Vindication of the Doctrine of Justification & Union Before Faith

Richard Davis

Originally Printed In 1698

Posted On June 25, 2017

A vindication of the doctrine of Justification and Union before Faith wherein the great truth of the Grace of our Lord Jesus in his representing the persons of his elect on the cross, of his suffering for them as their Representative is asserted and cleared, and the Eternal Justification and Union of the Lord’s chosen people is plainly stated and proved; also the assurance of faith is evidently confirmed; with a clear demonstration of how these precious Gospel Truths do promote holiness and sanctification in the hearts and conversations of true believers.

Richard Davis was born in Wales, and appears to have been a schoolmaster in London until around 1689, at which time he was called to become the pastor of an Independent Church at Rothwell, in Northamptonshire. Whilst in London he joined the Independent Congregation at Silver Street Meeting House, pastored at that time by Thomas Cole. Like his former pastor, Davis was a strict Congregationalist in regards to church polity and in doctrinal views a staunch advocate for the truths of free & sovereign grace; and because of his firm insistence upon principle Gospel Truth he was met with continual opposition throughout his ministry, being accused of harboring various doctrinal errors, labeled an Antinomian, as well as dividing churches and sending out ignorant and illiterate preachers. Notwithstanding, the LORD mercifully fortified his spiritual defenses, and made his ministry effectual for the comfort of the saints and the conversion of such as the LORD would call unto Himself. His ministry witnessed many solid conversions, as Rothwell became a hub from whence the clear truths of the Gospel trumpet sounded out. Many looked unto him as their spiritual father and guide, and according to one source it is noted that during his twenty-five year ministry {from 1689 until 1714} at Rothwell there were 795 members added to the church, and that his ministry extended to thirteen counties, as he travelled on horseback over eighty miles from Rothwell and visiting up to fifty congregations on a regular basis. “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, write, blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” Rev.14:13.

From the Preface: As there is nothing of greater importance than those great truths of Eternal Justification and the Union of the Elect by and with the Lord Jesus Christ; as it hath its foundation and being in the Everlasting Sovereign Good Pleasure of the Holy God; and as it was managed in that Eternal Covenant of Grace, or Counsel of Peace between the Father and the Son; whose goings forth were of Old, and from Everlasting; wherein the Wondrous Grace of our God doth so marvelously appear to the Praise of his Glorious Name; and whereby the comfort of our souls is established, and through which we are powerfully influenced by the Efficacy of the Spirit of Christ unto purity and holiness; and engaged and enabled through the constraining Power of Divine Love, there in-shining to yield according to the measure of Light and Assistance, a universal and sincere Obedience. So it is that which that old implacable Enemy of our Salvation, endeavors by all his policy, craft, and subtlety, and by his inveterate malice, either to deny or pervert, either by fomenting of such false and erroneous principles as may draw souls off from believing its Sacred Truth; or by obscuring it by many mistaken notions as may darken the evidence thereof. Or lastly, by raising up prejudices against it, partly by some strange consequences as shall be unjustly drawn from it, or seemingly gross absurdities, that by a misrepresenting of it shall be cast upon, as if it were inconsistent with piety and purity. And lastly, by calumniating or reproaching those that by the grace of God are in a measure enabled to own it, and declare it; whereby, well-meaning persons who are inquiring after Truth may stumble at it, or be offended with it; and to those empty professors, from which he doth not lack instruments, even amongst those who would be reckoned among the chiefest of them, who profess and preach the Gospel.