The Searing of the Christian Conscience


Most people think of hardened criminals and the most duplicitous of men when speaking of someone with a seared conscience. Yet, I believe many in the Church today are also in very real danger of this spiritual phenomenon.

The apostle Paul had a clear understanding of the damaging effects of sin on the human heart. He spoke insightfully of those who were “seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron” (2 Timothy 4:2), and those who “because of the hardness of their heart (have) become callous.” (Ephesians 4:18-19) Both metaphors—the seared conscience and the hardened, calloused heart—describe the same condition.

The Need for the Conscience

What is the human conscience? According to Vine’s Dictionary, the Greek word for conscience (suneidesis) literally means to possess “co-knowledge” of something resulting in one’s “sense of guiltiness before God.”  Thus, we were created with a unique and intrinsic faculty that gives us a kind of third-person perspective on the rightness and wrongness of our actions.

According to A.W. Tozer, the foundation of the human conscience is “the secret presence of Christ in the world.” To support his conclusions, he points to John 1:9, “There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.” This inward moral awareness is simply the “secret inner voice” of the Lord “accusing or else excusing him.”(1) Tozer very well may be right.

“We were created with a unique and intrinsic faculty that gives us a kind of third-person perspective on the rightness and wrongness of our actions.”

In the physical realm, the conscience is comparable to the human nervous system. When a person is wounded, he feels pain—the body’s inherent means of alerting him that something is wrong. Likewise, when a person sins, the human soul has a warning system that sounds an alarm because the person’s actions have wounded him spiritually. This soul-alarm trumpets, “Mayday! Mayday! Something is wrong!” He senses that his actions are not only wrong but will also result in destructive consequences.

A Tender Conscience

A person with a tender conscience is keenly aware of every infraction against the Lord. He recognizes sin for the ugly thing that it is. Immoral deeds, though seemingly insignificant to others, are viewed by him as monstrous crimes against a holy God. Their importance, while not exaggerated, is internally magnified so that their true, insidious nature may be clearly seen.

The person with a soft heart also remains consistently open to the Holy Spirit’s conviction. He is not looking to push the limits of sin—to see how much he can get away with—but to avoid it altogether. Sin, to him, is a poison which must be eradicated at any cost. The prayer of David expresses the unseen attitude of such a person: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalm 139:24)

Most people who have experienced a true conversion begin their new life with this kind of spiritual sensitivity. The “eyes of their hearts” have been opened to the wonders of Jesus Christ and His kingdom. Concern over the prospect of doing something against their Savior can actually drive them to run to their pastor over things that seem ridiculous to more seasoned saints.

A Wandering Conscience

Unfortunately, it is often only a matter of time before the “first love” for Jesus dwindles into religious form. As new converts begin to “learn the ropes” of Christianity, a slight hardening of the heart takes place. The deep sense of helplessness that once created such a humble dependence upon the Lord is gradually replaced with spiritual pride. Bright and innocent faith is slowly supplanted by cynicism. Eventually, the world’s attractions regain their carnal luster, old idols are re-erected within the heart, and once-forsaken sins start to resurface.

The Bible describes this process as the “wandering away from” a “good conscience,” (I Timothy 1:5-6) and the corrupting of the conscience (Titus 1:15). Both describe the same process of inner moral decay that occurs when a person allows sin to re-establish itself within their heart. If the person continues along this course, he will soon lose the sense of the evil nature of sin. A perfect illustration of this truth is the way a nonsmoker can become accustomed to the smokiest room—once he has taken up the cigarette habit himself. Clean lungs detect every whiff of pollution; dirty lungs have lost that capability.

“As his heart becomes increasingly calloused, the spiritual system God constructed within him slowly loses its ability to detect the damage being done to it.”

