November 30, 2014

Remaining Quotes that Highlight the Revealed Will of God in Nathanael Ball's (1623–1681) Spiritual Bondage and Freedom

The 3rd Inquiry is, Upon what account Christ doth offer this freedom, in respect of himself? I will give you an answer to this in three things.

1. Upon the account of his Purchase: he hath purchased Freedom, and therefore he may offer it; 'tis his own to dispose of, as a thing that a man hath bought is his own: the Lord Jesus was willing to buy Freedom for you, that he might give it to you. And here, it may be, you may desire to be resolved in two Questions. Qu. 1 Of whom did Christ buy it? Qu. 2. And what did Christ pay for it? Ans. to the 1. He bought this Freedom at the hand of his Father's justice: for by sin we were all fallen into the hand of Justice, and out of that hand we could not be taken, but by Christ's making full Satisfaction to it; therefore he had to deal with a just and an angry God in this business. This is the meaning of that, in Gal. 4:4-5.--God sent forth his Son made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. Mark here how 'twas with us, and how it must be with Christ, that he might redeem us. We were under the Law, i.e. we lay liable to all that the Law could threaten to us, or inflict upon us: And therefore, Christ he must be, and he was made under the Law, i.e. in what he was to do for our Deliverance, he must give the Law or the Justice of God its full demand: and he must not expect to have anything abated of it, by any such thing as mercy; for he had not at all to deal with that in this work, he was not made under Mercy, but under the Law. Now from hence we may quickly give an answer to the 2nd Question, What did Christ pay for this Freedom? Ans. Why to be sure some great price, since he had to do with the offended and enraged Justice of God. For you must know and believe, that for our sins, the wrath of God was dreadfully kindled against us: and if Christ would put himself in our place, and be our Redeemer, all this wrath must dreadfully burn against him; he must suffer so, as that he must be made a curse for us; and he must be so bruised and broken, and marred by the heavy weight of Punishment that lay upon him, that people might even be astonished to see him, and so as to make him that he could not even be known who he was, he looked so ghastly. See. Isa. 52:14. and therefore, his precious Life and Blood must go for it; Body, Soul and all must be filled with the tokens of God's displeasure. And therefore, you shall find the Lord, as it were, stirring up his Justice, as if that itself were too slow, against him, when his sufferings are spoken of, Zech. 13:7. Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow. Oh beloved, the great worth that there is in one drop of Christ's Blood! but in this Work, he must pour it out like water: See Psal. 22:14, 15. and therefore, I pray observe this, that generally when you have this Redemption of Chirst spoken of his Blood is mentioned with it, to show what an inestimable price he paid for it. See Zech. 9:11. As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant,--Eph. 1:7. In whom we have redemption through his blood. Heb. 9:11, 12. -- By his own blood -- 1 Pet. 1:18, 19. Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, -- but with the precious blood of Christ ----

2. Upon the account of his Pity. The Pity and tender Compassion that was in the heart of Christ towards poor sinners, as he saw them lie in their lost condition; he saw they needed Deliverance, and he could not pass him by, as this and that man did the man that lay among thieves; but as the good Samaritan; he would go to them to pour in Wine and Oil into their Wounds, and bind them up. Do you think, Beloved, that ever Christ would have endured, that such cruelty from his Enemies, and such severity from his Fathers Justice, should have been exercised upon him, if he had not had his heart full of pity towards poor sinners, as it could hold? Certainly, 'twas his mercy that made him undergo all that misery. See Heb. 5:1, 2. Tit. 3:4. Beloved, Jesus Christ saw that we were pitiful creatures by sin, and by reason of what was due to us for sin, and he did pity us, Isa. 63:9.--In his pity he redeemed them: Yea, and he doth pity us still, and he hath compassion for poor sinful creatures still, Heb. 4:15. We have not an high Priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. Therefore his pity to you makes him, that he cannot but offer this Liberty to you.
Nathanael Ball, Spiritual Bondage and Freedom (London: Printed for Jonathan Robinson, at the Golden Lion in St. Pauls Church-yard, 1683), 59–62.

