“[T]hough judgments be not so rife and visible now upon our unhallowed approaches to God, yet he smiteth us with deadness where he doth not smite us with death: for a man is punished otherwise than a boy; and judgments are now spiritual, which, in the infancy of the church, were temporal and bodily.” – Thomas Manton, Puritan Sermons, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Richard Owen Roberts, Publishers, 1981), 402.
“When those that have walked contrary to God in a way of sin return to him by sincere repentance, though he has walked contrary to them in a way of judgment he will return to them in a way of special mercy, pursuant to the covenant of redemption and grace. None are so ready to repent as God is to forgive upon repentance, through Christ, who is given for a covenant . . . . His communion with his church is kept up by his law. He manifests not only his dominion over them, but his favour to them, by giving them his law; and they manifest not only their holy fear, but their holy love, by the observance of it; and thus it is made between them, rather as a covenant than a law; for he draws with the cords of a man.” Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), 185.
The Gospel warrant is, “Whosoever will, let him come.” There must be a willing soul; none but a soul made willing in the day of his power pays any regard to atonement. The Lord allows all that are willing to come to the atoning provision. “Are you thirsty for the living God? for yonder altar’s sacrifice?” might some son of Aaron say to a fearful soul. The fearful conscience replies, “I cannot well tell if I be really thirsty for him.” “But are you, then, willing to go to yonder altar?” “Yes, I am.” “Then you may come; for read Leviticus 1:3, and see that it is neither riches, nor poverty, moral attainment nor deep experience, but simply a conscience willing to be bathed in atonement, that is spoken of by the God of Israel.” Andrew A. Bonar, A Commentary on the Book of Leviticus, Expository and Practical (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1851), 20–21.
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.
“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)
“Besides your set times of reading the holy scriptures, you will do well to gain some time from your vacant hours, that you may read in God’s book, and in the good books of men.” Henry Scudder, The Christian’s Daily Walk (Glasgow: William Whyte & Co., 1826), 142.
“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)
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
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), 17