The person who habitually gives himself over to sin loses the ability to feel the spiritual “pain” of sin. What happens to people who lose this sense? Consider lepers who experience a similar thing physically. Having lost sensation in their extremities, they are often terribly hurt and can even die because they are unaware of a bodily injury. In the spiritual realm, this is a picture of the hardening that takes place inside a person who remains in unrepentant sin. As his heart becomes increasingly calloused, the spiritual system God constructed within him slowly loses its ability to detect the damage being done to it. It’s little wonder that Christian men in habitual sexual sin can sit in church week after week, singing songs of worship to a God they continually defy. “Hardened by the deceitfulness of sin,” (Hebrews 3:13) their entire beings are riddled with a leprosy of evil which they can no longer even detect!

In such cases, as their conscience undergoes a constant searing, these men are gradually desensitized to the guilt of sin. If left unabated, this process will eventually lead to the death of conscience. As one writer stated it, “Such men must have won that most disastrous of victories — the victory over conscience.”(2)

A Seared Conscience

What does it mean to have one’s conscience seared? To answer that question, I consulted the godly writers of yesteryear. Adam Clarke described it thus: “One cauterized by repeated applications of sin, and resistings of the Holy Ghost…”(3) The Fausett Bible Dictionary explained it as, “…a hardened determination to resist every spiritual impression…”(4) The Pulpit Commentary said it is “the gradual deterioration of sensibility produced by (habitual sin).”(5) John Wesley likened it to, “drunkenness of soul, a fatal numbness of spirit…”(6)

“If a person remains in sin long enough, he can reach a point where he is no longer influenced by the Holy Spirit.”

In summation, if a person remains in sin long enough, he can reach a point where he is no longer influenced by the Holy Spirit. He has become so hardened that he will not listen—does not want to hear. I believe this phenomenon is that which the Bible terms apostasy.

How can a man know if he has gone too far? The very concern over such a possibility reveals the fact that there remains hope for him. Apostates, having lost all sense of morality, have no concern over such matters.

A Renewed Conscience

However, when a man in habitual sin repents—by acknowledging his guilt and taking steps to put it behind him—his hardened heart begins to soften, and he gradually begins to feel the conviction of sin once again. Finally, he is back in the place where God can reach him and help him overcome. As the writer of Hebrews exclaimed, “how much more will the blood of Christ… cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14)

Nobody enjoys the feeling of guilt over wrongdoing. However, the alternative is to have no feeling: no Holy Ghost conviction, no discernment of right from wrong, and no sense of shame over the evil nature of sin. The human conscience truly is a gift from God. Personally, I plan on treasuring this gift by maintaining a soft heart and a ready ear for the convicting voice of the Holy Spirit.

(1) A. W. Tozer, The Ground of Human Conscience: Christ’s Presence in the World from the book Echoes of Eden, copyright 1994.  Used by permission of Christian Publications.

(2) H. Melvill, The Biblical Illustrator, Isaiah 1, Ages Software.

(3) Adam Clarke, Hebrews 13, ibid.

(4) Fauset’s Bible Dictionary, Blasphemy, ibid.

(5) Pulpit Commentary, 2 Samuel 18, ibid.

(6) The Works of Wesley, Vol. 5, ibid.

Written by Steve Gallagher
Founder of Pure Life Ministries

Simul Justus et Peccator

[PLEASE NOTE: Much of the following material has been mined from various places including the Christian Publication Resource Foundation, without referencing the actual source. Therefore, the following excerpts are provided simply because they are helpful for understanding the related issues.]


To one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly,
his faith is reckoned as righteousness. –Romans 4:5

How is the Christian to see himself in this world?

“Simul Justus et Peccator” “At the same time righteous and a sinner”. Justification is forensic. In Christ, we are declared, counted, or reckoned to be righteous when God imputes the righteousness of Christ (an “alien righteousness”) to our account. Christ’s righteousness ascribed to the redeemed individual without their personal merit. We are declared righteous in Christ, it is imputed to us — it is counted as ours … not infused in us. We are counted righteous in God’s eyes because of Christ. But this does not make us righteous in ourselves. That will only happen at our glorification when Christ transforms these bodies to be sealed in righteousness. Justifying righteousness is something which always resides in the Person of Christ alone. The imputation of this “alien” righteousness is the only means by which man can be acceptable to God. As long as the Christian lives, he is guilty in himself, but “in Christ” he is righteous and accounted precious.

