Redeemer's Glory Unveiled

Samuel Stockell

Originally Printed In 1733

Posted On December 31, 2018

THE REDEEMER’S GLORY UNVEILED OR THE EXCELLENCY OF CHRIST VINDICATED IN THE ANTIQUITY OF HIS PERSON AS GOD-MAN, before the World began. BEING an Explication of the MYSTERY, which was kept secret, from the Beginning of the World. Wherein are unfolded, the Doctrines of the Pre-existence of the Soul of Jesus Christ, and the Glory of the Elect in their Vital Union to Him, &c., being a reprehension of this degenerate Age. By Samuel Stockell. 1733.

Though personally differing from Mr. Stockell, {not so much in disagreement, as more from sheer incomprehension, and a sense of caution from that which our mind is not entirely able to ascertain from the Scriptures of Truth,} from his views regarding the preexistence of Christ’s human soul, a view which Mr. Joseph Hussey, {his ‘father’ in the faith,} firmly advocated before him; nevertheless, we find in this treatise much that engages the thoughts unto a heavenly contemplation of the glories of the Redeemer. This important contribution to the written Annals of Free & Sovereign Grace should not {according to our humble estimation} lay buried in the rubble of so-called ‘Church History,’ from whence it would never be extracted by those {Church Historians & Theology Professors} that would style themselves the guardians of our faith. In fact, was it not the Dispensationalist J. N. Darby who uttered these shocking words, “the yearbooks of Christianity are the annals of hell,” which statement, {as it corresponds with our own solemn apprehensions regarding mans recorded history of the church of Christ,} is a blazing critique of the world of churches; and as we ponder the theological scribble and historical records of those following one another, who are held in such high esteem by the ‘church’ as it is recognized in, and by the world, it becomes seemingly evident that there is death in the pot. II Kings 4:40. Wilson, {Dissenting Churches,} speaking of Stockell, echoes this exact tendency, “though his hearers were numerous, they were chiefly of the poorer sort; and as Mr. Stockell was not favoured or even reckoned amongst the churches of his day, his Meeting House was never acknowledged by the body of Dissenting ministers.” What a striking statement, which speaks volumes in regards to how true Gospel ministers have been treated throughout the ages.

Samuel Stockell, frequently called Sam the Potter, on account of his being raised in that profession, was originally a member of a Church in Petticoat Lane, London, under the ministry of Mr. Joseph Hussey, and like Hussey, {in his sentiments regarding Church Government,} remained a Congregationalist throughout his ministry. Indeed, Stockell was a follower, and great admirer of Joseph Hussey, but possessed neither his learning, nor attained to that prominence which characterized the faithful ministry of him, whom he loved in the Faith of Christ Crucified. Like Hussey, he was a very jealous advocate for the Doctrines of Free & Absolute Grace, and drank deep into the sentiments of Tobias Crisp, and other writers of this stamp. His followers, {who were all of High Grace Persuasion, when it comes to essential Gospel Truth,} considered him a very deep and spiritual preacher, who attained to an eminence in heavenly truths above any that were preaching the Gospel in London at that time. The zeal and confidence with which he asserted the sacred truths of Holy Scripture, gave him great authority amongst his people, who looked up to him with reverence, as a person endowed with special extraordinary gifts. Those who attended his ministry were chiefly of the poorer sort, who looked to him for instruction and guidance as they attended to the things of Christ. Perhaps sadly, but more so mercifully, his meeting house was never even recognized by the Dissenting Churches or Ministers of his day; being, as it were, cast out by all ecumenical movements, even those who advocated the doctrines of Grace, who wanted nothing to do with him, or those associated with him.

