Sins of the world:
1) Some understand it thus; that this purging is meant by the shedding of Christ’s blood, whereby, the whole world is purged, John i. 29. But that all men are purged hy Christ’s blood, is neither a true position in itself, nor a true exposition of this place. The blood of Christ only purgeth his church, Eph. v. 26. And there are none admitted to stand before the throne, but such as have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb,” Rev. vii. 14. If any soul be thus washed, he shall never be confounded. If this man were thus purged, how could he forget it? God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself,” 2 Cor. v. 19. Yet no man thinks that the whole world shall go to heaven, for then were hell made to no purpose. So God loved the world, that he gave his Son; yet the whole world lieth in wickedness,” 1 John v. 19. Thus it is clear, expiation was offered for the world, and offered to the world; but those that are blessed by it, are separated from the world: I have chosen you out of the world,” John xv. 19. Salvation may be said to belong to many, that belong not to salvation. Now the reprobate forgets that a purgation was made for him by the shedding of the Messiah’s blood, which is a wretched thing, to forget so great a ransom.
Go to the garden, and there behold thy Saviour groaning under the weight of sin, hear enough to are pressed to death millions of angel legions of men, the whole world; sweating drops of blood, as if he were cast into the furnace of God’s wrath that melted him. Behold him offering that mouth, which spake as never man or angel spake, to a traitor to kiss. What the traitor sold, and the murderer bought, thou hast obtained: he is thine, not the Jews that purchased him. Now hast thou gotten him, and yet forgotten him? That which tickles thy heart with laughter, made the heart of thy Saviour bleed: and hast thou forgotten it? His soul was pressed to death with the sins we never shrink at: his eyes wept tears of blood, ours flow with tears of laughter; he felt those torments we cannot conceive; we cannot understand what he did stand under. Were we so foul, that nothing but his blood could purge us, and do we forget that urging? Do we forget that cry, whereat heaven and earth, men and angels, stood amazed, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” The very senseless creatures did not forget it: the heavens were hung with black, the sun did hide his face like a chief mourner, and durst not behold his passion. Now, for man alone was all this passion, yet in man alone is least comparison. I now thou condemnest Judas, and that worthily; who sold Christ a man, there was murder; Christ his Master, there was treason; Christ his Maker, there was sacrilege. Murder is a crying sin, treason a roaring sin, sacrilege a thundering sin. Thomas Adams, An Exposition upon the Second Epistle General of St. Peter, by Rev. Thomas Adams, Rector of St.Gregory’s, (London, 1633, revised by James Sherman, reprinted: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990), 108.
2) In regard of the all-sufficient price paid for them. So Christ is said to be that Lamb which taketh away the sins of the world. Though he meant not to save all, yet he died for all, performing his part. (Chrysost.) For he doth not really take away all sin from the world; and this himself declares by not praying for the world, “I pray not for the world,” John xvii. 9. Otherwise the two main arts or offices of his priesthood were disjoined, and he should sacrifice for them for whom he doth not supplicate. Now for his mediation, it concludes his own in it, excludes the world out of it; “I pray not for the world.” Thomas Adams, An Exposition upon the Second Epistle General of St. Peter, by Rev. Thomas Adams, Rector of St.Gregory’s, (London, 1633, revised by James Sherman, reprinted: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990), 222. [Taken from his discussion on 2 Peter 2:1, below.]
3) God knows not only the sins we have committed, but even those we would have committed if we could. Lord, thou hast forgiven me those sins which I have done, and those sins which only by thy grace I have not done, saith St. Augustine. They were done in our inclination to them, and even that inclination needs God’s mercy, and that mercy he calls a pardon. These are truly most secret sins, because they were never done; and because no other man, nor we ourselves, but only God, knows: how many and how great sins we have escaped by his preventing grace, which without that we had multiplied against him ! We have abundance of sins out of the c o m r of our knowledge: we can accuse ourselves of original sin; yet, do we know what original sin is? We know not enough of it to satisfy others, we know enough to condemn ourselves, to solicit the mer of God. Our youth hath been full of sins, and we have forgotten what those sins were. We remember them not so well as to name them all; nor are we sure to live hours enough to name them all; for we did them faster then than we can speak them now, when every thin that we did conked to some sin. Yet we know them so well, as to know that nothing, but the mercy of our heavenly Father, is so infinite as they. We have sins of thought, word, and deed; sins of omission and of action; sins against God, against our neighbour, and against ourselves; sins against the Father’s commandments, against the Son’s prayer, and against the Holy Ghost’s office; sins against our own creed, against the laws of that church and state wherein we live; sins unrepented, and sins relapsed into after repentance; sins of ignorance, and sins against the testimony of our conscience. If this arithmetic cannot read home to the number of our sins, we know what will. O Lord, pardon us all those sins which thy Son Christ Jesus suffered for, who suffered for the sins of all the world. Thomas Adams, An Exposition upon the Second Epistle General of St. Peter, by Rev. Thomas Adams, Rector of St.Gregory’s, (London, 1633, revised by James Sherman, reprinted: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990), 671.