There is one thing that is very observable about this in the Scripture, which I would commend unto you; and that is, That Christ, in the offers of his Grace, doth not only speak in a general way to all in common, as if he should say, Here 'tis amongst you: but in many places he comes to offer it in a particular kind of Language, as if he had to deal with persons severally and apart from one another, and were singling of them out one by one: to teach us, that every particular person must own it has his great duty, to look after Christ, and the Benefits that come by Christ for himself. See John 4:10. Mark how particularly Christ speaks here: Jesus answered and said unto her, [i.e. the woman of Samaria] If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. So Rev. 3:18. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see. So vers. 20. If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. q.d. There must not be one of you, but must each for himself be labouring for a share in these things.
Ibid., 97–98.

8. One thing more briefly, about this Freedom by Christ, as to another name by which 'tis called, serving to set out the excellency of it, and that is, 'tis called the Blessing of God. Now that's a precious thing indeed; What's all that we have, if we have not God's Blessing with it? Why 'tis his Blessing that keeps us from his curse; when God intended the greatest good to Abraham, he summed it up in this, I will bless thee, Gen. 12:2. And so when you wish the greatest mercy to others, you pray that God would bless them; his blessing is the comfort of every Calling, of every Relation, of every Condition. Why now this Freedom by Christ is God's blessing, See Acts 3. ult. Unto you first, God having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. And therefore all that I shall say upon it, is this, That if you have not this Freedom by Christ, you'll never have God's blessing, and therefore you'll have God's curse, that will be your Portion. I grant that in some sense you may be said to have his blessings, that is, you may have outward mercies; in which respect God said he would bless Ishmael himself, tho he were the Son of the Bondwoman, Gen. 17:20. But he may bless you thus, and yet you may be cursed forever, and so you will be if Christ doth not make you Free: And oh Sirs, what a dreadful thing will it be to lye under the curse of God to eternity!
Ibid., 243–244.

4. By this Freedom Christ leaves matter of the highest Condemnation upon the refusers of the Gospel. Sirs, I beseech you consider this. The Lord Jesus is resolved to make use of this Freedom one way or another, with all of you, either to save or damn you: Where he can't make the one use, that is to save sinners, he will make the other use of it, that is to sink sinners. Where it doth not serve as an Engine to raise them, 'twill serve as an Engine to ruin them. Doubt not of it, Christ will have enough to say from this salvation of his, when he hath offered it, and you have despised it, to leave you without excuse. 'Twill furnish him abundantly with Arguments to plead against you, that will stop all your mouths at the last day; when he shall tell you, how he had prepared a Remedy that would have delivered you from all your misery, and how he did most willingly shed that precious blood of his, which would have washed away all your sins: and if you had but come to him, you might have been as safe, and as blessed as others that believed in him: but nothing would prevail with you to bring you in: You either did not look after him at all, or if you did, it was not to purpose: You could not find in your hearts to turn every sin out of doors: there must be something of your Lusts that must be spared, and something of his Terms that must be abated: You were afraid of buying Christ too dear. Well now, what shall Christ do, but make use of this Freedom and Gospel for a Witness against you? and be sure of it, he is resolved to do it. That place doth intimate so much to you before-hand, in John 3:18, 19. But I shall say no more of the Uses which Christ makes of this Freedom; but shall come to show the excellent Uses that Christians may make of it.
Ibid.,  369–370.

Why don't you consider before it be too late, under what Offers of Grace you live; what heart-rending thoughts, do you think you shall have a little while hence, when you shall look back upon the opportunities you have lost, without hope of having any more? Will it not be an heavy charge against you, that you have despised a precious Christ, and lost a precious Soul? If you believe that you are sinners, what's the reason that you don't regard a Saviour? Is Christ beholding to you, to accept of his Salvation? or are you beholding to him, that he is so willing you should have it? If you could be contented to live in your sins all your days, can you be contented to suffer for them to all eternity? I tell you, Hell is ready for you, if you will not repent and believe the Gospel; and the more calls you have now, the more Torments you'll have there! Is it fit that such sinful Worms as you are, should take upon you to tell Christ that you won't have him? And do you think that he doth not observe your unkindness, and frowardness to him, tho for the present he lets you alone? If you have no love for Christ, have you none for yourselves? Will this World last always, that you provide no better for another? Do you think that Christ cannot tell what do to with his mercy, because he offers it to you? And now I have blown the Trumpet, and given you warning, because I see the Sword is a coming, now read Ezek. 33. the nine first Verses.
Ibid., 438–439.


Credit to Travis Fentiman for bringing Nathanael Ball to my attention.

See also these posts from the same work:

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