I saw with wonder and delight, in some measure, how God by this means might be “Just, in justifying” even ” the ungodly, who believe in Jesus.” Rom. 4:5. How was I ravished with delight, when made to see, that the God, in whom a little before I thought there was no hope for me, or any sinner in my case, if there was any such, notwithstanding His spotless purity, His deep hatred of sin, His inflexible justice and righteousness, and His untainted faithfulness, pledged in the threatenings of the Law, might not only pardon, but without prejudice to His Justice, or other attributes, be ” Just in justifying,” even “the ungodly.” The reconciliation of those seemingly inconsistent attributes with one another and with a sinner’s salvation, quite surprised and astonished me. Isa. 9:6; 1 Cor. 2:9; Rom. 1:16,17; Eph. 3:19.
Thomas Halyburton, Memoirs, P. iii. c. 2.
I am now much more apprehensive, than heretofore, of the necessity of well grounding men in their religion, and especially of the witness of the indwelling Spirit: for I more sensibly perceive, that the Spirit is the great witness of Christ and Christianity to the world. And, though the folly of fanatics tempted me long to overlook the strength of the testimony of the Spirit, while they placed it in a certain internal assertion, or enthusiastic inspiration, yet now 1 see, in another manner, that the Holt Ghost is the witness of Christ and His agent in the world. The Spirit in the prophets was His first witness; and the Spirit by miracles was His second; and the Spirit by renovation, sanctification, illumination, and consolation, assimilating the soul to Christ and heaven, is the continual witness to all true believers: and “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His:” even as the rational soul in the child is the inherent witness or evidence, that he is the child of rational parents. Rom. viii. 14 —17; 1 S. John v. 10; 2 Cor. xiii. 5.
R. Baxter. Reliquise Baxterianae, B. i. p. 1.
He is “the way:” men without Him are Cains, wanderers, vagabonds. He is ” the truth:” men without Him are liars, devils, who was so of old. He is “the life:” without Him men are dead, dead in trespasses and sins. He is “the light:” without Him men are in darkness, and go they know not whither. He is “the vine:” those, that are not grafted in Him, are withered branches, prepared for the fire. He is ” the rock:” men, not built on Him, are carried away with a flood. He is A and Ω, the first and the last, the author and the ender, the founder and the finisher, of our salvation. He, that hath not Him, hath neither beginning of good, nor shall have end of misery. O Blessed Jesus! how much better were it, not to be, than to be without Thee? Never to be born, than not to die in Thee? A thousand hells come short of this, Eternally to want Jesus Christ, as men do, that want the Gospel. Job 1:3-5; Eph. 4:18; Matt. 7:26, 27; 16:18; Rev. 3:17, 18.
Dr. Owen, Sermon before the Parliament, A.d. 1646.
Every believer is the Temple of God; and, as the tables of the Law were kept in the Ark, his “pure conscience” is the Ark, that holds “the mystery of faith.” . . . Are your consciences pure? Have you a living hatred and antipathy against all impurity. Then surely faith is there; for it is the peculiar virtue of faith to purify the heart: and the heart, so purified, is the proper residence of faith, where it dwells and rests, as in its natural place.
But have you consciences, that can lodge pride, and lusts, and malice, and covetousness, and such like pollutions? Then be no more so impudent, as to say, you believe; nor deceive yourselves so far, as to think you do. The Blood of Christ never speaks peace to any conscience, but the same, that it “purifies from dead works to serve the living God,” Heb. 9:13, 14.
As that Blood is a Sacrifice to appease God’s wrath, so it is a Laver to wash our souls; and, to serve both ends, it is, as was the blood of legal sacrifices, both offered up to God and sprinkled upon us, as both are expressed in the Apostle’s words there. 20:32; 1 Pet. 1:22; 1 John 3:3.
Leighton, Exposition of the Creed
The Gospel of Christ, and consequently our faith in the same, supposeth repentance, as a ground to do its work upon: so Peter conjoineth them, “Repent; and that thy repentance may be available, betake thyself to Christ; become a member of His kingdom.” (xx. 21.) Repentance therefore and the Gospel cannot be separated. If repentance includes newness of life and good works, the Gospel doth so. For Christ is the way of repentance; without repentance, there is no use of Christ; and without Christ repentance is unavailable and nothing worth: for without Him we can neither be quit of the sins we forsake, nor turn by a new life unto God with hope of being received. He is the Blessed Ferryman, and His Gospel is the boat, provided by the unspeakable mercy of God for the passage of this sea. As therefore, in repentance, we forsake sin to serve God in newness of life, so in the tenour of the Gospel Christ delivers us from sin, that we might, through faith in Him, bring forth the fruits and works of a new life acceptable to our Heavenly Patheb. xxvi. 20; S. Mark i. 15.
J. Mede, Serm. Mark 1:14, 15
Some there are, who in the consideration of their great and many sins against Christ, as their Lobd, do not, cannot, shall I say, or, will not look withal to Him, as Jesus and a Saviour; and hereupon, utterly despairing of His mercy, cast away their hope and themselves also often both in soul and body, as did Cain and Judas. True; Judas sinned treacherously against his Lord and Master Christ; yet having sinned he should not so have looked upon Him, as a Lobd, against whom he sinned, as not to look upon Him also, as Jesus and a Saviour, who came to die for sin; that so His Blood might have washed and saved even him, the traitor, as well as it did others, who with him had their hands in that treason, upon their repentance.
This is a strange division of Christ, when men, by dividing Jesus from Lobd, shall divide themselves from mercy and salvation. True Christians hold a middle course, not dividing but coupling these two together; neither presuming too much on Him, because He is Jesus, a Saviour; nor despairing of His mercy, because He is Lord: but they “serve the Lord with fear,” because He is their Lord, and “rejoice with trembling,” because He is also their Jesus and Saviour. Ps. lvi. 3. Dr. Sibbes. (The Christian’s apparelling by Christ).
When true knowledge faileth in the Church of God, it cannot be, but the souls of the people shall perish. If, in the little time of Moses’ absence, the people forgot God, (Ex. 32:1,) and fell to idolatry; if, when Christ slumbered, and took but a little nap in the ship, the ship began to drown; how shall it be with them, that receive not Moses at all, and give no place to our Saviour Cueist, who only is able to save the ship from drowning? For, as Hilary saith, “Those Churches are in danger of drowning, wherein the Word of God waketh not; not for that Christ is in any slumber, but because His Word is heavy in us through our heaviness, somno nostra consopiatur in nobis.” 1 Pet. 4:18. Bp. Jewel. (Serm. Hagg. 1:2-4.)