, ‘in man’: implying both the contending of the prophet’s outward, and of God’s Spirit inwardly; as before is observed.

120 years.

Meaning, that so long time by Noah’s preaching, and building the ark, they should have space given them to repent, or else then to perishThis long sufferance of God, the apostle mentions, in 1 Pet. 3:19-20; 2 Pet. 2:5; and shows the sum and end of his preaching to be, ‘that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit,’ 1 Pet. 4:6, that is, they repenting and turning unto Christ, ‘the body might be dead because of sin; but the spirit be life, because of righteousness,’ Rom. 8:10. 


Num. 25:15

An head of nations.

for as the wisdom of God (in Christ) sends forth her maidens to invite the simple to come and eat of her bread, and drink of the wine that she has mingled, Prov. 9:1-5, so ‘the foolish woman,’ (or whore of Babylon, Rev. 17:1,5) has also her toll-guests, ‘the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth,’ etc., Rev. 16:13,14…


Song of Songs 4:2

The house of wine.

This house of wine, is like that in Prov. 9:1-5, where wisdom having ‘builded her house,’ etc., invites the simple to come and eat of her bread, and drink of the wine which she has mingled.


Song of Songs 5:2 – “…it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.”

That knocketh.

Christ’s voice is uttered by preaching his gospel, calling to repentance, faith, and obedience, Heb. 3:7-8,15; 4:2His knocking signifies a more earnest provocation and desire to be let in, Matt 7:7; Luke 13:25; and it may imply his chastisements also whereby He would call her to repentance; as He says to the church in Laodicea, (when it was fallen to be neither cold nor hot,) ‘As many as I love I rebuke and chasten, be zealous, therefore, and repent.  Behold I stand at the door and knock,’ Rev. 3:19-20

Open to Me.

So we open the door unto Him when we give Him entrance into our hearts, He calling upon us by his word and works; when we repent, believe, and accept Christ with his graces, etc., Rev. 3:20.



A Seasonable Discourse, or a Censure upon a Dialogue of the Anabaptists, entitled, ‘A Description of what God has Predestinated Concerning Man’, is tried and examined, 1644, London

p. 19, the context is that Ainsworth is responding to his opponents who are claiming that saints can fall away from grace.

[Claim of opponent:] Those that Christ has bought may be damned, 2 Pet. 2:1

[Ainsworth’s] Answer: Those are such as before I spake of, which were bought of Christ by his offer of grace, and their feigned acceptance of it: but had they been indeed bought from the earth, they would have followed the Lamb, and should have been without fault before the Throne of God, Rev. 14:3-5.

[Claim of the opponent:] Salt may lose its savor, Matt 5

[Ainsworth’s] Answer: It may, if men be seasoned but with common grace: such as God gives to many reprobates, Heb. 6:4-6, but saving grace bestowed on the Elect, is a gift and calling without repentance, Romans 11:29.



The Old Orthodox Foundation of Religion: Left for a Patterne To a New Reformation, 1653, London, p. 24, this quote was compiled by David Ponter

God’s will.

As God knows, so He wills, and appoints all things concerning his creatures, Jer. 25:5-7.

God’s will and appointment extends also to beasts, and the vile creatures, Matt 10:29.

God manifests not all his will concerning his creatures and his dealing with them, Mat. 24:36, so then God’s revealed will, and his secret will are not opposite, but only members and degrees of willGod’s will is 1. Absolute. 2. Conditional.

1. Absolute, are things absolutely promised, or spoken without condition, on our part.  

2. Conditional, when God wills any thing of us, but with condition; as He wills that all men should be saved [1 Tim. 2:4]; namely if they will believe in Christ, Matt 28:20.

As God has a determining will, concerning his creatures, so He has an appointing will, concerning his creatures, so He has an appointing will unto them, Heb. 10:5-7.

Whatsoever God wills absolutely, and of itself, is good, Jam. 1:13; Ps. 119:12.

God wills sins, not simply, but by accident, as He knows and means to bring good out of them [Gen. 45:5, and 50:20].

God’s appointing will pertains to all men, God will have all to believe, as belief is a point of obedience, and honor to Him; but as belief is a grace, and a gift of God, He wills not all men to believe, but his elect.



Related Pages

The Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel

Historic Reformed Quotes on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel

1600’s Quotes on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel

Confessions, Documents and Commentaries on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel