Taken and adapted from, “An Innocent Game For Babes In Grace; Or Diversion For Infants At The Hole Of The Asp.”
Written by William Huntington, (2 February 1745 – 1 July 1813). Huntington was an English preacher and a coalheaver.
“And the child shall play on the hole of the asp,”
The asp, or aspic, is a most dangerous reptile, very numerous in the great deserts of Arabia, and in Ethiopia, and well-known in the Holy Land.
They are a kind of serpent, or adder, very small, curiously marked on the back, are very wise and subtle, apt to bite; and so venomous, that it is almost impossible to cure their bite. The venom which it conveys with its teeth spreads its contagion so fast, that unless a remedy be speedily procured, it is almost impossible to stop the infection. The venom of this creature is dreadful in its operations; it has a benumbing, stupefying, and intoxicating nature; it exhausts the animal spirits, withers the frame, and speedily draws the sufferer into a state of insensibility; insomuch that it lulls him into the final sleep of death, by a kind of lethargy. It causes a swelling as it runs, and has as bad an effect on the intellect as it has on the blood. There is no venomous creature so fatal in its bite, unless it be the scorpion.
So much for the history; I come now to the mystery of the asp.
This asp, in the mystery, is the devil, who is often called a serpent, Isa. 27:1; and an adder, Psalm, 91:13; because of his wisdom, Matt. 10:6; his subtlety, Gen. 3:2; his crooked turns, Job. 26:13; his dreadful bite, Eccl 10:11; and the hellish contagion of sin that spreads its dreadful infection throughout both body and soul. It benumbs the conscience, hardens the heart, stupefies the mind, and lulls the sinner fast asleep in his sin; and, if grace prevent not, sends him out of the world in an awful lethargy, till in hell, when “he lifts up his eyes, being in torment”
When the old serpent the devil seduced Eve, he chose the most subtle creature in the brute creation to disguise himself in; and he pursues the same scheme now; for he pitches upon the subtlest and wisest men to support his interest in the world. Men in ecclesiastical or civil power, of great learning, great parts, quick turns, and nervous reasoning, are generally the devil’s tools to spread his nets, and ensnare the souls of men. Hence it is that God has poured so much contempt on the wisdom of this world, as to make their understanding foolishness. And the Savior thanked his Father for hiding the gospel from the wise and prudent, and for revealing it unto babes.
In times of darkness Satan works men up to practice all manner or debauchery, oppression, and cruelty, and to deal destruction round them in a thousand forms; but, when the light of the gospel appears, then he stirs men up to persecute, and to spread his errors: by the former he labors to stop the progress of the gospel, and by the latter to mingle lies with it; and generally conveys his venom by those who are falsely called gospel ministers. Such are the Arminians, who reveal the serpent’s wisdom by producing much scripture, as the devil did when he deceived Eve, and yet perverting the plainest truths; they reveal the crooked workings of the serpent by their serpentine wriggling, first out of truth into error, then out of error into truth. Sometimes, by their words, you would think they were in Christ, and soon after you will perceive them to savor of nothing but flesh and blood; hold up and confess one doctrine at one time, then turn about again, and tear it all down. This is the crooked serpent “They have made them crooked paths, whosoever goes therein shall not know peace,” Isa. lix. 8. At times they hold for the blood of Christ as shed for all the human race, and then by and by tell you that those washed in it may be damned. This is the spirit of error that intoxicates. “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth its colour in the cup, when it moves itself aright; at the last it bites as a serpent, and it stings like an adder,” Prov. 23:31, 32. They reveal the deafness of the serpent by being hardened against all reproof, rushing on in the face of every faithful witness, and spitting their venom at the brightest testimonies. “They are like the deaf adder that stops her ear; which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely,” Psalm 58:4.
They reveal the subtlety of the serpent, by concealing their inward principles until they have insinuated themselves into your affections; and they will bring them forth a little at a time, as you can swallow them down; and, lest you should suspect the devil to be in them, they contend vehemently for good works and holiness of life. Under this mask they convey the bane of Satan to your heart. This is the subtlety of the devil, beguiling souls by false teachers, as Paul says, “But I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ,” 2 Cor. 11:3, 4. So much for the asp. I come now to discuss that of his hole, on which the child is to play. In the verse out of which the text is taken you read of a cockatrice den, and that the weaned child shall put its hand on that. The cockatrice and the asp are both serpents: and there is but very little difference between them. The cockatrice den is a false preacher’s heart, and the hole of the asp is a false preacher’s mouth.