4) All this he foresaw before he suffered; and while he did foresee, he suffered. This made his soul so heavy: it might arise from three causes. From the weight of the objects: never sorrow like his sorrow, for never sufferings like his sufferings. From the susceptibility of the sufferer: he was able (through that hypostatical union) to suffer all that God’s justice could inflict; all the punishments due to all the sins of all men. From the singleness or entireness of the pain; no relief, no ease, no comfort: he found never a Reuben to say, Let us not kill him, for he is our brother, Gen. xxxvii. 26. There was no such clear apprehension of sin as in him; he saw it in all its foulness. No such perfect detestation of sin as in him; he hated it with all extremeness: yet he must suffer for it; “The Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all,” Isa. liii. 6. He foreknew all this; wh did he not prevent it? Thomas Adams, An Exposition upon the Second Epistle General of St. Peter, by Rev. Thomas Adams, Rector of St.Gregory’s, (London, 1633, revised by James Sherman, reprinted: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990), 812.
Effectual redemption of the elect (sample):
1) To be unchangeably good is only proper to God, (August.) Augustine in his Confessions gives the reason. Because God created man of nothing he left in him possibility to return unto nothing. If God had given them an immutable nature, he had created gods not creatures. (Basil.) Now out of the whole’ world host of angels he kept some from falling; and when all mankind was fallen, he redeemed some by his own Son. And as he shone mercy upon some in their salvation, so it is fit he should show justice upon others in their just damnation. Thomas Adams, An Exposition upon the Second Epistle General of St. Peter, by Rev. Thomas Adams, Rector of St.Gregory’s, (London, 1633, revised by James Sherman, reprinted: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990), 290.
1) This apostolical testimony was not without some opposition, for there were others that came in the name of Christ, who had nothing to do with him. Simon Magus bewitched not only the Samaritans, but also the Romans. Claudius set up a brazen image on Tiber bridge, with this blasphemous inscription, To Simon the great god. But while he sailed in the air upon the wings of demons, he fell down to the earth, and burst his neck. One Manes, admired of the Persians, took twelve men, whom he called his apostles, and styled himself The Comforter of Israel. But undertaking to recover the king’s son, who was dangerously sick, and failing in the cure, he had his skin pulled over his ears. A Romish doctor, called The Oracle of India, gave out that he was more holy than the apostles, yea, than the angels: yea, that God made him a proffer of hypothetical union, and assumption into the fellowship of the Deity; but the modest man refused it: that he was the world’s redeemer in respect of efficacy, as Christ performed it in respect to of sufficiency. Horrid and unpardonable blasphemy. Thomas Adams, An Exposition upon the Second Epistle General of St. Peter, by Rev. Thomas Adams, Rector of St.Gregory’s, (London, 1633, revised by James Sherman, reprinted: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990), 168.
2) “Denying the Lord that bought them.” This I called their criminal evil, a sin that seems to keep the circle of their own selves; and not to extend to the mischief of others, but only by the force of example. In handling whereof, I will first consider the general doctrine, what it is to deny Christ, and wherein these false teachers deny him; and then the application of it, who they be that in these times deny him. In special we find the aggravation of their apostasy in three heinous ascendings. First, the deny: it were bad enough to slight worse to forget him, yet worse to forsake him; but tn deny him, this is fearful. Secondly, the Lord: not a creature, not a man, not a father, not a friend, not an angel, not themselves; but the Lord, this is more fearful. Thirdly, that bought: it is much to deny a benefactor, more to deny a parent, more to deny a Creator; but yet there is a step higher, to advance this blasphemy to the full altitude; to deny a Redeemer, him that with the precious blood of his heart bought them; this is most execrable. Thomas Adams, An Exposition upon the Second Epistle General of St. Peter, by Rev. Thomas Adams, Rector of St.Gregory’s, (London, 1633, revised by James Sherman, reprinted: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990), 216.
