Archive for the ‘Obadiah Sedgwick’ Category

2012 – The Year Ahead…

January 5, 2012

The plans for studies in the year ahead, if the Lord wills (James 4:15):

  1. Finish the PhD … before the summer… without using up another family holiday ūüôā
  2. Deliver a lecture on “James Durham and the Free Offer of the Gospel” for the Scottish Reformation Society in Stornoway in February.
  3. Present a paper on the Protestor/Resolutioner controversy at the Ecclesiastical History Society postgraduate colloquium in February.
  4. Work on said paper for publication in a journal: “Protests, Resolutions and the Piggy in the Middle: James Durham (1622-1685) and Schism in the Kirk”.
  5. Work on an article “Obadiah Sedgwick – A Study of his Soteriology and Federal Theology”.
  6. Possibly, time permitting, work on an article “Missing, Presumed Misclassified: Hugh Binning the ‘lost’ Federal Theologian”.
  7. Start another exciting (to me) project that I can’t say more about at the moment, but hopefully can shortly…

Christ’s Tears Over Jerusalem

February 8, 2011

Extracts from Obadiah Sedgwick on Christ’s lament over unbelieving Jerusalem:

…Christ did grieve at the hardness of mans heart, and yet thou dost not grieve at the hardness of thine own heart; he shed tears and wept over the hardness of Jerusalem, and yet thou weepest not at the hardness of thine own heart ‚Ķ
Sedgwick, Everlasting Covenant, 540.

They refuse the offers when Christ trades with them, and offers himself and his righteousness, and his spirit, and life, they refuse to hearken, they refuse to receive him … Mat. 23.37. You would not be gathered, ye will not come unto me, they Luke 14. 18. made their excuse: they in Mat. 22.3. would not come to the wedding: How often hath Christ come with his gracious offers to our souls, and begged of us to buy of him? you are dead, and here is life for you, you are guilty, and here is mercy for you, you are polluted, and here is holiness for you; but men will not close with Christ, they will not accept of his gracious offers, Christ cannot fasten kindness on us.
Sedgwick, The Fountain Opened, 218-9

He weeps over you if you will not be persuaded, he wept over Jerusalem saying, O if thou hadst known, that at the least in this thy day, the things which concern thy peace, Luke 19.42.
Sedgwick, The Fountain Opened, p236

2. In respect of Christ … things which do demonstrate that sinners do slight and refuse him in all his goodness and graciousness … His Tears: he weeps over sinners for their slighting of him and the good which he offers to them. When he came near to Jerusalem, he looked upon it, and wept saying, O if thou hadst known, &c. The things which concern thy peace. Luk. 19.41,42.
Sedgwick, The Fountain Opened, 282

Matt. 23.37. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the Prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee? how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as an hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and ye would not? Here are offers made by Christ, unto a very unkind people, and many kind offers … Luk. 19.42. If thou hadst known, at least in this thy day, the things that do concern thy peace! mark! Here are offers of peace, and such as were divers times made; else what is that? at least in this thy day. Rom. 10.21. All the day long I have stretched forth my hands to a gainsaying and disobedient people. The stretching forth of his hands, what was that, but his glorious offers? and a gain-saying and disobedient people, who are they, but a refusing and slighting people? yet all the day long, &c.
Sedgwick, The Fountain Opened, 381-2

Christ wept over Jerusalem, Luk. 19. 42. saying, O if thou hadst known, even thou at least in this thy day, the things that concern thy peace? we could do the like over people to whom Christ hath long been offered, and all real good with and by Christ, and yet they will not know this Christ, nor that good which do so infinitely concern their good?
Sedgwick, The Fountain Opened, 446

God hath used incessant means and pressed upon sinners by his Servants, the Messengers of his Word many times, and for a long time, yet they repented not, nor turned from their sins … So Matth. 23.37. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the Prophets and stonest them which are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a Hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not?
Obadiah Sedgwick, The Parable of the Prodigal, 49

Quotable Sedgwick

October 2, 2010

It has been a long time.  Shockingly(!) there has been no time for blogging:

But, the weekly blog should be back now, D.V.  In a hint of what may be discussed over the coming weeks here is Obadiah Sedgwick on the glory of the covenant of grace:

All the desirable delicacies of the soul are treasured up in the Covenant of God’s Grace; in it are contained all the gracious attributes in God, all the gracious affections of God, all the gracious relations of God, all the gracious promises and engagements of God. There you find the reconciled God, the merciful God, the pardoning God, the sin-subduing God, the strengthening and helping God, the guiding and upholding God, the blessing and comforting God; you cannot think of a mercy for the soul, of a mercy for the body, of a mercy for this life, of a happiness after this life, but there it is, but there it is for you, but there it is assuredly for you.

