The Westminster Annotations on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel

1645, 1651, 1657



by Travis Fentiman

The Westminster Annotations take a Sincere-Free-Offer-of-the-Gospel interpretation of nearly every Sincere-Free-Offer passage in the Bible (see especially John 3:16), and many more.

The Westminster Annotations was the first-of-its-kind attempt in the mid 1600’s to provide a large scale Bible commentary for the English people in the same vein that the Netherlands already had in their Dutch Annotations (ordered by the Synod of Dort in 1618 and published in 1635).  The leaders of England sought to improve the Dutch Annotations and give the common people familiar and sound Bible teaching.

The Westminster Annotations were not produced by the Westminster Assembly, though 6 of the 11 commentators were Assembly members and worked on it during the time the Assembly was regularly meeting.  It was the (largely puritan) English Parliament that called forth for its production, and called the particular 11 commentators, putting them under the liberty and general editorship of William Gouge, “the father of the London Ministers” (and also one of the Westminster Assembly divines).  The commentary first appeared before work of the Westminster Assembly was done, in 1645, under the title:

Annotations Upon all the Books of the Old and New Testament Wherein the Text is Explained, Doubts Resolved, Scriptures Paralleled, and Various Readings Observed. By the Joint-Labor of certain Learned Divines, thereunto appointed, and therein employed, (London: Printed by John Legatt and John Raworth, 1645).

The first edition had only very concise comments.  The second edition put out in 1651 was greatly expanded.  The third edition of 1657-8 was further revised and was considered the final, standard edition.  Only later did the Annotations become colloquially known as The Westminster Annotations.  All three editions are quoted below.

Daniel Neal, in his History of the Puritans, furnishes us with a helpful (though partial) list of each of the specific authors and books of the Bible they worked on in the Annotations.  ** – Denotes a Westminster Assembly divine.  Neal writes,

“Rev. Mr. [John] Ley **, subdean of Chester (The commentary on the five books of Moses), Dr. [William] Gouge ** (1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther), Mr. Meric Casaubon (The Psalms), Mr. Francis Taylor ** (Proverbs), Dr. [Edward] Reynolds ** (Ecclesiastes), Mr. Smallwood, recommended by archbishop Usher (Solomon’s Song), Mr. [Thomas] Gataker ** (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations), Mr. Pemberton in the first edition and Bishop Richardson in the second [edition] (Ezekiel, Daniel, and the smaller Prophets), Mr. [John] Ley ** (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), Dr. D[aniel] Featly **… (St. Paul’s Epistles).  There were two other persons concerned in this work, who might probably have the other parts of Scripture allotted them, not here mentioned, viz. Mr. Downham and Mr. Reading.”

According to Richard Baxter, John Downame and John Reading were responsible for general editing, and may have written: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, Job, Acts, Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude, and Revelation (per, Edmund Calamy, ed. An Abridgement of Mr. Baxter’s History of his life and times, 2nd edition, 2 vols. London 1713, 1:86).

That the civil government should call forth a Bible commentary to be produced for the spiritual good of its people may seem odd to modern ears, however it is very much in line with the principles of scripture and the Confession of Faith that the Westminster Assembly produced.  The civil magistrate is a “minister of God” (Rom. 13:4; WCF 23.1), who is to promote what is good according to God’s Law (Rom. 13:3; WCF 23.1), is to be a father to the people (Isa. 49:23) and is to call upon ministers to faithfully teach the people God’s Word (2 Chron. 19:8-11; WCF 23.3).  Thus, while Parliament called forth the production of the Annotations by ministers, the ministers were uncensored and were free to teach as their consciences bound them, in consistency with the spiritual liberty of the Church.  The Biblical doctrine of separation of Church and State, both being under the authority of God’s Word, is known as the Establishment Principle.

For further reading on the Biblical doctrine of the Sincere Free Offer in the Westminster Standards and Divines, see The Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel in the Westminster Standards and Divines.

Please enjoy the love and mercy of God sincerely revealed to us in calling us to salvation in Christ in God’s Word and the Westminster Annotations!

** – Denotes a Westminster Assembly Divine



The Old Testament

Gen. 6:3 – “And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh…”

[3rd edition, 1657.  Mr. John Ley ** originally authored Genesis, though it was revised in 1655 by John Richardson]

My Spirit.

That is, the Spirit of God, or of Christ, in those few good men who lived in that corrupt and incorrigible age; by which Spirit suggested good motions to the souls and consciences of sinful men, which they resisted and rejected.

Not always strive.

As before by Noah’s preaching, admonishing, reproving, protecting against the wickedness of the times; and striving with the stubbornness of the world, 1 Pet. 3:18,19, and by the inward operations of God’s Spirit urging the conscience to repentance for sin, and reformation of life: thus for God not to strive, is a judgment; as not to chastise and correct for amendment, Isa. 1:5; Hos. 4:4; and this He here threatens, being weary of their rebellious obstinacy, which moves Him to make a final resolution for their utter ruin: yet sometimes He professes He will not strive, in mercy to mankind, Isa. 57:16


Deut. 5:29 – “O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!”

[3rd edition, 1657, John Ley **]

O that, etc.

Deut. 32:29; Ps. 81:13; Isa. 48:18; Jer. 44:4; Matt 23:37.


2 Chron. 24:19 – “Yet He sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the Lord; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear.”

[3rd edition, 1657, William Gouge **]

Though they deserved judgment upon their first apostasy, yet the Lord in great patience sent his ministers to declare their sin to their faces, and to foretell them of judgments hanging over their heads, thereby to bring them to repentance.  So dealt He with the ten tribes, 2 Kings 17:13 and with the men of Judah after this, 2 Chron. 36:15.

Prophets to them.  Extraordinary messengers, and not one only, but prophets, many of them, time after time, one after another.

To bring them again unto the LordThis is the main end of God’s sending ministers to his people, either to bring them back from their wicked courses to the Lord, or to hold them close with the Lord.