The Savior called the Jewish tribe of false teachers, serpents and vipers. “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” Matt. 23:33. He called them serpents because the old serpent, the devil, was in them. Satan keeps his court in the heart, which is his palace, Luke, 11:21. “The devil works in the hearts of the disobedient,” Eph. 2:2. And the unrenewed heart is the serpent’s den. There it is that lie works up all his destructive compounds, and sends them forth in the open blaze of gospel light; that, while some precious souls simply receive the new wine of the kingdom of God, and rejoice in it, these instruments of Satan secretly hold all their venom; as Moses speaks of some of the Israelites, who brought away the Egyptian gods with them, and secretly carried on an infernal familiarity with devils, practicing magic art. “For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter: their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.”
It is called the vine of Sodom, as springing up from Satan, the root of wickedness; bitter clusters, because they embitter the heart, and fill it with enmity against God and his sovereign will; wine, because it intoxicates the soul, stupefies the conscience, blinds the understanding, confuses the judgment, and employs the tongue in nothing but inconsistencies, contradictions, and mere nonsense.
As wine sets people to staggering, boasting, prating, wrangling, and whoring, so errors set people a staggering at the truths of God, boasting of human merit, prating against those doctrines that are orthodox, wrangling with simple souls, and to committing spiritual fornication against the Lord. Errors lead the heart of the deceived to an infernal conjunction with the devil himself. Hence it is called wine of fornication.
Popery I call the mother of whoredoms, and the Arminian body her younger sister; and such I believe in my conscience they will appear in the great day; for I can see no more difference between Popish principles and the principles of Arminianism, than I can between my two eyes. The church of Rome is said to make people drunk with the wine of her fornication; that is, the spirit of error; as it is written, “I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication,” Rev. 17:1, 2.
Thus the spirit of error is said to make men drunk, as Milton represents the intoxication of Adam and Eve. After they had taken their fill of forbidden fruit, they thought “they felt new divinity springing up within them,” until their false drop conveyed the bane of guilt into their conscience, and then they saw their nakedness, and began, as he represents, “their vain contest, that found no end.” So Zophar represents the false joys and airy flights of the deceived hypocrite. “The triumph of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment. Though his excellency (mark that!) mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds, yet he shall perish forever. Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue, yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him,” Job, 20:5, 6, 12, 14. And, as he loves such nourishment, God says he shall have no breast to suck but that; and, as he fed on the viper’s bane, he shall be destroyed by the viper’s tongue. “He shall suck the poison of asps; the viper’s tongue shall slay him,” Job, 20:16.
Hence it appears that the false preacher’s mouth is the hole of the asp; and the tongue of such a deceiver conveys the very venom of the devil, with his doctrine, which lies concealed under his tongue; as it is written, “They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips,” Psalm 140:3. And to this agrees the apostle Paul–” With their tongues they have used deceit: the poison of asps is under their lips,” Rom. 3:13. It is called wine of fornication, because it seduces men from the covenant of grace, which is a covenant of wedlock, and alienates the affections from God, instead of attracting them to him, and in the end leads souls into an affinity with the devil himself; as it is written, “Surely as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel,” Jer. 3:20. And pray how was this done?–by perverting their way, and forgetting their God. Jer. 3:21; until God was “broken with their whorish heart which departed from him, and with their eyes that went a whoring after their idols,” Ezek. 6:9. False prophets lead to false doctrines, false doctrines lead to false gods; and their false gods lead them to false devils, and devils led them to hell And so it is now; for, if you obscure, or cast a false light upon any essential truth, you obscure an attribute of God that shines in that truth; for all his perfections shine in his word; and hence it is that he has “magnified his word above all his name,” Psalm 138:2. And, by obscuring God’s truths, or setting them forth in a false light, they have obscured the tremendous and illustrious attributes of the MOST HIGH AND ETERNAL GOD.
I can prove, from the Arminian writings, that they have beclouded three parts out of four of the revealed perfections of the ALMIGHTY. None have gone farther in this work than they, except the Atheists, who, by denying the being of a God, have, in fact, denied themselves all sense, reason, and motion, and labored to prove themselves in a state of annihilation; for God’s existence and man’s existence stand or fall together, according to scripture,” For in him we live, move, and have our being,” Acts, 17:28.
If the truths of God are obscured, the perfections of God are obscured, and God is represented in a false light; and consequently I am led to entertain false ideas of God, and to set up a false god in my own imagination, which will float and vary just as I do. “Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself; but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver you,” Psalm 1:21, 22.
