The Growing of the Soul with Christ

Taken and adapted from, “The Works of Isaac Ambrose, and The Doctrine of Regeneration”
Written by Isaac Ambrose, (1591 – 1664)

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Every believer is joined unto Christ, and so joined and so knit, that he becomes one spirit…

  1. Every believer is joined, as a friend to a friend, as a father to a child, as a husband to a wife, as a graft to a tree, as a soul to a body. So is Christ to a believer; “I live, yet not I, but the Lord Jesus lives in me.”
  2. Every believer joined, that the believer comes to be one spirit with Christ: this mystery is great, and beyond the reach of that little light I enjoy; only I shall communicate what I conceive, in these three conclusions:
  3. That the Spirit of God, the third person in the Trinity, doth really accompany the word, but more especially the precious promises of the gospel.
  4. The Spirit, accompanying the promise of grace and salvation, doth thereby leave a supernatural power, a spiritual and overpowering virtue, upon the soul, and thereby brings it unto Christ: it is not so much anything in the soul, as a spiritual assisting, and moving, and working upon the soul, by virtue whereof it is moved and carried to the Lord Jesus Christ.
  5. The Spirit of grace in the promise, working thus upon the heart, causes the heart to close with the promise, and with itself in the promise; and this is to be one spirit.

This may shew us that the sins of the faithful are grievous to the blessed Spirit; not only because of mercies, bonds, and enlargements, which the believer hath received, but because a man is come so near to Christ and the Spirit, as to be one spirit with Christ. What, lodge can an unclean spirit have with the clean spirit of the Lord! The Holy Ghost cannot endure this: Let no fleshly communication come out of your mouth, Ephesians 4:29. Grieve not the holy Spirit of God, because by it you are sealed unto the day of redemption: the good Spirit of the Lord hath sealed you unto redemption, and knit you unto himself; and will you rend yourselves from him, and grieve him? O grieve not the holy Spirit.

As there is a union with Christ, so there is a conveyance of all spiritual grace from Christ, to all those that believe in him…

  1. There is fully enough in the Lord Jesus Christ for every faithful soul.
  2. As there is enough in Christ, so Christ can supply or communicate whatsoever is most fitting.
  3. As the Lord communicates what is fit, so he preserves what he bestows and communicates.
  4. As the Lord preserves what he communicates, so he brings to life the grace that he now only preserves; and in the end he crowns it all.

Hence, we see where the saints of God should go to fetch supply of whatsoever grace they want or need, and yes, to increase and to perfect that which they have already. Christ is made all in all to his servants: Why then, away to the Lord Jesus? He calls and invites, ” I counsel thee to buy of me eye-salve.” If you are an unregenerate and an accursed man, buy of Christ justification; if you be a polluted creature, buy of Christ sanctification: With thee is the well-spring of life, says David, and in your light we shall only see light.

It is not with us, but with you; –it is not in our heads, or hearts, or performances, –it is only in Christ that we may be found, –only from Christ can we be brought.

I deny not but we should improve all areas in our lives, and to use all helps that we may find; but in the use of all, seek only to Christ; with him is the well of life. Away to Christ; wisdom, righteousness, all of it is in him, and there we must have them.

You will say, What are the means by which we may obtain these graces from Christ?

I answer:

First, look at the promise daily, and keep it within view.

Secondly, yield thyself, and give way to the stroke of the promise, and to the power of the Spirit. For instance, imagine if your heart begins to be pestered with vain thoughts, or with a proud haughty spirit; you must not be discouraged; no, but look at the promise, and hold fast thereon, and say, Lord, you have promised all grace unto your servants, take therefore this heart, and these affections, and let your Spirit frame them aright according to your own good will: by that Spirit of wisdom, Lord, inform me; by that Spirit of sanctification, Lord, cleanse me from all my corruptions; by that Spirit of grace, Lord, quicken and enable me to discharge every holy service. Thus, carry yourself by the power of the Spirit of the Lord, and you shalt find your heart strengthened upon all occasions.

