Christ’s Counsel to the Angel of the Church of Laodicea

Anonymous Believer

Originally Printed In 1642

Posted On November 10, 2019

CHRIST’S COUNSEL TO THE ANGEL OF THE CHURCH OF LAODICEA. The First of Christ’s Counsel to the Angel of the Church of Laodicea, being a warning for the ministers of these times. Concerning our Redemption, Reconciliation & Hope of Glorification by HIM alone.

Excerpts: Some objections to grace, as the following are answered herein. – Objection #1. These things are apparently true, but surely all is not done by Christ, for something must be done by us, for if we must lay all the burden on Christ, for, {as an ancient father is often cited,} he that made us without us, will not save us without us; and, as others have commented upon that father, will save us indeed, without our act, but not without our faith. Others go further and say, not without thy repentance, thy humiliation, self-denial, weeping, fasting and mourning and prayer, and the use of the ordinances; of hearing, reading, and the use of the sacraments, and the observation of the Sabbath, and doing in all things, as one would be done unto you. For except we do or endeavour to do, or do desire to do these things, and have a general desire to keep all of God’s commandments, and to yield universal obedience thereunto, and hate all sin, we shall never be saved. Objection #2. Yes, will some say, no doubt the state of a believer is a most blessed and happy estate, for he that believeth is justified, and without faith it is impossible to please God. But I find so much frailty in myself, so much doubtfulness, sin and wickedness, that it would be presumptuous on my behalf to say that I have any measure of this most excellent grace of faith, which you declare to be so blessed and comfortable. And though I know there is in Christ sufficient virtue to save to the uttermost, yet except I apply him to myself, by my own particular faith, I shall have no more benefit by his merits than he who is presented with an all-curing medicine, and hath not a hand to apply the same unto his malady.

The true believer submits himself to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake; and as for the observation of the Sabbath, so exceedingly pressed and preached as a duty to be exactly performed in the worship and service of God, all days are to him this Sabbath, for he lives and abides in that rest which was typified out by the old Sabbath, he having his constant rest in Christ, saying with David, “my heart is fixed O God, my heart is fixed, I will sing and give praise.” Take care to keep faith in heart and breath, and faith will make every day a Sabbath. Withal his liberty is to be judged of no man, for, saith he, one man esteems one day above another, another esteems every day alike, so let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind, for he that regards a day regards it to the Lord, and he that regards not the day, to the Lord he does not regard it. Let no man judge you in meats, or in drinks, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath, which were shadows of things to come, but the body is Christ, who hath fulfilled for us all righteousness, and is made unto us of God, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. Thus free is a believer in himself; yet, rather than his freedom shall offend his weaker brethren, he will for their sakes observe days, times, or any other indifferent thing, but if you press them as absolutely necessary to salvation, he knows that you err, and though he cannot persuade with you, he can with himself, and though for peace sake he may submit the outward man, yet the inward man cannot be beguiled of his freedom, or of his rest and peace in abiding in Christ.

In reference to prayer, surely a very short prayer is sufficient, as our Saviour well knew when he taught us how to pray, and reproved long prayers, tautologies, and vain reputations, asking those things, which we say we do believe to already possess in Christ, as remission of sin, &c., crying out of the burden of sin, when we believe that Christ hath borne our sins in his body on the tree, and that his blood cleanses us from all sin. And in one and the same instant to personate a man extremely affrighted with sin, and a man giving thanks, for remission of sin by Christ, and also of a man that is afraid, even of the sins of his present prayers, and of one that hath a victory over sin, death and hell. Also of a man that is delivered from under the Law into the glorious liberty of the sons of God, and yet again puts himself under the Law; for though he knows that faith informs more powerfully to good works and a good life than ever the Law could do, yet without the Law, and his observation thereof, he is as dead, as if there were no life in faith, nor peace in Christ; and all this, though it be no other but mere contradiction, yet nothing is more usual in prayers, nor more plainly discernible. Whereas, surely prayer is another thing than it is commonly taken to be, even the supreme life of faith, an utter state of dependence upon God’s rich mercies in Christ, and abandonment of mind and heart as submitted to his grace, a continual walking with God, and enjoyment of our heavenly conversation; the which rightly to understand, we must divest ourselves of all human thoughts, but how easily and inconsiderably do men fall into errors, and being once engaged therein, how earnestly do they maintain them, even as if they were saving truths.