The Council of Trent itself reveals that Rome considered Luther’s Simul Justus et Peccator to be a most serious threat to the traditional teaching of the Catholic church. The Roman Church contended that “justification” means making a man righteous in his own person. The Catholic reasons, “How can God pronounce a man to be righteous in His sight unless he is actually righteous?” He therefore thinks that a man must be born again and transformed before he can have right standing with God. In this system of thought, a man can have no real assurance of justification, for he can never be sure whether the Holy Spirit has made him righteous enough to be accepted of God.

Righteousness through Christ is called an “alien” righteousness because it did not generate from us. It is not our righteousness; it is his. It is an alien righteousness because it came from without, and now it is in a foreign land. It does not belong here; it is an alien righteousness. In Latin, we call it Simul Justus et Peccator: simul, simultaneously; justus, just; et, and; peccator, sinful. That is me – simultaneously righteous and sinful. That is my contribution to salvation — my sin! At the same time that I am a sinner, God sees me as righteous because of the blood of Jesus Christ. That is the message of outreach — it is the message of salvation.

Righteousness comes in two ways: Coram Deo (righteousness before God) or Coram Hominibus (before man). Instead of a development in righteousness based in the person, or an infusion of merit from the saints, a person is judged righteous before God because of the works of Christ. But, absent the perspective of God and the righteousness of Christ, based on one’s own merit—a Christian still looks like a sinner. The declaration involves God imputing to the believer’s “balance sheet” or account the alien righteousness of Christ. The believer is not declared righteous by virtue of his own merit, but on the basis of the merit of Christ. When united to Him, it is justification which becomes the foundation upon which the believer can stand with confidence Coram Dei. The believer has no cause to fear in the presence of God because of His acquittal. The believer has only and always to look to the finished work of Christ on the Cross and hear God’s declaration, “You are accepted.” Because of justification the believer does not fear God’s rejection because of the sin still present in his/her life. God does not look at the sin in our life except through the work of Christ. This tension is resolved in the Incarnate Christ, crucified and now risen for the life of the world.

Eternal life is Christ dwelling in His righteousness in the soul of the justified person. So eternal life is union with Jesus Christ. And the word for that union with him is faith. The sinner comes to him, rests in him, trusts in him, is one with him, abides with him; and this is life because it never ends. The united soul abides in the Vine eternally. Weakness, sin, proneness to sin never brings separation, but only the Father’s pruning, which cements the union even and ever tighter.

The Judge of all the earth declares us “not guilty” when we believe because Christ was pronounced “guilty” for us on the cross. We are not first made righteous, then declared righteous; we are declared to be righteous by grace through faith in Christ, then made righteous! When we believe, God imputes Christ’s righteousness to us ‘as if’ it was our own. However, it is HIS righteousness, that is why Paul says in Romans 1:17 that there is a righteousness that has been revealed from God, a righteousness not of our own, but a righteousness revealed from God and freely given to those who do not work, but to those who believe. In light of the goodness and graciousness of God who was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, we should daily repent of our own self-righteousness (our works), The words imply a declaration and pronouncement from the divine court of the believer’s right standing with God. “Justification” in itself does not mean a change in the man, but a declaration of how he appears in God’s sight.

Through faith we run to Christ and hold fast to Him, who satisfied the law on our behalf (Romans 10:4; Galatians 3:10-13). In this way, we are accounted righteous in the sight of God through faith alone, without doing the works of the law. We are Simul Justus et Peccator.

Luther recognized that even in a state of regeneration the believer still lives in the world and still in fact does commit acts of sin. There is no attempt to redefine sin to make it anything less than what it is. Rather there is a stark recognition of the dialectic of the Christian’s acceptance before God and the fact that he still sins. Luther’s phrase to describe this condition was that the state of the Christian between regeneration and ultimate glorification is Simul Justus et Peccator, at once just (or justified) and sinner. This is not a condition that will ever be transcended in this life. Rather, the believer must always rely on the finished work of Christ for his/her acceptance before God.