For conclusion, to dart this use deeper into your hearts: If every believer be joined with Christ, and from Christ there be a conveyance of all spiritual graces unto every believer; then above all labor for Christ in all things: never let your heart be quieted, never let your soul be contented, no, not until you have obtained Christ. Grace indeed is good, and duties are good: yes, seek for all, we should do so; perform all, we ought to do so; but oh! Christ in all, above all, more than all.

Thus, I have shown you the way to the Lord Jesus; I have shown you also how you may come to be implanted into the Lord Jesus: and now I leave you in the hands of the Savior, in the heart of the Redeemer; and I think I cannot leave you better.


Meet the author and part of your Christian heritage: Isaac Ambrose (1591 – 20 January 1664) was an English Puritan divine. He graduated with a BA. from Brasenose College, Oxford, on 1624. He obtained the cure of St Edmund’s Church, Castleton, Derbyshire in 1627. He was one of king’s four preachers in Lancashire in 1631. He was twice imprisoned by commissioners of array. He worked for establishment of Presbyterianism; successively at Leeds, Preston, and Garstang, whence he was ejected for nonconformity in 1662.

As a religious writer Ambrose has a vividness and freshness of imagination possessed by scarcely any of the Puritan Nonconformists. Many who have no love for Puritan doctrine, nor sympathy with Puritan experience, have appreciated the pathos and beauty of his writings, and his Looking unto Jesus long held its own in popular appreciation with the writings of John Bunyan.

Dr Edmund Calamy the Elder (1600–1666) wrote about him: Ambrose was a man of that substantial worth, that eminent piety, and that exemplary life, both as a minister and a christian, that it is to be lamented the world should not have the benefit of particular memoirs of him.

In the opinion of John Eglington Bailey, his biographer, “He was of a peaceful disposition; and though he put his name to the fierce “Harmonious Consent”, he was not naturally a partisan. He evaded the political controversies of the time. His gentleness of character and earnest presentation of the gospel attached him to his people. He was much given to secluding himself, retiring every May into the woods of Hoghton Tower and remaining there a month.

Bailey continues that Dr. Halley justly characterises him as the most meditative puritan of Lancashire. This quality pervades his writings, which abound, besides, in deep feeling and earnest piety. Mr. Hunter has called attention to his recommendation of diaries as a means of advancing personal piety, and has remarked, in reference to the fragments from Ambrose’s diary quoted in the “Media”, that “with such passages before us we cannot but lament that the carelessness of later times should have suffered such a curious and valuable document to perish; for perished it is to be feared it has”.

Looking unto Jesus … Paul’s Pastorial Word to Us.

Written by Isaac Ambrose (1604-1664)
Edited for thought and sense.

THE most excellent subject to discourse or write about is, Jesus Christ.

Augustine, having read Cicero his works, commended them for their eloquence, but he passed this sentence upon them, they are not sweet, because the name of Jesus is not in them. And Bernard’s saying is near the same, “If you write, it doth not delight me, unless I read Jesus there; if thou dispute or contest, it doth not sit well with me, unless Jesus found there.” Indeed all we say is but unsavory, if it be not seasoned with this salt.

I determined not to know anything else, says Paul, except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. He resolved with himself before he preached among the Corinthians, that this should be the only point of knowledge that he would profess himself to have skill in; and that, in the course of his ministry he would labor to bring them to: this he made the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of his knowledge; yea doubtless (says Paul) and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, Eph. 3:18 and Phil. 3:8.

In this knowledge of Christ, there is an excellency above all other knowledge in the world; there is nothing more pleasing and comfortable, more animating and enlivening, more ravishing and soul-contenting; only Christ is the sun and center of all divine revealed truths, we can preach nothing else as the object of our faith, as the necessary element of your soul’s salvation, which doth not some way or other, either meet in Christ, or refer to Christ; only Christ is the whole of man’s happiness, the sun to enlighten him, the Physician to heal him, the wall of fire to defend him, the friend to comfort him, the pearl to enrich him, the ark to support him, the rock to sustain him under the heaviest pressures, As a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, as rivers of waters in a dry place, and as the Shadow of a great rock in a weary land, Isa. 32: 2.