Taken from, Light Shining in Darkness
Written by, William Huntington
Edited for thought and sense.
If the foundation be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
–Psalm 11: 3.
In the Lord I put my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? -Verse 1.
The psalmist was brought off from all reliance on his own strength, from all trust in his own heart, and from all expectations of either hope or help from the law of God and from all confidence in his obedience thereto. He knew that the Lord had made with him an everlasting covenant, well-ordered in all things, and sure; this was all his salvation, and this was all his desire. And be knew that this covenant was made with the promised Messiah as the covenant head, and with David in him; and that it was to be a covenant ratified and confirmed by a human sacrifice in union with the Word that was God, and that the human nature, which was to be assumed by the Word, was to be of the fruit of David’s body, on which account Christ calls himself the root and offspring of David.
To build upon this rock David was led, upon this foundation his heart was fixed, and in this Almighty Savior David put bis trust for protection and defense for all supplies in a way of providence, for grace, and for glory. He knew that all things, were put under bis feet, that he was heir of all things, that he was anointed with the oil of gladness above all that ever had or will have fellowship with him; that all grace was poured into his lips, and that he was King of Zion, yea King of Glory, the Lord of Hosts mighty in battle and therefore he asks his carnal advisers why they bid him fly from his enemies like a bird the mountain, when his trust was in the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Savior. Where shall I go from his Spirit, or whither shall I flee from bis presence? If l ascend up into heaven thou art there, if I make my bed in “hell thou art there also; if I take the wings of the mornings and remain in the uttermost parts of the earth there art thou in all these places. So that there is no cause to flee, when I have a present help, a God at hand.
For lo the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrows upon the firings. By the wicked man’s bow, I understand his tongue; they bend their tongues like bows. The arrows are doctrinal lies, lies of slander, or bitter words: the one is intended to injure the judgment and distress the soul; the other to wound the reputation. The firing of the bow appears to me to be the cord of sin, or the bond of iniquity, which keeps Satan in his possession of the heart, and the sinner safely bound to Satan’s service; and it is the devil’s work to keep this string tight, and to aid this archer with his assistance; hence the Savior says; “This is your hoar and the powers of darkness; ye are of your father the devil, and his works ye will do.”
These bowmen are said to shoot privately, or in darkness. They hate the light: hence it is that they generally circulate their heresies, first in a secret, or private way, till they get a majority, or a number on their side, and then the whore’s forehead appears abroad; and if they intend to slander the righteous, it is never done to the face but in secret, therefore such are justly called backbiters.
The upright in heart are the targets at which such archers shoot, in order to remove them from the foundation, or the foundations from them; but if the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? One foundation is the secret purpose and good will of God toward us, which is his prescience or foreknowledge of us ; and is a knowledge of approbation, of love, of choice, and of a gracious acceptance of us in his beloved Son. In this his decree he has given us a sure and firm standing in his sovereign love to us in Christ Jesus: as it is written, Never the less the foundation of God standeth sure; having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his.
Christ Jesus is the foundation which God in his decree appointed, and in the death of him he laid this foundation in Zion; and he is the foundation that is laid by all the wise master builders that ever God employed in his building, whether prophets, apostles, evangelists, or teachers.
He has borne the weight of all our sins, and of all the wrath and all the curses due to us on account of sin; and has approved himself; a tried stone. To this foundation the Father draws us; here we cast our burdens and cares too; here the weary soul rests; here hope anchors, and faith fixes: into sweet captivity every thought goes, and love sweetly unites us to him whose strength is put forth in our weakness, and from whom life is communicated to every living stone that rests upon him: here we are sensibly borne up above despondency, above a spirit of heaviness, above the meditations of terror, and above the dark regions of the shadow of death. Upon this foundation the sure mercies of David (in the salvation of sinners)are built up forever; and in our glorification truth will be settled in heaven.
In laying this foundation, or in the founding of Zion judgment was laid to the line, and righteousness the plummet. Isaiah 28: 16, 17. The undertakings of the Savior, and the judgment that was executed upon him answered all the demands of precept upon precept, line upon line; and the everlasting righteousness that he wrought out and brought-in was divine, perfect, complete, and in every sense adequate to the plummet, and answered to the uttermost all the rigorous expectations of vindictive justice. So that this building of mercy upon this foundation, goes up with the even eyes of the Lord upon it (Zech.3:9, 4:10), and is a building complete; there is no breach, shake, or settlement in its occasioned by any dishonor to the law, nor any part that overhangs to the injury of justice; for both line and plummet have been stretched and laid to this great work, and to every living stone in it, who have all died and suffered in their surety, and have been justified in him at his resurrection.