A Westminster Divine on the Law (Moral, Ceremonial & Judicial)

May 31, 2010

I’ve nearly finished working through Obadiah Sedgwick for my thesis.¬† I have a few others to write up (Manton & Rutherford being the main two) and then that will be the final chapter complete (still a few months off).¬† There is so much of Sedgwick that is relevant for the Church today that is not relevant for my thesis that I may spend some time posting extracts from his works.¬† Here is Sedgwick discussing the law of God and its relation to the believer today:

First, concerning the law of God, you know there are some of them:

1. Ceremonial, which consisted in Rites, and Ordinances, and Shadows, typifying Jesus Christ in his sufferings, unto which there was a full period put by the death of Christ.
2. Judicial, which respecteth the Jews as a peculiar Nation and Commonwealth, being made and fitted for them, as in such a particular polity: And all those judicial Laws (especially these de jure particulari) are ceased by the cessation of that Nation and polity.
3. Moral, which are set down in the Decalogue, and are called the ten words (or Commandments) which God spake and delivered.  Of the ten commandments (which we call the Moral Law) is the question to be understood, whether believers, or people in the New Covenant are bound by them.

Secondly this Moral Law may be considered either 1. In the substance of it; or only 2. in the circumstances of it.  If you consider the Moral Law as to the substance of it, so it is:
1. An eternal manifestation of the mind and will of God, declaring what is good, and what is evil; what we are to do, and what we are not to do; what duties we owe to God, and what duties we do owe to our neighbours; what worship God requires, and what worship God forbids: In this consideration the Moral Law never ceaseth in respect of any person whatsoever.
2. It discovers sin: For, Rom. 3:9, By the Law cometh the knowledge of sin: And the Apostle in Rom. 7:7, I had not known sin but by the Law; for I had not known lust except the Law had said, Thou shalt not covet.  In this respect likewise, the Law is still in force even unto the people of God; it is the glass which shows them unto themselves, and the light which manifests the hidden things and the works of darkness in them.
3. The rule of life: For as the Gospel is the rule of faith, teaching us what to believe; so the Moral Law is the rule of manners, teaching us how to live; and as to this directing power, it is still of force and use unto believers: Ps. 119:105, Thy word is a light unto my feet, and a lamp unto my path. Ver. 133, Order my steps in thy word.

But then secondly, the Law may be considered in respect of its circumstances, not as a Rule of obedience, but as it is a condition of life, and thus as considered:
1. It requires a perfect and perpetual obedience, and that under a curse: Gal. 3:10, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all that is written to do it: Here now it ceaseth unto the people of God, the cursing and condemning power is abrogated; Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us, Gal. 3:13.
2. It requires an exact obedience as a reason of Justification: Do this and live.¬† Here likewise the people of God are freed from it; who (as Luther well speaks) shall not be damned for their evil works, nor yet shall be justified for their good works: but are justified by faith in Christ…

Thus you see in what respects the people of God are freed from, and in what respects they are still obliged by the Law: The Law hath not power to condemn or justify them, yet it hath a power to direct and instruct them.

Obadiah Sedgwick, The Bowels of Tender Mercy Sealed in the Everlasting Covenant, 646-6.

Updated: to remove glaring typo – “Rights”¬†amended¬†to “Rites”.

Freedom from Justification by the Law!

December 30, 2009

Here is a gem from one Obadiah Sedgwick, Westminster Assembly member:

They [believers] have immunity or freedom from justification by the Law, from all legal trials for life.¬†¬† Although you are not freed from the Law as it is a rule for life, yet you are freed from the Law as it is a Covenant of life; although you are not freed from the Law as it is the image of the good and holy will of God, yet because you are under the Covenant of grace, you are freed from the Law as it is a reason of salvation and justification.¬† The Covenant of grace takes you off from that Court and Bar which pronounceth life upon your own good works, and pronounceth death upon your own evil works; Rom. 3:28, We conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the Law.¬† Gal. 3:11, No man is justified by the Law in the sight of God, for the just shall live by faith.¬† As the law calls for perfect and personal righteousness of our own; so the Law will not justify you, it will not give life unto you, unless it finds that righteousness in you; you live not, if you be not perfectly righteous; absolution is pronounced upon your own perfect innocence, and condemnation is pronounced upon any defect or breach.¬† And verily on this account no living man can or shall be justified; therefore here is comfort, that being in Christ, and in this Covenant of grace, ye are justified from all things from which ye could not be justified by the Law of Moses; see the Apostle, Acts 13:39.¬† Your life doth not lie now in your own righteousness, but in the righteousness of Christ; nor doth it depend on your own works, but upon the obedience of Christ.¬† That expression of Luther is an excellent expression ‚Ķ ‚ÄėThough my works have been very good, yet not those but Christ doth justify me; and though my works have been very ill, yet the righteousness of Christ can and will justify me; my evil works shall not damn me, and my good works cannot acquit me; it is Christ, it is Christ, and not the Law which justifies me.‚Äô

Obadiah Sedgwick, The Bowels of Tender Mercy Sealed in the Everlasting Covenant (London: Printed by Edward Mottershed, for Adoniram Byfield, 1661), 81.

