"They are all adulterers, as an oven heated by the baker, who ceaseth from raising after he hath kneaded the dough, until it be leavened." (Hosea 7:4)
The Prophet, in this chapter, is leveling the artillery of heaven against Ephraim and Israel, who were the professing people of God: the principal sins he charged them with, were falsehood, and adultery. But, by the hand of God, in discoursing from these words, I mean to aim at Arminianism; for I am sure it is a subtle, awful, and abounding error; and those who embrace it are, like Ephraim and Israel, compassing the Lord about with lies and deceit; (Hos. 11:12) and are children of falsehood, deceiving themselves, their thousands, and ten thousands. But, before I enter upon my subject, I solemnly declare, that in explaining this text as applicable to the Arminians, I have no personal enmity against any one of them upon the face of the earth: their principles I do, and hope, through grace, I ever shall abhor; being fully persuaded, that they are extremely dishonorable to God, and destructive to the souls of men. I know that every person whom God sends to preach his everlasting gospel, will be a savor of death unto death, to all who reject his testimony; and a savor of life unto life, (2 Cor. 2:16) to all who are ordained to eternal life, and enabled, through grace, to believe, receive, experience, and love the truth and peace. The excellency of this power is alone of God, to whom I leave the effects of this discourse.
"They are all adulterers, as an oven heated by the baker, who ceaseth from raising after he hath kneaded the dough, until it be leavened.
In speaking from these words, I will endeavor to describe,
Secondly, The Oven;
Thirdly, The Baker, and his Heating it;
Fourthly, His Kneading the Dough, and,
Lastly, his ceasing from Raising, until it be Leavened.
By Adulterers, literally are meant, married persons who have an unlawful connection with other men's wives: but it is not confined to such, it sometimes signifies the same between unmarried people. No doubt there are many, like the pharisee in the temple, thanking God they are not as other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, etc. (Luke 18:11) But our Saviour declares, "that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." (Matt. 5:28) "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries," etc. (Matt. 15:19) And, "the Lord looketh on the heart." (1 Sam. 16:7) From this sin, few (if any) are exempt. But it is spiritual adultery which is meant in my text; which consists, in the first place, in giving that worship to idols, which belongs alone to the true God. In many places of scripture the children of Israel are charged with committing adultery with idols, and going a whoring after them. (Ezek. 23:37; Jer. 3:8,9) An idol is a false god; a deity formed in the ideas or imaginations of people. In former times, images of wood, stone, gold, silver, etc. were made, agreeable to the imagination of the maker, and worshipper. That the Arminians are free from the latter I will allow; that they are guilty of the former, I will prove. The scripture reveals but one, only, living and true God. "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is One Lord." (Deut. 6:4) "One Lord, one faith, one baptism;" (Eph. 4:5) consequently, whoever worships any other Lord, but that One which the scripture reveals, must be an idolater, and an adulterer: the Arminians do, therefore they are all adulterers. For instance, the Lord reveals Himself as an unchangeable being: "I am God, and change not." (Mal. 3:6) "He is of one mind, who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, that he doeth." (Job 23:13) "With whom is no variableness, or shadow of turning." (James 1:17) "The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, and the thoughts of his heart to all generations." (Ps. 33:11) "He is the same yesterday, today, and for ever." (Heb. 13:8) "The heavens shall perish, and wax old, as a garment; and as a vesture shall they be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail." (Heb. 1:11,12) His purpose, choice, salvation, righteousness, love, mercy, works, and words, are immutable, and eternal as himself. "His purpose is an eternal purpose." (Eph. 3:11) "His choice from before the foundation of the world." (Eph. 1:4) "His salvation and righteousness everlasting." (Isa. 51:8) "His love everlasting." (Jer. 31:3) "His mercy endureth for ever." (Ps. 136:1) "His works are done for ever." (Eccl. 3:14) "His word never passes away." (Matt. 24:35) And the great I AM must necessarily be immutable: for, whoever changes, must be imperfect; a change must be either for the better or for the worse: but the eternally, and unalterably PERFECT JEHOVAH, can never be better or worse than he is. Is this Lord like the Arminian god? By no means: their idol changes as the creature does: if they are good, he loves them; if they alter and are bad, he changes and hates them. They are children of their god one day, and children of the devil another. By their repentance, they can turn his mind at any time; and by their turning away, can turn him away. They partake of mercy at one time, of wrath another; enjoy his salvation for a season, and afterwards fall away and be lost: so that just as they change, he alters. This is not the unchangeable God, with whom is no variableness, or shadow of turning; therefore, it is an idol, set up in their imagination, and they are all adulterers who worship it.
Again--The God of Moses reveals himself as a sovereign independent God, "who will be gracious to whom he will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom he will shew mercy." (Exo. 33:19) "Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth." (Rom. 9:18) That "for his pleasure all things are and were created." (Rev. 4:11) "That he doth what he will with His own." (Matt. 20:15) "That he makes one vessel to honour, and another to dishonour; shews his wrath, and makes his power known, in enduring with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction; and make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, afore prepared unto glory." (Rom. 9:21-23) "That his people are predestinated to the adoption of children, by Jesus Christ, to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will." (Eph. 1:5) "That he saves and calls them with an holy calling, not according to their own works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given them in Christ Jesus, before the world began." (2 Tim. 1:9) "That he worketh all things after the counsel of his own will." (Eph. 1:11) "That he doth whatsoever he pleaseth." (Ps. 115:3) "Who doeth according to his own will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay his hand, or say, what doest thou?" (Dan. 4:35) This is a description of God worthy of him. Is this revelation of the Most High like--like what? a god that is obliged to wait upon his creatures, to entreat them to be his children, to be saved, to receive his mercy, to accept his grace, to obey his calls, and, after all, almighty man (as one of the Arminian poets calls him) does not choose it; and, therefore, God is disappointed.
The Arminians inform us, man has will and power to choose and refuse: therefore, God must be dependent upon them. They say, that there is none in hell but what might be saved if they would: though God avers, "It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy." (Rom. 9:16) This dependent god, is not the independent Jehovah, therefore, an idol, and they are all adulterers who worship it.
Again--The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is ALMIGHTY; (Exo. 6:3) and declares to his dear Son, "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power." (Ps. 110:3) "That he worketh in them both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Phil. 2:13) "That he will fulfil the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith, with power." (2 Thess. 1:11) "That his arm shall be revealed, to make sinners believe the report of Christ crucified." (John 12:37-39) "That he will draw sinners to Christ." (John 6:44,45) "That he will keep them by his power, through faith, unto salvation." (1 Pet. 1:5) "That they shall never perish, but have eternal life, and none shall pluck them out of his hand;" (John 10:28,29) nor shall they slip out themselves." (Jer. 32:40) The Arminian's god cannot do this. They have will, and power to come to Christ, and to endure to the end. Their god assists them with a little grace, gives them a little help, but they are the almighty ones to finish the business. Their god wills the salvation of all, but many are damned, therefore he cannot execute his will. Rebel man is too strong for their god, can disappoint his will, mercy, grace, and power. This god is not our God, for, "He worketh all things after the counsel of His own will;" therefore, it is a false god, an idol, and they are all adulterers who worship it.
Again--The Lord reveals himself as OMNISCIENT. "Known unto God are all his works from eternity." (Acts 15:18) He knew from everlasting what himself would do, and also what all others should be inclined and permitted to do. Nothing can take place in time, but what God foreknew from all eternity; consequently, everything must act according to God's foreknowledge; for, if any thing could transpire that God did not know of, it would argue a deficiency in his wisdom, which is impossible, for "known unto God are all his works from eternity." "All things are and were created for his pleasure." He hath made all things for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil." (Prov. 16:4) "He forms his people for himself, that they may shew forth his praise." (Isa. 43:21) "He hath afore prepared the vessels of mercy for glory;" (Rom. 9:23) therefore, "knoweth them that are his." (2 Tim. 2:19) That "he doth not cast away his people whom he foreknew;" (Rom. 11:2) but "predestinated them to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren; moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified:" (Rom. 8:29,30) thus, all whom he foreknew, he predestinated, called, justified, and glorified. On the other hand, there are some he never knew (with a knowledge of love and choice) and these he never saves. (Matt. 7:23) The salvation of the former is certain, for God directs all their steps, (Prov. 16:9)--preserves their feet, (Ps. 37:28)--and never leaves them nor forsakes them. (Heb. 13:5,6) On the other hand, the damnation of all others is as sure; for God can never err in his foreknowledge; he is for ever certain of the exact number of his elect, for their whole salvation, as well as creation, is his own work from first to last. The Arminian's god cannot be omniscient, because he leaves to man to believe or not, as he is willing and obedient; supplies them with a stock of grace, and then leaves them to improve it; consequently, their everlasting welfare must depend, and, therefore, their god cannot know whether they are his or not, till they endure to the end, for none, but those who endure to the end can be saved. (Matt. 24:13) If this enduring to the end be left to man, there must be an uncertainty respecting it: But God of heaven preserves his saints for ever; (Ps. 37:28) therefore he is omniscient, their god not so, consequently not the true God, but an idol, and they are all adulterers who worship it.