The divine founder and fabricator has inspected very minutely every part of this building; he chose the corner-stone himself, and engraved it with grace, grace unto it I and he likewise gave the building its name, the temple of the Living God, and the city in which it stands is “Jehovah Shamma: which names continue to this day”and ever will. And sure I am that this foundation will never sink, and that this building will never be laid in a ruinous heap. Foundation signifies also the beginning of the work of grace and truth in the sinner’s soul, which is the doctrinal and experimental basis in the believing heart; such as, repentance from dead works, and faith towards God, which are the beginnings of Christ’s work and word in us; because there is no salvation without repentance, which is a clearing away (of some sort) the rubbish that lays between us and the foundation; and because faith, and repentance, under the Spirit’s operation, square, fit, and polish, the rude, rough, impenitent and stony-hearted sinner, and make him more fit to join and cleave to the foundation, and when once he is cemented to it by a feeling sense of divine love he becomes settled, firm, and ornamental in the building. Such a humbled sinner ranges and lines with the rest of the building, and appears to be one of God’s chosen materials whom God has chosen in the foundation and called to union with it, to rest on it, and to cleave with the whole heart to him, that bears him up as a foundation, and that holds him fast as the head stone in the corner.
Abraham looked for a city which hath foundations, whose maker and builder is God. If that city be the heavenly Jerusalem, the bride, the Lamb’s wife, the triumphant church; then the glorious perfections of the Almighty, agreeing and harmonizing in Christ, are doubtless the twelve foundation’s of that holy city, which God founded, and which will be in the end perfect in one; that is, complete in God, Father, Son and Spirit, and be filled with all the fulness of God, when he will be all in all, all to it, and all in every part of it.
Now if these foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? Satan has got a number of laborers working to undermine these foundations. The children of spiritual pride,who are self-willed, self-righteous, and self-seeking, labor against God’s eternal decree of election, which has this seal upon it, “The Lord knoweth them that are his.” The Arian is working to overthrow the foundation that God has laid in Zion, and warning us from all trust in Christ, because he is no more than a man; and cursed is he that trusts in man: but Christ is God, and blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
The Deist works at the doctrinal foundations, and ridicules the scriptures, though these can never be broken; while the Atheist and the Sadducee declare that there is no hereafter, nor world to come; but, if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
Now if these foundations be destroyed what can the righteous do? It is true the self-righteous and the self-fulfilled can do well enough, being so wise in building as to set at nothing this head-stone of the corner. Others build upon Peter; some build without a foundation, and others build upon the sand; and some, like the Babel-builders, begin to build without counting the cost, and therefore must expect not only to leave the building unfinished, but that when the Judge of all the earth shall appear to confound their language, the ruin of it will be great and many will meek, saying, These began to build, but had not wherewith to finish.
Of this stamp were the children of Edom in the days of old, whose soul loathed Zion, the people of God, and the place where God dwelt, where his people met to pay their homage to him, and to bring their tributes. Whenever any evil happened here, whenever any enemy besieged this holy spot, then these enemies triumphed. “Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem,who said, Raze it, raze it, even to the foundation thereof.” Psalm 137:7. This is the wicked mans triumph, and the just man’s lamentation.
But can these foundations be destroyed? No, not in themselves; but seducers who lead us astray are said to destroy the way of our paths; and those who blind our eyes, seduce us from Christ and from the purpose of God, are said to destroy the foundations, because they pervert the word of God, and obscure the foundations he has laid by explaining away the sense of truth, and throwing false glories upon it, in order to blind the understanding and mislead the judgment of the simple. In this way the path of the just is blocked up with stumbling blocks, the ways of Zion are unoccupied, and people go in by-paths, and the poor sensible sinner gropes for the wall like the blind at noonday. In such perilous times as these God raises up some of his own workmen, and fits, and qualifies them by his Spirit, as he did John, to raise up these foundations again,as you read, And the Lord shall guide thee continually and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shall raise up the foundations of many generations, and thou shall be called. The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. Isaiah 58:11:12. Here is an account of new workmen raised up of God to put these foundations in their course again. He calls them by his grace; he guides them continually, and satisfies their souls in these times of drought, when the drink of the thirsty fails; he makes fat their bones, the joy of the Lord being their strength; he makes their souls like a watered garden and his Spirit within them is a living spring whose waters fail not. By such workmen the waste places of Zion are comforted again, which have been wasted by the internal artillery of those evil archers, who scattered some, seduced others, threw down many, wounded more, and blinded all.