Ps. 33:5 – ” the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.”

[1st edition, 1645, Mr. Meric Casaubon was the commentator, compiled by Dr. Donald Maclean]

He is bountiful to good men and bad, Matt 5:45; 1 Tim. 4:10, yea to the beasts, Ps. 36:6.

goodness. Or, mercy.


Ps. 81:13 – “Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!”

[Second edition, 1651, Mr. Meric Casaubon was the commentator, this quote was compiled by David Ponter]

O that my people had hearkened unto me.  God shows, that the obedience of his people is as pleasing to Him, as things wished for are to men, Deut. 5:29, Isa. 48:18.  See before upon the title of the Psalm 72 of God’s conditional promises, out of Ezek. 33:13, etc.


Ps. 145:8 – “The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.”

[1st edition, 1645, Mr. Meric Casaubon was the commentator, the quote was compiled by Dr. Donald Maclean]

He describes after what sort God shows Himself to all his creatures, though our sins have provoked his vengeance against all: He shows Himself merciful, not only in pardoning the sins of his children, but also in doing good to wicked men, albeit they feel not the sweet comfort of Gods benefits.


Prov. 1:24 – “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;”

[3rd edition, 1658, Mr. Francis Taylor **]

I have stretched out my hand.  A gesture of such as made proclamation, to get attention, Isa. 65:2; Acts 21:40; of those also, that would have on to come unto them, and again of those, that offer themselves to help one in great danger and distress In all these senses it will well agree to the present occasion.  None are in greater danger and distress, and want present succor and relief more, than stubborn fools and infidels.


The Song 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.”

[3rd edition, 1658, Mr. Smallwood, as the end of the quote demonstrates Smallwood is speaking of conversion]

It is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me.  This is another sudden apprehension, and sensible acknowledgement of the Church’s, to which she is quickened and excited by the strong and mighty calls and pulsations, by which Christ endeavors to awaken her;  whose voice she cannot but know and confess, though she be not so dutiful as she ought to be in obeying it; and therefore she does here aggravate and bewail her fault, which is so much the greater because of his importunity, and tender vehemency for admission: For when Christ calls, and knocks, and begs at the door of our souls to enter, what vile ingratitude is it to shut Him out?  When He solicits and entreats so many ways; by his Word and ministers; by his rods and corrections (which have their voice, Mic. 6:9) by his mercies and kindness, but chiefly by the constant admonitions, and provocations, and motions of his Spirit; what inexcusable, obstinate madness is it to deny and drive Him away?  Is anything so worthy to be harbored there, as He is?  And is it not an incomparable honor, that He will vouchsafe to come under our roof? Whosoever is shut out, sure he deserves an hospitable reception, who will come and sup with such as we are, and brings his feast along with him.  Aperi Christo sed extraneis claude, seculo claude, etc. [translated: Open to Christ, but to outsiders, shut, shut the world], drive away and banish all things else, but give Him the best lodging.  It is demanded, Can we open? Is it in our power?  Has not He the keys Himself, and is not He the door Himself?  Does not He shut and none can open?  Yes, but when He bids you to open, He lends you a key; and when He infuses grace and says, He enables you to open.  It is his gift, but your grace; his inspiration, but your improvement: And oh! How blessed are they that are but his Turn-keys, his Door-keepers Is there a greater honor, or happiness than to co-operate with God, in that which of all others is the most God-like work, the salvation of souls?


Isa. 1:18 – “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

[3rd edition, 1658, Thomas Gataker **]

Come nowA gracious invitation, with offer, and promise of reconcilement, remission of fore-passed transgressions, and restitution of former blessings, and benefits, upon such reformation, as was before here required.  So Isa. 55:1,3,6,7 and 58:6,12; Eze. 18:21,22.

Let us reason together Let us debate the matter between ourselves, setting apart the creatures formerly called in verse 2.  Consider well, you yourselves, whether the terms I propound be not equal and reasonable, and for your own good.  Thus is God content to condescend, and stoop so low to sorry wretches, as to argue with them, and to make them even as judges in their own cause, Job 9:32; Job 16:21; Isa. 5:3,4; Jer. 2:5,31; Mic. 6:1-3.

Isa. 1:19 – “ If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:”

If ye be willing, etc.  If you can be content to accept of the terms before propounded, v. 16,17.

Be willing and obedientOr, will consent, (as Prov. 1:10) and obey, or, consent to obey, as Eze. 3:7, to what is now required of you.


Isa. 5:2 – “And He fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.”

[3rd edition, 1658, Thomas Gataker **]

And He looked.  Heb. ‘expected.’  After so much care had of it, and means used about it, He expected, and waited until time of year then making account to receive fruit answerable to the cost and pains that He had been at with it.  Matt 21:34; 1 Cor. 9:7; Heb. 6:7; Jam. 5:7

Isa. 5:3 – “And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.”

And now. Having showed how his vineyard had frustrated his expectation, He first requires the judgment of others, even of those themselves, whom it concerned, and were parties in it, what they deemed it deserved to have done unto it, v. 3,4.  And then relates in what manner He purposed to deal with it, v. 5,6.

Isa. 5:4 – “What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?”

What could, etc Implying, that nothing as wanting [lacking] on his part, could be pleaded; in regard whereof He should come short of what He expected.

What could have been done.  Hebrew: ‘what was there to do?’  What was more to be done?  As 2 Kings 4:13,16; Isa. 6:6.

Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?  Hebrew: wherefore did I expect, etc. and it brought forth, etc.  Why has it failed mine expectation?  See somewhat the like syntax, Rom. 6:7, grapes, and wild grapes.  See verse 2.  It did not so much prove barren, and yielded no fruit, which yet were sufficient to justify mine intended proceedings with it, Matt 24:19,20; Luke 13:6,7; John 15:2.  But it brought forth filthy, naughty, noisome fruit, Heb. 6:8.


Isa. 26:10 – “Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord.”