Note the helpful definition given by the Westminster Confession

“Those whom, God effectually calls he also freely justifies, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them as their righteousness, but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they receiving and resting on him and his righteousness by faith, which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God” – WCF Ch 11

Our “iniquities are forgiven,” “sins are covered,” “the Lord does not reckon sin against us.” Romans 4:5-8

We fully affirm the following with John Knox, Scots Confession 15

“We confess and acknowledge that the law of God is most just, equal, holy, and perfect, commanding those things which, when perfectly done, can give life and bring man to eternal felicity; but our nature is so corrupt, weak, and imperfect, that we are never able perfectly to fulfill the works of the law. Even after we are reborn, if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth of God is not in us. It is therefore essential for us to lay hold on Christ Jesus, in his righteousness and his atonement, since he is the end and consummation of the Law and since it is by him that we are set at liberty so that the curse of God may not fall upon us, even though we do not fulfill the Law in all points. For as God the Father beholds us in the body of his Son Christ Jesus, he accepts our imperfect obedience as if it were perfect, and covers our works, which are defiled with many stains, with the righteousness of his Son. We do not mean that we are so set at liberty that we owe no obedience to the Law–for we have already acknowledged its place–but we affirm that no man on earth, with the sole exception of Christ Jesus, has given, gives, or shall give in action that obedience to the Law which the Law requires. When we have done all things, we must fall down and unfeignedly confess that we are unprofitable servants. Therefore, whoever boasts of the merits of his own works or puts his trust in works of supererogation, boasts of what does not exist, and puts his trust in damnable idolatry.”

The Death of Faithful

Christian and Faithful in Vanity Fair

Written by John Bunyan
Taken and adapted from the “Young People’s Pilgrim’s Progress” 
Rewritten and modernized by, S. J. Reid, D.D., 

NOW Envy stood forth and said…

“My lord, this man, in spite of his name, is one of the vilest men in our country. He has no regard for prince or people, law or custom, but does all he can to fill other men with his disloyal notions, which he calls faith and holiness. And I myself heard him say that Christian faith and the customs of our town Vanity were opposed to one another, and would always be, by which saying, my lord, he not only condemns these customs, but us also who observe them.”

Next came Superstition, who said, “My lord, I do not know much about this man, nor do I want to know him. But this I do know, that he is a very bad man, for when I had a talk with him the other day in this town he said that our religion was such that it could by no means please God, which saying, my lord, simply means that we worship in vain, are yet in our sins, and shall at last be punished. This is all I have to say.”

Pickthank then came forward and said, “My lord, I have known this fellow for a long time, and have heard him say things he ought not to have said. He mocked our noble prince, Beelzebub, and spoke with great contempt Of his friends, whose names are Lord Old Man, the Lord Carnal Delight, the Lord Desire of Vain Glory, my old Lord Lechery, Sir Having Greedy, with all the rest of our noble friends. Besides, he has not been afraid to speak ill of you, my lord, who are now his judge, calling you an ungodly and bad man.”
When Pickthank had finished, the judge said to Faithful, “Thou runagate, heretic and traitor, have you heard what these honest gentlemen have said against you Faithful: “May I say a few words in my defense Judge? Sir, sir, you deserve to live no longer, but to be slain at once. But that all men may see how gentle we are towards you, let us hear what you, vile runagate, have to say. ”

Faithful: I say, then, in answer to Mr. Envy, that I never said anything but this: That what rules, or laws, or customs, or people, were flat against the Word of God, are opposed to the Christian faith. If I said what was wrong, convince me of my error and I will take it back. In reply to Mr. Superstition, let me say that in the worship of God there is required a divine faith. There can be no divine faith unless it is divinely revealed by the will of God. What is brought into the worship of God that was not divinely revealed is a human faith, and that faith will not profit to eternal life.