The righteous raise up the foundations again, and bring them forth to light; and root out the heresies, superstitions, and formality, that has been cast over them; and these foundations remain again in view to many generations.
Such workmen are called the repairers of the breach, because they are instrumental in removing the lies and falsehood, the self-righteous, the blindness and ignorance, the pride and superstitions which separate between God and the soul. They are said to restore the paths to dwell in, because Christ, who is the only way to the Father, the way of life and path of peace (in which the saints should walk, and in which they should dwell by faith), being obscured by the blindness and wickedness of these works and workers of darkness, are now brought to light again by the preaching of the glorious gospel of Christ; and by these means these paths are restored which were refuted, rejected, and set at nothing, by these faithful men, who know nothing but what they know naturally, and in these things they corrupt themselves; but when God shines upon them again in the word they are restored; for the select of God shall not be finally deceived, nor the counsel of God frustrated, for he hath laid the foundations of the earth in the death of his dear Son, and he will plant the heavens with all those that trust in him, Isaiah 51:16.
Taken from, Light Shining in Darkness
Written by, William Huntington
Edited for thought and sense.
And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. –Isaiah 25:6
In this mountain ” the mountain is Zion, or the gospel church consisting of elected persons—God has chosen Zion. Zion is the mother church under the New Testament, and her off-spring are often called the daughters of Zion, and both are redeemed by the blood of Christ. Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness. To these the Savior was sent. Say ye to the daughters of Zion “Behold thy King comes unto thee; he is just and having salvation, lowly, and riding upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. From this chosen race the Saviour (according to the flesh) is sprung, Mary was a chosen vessel; and of Zion it shall be said that he was born in her and here God made the horn of David to bud.
On mount Calvary Christ was offered, and in the hearts of God’s people, Christ crucified is revealed.
Behold I lay for a foundation in Zion a stone, a precious stone, a sure foundation; and he that believes shall not make haste: he shall never hasten after another foundation; nor shall he ever be confounded or put to flight before his enemies who trust in this. I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. This hill is the heart and affections of God’s people. The Kingdom of God is within you, saith Christ, and so is the King also. Believe, saith the Lord, that I am in you, and you in me. He dwells in the heart by faith.
But who sets him here? I say God, has set my King upon my holy hill. God revealed his Son in me, says Paul; he opens the door of faith to us, and opens our hearts to receive our King, and circumcises them to love him; and he that loves abides in God; and God in him: such kiss the Son, acknowledge the heir apparent, embrace him as their rightful sovereign, complain of other lords having had dominion over them, and promise loyalty and fidelity to him.
In this mountain the Lord of Hosts, the God of armies, will make a feast unto all people, to the Gentiles as well as to the Jews, since the middle wall of partition being broken down, and the gospel of Christ is being preached to the Gentiles –this feast is to be made to all the elect; and it is to be a feast of fat things. The allusion is to the sacrifices which were offered under the law, which were many, and all of which ‘were types of Christ. We read of burnt offerings which pointed out Jesus Christ enduring the flames of divine wrath for us; and of sin offerings, showing that he should make his soul an offering for sin; and of free will offerings, which pointed out his willingness to suffer –I lay down my life of myself and I take it again; and of peace offerings ” he made peace for us by the blood of his cross These sacrifices were to be of young, tender, fat, and good cattle, not corrupt things, which pointed out the youth, the spotless holiness, and perfect purity, of the Saviour, who was a lamb without blemish, and without spot.
In allusion to these sacrifices, wisdom is represented as killing her beasts, mingling her wine, furnishing her table, and sending out her maidens to invite the guests. Wisdom is a name of Christ; the beasts are the fatted calf and the Lamb of God; the table, are ministers’ hearts furnished with Christ; the maidens, are preachers who are espoused and presented as chaste virgins to Christ; inviting and bringing in the poor, the halt, the lame, that the house may be filled with guests.
The Lord of Hosts makes this feast. A certain man makes a great feast, and bids many. It is a feast of fat things. Go says the Savior, and tell them that my oxen and fatlings are killed and all things are ready, come the marriage. And blessed are they that are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
But it is a feast of fat things.