Again--The mighty one of Jacob reveals himself as a JUST GOD, "that will by no means clear the guilty;" (Exo. 34:7) "nor condemn the righteous;" (Ps. 37:33) "nor suffer one jot or tittle of his law to pass away, till all be fulfilled." (Matt. 5:18) By nature, birth, and practice, all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. "There is none righteous, no not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no not one." (Rom. 3:10-12) A righteous man is God's own work. "Thy people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified." (Isa. 60:21) The apostle explains this: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath sent forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare (I say) at this time his righteousness; that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus." (Rom. 3:23-26) The plain meaning is this,--God, our great Creator, demands obedience to his law, and in case of failure, satisfaction for the offense. And he is so infinitely just, that he declares, "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle, shall in no wise pass from the law, till all (a perfect obedience to the precept, a perfect satisfaction to the penalty) be fulfilled." (Matt. 5:18) Man has disobeyed; in Adam, their federal head, and in their own persons: consequently, by the deeds of the law no flesh can be justified." (Rom. 3:20) God, in infinite love to his people, provided a surety, Jesus, (Heb. 7:22) who should magnify the law and make it honourable, (Isa. 42:21) by an infinitely perfect obedience to its commands, and an infinitely meritorious obedience to its penalty; that, as his people's surety, he should pay their double debt, and thus become their righteousness:--"By the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." (Rom. 5:19) This righteousness is imputed to them without works. (Rom. 4:6) By this they are justified, and shall reign in life, by one, Jesus Christ; (Rom. 4:17) by his death he atoned for our transgression, and God is, through him, faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) Having imputed all our sins to Christ, (2 Cor. 5:21) who put them away by his sacrifice, and made an end of them, (Heb. 9:26; Dan. 9:24) he is faithful and just never more to impute them to those for whom the surety undertook: (Rom. 4:8) "This God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even unto death." (Ps. 48:14) But the Arminian's god is unjust in every sense; he saves many who never perfectly obeyed the law, and damns many for whom Christ died: for they inform us, that there are many in hell for whom Christ died, consequently, their god received perfect satisfaction from the surety, but afterwards punishes the debtor. This is not the JUST GOD, therefore, an idol, and they are all adulterers who worship it.
Again--The Lord who made heaven and earth, and all things therein, is "a just God, and a Saviour, and there is none else;" (Isa. 45:22) not a half Saviour, for the half sinful, but a complete Saviour for the wholly lost, who "is able to save (not partly, but) to the uttermost (not a few, but) all that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them;" (Heb. 7:25) "for by one offering he that perfected for ever them that are sanctified;" (Heb. 10:14) "He hath obtained (not a salvation which we may enjoy for a time, and then lose, but) eternal redemption for us:" (Heb. 9:12) and is so complete a Saviour, that he does not leave it to his lost sheep whether they will be saved or not, but "he came to seek and to save that which is lost:" (Luke 19:10) they are so completely lost, that Christ declares, "No man can come unto me, except my Father, which hath sent me, draw him, and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44) Again--"No man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father." (John 6:65) But that his sheep may not lose his salvation, that he may be a Saviour to them, he says, "As a shepherd seeketh out his flock, in the day that he is among the sheep that are scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day; and I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick." (Ezek. 34:11-16) All that the Father giveth me shall come unto me," when they come, "I will in no wise cast them out;" (John 6:37) but receive and keep them, "and give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand." (John 10:28) This is a Saviour who saves to the uttermost; who laid down his life for his sheep, and obtained eternal redemption for them; seeks them out from the rest of the world, calls them to him, and makes them come, kindly receives them, forgives all their sins, preserves them from falling, raises them all at the last day, and presents them all holy and unblamable through his death, (Col. 1:22) in full time;--"Behold me, and the children which thou hast given me:" (Heb. 2:13) These many sons He brings to glory, (Heb. 2:10) in obedience to his heavenly Father's will;--"This is the will of him that sent me, that all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day." (John 6:39) But is the Arminian's rock like this Rock? No; they worship, not a Saviour, but an assistant, a helper, that placed man in a savable state, gives them some help, begins the business of salvation, but leaves them to finish the grand affair. They must be willing to receive his salvation, and persevere to the end in their own strength and his grace together, or Christ and his salvation are of no avail. They pray unto a god that cannot save, unless the creature pleases; and then cannot save to the uttermost without help of man: such an one is not Jehovah the Saviour, consequently, an idol, and they are all adulterers who worship it.
Again--David's Lord is JEHOVAH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, (Jer. 23:6) who hath made an end of sin, made reconciliation for iniquity, and brought in everlasting righteousness. (Dan. 9:24)
Righteousness signifies a perfect conformity to the law of God:--"This shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all things written in this law;" (Deut. 6:25) "If we fail in one point, we are guilty of all." (James 2:10) The two principal commands are, "love to God with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the mind, and with all the strength: and, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." (Mark 12:30,31) All flesh hath failed in performing these, therefore, there is none righteous, no, not one. Our blessed Lord was pleased to take human nature, was circumcised the eighth day, and become a debtor to do the whole law: (Gal. 5:3) not for himself, but for his children, whose flesh and blood he took part of. (Heb. 2:14) He perfectly obeyed the law, and God was well pleased for his righteousness' sake." (Isa. 42:21) By his obedience many are made righteous. This righteousness is a free gift, (Rom. 5:17,18) given to the ungodly, who work not, (Rom. 4:5,6) who do not follow after righteousness, (Rom. 9:30) but attain to it by faith in Christ, who is the end of the law of righteousness, to every one that believeth: (Rom. 10:4) and none, beside the Saviour, could yield a perfect obedience, therefore in him shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory. (Isa. 45:25) But the Arminians, omitting the weighty matters of the law, introducing milder laws, setting up repentance and faith as a righteousness, they go about to establish a righteousness of their own; and, instead of all being righteous by the obedience of one, they are each righteous in their own persons; instead of being justified in Christ, they are justified in themselves. The righteousness they talk of is not Jehovah our Righteousness, consequently, an idol, and they are all adulterers who worship it.
By Adultery is also meant, a profession of Christ, and friendship with this world: hence James says, "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of this world is enmity with God? Whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world, is an enemy of God." (James 4:4) God, in the garden of Eden, put enmity between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman, The church; (Gen. 3:15) which two seeds compose the whole human race: the one, is all that the Lord hath left in the hands of the wicked one; the other, all whom he hath chosen, and whom in time he calls, and brings out of the world. And our Saviour declares, that this choice is the cause of their being hated:--"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own, but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." (John 15:18,19) I know that the Arminians hate the Christ of God, though they may love the idol they have set up in his room. The sovereign and discriminating grace of Christ, in laying down his life for the sheep, and not for the goats, in receiving all, but no more than those whom the Father hath given to him, in saving them with an everlasting salvation, calling them with an effectual calling, loving them freely, receiving them graciously, and preserving them by his own power, through faith to complete salvation; this is the object which the professing and profane worldling hates. We may see the truth of this in Christ's sermon in the synagogue; those who heard him, at first bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth, but when he preached sovereign and distinguishing mercy:--"But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout the land. But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elias the prophet: and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman, the Syrian. And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath." (Luke 4:25-28) And as it was then, so it is now. A Saviour that will stoop to man's will and power, reward his exertions, and let him have a share in the work of salvation, is admired. But they cannot endure that Christ, who passes by the moral, the upright, the righteous, the wise, the prudent, who takes no notice of their sighing, groanings, amens, working, agonizings, repentings, believings, humility, etc., to abhor them, on account of their pride and hypocrisy; and who saves freely, by grace, the poor, the halt, the maimed, the blind, the helpless, the lost, who have neither good thought, word or work to plead; who justifies freely, by grace, the ungodly who work not, but are enabled to believe in Him, their great and only justifier. This Christ (and this is the Christ that scripture reveals to be the Son of God, whose own arm brought salvation, and of the people there were none with him) they hate: and as they hate him, so they also hate those whom he chooseth out of the world, and that, because of his choice. Let a man make his calling and election sure, and prove both from the book of God.--Let him inform an Arminian of the distinguishing mercy of God to him;--in choosing, (Rom. 11:5,6)--calling, (2 Tim. 1:9)--justifying, (Rom. 3:24)--and saving him freely, by grace, (Eph. 1:7) when, instead of working, he would fain have fled out of the hand of God, and made up his happiness in the world, and he will soon find the Saviour's words true,--"I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."