And as for Mr. Pickthank, I say that the prince of this town, with all his attendants, as already named, are more fit for hell than for this town and country and so may the Lord have mercy on me.” Then the judge said to the jury Gentlemen of the jury, you see this man, about whom so great an uproar has been made in this town. You have heard what these worthy gentlemen have said against him. You have heard his reply. It is now for you to hang him or save his life. But I think I must first instruct you in our laws. There was an act made in the days of Pharaoh the Great, a servant of our prince, against those of a different religion . In order that they might not increase too fast and become too strong for him, all their young children were thrown into the river. ‘There was another act made in the days of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, that all who did not fall down and worship his golden image should be thrown into a fiery furnace.  There was also an act made in the days of Darius, that if any called on any other god but him, they should be cast into the lions’ den. Now the prisoner at the bar has broken these laws, not only in thought, but also in word and deed.

Then the jury went into another room.

Their names were: Mr. Blindman, Mr. No-good, Mr. Malice, Mr. Love-lust, Mr. Live-loose, Mr. Heady Mr. High-mind, Mr. Enmity, Mr. Liar, Mr. Cruelty, Mr. Hate-light and Mr. Implacable. Among them elves they concluded to say that Faithful was guilty. Mr. Blind-man, the foreman, said, I see clearly that this man is a heretic.” Mr. No-good “Away with such a fellow from the earth.” Mr. Malice “Aye, for I hate the very looks of him.” Mr. Love-lust: “I could never endure him.” Mr. Live-loose: “Nor I, for he would ever condemn my way.” Mr. Heady “Hang him Hang him Mr. High-min d “A sorry scrub.” Mr. Enmity “My heart riseth against him.” Mr. Liar: “He is a rogue and a liar.” Mr. Cruelty “Hanging is too good for him.” Mr. Hate-light: “Let us dispatch him out-of-the-way.” Mr. Implacable “If I had all the world given to me I could not like him. Let us bring him in guilty of death.” And so they did, and he was taken from the place where he was to the place whence he came and put to a cruel death. They whipped him and beat him, and cut hi m with knives, and stoned him with stones, and, last of all, they burned him to ashes at the stake.

Thus, Faithful died.

Now there stood behind the crowd a chariot and a span of horses waiting for Faithful. As soon as he passed away he was taken into it, and was carried up through the clouds, with sound of trumpet, the nearest way to the Celestial City.

But as for Christian, he had a rest, and was put back into prison, where he stayed for a time. But he who rules all things so brought it about that at last Christian escaped them, and went on his way.

Understanding the Three Persons of the Trinity

Taken and adapted from, Theologia Christiana, Book 2 Ch. 9, 1696.
Written by Benedict Pictet

“…now observe that the scripture expressly mentions three persons to whom the divine nature is ascribed, namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Of these three the scripture speaks unitedly in various places; for not to mention the baptism of Christ, in which the Father revealed himself by the voice that was heard; the Son, who was the subject of the divine oracle, was seen; and the Holy Ghost descended in the shape of a dove; the following passages are well know: “Go ye, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (Matt. 38:19.) “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of all.” (2 Cor. 13:14.) See also John 14:16; 1 Cor. 12:3; Gal. 4:6. So also in Rev. 1:4, 5, John seeks grace “from him which is, and which was, and which is to come,” namely, from the Holy Ghost, (so-called on account of his manifold gifts, and with an allusion also to the seven churches of Asia,) and “from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, &c.” And not only in the New Testament is there mention made of these three unitedly, but in the Old Testament also. “I will mention the loving-kindness of the Lord, &c., for he said, Surely they are my people,” (this is said of the Father.) The Angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them,  (this concerning the Son.) But they rebelled, and vexed his Holy Spirit, (this concerning the Spirit.) (Isaiah 43:7-10.) “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me (the Son), because the Lord hath anointed me (by his Spirit) to preach the gospel to the poor.” (Isaiah 61:1.) Nor must we omit those passages in which the plurality of persons appears to be pointed out, such as “Let us make man in our image.” “Behold the man is become as one of us.” “Go to, let us go down, and confound their language.” (Gen. 11:7.)