I‚Äôm actually writing up Sedgwick on the free offer (some excellent sermons on Rev 3:20) at the moment and this was in my notes ‚Äď thought it was worth sharing!

“The Nature and Danger of Heresies”

October 28, 2009

Obadiah Sedgewick (1599/1600-1658) preached a sermon before parliament with the above title.  This is an interesting work from both a historical (he has a couple of lists of errors troubling the church) and theological (defining heresy etc).  I may post his list of errors as it is enlightening and edifying.  Here is his stirring conclusion on how ministers should respond in the face of heresy:

I have also a word to say to you who are Ministers of the Gospel of Christ: Come you forth from your long silences, neglects and reserves: and help the Church of Christ, in swallowing up the flood¬†which the Serpent hath cast out of his mouth:¬†when Jesus Christ is blasphemed, it is¬†not a time to fear, but to cry out … Men will ¬†say that you are moderate and discreet, but what will Christ say to you, if at such a time you be silent in his cause?¬† Oh my brethren! you are the husbandmen, take heed that none sow tares in the field, whiles you sleep: you are the builders, O be sure to preserve the foundation safe: you are the shepherds of the flock, O beware of the wolves, lest they break in and destroy the sheep!¬† … You are the watchmen, O look out, lest the enemy slip in and surprise the city!¬† You are the fathers, be sure that your children have not a stone given to them instead of bread, or a serpent instead of fish.

You must help with your most fervent prayers: as Alexander¬†once did, and prevailed against Arius: You must help with your counsels, with your watchings, with your preachings … You must … stand for truth, and withstand errors:¬† You are (in a singular manner) intrusted with truth and souls.¬† O watch, O pray, O preach, O do all that faithful ministers should do, when a flood breaks in: You read of Elijah’s zeal against the false prophets, and of Paul’s zeal against false Apostles: You have read of the zeal of Athanasius against the Arians: and of the zeal of Cyprian against the Novatians: and of the zeal of Austine¬†against the Manichees, and against the Pelagians: You have read of the zeal of Hierome, of Chrysostome, of Nazianzen, and many others in ancient times: You have read of the zeal of Luther, and Calvin, and others in later times.¬† Ou have shewed your zeal to the Kingdom in our dangerous times; I say no more, remember your first works, remember your engagements and be zealous: If you who are the Angels of Christ, the Ministers of Christ, the stewards of Christ, if you be drowzie, if you be silent, if you stop your own mouths when mouths are opened against your Christ, whose mouth can we expect should open it self to swallow up the flood?

Weekly Update 29 – Obadiah Sedgwick

November 17, 2007

I’ve covered Rev 3:20 a few times on the blog, but it¬†is a¬†very important verse for understanding the free offer of the gospel in the C17 and so I don’t apologise for posting on it again.¬† This week I’ll share some of my notes on Obadiah Sedgwick’s work The Riches of Grace Displayed In the offer and tender of Salvation to poor Sinners (London, Printed by T.R. and E.M. for Adoniram Byfield at the Bible in Popes head Alley near Lumbard Street, 1657).¬† It is¬†a classic Puritan study of Rev 3:20.

Sedgwick (1559/1600-1658) was an active member of the Westminster Assembly and a Presbyterian.  1658 is the same year that Durham died.

In reading the following, bear in mind that Sedgwick begins his exposition by explicitly denying that he is teaching free will or common sufficient grace, p9-12.  (Please note Рwhen you read a Puritan/Reformed author denying common sufficient grace that is not the same as denying common grace.  Reformed/Puritan authors to a man held to the language of common grace while they denied the Arminian construct of common sufficient grace [every man is given enough grace to believe if he chooses to; the choice is his].  There is a difference!)

Now on to some of Sedgwick’s interesting statements:

1) Have you ever heard a preacher say “Christ is more willing to save you, than you are to be saved” and secretly winced and muttered “Arminian” under your breath?¬† Hear Sedgwick, “What is meant by Christ’s standing at this door… Christ is a thousand times more willing to come to thee, than thou art to come to Christ…” p4-5.¬† He also speaks of Christ’s “earnest desire” for admittance p5.

2) Rev 3:20 in its context is addressed to “a company of meer hypocrites” p13.¬† They were “a most destitute people: not a dot of goodness, nor any one rag of grace, nor good in any one part…” p14.¬† You get the picture.¬† Rev 3:20 is addressed in its original context to the unsaved.¬† Given this is what they believed is it any wonder that the Puritans applied this text evangelistically?

