A Treatise Concerning the Free Grace of God

Timothy Batt

Originally Printed In 1643

Posted On November 2, 2019

A TREATISE CONCERNING THE FREE GRACE OF GOD THE FATHER, AND OF THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST. In which is contained the Fountain of precious consolation to all the saints beloved and redeemed. By Timothy Batt.

Excerpts: Such was thy separation, O Christian, from God; that thou nor I could approach nigh to God without the hand of our Mediator Christ Jesus; through our sin the handwriting is written against us; we are laid in the balance and found too light; the mighty wall of separation doth so prevent us from approaching, that unless God did descend down to us by Christ, we could not ascend unto him. If we did but think of ascending to God without Christ, our quaking would be like the quaking of Belshazzar, and our trembling as the trembling of Israel, before Mount Sinai; or we should hide our faces from him as did Adam our Father. How terrible? How dreadful? How angry is God with those who look toward him for mercy without the mediation of Christ! Assuredly if God should but enter into judgment for one sin, should but ponder or weigh one iniquity, none could stand before him. If the angels themselves are impure in respect of the purity of God’s holy nature, how much more are sinful or ungodly men? Man may offend or trespass against man, and man may plead for him; but if man sin against God, who shall plead for him but Christ? By him alone we have recourse to the throne of grace for grace, and to the throne of mercy for mercy. Without him the heavens should be as brass and iron, so that our prayers could not enter into the celestial sanctuary, nor find acceptation in the presence or sight of God. Where now is the hand of mercy; the scepter of bounty; and the comfortable answer of God to the conscience, but in Christ who sits at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. Wherefore if we want wisdom, peace, righteousness, remission of sin, and joy of the Holy Ghost, let us look towards heaven and remember that Christ’s oblation once offered is so efficacious and prevalent, that through that we shall have an answer of what our souls desire. Though we may hide our faces as did the cherubims in respect of our own vileness, yet may we look up to God for spiritual blessings through the mediation of Christ with confidence. No child may go freer to his father, no wife to her husband, than we who have a perpetual recourse to God through Jesus Christ. Whilst our prayers are weak, Christ’s mediation is strong; and whilst our performances deserve to be denied, through Christ’s oblation they are accepted.

If God speak the thing it is so; if God impute her just, shall it not be so? If the Son make her free, she is free indeed; if God account her just, she is just indeed! If a King forgive a rebel, who shall impute that fault to him? If God acquit his church, who shall lay anything to her charge? When Jacob was clothed with the garment of Esau, his nakedness appeared not to the sight of his Father Isaac. The church being clothed with the righteousness of Christ, her nakedness appears not in the sight of God her heavenly Father, through this garment wherewith she is so wonderfully invested, she is worthy to follow the Lord Christ from earth to heaven; not only by the ascent of heavenly meditation, but by ascent of her soul after her pilgrimage is ended. For what ends, but to participate in all the rich and celestial treasures which have been prepared for her before the foundation of the world, and to see the face of her loving Father in celestial glory. What now shall terrify her? Shall wrath; shall anger; divine justice or indignation? No, for she is accepted and beloved through her well beloved Christ, the very angels rejoicing, because she is made rich and given heavenly treasures, beautiful and exceedingly amiable through the beauty and amiableness of Christ which is given unto her. Had not Benjamin a suit surpassing the suits of his brethren, and hath not the church of Christ a righteousness surpassing the righteousness of the Pharisees? Hence she loves, knows and embraces this perfect righteousness, nor doth she acknowledge any other righteousness save the righteousness of Christ; she detests even her own works in the matter of justification; she will wear no garment mingled of linen and woolen, for her pride is great, and her ambition much in that very particular, for all her glory is in the Lord her righteousness, all her thoughts are now to love and praise her dear Redeemer, and cease from working anymore in the way of justification; confessing that of, and from, and in him she enjoys it, ascribing continually to him the praise of all righteousness. She giveth the glory of glory to the Prince of glory; she renders the praise of life to the Lord of life; she subscribes the honour of peace to the Mediator of peace, and she attributes the dignity of righteousness to her Lord of righteousness. She is in Christ, as a branch in the Vine through union.

The Lord Christ is the Author and Finisher of our faith, the fountain and wellspring of our refreshment, the ground of all our hope and dependence, and is the cause and finisher of our sanctification. The lower spheres are moved by the first motion; just so, our affections are moved by the power and might of the Lord Jesus Christ. Doth the mighty waters move without the motion of the moon; or the body move without the intellect; or the soul move to Christ without the exceeding and operative power of the Spirit working conformity within? Oh, my soul, thou hast to deal with that roaring lion the devil, the bonds and cords of iniquity, the strong gates and bars of death and all evil; and with the flesh, which is an enemy against the spirit of life and glory. Thy knees are indeed feeble, thy hands are very weak, and thy spirit fails thee in the day of battle; therefore thou canst not ride the wild ass’s colt, or bring the untamed unicorn to thy command. The day is Christ’s, not thine! Thou dost indeed triumph, but only by his power; thou art victorious, but only by his might; thou art an overcomer, but it is only by his strength; thy righteousness, thy life, thy peace, thy joy, thy love, thy hope and communion is all from Christ. Thy mortification, thy vivification, thy sanctification, is from Christ all in all. Is his blood the cause of remission; is his righteousness the cause of justification; is his Spirit the cause of thy adoption, and is not his life and death the cause of thy sanctification? To thee is given the life of faith, the life of love and obedience to live unto God, blessed forever. To thee is given power from the death of Christ, {who could not be retained by the bonds of death,} blessed for evermore.