The Arminians profess to love all mankind, and so they may, excepting those that are chosen out of it; these they hate, and no wonder, when they hate election itself; but this proves them of the world.--"The world will love its own;" the seed chosen out of it hates the world, and the world hates them; enmity is put between both seeds:--"The unjust is an abomination to the just, and he that is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked." (Prov. 29:27) David says, "Do not I hate them that hate thee? and am I not grieved with those that rise up against thee?" (Ps. 139:21) and David's Son and Lord came to keep this breach open. (Matt. 10:34-37) I know that a chosen vessel loves all, in giving them food and raiment, (Gal. 6:10) as his heavenly Father does: (Deut. 10:18) but he loves the elect alone, with a spiritual and divine affection, and with the same he hates the wicked, as God does, who "is angry with the wicked every day," (Ps. 7:11) and particularly so with those who esteem themselves better than others, (Isa. 65:5) which all must do, who imagine their nature mended; and such as these are most abominable to the just. Thus the Arminians are adulterers and adulteresses, for they profess friendship to Christ, and yet join hands with the worst of sinners, in opposing the eternal, sovereign, and gracious decree of election, and all the elect family. For whatever distinction of sects there may be in the world, some being Deists, others Arians, Sabellians, Unitarians, Papists, Arminians, etc., yet they all agree with the worst of sinners, who make no profession of religion, in hating an electing, sovereign, and independent Jehovah, an everlasting Righteousness, and the chosen sheep. Christ says, "I pray not for the world, (the Arminians do) but for them which thou hast given me, for they are thine." (John 17:9) These they hate, because chosen out of the world. They fawn over, pray for, entreat and exhort the people of this world, but reproach, despise, and reject the chosen of God. They love whom Christ hates, and hate whom Christ loves: therefore they are of the world, and are in friendship with it, but adulterers and adulteresses in the sight of God.
In the next place, those commit adultery, who are by a profession united to Christ, and yet the law never dead to them, nor they to the law. The Apostle Paul writes thus, "Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law) how that the law hath dominion over a man, as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath a husband, is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth: but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held: that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter." (Rom. 7:1-6) The scripture declares all men to be dead in trespasses and sins:--"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin: and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." (Rom. 5:12) It is not temporal death alone that is here meant, but spiritual death, or the death of the soul. What Paul, in another place, thus expresses: "She that liveth in pleasure, is dead while she liveth." (1 Tim. 5:6) The death mentioned in this chapter, is opposed to the life with Christ Jesus:" (Rom 5:18) it signifies an alienation from the life of God, and an utter helpless state to recover that life. A dead body cannot perform any, the least function of life; a dead soul cannot perform any, the least act of divine life. A dead body has neither will nor power; a dead soul is destitute of both. Command a dead body to remove a mountain, and it can do it as easily as moving a feather; so equally incapable is a dead soul to perform the least of God's commands. Men will not believe this, why? Because they cannot distinguish between the form, and the vital power of godliness; therefore their language is, "All that the Lord hath said, will we do, and be obedient:" (Exo. 24:3,7) and if we cannot do all that the Lord requireth, we will do the best we can, and God, in mercy, will accept the sincere and best obedience we can give. Now the law hath dominion over such, because they are not dead, but able to perform, if not the whole, yet a part. By nature we are all united to the law; God requires of every man obedience to it:--"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them that are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God:" (Rom. 3:19) and whatsoever belongs to these words, "this do, and thou shalt live," is law, whether it be love to God, love to neighbor, repentance, faith, humility, or what not. There are but two dispensations that ever God gave (though men have despised many) law, and gospel; but two covenants, works and grace. The law, or covenant of works, requires perfect obedience from all that are under it, and holds forth justification upon the perfect, spiritual, and uninterrupted performance of all and every one of its demands:--"And it shall be our righteousness if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us." (Deut. 6:25) And the Apostle Paul says, "The doers of the law shall be justified." (Rom. 2:13) On the contrary, the gospel, which is called "the dispensation of the fulness of times," (Eph. 1:10) requires nothing of man, but considering him dead, utterly ruined, lost and helpless, gives all freely to him. Jesus Christ, his great salvation, righteousness, justification, eternal life, faith, repentance, and everything essential to holiness and happiness, are free gifts, flowing from, and terminating in, the everlasting glory of God's grace:--"For God spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all (even when we were enemies, without strength,) how shall he not with him also freely give us all things." (Rom. 8:32; 5:8-10) Now all who profess (for it is a mere profession) to have will and power to perform the commands of God, whether in whole or part, small commands or great, are not dead, a dead soul having neither, as before mentioned. The language of Arminians is, "up, and be doing," which proves them alive: the law, therefore, hath dominion over them. The first husband is alive, and they are bound to obey, not according to their fancies, but to its demands. Convicted by the light of nature, or natural conscience, (John 8:9) that they cannot yield the perfect, and unlimited obedience to it, which it requires, they unite themselves to Christ, and their deficient works to his merits, expecting justification, acceptance, and salvation, through Christ's merits, joined with their works. They profess faith in Christ (not that faith which believes in his eternity complete salvation, and everlasting righteousness, but) that his death atones for sin, puts them in a savable state, and make their works acceptable before God, for the purposes of justification and salvation. John Bunyan hath given a good description of, and answer to, such faith as this. In his Pilgrim's Progress, where Christian and Ignorance are conversing, Ignorance gives this confession of his faith:--"I believe that Christ died for sinners; and that I shall be justified before God from the curse, through his gracious acceptance of my obedience to the law:" Or thus, "Christ makes my duties that are religious, acceptable to the Father, by virtue of his merits; and so shall I be justified." Christian replies, "let me give an answer to this confession of thy faith: "First, Thou believest with a fantastical faith; for this faith is no where described in the word." Secondly, "Thou believest with a false faith; because it taketh justification from the personal righteousness of Christ, and applies it to thy own." Thirdly, "This faith maketh not Christ a justifier of thy person, but of thy actions, and of thy person for thy actions' sake, which is false."
Actions are peculiar to those who are alive, and over such the law hath dominion; such have no right whatever to an union with Christ, until the law becomes dead to them, and they to the law: for the Apostle says, "A woman which hath an husband, is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth;" (Rom. 7:2) and this marriage cannot be dissolved but by the death of one of the parties. In spiritual things, both die. By nature we are united to the law, and bound to obey it, and have no deliverance from it, but by death:--"I through the law am dead to the law;" (Gal. 2:19) and we become dead to it, when the spirit of God applies it in all its spiritual and unlimited extent, reaching to the thoughts and intent of the heart, condemning evil thoughts, and idle words, as well as base acts: sin, then, becomes exceeding sinful, revives, and the sinner dies. (Rom. 7:9,13) To all hope and trust in any thing he has done, or can do, being without strength: the law then becomes dead to such, having no strength to communicate; to such a dear Redeemer is made of God, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. (1 Cor. 1:30) The fruits produced by this blessed, happy, and indissolvable union between Christ and condemned, helpless sinners, are justification, perfectness, acceptance, eternal life, and everlasting salvation: "In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory;" (Isa. 45:25)--Ye are complete in him;" (Col. 2:10)--"To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved;" (Eph. 1:6)--"For this is the record, that God hath given us eternal life: and this life is in his Son;" (1 John 5:11)--"But Israel shall be saved in the Lord, with an everlasting salvation; ye shall not be ashamed, not confounded, world without end." (Isa. 45:17) Thus the effects that follow upon an union with Christ, are justification, perfectness, acceptance, eternal life, and everlasting salvation, all declared to be in Christ, and ours in consequence of union with him. Now I will proceed to prove that all these fruits are produced by the Arminians by two husbands; which is as much adultery in the sight of God, as a woman bearing children by two husbands is in the sight of man.