Upon his initial venturing forth to preach the Gospel, he preached occasionally where he could, and wherever a door of utterance was granted unto him, and after a time {November 1729} was chosen assistant to Mr. Samuel Harris, in Mill-Yard, Goodman’s-Fields, upon which being so selected to that work, he felt compelled to deliver a Confession of his Faith in Christ, which was published at the desire of many that heard it in 1730. His work with Harris soon was squashed as they disagreed upon some points of Doctrine, which forced his removal, upon which he attempted to set up for himself. Even in this Confession of his Faith in Christ, he felt an obligation to clear himself from slandering reports which were being heaved upon him during this period of his life. He states that, “God is my Witness, whom I serve, that I do not take Pleasure in, nor allow myself in the Breach of any one Part of the righteous Law of God, though my Father and my God hath been pleased, for gracious Ends, to suffer the Wicked to asperse me, and vilely to treat my Character, to represent me to the World, and to the Churches, as an evil Person,” which seemed to be illustrative of the abuse which he received from his antagonists throughout his ministry in London.

As Stockell excelled in his zealous and bold proclamation of Gospel Truth, and being granted fluency, as well as confidence in the pulpit, he acquired a measure of popularity; so it was not long before a few hearers began to attach themselves to his ministry, which shortly thereafter were constituted into a Church of Christ. His first meeting-house was in Whitechapel; but that proving too small, he had a new one built for him, in the way from Spitalfields to Hackney, which went by the name of the Loggerheads, from the sign of a public-house in that neighborhood. But there his continuance was very short as well; for, falling out with his patrons, he was obliged to leave it. After this, he set up anew, near Cripplegate, whither some of his people followed him; and upon the meeting-house in Red-Cross-street becoming vacant, in consequence of the dissolution of Mr. Lewis’s church, he removed into that, at which place he continued preaching till his death, a period of twenty-five years. A derogating note regarding his church in London, written during the early part of his ministry gives this brief account of him. “His meeting is filled, and he is as bold and daring a man as most that are to be met with; which qualifications, it is apprehended, are what he principally excels in.”

Speaking of his own experience as gradually being liberated from law terrors which had seized his soul under a legal ministry, he makes mention of the effect that Mr. Hussey’s preaching had upon his spirit, when he says, “ah, this is a happy concomitant of a vital union to the Redeemer; for, though the soul before was in ten thousand terrors about its eternal state, upon this union, they disappear. I will not say, that they never show themselves again; for they frequently do, as we find by woeful experience; yet I believe it is often owing to the preaching which the poor soul sits under, for they, who sit under a legal ministry are often in great danger of being in the greatest darkness about their state. I know it by my own experience, that, when I sat under a law ministry, I was in continual ups and downs, and could never arrive at any certainty about my state; but, when the Lord was pleased to bring me under the clear light of the Gospel, by the Ministry of his servant, Mister Joseph Hussey, I was brought to live a more comfortable life. My guilt did not return so often upon me; for I had now the blood of sprinkling to go to; and I saw the Covenant in all its stability and firmness, so that my soul came to an anchor, where I did ride sweetly and with abundance of joy.”

Though a man of small attainments in natural learning, yet by a diligent study of the Holy Scriptures, he attained to a considerable knowledge upon theological subjects, and delivered his thoughts with ease, both in speaking and in writing. After his entrance into the ministry, he applied himself to the study of the languages, particularly the Hebrew, for which he had a particular regard. He was a zealous advocate for the doctrine of the pre-existence of the human soul of Christ, which was defended by some orthodox writers before him, such as Goodwin, Fleming, Watts, Hussey, &c. Mr. Stockell, also, undertook the public defense of this doctrine, in this book which he published with the following title, “The Redeemer's Glory Unveiled, 7c., 1733.” It is still in great repute amongst persons of the same school with the author, and it must be acknowledged to be a worthy contribution to those writings which excel in setting forth the work of Sovereign Redemption, as Accomplished by Christ and Effectually Applied by the Spirit. Mr. Stockell was buried in Bunhill-Fields, where the following inscription was placed upon his tomb-stone. Here lies the body of that faithful minister and servant of Jesus Christ, Mr. Samuel Stockell, Pastor of a Church near Cripplegate, London, who departed this life May 3, 1753; in the 49th year of his age.