Leigh’s Annotations on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel

 1650, 1657

Edward Leigh (1602 – 1671) was a lay member of the Westminster Assembly and also was elected to the English House of Commons from 1645 to 1648.




Annotations on Five Poetical Books of the Old Testament: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Canticles, 1657, London

Prov. 8:36

But he that sinneth against me, wrongeth his own soul.  He speaks of rejecting Christ offered in the Gospel.


Prov. 9

The whole Chapter is spent in several arguments, Wisdom pleads this way, and folly, that [way].

Prov. 9:1 – “Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars”

WisdomThat is, Christ.

Prov. 9:3 – “She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city”

Her maidens.  That is, ministers of the Gospel, who as virgins should be untouched and undefiled by the world.



Annotations upon all the New Testament, Philological and Theological 1650, London

Matt 22:1-2 – “And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son”

A King.  That is, God the Father, so called to declare his divine majesty, and to set forth the magnificence of the Feast.

His Son.  That is, Christ.

The Wedding Feast The glorious excellencies God tenders [offers] in the Godpel-ordinances.

First .  The Prophets.

The secondThe Apostles.

The MarriageEternal life, or the Kingdom of Heaven.

The Jews have the honor to be first called.

.  See Isa. 25:8,9 and Prov. 9, beginning.  Because in a Feast there is first plenty, secondly of dainties.  The Lord provides dainties for the souls of his people in the preaching of the Gospel, (1) the dishes [of] the love of God and his free grace and mercy, and the body and blood of Christ with the merit of it.  (2) The Spirit of God in all the gifts and graces of it is there abundantly poured out.

1. This: (1) is food for the soul, [it] will feed the inward man. (2) [is] pleasant food. (3) will satisfy the soul and answer all the desires of it, Isa. 55, because it puts it into the possession of that which is its most suitable good.  (4) is medicine for the soul, Rev. 22:5.  The refusers are such as come not to God’s ordinances at all, or do not at all accept of Christ.  The man without a wedding garment is one that comes carelessly and unduly to these ordinances and so does not in deed and truth partake of Christ which will breed life in a dead soul, John 5:25.  It will nourish the soul up to everlasting life, John 6:31 to the end.

2. To a Feast there is required not only good fare, but good company; a voluptuous Roman said he did often eat good meat alone, but he never feasted but in good company. Heb. 12, All the saints here and the blessed Trinity eat and drink with them.

3. Hearty welcome from the Feast-maker, Prov. 23:1; Cant. 5:1.

4. All is free cost, Isa. 55:1,2.

5. The continuance of this Feast, all the days of their life, especially the great standing dishes, faith in the blood of Christ and communion with God.

Matt 22:3-4 – “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.”

Not comeCalled by preaching to sorrow, obedience.

The marriage.  Gregory applies it to Christ’s incarnation, but it is a spiritual conjunction with Christ (Hilary, Calvin).  Being invited, they are guests, being come, they are brides.


Matt 22:11 – “And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:”

ManTaken collectively for all (Origin in location).


Matt 22:14 – “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Few are chosen.  This is the application of the Parable, few of those that are called and invited by the ministry are chosen.


Matt 23:37 – “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!”

How oft would I.  …He describes not here the secret counsel of God, but that which is learned by the word.

Christ speaks not of the will of his good pleasure [of decree], for that cannot be resisted, but of his signified will [revealed will] in the ministry of the prophets, and of Himself as He was a prophet and minister of the circumcision unto the Jews, for so He might will their conversion and yet they will it notPerkins.

And you would notThis may be referred to the whole nation as well as to the Scribes, yet rather to them by whom that gathering together was most hindered, for Christ inveighs against them in the whole course of his speech, and though He spake to Jerusalem in the singular number He alters it now.


Luke 13:34 – “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!”

As a hen does gather her brood under her wingsThere is in all birds a wonderful love engrafted to cherish and protect their little ones, but especially in the hen.  This cherishes the young ones without feathers, provides them food, by clocking calls them to her, and contends for them against the kite [a predatory bird], even to blood; the Jews were so cherished and protected by God.

And ye would notChrist speaks not here of his hidden and absolute will, according to which He does whatsoever He will, neither can any creature resist Him, but of his revealed will to which men ought to apply themselves.


Luke 19:42 – “Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.”

If thou hadst knownThe more ancient Divines [theologians] take the words optatively [a grammatical case, expressing a wish or desire], Oh that thou hadst known, the modern otherwise [take it in a conditional sense], that is, if thou hadst considered and taken special notice, Isa. 1:3…

At least.  That is, after thou hast so often rejected Me, and slain the prophets that came before Me.

In this thy day That is, of visitation, v. 44, by the word.

The things that belongTo your safety temporal, or salvation eternal;  Christ the Gospel, and the preaching of it.


John 4:10 – “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.”

The gift of God.  This is interpreted two ways, [1.] some expound it of Christ Himself, his own person, so Rollock, and Dr. Hall in his Paraphrase.  2. Others of the present occasion and opportunity she had now to know and receive Christ, we may take it for both.

[Leigh is saying that Christ is saying that He is the gift of God, and specifically to the woman at the well, who is yet unconverted, on this present occasion and opportunity.  That is to say, God has indiscriminately given his Son as a gift to the unconverted world at large, and this gift to them is the warrant for them to believe on Christ.]


2 Cor. 6:1 – “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.”

Receive not the grace of God in vain.  Not that the saving graces of faith and love, and the like, may be received and lost again, which is the Popish collection from that place; but the doctrine of grace and faith is here meant.  Grace is taken:

(1) for the free favor and good will of God. 

(2) For the grace of the Spirit, faith, love. 

(3)  For the manifestation of God’s grace; so the Gospel is called ‘the grace of God’, ‘the grace of God which brings salvation’ (Titus), both because it comes from God’s mere good will, and because in that doctrine there is a manifestation of the grace of God; so the grace of God is often received in vain.

This Word of the Gospel is received:

(1) By hearing. 

(2)  By understanding. 

(3)  By faith. 

(4)  By affecting. 

There may be a receiving it in vain in all these respects; we may hear in vain, believe in vain, show some affection in vain.  A thing is received in vain three ways:

(1) When it is so done that no effect at all follows. 

(2) When the effect chiefly intended and designed follows not, or

(3) not proportionably to the means and opportunities we have enjoyed.

The Word of God cannot be received in vain in the first sense, so as that no effect shall follow, Isa. 55:11, for it either softens or hardens, saves or destroys, 2 Cor. 2:13. 

The Word is by most received in vain, in respect of (2) the proper and intended effect; (3) many come not up neither in proportion to what they have received.


2 Thess. 2:10 – “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”

Because they received not the love of truth.  That is, willfully despised grace offered, those doctrines of truth concerning God; and our duty to Him, and our salvation.


1 Tim. 4:10 – “For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.”

Who is the Savior of all men, especially of those that believe It is meant of God’s general providence; or, if of his special mercies, that they are offered to all.


Jude 3 – “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

Of the common salvation In regard of the end [design] and means of it, and also of the subjects called unto it.




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