FIRST, Justification. They do not profess to be justified wholly by works, nor entirely by Christ; his everlasting righteousness is not sufficient, in their esteem, to accomplish justification, but make their faith and repentance meritorious for this purpose. A piece of Christ's new cloth must be put to their old; his merits and their works joined. They agree with their sister the church of Rome, "Christ merited that we might merit," is the doctrine of both. They work, strive, agonize, till they produce faith; this faith, joined to the blood of Christ, justifies them: whereas, true faith is not produced by workings, but is the gift of God, it comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, which word is spoken to dead sinners, who are not able to work, being without strength: "The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live." (John 5:25) When Christ speaks the "word of righteousness" to a condemned sinner's conscience, faith attends his voice, accepts the righteousness the word reveals, and the sinner is justified by it: but this will not suit the Arminians; faith must be their own work, that they may have the praise of it, but not being sufficient of itself to justify, they join Christ to it, which is adultery in the sight of God.
SECONDLY, Perfection. They neither profess to be complete in Christ, nor entirely so in themselves, but join both together. They are perfect as to the moral law, by the death of Christ, who (they say) has freed them from the curse of that, washed away their sins against it, by his blood, took it out of the way, and introduced milder laws, which they can fulfill, and so they are perfect in the flesh also: so that, by Christ's obedience to the holy law of God, and their own obedience to milder laws, they produce perfection, which is another act of adultery.
THIRDLY, Acceptance. They do not expect acceptance with God entirely through the merits of their own works, nor will they stoop to be "accepted in the beloved:" but their works made perfect by Christ's merits, is the foundation of their hope: the deficiency of their performances made up with Christ. But all the chosen family of God are accepted entirely in Christ Jesus, being complete in him: therefore, all who join their works with his, are adulterers.
FOURTHLY, Eternal Life. They will not receive this as the free gift of God, through Jesus Christ, (Rom. 6:23) given in Christ to all that are ordained to it from everlasting, (Titus 1:2) but this must be produced by two husbands also. John Wesley instructs them, that keeping the commandments, though not the cause of, is undoubtedly the way to, eternal life. But Christ says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me." (John 17:6) The cause of eternal love, is God's everlasting love; the way to it, is Christ Jesus, and by faith we walk in that way:--"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." (John 3:16) "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." (1 John 5:11,12) The Apostle says, "For I through the law, am dead to the law, that I might live unto God." (Gal. 2:19) But these adulterers are alive to the law, and can keep the commandments as the way of life, and yet, not being able to keep them perfectly, they must unite to Christ also; so that his death may be the cause of, and their keeping the commandments the way to, life. This is another act of adultery.
LASTLY, Everlasting Salvation. Christ has obtained eternal redemption for all who are enabled to yield the obedience of faith to him: the Arminians will not receive this. In consequence of their union with Christ, they are placed in a savable state, and possess a possibility of being saved; but their own omnipotent arm must finish the business. There are many terms and conditions to be fulfilled by them, before they get into this savable state; then they must go on working, striving, and agonizing, to be perfect in the flesh, and then persevere in that perfect state to the end, or Christ's redemption is of no use. This is another act of adultery; for man's works have no place whatever in salvation: Christ's own power procured it, and of the people there were none with him; he completely finished it upon the Cross, and the scriptures declare that "by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast:" (Eph. 2:8,9)--"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." (Titus 3:5-7) Thus the Arminians are not dead to the law, nor the law to them. "Up, and be doing," is the sum and substance of their doctrine; but as their doings are not quite complete, they make a profession of Christ to make up the deficiency, that by Christ's merits, and their works, they may be justified, perfect, accepted, have eternal life, and be saved. But God accounts this adultery; and all who die in such a state, instead of getting to heaven, will have their portion in that lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. But my strength of body being exhausted, I will finish the text in the afternoon, if God permit. The Lord bless what has been delivered, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
In the forenoon we treated of adultery; that there is but one God, and whoever imagines, and worships a being different to the God of Israel is an idolater, and commits adultery with idols. In the next place, a friend of this world, who makes a profession of Christ, is an adulterer also; and, thirdly, whoever unites to Christ by a profession, and at the same time not dead to the law, nor the law dead to him, is also an adulterer. I showed you that the Arminians are guilty of these things, therefore they are all adulterers.
I now proceed to give a description of, Secondly, the oven. Literally, it is a place to bake in. In the scriptures of truth three things are compared to it. First, the day of judgment:--"For behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea and all that do wickedly, shall be as stubble, and the day that cometh shall burn them up, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch." (Mal. 4:1) This day is the same that Peter speaks of:--"But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment, and perdition of ungodly men." (2 Pet. 3:7) The proud, particularly mean professors of religion, who are never humbled by God's spirit to submit to Christ's righteousness, to be saved by mere mercy, or to the electing sovereign, almighty, calling, justifying, persevering grace of God, but will have a share in the work of salvation, and persevering in a saved state; all that do wickedly, include every unpardoned sinner who remain in their natural state, their nature being corrupt, nothing but corrupt works can spring from it: the day of judgment will burn as an oven, and all these will be as stubble, and burn up, that neither root nor branch shall remain.
By OVEN, secondly, hell is meant, where the unquenchable fire of God's wrath forever burns. "A fire is kindled in my anger which shall burn to the lowest hell." (Deut. 32:22) And David, speaking of God's enemies, says, "Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the Lord shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them." (Ps. 21:9) Our Saviour implies the same, when he says, "If then God so clothe the grass which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?" (Luke 12:28) By the grass of the field, the people of this world are meant: "Surely the people is grass." (Isa. 40:7) Our Saviour calls this world a field: "The field is the world." (Matt. 13:38) Their being today in the field, and tomorrow cast into the oven, signifies the shortness of human life:"--"Man that is born of a woman, is of few days and full of trouble. He cometh up like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not." (Job 14:2) And when cut down, they are cast into hell: for all who are saved are not of this world, but chosen and redeemed out of it. (John 17:16; Rev. 14:4) The people of this world, therefore, are all who die in their sins. It is as if the Lord should say, If god loves the stranger, those who are far from him by wicked works, strangers to the plague of the heart, the precious balm of Gilead, the good Physician, and who were never brought near to God by my blood; if he loves these in giving them food and raiment, (Deut. 10:18) shall he not much more clothe you who are brought into a state of friendship, reconciled by my death, won over to love, and follow me by my spirit; "how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?" As a good man sweetly says, and it is a saying that has been much blessed to me, "If God feeds the ravens, will he starve his doves?"--No, his chosen family shall have as much of this world, as their heavenly father sees best for them. That the people of this world, by grass of the field, are meant, we may know by what our Lord adds:--"And seek not ye what ye shall eat and drink, neither be ye of a doubtful mind, for all these things do the nations of the world seek after." (Luke 12:29,30) The world is given to the wicked; and those who have their portion in this life, their good things here, will have their evil things in the world to come: that is, like Dives, they will lift up their eyes in hell, being in torments. Hell, therefore, is the oven. Thirdly, the heart of man is meant; for, in the seventh verse of the chapter from which my text is taken, the prophet says, "For they have made ready their heart as an oven;" and, indeed, the heart of man must be prepared, both for the day of judgment, and future torments, and they make ready their hearts for this preparation.
I now pass on to treat of, Thirdly, the baker, and his heating the oven. A baker, literally speaking, is a maker of bread, who heats the oven and bakes it. There are two bakers, in a spiritual sense, God, and Satan. No doubt you will find fault with, ridicule, and reproach me, for comparing God to a baker; but you may do the same with scripture, which compares the Most High to a potter:--"O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord, Behold as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel." (Jer. 18:6) Also to a husbandman,--"I am the true vine, my father is the husbandman." (John 15:1) To a shepherd,--"Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young." (Isa. 40:10,11) To a soldier,--"The Lord is a man of war." (Exo. 15:3) And surely a baker is as good as a potter, shepherd, husbandman, or soldier. But I will proceed to prove this comparison.
