God’s Operations of Grace

Joseph Hussey

Originally Printed In 1707

Posted On June 25, 2015

God’s Operations of Grace but no Offers of his Grace. To which are added two brief treatises. The One about Invitation, and the other about Exhortation of Sinners to come to Christ; both examined and consistently stated with the Glory of Free Grace, to rectify some Common and Prevailing Mistakes in Ministers, who now with Time, are running in the Present Generation.

Joseph Hussey, 1660-1726, born at Fordingbridge, in Hampshire. The first elements of learning he received under the tuition of Robert Whitaker, who had been ejected from his fellowship in Magdalen College, Cambridge, in 1662, and then lived at Fordingbridge. After attending an Academy at Newington Green, he preached his first sermon at Mr. Jenkyn's Meeting-house in Jewin Street, London, on the 14th of August, 1681. During the years 1681-1688, he served as a Chaplin, and so continued to preach till his removal to Cambridge, in 1691. He was ordained at Annesley's Meetinghouse, Little St. Helen’s, Oct. 26, 1688, in the presence of six Presbyterian ministers. The thesis he defended was, that the pope was the Antichrist; and his testimonial was signed by Dr. Annesley, Samuel Slater, John Quick, John Turner and Robert Franklin. Prior to his eyes being opened to the Wonders of Divine Grace, and the Lord granting unto him true Gospel Repentance unto the acknowledging of the Truth; {Acts 11:18, II Tim.2:25} it would appear that he, along with other ‘evangelical’ cohorts opposed many of those ‘high grace’ truths that he would later be brought to love and embrace. Needless to say, his Gospel sentiments underwent a revolution during his residence at Cambridge. When he set out in life and during the earlier years of his ministry, his faith was much the same as that of the bulk of Presbyterians; but God, in Grace, had now begun to establish his heart in the Divine Truth of the pre-eminent Glory of Christ. When the Act of Uniformity took place, the fruits of Nonconformity in the county of Cambridge were very abundant. This circumstance, combined with the liberty granted to Nonconformists by the Act of Toleration, occasioned the Dissenters of Cambridge to separate into distinct societies. One of these congregations settled on Hoghill, near Cambridge, and consisted chiefly of Presbyterians. Mr. Hussey was their first pastor, and settled there on Thursday Nov. 19, 1691. The church then consisted of seventy-six members. He exercised his ministry at Cambridge with great success, till October, 1696, at which time his church had increased to 122 communicants. The constitution of the church was then altered by the vote of a considerable majority. Seventy-six members, with the pastor, were for a Congregational discipline, and twenty-four were against it. Upon this, the latter withdrew, and formed the Presbyterian Society in Green-Street. Those who remained behind signed a rigid covenant, drawn up by Mr. Hussey. In 1706, he published his great work, entitled, “The Glory of Christ Unveiled,” against a work published by John Hunt, of Northampton, on the subject of Christ’s Pre-eminent Glory, God’s Decrees, &c. In this singular performance, Mr. Hussey sets himself seriously to prove, that the Arminians are guilty of breaking the whole of the Ten Commandments. In the following year, 1707, he gave to the public, in octavo, another celebrated work, entitled, "God’s Operations of Grace; but no Offers of Grace;" which is written expressly against the heresy of Arminianism in preaching. Mr. Hussey’s design, and that of other ministers who have adopted his method, was to secure to the Holy Spirit the sole glory of converting and sanctifying the souls of the elect. Mr. Hussey continued pastor of this new modelled Congregational church, and great success attended his ministry, till 1718, when some disputes about church discipline chiefly, and partly about his doctrine, rendered him very uneasy; and at the close of the year 1719, he accepted an invitation from the late Mr. Humphrey’s church, in Petticoat-Lane, London, and removed from Cambridge in January, 1720, leaving a congregation of 1100 persons, and a church of more than 150 members. Mr. Hussey continued with his church in Petticoat-Lane till his death, which happened at his house in Hoxton-Square, on the 15th of November, 1726, in the sixty-seventh year of his age.