[3rd edition, 1658, Thomas Gataker **]

Let favor be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness.  Having [previously] intimated what should be done, when God’s judgments are in the world, He subjoins now, the contrary disposition and carriage of many so perverse in their demeanor towards towards God, and so desperately bent to, and set upon evil, that neither God’s mercies nor his judgments have any gracious or kindly work upon them, they take the more liberty to live loosely from the one and they stand out obstinately against the other, until at length they bring destruction upon themselves, deservedly for either, verse 11.  See a pregnant proof hereof in Pharaoh, Ex. 7:12,14.  The like texture of sentence, as it is here conceived, may be found, Job 13:15.  Lo, let Him slay me, yet will I trust in Him.  Howbeit, it may be rendered, with some others, Yet when favor is showed the wicked, he will not learn righteousness; or, Though favor be showed him, he will not learn righteousness.  See Rom. 2:4-5.


Isa. 27:4 – “Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together.”

[3rd edition, 1658, Thomas Gataker **]

Fury is not in me.

First, that God neither, is of Himself prone to wrath, nor implacable.  Secondly, that there are those among God’s people, that by their obstinacy enforce God to severe courses, verses 4,5.


Isa. 28:21 – “For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, He shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.”

[3rd edition, 1658, Thomas Gataker **]

That He may do his work, his strange work, and bring to pass his act, his strange act… a strange act, and a foreign work: either because admirable and wonderful, as ch. 29:14, or because unusual and dreadful, as Prov. 23:33, or, because strange with God, as being contrary to his disposition, of Himself, inclining rather to mercy than to wrath, Isa. 27:4; Lam. 3:33; Eze. 33:11…  and carrying Himself as a stranger, Jer. 14:8, yea, as an enemy, Jer. 30:14, toward those, whom He had formerly been as tender of, as any the most affectionate Parent, Father, or Mother is, or can be, of their dearest darling, Deut. 8:5; 32:10,11; Ps. 103:13; Isa. 49:14.


Isa. 55:1 – “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”

[3rd edition, 1658, Thomas Gataker **]

Ho, every one that thirsteth, etc.  In this chapter is contained, a free invitation of all sorts of people as all Gentiles, to come in, unto Christ, and to yield themselves to Him, to be instructed, and ruled by Him, for their own good, verses 1-5, together with a serious exhortation to repentance, and amendment of life, verses 6-7, and a gracious promise of reconciliation, and restitution thereupon, verses 8-13.

Ho.  Of the various acception [acceptable uses] of the particle here used, see on Isa. 1:4; 10:5; 18:1.  Here it is without question, a note of compellation [to compel someone]; and of invitation, and incitation [to incite someone to do something] withal: as also, Zech. 2:10,11.

Every one.  Whether Jew, or Gentile, verses 4,5.  Joel 2:32; Rom. 10:12; though some restrain it to the former [Jews], because something hereafter mentioned, verses 12,13 seem more specially to concern them.

That thirsteth.  That is in distress, and being sensible of his distressed condition, is desirous of relief, that finding and feeling in himself a want [lack] of sincere grace, and earnestly desires a supply: for all these things concur in bodily thirst; a want of moisture in the inward parts; a sense of pain, and grievance, thence arising, and such an earnest desire of liquor to flake and relieve the same, as nothing can satisfy, but that alone, Ps. 42:1; Isa. 41:17,18; and a spiritual affection, proportionable hereunto is required in all those that are invited to partake in the mercies and favors of God, here offered to be found and had in Christ.  So Mark 5:6 and [Matt] 11:28; John 7:37; Rev. 21:6 and 22:17, and neither brutish worldlings therefore, that rest fully satisfied with worldly contentments, and carnal delights, Ps. 17:14, nor Pharisaical justiciaries, that are puffed up with a fond and vain conceit of their own good parts and perfections, while they so continue, can have any share in the mercies here propounded, Luke 1:53 and 18:9-14; Rom. 10:3; Rev. 3:17,18…

Come.  The word signifies indifferently [either way equally], either ‘go’, as Gen. 42:33, or, ‘come’; as Hos. 6:1, here it is rightly rendered in the latter notion; because they are called to return to God, the Fountain of living water, whom before they had forsaken, Jer. 2:13.

To the waters.  That is, as the most, to the waters of saving grace, and spiritual comfort, Isa. 12:3; Eze. 47:1,2; John 4:10,14 and 7:37-38; Rev. 21:6 and 22:17.  But it seems to me that to ‘the water’, here is, as if he had said, ‘to the water side’, as Judges 7:4,5, for it seems to be, not so much water, as other commodities, (yet such as supply the room of water, and in a more eminent manner, relieve, and refresh; do that, for which water is desired, and much more than it) are those precious things, that they are invited to partake in: and the water, or; waterside, the place whither they are willed to resort, there to furnish themselves with them: and I conceive it, to be an allusion to the manner of people dwelling in towns and cities, situate near to some river by which victuals and other wares are wont to be brought to them… it is like our Savior’s invitation, to come unto Him, with assurance of finding with Him and receiving from Him, means of relief, and refreshment, Matt 11:28; John 6:35,37, in which place, He shows what manner of coming it is, that is required; not a bare corporal motion; but a spiritual access by faith, which is as well the foot of the soul, to bring us unto Christ, as the hand of the soul to lay hold upon Christ, Cant. 3:4; Matt 9:11,12.  See verse 3.