The Apostle Paul calls the children of God bread:--"For ye being many are one bread, and one body, for we are all partakers of that one bread." (1 Cor. 10:17) Christ is the bread of life:--"I am the living bread which came down from heaven." (John 6:11) And Christ and his children are one: he the head, they the body, and each a member in particular. If they, being many are one bread, who makes them so? The scripture informs us that God does. "This people have I formed for myself, they shall shew forth my praise," (Isa. 43:21)--"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Eph. 2:10) The Lord sets up his kingdom in their hearts which He compares to leaven:--"The kingdom of God is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measure of meal, till the whole was leavened." (Matt. 13:33) The Apostle says "The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." (Rom. 14:17) The spirit, therefore, is the leaven, which God gives to the seed of Christ; (Isa. 44:3) the church receives it as a free gift, which resides in, and sanctifies body, soul, and spirit, and leavens the whole:--"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it." (1 Thess. 5:23,24) Thus this leaven never leaves us, till body, soul, and spirit, the three measures of meal, be leavened. Surely the whole of this is God's work, therefore he makes this one bread; and, consequently, I err not, in comparing God to a baker, whose business it is to make bread. On the contrary, the Devil's work is to deceive souls; therefore he imitates God, transforms himself into an angel of light, and leavens multitudes also, which I shall show in my fourth head. At present we will prove him to be the baker meant in my text, by his heating the oven. The adulterers in my text are said, in the seventh verse, "to make ready their hearts as an oven," and the baker heats it. In the first place, with legal pride, or self-righteousness, which is compared to a fire; "Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, and a fire that burneth all the day." (Isa. 65:5) These words were spoken of the Scribes and Pharisees, who thought themselves righteous, and despised others; who could "thank God they were not as other men," their nature was in whole, or in part, mended, but God knew their hearts. So do our Arminians: some are made perfect in the flesh, though God says, "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." (1 John 1:8) Thus they think themselves righteous, but God knows their hearts. They do not ascribe the perfection wholly to themselves, no, like the Pharisees, they thank God for his assistance. Some are striving to attain to this; they have got rid of some sins, and are working the rest out. The Apostle says, "In my flesh dwells no good thing." (Rom. 7:18) Now, none but the devil could heat the oven with such presumptuous pride, which belies the scripture, and the experience of the oldest, brightest saints that ever lived. Every saint, in every age, have had to watch against, to pray against, to deny, mortify, put off, and resist the old man, till death put an end to the warfare. If they were perfect in the flesh, this war in the members must cease; and the flesh, instead of lusting against, would lust agreeable to the spirit, and of course it then would become our duty and our privilege to follow the desires of the flesh, and of the mind; both of which are forbidden in scripture, because God knows our depraved nature will remain the same. But he forgives, subdues, and never imputes it to us; therefore all boasting is excluded, except in the mercy of God. But those endued, as they say, with a stock of grace, which they are to improve to mend fallen nature by, and at last to make it perfect, are the ones who are holier than others; this is the fire the devil heats the oven with, and the Arminians make ready their hearts as an oven to receive it.
Again--By this heat, I understand hypocrisy. Solomon says, "Burning lips and wicked heart, are like a potsherd covered over with silver dross." (Prov. 26:23) A potsherd is a broken vessel; and in scripture it represents fallen man resisting his Maker:--"Woe to him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, he hath no hands?" (Isa. 45:9) If we consult the Apostle Paul upon these words, we shall find them applicable to the Arminians, who are rebelling against the sovereignty of God:--"Therefore hath he mercy upon whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel to honour, and another to dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he hath afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles." (Rom. 9:18-25) Let an Arminian read this and his heart rises in enmity against, hear his lips and they burn with love to, God: This is hypocrisy. Our Saviour says, "Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me." (Matt. 15:7,8) Their lips burn with love, their wicked hearts with rebellion. These potsherds cover over the rebellion of their hearts with silver dross; fair to look at, but nothing worth. Their words smoother than oil, but war in their hearts. The devil is the fountain and author of all deception, he heats the oven with it, and they prepare their hearts to receive it.
Again--By heat, I understand a fiery zeal, which the Spirit of God often produces in his people in behalf of God's glory, Christ's honor, in vindication of his truth for the salvation of his people, and against errors, world, flesh, and devil. But we read of a zeal, not according to knowledge, which heats the spirits of men in behalf of the doctrines, opinions, and commandments of men: with this the Jews were heated; with this the Arminians are. What John Wesley and Mr. Fletcher left upon record, they have a fiery zeal in the defense of, much more than they have in defense of the scriptures, many Arminians are more injured in their feelings by a word spoken against John Wesley, than against the Son of God. And I am credibly informed, that instead of instructing their journeymen parsons and class leaders to put the scriptures into the hands of their new made converts, they ask them whether they have got the minutes, the plain account, the appeals, etc. As they are zealous in defense of the doctrines and commandments of men, so like the Jews, they will compass sea and land to make proselytes. With a fiery zeal they go about to make converts, not to the Son of God, but to Arminianism: Jesus Christ is the bait, but Arminianism is the trap they are caught in. The more bitter they make their converts against a sovereign God, his eternal decree of election, the imputed righteousness of Christ against the unchangeable love and mercy of God, his infinitely gracious preservation of his people, and against the elect family, the better they are pleased, and the stauncher Arminians they are. This fiery zeal comes from the baker in my text, and they make ready their hearts as an oven to receive it.
Again--By this heat I understand anger. The wrath of God is compared to fire, and God is angry with the wicked every day; the wrath of man is compared to the same. When Vashti disobeyed the king Ahasuerus's commandment, who ordered his chamberlains to bring her with the crown royal to show her beauty to his Lord, it is said, "Therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him." (Esther 1:12) Sure I am, that anger burns in the hearts of the Arminians against all who love, believe in, revere, and profess the glorious truths of the gospel. The gospel reveals a complete Saviour for the completely lost; a salvation from eternity, and to eternity, resulting from the grace of God, that is, from God's self-moving love and mercy. Our election to this salvation is of grace. (Rom. 11:5,6)--"but we are bound to give thanks always to God for you brethren, beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning (that is, from eternity, Eph. 1:4) chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth: whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Thess. 2:13,14) This calling is of grace:--"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, (2 Tim. 1:9) "for we are kept by the power of God," (1 Pet. 1:5) who has promised to water his vineyard every moment, and lest any hurt it, to keep it night and day, (Isa. 27:3) Eternal glory is also of grace, not a reward for our improvement, but a gift:--"He will give grace and glory." (Ps. 84:11)--"Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." (Luke 12:32) Now how bitter are the Arminians against these God-glorying and soul-humbling truths! How their hearts burn with anger against all who enjoy and profess them! I have experienced this myself from one of their leaders, whose anger was evidently seen in his countenance, while I was showing, the tender, sovereign, and unchangeable mercy of God, to my worthless, sinful soul; He opposed me, and insisted upon perfection in the flesh, instead of being complete in Christ. I asked him if he was perfect? he told me he was. I repeated it--have you no inclination, no desire after sin, no evil thought, no idle word to accuse yourself of? With much confusion, he replied in the negative. I then told him, I was so sure his conscience gave him the lie, that it was of no use to converse with him. A gospel that reveals a Christ who will stoop to man's will and power, that will gratify their pride by allowing them to choose him first, and then, in consequence of their choice of him, will choose them (contrary of which is true, John 15:16) that will reward their tears, repentance, humility, agonizings, etc. with the pardon of sins; that will supply them with a stock of grace to improve, and then reward their faithfulness to, and improvement of that grace, this gospel and this Saviour will do; which is no more like the gospel of our salvation, nor the Son of God, but the gospel of the grace of God to the chief of sinners, which all that are ordained to eternal life believe, they burn with anger against. The devil burns with rage against the free, sovereign, eternal, and unchangeable grace of God, to lost sinners, and he heats Arminians with it, and they prepare their hearts to receive it.
Once more--The scripture informs us that the Lord maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flaming fire. The word of God is compared to fire, (Jer. 5:14) with which God heats his ministers; the light of which he often conveys by them to discover, not only the outward sins of a sinner's life, but his pride, unbelief, carnal enmity, reasonings, feigned faith, dissembled love, legal repentance, and as a fire it purges off this dross. The Devil transforms his ministers into the likeness of ministers of righteousness, (2 Cor. 11:13-15) perverts the word of God, and heats them with it; they cry out against outward transgressions, but never against the pride, rebellion, carnal enmity, and unbelief of man, which opposes the free, sovereign, distinguishing, humbling grace of God, and a perfect unchangeable, and eternal salvation, flowing from that grace; they set sinners down as co-workers with God, in rebellion against the sovereign Jehovah, against his children, and complete--what? in Christ Jesus?--no, in Arminianism, a most awful mixture of grace and works. Thus the baker heats the oven, and the adulterers make ready their hearts as an oven to receive it. I now proceed to explain, Fourthly, his kneading the dough.