Only Christ is that ladder betwixt earth and heaven, the Mediator betwixt God and Man, a mystery, which the angels of heaven desire to pry, and peep, and look into, 1 Pet. 1:12. Here’s a blessed subject indeed, who would not be glad to pry into it, to be acquainted with it? ‘This is life eternal that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. John 17: 3. Come then, let us look on this Sun of Righteousness; we cannot receive harm but good by such a look; indeed by looking long on the natural,sun we may have our eyes dazzled, and our faces blackened; but by looking unto Jesus Christ, we shall have our eyes clearer, and our faces fairer; if the light of the eye rejoice the heart, Prov. 15:30. How much more, when we have such a blessed object to look upon?

As Christ is more excellent than all the world, so his sight transcends all other sights; it is the epitome of a Christian’s happiness, the quintessence of evangelical duties, is the act of looking unto Jesus.

In the text we have the act and object, and the act in the original is very emphatic, [aphorontes eis;] the English does not fully express it; it signifies an averting, or drawing off the eye from one object to another: there are two expressions, [apo and eis-,] the one signifies a turning of the eye from all other objects; the other a full fixing of the eye upon such an object:, and only upon such.

So now we know that it is both a looking off, and a looking on. But on what? That is the object, a looking unto Jesus; a title that denotes his mercy and bounty, as Christ denotes his office and function. I shall not be so curious as to inquire why Jesus, and not Christ is nominated; I suppose the person is aimed at, which implies them both; only this may be observed, that Jesus is the purest gospel-name of all other names; Jesus was not the dialect of the old Testament; the first place that ever we read of this title as given to Christ, it is in Matthew 1:21. Thou shalt call his name JESUS, for he shall save his people from their sins. Some observe that this name Jesus, was given him twice; once till death, Matthew 1:21; and afterwards for ever, Phil. 2:10. The first, was a note of his entering into covenant with God, to fulfill the law for us, and to die for our sins; the second was a note of so meritorious a person, who for his humility was more exalted than any person ever hath been, or shall be.

First, Jesus was the humble name of his deserving grace; now Jesus is the exalted name of his transcendent glory…

…at first the Jews did crucify Jesus and his name; and the apostle did then distrust, whether Jesus was the true Jesus; but now God hath raised him from the dead, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, Luke 24:21. Phil. 2:9-10.

My meaning is not to overly insist on this name, in contradiction to other names of Christ, he is often called Christ, and Lord, and Mediator, and Son of God and Emmanuel; why? Jesus all these, Jesus is Christ, as he is the anointed of God; and Jesus is the Lord, as he hath dominion over all the world; and Jesus is Mediator, as he is the reconcile of God and man; and Jesus the Son of God, as he was eternally begotten before all worlds; and Jesus is Emmanuel, as he was incarnate, and so God with us. Only because Jesus signifies Savior, and this name was given him upon that very account, For be shall save his people from their sins.

I shall make this my purpose, to look at Jesus more particularly as carrying on the great work of our salvation from first to last. This indeed is the glad tidings, the gospel, the gospel-privilege, and our gospel-duty, Looking unto Jesus.

———————————-

Meet the author and part of your Christian Heritage: Isaac Ambrose (1604 – January 20, 1663/1664) was an English Puritan divine. He associated himself with Presbyterianism, and was on the celebrated committee for the ejection of “scandalous and ignorant ministers and schoolmasters” during the Commonwealth.

So long as Ambrose continued at Preston he was favoured with the warm friendship of the Hoghton family, their ancestral woods and the tower near Blackburn affording him sequestered places for those devout meditations and “experiences” that give such a charm to his diary. As a religious writer Ambrose has a vividness and freshness of imagination possessed by scarcely any of the Puritan Nonconformists. Many who have no love for Puritan doctrine, nor sympathy with Puritan experience, have appreciated the pathos and beauty of his writings, and his Looking to Jesus long held its own in popular appreciation with the writings of John Bunyan.