3) This is the superior and more immediate manner of denying Christ: which is of such as turn the grace of God into wantonness, and evacuate to their own souls the virtue of his cross; who being redeemed to serve Christ, deny that service: there is a world of these. The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world,” Tit . ii. 11,12. It persuades to holiness by this token, that it brings salvation with it. It is grace, a sweet nature: that brings salvation, oh more sweet, most welcome! But it might lie hid in unknown obscurity: nay, it appears; not to Paul or Peter only, but to all men. Deliverance from danger binds to gratitude: this am David’s security to Bathsheba concerning the succession of Solomon, As the Lord liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress,” 1 Kings i. 29. But advancing to great preferment bindeth more: this was Joseph’s apology to his tempting mistress: “My master hath committed all to my hand; there is none greater in his house than I: how then can I do this great wickedness?” Gen. xxxix. 8, 9. We were all justly condemned for treason, to hell; the stroke of damnation wan near us: at an instant and exigent cometh our pardon; not by the hand of an angel, God’s special courtier, but in the hand of a Mediator; not written with ink, but with blood; not vulgar blood, that runs ill common veins, but blood royal, no meaner than ran from the side of his own Son. Now our Sovereign Creator commends a suit to us, that we would serve him, by this token, that he hath redeemed us at such a price. If we break the covenant, vilipend the mercy, refuse the service, trample under our profane feet the precious token, deny him that bought us; what remains but a fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation to devour us? Heb. x. 27, 29. Under this kind I will touch but four offenders. Thomas Adams, An Exposition upon the Second Epistle General of St. Peter, by Rev. Thomas Adams, Rector of St.Gregory’s, (London, 1633, revised by James Sherman, reprinted: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990), 219.
4) 2 Peter 2:1:
“That bought them.” This last aggravation is derived from the consideration of the unspeakable good which this Lord hath done them; in that were delivered by the most excellent benefit that ever came to mankind, which is redemption by the blood of Christ. For howsoever it was a singular work and favour of God, to give us by creation a blessed being; yet was it no otherwise given us, than with a possibility to keep it or lose it: but redemption hath instated us to a blessedness never to be lost. Here then is a doubt to be resolved: how they may perish from Christ if they were redeemed? how were they redeemed if they can perish?
First, we must lay this ground of truth, that no soul which Christ hath truly bought can perish eternally. This is the Father’s will, that of a11 which he hath given me I should lose nothing,” John vi. 39. But all they are given to Christ whom he hath purchased:” I give unto them eternal life ; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand,” John x. 29. If I give them eternal life, nothing shall bring them to eternal death; and to pluck them out of his land that is Almighty, requires an adversary stronger than himself. And our Saviour there adds, My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand,” ver. 29. Hereupon Paul makes a free challenge to all the actors, and pleaders, and powers that ever damnation had: “Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth,” (and if all this be not enough,) “nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus,” Rom, viii. 39: none can do it. And whether they be Romish or Arminian, that seek to weaken the grace of God, and permit the redeemed ones of the Lord to perish; let us know them for the brokers of Satan, the seminaries of despair, and deniers of Christ. But against this doctrine is opposed, “Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died?” Rom. xiv. 15. “Through thy knowledge shall thy weak brother perish, for whom Christ died,” I Cor. viii. 11. But those places may be understood not “kat’ aletheian“: not that they can perish through thy default, but that thou dost what thou canst to make them perish. But here it seems most lain, that they may be lost in denying Christ, whom He bought. To clear this, we say that reprobates may be said to be redeemed in divers respects.
1. In regard of the all-sufficient price paid for them. So Christ is said to be that Lamb which taketh away the sins of the world. Though he meant nut to save all, yet he died for all, performing his part. (Chrysost.) For he doth not really take away all sin from the world; and this himself declares by not praying for the world, “I pray not for the world,” John xvii. 9. Otherwise the two main parts or offices of his priesthood were disjoined, and he should sacrifice for them for whom he doth not supplicate. Now for his mediation, it concludes his own in it, excludes the world out of it; “I pray not for the world.”
[Edit: Adams says 2., they were redeemed in outward appearance (p., 222), and 3., they were redeemed with respect to their opinion (p. 223), and 4., they were redeemed with respect to the judgement of charity (p., 223). After this he engages in homiletic pericope:]
This truth then remains, that Christ only bought his church, and salvation for his church. “Feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood,” Acts xx. 28. & Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it,” Eph. v. 25. His name is Jesus, yet he shall save only his own people, Matt. I. 21. For the rest, “they went out from us, but they were not of us,” 1 John ii. 19; howsoever, the price was paid for them, and there was a sufficient ransom in the blood of Jesus, if their faithful apprehension had made it theirs. The king hath granted a pardon for all malefactors at the parliament; we say, they are all pardoned: yet perhaps some afterwards are condignly punished, because they never sued out this pardon, nor took the benefit of it. First, therefore, consider what God hath done for them, then what they have done against him: the height of his mercy adds to the weight of their iniquity. God in his love redeemed us by the blood of his Son. Now there are four kinds of redemption: First, when a slave is freely released to liberty: we could not be so discharged; for, besides that God is just, and his debts must be aid, Satan would not so art with us. Secondly, when a man is set free by commutation or exchanging another into his room: we could exchange no creature to supply our servitude. Thirdly, when a man is rescued by a forcible surprisal; Abraham redeemed Lot: but herein God was far too strong for us. Fourthly, by a price paid; and thus were we bought with a price, even the blood of that unspotted Lamb. His payment consisted in suffering for our relinquishments, and in performing a sufficient obedience to God for us.