Yes, these are what no priest under the law was allowed to eat; not even the high priest himself. The priests under the law had the hide or skin, and of some offerings they have the heave-shoulder, and the wave-breast, and of other offerings more; but neither high priest, nor inferior priests; no, nor the person that offered, nor any of the guests that were invited,were ever to have, or eat the fat, the fat was the Lord’s portion: All the fat is the Lord’s but ye shall eat neither fat nor blood. Lev. 3: 6, 17. Whosoever shall eat of the fat of beasts, which men offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord; even that soul that eats it shall be cut off from his people. Lev. 7: 25. Hence the charge, “Let them not fail to burn the fat. I Sam, 2:16. The fat was the Lord’s, it was the most delicate and rich, and was to burn upon the altar as a sweet smelling savor; and as a sweet smelling Savior Christ offered himself for us. It is in the allusion to the fat of these sacrifices, that the feast in my text was called the feast of fat things.
Various were the ways the sacrificial distributions were observed under the law; some priests had the head and skin; others had the (shoulder and bread; others all the flesh that the fork or flesh-hook brought up out of the pot or cauldron. The priest’s wife and children might eat of the holy things; the person that offered and the guests that he invited were able to eat of other parts. But as it was with the type, so it is with the antitype: All flesh get food and raiment from him, for we lost all in Adam; but Christ is now heir of all things, and he shall he be called the God of the whole earth.
But who gets the fat?
The fat falls to the share of poor, sensible, perishing, sinners, whether kings or beggars; for all who believe on his name shall be saved; far thus saith the Lord, “In that day the great, trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come that were ready to perish, and they that be of heavy hearts; let them drink and forget their poverty, and remember their misery no more. And so it is, for to save our souls after having been at this banquet of wine, we cannot bring all our former guilt, fear, shame, wrath and confusion of face, back upon us again; the gates of hell are shut, and the door of hope is open; the dark regions of the shadow of death are vanished, and life and immortality is brought to light; wrath is fled, and love is come; his anger in the law is turned away, and in Christ he comforts us.
The night is spent, and day is come; his anger endureth but a moment, in his favor is life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy came in the morning.
But these wines are wines on the lees [refined, and aged].
The blood of Christ is called wine. He blessed the cup and said, take this cup of the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for you and for many. Oil and wine were poured into the wounds of the poor man who fell among thieves. Oil was intended to sooth his wounds and heal them, and wine to revive his spirits; and these are wines on the lees, which do not lose their strength. The love of God, says the spouse [church], is better than wine, it makes the lips of those asleep to speak. The love of the Father, Son, and Spirit, will ever rest in God to his people; he will rest in his love. The blood of Christ will never lose its healing, cleansing, and purifying efficacy to the world’s end.
These are wines well refined; pure of all dissimulation, unfaithfulness, inconsistency, and fickleness; they are free, generous, unchangeable; and everlasting; and they appear well refined, as they are conveyed through the instrumentality of God’s ministers to the people; not favoring of self, self-seeking; nor tainted with pride, arrogance, fleshly wisdom, feigned humility, mock modesty, affected words and gestures; much less with art, guile, and cunning craftiness.
This feast is to consist of marrow as well as fatness. Marrow is the life of the bone, and the bone is the strength of the body; and the oil of the marrow supplies all the joints with moisture and keeps them supple and alive. The dear Redeemer not only gives us his flesh to eat, and his blood to drink, but feeds us with spiritual might in the inward man, and makes his strength perfect in our weakness; as thy days so shall thy strength be. But by the power of inbred corruptions, Satan’s temptations, and our own foolishness, we often find our spiritual light impaired; we are diminished in our ability to persevere with God in prayer, we lose our boldness and fortitude against our enemies, and we are made to appear weak before them like Samson in his weakness when he made sport for those, who had formerly trembled at his power. It is then we cry, “Heal the bones that thou has broken! And it is in waiting upon the Lord that our strength is renewed; that fresh life and health appear in the bones, and fresh oil is made in the joints, which knits the body together in love. It is here we have nourishment ministered, which nourishes every joint, and so increases itself with the increase of God.
…He that feels his guilt, and thirsts for pardon; he that feels the curse, and longs for the blessing; he that labors under wrath, and thirsts for love; he that feels the sting of death, and hungers after the bread of life; he that is condemned in his soul, and longs for righteousness; he that is sick of Satan’s tyranny, and thirsts for the living God; he that is miserable, and waits for comfort; and he that is in the dread and horrors of damnation, and longs for salvation by grace. “They shall come,” saith the Lord “that were ready to perish.”