Come.  As before: and again in the next branch; and yet again, in the third verse, so oft repeated, as to show God’s forwardness to invite and willingness to impart: so closely to tax men’s natural backwardness to those things, that most nearly and deeply concern his own good.  See the like, Eze. 32:18,30-32…

Buy… Hereunto it is commonly answered that these things are said to be bought, because something is to be done by those that desire to partake of themand again, because something must be parted with, for the achieving of them: for they must part with their corruptions, they must leave, and lay down their sins verse 7, yet, the case may so stand, that a man must be fain [desirous] to part with all that ever he is possessed of, and his life itself also, or he cannot become own of the commodities here mentioned… yet notwithstanding all this, the things offered may be truly said to be freely bestowed…  Thus the plain meaning will be, ‘get’, provide you, furnish yourselves: the word of buying being only used to this purpose; because that is the ordinary and most usual way, whereby men that want such necessaries are wont to supply themselves.  See Isa. 1:3, yet here, some suppose, also to allure them, that they should as readily have it, without payment of ought, as if they were able, and willing to lay down the full price for it.

Yea, come.  Or, ‘come, I say’, Hebrew: ‘and, come’: so Isa. 44:15 and 49:6 of coming, see before: the same thing, for more vehemency, not doubled, but tripled, as Isa. 51:9 and 52:11.


Isa. 55:6 – “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near:”

[3rd edition, 1658, Thomas Gataker **]

Seek ye the Lord, while He may be found.  An exhortation of the prophet, directed, as some would have it, to the Gentiles, not yet converted, calling upon them to come in, and make their peace, while he may, while God’s gracious offers, and tenders [offers] of grace yet continue, 2 Cor. 6:1

While He may be found.  So Ps. 32:6, in a time of acceptance, Isa. 49:8, while He offers Himself unto you in the means of grace, in the ministry of his Word, Ps. 27:8 and 95:7,8; 2 Cor. 5:20 and 6:1,2; Heb. 3:7, before the term of time respited [postponed for relief] for repentance, be expired, Gen. 6:3; Ex. 9:18; Jonah 3:4; Luke 19:42,44; Rev. 2:21; before the decree go forth, Zeph. 2:1-3, and God grow weary of repenting, Jer. 15:6, having born so long that He can no longer forbear, Jer. 44:22, and He take a solemn oath, Ps. 95:11, that He will not be spoken with He will not be found of you Isa. 1:15; Jer. 7:16; Prov. 1:24-28; Hos. 5:6.

Call ye upon Him, while He is near.  The same, in effect and substance, with the former, while He comes near unto you, in his ordinances, by his ministers and messengers, Isa. 51:5; Eph. 2:17, while He is near yet in mercy and the means and offers of mercy, not in judgment, and execution of wrath and vengeance, Mal. 3:5.


Isa. 65:1-2 – “…I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.  I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;”

[3rd edition, 1658, Thomas Gataker **]

I said, behold Me, behold Me, unto a nation that was not called by my name… For some [interpreters] take them [these words] as spoken in  way of invitation to the Gentiles, as if God did thereby call upon them, to look after Him, and come into Him, as Isa. 45:22, or tender, and offer Himself unto them, (as the prophet of God, Isa. 6:8) being ready to entertain them, and make them his people, which before they were not, Deut. 32:21; Hos. 2:14; Rom. 9:25, and this way our [King James] Version seems to incline… “Lo, lo”, or as it is frequently rendered, Here am I, here am I, Gen. 22:1,7,11 and 27:18, Isa. 6:8, and it is the voice of God returning a gracious answer unto the suits and supplications of those that seek to Him by prayer; here am I at hand, ready to hear and help.  So Isa. 58:9, ‘When thou shalt cry, He will say, Lo I’; or ‘here I am’: and it is doubled, to imitate his forwardness to hear and grant their requests: whereof see, verse 24…

I have spread out mine hands all the day unto a rebellious people. Or, a refractory people, Jer. 5:23, that would be no means be reclaimed, verse 12.  Isa. 66:4; Jer. 7:13 and 11:7,8…

After their own thoughtsFollowing not the motions and directions of my word, and Spirit; but led by their own minds and lusts…


Jer. 7:13 – “And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the Lord, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not;”

[3rd edition, 1658, Thomas Gataker **]

I called you, but ye answered notYe regarded not my call, inviting you to repentance, that you might prevent and escape ruin.  So Prov. 1:24; Isa. 50:2 and 65:12 and 66:4.


Lam. 3:33 – “For He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.”

[3rd edition, 1658, Thomas Gataker **]

For He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of menHebrew: ‘He doth not afflict from his heart.’  He does not willingly afflict any, his own people especially; but what He does in this kind, He is in a manner enforced to by their sins, 2 Chron. 36:16; Jer. 5:7,9 and 30:14[?] and 44:20, or, He takes no delight in afflicting people; it goes against the hair, and against the heart with Him to be dealing roughly with them; it is a grief to Him to be grievous to them, a pain to Himself to be punishing them, Isa. 1:24; Eze. 18:23,31,32 and 33:11, or He punishes not according to his might, as either He might justly or could do, if He would put out his might, and make use of his power, but with respect to man’s infirmity.  Job 37:23; Ps. 78:8,39; Isa. 27:8 and 48:9; Isa. 57:16… Thus diverse [interpreters] diversely, among which the first [interpretation: ‘He does not willingly afflict any’] seems most proper as best suiting with that form, ‘from the heart’, as we also use it, and so render, Eph. 6:6, what the apostle there says, ‘from the soul’.  Howbeit, I shall add how the phrase is in the Hebrew used.  A man is said to speak, or do a thing ‘from his heart’, or ‘out of his own heart’; for these terms in Hebrew differ not when he does it out of his own mere motion, or invention, without suggestion, information, direction, or occasion given, or ministered to him, by any other.  So it is said of Jeroboam, that he kept a festival, which he had derived ‘from his hear’, or ‘out of his own heart’, without any commission or direction from God, 1 Kings 12:33.  So Nehemiah to Sanballat, ‘thou fainest these things from thine heart’, or out of thine own hearts, Neh. 6:8, having no ground for them, or upon no occasion given from me or information form any other.  So the meaning here may be, that God does never afflict out of his own mere will, or motion only, without some good ground and just occasion given Him from those whom He does afflict So one of the [Jewish] Rabbis here, ‘He does it not out of his own Will; for man’s iniquity gives occasion’: contrary to that which of natural parents the apostle says, that they sometimes chastise after their own pleasure, if his meaning be such as our English expresses it: which yet I doubt much of, the words being only, “as seemed” good, or meet [fitting] “to them”, whether their children liked it or no, howsoever they deemed of it: but so worldly parents sometime do in an humor [passion], as we say, where no just cause is given of so doing: God never.  His bounty and kindness flow from Him freely of itself, his severity and harshness arises from somewhat in us.


