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Stephen Charnock

Charnock: A Better Covenant, a Surer Stock

The breach of the first covenant was an occasion of introducing a better. Man’s sinning away his first stock, was an occasion to God to enrich him with a surer. The loss of his original righteousness made way for a clearer and more durable. The folly of man made way for the evidence of God’s wisdom, and the sin of man for the manifestation of his grace; and by the wise disposal of God, opens a way for the honour of those attributes which would not else have been experimentally known by the sons of men. Stephen Charnock, The Complete Works of Stephen Charnock, vol. 1 (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; W. Robertson; G. Herbert, 1864–1866), 22.

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Christian WorshipGodly MagistracyZachary Crofton

Crofton: God’s Order, Civil & Ecclesiastical

“My muddy brains could never yet conceive the God of Order to make Office and Authority essential to political transactions in Kingdoms and Commonwealths, and yet to leave his Church in such confusion, that the great Affairs of Salvation shall be dispensed by every common hand, as if his care were more for the world [than] the Church; which if it be, I will never go to the House of God to behold the beauty of his Holiness, which shines more brightly in the wide Wilderness.” The Rev. Zachary Crofton (The Vertue and Value of Baptism. London, 1663. p. 9)

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BaptismZachary Crofton

Christ’s Stamp of Authority Checks Men’s Curiosity – Crofton

“Water is the outward sign, and matter of baptism. Water and no other element; pure water without popish mixture, or compostion with oil, cream, spittle, or the like. For this and this only element the Lord appointed; and his appointment stamps on the use of it, Dignity and Authority; and justly checks the curiosity of such as are subject to contemn the simplicity of the element, and advance the dignity of the ordinance by their own dull, but daring inventions: And yet water being an element, cooling heat, quenching thirst, of common use, and easy purchase, and cleaning all filthiness; doth fitly represent unto our minds the cooling and refreshing efficacy, the plenty and easy purchase, together with the purifying property of the blood of Christ.” The Rev. Zachary Crofton (The Vertue and Value of Baptism. London, 1663. p. 6)

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George SwinnockPilgrim's Progress

Swinnock: Death a Poor Trade Amongst Saints

Death among saints drives but a poor trade; it may destroy the body, and when that is done, it hath done all its feats; like a fierce mastiff whose teeth are broken out, it may bark and tear thy tattered coat, but cannot bite to the bone. This bee fastened her sting in Christ’s blessed body, and is ever since a drone to his members. George Swinnock, Works, vol. 3, p. 451

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Pilgrim's ProgressSamuel Rutherford

Rutherford: In Ye Must Be, Cost You What it Will

[T]ake pains to climb up to that besieged house to Christ; for devils, men, and armies of temptations are lying about the house, to hold out all that are out, and it is taken with violence. It is not a smooth and easy way, neither will your weather be fair and pleasant; but whosoever hath seen the invisible God, and the fair City, makes no reckoning of losses or crosses. In ye must be, cost you what it will. Stand not for a price, and for all that ye have, to win the castle. The rights to it are won to you, and it is disponed to you in the testament of your Lord Jesus (and see what a fair legacy your dying Friend, Christ, hath left you!), and there wanteth nothing but possession. Then get up in the strength of the Lord; get over the water to possess that good land. It is better than a land of olives and wine-trees; for the Tree of Life, that beareth twelve manner of fruits every month, is there before you; and a pure river of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, is there. Your time is short; therefore lose no time. Gracious and faithful is He who hath called you to His kingdom and glory. The city is yours by free conquest, and by promise; and, therefore, let no unco lord-idol put you from your own. The devil hath cheated the simple heir of his paradise, and, by enticing us to taste of the forbidden fruit, hath as it were, bought us out of our kindly heritage. But our Lord Christ Jesus hath done more than bought the devil by; for He hath redeemed the wadset, and made the poor heir free to the inheritance. If we knew the glory of our Elder Brother in heaven, we would long to be there to see Him, and to get our fill of heaven. We children think the earth a fair garden; but it is but God’s outfield, and wild, cold, barren ground. All things are fading that are here. It is our happiness to make sure of Christ to ourselves. Samuel Rutherford (Letters of Samuel Rutherford, Edinburgh; London: Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier, 1891, p. 511).

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Christian WorshipSabbathWilliam Frederick Vincent Bartlett

Bartlett: Sabbath Not of Man’s Devising

The Rev. William Frederick Vincent Bartlett reminds us of the Sabbath’s origin (Southern Presbyterian Pulpit: A Collection of Sermons, pp. 385, 386): You must remember that in dealing with the Sabbath you are not dealing with a mere human device. It is not like a tariff bill or a lodge bill that men may quarrel over. It not an enactment of the state. It is God’s institution; the creation of God’s will and armed with God’s sanction. As, then, God made it, no man has a right to unmake it.

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BaptismChristian WorshipZachary Crofton

Zachary Crofton on Infidel Conversion and Baptism

The Rev. Zachary Crofton (Nonconformist minister, 1626-1672), in his The Vertue and Value of Baptism (London, 1663) begins the book with short catechism on the subject. One of the questions addresses what renders one to be a fit subject for baptism. It is not the majority report, and is quite contrary to the conversionalism so prevalent now: Q. By what must Infidels converted to the Faith be judged, within the Covenant, and fit Subjects to be baptized[?] A. By making a profession of saving faith, which may be done by men in the gall of bitterness, and bond of iniquity; not by a saving profession of faith, importing sincerity of grace, nor by a well ordered conversation; for God’s Ministers must judge by a present visible sign, and they cannot search the heart: And plants are to be set in the Church before we look for fruit; Baptism is a bond unto amendment of life.

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Confessing the Christian Faith