Here admire we the infinite love of God. The Egyptians in their hieroglyphics, or expressions of morality by pictures, used to paint Love naked, Minerva veiled; to show that wisdom may be concealed, love cannot be smothered. ‘The cherubims covered their faces, which is the seat of wisdom; but not their breasts, which is the seat of affection. David by his dissembled madness kept his wisdom unseen from Achish; but spying Bathsheba from the battlements of his palace, Re could not smother his affection. God reserves his wisdom to himself, and the reason of his actions; but his love is visible, breaking forth, and read by every running eye. “Many waters cannot quench love,” Cant. viii. 7. It is an unsuppressible fire; much water cannot quench it; water and blood could not put it out. Now whom did God thus love? The world: not the frame of heaven and earth, but the little world, man; the compendium and abridgement of all creatures: that whatsoever is imprinted with capital letters in that large volume, as in folio, is sweetly and harmoniously contracted in decimo-sexto, in the brief text of man, who includes all. Planets have being, not life; plants have life, not sense ; beasts have sense, not reason ; angels have being, life, reason, not sense: man hath all; being with planets, life with plants, sense with beasts, reason with angels. Therefore he is called the world. This world God loved, affective before all time, effective in time.
But what good could man do to him, to induce this love? None; our well-doing extends not unto him, Psal. xvi. 2. When are were made, we added nothing to God; if we were dissolved to nothing, we take nothing from God. That which the Lord saw in us, was apostacy and rebellion. Every creature obeys God, in running that course which he disposed to them. But how was this true, when the sun, being appointed to move his incessant race, did yet stand still in Gibeon? when the sea, being charged to keep within his bounds, doth yet burst out with inundations? I answer, God bade them do so, dispensing with his former command, and they obeyed him. Well, yet man, rebellious man, he loved: what did he give for him? Paradise, large kingdoms, or mines of gold? No, they are but a farthing token to the price of this purchase. He gave his only begotten Son: as he says, What could I do more for my vineyard? Isa. v. 4; so, what could I give more for my vineyard? This Son he gave for unthankful men, that offered not so much as a prayer for him; for unrighteous men, that denied Him that was not denied to them. Here was a “sic dilexit“: no man could ever find a “sicut” for it. Augustine supposes that some great prince had a poor desertless subject, maimed in mind, without reason or honesty; leprous in body, without any soundness; yea, so full of stench that none could endure him; yea, more than all, so arrant a traitor to the same prince, that he would vex him, kill him. He hath one only son, a sweet and hopeful prince, the joy of his heart, the light and delight of his eyes, the singular heir of his kingdom; yet when nothing will cure this forlorn wretch of his leprosy, but only this young prince’s blood, he freely gives that to bathe and cleanse him. This is much, and such as never was found, yet still short of this precedent. For if the life of a prince was giver for a gnat, it is not so much as for God’s Son to be given for man. He is worth ten thousands of us, more worth than all: O unspeakable love, gift, price!
St. Peter tells us what was the price of this purchase, the precious blood of Christ, a Lamb without blemish, 1 Pet. I. 19. Had he emptied the veins of the earth, and spoiled them of their richest ores; had he plucked the spangles from heaven, and impoverished the firmament of her sparkling beauties; had he given the whole inheritance of the world; yet all had been infinitely less. When David said to Mephibosheth, “Thou and Ziba divide the land;” he answered, “Yea, let him take all, forasmuch as my lord the king is come again in peace,” 2 Sam. xix. 29, 30. This was much, yet Mephibosheth’s content was for David, a friend, a king: but God parts not with an inheritance, but with his Son ; and this for man, an enemy, a servant. Let death seize on my Son, that my servant may come a ain in peace. Oh never was so poor a purchase at so high a price! That he might show love to us, he forbore love to himself. Now see, O renegade, whom thou refuses: thou knows not whom thou deniest, therefore thou deniest. If thou hast bought honour by thy valour, thou callest it thine; if endeared a friend by thy loyalty, thou callest him thine; if purchased a house with thy money, thou callest it thine: Christ hath bought thee with his blood, and yet thou deniest to be his. This ransom is paid, and now in a merciful offer he tenders it to thee; wilt thou in a peevish sullenness refuse it? Conceive this dialogue between the Redeemer and the denier. Red[eemer]. Open to me. Den[ier]. No, I know not whence thou art. Red. Rise and see. Den. No, I am in my warm bed of pleasures and carnal satisfactions, I will not rise: who art thou? Red. I am Jesus, thy Redeemer: wilt thou still swear and forswear, I know none such? I bought thee, thou art mine: I come to embrace thee, deny me not. Den. Yes, take me, when all other delights forsake me; let me be thine when I am not mine own: till then keep thy cheer to thyself, I have married my pleasure, and I cannot come. Oh obstinate hearts, whom the King of heaven must buy with his blood, woo with his grace, wait upon with his patience, enrich with proffers of mercy, and yet at last be denied! Lord, turn to such as love thee; we deny not thee, deny not us, O good Lord Jesus. Amen.