Dr Edmund Calamy (1600-1666) wrote about him, ”He lived & died a Nonconformist and was a man of that substantial worth, that eminent piety, and that exemplary life, both as a minister and a Christian, that it is to be lamented the world should not have the benefit of particular memoirs concerning him from some able hand”. He lived in the latter part of his life at Preston and when his end drew near was very sensible of it. Having taken leave of his friends abroad with unusual solemnity, as if he foresaw that he should see them no more, he came home to Preston from Bolton, and set all things on order. In a little time some of his hearers from Garstang came to visit him. He discoursed freely with them, gave them good counsel, told them he was now ready whenever his Lord should call, and that he had finished all he designed to write; having the night before sent away his discourse concerning angels to the press. He accompanied his friends to their horses, and when he came back shut himself in his parlour, the place of his soliloquy, meditation, and prayer; they thought he stayed long, and so opened the door, and found him just expiring. This was in the year 1663-4,cetat. 72. He was holy in his life, happy in his death, and honoured by GOD,and all good men” (This quote by Dr Calamy is quoted in the opening pages of the Isaac Ambrose book “Prima, Media Et Ultima”)

Character excerpts from Wikipedia

Eternal Purpose

by Isaac Ambrose (1604-1664)

Of the purpose of God concerning man’s salvation before the world began…

images (4)….we read in Scripture, “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose,”(Romans 8:28). And it is said of Jacob and Esau that being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand,” (Romans 9:11). And, in Christ we are said to obtain an inheritance, “being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will,” (Ephesians 1:11). Elsewhere the apostle speaks of “the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (Ephesians 3:10-11). Again, “He hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” (2 Tim. 1:9).

acceptance-image-2All these hold forth this truth: God purposed in Himself from all eternity to bring them, whom He foreknew, to life and to salvation…This purpose of God speaks of our stability and certainty of salvation in Christ. When God once purposeth, it is past altering: “Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed,” saith God, “so shall it stand,” (Isaiah 14:24). Methinks this word speaks to me, as if I heard God say from all eternity, “It is My purpose to save a remnant of mankind. Though all are lost by sin, yet My wisdom hath found out a way to choose out some; and though…those few that I have purposed to save stand in very slippery places, yet I will be ‘the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). I purpose to bring this little flock to heaven! “My purpose is in and from Myself, and I am God, and not man; therefore, I cannot repent nor call in the purpose that now I have. Have I said, and shall not I do it? Have I spoken, and shall I not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19) Yes, yes, My purposes must stand! And for this purpose, I will set My Son between My people and Myself, so that if they sin, I will look on Him…” Thus may I imagine the Lord from all eternity to say, speak, and purpose with Himself. Surely, His purposes must stand upon this account: “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance,” (Romans 11:29).

THE DECREE:

The decree of God concerning man’s salvation before the foundation of the world appears in these texts, “I will declare the decree,” saith God (Psalm 2:7). What was that? Why, concerning Christ and concerning the Church: “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession” (Psalm 2:7-8). It was God’s decree to give out of Jews and Gentiles a Church to Christ…This decree in Scripture hath several titles:

1. It is the same with that which we usually term predestination.

images (6)For what is predestination but a decree of God concerning the different preparation of grace, whereby some are guided infallibly unto salvation? Predestination is a decree of both the means and end, a decree of grace given, effectual unto some persons here and of bringing the same persons unto glory hereafter. This decree, this predestination, this golden chain of the means and end, is set down by the apostle: “Whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified,” (Romans 8:30). As God hath predestined some to life and glory, so He hath predestined them to be called and justified before they be glorified. Whomsoever the Lord hath decreed to save, them hath He also decreed to sanctify before they come to enjoy that salvation. God hath chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we should be first holy and then happy (Ephesians 1:4). See how these are twisted together by the apostle once and again, “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth,” (2 Thes. 2: 13)…

2. This decree is the same with that book of life wherein are written the names of the elect.

judgement_1844Paul tells us of some women with Clement and other fellow-laborers, “whose names are in the book of life,” (Phil. 4:3). And Christ bids His disciples, “Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven,” (Luke 10:20). And John saw in his vision “the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the book of life,” (Rev. 20:12)

3. This decree is the very same also as God’s seal.

“The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his,” (2 Tim. 2:19).