When a baker is about to make bread, he takes a piece of sour dough and works it with flour and water, till this sour dough, or leaven, is mixed thoroughly with the rest of the dough, and then leaves it till it is leavened. The baker in my text, having infused pride, malice, and wickedness into Adam, with that lump he leavened all the human race. Of Adam's fallen nature all partake. God's work is to purge out the old leaven, and leaven his children with righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. The kingdom of God standing in these things, and compared by our Saviour to leaven, (Matt. 13:33; Luke 13:20,21) in which two places only is leaven spoken of in a good sense, and which is peculiar to the woman, the sanctified church of God; in all others, the baker in my text works the old leaven, and the leaven of malice and wickedness. (1 Cor. 5:8) I will describe these from scripture, and then you will find that I do not err in applying this passage particularly to the Arminians. We will begin with the old leaven. When the Pharisees and Sadducees came tempting our Saviour, desiring of him a sign from heaven, and were refused, the Lord departed from them:--"And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Saducees. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves and five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? Neither the seven loaves of the four thousands, and how many baskets you took up? How is it that ye do not understand that I speak it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Saducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Saducees." (Matt. 16:1-12) This leaven of the Pharisees our Saviour declares to be hypocrisy. They were very fond of making long prayers publicly; they wore such kind of garments, and professed that sort of religion, that was most seen of men: not unlike our Arminian meetings, where they sigh, groan, cry, rejoice aloud, that their devotion, and themselves as devout persons, may be noticed. But the principal part of their hypocrisy consisted in their false construction of God's most holy law, and introducing human traditions, which could be observed and obeyed by human nature, so that they might establish a righteousness of their own, and be perfect in the flesh. The Apostle says that they, "being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." (Rom. 10:3,4) These the infinite, unalterable, and tremendous justice, pure to behold the least iniquity, too righteous to pass over any, the least disobedience to his most holy law, they go about, not pretending to keep God's law in its infinitely perfect requirements, but as our Saviour observes, they omit the weighty matters of the law, judgment, and the love of God, and observe the smaller matters, joined with laws of their own making, and so they go about to establish a righteousness of their own. They could not go directly to the moral law, and declare they had uninterruptedly and perfectly obeyed every precept--no, they want a round-about way to establish their own righteousness, by counting the great things of the law strange things, (Hos. 8:12) and familiarize the lesser things, and human traditions. This same leaven of hypocrisy the baker in my text works in Arminians. Their great leaders, Wesley and Fletcher, are forced to acknowledge that man in the present state, even their perfect christians, cannot obey the moral state, even their perfect christians, cannot obey the moral law in its spiritual, perfect, unlimited demands:--what then?--why, being ignorant of God's righteousness, too proud to submit to receive Christ as the end of the law for righteousness of their own, by introducing what they call "a milder law, an evangelical law, a mediatorial remedying law, suitable to our present state and circumstances," which consists, principally, in faith and repentance; they make these the terms and conditions of justification. Hence Wesley affirms, "Nothing can be more false than the maxim, that a man is to do nothing in order to justification. Whoever repents should do works meet for repentance. And if this is not in order to find favor, what does he do them for? That our righteousness might be established, he observes, "that all who are convinced of sin undervalue themselves in every respect." There is no more difference in the intention of the Scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites, tithing mint, rue, and all manner of herbs, and Wesley and Fletcher's introducing milder laws, than there is between my two eyes; they both omit the weighty matters of God's law, and introduce milder laws, to avoid the soul-humbling, and God-glorying method of "justification freely by grace." If faith and repentance are commands of God, upon the performance of which man is to be justified, then the reward of justification is not of grace, but of debt: the just reward due to my obedience to a milder law. But if a dear Redeemer's perfect obedience to the holy, just, and good law of God, is our justifying righteousness, and faith which embraces it, and brings to the soul the blessed experience of the benefits of it, God's free gift to, and God's own work in man, then justification is freely by grace: and this justification is attended with repentance, which is freely given also, and free gifts are entirely different to doing something in order to our being justified. (See Rom. 5:19; 10:4; 3:24; Eph. 2:8,9; Acts 5:31) Now who but the devil could ever work this leaven into man? that the Holy One of Israel would ever publish a law that would allow of any one sin, which a milder law, suited to our present state and circumstances, a fallen state and helpless condition, must do. The law of God is holy, just, and good; it reaches to the thoughts and intents of the heart, condemns, every evil thought, idle word, base acts, and is a law descriptive and worthy of the infinitely holy nature and will of God. What is a milder law?--One not so holy, just, and good, but will allow of man's being perfect, though a sinner against the moral law; consequently, the milder law is imperfect, and thus may proceed from the Arminian's idol, but never from Him, that is glorious in holiness; such a law may enable them to establish a righteousness of their own, but will prevent them "from submitting to the righteousness of God, and believing in Christ as the end (the fulfilling end) of the law of righteousness." The law of God is so exceedingly holy, just, and good, that when applied by God's spirit, (so far from "the convinced sinner undervaluing himself in every respect") it discovers man's most awfully sinful, and his entirely lost, ruined, and helpless state, drives him out of self, and the same blessed spirit leads him as a cursed and condemned sinner, to Him who was made a curse for us, and fulfilled the law as our surety. The Arminian's law leads a sinner from Christ into self; for they have contrived such laws, that a sinner dead in trespasses and sins can obey, in order to justification; and when justified (as the reward of their obedience) then they can go on fulfilling them till perfect in the flesh. The baker in my text works this leaven into them.
Again--By leaven, the scripture sets forth a false gospel; a gospel that joins God's grace, Christ's salvation, the spirit's work, and man's performances together. The Apostle, in his epistle to the Galatians, calls this "another gospel," and also leaven, as follows:--"Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to fulfill the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." (Gal. 5:1-10) Let us consider these words, and we shall discover this leaven.
The liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, is most certainly an eternal discharge from all demands of law or justice, as to acceptance, justification, and salvation, and from all condemnation. Easily asserted, you may say, but not so easily proved. Let us try. Jesus Christ is called by the Apostle Paul, "the Surety of the better testament." (Heb. 7:22) A surety, if I understand right, is a person who undertakes to pay the debts of those who either cannot, or will not pay them. When a surety strikes hands, or engages with the creditor to pay the debtor's debts, if accepted by the creditor, the debt then devolves upon the surety, law and justice look to him for satisfaction, and the debtor is discharged. God is the great creditor. When he created man, he gave him a law, and demanded obedience to it; and if disobeyed, then justice demanded satisfaction for the offense. Adam transgressed the law of God, and in him all the human race transgressed: therefore, all having sinned, God demands satisfaction for their offense, and obedience to his law. Man is both unable and unwilling to give either. God, in infinite mercy, provides a surety for man, his own beloved Son. A body being prepared for him, in the fulness of time he assumes it, is circumcised the eighth day, and thus for his people becomes a debtor to fulfill the whole law. In his life, he perfectly obeys every precept of the law; and before his sufferings came on, appeals to his Father for the perfection of his work:--"I have glorified thee on the earth, I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." (John 17:4) This must refer to his having paid obedience to the precepts of the law, for his sufferings in obedience to the penalty had not yet commenced:--"by this obedience many shall be made righteous:" the great Creditor accepting this obedience from the Surety, in behalf of the debtor. Afterwards he paid the debt of suffering, and then cries out, "It is finished," and expires. The third day he rose from the dead, to present himself as his people's surety and forerunner, took his seat at the right hand of God, and ever lives to make intercession for those his soul travailed for. In view of this, the Apostle says, "Who can lay any thing to the charge of God's elect?" (Rom. 8:33) We might answer, God, conscience, men, and devils may. Are not all sinners by nature?--Yes; all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Have they not all a body of sin and death, after being partakers of grace, after being justified? So says scripture, so confess every saint, so affirms the Church of England in her 9th and 15th articles, and so say John Wesley and Fletcher, if tried by the law of God; but if tried by laws of our own introducing, they may be perfect: the latter comes from Satan, the former is the only standard of perfection which God hath given. Then, seeing they are all sinners by nature, and though regenerated, yet the infection of nature doth remain, why does the Apostle ask, "Who can lay any thing to the charge of God's elect?" he answers, "It is God that justifieth: who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." (Rom. 8:33,34) The simple meaning is this: If Christ by his one offering perfected for ever the elect of God; (Heb. 10:14) if he died for their offences, and rose again for their justification; (Rom. 4:25) if, as their surety, he paid all their debts, (Heb. 7:22,25) and obtained eternal redemption for them; (Heb. 9:12) and God justifies them freely by his grace, through the redemption of Christ; (Rom. 3:24) who shall lay any thing to their charge? "There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus;" (Rom. 8:1) "they are passed from death unto life, and shall not come into condemnation." (John 5:24) The glorious liberty of God's elect, therefore, consists in Christ undertaking their cause, as it is written:--"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Cor. 5:21) The Lord imputing all our sins to Christ, who made an end of them, (Heb. 9:26) they are never imputed to those who are enabled, through grace, to believe his name. On the other hand, Christ's righteousness is imputed to them, (Rom. 4:6-8) so that they are free from sin, and perfectly and everlastingly righteous; (Isa. 51:8; 54:17) and, consequently, free from all charges and condemnation, being complete in Christ. (Col. 2:9,10) The Arminians will reply to this as poor Oliver did to Toplady's sermon,--"believe this and be damned,"--Why? because it is rank Antinomianism. If Christ has freed us from all demands of law and justice, if we are to have nothing laid to our charge, if free from all condemnation, then let us do as we please, live as we list, and enjoy the pleasures of sin. I answer, let them first make their calling and election sure. This cannot be done without the possession, witness, and guidance of God's spirit; who dwells in Christ's seed, and enables them to practice what the Apostle exhorts to:--"For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another." (Gal. 5:13) The Holy Spirit writes this deep upon every chosen vessel's heart:--"What, shall we sin, that grace may abound? God forbid! And sure I am, that no one experiences the power of those two words, "God forbid!" but the objects of God's everlasting choice, who by the spirit have made their calling and election sure.