Eze. 18:23 – “Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?”  

[3rd edition, 1658, Bishop John Richardson]

Have I any pleasure at all.  Verse 32; Eze. 33:11.  He speaks this to commend God’s mercy to poor sinners; who rather is ready to pardon than to punish, as his long-suffering declares.


Eze. 18:32 – “For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.”

[3rd edition, 1658, Bishop John Richardson]

I have no pleasure inEze. 33:11; 2 Pet. 3:9; to the great comfort of poor penitent sinners.


Hosea 7:1 – “When I would have healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was discovered…”

[3rd edition, 1658, Bishop John Richardson]

When.  God reproves Israel’s and Ephraim’s manifold sins; though He would heal them, yet they continue sinning against Him, and seek another means of help, and come to Him but hypocritically; which shall be their ruin.

I would have healed IsraelAs a good Physician Hos. 14:4; Ps. 30:2 and 103:3; Isa. 30:26 and 57:18,19.  By my Word, and prophets, by my mercies and judgments.  Assur could not heal them, Hos. 5:13.

Then the iniquityWhen by my word I tried to correct the sins of my people, their secret wickedness and inward hardness has manifested itself; as it often happens in bodily infirmities, when the physician tries his remedies, he finds diseases greater and more than at first appeared.  God applied his remedies, Hos. 6:5, but they prevailed not.  They did but stir and provoke the evil humors.  When sinners are rubbed on their sores, they kick, and fare as those, Matt 7:6, and so bewray [reveal or betray] that bitterness of spirit which before lay hid in them.  He that evil does, hates the light.


Hosea 11:1 – “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.”

[3rd edition, 1658, Bishop John Richardson]

When In this chapter God tells his love to Israel, when he was a child.  Israel sins then: and now.

I loved himFreely of myself without any worth or merit in him.  The more monstrous now is their ingratitude

And calledThe sign and fruit of his love, Ex. 4:22,23; Deut. 4:20,34.  This is literally true in Israel, his adopted son, Jer. 31:20…

My Son out of EgyptWonderful love, 1 John 3:2.  See Ex. 4:22,23 and also Matt 2:15.


Hosea 11:2 – “As they [the prophets] called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images.”

[3rd edition, 1658, Bishop John Richardson]

They The prophets all, and often.

Called them.  Not as that call was, as in the former verse: but by their [the prophets’] exhortations, and sermons, calling them so to repentance, and to my true service, which was the chief end for which they were called out of Egypt, Ex. 4:23, but they [Israel, later] turned their back to them [the prophets], Jer. 2:27.

Hosea 11:3 – “I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them.”

[3rd edition, 1658, Bishop John Richardson]

I taughtGod shows here his further love to them, and the continuation of it,

To goAs a nurse does the infant.  See Ex. 19:4; Numb. 11:12; Deut. 8:4 and 32:10-12.  See Isa. 5:2,4.

Hosea 11:4 – “I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.”

[3rd edition, 1658, Bishop John Richardson]

I drew them.  God continues on in the same point.  I used them not with rigor, but gently.  A phrase taken from cattle, bred up to carry or draw, which by a good master are used gently, and brought to their labor without violence.

With cords of a manHumanely, courteously.  I did not drag, or drive them as slaves; but allure and draw them as sons.

Take offHebrew: ‘lift up’.  Ease them every way.

I laid meat unto them.  Which they could not take till the muzzle was removed.  Or, I laid it before them that they might feed with ease and quietness; continuing still my kind usage of them

Hos. 11:5 – “He shall not return into the land of Egypt, and the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return.”

[3rd edition, 1658, Bishop John Richardson]

He shall not return… Thus is God’s judgment upon them, for their ungrateful requital of God’s good dealing with them.


Hosea 14:1 – “O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.”

[3rd edition, 1658, Bishop John Richardson]

Oh.  The contents are these: Israel exhorted to repentance; God promises abundance of blessings to him, under many similes, wisdom [is] required to understand these things.

ReturnHe exhorts them to repentance, to avoid all these plagues, willing them to declare by words their obedience and repentance.  He speaks to them lovingly, to put them in hope of favor, for without some faith and hope there cannot be any true repentance.

Hos. 14:2 – “O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.”

[3rd edition, 1658, Bishop John Richardson]

Take with you words. I desire neither sacrifices, nor offerings from you, but do you present before me a sincere confession of your sins, fervent prayers to obtain forgiveness, and sincere actions of grace…


Zech. 7:12 – “Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts.”

[3rd edition, 1658, Bishop John Richardson]

In His Spirit.  Which declares that they rebelled not only against the prophets, but against the Spirit of God that spake in them, as Acts 7:51.



New Testament

Matt 5:45 – “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

[1st edition, 1645, John Ley **, compiled by Dr. Donald Maclean]

That ye may hereby declare your selves to be God’s children, who doth good to his enemies, whereas men naturally study revenge…


Matt 11:19 – “The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.  But wisdom is justified of her children.”

[3rd edition, 1658, John Ley **]

Wisdom is justified of her children.  Though there be many that scoff at all means of grace, yet the wise counsel of God, Luke 7:30, in calling sinners home by John’s austerity and Christ’s familiarity is approved (as Ps. 51:4; Rom. 3:4; Luke 7:29) by the followers thereof, as Luke 10:6, which he says, to show that neither Christ’s, nor John’s labors had been fruitless to the elect hearers, though (as it commonly comes to pass) the wicked grew worse thereby and their judgment more heavy, by their contempt of God’s mercy offered them.


