The Believer’s Principles,
I. Creation and Redemption.
II. Law and Gospel.
III. Justification and Sanctification.
IV. Faith and Sense.
V. Heaven and Earth.
The Believer’s Principles concerning Creation and Redemption; or, some of the first Principles of the Oracles of God.
The first chapter of Genesis compendised; or, the first seven days work, from the following Latin lines Englished.
Prima dies caelum, et terram, lucemque, creavit,
Altera distendit spatium, discrimen aquarum.
Tertia secernens undas, dat gramina terris.
Quarta creat solem et lunam, caelestiaque astra.
Quinta dedit pisces, cadem genus omne volantum,
Sexta tulit pecudes, hominem quoque quem Deus ipse
Condidit; inde operis requies lux septima fulsit.
Which may be thus Englished:
1. The first day heav’n, earth, light Jehovah sent.
2. The next, a water-sund’ring firmament.
3. The third made dry land spring with flow’ry pride.
4. The fourth set up bright lamps, times to divide.
5. The fifth brought swimming fish and flying fowl.
6. The sixth, earth’s herds, and man to bear the rule.
7. The seventh brought forth no more, yet brought the best,
The lab’ring creatures and Creator’s rest.
The first day, at Jehovah’s word,
Did heav’n, and earth, and light afford.
The next, a firmament so wide
As might the water’s course divide.
The third, severing land from seas,
Made earth produce herbs, grass, and trees.
The fourth, sun, moon, and stars of light,
Set up to rule the day and night.
The fifth made fish in deeps to move,
And fowls to fly in air above.
The sixth all earthly beasts did bring,
And man to be the creatures’ king.
The seventh, of all these days the best,
Was made for God and man to rest.
Redemption-work doth bring again
The first of these to be the main.
Fetching new heavens and earth in sight,
And immortality to light.
Since then the first is now the best,
Keep well this pledge of endless rest.
The Sum of CREATION.
All things from nothing to their Sov’reign Lord
Obedient rose at his commanding word.
Fair in his eye the whole creation stood;
He saw the building, and pronounc’d it good.
And now each work (while nature’s fabric stands)
Loud for its wise and mighty Lord demands
A rent of praise, a loud and lofty song,
From every rational beholder’s tongue.
The mystery of the Redeemer’s incarnation; or God manifested in the flesh, I Tim. iii. 16. John, i. 14.
What though the waters, struck with dread,
Rise up and form a pyramid?
Though floods should gush from rocks and stones,
Or living souls from wither’d bones?
To hear of an incarnate God,
Is yet most wonderful and odd;
Or to behold how God most high
Could in our nature breathe and die.
What though the bright angelic forms
Degraded were to crawling worms?
These creatures were but creatures still,
Transform’d at their Creator’s will.
Though creatures change a thousand ways,
It cannot such amazement raise,
Nor such a scene as this display,
Th’ eternal Word a piece of clay.
God man a strange contexture fix’d,
Yet not confused nor commix’d;
Yet still a mystery great and fresh,
A Spirit infinite made flesh.
What though when nothing heard his call,
Nothing obey’d and brought forth all?
What though he nothing’s brood maintain,
Or all annihilate again?
Let nothing into being pass,
Or back again to what it was?
But, lo! the God of being’s here,
As turn’d to nothing doth appear,
All heav’n’s astonish’d at his form,
The mighty God became a worm.
Down Arian pride, to him shall bow,
He’s Jesus and Jehovah too.
The Sum of REDEMPTION.
With haughty mind to Godhead man aspir’d,
With loving mind our manhood God desir’d:
Man was by pride from place of pleasure chac’d,
God man by love in greater pleasure plac’d.
Man seeking to ascend procur’d our fall,
God yielding to descend remov’d our thrall:
The Judge was cast, the guilty to acquit,
The Sun defac’d to lend the shades the light.
The REDEEMER’s WORK;
Christ all in all and our complete Redemption.
A Gospel-Catechism for Young Christians.
Kind Teacher, may I come to learn
In this abrupt address,
By framing questions that concern
My endless happiness?
Yea, Child; but if you’d learn to run
The great salvation-race,
Know that the name of Christ alone
Can answer ev’ry case.
Q. By sin my God and all is lost,
O where may God be found?
A. In Christ; for so the Holy Ghost
Shews by the joyful sound.
Q. But how will God with sinful me
Again be reconcil’d?
A. In Christ, in whom his grace to thee
And favour is reveal’d.
Q. O how shall I a sharer prove,
And see his glorious grace?
A. In Christ, the image of his love,
And brightness of his face.e
Q. Where shall I seek all divine store,
And without fail obtain?
A. In Christ, in whom for evermore
His fulness does remain.
Q. But how shall I escape and flee
Th’ avenging wrath of God?
A. In Christ, who bore upon the tree
That whole amazing load.
Q. Alas! I’m daily apt to stray,
How shall I heav’nward make?
A. Through Christ the consecrated way,
Design’d for thee to take.
Q. Ah! where’s my title, right, or claim
To that eternal bliss?
A. In Christ alone, that glorious name,
The Lord our Righteousness.
Q. But who unfit can enter there,
Or with such nasty feet?
A. Christ by his blood presents thee fair,
His Spirit makes thee meet.
Q. But may’nt my spirit, weak as grass,
Fail ere it reach the length?
A. Jesus the Lord thy righteousness
Will be the Lord thy strength.
Q. Mayn’t hellish hosts, and wicked foes,
Sore by the way molest?
A. Christ is a friend to bridle those,
And give the weary rest.
Q. Mayn’t guilty conscience loudly brand,
And all my comfort chase?
A. Christ with a pardon in his hand
Can shew his smiling face.
Q. But how can divine mercy vent,
Where sins are great and throng?