Now the leaven the Apostle mentions, is the entangling yoke of bondage, which is directly contrary to the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. Let me give an account of it. It was not the law alone, but a mixture of grace and works, which the Apostle calls another gospel:--"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. (Gal. 1:6,7) These that troubled them, were certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed. The Pharisees found that all works would not do; therefore they made a profession of the faith of Christ, and yet were zealous of the law. (Acts 21:20) In addition to faith in Christ, they preached that it was needful for the believing Gentiles to be circumcised and keep the law, or they could not be saved: (Acts 15:1-24) thus they joined faith in Christ and man's works together. The Apostle calls this a perversion of the gospel. The gospel of Christ will not allow of any co-partnership: it reveals a complete, unchangeable Saviour, and a complete and eternal salvation;--it gives faith, repentance, forgiveness of sins, righteousness, justification and glorification freely:--salvation, and all the means of embracing, experiencing, and arriving to the full enjoyment of it, bring free gifts of free grace. Hence it is called the gospel of the grace of God; (Acts 20:24) not one branch of it of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph. 2:9) But this other gospel, wherewith the devil leavened many of the Galatians, laid as much stress upon man's work as upon Christ Jesus; they allowed that no one could be saved, except they believed in Christ; nor could they be saved, except they were circumcised and kept the law. The one offering of Christ; which hath perfected for ever all that set apart in God's purpose, was of no avail, unless the believers were perfect in the flesh. Such as these might teach the heavenly host an addition to their song:--"Salvation unto our God that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb," (Rev. 7:10) and also, unto circumcision and our keeping the law; for they put both upon a level. None could be saved without faith in Christ, nor could any be saved without being circumcised and keeping the law; therefore one was as much the cause of salvation as the other. Against such doctrine the Apostle inveighs in his epistle:--"Are ye so foolish having begun in the spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" (Gal. 3:3) When the Spirit operates as a comforter, testifying of Christ Jesus, an all-sufficient and unchangeable Saviour, "Jesus, the same yesterday, today, and for ever," (Heb. 13:8) he bears witness, that we are eternally perfected, (Heb. 10:14,15) and seals us up to the day of redemption, by assuring us that all our sins past, present, and future, were atoned for by Christ; that God's salvation is an everlasting salvation, and that whom he justifies them he also glorifies. This work being completed by Christ, and applied and witnessed to by the Spirit, are ye now going to add to the work of God, (Eccles. 3:14) by being made perfect in the flesh? "This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you," (Gal. 5:8)--from whence then? From Judaizing teachers, ministers of Satan, whom this baker uses to leaven the whole lump.
Now let us go to Arminianism. Do not the Arminians assert, that unless we believe in Christ we cannot be saved? Do they not also affirm, that unless such an one is perfect in the flesh they cannot be saved? Then, do they not make perfection in the flesh, and salvation by Christ, of equal consequence? seeing none can be saved by the latter without the former. It matters not what they substitute for circumcision, of what for the law of Moses, by the grace of God and their improvement, by Christ's merits and their works, by a part of his perfection joined to their own, they expect acceptance with, and salvation from God. The gospel of Christ is as much the reverse of this as possible, holding forth eternal life as the gift of God through Jesus Christ, and not partly by Christ and partly by ourselves; therefore with this other, this perverted gospel, the baker in my text leavens the Arminian teachers, and by them the Arminian professors.
I now proceed to treat of the leaven of malice. By nature the carnal mind is enmity against God, not subject to his law, neither can be. (Rom. 8:7) Also, by nature we are foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. (Tit. 3:3) But the worse of malice dwells in the heart of professors of religion, who are destitute of the power. Christ experienced more malice from Scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites, than he did from common sinners in the world; and so do Christ's followers. And I believe the baker in my text has kneaded more of the leaven of malice into the Arminian sect, than any other. Few (if any) have gone such awful lengths in using such dreadful expressions against the God of heaven, and his chosen few, than the Arminians have; they have called him a Tyrant, Molech, a Bashaw, a Turk, etc.--No, say they, we do not call him so, we asset that the Calvinists make him so. I answer, that every man who has made his calling and election sure, will embrace, follow, and profess the religion of the bible. Names of men and parties weigh nothing with the prudent man, who looketh well to his way, and "cleanseth it by taking heed thereto according to God's word." (Ps. 119:9) For myself, I declare that I never read one page of Calvin's works in all my life; and for months after God set my soul at liberty I knew nothing of Calvin, or Calvinists, nor do I to this day, but by hearsay. And I firmly believe, that many Arminians, influenced by their teachings, are full of malice against Calvinists, and yet do not know what Calvin was, or Calvinists are. But Solomon says, "It is the fool that believes every word, but the prudent man looketh well to his goings." (Prov. 14:15) The name of a Calvinist is given to those who profess eternal election. And sure I am, that election is a truth so clearly revealed in scripture, that he who runs may read it. And I am also sure, that that man who professes a bible religion, and yet rages against a sovereign God, and his eternal decrees of election, must be possessed of infernal malice. Every real Calvinist must believe in the God which the scripture reveals, and the God he believes in he speaks of. And does not the scripture declare, "that God hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth?" (Rom. 9:18)--"that he hath chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world (not because he foresaw that we should, by our improving common grace, be holy, but) that we might be holy and without blame before him in love?" (Eph. 1:4)--that "he predestinated us unto the adoption of children, to be conformed to the image of Christ, to an inheritance, according to the good pleasure of his will, and according to his own purpose?" (Eph. 1:5,11; Rom. 8:29)--that "he hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the world began?" (2 Tim. 1:9)--that "from the beginning he hath chosen us to salvation through sanctification of the spirit, and belief of the truth: whereunto (that is to this salvation, and sanctification, and belief of the truth) he called you (according to his own purpose) by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ?" (2 Thess. 2:13,14) That some are appointed to wrath, ordained of old to condemnation, appointed to stumble at the word, being disobedient, and others appointed to salvation, ordained to eternal life, to believe and obey the truth is clear. (1 Thess. 5:9; Jude 4; 2 Pet. 2:3; Acts 13:48) Does not our Saviour declare, that his father has hid the mysteries of his kingdom from the wise and prudent, and has revealed them unto babes?--that to some it is given to know the mysteries, and to others not given? Therefore our Lord spoke in parables, that, seeing, they might not see, and, hearing, they might not understand. And does not our Lord resolve this into his heavenly Father's sovereignty?--"Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight." (Luke 10:21; 8:10) Our Saviour rejoices in that which Arminians hate, against which they vent their malice. The Lord Jesus, who is God's elect, in whom his soul delighteth, (Isa. 42:1) does, with elect angels, (1 Tim. 5:21) and elect men, join in adoring the Lord of heaven and earth, for his sovereign choice, love, and mercy: but devils, Arminians, and all others, join in malice against him, and his sovereign displays of mercy. Thus the baker kneads the dough.