Matt 22:3 – “And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.”

[3rd edition, 1658, John Ley **]

His servants to callHis prophets to foretell the coming of Christ into the world, and invite men to receive Him with joy (see Luke 14:17) signifying the hour or instant time, that they might prepare.

Them that were bidden to the weddingThose who were formerly invited: that is the Jews, who had been before certified, and instructed concerning the coming of Christ our Savior.

And they would not comeHe sent John Baptist, the twelve apostles, the disciples to invite the Jews to repentance, Matt 3:1,2. Mark 6:12; Luke 3:3 and 9:2,6, but [they] would not.  See on Luke 14:18.

Matt 22:4 – “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.”

[3rd edition, 1658, John Ley **]

Other servants.  The apostles, etc. as verse 3.  After the prophets He sent the apostles, and ministers of the Gospel to invite men to Him, that they might believe and be saved.  See 1 Cor. 5:20.

I have prepared my dinnerThis is another call, to let the guests understand, that on God’s part all things are ready, and He expects their coming to Him.

Matt 22:9 – “Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.”

[3rd edition, 1658, John Ley **]

As many as ye shall find, bidGod calls us, when we think not of it, Isa. 65:2; Rom. 10:21; and invites all without exception, in the rule, Mark 10:15; Matt 11:28, though in some cases, according to his just judgments, for causes best, and only to Him known, He sometimes restrains, either in the general, as Matt 7:6 or the particular as Acts 16:6,7.  See on Luke 14:23.

Matt 22:10 – “So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.”

[3rd edition, 1658, John Ley **]

Both bad and good.  High and low, rich and poor, profane and civil; for men of all sorts were to be found among the Gentiles.  See Matt 13:38,47,48, only remember that God finds none good to be invited, but makes them such by his invitation.

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: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.”

[3rd edition, 1658, John Ley **]

Friend, howHe calls him friend, because He had invited him to the wedding, Jerome; yet has it the sense of a sharp reproof of him, that so unworthily requited God’s gracious calling, in that he, who had obtained so much favor in a friendly invitation, would so dishonor the company with an unseemly habit, that is, such impiety and wicked course of life, as became not the gospel.


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!”

[3rd edition, 1658, John Ley **]

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem.  Luke 13:34.  The name is doubled, to express great affection in the speaker: as 2 Sam. 18:33.

Thy childrenThe Jews’ whole mother city was Jerusalem, to which they repaired for solemn and public worship, judicature, and succor, in war or public calamities, Luke 10:14

TogetherA long time striving with them to bring them to faith and repentance.  See Ps. 17:8 and 91:4

Ye would not.  So Prov. 1:24; Isa. 65:12 and 30:20; Jer. 7:13; Eze. 24:13.  Nos calamitatum nostrarum auctores sumus—nos, inquam, nos, etiam Deo nolente, cruciamus.  Salvian. l.8. [being translated:] we are the authors of our own woes—we, I say, we ourselves, (against that which God would in mercy) torment ourselves—nihil est in nos, crudelius nobis: there is nothing more cruel against us, than our ownselves; we will not be healed.  See Eze. 18:31.

Matt 23:38 – “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”

[3rd edition, 1658, John Ley **]

Your house is left unto you desolate.  Your city and temple shall be destroyed: God often and long offers mercy, but at last (as Cardan speaks out of Valer. Max.) tarditatem supplicii—gravitate compensat; [being translated:] He recompenses the slowness or delay of the punishment, with the grievousness thereof.  See on Luke 13:35.


Matt 26:50 – “And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus and took him.”

[3rd edition, 1658, John Ley **]

Friend, wherefore art thou come?  He upbraids not his perfidiousness [trust breaking], but with all mildness invites him [Judas, a reprobate] to repentance: thus stilling him, He says not what he was, but what he should have been; or what he seemed, but was no: nor asks He the cause of his coming, as not knowing it…


Mark 10:21 – “Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”

[1st edition, 1645, John Ley **, compiled by Dr. Donald Maclean]

Pitied him, that, having outwardly kept the commandments, which many did not, he should lose heaven nevertheless.

[3rd edition, 1658, John Ley **]

Loved him. [in Greek] Egapon autou, loved, kissed, or cheerfully and in a friendly manner received him, as truly pitying him who having with so much care outwardly kept the law of God, which many did not; yet did but deceive himself with a vain opinion of righteousness, as if he were perfect, or near thereto; when yet without faith in Christ, he could not possibly be saved.


Luke 7:34 – “ The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!”

[3rd edition, 1658, John Ley **]

Eating and drinkingThat is, conversing friendly with men: John was a retired man: but Christ used a more gracious familiarity, and they, who then most professed sanctity and religion, calumniated both: and would not believe their preaching.


Luke 19:41-2 – “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 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.

[3rd edition, 1658, John Ley **]

He beheld the city and wept over it In his love to the people of Israel, zeal of their salvation, and knowledge of their final destruction at hand; in grief and pity He burst out into tears: plangit eos qui cur plangantur. Gregory, Homily 39 in Evang.  [Being translated:] He bewailed them who knew not why they should be bewailed; who rejoiced when they did evil: all this shows that He took on Him, as our nature, so all our affections without sin: so oft-times the Deity (as it were) rested and clouded itself under the veil of his humanity, when the accomplishment of the work of our redemption required his passion, or compassion.  See Heb. 4:15.  He [Jesus] was the Minister of the circumcision, Rom. 15:8, sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, Matt 15:24.  Seeing therefore how willfully they perished, for [their] whole salvation principally He was sent; and that the elect [chosen] city which God had [outwardly] chosen to put his Name there, rejected their Savior, out of a fatherly and deep compassion, He wept for them who were not sensible of their own misery.