This is the latitude and dimension of their wickedness; wherewith I will have done, when I have declared the penalty of it. Their punishment is proportioned to their fault: they denied him that bought them, and he that bought them will deny them ; “If we deny him, he also will deny us,” 2 Tim. ii. 12. How, where, and when will he deny them? They surfeit on pleasures, and enjoy the wish of their own hearts; how then doth he deny them? Doth not God bless whom he loves, and love whom he blesses? Alas, those blessings to such men prove curses; wealth is granted, but mercy is withholden. The earth seems their own, the world applauds them; and is not the voice of the people the voice of God? No, for the whole world lieth in wickedness. But here they are honoured, where then shall they be denied? The echo answers, Here : even where Saul would be honoured, there was he denied, before the people. They spend their days in peace, their minds are not bled, they sit not sighing and blubbering for their offences; sure God is not angry with them; when shall they be denied? Now; even in that they lament not, their case is most lamentable: their pulse hath left beating, this argues God’s dereliction; that their life-breath is panted out, and they have given up the (Holy) Ghost. Will you hear how, where, and when? Take it from Christ’s own mouth: “Whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven,” Matt. x. 33. For the manner how : I will deny him ; not conceal him, nor excuse him, not hold my peace and silence it, but deny him. For the place where: before my Father, where my word will be taken; for I have the key of heaven, to let in and keep out whom I please. Before my Father, who has committed all judgment to me, and set me to sentence every man according to his works. Before my Father: if it had been only before men where thou deniest me, they would approve my justice if before the devils, they would be glad of thy company, and with a hasty rape hurry thee to perdition; if only before the angels, which is also expressed,” “He that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God,” Luke xii. 9, they would witness how often I have sent them to guard thee, how little thou didst regard me. But what is the detestation of men, the rejection of angels, the derision of devils, to the loss of my Father’s love? This “before my Father” shall strike thee with horror. When the Father sent Christ, he said, “They will reverence my Son;” but they conspired, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him,” Matt. xxi. 37, 38. Reject them, O Father, for they rejected me. Away must their faces be turned, from joy, from light, from blessedness; to wander in horrid darkness, to lie bound in chains of torment; where unquenchable fire and unsatiable death shall not be denied them, that denied everlasting life. For the time when: in heaven. When they knock with hope to be let in at that gate, when they shall see millions of confessors enter in and be made welcome; in heaven I will deny them, that is, in the day of judgment. On earth they sake their pleasures, their tongues were their own, they denied me without control; but when I have denied them in heaven, and they have acknowledged me in hell, then shall they gnaw those tongues for pain, Rev. xvi. 10, and wish that they had been born dumb, never to have denied him that bought them.
This is a fearful plague, when God will suffer men to fall off from Christ, and to reject their Redeemer; alas, they do no less than split and sink that ship in the midst of the sea, which alone should save them. Whom shall they trust to make them righteous? none can do this but Christ, and they have denied him. Who shall condemn? it is Christ that justifieth, Rom. viii. 33: so who shall justify, when Christ condemns? They have sinned, and God is offended, who shall make an atonement for them? Only Christ can do this: if any man sin, he is our Advocate and propitiation, 1 John ii. 1, 2; and this Advocate they have denied. Whom shall they call upon for love and favour? there is none to be had but in Christ, and him they have denied.” I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love,” Rev. ii. 4. He that hath once broken his faith, will not easily be trusted. Him that hath I once vowed love to a virgin, and after fallen off with breach of covenant, no wise maid will ever admit within distance of liking. They “wax wanton against Christ, having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith,” 1 Tim. v. 11, 12. Whom shall they call upon in the day of trouble? the Lord. This was the voice of Elijah in his agony, of Jonah in his fury; “Lord, take away my life:” of the apostles in their fear; ” Lord, save us; we perish,” Matt. viii. 25: of the malefactor dying on the cross; “Lord, remember me in thy kingdom,” Luke xxiii. 42: of Stephen under the stones; “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit,” Acts vii. 59: of Saul cast down from his horse; “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? ” Acts ix. 6. This is the echo of misery, the suppliant for mercy: but alas, how shall they call on this Lord, that have denied him? “How shall they call on him in whom they have not believed,” Rom. X. 14; yea, whom they have denied? What wonder is it, if God doth not hear, where he hath not been heard? if he shut against them, that would not open to him? Complainest thou, Why hast thou forsaken me, O Lord? he replies, Why hast thou denied me, O servant? There is grievous punishment for them that fear not God; Pour out thine indignation upon them that: fear thee not, saith the prophet. Grievous for them I that seek him not; “The wicked will not seek after God,” Psal. x. 4, therefore are lost in the devices of error. Grievous, for them that call not on him; for he will be a stranger to their acquaintance. Grievous, for them that trust not on him; for they shall be left to themselves. Grievous, for them that love him not; for they shall be written in the dust. But most grievous for them that deny him here, for they shall be denied for ever hereafter. Thomas Adams, An Exposition upon the Second Epistle General of St. Peter, by Rev. Thomas Adams, Rector of St.Gregory’s, (London, 1633, revised by James Sherman, reprinted: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990), 222, 223-225.