Again--There is the leaven of wickedness, which he works in the Arminians also. I do not mean to charge them as a body with open profanity, for I believe multitudes of them are free from this. Considering all sects in a moral point of light, there are good and bad of all sorts. There are many professing Calvinists who hold the truth in unrighteousness, and whose outward conduct is a disgrace to their profession; these the election of grace disown and abhor. There are many professing Arminians who live so loosely that the better part disown also. But by the leaven of wickedness, I understand "spiritual wickedness in high places." Pride and unbelief were the first sins that possessed the human heart, and they are the greatest of all sins. Under the influence of Satan, they first led man captive, and they hold him fast, and refuse to let him go. And none but the Redeemer, who is strong, the Lord of Hosts is his name, can rescue the lawful captive out of their power. (Jer. 50:33,34; Isa. 49:24,25) The Arminians are awfully in possession of these two soul-destroying sins. "For pride goeth before destruction," and, "he that believes not shall be damned." These two sins were the destruction of the Jewish nation: they were too proud to submit to the Lord our Righteousness, and could not believe in him as such, for he is the end of the law for righteousness. The most awful prophecy against them was, "Add iniquity unto their iniquity, and let them not come into thy righteousness;" (Ps. 69:27) that is, add an iniquitous, hypocritical, presumptuous profession of religion, and add an iniquitous rejection of Christ's righteousness to their iniquity by nature, and let them not come into thy righteousness, which they are too proud to submit to, and will not believe in. The righteousness of Christ, which the Apostle prays to be found in, they rejected: the righteousness he despises as dung and dross, they were proud of, and this pride produced their destruction. (Phil. 3:5-9) The two most soul-humbling truths that ever were revealed, are eternal election, and imputed righteousness; because, if a person (according to scripture, Eph. 1:4) is chosen in Christ to salvation, not on account of any good foreseen in him, but of God's own good pleasure, and if constituted righteous in God's sight; by the obedience of Christ, freely given and graciously imputed, there is no room for boasting. And "that no flesh should glory in his presence, of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth let him glory in the Lord," who hath chosen, saved, who calls, justifies and glorifies, freely by grace. (1 Cor. 1:29-31) These two precious truths that are of a soul-humbling nature, and redound to the glory of God, the pride of man resists, the unbelief of man will not let him receive. Sinners, who never made a profession of religion, Arminians, and all other sects, unite in opposing them. There are only two exceptions; the one, bastard Calvinist, who acknowledge them and profess them as truths, but never feeling their power, abuse them; the other are the real children of God, who, having had them applied by God's Spirit, enjoy their soul-humbling, soul-sanctifying, and God-glorifying effects. The latter are very few; but the smallness of their number proves the reality of their religion:--for, "a chosen few," (Matt. 20:16)--"a small remnant," (Isa. 1:9; Rom. 11:4,5)--"a little flock," (Luke 12:32) characterize the highly favored family. The Arminians are kneaded by the baker in my text with this leaven; too proud to submit to God's choosing them, and therefore they boast of being first in the choice. Their doctrine describes God as choosing them, because they have chosen him; and they are too proud to submit to Christ's righteousness, and substitute the act of faith for the glorious object, "JEHOVAH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." I am aware that the Arminians made a great show of humility, and are proud enough of it:--a plain dress, demure countenance, soft speech, sighing and groaning at their meetings, bowing to each other, constitute their humility," and it suits such as have will and power. At any time I please I could put this on, and so may any one. But I will defy any man to submit in his heart to the sovereign election of grace, and an imputed righteousness; such humility as this requires the almighty power of the Spirit of God, the other only the exercise of the body. But their voluntary humility forms a great part of their righteousness, and feeds the pride of their hearts; while real saints are mourning on account of, confessing to God, praying him in mercy to forgive, and by his power to subdue the pride of their nature, which is lusting against the spirit, and striving to make them look to something good in themselves, and thus prevent their looking to, and trusting in, a finished salvation, and everlasting righteousness in Christ--Arminians are proud of their voluntary humility. But it is infinitely better to be humbled under the pride of the heart, than to be proud of humility: the former is the experience of a saint; (2 Chron. 32:26) the latter of hypocrites. (Isa. 58:3)
In the next place, notwithstanding all the talk of Arminians about faith, they are awfully shut up in unbelief. The scripture affirms that there is but one faith:--"One Lord, one faith, one baptism." (Eph. 4:5)--Then, as all other gods besides this one Lord, are false gods, or in reality, no gods; so all other faith besides this one faith, is false, feigned, vain, or in reality, no faith. This one faith is called the faith of God's elect, (Tit. 1:1) because none other have it: (Acts 13:48; John 10:26) it is the gift of God, (Eph. 2:8) wrought in the heart by the power of God; (Eph. 1:19,20) it embraces Christ's righteousness, (Rom. 3:22) eternal life, (John 3:36) the final perseverance of the saints, (Rom. 8:38,39; 1 Pet. 1:5) and an eternal freedom from all condemnation. (John 5:24) Is the Arminian's faith like this?--By no means: they fight against election, therefore cannot have the faith of God's elect;--they tell men that all may believe if they will; consequently, it cannot be that faith which is peculiar to those who are ordained to eternal life. They are constantly urging and exhorting men to believe. A recent instance of this kind happened not far from hence: A woman, plunged in guilt, horror and distress, was visited by one of their preachers; and hearing her describe her trouble, told her she must believe: she replied that she could not.--What! said he, cannot you believe what I say? and so left her. Yes, sirs, we can believe men's and the Devil's lies, but cannot believe the record that God hath given us of his dear Son, and of eternal life in him, (1 John 5:10,11) till God performs the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power. Faith is God's gift and God's work; therefore to him, and not to ourselves, we must apply for it, and he gives liberally to all who ask. They are destitute of real faith which receives Christ's righteousness for justification, for that righteousness to them is imputed nonsense. Eternal life, final perseverance, and eternal freedom from condemnation, their faith will not receive: they assert, a man may believe, and yet afterwards lose his faith and be lost. This is certainly true, with respect to Arminian faith, but not of that faith which comes from God. The Holy Ghost speaks it in the present tense:--"He that believeth in the Son hath everlasting life." (John 3:36) If the believer is already in possession of everlasting life, when eternal life can end I know not:--"Verily, verily I say unto you, he that heareth my words, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life:" (John 5:24) and when, or how such are to fall away and be damned, no one can tell me, unless they are presumptuous enough to say, that Christ will be false to his word. But, "let God be true, and every man a liar." The Arminians, to establish their lies, make God a liar, by not believing the record God hath given of his Son, which is eternal life; (John 10:28) and greater wickedness than this can scarcely be committed.
My last particular is to describe the baker's ceasing from raising, until it be leavened. In the margin it reads "ceaseth from waking," alluding to the general method of kneading the dough over night, then the baker retires to rest till the leaven has thoroughly worked; he then rises and prepares it for the oven. Just so does the baker in my text: when he has worked the leaven of pride, hypocrisy, self-righteousness, a false gospel of grace and works, and the leaven of malice and wickedness, into the faculties of the soul, he lies still, never tempts, never stirs up the corruptions of the heart, never accuses or condemns, but lets the leaven work till they have filled up their measure of rebellion against God, his Christ, and his people. The objects of God's love, choice, and redemption, find it not so; the Devil is ever watchful to oppose them in every step they take; they are exhorted "to be sober, be vigilant; because their adversary, the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour;" (1 Pet. 5:8) often tempting them that their religion is vain, stirring up the corruption of their hearts, working upon their besetting sins, then accusing and condemning them; that, like David, they are often earnestly praying, "Search me, O God, and know my heart, try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Ps. 139:23,24) But not so with the Arminians; Satan does not act the part of a roaring lion, but as transformed into an angel of light, (2 Cor. 11:14) he lies still and never stirs up their corruptions, never tempts them, that their humility is voluntary, their faith vain, their hope false, their love dissembled, their religion hypocrisy, their hearts deceitful; never accuses them or condemns them, for, if he did, they would be forced to call upon God for a better righteousness than their own, acknowledging, as the church of God does, that "we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags, and we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away;" (Isa. 64:6) Satan then would be divided against himself, which he never is:--no, as God hath given them up to a strong delusion, that they may believe a lie, (2 Thess. 2:11) as they are joined to idols, the Lord lets them alone; and on the other hand, the devil lies still till the leaven has properly worked: their righteousness prospers, their hope abounds, their faith grows exceedingly, their love to each other aboundeth, their religion spreads, till at last they are perfect in the flesh, and as complete in their rebellion and malice against a sovereign, independent, electing God, and his chosen family. When their measure is filled up, and the resurrection morning comes, then the devil is very busy in preparing them for the oven. In the day of judgment he takes care to furnish them with the same profession which he has leavened them with in this world, a joining Christ's name and their works together: "Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" (Matt. 7:22) But alas! "up and be doing" will not do there; it may gratify the pride of the human heart while upon earth, but the day of judgment will be as an oven to these proud ones. The Saviour adds, "And then will I profess unto them I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matt. 7:23) Whom God foreknew he predestinated, called, justified, and glorified; but these he never knew, therefore notwithstanding their using Christ's name in all they did, they were ordered to depart, for Christ will allow of no helper, he will save freely by grace, without works, or not at all.