Concerning these three persons we must remark, that they are distinct from each other, as is evident from the passages already quoted, and many others; thus Psalm 110:1, “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand.” Here the Lord who speaks is distinguished from the Lord who is spoken to. So also John 15:26, “When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.” Here the Comforter, or Spirit, is plainly distinct from the Father and the Son. Against, they are so distinguished, that some things are said of the Father which cannot be said of the Son, and some things of the Son which are no wise said of the Spirit. The Father is said to have begotten the Son but the Son is no wise said to send the Father. The Spirit is said to proceed from the Father, and to be sent by the Son; but no where is the Father said to proceed from, nor the Son to be sent by, the Spirit. Yet are these persons distinct in such a manner, that they are not three Gods but one God; for the scripture everywhere proves, and reason confirms, the unity of the Godhead.

There are, therefore, three persons in one divine essence; and this is clearly established by the passage in 1 John 5:7, which is brought forward and quoted by Cyprian, although not read in many copies. A far greater number of reasons can be alleged why this passage should have been inserted by the orthodox. It was more to the advantage of heretics to suppress this passage, than to that of the orthodox to add it, because, if it were genuine, the heresy of the former would be entirely overthrown; if spurious the orthodox creed was in no danger, being clearly established from other passages of scripture. The connection also of the text confirms our opinion; for unless this verse be admitted, there seems no reason why John should say, “There are three that bear witness in earth,” not having before said any thing of “three witnesses in heaven.” Nor can it be objected that these words in earth, were also added afterwards, for the contrary appears from verse 9, where mention is made both of the divine and human testimony, “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater.”

This mystery of three in one, is called the mystery of the Trinity, a word not expressly written in the scriptures, but wisely invented, and advantageously used, for the purpose of exposing the shifts and subterfuges of crafty heretics, just as other words have been invented and used, such as … (of the same essence), … (essence), … (subsistence), &c. Concerning this mystery we must inquire soberly, and speak modestly, since the human mind cannot conceive, nor mortal tongue express, the greatness of it; and, therefore, we can have nothing to do with the unbridled audacity of the vain and speculating schoolmen, who, by their plausible and dangerous subtleties, have given room for the introduction of various heresies.

We may examine things revealed, but not rashly pry into secret things, lest as Prosper remarks, we should be convicted of unlawful curiosity in the latter, and of blamable negligence in the former. Distinguished men, both in this and former ages, have attempted to render this mystery plain by many examples. I admire their ingenuity, united as it is with an ardent desire for the promotion of Christian truth; while I read what they have written, my mind is captivated both by their ingenuity and by their eloquence are removed and the mind is brought down to a little closer consideration of the subject, all that they have advanced is, in a great measure, forgotten. But although this mystery is incomprehensible to mortals, it must be rejected by us for it is not strange that finite beings, such as we are, should not perfectly comprehend the nature of an infinite Being. It is enough to have proved from the scriptures these two points, that there is one God, and that the Godhead is ascribed to three persons, distinct from each other. The latter we have begun to prove, and shall prove still further. But to assist our understanding on this subject, we may observe that the divine essence is infinite; also, that we do not comprehend how this essence is common to three persons, for this reason, — because we judge of the divine essence as we do of a finite essence, which cannot subsist in more than one. Further, that the divine essence subsisting in a plurality of persons, arises from the Infinite nature of Deity, but that these persons are no more than three, is only known from revelation. Gregory Nazianzen excellently remarks on this subject, I cannot attempt to think of one, but I am instantly surrounded with the splendor of three; I cannot attempt to distribute the three, but I am instantly carried back to the idea of one. These three, in whom the divine essence subsists, are called persons, which is the term we shall make use of; we confess, indeed, that it is not so appropriate, but for want of other terms, we are compelled to adopt this, in common with the whole Christian church.”


The Unmitigated Sovereignty of God

Taken and adapted from, “The Sole Consideration, That God is God, Sufficient to Still All Objections to His Sovereignty”, included in, “The Works of Jonathan Edwards”, Volume 2, 1736.


“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand”  Proverbs 19:11 

In that he is God, he will be sovereign…
                                                                   …and will act as such.