If thou hadst knownIt is a pathetical [full of pathos] speech, and therefore abrupt: abundance of affectionate thoughts, as it were thronging the heart, like some violent press of people at a door, hinder each other’s passage: the sentence may be supplied with ‘would God’, or how ‘happy were it for thee if, etc.’  The sum is, I do now present the fulfilling of the promise for your salvation; but your destruction is near, because you will not receive it, nor understand that which is so plainly taught you…

The things which belong unto thy peaceWhich you now hear spoken, and see done by Me; all but for your malice and obstinancy blinding you should bring you to believe, to be justified, and to have peace with God.

Luke 19:44 – “And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

Of thy visitation.  As if He said, in your visitation, in which God manifested Himself in my person, offering you mercy: see Gen. 50:24,25; Ex. 3:16; Luke 1:68.


John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

[1st edition, 1645, Mr. John Ley **, compiled by Dr. Donald Maclean]

For God so loved the world. 1 John 4:9Mankind.


[2nd edition, 1651, Mr. John Ley **, compiled by David Ponter]

For God so loved, etc.  In this verse Christ shows these four concurrent causes of our redemption and salvation. 1. The principal first impulsive; the love of God, which can have no cause but itself. 2. The material, or price of our redemption, his only begotten Son. 3. The instrumental; faith in Christ: that whosoever believes in him. 4. the final, eternal life.

the world. That is, mankind, for Christ speaks not here of the common love of God where he wills the good of conservation [sustaining preservation] to the creature; so he loved all creatures, but of his special love, where he wills man should be saved by Christ, and he is truly to love the world, because they whom he loves to eternal life, are in the world, a part of the world, and gathered by his word and Spirit into the body of the Church, out of all ages and parts of the world, God loved all that he had made: He loves not sin which is neither in Him nor of Him, He loved a sinning world (for when we were enemies, He reconciled us. Rom. 5.10) but not the sins of the world: if we speak of God’s peculiar love which is to eternal life; we must understand the elect only, opposed to that part thereof, concerning which it is said; the whole world lies in wickedness. 1 John 5:19. and, I pray not for the world, John 17:9.  Christ prayed for those whom He loved to salvation; that is, for the elect only I pray for them I pray not for the world, the elect are in the world, not of the world (John 17:16) that is, of that party which lies in sin and unbelief; so two sorts of men are intimated, sub uno mundi nomine; [being translated:] ‘under this one name, world’ (says Prosper) sicut enim dicitur mundus in impriis, ita dicitur mundus in sanctis—[being translated:] ‘the wicked are called the world, and here the saints are called the world’ which God loves, God loves us such as we shall be by his gift, non quales sumus nostro merito. Augustine, de C.D. l.17. c.4, [being translated:] ‘not such as we are by our desert,’ He loved, quod fecerat [‘that made’], etc., elegerat in filio [chosen for his Son], faith the same tr. 110, in John 17, that which he had made, and chosen in his Son; out of whom He loves no man to eternal life: A Prince may be truly said, to love his Subjects specially then, when he punishes the perverse, rebellious, and seditious among them; and a Physician his patient, specially when humors which disaffect him: so neither can it prejudicate [prejudice against] the love of God that He cuts off and condemns reprobates, or when with severe corrections, He fetches in, amends, and saves those whom He loved and elect[ed] from eternity, thus then the creator, and Lord of lords, loved the world; that is wretched mankind dispersed, upon the face of the the earth, without difference of nation, dignity, sex, or age: all the world with his common love, (of which all have some taste) [,but] of the elect only, according to the effect thereof, [by] his purpose of saving them in Christ.   See more concerning the acceptation [accepted use] of the word ‘world’ Augustine, Tome 7, Contra Jul. Pelag. L. 6.c.x.


John 3:17 – “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

[3rd edition, 1657, Mr. John Ley **]

For God sent notJohn 12:47God gave, and sent his son by his incarnation: He confirms that which He said, ‘should not perish’, verse 16, by declaring the end of his present coming into the world.

To condemn the world.  Christ’s coming condemns not, but unbelief and contempt of Christ, John 9:39; 12:47, He came not now to judge (that shall be at his second coming) but to propose terms of peace and mercy; that they might believe and be saved.


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.”

[3rd edition, 1657, Mr. John Ley **]

Gift of God.  That excellent gift specified, John 3:16, or John 7:38,39, or [of] Himself to convert her [the unbelieving woman at the well]; or the opportunity of salvation hereby offered her.


John 7:37 – “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

[3rd edition, 1657, Mr. John Ley **]

Jesus stood and criedChrist cried out, to recall them from earthly to Heavenly waters.


John 12:47 – “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.  He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”

[3rd edition, 1657, Mr. John Ley **]

Judge him not I condemn him not now, but he shall be judged at the last day: I came now to call sinners to repentance, to preach the gospel of peace.


Acts 14:16 – “Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.”

[3rd edition, 1657, John Downame and John Reading?]

Who in times pastbut now that God vouchsafes [to] you the knowledge of his will for your salvation, neither consent of multitudes erring, nor antiquity of sin, ought to hinder you from embracing a saving truth; but rather the long-suffering of God, must lead you to repentance.


Acts 17:30“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:”

[3rd edition, 1657, John Downame and John Reading?]

God winked at… that was a severe judgment, when God have you up to your own lusts, and blindness of mind (as Rom. 1:24; Heb. 8:9) this is a gracious mercy which He offers you in the Gospel and covenant of grace.

But now He commandeth all menNow He causes the Gospel to be preached to all nations, to draw them from their horrible sins: and now if they refuse to do the known will of their Master, they must expect more severe judgments.


Rom. 2:4 – “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

[3rd edition, 1657, Dr. Daniel Featly **]

Despisest thou.  Hast no care at all to employ the same to the right and proper use, which is to give you space of repentance, and afford you many inducements thereunto; but contrarily you do profane them, and draw occasions from them to strengthen yourself in evil, as if you should never be punished, because God has so long tolerated you.