Joseph Hussey’s GOD’S OPERATIONS OF GRACE, was originally printed in 1707, only one year after Hussey wrote his major work entitled, THE GLORY OF CHRIST UNVEILED. It was printed again, in an abridged and edited form in 1771, in Philadelphia by Joseph Crukshank, for John M'Gibbons; and again in 1792, by G. Terry, who was the printer for the “Celebrated Coalheaver” William Huntington. Terry also printed a second edition, with a slightly different title page, and a new preface, a few years later; which abridged edition was once more reprinted by W.J. Berry, {who compiled & edited THE OLD FAITH CONTENDER, a Primitive Baptist periodical,} by Primitive Publications, in 1973. From the 1792 Edition printed for G. Terry, we extract the following from the editorial preface of the book, to grant us a brief glimpse of what one might find therein.

The Sovereign love of God the Father, the free gift of his Son Jesus Christ, the saving, irresistible and abiding operations of the Holy Ghost, together with the revelation and application of them to the mind, and consciences of his own elect, and none other, irrespective of any worth, worthiness, state, or condition whatever, are the truths testified and maintained in this work, in opposition to pretended Calvinistic preachers of the Gospel; who in his, as well as our days, are the greatest opposers of the cross of Christ. For, the Christ of God, who is equal with the Father, seated on the throne of his Glory, holding all power, dominion, and might; made higher than the heavens, to whom all principalities and powers are subject; and at whose presence both the earth and the heavens shall flee away, is neither to be offered, proffered, lent, borrowed, bought, sold or given of men. He is the gift of the Father, to as many as the Father has ordained to eternal life, and none other. This Christ, this gift of the Father, is revealed and applied to the heirs of Salvation by the Holy Ghost, when, where, and how he pleases; not when, where, and how men please. And the man that attempts to supersede such plan of operations in any respect sets himself against the Counsel of God, the Covenant of God, the Work of God; and, as far as he goes, sins against the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God. It is not to whom men will offer Christ; but to whom the Father will give him, even to such as he hath ordained to eternal life; to such, and such only he gives power to believe on him, to receive him, and become the sons of God, even to as many as believe on his name. These gifts and callings of God, the Holy Ghost reveals, while Christ is preached, or pointed to; not while he is offered, from one sinner to another. The Holy Ghost countenances no such conduct. When he, the Spirit of truth, shall come, he shall guide, not offer, you into all truth, for he shall take of the things that are Christ’s, and show them unto you. The Holy Spirit does not teach men to offer, but to preach, or expound Christ; it is wickedness in any man as a fallen finite creature, to attempt to offer Christ who is infinite in Majesty, Glory, and Holiness, indiscriminately to all men, who are by nature rebels, in chains of guilt, having no desire towards him, and seeing no beauty in him. But it would not be wickedness to describe or preach Christ, though infinite in majesty and glory, to such rebels; neither would it be wickedness to direct enemies in chains, to petition Christ, though he be infinite in Majesty, and glorious in Holiness; because he says of such, that they shall come after me in chains, and with weeping and bitter supplications, will I lead them. These and other glorious truths Mr. Hussey not only preached, but very ably defended; against whom? The avowed enemies of Christ? No, these were not half so dangerous in his opinion as they who pretended to hold a form of sound words, calling themselves Calvinists, when, at the same time, they privately hated the doctrines he held, and by a kind of underground way of proceeding in their matter of preaching, kept back the Sovereignty of Christ, and held him forth in a conditional way of offers and proffers; so artfully, if possible, as to overturn with one hand, what they pretended to build with the other. The glorious truths, contended for by Mr. Hussey, having a direct tendency to discover the hypocrisy of pretended half-hearted preachers of Free and Sovereign Grace. The only way left them to escape detection, was by calling him an Antinomian, and by warning people against reading or hearing him; so, by blinding their eyes, and prejudicing their minds, till they can neither see the hypocrisy of their counsellors, nor their own souls interest in Christ, may be easily led away to the slaughter.