To Zion, and to the feast of fat things; to a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, and of wines on the lees well refined; and who is so proper for such a feast as those who are ready to perish?
All is free, and none but the hungry are invited.
Taken from, Light Shining in Darkness
Written by, William Huntington
Edited for thought and sense.
Sanctify them through thy truth thy word is truth.
–John 17: 17
To sanctify is to appoint, ordain, consecrate, or to apart, any person or thing to a holy and special use; and thus God sanctified the sabbath day, the tabernacle, its furniture, and all the vessels of the ministry. Gen. 2:3. Exodus 40:9,-11.
These things were not only to be set apart by the appointment of God to be used in his service, but they were to be sprinkled with blood and anointed with oil. To sanctify, in one sense signifies to wash, cleanse, or purify: the priests were sanctified by washing in water, and with the anointing oil, and by blood upon the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and the great toe of the right foot; the common people by washing their flesh, clothes, etc.; and others by the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctified to the purifying of the flesh. Heb. 9:13, but it is the substance of this shadow that I am at, which sanctifies wholly body, soul, and spirit.
Sanctify them through thy truth thy word is truth…
…The elect of God were sanctified in the purpose of God from everlasting; and in this purpose of grace Christ was made sanctification and redemption for them from all eternity. From everlasting I was set up. Prov. 8:23. And in his undertaking for us he sent forth from of old, yea from everlasting. Micah 5:2 In this sense we are said to be sanctified by God the Father, preferred in Christ Jesus, and called. Jude 1.
God works all things after the counsel of his own will; and this is his will of purpose, which in time, when he began to speak to men, became the will of promise, and then in the fullness of time it became the good will of God in Christ Jesus; that is, at Christ’s appearing, he came to execute every branch of the Father’s good will and pleasure and to be manifested to us as our sanctification according to the ancient settlements, councils of old. “Then said I, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God; by the which will we are sanctified.” Heb. 10:7, 10. This branch of sanctification, being in the purpose and good will of God, must undoubtedly signify setting part and appointing us to it; and, as it was settled and done in the purpose of God, it Is then spoken of in the past tense; sanctified by God the Father from everlasting, preserved in Christ Jesus in time, from the womb to conversion; and finally called in due time to the fellowship the Lord Jesus; for, being chosen in Christ from eternity, we are preferred in him throughout our state of nature, as his own remnant.
Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb: And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you. –Isaiah 46:3-4
We are sanctified by the blood of Christ; which has appeased the offended Majesty of heaven; which blotted out our transgressions as cloud from the book of God’s remembrance; which satisfied justice, removed the curse, purged our conscience, and procured our deliverance from the prison. By the blood of the covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Heb. 13:12
We are sanctified by the Spirit of God, who reveals God’s secret purpose of grace to us, and applies the great atonement to the conscience…
…and who, by his powerful operations, regenerates and renews us, which is called “the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Ghost.” Under these operations the soul is cleansed, renewed, and the faculties of the soul are turned to God; the will submits and chooses the better part; the heart relents, and repents towards God, and becomes soft, broken, and contrite; the mind begins to be heavenly, and to mind heavenly things. Such have life and peace; the affections go after God, and are placed above, and the conscience acts an honest and just part for God; that the offering up of the Gentiles might be accepted, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. Romans 15: 16.
Thus it may be seen that each person in the Godhead has a hand in the sanctification of God’s people…
We are sanctified by God the Father in his purpose; Christ sanctified us by his own blood when he suffered without the gate; and we are made acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
Taken from, Light Shining in Darkness
Written by, William Huntington
Edited for thought and sense.
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
–James 1: 22.
This text as well as many more, has had the misfortune of falling into the hands of thieves…
…thieves and robbers, who have stripped it of its meaning, and leave it half dead to its owners. I mean such thieves and robbers as are aiming at heaven; but not by the door of mercy opened by the blood and righteousness of Christ; but who are climbing up another way, a way not cast up by Christ, a way that is right in their own eyes, though in the judgment of God it is the way of death; this thievery is robbing Christ of his honor, as the only way to the Father; and God of his glory, who, in his pity and compassion to ruined man, contrived this way. But will a man rob God ? Yes he will. No wonder then that God says by the law of retaliation, “Behold I come as a thief.”
This text is applied, by the blind leaders of the blind, to make a fair show in the flesh, and to those in flesh make it appear as a voluntary humility. Yes, this text is also used by those who in a blind zeal encompass sea and land to make a proselyte like unto themselves; and yes, it is also used by all such who would appear outwardly righteous before men.