A. Christ is the channel with descent
That mercy runs along.
Q. But may not justice interpose,
And stand in mercy’s way?
A. Jesus did all the debt thou owes
To divine justice pay.
Q. Where shall mine eyes the pardon spy,
Unto my saving good?
A. In Christ’s free promise see it lie,
In his atoning blood.
Q. What ground have I to trust and say,
The promise is not vain?
A. In Christ the promises are Yea,
In him they are Amen.
Q. But where is Christ himself, O where
With promises so sweet?
A. Christ’s in the promises, and there
Thy faith and he may meet.
Q. Is Christ in them, and they in Christ?
How shall I this descry?
A. His blood and Spirit therein list
To seal and to apply.
Q. ‘Gainst legal fiery threats of wrath,
Pray, what defence is best?
A. Christ’s full obedience ey’d by faith;
There should the guilty rest.
Q. But how shall faith be had? Alas!
I find I can’t believe.
A. Christ is the author of that grace,
And faith is his to give.
Q. Ah! when may faithless I expect
He’ll such a bliss bequeath?
A. He will of unbelief convict,
And pave the way for faith.
Q. Repentance must attend, but whence
Shall I this grace receive?
A. Christ is exalted as a prince
All needful grace to give.
Q. How can so vile a lump of dust
A. Christ by his holy Spirit must
This gradual change effect.
Q. How shall I do the works aright,
I’m daily bound unto?
A. Christ in thee, by his Spirit’s might,
Works both to will and do.
Q. How shall my maladies be heal’d,
So sore molesting me?
A. Christ is the great physician seal’d,
The Lord that healeth thee.
Q. By prayer I ought to seek his face,
This course how shall I drive?
A. ‘Tis Christ alone that has the grace
And sp’rit of pray’r to give.
Q. Salvation-work is great and high,
Alas! what shall I do?
A. Christ as the Alpha hereof eye,
And the Omega too.
Q. What pillar then is most secure
To build my hope upon?
A. Christ only the foundation sure,
The living corner-stone,
Q. When I’m with black pollution stain’d,
How shall I cleansed be?
A. Christ is a fountain for that end
Set open wide for thee.
Q. What shall I do, when plagues abound,
With sorrows, griefs, and fears?
A. Christ has a balsam for thy wounds,
A bottle for thy tears.
Q. But is there any help for one
That utterly is lost?
A. Christ saves from sin, and he alone,
Even to the uttermost.
Q. But where shall I be safe at last
From hell and endless death?
A. Christ is a refuge from the blast
Of everlasting wrath.
Q. But may’n’t ev’n natural death to me
Become a dreadful thing?
A. Christ by his death and love to thee
Did ev’ry death unsting,
Q. Why, Sir, is Christ the whole you say?
No answer else I find.
A. Because, were Christ our all away,
There’s nothing left behind.
Q. How can he answer ev’ry case
And help in ev’ry thrall?
A. Because he is the Lord of grace,
Jehovah all in all.
Q. How is he present to supply,
And to relieve us thus?
A. Because his glorious name is nigh,
Immanuel, God with us.
Q. Has he alone all pow’r to save,
Is nothing left to man?
A. Yea, without Christ we nothing have,
Without him nothing can.
Q. Mayn’t some from hence take latitude
And room their lusts to please?
If Christ do all, then very good,
Let us take carnal ease.
A. Christ will in flaming vengeance come,
With fury in his face,
To damn his foes that dare presume
And thus abuse his grace.
Faith and Works both excluded from the matter of justification before God, that redemption may appear to be only in Christ.
Who dare an holy God address,
With an unholy righteousness?
Who can endure his awful probe,
Without perfection for their robe?
None could his great Tribunal face,
Were faith itself their fairest dress:
Faith takes the robe, but never brags
Itself has ought but filthy rags.
Faith claims no share aandworks far less,
In justice-pleasing righteousness;
The servant were to be abhorr’d,
Would claim the glory of his lord.
Blasphemous unbelief may claim
The praises of the worthy Lamb:
But faith disclaiming all its best,
Not on itself, but Christ, will rest.
I’m sav’d and justify’d by faith,
Which yet no saving value hath;
Nor e’er pretends to save from thrall,
But in its object has its all.
‘Tis Christ alone saves guilty me,
And makes my right to life so free,
That in himself it stands alone:
Faith takes the right, but gives me none.
I dare not act with this intent,
For acts of mine to draw the rent;
Nor do good works with this design,
To win the crown by works of mine.
I’d thus the promis’d grace forsake,
Nor Jesus for my Saviour take;
Yea, thus would dreadfully presume,
And work mine own eternal doom.
Presumption cannot rise more high,
I’d make the truth of God a lie,
The God of truth a liar too;
What mischief more could Satan do?
Why, I’d discredit God’s record
Concerning Jesus Christ the Lord,
His glorious and eternal Son,
Whose blood has life eternal won.
In him, says God, this life I give,
In him shall therefore men believe,
My gift embracing in their arms;
None shall be sav’d on other terms.
Vain man must stoop and freely take,
Or else embrace a burning lake:
Proud nature must submit to grace,
And to the divine righteousness.
In vain on works our hope is built,
Our actions nothing are but guilt:
The best obedience of our own
Dare not appear before his throne.
What finite worm can bear the load,
The fury of an angry God?
What mortal vigour can withstand
The vengeance of his lifted hand?
The law can never save us now,
To damn is all that it can do.
Heav’n casts all righteousness of ours,
The law of works is out of doors.
No merit, money, more or less,
Can buy the gift of righteousness.
O may I take what heav’n does give:
Jehovah help me to believe;
And in that righteousness to trust
Which only makes a sinner just.
And then, the truth of faith to prove,
Lord, make my faith to work by love.
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