RichesThat is, the multiplicity and variety of God’s outward blessings… Here the apostle especially argues against those who were of opinion, that their case stood not ill with God, forasmuch as God blessed them many ways in this world, and gave them abundance of wealth and honor, as He did to the Romans above other people, who had the command over all nations.

Repentance… or it may be meant also of true repentance: For the favors of God allure men to their duty to God.


2 Cor. 5:20 – “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.

[3rd edition, 1657, Dr. Daniel Featly **]

Now then we are Ambassadors.  Greek: we are therefore Ambassadors.

Beseech.  Or, exhort, or persuade

In Christ’s stead.  Greek: for 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.

[3rd edition, 1657, Dr. Daniel Featly **]

Workers together with HimThat is, with God, mentioned in the last verse of the former chapter.  Now this cooperation of the ministers with God is not only necessary before they to whom they preach have received grace, that they might be partakers of it; but also after they have received grace, that they may continue in it.

The grace of God in vainBy the grace of God he means the outward means of salvation in the ministry of the Gospel: or enlightening grace, in the understanding, which they receive in vain, who are not thereby bettered in their life and conversation, as the earth receives feed, and the former and latter rain in vain, which is barren and bears no fruit, Heb. 6:8.


1 Tim. 2:4-6 – “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

[2nd edition, 1651, Dr. Daniel Featly **, compiled by David Ponter]

all men to be saved.  By as much as appeared unto us by the will revealed in the Gospel, he excluding none by name, neither nation or condition whatsoever, Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15.  Or ‘all’, may be taken, not pro singulus generium [for the individuals of the race], but pro geniribus singulorum [each of the classes of men]. Verse. 1.

the man Christ Jesus.  The Apostle does not add man to exclude the divine nature from his Mediatorship: for He is God revealed in the flesh, 1 Tim. 3:16.  And God has purchased his Church by his blood, which through the eternal Spirit He offered without spot unto God, Heb. 9:14, but to express that nature in which He paid the ransom for us, mentioned in the verse following; and to show that our Mediator being a man, all sorts of men have by faith free access unto Him and his offering, Heb. 2:10.

a ransom for allAll that do believe in Him, Matthew 20:28. John 3:16 and 10:15, Rom. 1:16 and 3:22.

to be testified in due time.  Or a testimony.  Greek: Tec. For all in due time. The word marturion, is left out in the Greek copy by Tecla, and the sense is full without it, “Who gave himself a ransom for all in due time;” but if [we] retain the word because most copies have it, the meaning is, “That the ransom He paid was a real testimony of his Mediatorship betwixt God and man, whereby He reconciled both.”  Or the meaning is, “That though their ransom were paid at one time, yet it is testified to several nations, kairois idois, at several seasons appointed by God for their conversion.


Heb. 3:8 – “Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

[3rd edition, 1657, Dr. Daniel Featly ** or Mr. Downham and Mr. Reading?]

HardenContemn not his [God’s] voice, but believe it, cleave fast and be obedient unto it, Zech. 7:11-12; Acts 7:51, where resisting is opposed unto it.


2 Peter 2:1 – “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

[2nd edition, 1651, Mr. Downham and Mr. Reading?, compiled by David Ponter]

Denying.  By total apostasy, or evil life, unbelieving the servants of Christ, Tit. 1:16.  See more on Jude 4.

The Lord that bought themThat gave a price sufficient for them [that was of enough value to save them], even his own precious Blood, Acts, 20:27; 1 Cor. 6:20; 1 Pet. 1:18, 19.  Or, by whom they professed that they were redeemed: and therefore they should not have denied him.


2 Pet. 3:9 – “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

[1st edition, 1645, Mr. Downham and Mr. Reading?, compiled by Dr. Donald Maclean]

or towards mankind, of which number we also are… Not any [should perish] at all; by his directing and approving will, Eze. 33:11Or, he speaks of God’s approving will, whereby he likes of repentance in any.


Jude 4 – “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

[2nd edition, 1651, Mr. Downham and Mr. Reading?, compiled by David Ponter]

ungodly men. Such as worship God not aright; or have no fear of God at all, Gen. 20:11; Psa. 30:1; Rom. 3;18.

turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness. The grace of God invites us to sobriety, Tit. 2:11,12, but they turn it to a contrary end.

Denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.  Denying Christ to be God, who was their master by profession (for the professed themselves to be of his household) and their Lord by public authority over them. Or, by their deeds denying Christ.


Rev. 3:18 – “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”

[3rd edition, 1657, Dr. Daniel Featly ** or Mr. Downham and Mr. Reading]

I counselChrist’s advice to him [one who is blind, naked, wretched, etc.], to seek remedy against those spiritual evils, and supply of those spiritual wants, from Himself, as the fountain whence all grace issues, John 1:16.


Rev. 3:20 – “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

[1st edition, 1645, Mr. Downham and Mr. Reading?, compiled by Dr. Donald Maclean]

[Christ knocks] At the door of men’s consciences, both by outward means and inward motions, Ps. 16:7, as one desirous of admittance; Cant. 5:2.


[3rd edition, 1657, Mr. Downham and Mr. Reading?]

I stand at the doorAs attending and waiting, with much patience, Cant. 5:2

And knockAt the door of men’s consciences, both by outward means, and inward motions, Ps. 16:7, as one desirous of admittance, Cant. 5:2.

Hear my voiceNot give me bare hearing, but hearken to what I say, John 5:29; Heb. 3:7; Ps. 97:7

OpenTo receive and entertain Me by faith; not in his house, but in his heart, John 3:11,12.

I will come in I will unite myself to him, take up my lodging with him, and make mine abode in his soul, Isa. 57:15; 2 Cor. 6:16; 1 John 4:16.

Sup with himConverse familiarly, cheerfully and comfortably with him, as friends use to feast and make merry one with another, Cant. 5:1; John 14:23.  For their seats were for the most part at supper-time, when their daily employments were over, Luke 14:17.  See Rev. 19:9





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