A seal is used in three cases:

(1) to keep things distinct,

(2) to keep things secret, and

(3) to keep things safe.

Rev Book of Life50In every one of these respects, God’s decrees are seals, but especially in the last. Those souls that are sealed by God are safe in the love and favor of God…God seals up His saints, i.e., He secures them of the eternal love of God, so that they shall never drop out of His heart. All these titles speak of the immutability of God’s eternal immanent acts, q.d., “I decree, I predestinate, I book it, seal it, that such and such persons shall be eternally saved…Is there any power, or shall there ever be, to take them out of My hands? Or is it possible that ever I should have a relenting thought at the saving of these souls?…No, no, ‘I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed’ (Mal 3:6).”

THE COVENANT:

The covenant concerning man’s salvation is the last and main particular I give in proof: I dare not be too curious to insist on the order of nature and the rather: because I believe the covenant between God and Christ from everlasting is interwoven with the decree, foreknowledge, and election above. So the apostle tells us, “He hath chosen us in him (Christ) before the foundation of the world,” (Ephesians 1:4). Mark that—in Christ. There was an eternal plan between the Father and the Son; there was a bargain made (I speak it with reverence) between God and Christ; there was a covenant between the Lord and His Son Jesus Christ for the salvation of the elect. And, of this, we observe especially these following texts: In Isaiah 49:1-4, the prophet seems to set it dialogue-wise: one expresses it thus:

First, Christ begins and shows His commission, telling God how He the Father had called Him and fitted Him (Christ) for the work of redemption. He would know what reward He should have of Him the Father for so great an undertaking. “The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me,” (Isaiah 49:1-2). Upon this, God answers Christ and tells Him what reward He should have for so great an undertaking…Methinks I imagine as if I heard God speak unto Christ from eternity, “See, here I have loved a remnant of mankind both of Jews and Gentiles with an everlasting love. I know they will sin, corrupt themselves, and become enemies to Me, liable unto eternal death. Now Thou art a mighty person, able to do what I require of Thee for them. If Thou wilt take upon Thee their nature and sins, undertake to satisfy My justice and law, take away that hatred that is in them towards My law and Me, and make them a believing holy people, then I will pardon them. I will adopt them in Thee for My sons and daughters and make them co-heirs with Thee of an incorruptible crown of life.” Then said Christ, “Lo, I come to do thy will, O God,” (Hebrews 10:7-9). Christ as it were, struck hands with God, to take upon Himself the nature and sin of man, and to do and suffer for him whatsoever God required of Him…Thus was the whole business of our salvation first transacted between God the Father and Christ, before it HEAVENLYTHRONEwas revealed to us. Hence, we are said to be given unto Christ. “I have manifested thy name,” saith Christ, “unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me,” (John 17:6). This very giving implies, that the Father in His eternity must have said to the Son, “These I take to be vessels of mercy, and these Thou shalt bring unto Me; for they will destroy themselves, unless Thou shalt save them out of their lost estate.” Then the Son takes them at His Father’s hand, looking at His Father’s will: “This is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing,” (John 6:39). He thereupon takes care of each: He would not for a world let any of them be lost, which His Father hath given Him. They are more dear than to let it be so. In Isaiah 53:10-11 and in Psalm 40:6, Christ is brought in as a surety, offering Himself for us and readily accepting of God’s will in this very matter. Hence it is that He is called God’s servant, and His ears are said to be opened. In Isaiah 42:1-6, this very covenant is expressly mentioned. Thus, God speaks of Christ: “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth…I will give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles.” Yea, this covenant and agreement seems to be confirmed with an oath in Hebrews 7:28. And for this service, Christ is required to ask of God, Who will give Him the heathen for His inheritance (Psalm 2:8). Observe how the Church of God is given to Christ as a reward of that obedience that He showed in accepting the office of a surety for us. Some make this stipulation to be that counsel of peace spoken of by the prophet: “And the counsel of peace shall be between them both,” (Zech. 6:13), i.e., between the Lord and “the man whose name is The BRANCH,” (6:12). images0For this agreement, Christ is called the second Adam (1 Cor. 15:45, 47; Rom. 5:12-19). For as with the first Adam, God solemnly promised a covenant concerning him and his posterity, so also He did covenant with Christ and His seed concerning eternal life to be obtained by Him. I deny not but that some promises were made only to Christ in His own person and not to descend to His children, as, “Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool,” (Hebrews 1:13). “He shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand,” (Isaiah 53:10). “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession,” (Psalm 2:8). But there are other promises made to Him and His, such as that grand promise, “I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son,” (Hebrews 1:5; Jer. 32:38)…and that special promise of spiritual grace (John 1:16), of justification (Isaiah 50:8), of victory and dominion (Psalm 110:2), of the kingdom of glory (Luke 24:26). They are every one first made to Him, and then to us. The business from eternity lay thus: “Here is man lost,” said God to His Son, “but Thou shalt in the fullness of time go and be born of flesh and blood, die for them, and satisfy My justice. They shall be Thine for a portion, and they shall be called, ‘The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD’ (Isaiah 62:12). This shalt Thou do,” said the Father, “and upon these terms they that believe shall live.” This was God’s covenant with the Son of His love for us, to Whom the Son answered (as it were) again, “Content, Father, I will go and fulfill Thy pleasure, and they shall be Mine forever. I will in the fullness of time die for them, and they shall live in Me. Burnt offerings and sin-offerings, Thou hast not required (no, it was self-offering), ‘then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God’,” (Psalm 40: 7-8). In what book was it written that Christ should come to do the will of God? Not only in the book of the Law and the Prophets, but also in the book of God’s decrees. In this sense, He was “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,” (Rev. 13:8). His Father from before all time appointed Him to be our High Priest, and He from all eternity subscribed to His Father’s pleasure in it.

From, “Looking unto Jesus.”

Meet the author and part of your Christian Heritage:  Isaac Ambrose (1604 – January 20, 1663/1664) was an English Puritan divine. He associated himself with Presbyterianism, and was on the celebrated committee for the ejection of “scandalous and ignorant ministers and schoolmasters” during the Commonwealth.

So long as Ambrose continued at Preston he was favoured with the warm friendship of the Hoghton family, their ancestral woods and the tower near Blackburn affording him sequestered places for those devout meditations and “experiences” that give such a charm to his diary.  As a religious writer Ambrose has a vividness and freshness of imagination possessed by scarcely any of the Puritan Nonconformists. Many who have no love for Puritan doctrine, nor sympathy with Puritan experience, have appreciated the pathos and beauty of his writings, and his Looking to Jesus long held its own in popular appreciation with the writings of John Bunyan.

Dr Edmund Calamy (1600-1666) wrote about him, ”He lived & died a Nonconformist and was a man of that substantial worth, that eminent piety, and that exemplary life, both as a minister and a Christian, that it is to be lamented the world should not have the benefit of particular memoirs concerning him from some able hand”. He lived in the latter part of his life at Preston and when his end drew near was very sensible of it. Having taken leave of his friends abroad with unusual solemnity, as if he foresaw that he should see them no more, he came home to Preston from Bolton, and set all things on order. In a little time some of his hearers from Garstang came to visit him. He discoursed freely with them, gave them good counsel, told them he was now ready whenever his Lord should call, and that he had finished all he designed to write; having the night before sent away his discourse concerning angels to the press. He accompanied his friends to their horses, and when he came back shut himself in his parlour, the place of his soliloquy, meditation, and prayer; they thought he stayed long, and so opened the door, and found him just expiring. This was in the year 1663-4,cetat. 72. He was holy in his life, happy in his death, and honoured by GOD,and all good men” (This quote by Dr Calamy is quoted in the opening pages of the Isaac Ambrose book “Prima, Media Et Ultima”) 