3) How does Christ address these unsaved hypocrites?¬† Unspeakable condescension – he begs!¬† “Yet at their doors does Christ stand and knock, He begs at the doors of beggars, mercy begs to misery, happiness begs to wretchedness, riches begs to poverty…” p15.

4) Sedgwick poses the question, “He [Christ] hath stood at our doors more than one day or night, more than one week or two, more than one year or two, more than twenty years or two.¬† Would he do this if he were not willing to come in and save us?”¬† p22.¬† It is not “unreformed” to speak of Christ’s willingness to save sinners.

5) Sedgwick pointedly applies the text to unbelievers: “The first use shall be a reproof unto all such who do shut the doors against Jesus Christ, against a willing Christ, a saving Christ, a Christ that stands and knocks… they are guilty of the greatest sin in the world, they despise the greatest, the kindest, yea, the only salvation of their souls.” p28.¬† They are guilty of rejecting Christ’s “offers” p30.

6) Sedgwick believes that an inability to see the willingness of Christ to save sinners is the root cause why many refuse to come to Christ even though they see that they are sinners: “The truth is, all that the troubled soul urgeth… is the questioning of Christ’s willingness to save it; All those objections of greatness of sinnings, of want of deeper humblings, and want of holiness, of long resistances… Arise from this suspicion, Christ is not willing to save sinners…”¬† p33.¬† That is why the free offer of the gospel is so important pastorally.

7) Sedgwick comments that “Jesus Christ waits long upon sinners, and earnestly labours with them for entrance and admission”.¬† p37.¬†¬†Two examples Sedgwick gives of this are Christ’s¬†thirty years in the flesh knocking upon the hearts of the Jews, and Noah preaching for¬†one hundred and twenty¬†years before going into the ark.¬† Of course, in both these instances, the knocking was rejected which confirms that Sedgwick believes Rev 3:20 applies to unbelievers who ultimately refuse to come to Christ.

8 ) The free offer in Rev 3:20 is an expression of love.¬† “What do these passages hold forth, but the great love of Christ, the long expectation of Christ, the earnest importunity of Christ with sinners to come and be happily conjoined with him.” p38.

9) Christ is sorrowful when his offer is rejected. “Christ hath stood at thy doors, with commandments in one hand, and with entreaties in another hand, he hath stood at thy doors with promises in his mouth, and with tears in his eyes; he hath stood at thy door with heaven in his fingers, and sorrow in his soul; with arms of mercy to clap thee, if thou openest; with floods of compassion to bewail thee, if thou refusest” p44-45.

10) Now in all this are we only speaking of Christ as man?¬† Where does the divine nature come into this?¬† “Christ is God, and because he is God he is merciful, willing to show mercy to sinners in misery, and unwilling to destroy them… God is a long-suffering God, and so is Christ; He is a much-suffering Christ, and a long-suffering Christ. 2 Pet. 3.9 The Lord is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. It is the greatest of mercy to be willing to pity or pardon sinners, and it is the greatest of goodness, to offer help unto them, And it is the greatest of patience to wait long on them.”¬† p49-50.¬† Note the universal application of 2 Peter 3:9.

11) Sedgwick comments: “Of the just cause of a sinner’s damnation: It is of and from himself: never lay it on God’s decrees, or want of means and helps.¬† What could I have done more for my vineyard, &c? Isa. 5. So what could Christ do more?¬†he calls, and crys, and knocks, and entreats, and waits, and weeps, and yet you will not accept of him, or salvation by him? … I was offered Christ and grace, I felt him knocking by his Spirit but I slighted him, grieved him, rejected him, and now it is just with God to shut the door of mercy against me…” p55-6

12) Sedgwick believed that the “offer” is equivalent to a “beseeching” and that every hearer of the gospel has a duty to receive Christ.¬† p57.

13) The free offer comes to all who hear the gospel, not only to “sensible sinners” for: “There is a latitude, a full latitude in the offer of Christ and grace: No sinner (under the Gospel) is excluded by Christ, but by himself.¬† Although the Application of Christ be definite and particular, yet the proclamation is indefinite¬†and general…” p76-7.

There is lots more in Sedgwick but I’ll stop here.¬† How typical is Sedgwick in all this?¬† Well the evangelistic application of Rev 3:20 was standard¬†C17 fare and most of his language quoted above could have come from any host of C17 Reformed preachers/theologians, including Durham.¬† On some things e.g. the correct exposition of 2 Pet 3:9 there would be differences but overall what I’ve quoted above is pretty unexceptional stuff for the C17 Reformed.

Next week I’ll probably post on Manton’s exposition of Ezek 18:23.¬† Lots of important stuff in there.