He sits on the throne of his sovereignty, and his kingdom ruleth over all. He will be exalted in his sovereign power and dominion, as he himself declares; Ps 46:10. “I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” He will have all men to know, that he is most high over all the earth. He doth according to his will in the armies of heaven and amongst the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay his hand.—There is no such thing as frustrating, or baffling, or undermining his designs; for he is great in counsel, and wonderful in working. His counsel shall stand, and he will do all his pleasure. There is no wisdom, nor understanding, nor counsel against the Lord; whatsoever God doth, it shall be for ever; nothing shall be put to it, nor any thing taken from it. He will work, and who shall let it? He is able to dash in pieces the enemy. If men join hand in hand against him, to hinder or oppose his designs, he breaks the bow, he cuts the spear in sunder, he burneth the chariot in the fire.—He kills and he makes alive, he brings down and raises up just as he pleases. Isa. 45:6, 7. “That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is none else: I form the light and create darkness; I make peace and create evil; I the Lord do all these things.”

Great men, and rich men, and wise men cannot hinder God from doing his pleasure. He leadeth counsellors away spoiled, he accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor. There are many devices in a man’s heart, but the counsel of the Lord that shall stand, and the thoughts of his heart to all generations.—When he gives quietness, who can make trouble? When he hides his face, who can behold him? He breaketh down, and it cannot be built up again: he shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening; when he purposeth, who shall disannul it? And when his hand is stretched out, who shall turn it back?—So there is no hindering God from being sovereign, and acting as such. “He hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” “He hath the keys of hell and of death: he openeth, and no man shutteth: he shutteth, and no man openeth.” This may show us the folly of opposing ourselves against the sovereign dispensations of God; and how much more wisely they act who quietly and sweetly submit to his sovereign will.

–Sourced from the “Dead Puritan Society”

Go on, with your Commandments…



…I will go on with the promises.

Make the law your rule of walk, and I will pray God to perform His promise in me; for God hath said, “I will dwell in them, and walk in them.”

Thus you go on by the law, and I by the gospel.

Do perform your duty, and I will plead my privileges. Act thou as an industrious servant, and by God’s grace, I will act an affectionate son.
Be thou obedient to the law, and I will pray for grace for obedience to the faith. Live thou in the fear of thy master, and I will endeavour to honour my heavenly Father…Make the law thy only rule of action, and act accordingly; and I will depend upon God to work in me both to will and to do of His own good pleasure; yea, to fulfill all the good pleasure of His will in me, and the work of faith with power…

Let the ministers of the letter bind the grievous burdens upon your shoulders that you cannot possibly bear…

…and I will cast my burdens on the Lord, who has promised to sustain me. Be thou careful to observe all the grievousness which they prescribe, and I will cast all my care upon Him that careth for me. Walk thou by sight, and I by faith; walk thou in the letter, and I in the Spirit. Look thou to the commandments, and I will look to Jesus….
Meet the author and part of your Christian heritage: William Huntington, 1745-1813. Of Huntington’s description of his sweet blessed deliverance into gospel liberty, J. C. Philpot says: “We have read some of the finest productions of human eloquence, in both ancient and modern languages. William Romaine said, “that God raises up such men as John Bunyan and William Huntington but once in a century.” Dr. Henry Cole, translator of the Works of Luther and Calvin, after referring to Huntington as “that great and blessed servant of the Most High,” says, “I believe he bore and left in Britain the greatest and most glorious testimony to the power of God’s salvation that ever was borne or left therein.” A. J. Baxter, editor of the Gospel Advocate, wrote: “There are hundreds who will both speak and write with respect of such men of God as Owen, Bunyan, Romaine, Barridge and Newton, who would recoil at the mention of the name of Huntington. And why? Because his conduct was less consistent than they? No, but because, in depth, closeness, and discrimination of vital realities he excelled them all; and was therefore the least comprehended, 1 Cor. 2:15. (Thomas Wright in Life of Huntington.) (-T. Rutt in Foreword to Kingdom of Heaven Taken by Prayer, by William Huntington)