Quest. I. What are we to understand by the word of the Gospel?
Ans. It is that Word which holdeth forth the Gospel in its Purity, without declining to Extremes on either hand, and perverting or darkening it by contrary Errors. I shall (by way of Instance) touch a few things, being these which in a special Manner are cleared when the Gospel is Preached in Purity.
1. The Gospel taken complexly, as aforesaid, teacheth clearly and thoroughly Man’s lost Estate, it taketh off all his Exceptions and Shifts whatsoever, and concludeth him under Sin, O Generation of Vipers who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come, &c. Math. 3. 7, 8, 9. That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God, Rom. 3:19. and throughout the first three Chapters.
2. It demonstrateth clearly his utter Inability to arise out of that lost Estate: As also the Enmity against God, which is the character of the Carnal Mind, Rom. 8.7. And evidenceth itself in a special manner, against the Sweet Yoke of Christ, and the way of salvation through Him. For we being ignorant of God’s Righteousness (as the Jews of Old) and going about to establish our own Righteousness, we will not submit our selves unto the Righteousness of God, Rom. 10. 3. And this inability appeareth further Forasmuch as the Power of God, the exceeding Greatness of His Power, and the workings of His Mighty Power, are necessary for working of Faith, Eph. 1. 19. 20. see Chap. 2, 1.
“He is the Marrow of the Word, the Substance of all that’s revealed in it, whether Doctrines, Types, Prophecies, or Promises.”
3. The Gospel representeth the Equity and glory of the Lord’s proceedings, whatsoever be his Disposal concerning Man, he hath destroyed himself, and deserved pure wrath by every Sin, much more by all; and whatsoever can befall, no wrong is done, seeing the wages of Sin is Death, Rom. 6. 13. O Israel thou hast destroyed thyself, Hos. 13. 9. Jer. 18. 23. 45. &c. Rom. 9. 14, 15.
4. This word of the Gospel discovereth Christ in His Person, Offices, Estates, and whatsoever concerneth Mystery of Redemption, both in its Purchase and Application. He is the Marrow of the Word, the Substance of all that’s revealed in it, whether Doctrines, Types, Prophecies, or Promises, &c. I Cor. 2.2 All that we have to know, or make known, is contain’d there. I determine not to know any thing among you save Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified. See 2 Cor. 1. 20.
5. It unfoldeth the Doctrine of Faith in its Nature and various actings, and as distinguished from many false Faiths, which are the most effectual Engines of Satan for destroying Souls. Therein, namely in the Gospel, Is the righteousness of God revealed from Faith to Faith, Rom. I.17. See 2 Pet. 1.5.
6. It teacheth the Efficacy of Faith or rather of the Lord’s Spirit working this way, and carrying on the exercised Soul, in the Path of Believing throughout the several steps of the Paved Road to Glory, until Faith be swallowed up in Eternal Sight and Enjoyment, I Cor. I. 30. Rom. 5. 1. 2, 3. Jo. 6:35
James Hog, Minister of the Gospel, Notes About The Spirit’s Operations, for discovering from the Word, their Nature and Evidence. Together with Diverse Remarks, for Detecting the Enthusiastical Delusions of the Cevennois, Antonia Bourignon, and Others. As Also Some Account of the Differences betwixt a Legal and and Evangelical Administration. Being the Substance of several Private Discourses on Gal. III. 2; Part II, Exercise I. Gal. III. 2, This only would I learn of you, received ye the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of Faith?, (pp. 3-6).