Character excerpts from Wikipedia

The Mystērion of the Ages

by Isaac Ambrose (1604-1664)

Guildford_Glass_1Christ and God’s Eternal Purpose

Of the purpose of God concerning man’s salvation before all worlds, we read in Scripture, “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose,” (Romans 8:28). And it is said of Jacob and Esau that “being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand,” (Romans 9:11). And, in Christ we are said to obtain an inheritance, “being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will,” (Ephesians 1:11). Elsewhere the apostle speaks of “the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (Ephesians 3:10-11). Again, “He hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” (2 Tim. 1:9). All these hold forth this truth: God purposed in Himself from all eternity to bring them, whom He foreknew, to life and to salvation…This purpose of God speaks of our stability and certainty of salvation in Christ. When God once purposeth, it is past altering: “Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed,” saith God, “so shall it stand,” (Isaiah 14:24).

Methinks this word speaks to me, as if I heard God say from all eternity,

It is My purpose to save a remnant of mankind. Though all are lost by sin, yet My wisdom hath found out a way to choose out some; and though…those few that I have purposed to save stand in very slippery places, yet I will be ‘the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). I purpose to bring this little flock to heaven! My purpose is in and from Myself, and I am God, and not man; therefore, I cannot repent nor call in the purpose that now I have. “Have I said, and shall not I do it? Have I spoken, and shall I not make it good” (Numbers 23:19)? Yes, yes, My purposes must stand! And for this purpose, I will set My Son between My people and Myself, so that if they sin, I will look on Him…” Thus may I imagine the Lord from all eternity to say, speak, and purpose with Himself. Surely, His purposes must stand upon this account: “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance,” (Romans 11:29).

From “Looking Unto God”

Meet the author and part of your Christian Heritage:  Isaac Ambrose (1604 – January 20, 1663/1664) was an English Puritan divine. He associated himself with Presbyterianism, and was on the celebrated committee for the ejection of “scandalous and ignorant ministers and schoolmasters” during the Commonwealth.

So long as Ambrose continued at Preston he was favoured with the warm friendship of the Hoghton family, their ancestral woods and the tower near Blackburn affording him sequestered places for those devout meditations and “experiences” that give such a charm to his diary.  As a religious writer Ambrose has a vividness and freshness of imagination possessed by scarcely any of the Puritan Nonconformists. Many who have no love for Puritan doctrine, nor sympathy with Puritan experience, have appreciated the pathos and beauty of his writings, and his Looking to Jesus long held its own in popular appreciation with the writings of John Bunyan.

Dr Edmund Calamy (1600-1666) wrote about him, ”He lived & died a Nonconformist and was a man of that substantial worth, that eminent piety, and that exemplary life, both as a minister and a Christian, that it is to be lamented the world should not have the benefit of particular memoirs concerning him from some able hand”. He lived in the latter part of his life at Preston and when his end drew near was very sensible of it. Having taken leave of his friends abroad with unusual solemnity, as if he foresaw that he should see them no more, he came home to Preston from Bolton, and set all things on order. In a little time some of his hearers from Garstang came to visit him. He discoursed freely with them, gave them good counsel, told them he was now ready whenever his Lord should call, and that he had finished all he designed to write; having the night before sent away his discourse concerning angels to the press. He accompanied his friends to their horses, and when he came back shut himself in his parlour, the place of his soliloquy, meditation, and prayer; they thought he stayed long, and so opened the door, and found him just expiring. This was in the year 1663-4,cetat. 72. He was holy in his life, happy in his death, and honoured by GOD,and all good men” (This quote by Dr Calamy is quoted in the opening pages of the Isaac Ambrose book “Prima, Media Et Ultima”) 

Excerpts from Wikipedia