5) He that was before annoyed with the ill savor of sin, smells now a sweet odor of rest. Behold here a new and second rest, and there was n third following that, and there shall be a fourth to conclude and perfect all. First, when God had done making the world, then he rested. Secondly, when he had done destroying in the world, again he rested. Thirdly, when he had done redeeming the world, in the grave he rested. Fourthly when he shall have done preserving the world, he will rest forever. The first and the third have a resemblance, and the second with the last. God, when he had made the world, rested the seventh day. Christ, when he had redeemed the world, rest that seventh day: He kept his Sabbath in the sepulcher, says Austin. Thomas Adams, An Exposition upon the Second Epistle General of St. Peter, by Rev. Thomas Adams, Rector of St.Gregory’s, (London, 1633, revised by James Sherman, reprinted: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990), 655.
Christ as Mankind’s redeemer:
1) Neither was the glory of Christ wanting, though it conveyed itself in a less public form. He had a famous harbinger to go before him, and to prepare his way, John the Baptist, than whom there rose not a greater among them that were born of women. His bonfire was heaven, a star directing the wise men to him. The bells that rung for joy were armies of angels; a “heavenly host praising God” Luke ii. 13. His palace heaven, his regal throne man’s conscience, his robes his own merits, richly adorning us: there was majesty in his humility. Thus came the Lord of life to the children of death. Mankind had not been redeemed, unless the Word of God had been hominified. (August.) If we say that he hath humanity in him, that receives a man into his house; how full of humanity is he, that receives manhood unto himself! His coming was like a lamb in meekness, yet he triumphed like a lion in powerfulness; leading captivity captive, and freeing all his children from eternal bondage. Thomas Adams, An Exposition upon the Second Epistle General of St. Peter, by Rev. Thomas Adams, Rector of St.Gregory’s, (London, 1633, revised by James Sherman, reprinted: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990), 164.
Reprobate reject their redeemer:
1) The will is vexed, that it must have the will in nothing. The memory with a fixed recordation of past things; what it once enjoyed, what it now suffereth, and what it must surer for ever. It can think of nothing to administer comfort; that it was once happy more afflicts it. Now as the reprobates commit two evils, Jer. ii. 13, forsaking the fountain of living waters, and fall to the broken cisterns of their own digging; as there is in sin an aversion from the Creator, and a conversion to the creature; so there is in punishment: for aversion, the punishment of loss, a privation of all blessed comforts; for conversion to the creature, a punishment of sense, a position of all, possible plagues. This is manifest by the rejection, “Depart from me,” Matt. xxv. 41; from me your Redeemer, from me that made myself man for your sakes, from me that received such wounds for your remedy, from me that invited you with pardon, but you would none. Therefore depart from me, from my friendship, from my protection, from my presence, from my paradise, from my kingdom, from my sight; and from all those that go with me, choirs glorious angels, communion of blessed saints: this is the privation. “Into everlasting fire,” there is the position: a fearful place! God grant we may never know more of it than by hearsay. Thomas Adams, An Exposition upon the Second Epistle General of St. Peter, by Rev. Thomas Adams, Rector of St.Gregory’s, (London, 1633, revised by James Sherman, reprinted: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990), 97.
2) The torments of his passion were inconceivable, incomparable, intolerable; yet appears by his protestation, that the least wilful sin of a Christian doth more vex him, and strikes more to his heart, than all those dolorous It is our sin still that keeps him on the rack (though he be out of the reach of sorrow, yet) does what it can again to kill the Lord of life. What pleasure can we take in grieving him that is the life of us all? Call not thyself the friend of Christ, if thou delight in that which tormented him. Think of this, you cursing swearers, whom nothing can persuade to be civil, to be men. I say not, to be Christians. You swear away your salvation, curse away your blessing, vex the lord that bought you. If nothing can assuage your rancour and hell-bred malice, know it had been better for you that there had been no Christ. His first death was far your redemption, but the many deaths yon now put him to, is for your greater damnation. If our bind souls could consider this, it would not only mollify your hearts for the sins past, but also terrify you against sins to come. Nor flatter yourselves, that he shall do you ood at our death, who have misused him all your life. When that fearful hour comes, you would all then fain go to heaven, and that by Christ: alas, as that despairing pope said, the cross could do him no good because he had sold it away; so how should Christ do you good, who have railed him away? You have vexed him so long as you lived, and his justice shall vex all the veins of your hearts when you are dead. The nearer a man comes to God, the more heartily he detests sin: now if Lot, a man holy but in part, with many infirmities, were thus vexed with iniquity; what an offence must it be to the most righteous God, and Him that died for it, Jesus Christ! Thomas Adams, An Exposition upon the Second Epistle General of St. Peter, by Rev. Thomas Adams, Rector of St.Gregory’s, (London, 1633, revised by James Sherman, reprinted: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990), 382.
