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England’s Duty under the present Gospel Liberty

Behold I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me. Rev 3:20

THIS day hath our compassionate Redeemer opened unto us a door of liberty ; liberty for us to preach, and liberty for you to hear the glad tidings of the gospel……….


Every offer of Christ to the souls of sinners is recorded and witnessed with respect to the day of account and reckoning.

Who are God’s witnesses to all the offers made of Christ by the gospel?

1 His Ministers,

by whom he makes them, are all witnesses as well as officers of Christ to the people. .

“I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness.” Acts 26:16 

Here you see ministers have a double office, to propose and offer Christ, and then to bear witness for or against those to whom he is thus offered: they are expressly called God’s witnesses, Rev. 11:6-7.

Their labours witness, their sufferings witness, their solemn appeals to God witness; yea, the very dust of their feet shaken off against the refusers of Christ, turns to a testimony against them, Mark 6:11. Every groan and sigh, every drop of sweat, much more of blood, are placed in God’s book of marginal notes by all their sermons and prayers, and will be produced and read in the great day against all the refusers and despisers of Christ.

2. The Gospel itself,

which is preached to you, is a testimony or witness for God, against every one that hears it;

“He that rejecteth me, and received not my words, hath one that judges him; the Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” John 12:48

And this is the sense of Christ’s word,

 “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations, and then shall the end come.” Matt. 24:14.

Ah, Lord, what a solemn record is here! Every sermon you hear, yea, every reproof, persuasion, and conviction, is a witness for God to cast and condemn every soul in judgment that complies not immediately with the calls of the gospel: so many sermons, so many witnesses.

3. Every man’s conscience is a witness for God,

that he hath a fair offer once made to him: the very consciences of the Heathens that never saw a Bible, that had no other preachers but the sun, moon, and stars, and other works of nature; yet of them the apostle saith, 

” they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing them witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.”   Rom. 2:15

Certainly if such vigour and activity was put into the consciences of Heathens, who could only read the will of God by the dim moon-light of natural reason ; how much more vigorous and active will conscience be in its accusing office against all that live under the bright beams of gospel-light? Their consciences will be swift witnesses, and will ring sad peals in their ears another day, 

” You shall know that there hath been a prophet among you.”   Ezek. 2:5 

This single witness is instead of a thousand witnesses for God. 

4. The examples of all those that do believe and obey the gospel,

are so many witnesses for God against the despisers and neglecters of the great salvation. Every mourning, trembling soul among you is a witness against all the dead-hearted, unbelieving, disobedient ones, that sit with them under the same ordinances.

Hence it is said,

” Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world?”  1 Cor. 6:2

They shall be assessors with Christ in the great day, and condemn the world for their examples, as Noah did the old world. Thus..

“John, came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not, but the publicans and harlots believed him; and ye when ye had seen it, repented not afterwards that ye might believe him” Matt. 21:32

What shift do you make to quiet your consciences, and stifle your convictions, when you saw publicans, the worst of men, and harlots, the worst of women, repenting, believing, and hungering after Christ! their examples shall be your judges.

These are God’s witnesses. 

You are without any means of escape if you neglect so great a salvation  freely offered in the Gospel !!!

John Flavel  Sermon 1 (1689) Vol 4 page 20
Extracted and adapted by Jeff Maxwell 2012
These sermons are well worth reading for our encouragement and admonition !



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