Great Quotes

We are to walk in every way that God hath chalked out unto us; but if we think our righteousness, deep humiliation, large relents of spirits, sorrow for sin, and our confession thereof, must make our way to the bowels of Christ, take heed lest you set up a false Christ. When you bring anything to Christ, you deprive him of that which is his greatest prerogative, and give it to your fasting and humiliations; it is the prerogative of Christ alone to bring you to himself. But, you will say, all the promises of pardon run with this proviso, in case men humble themselves, and do this and that, then pardon is theirs; but otherwise it is none of theirs. Take heed of such doctrine. We have bad Arminianism exceedingly exploded among us hitherto, and there hath been much complaint against it; but if we conceive that God, in pardoning sin, hath an eye to confession of it, here is the doing of works for pardon of sin; and how far short this comes of Arminianism, let all the world judge.

The truth is, it is not possible that any person can truly believe his iniquities are laid upon Christ, except there be a previous act of the Lord’s laying them on him; the Lord’s act of laying must go before our act of applying it to ourselves. It is not possible for any man to act anything, but there must be an object in being, about which it is conversant. Suppose a man believe his sins are laid upon Christ, I would fain know, whether his believing be true or false; if he believe indeed, he hath a foundation for this faith of his, and what is that? He hath a grant from the Lord, that is the very being of his faith; a grant, I say, he finds out, that is a stirring up of his believing. Now suppose I am to believe the forgiveness of my sins, what must be the ground of this my believing? The Lord must make his grant to me, and finding that, I have ground to believe it; then whensoever this grant was made, the thing that I am to believe, was done in respect of God’s act. Now we can find no grant, but as the Lord reveals the same in the word of his grace to us; when, therefore, that which is the foundation of my faith was made, then the act of God was made to me, which I apply to myself.

The Spirit of the Lord must first reveal the gracious mind of the Lord to our spirits, and give to us faith to receive that testimony of the Spirit, and to sit down as satisfied with his testimony, before ever any work of sanctification can possibly give any evidence; but when the testimony of the Spirit of the Lord is received by faith, and the soul sits down satisfied with that testimony of the Lord, then also all the gifts of God’s Spirit do bear witness together with the Spirit of the Lord, and the faith of a believer.

But many are apt to think, if I were sure he were my God, I might trust in him without sense. Now though this be a very common objection, yet who sees not the vanity of it? What is it to be sure, but to have the sense of his favour? Now the case we have in hand, supposeth this sense removed and gone, and no appearance of it; so that the objection is but this, if I had sense, I might believe without it, which is either nonsense, or a contradiction. But it will be further objected, that if men must believe that have no experience, then wicked and unregenerate persons may believe the promises. I answer: That whilst they are such, they neither will, nor care to believe them one with another; indeed, they cannot believe them, (whilst such) for it is not yet given them to believe or mind them. But, I answer, that wicked men may, if they can, believe the promises before they have experience; nay, I say further, that no man shall ever have experiences, until he believe without experiences. Doth not God justify the ungodly, even whilst he is so? Doth he not find him so, and at that time cast his love on him? If God doth so, what impropriety or incongruity it is it to believe he doth so? You will say this is at first conversion; but I answer, is not God’s love as free afterwards to rise anew after some setting? Doth not God return for his own name sake only? And if he do, must not our faith be on that name only? The truth is, man’s nature is apt to look after some loveliness or beauty in himself to win God, and therefore, when he can find no such thing, he is out of heart. This popery is natural, the fine-spun distinctions to evade it are mere fig-leaves, not able to cover the nakedness of it; he that comes to God and his promises with a blind-folded faith, (I mean a faith that takes notice of nothing in himself, whether good or evil) is God’s welcomed guest. (Tobias Crisp, Christ Alone Exalted)

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