On the voiding of the redemption price:
1) Because they frustrate a price of redemption that is infinite. Did the Son of God accept their nature, shed his precious blood, and pay that infinite debt to God’s justice for all believers; and will they make void to themselves that work of unspeakable goodness? He is worthy of eternal damnation, that despiseth the redemption of him that is eternal. Thomas Adams, An Exposition upon the Second Epistle General of St. Peter, by Rev. Thomas Adams, Rector of St.Gregory’s, (London, 1633, revised by James Sherman, reprinted: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990), 263.
2) 6. Thy repentance is doubtfuller. He that tempted them to sin tempts also thee; that is Satan: but he that gave them repentance, is not bound to give it thee; that is God. Thou makest thy fall certain, thy rising again is uncertain. Such a man hath been dangerously sick, and escaped; his physician was skillful and diligent, his medicine proper and effectual. Wilt thou make thyself sick, on purpose to try the skill of the one and virtue of the other? 7. For them, there was a cure behind, the sacrifice of the Lamb not then slain; but now if men wilfully frustrate the price of that redemption, Christ died no more: his next coming shall not be in the humility of a sufferer, but in the glory of his Father; not to redeem, but judge the world. Thomas Adams, An Exposition upon the Second Epistle General of St. Peter, by Rev. Thomas Adams, Rector of St.Gregory’s, (London, 1633, revised by James Sherman, reprinted: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990), 366.
3) But the day will come, when one gracious word from the month of Christ, one pleasing look of his countenance, shall be far more precious than all the world. Then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn before him. Unbelievers shall mourn, because they would not accept that glorious way of salvation. The voluptuous shall mourn, that they have bought transient pleasures with everlasting torments. The covetous shall mourn, that they have more accounted of a cross of coin, than of the saving cross of Christ. The proud shall mourn, that they have despised the humility of the gospel. Blasphemers shall lament, that the have sworn away the price of their redemption. The unclean shall mourn, because they rather chose to be the limbs of a harlot, than members of the Son of God. All sinners shall mourn, and especially, because the time of all fruitful mourning is for ever past. The world now rejoiceth, but let us mourn; that when the whole world is set on mourning, we may then rejoice world without end. Thomas Adams, An Exposition upon the Second Epistle General of St. Peter, by Rev. Thomas Adams, Rector of St.Gregory’s, (London, 1633, revised by James Sherman, reprinted: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990), 669.
Christ died for the sons of wrath:
1) To conclude. Christ was God’s Son, his only beloved Son; we servants, hateful servants ; yet was this Son born and slain for these servants. This is the point we are bound to consider; how far God us ended his love to his Son, and extended hie love to his servants: even so far, that this Son of love died for those sons of wrath. Here methinks we should even stay and wonder. Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God,” I John iii. 1. This in a depth that cannot be sounded: cold language may utter it, and regardless attention hear it; but men and angels stand amazed at it. That the Creator should die for the creature; that the Son of God, and the servant of man, should met in one person! That the same who is the Lord of all, should be made our sacrifice; that the Son of love should die for the sons of wrath! There have been many demonstrations of love in the world. Reuben yielded much to his father; “Slay my two sons, if I bring him not to thee,” Gen. xlii. 37: it was in the behalf of Benjamin. Here were two sons to be lost, if their uncle was lost. His sons were dear to him, as the objects of descending love; but intrusted to their grandfather, whose love commonly transcends an immediate father’s. Judah tenders more for Benjamin; “I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him,” Gen. xliii. 9: he engaged himself, but it was a son ventured upon the mercy of his father. He goes further when Joseph offered to detain Ben’amin, forwhom Judah had thus interposed himself; he tenders his own person for redemption; ” I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bond-man to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren,” Gen. xliv. 33. Yet he would be but a bond-man. and that for his brother, and that in respect of his father; and all to save all from the destruction of famine . Therefore this is a poor pattern to match with the love of God, that did not deliver up a son for the father’s sake, or compelled by an exigent; but for his enemies, and with a voluntary donation. The poet speaks of a great love betwixt Nisus and Eurialus; Me, me, adsum qui feci, in me convertie ferrum: mea fraus omnis, nihil iste nec ausus, nec potuit. Thomas Adams, An Exposition upon the Second Epistle General of St. Peter, by Rev. Thomas Adams, Rector of St.Gregory’s, (London, 1633, revised by James Sherman, reprinted: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990), 178.