But, if these blind leaders are the unlawful heirs of this text, then think about how the papists, especially the nuns among them, use this passage. Yes, and make sure that you include the Jewish scribes and pharisees and our British advocates for free will, with every other branch of the “in bondage” family, for each of these may claim it, for these all use works, but does God work in them?
James, this great apostle, will tell us himself what he means by this passage. This passage is the word of life, sent home to our hearts, by God. And this word is to be applied by the Holy Spirit. Here the sovereign and good will of God is set forth to his people, which implies that this “making alive” is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs. The creation of us is wholly owing to God’s own free will and good pleasure, as such, it is our new birth. Our creation is not the will of flesh, nor the will of man, but of God. And he makes us alive from a death in sin, from a death in law, from a death to all works of service; and we are made alive in the Spirit, and to a lively hope, which is by the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Our God, is the God of salvation, and unto God the Lord belongs the issues of death.
Those that God makes alive are called the firstfruits of his creatures. But was all the harvest, all the crops of the holy land, carried into God’s sanctuary? No; only the first fruits. Was all that the fig tree or the pomegranate tree bore offered to God? No; only the fruit that was first ripe. And does God create all his creatures to live by the word of truth? No; only the first fruits of his creatures. These fruits are gathered from among the rest, which are called creatures, which bear untimely fruits, wild grapes, etc., and are called corrupt trees, with corrupt fruit; and are distinguished from God’s fruit by being called the vintage and harvest of the wicked.
But do those legal workers submit to the sovereign and good will of God? No; they blaspheme the counsel of his will. Are they made alive from death? No; they are under the ministration of it, and stick to it, and contend for their own dead works. Do they receive the word of truth, with which we are begotten, in an honest and good heart? No; their doctrines, writings, sermons, and confessions, are not the word of truth, but confusion and falsehood. The first fruits of his creatures here spoken of were first ripe in the council of God, first ripe under the son of righteousness; they first trusted in Christ, and are the first that shall rise from the dead.
Christ is the firstfruits of all, and these first fruits are God’s creatures reserved unto Him.
But alas! These laborers, who labor for that which is not bread, and who spend money for that which satisfies not, are sad enemies to these first fruits, redeemed from among men; they contend with the creatures, and cleave to them; they contend for the world, for universal redemption; they despise the free woman and love the bond woman; they hate Zion, and cleave to Sinai; they lampoon the first fruits, and assist the corrupt fruits. And surely such works can never be called doing the word; for he that labors aright must first be a partaker of the fruits of the Spirit, and be taken himself out of the world, out of the flesh, and out of legal bondage, and bondage to sin, before he can be called a first fruit of God’s creatures.
Taken from, Light Shining in Darkness
Written by, William Huntington
Edited for thought and sense.
“Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Be on your guard before him and obey his voice; do not be rebellious toward him, for he will not pardon your transgression, since My name is in him.” — Exod. 23:20-21.
This was the caution, and the unpardonable sin is in it…
…but they presumed, and rebelled against him at the entrance of Canaan, and would not obey him. Acts 7: 39.
Yes, they despised him, and made a captain over them, to return again to Egypt; thus they refused the Captain of our salvation, and then provoked him by going up the hill, after he had sworn in his wrath that they should not enter into his rest. Thus, says Paul, they tempted Christ, they provoked and grieved him forty years, and by choosing a new captain, despised him; and then went up to sight contrary to his word, oath, and commandment; and thus they provoked and despised the Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ; so they entered not into the promised land because of unbelief; for he, having delivered them out of the land of Egypt, afterwards destroyed them which believed not: and in this sense it may he truly said that they to whom the gospel was first preached entered in not because of unbelief.
This sin is called the sin unto death, because every other sort of sinner has had repentance unto life granted them; but these transgressors find no place of repentance, yes, it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance, and therefore it is called the sin unto death; because such a one sins out of the reach of the covenant and promise of life; yes, such a one sins against the living God in Christ and the promise of life him; against the Lord Jesus Christ, and eternal life by him; against the Spirit of God, and all his regenerating operations; and against the everlasting Gospel and all life and immortality brought to life through that; and to such the Gospel is the smell of death unto death in the worst sense; for the sinner, being dead in sin and dead in law when the gospel finds him, and being guilty of the great transgression against it after it was professed by him, it must then leave him twice dead, plucked up by the roots; that is, dead at Horeb and dead at Zion, and without hope either in the law or in the gospel.