Christ died for our sins as the Gospel:
1) This teacheth us to understand the Scriptures aright. There be too many that press heavily to their own condemnation, every sentence of menace or tenor; as, “The wages of sin is death,” Rom. vi. 23: “The wrath of God cometh upon the children of disobedience,” Eph. v. 6: It is impossible for him that falls after grace, to be renewed, Heb..vi. 4, 6: with these, and the like, they affright their own souls. On the other side, a great number flatter themselves with the promises of mercy; as, Christ suffered for all: God would have all men saved: At what time soever a sinner repents, he shall be forgiven: and with these they feed their own wantonness. But let us know, that it is not a few misunderstood sentences out of God’s book that must try us, but the whole book itself; the tenor and purpose, the ecope and intention, of God in his Scriptures. His book is a testament, and in the testament the testator is dead, and dead for us; and will he that died for us suffer us to perish? His book is gospel, and gospel is good tidings, a gracious message; and will God, under the colour of a message of grace and life, send us the fatal errand of death? The Scriptures may seem to jar in our weak apprehension; our best way is to reconcile them in our heart.. “Except ye repent, shall all perish,” Luke xiii. 3; there is terror: God would have none at all perish; here is comfort: that threatening, and this promise, are both reconciled in our repentance. The soul that sinneth shall die, saith God by his prophet: The soul that believeth shall live, with the same God by his apostle. He that hath sinned, may believe; therefore he should live: he that believeth, hath sinned; therefore he should die. How shall we atone those? how reconcile death and life? Yes, though we have sinned, and therefore deserve to die; yet if we believe in Christ, that died for our sins, and now forsake them, we shall live. Thus both the sentences of God shall stand, and we shall not fall. When thou art tempted to transgress, consider that part of God’s word which threateneth vengeance to sin: when thou art broken with remorse of sill, remember that part of his word which promiseth mercy to repentance. Thus let us do our best to save ourselves, for God would not have us to perish. Why , will you die, O ye house of Israel? Thomas Adams, An Exposition upon the Second Epistle General of St. Peter, by Rev. Thomas Adams, Rector of St.Gregory’s, (London, 1633, revised by James Sherman, reprinted: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990), 695.
Adams on the various senses of “world”:
1) “That is in the world.” We have seen the infection, let us now look upon the dispersion; through the world. The world is taken two ways; for the frame and constitution of the world, and for the men and inhabitants of the world Now this corruption extends itself to both: the content hath corrupted the continent; men’s sins have infected the world, as the plague in persons infect the very walls of the house. The latter acceptation is here strictly mean ; yet let us see this corruption in both.
First, for the men of the world; for this is rather a depravation of manners, than of elements. The prince of this world shall be cast out, John xii. 31. Not the Prince of the great world, for that is God; but of the little world, evil man: the wicked are his vassals, because they are sin’s vessels. The devil is called the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience, Eph. ii. 2. Christ ” was in the world, and the world knew him not,” John i. 10. What world knew not Christ?
The heavens knew him, for the sun was eclipsed at his death, and that at full moon: the earth knew him, for it shook and quaked with fear: the stones knew him, for the rent and clave in sunder. The world that knew him not, was man; not the substance, but the inhabitant of the world Every thing is that which it loves; so the wicked are the world, because they affect the world. But if the world be ever taken in the worst sense, how then is it said, “So God loved the world”? When Donatus opposed that, “The whole world lieth in wickedness,” 1 John v. 19; Augustine answers him with, “Christ is the propitiation, not for our sins only, but for the sins of &e whole world,” 1 John ii. 2 And, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself,” 2 Cor. v. 19. Here a distinction shall make all clear. Where world is taken in an evil sense, it is meant of evil men; where in a good sense, of good men; where in a general sense, of all men; The godly are called the world,1 but the marrow of the world: when this marrow decays, the world will perish. “Help. Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men,” Psal. xii. 1. If the godly be diminished, now, help, Lord. Chrysostom says, many things are spoken of the land that shall not be fulfilled but in the cross. But the wicked are properly called the world; for though they be reasonable men, and have souls from heaven, yet they are corrupted by and corrupting the earth. There is a river in Spain full of fishes; but those fishes are corrupt and unwholesome, by reason the river runs three or four leagues under the ground: so the wicked, though they some sparks of goodness, yet by running through the earth, they become loathsome. Many walk, that are enemies of the cross. of Christ,” Phil. in. 18: if many in Paul’s time, more now. For Satan, who was then bound, is now loosed again of prison; and has great wrath because he knoweth that he hath a short time,” Rev. xii, 12, So terrible and horrible is this that a man would think the whole world were turned devil. Therefore pray we with David, From me of the world, good Lord, deliver us, Psal. xvii. 14. Thomas Adams, An Exposition upon the Second Epistle General of St. Peter, by Rev. Thomas Adams, Rector of St.Gregory’s, (London, 1633, revised by James Sherman, reprinted: Soli Deo Gloria, 1990), 52.