The Living Letter, written with the Pen of Truth
The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Living Letter, written with the Pen ofTruth, by John ChurchThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and mostother parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms ofthe Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org. If you are not located in the United States, you'll haveto check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook.Title: The Living Letter, written with the Pen of TruthAuthor: John ChurchRelease Date: October 2, 2018 [eBook #58011]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE LIVING LETTER, WRITTEN WITHTHE PEN OF TRUTH***
Transcribed from the 1814 B. Bennett edition by David Price,email [email protected]
WRITTEN WITH THE
PEN OF TRUTH,
Of a Sermon,
OBELISK CHAPEL, St.George’s Fields,
By J. CHURCH,V. D. M.
My Tongue is the Pen of a ready Writer. Psalm xlv. Ver. 1.
Written among the living in Jerusalem. Isaiah, Chap.iv. V. 3.
I will write on him my new name. Rev. Chap. 3. Ver. 12.
PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR,
BY B. BENNETT, TICHBORNE STREET,HAYMARKET.
Grace and Peace be with you:—I received yourkind present of the Bundle of Pens, and beg youracceptance of my thanks for the same; I really stood inneed them, and I suppose you thought so by the badness ofmy writing, or my reluctance in sending out more Sermomsfrom the Press. The Pens were very good, andI hope to use them for the Glory of God only,—whilstlaying before me they led me to reflect on the passage I selectedfor a Text preached from on the following Sunday morning,and I now send you the outlines of the Discourse. This Sermon will no doubt meet with the same reception thatothers have; some bless, some curse, somebelieve the things that are spoken, and some believenot, but to the great Head of the Church, I humblycommit my feeble attempt to shew forth his praise, prayingyou may be able to ascertain your personal interest in the Bookof Life, where the names of the elect are enrolled,and remain,
Your obliged Servant in ChristJesus,
Corinthians, Chap. iii. Verses 2 &3.
Ye are our Epistle written in our hearts, known andread of all men. For as much as ye are manifestlydeclared to be the Epistle of Christ ministered by us,written, not with ink, but with the spirit ofthe Living God,—not in tables of stone, butin fleshy tables of the heart.
The Epistle out of which this Textis selected, was with the one proceeding it, written to theChurch of Jesus at Corinth; many of the Lord’s elect peoplewere in this place, and the Apostle Paul was sent here toproclaim the glad tidings of salvation; the Lord was graciouslywith him, and gave testimony to the word of his grace, those whoreceived the truth, being knit together in spirit, formedthemselves into a body. Among them the Apostle abode twoyears and then departed. Soon after his departure he heardof their dissentions; defections in doctrines and ordinances,luxury, intemperance, uncleanness, and abuses of their religiousliberties, litigious law suits and irregularities in their publicassemblies, p.4he writes this Epistle to correct them, to warn,instruct, and direct in all important subjects. Falseteachers made sad work among them likewise; endeavouring to settheir minds against the Apostle to bring him into contempt thathis ministry might lose its efficacy, and also to misrepresenthis doctrine, as tending to licentiousness, whereas there wasnothing but the violation of law and conscience, the effect oftheir ministry and which is to be seen to this day amongst mostteachers of the law such as direct their hearers to the lawinstead of Jesus, as the law fulfiller:—these in generalare full of wrath, bitterness, pride, and carnal enmity, andthough great advocates for holiness and good works never performany without making it well known, that they may have to plead inthe last day:—“Lord, Lord, have we not done manywonderful works?” However the Apostle in this secondepistle triumphs, that his ministry is a sweet savour to God; tosome it would terminate in their present salvation, to others addto their condemnation for rejecting it. Then he levels hisartillery at those false apostles, who had formed themselves intoa body and gave letters of recommendation to one another to theChurches where they went, they could go no where without theseletters. But Paul and every true Apostle needed not suchrecommendation.
“Do we begin again to commend ourselves to you, or needwe, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or lettersof commendation p.5from you?” No, ye are our epistles; you werewritten on our hearts, we travailed in spirit for yourconversion, and all could see the change made in you, it was soclearly manifested to be the writing of Christ, which we preach;the impressions made on you could not be erased from the mind,and which will be seen in the last great day. So runs theText which we will proceed to notice in the following order:first, the writing; secondly, the means; thirdly, its publicity:“Ye are our epistles written in our hearts, known and readof all men.” We shall first consider thewriting. First, the writing: Our covenant, God has promisedthat he will write his laws on the hearts of his people; that hewill write on them his new name and the city of God. Theseblessings in the heart are the writings he himself will own it ishis own image and the superscription to this image all the electpeople of God are divinely predestinated; there never was but oneimage in which the great Jehovah expressed his delight, namely,“Behold, my servant whom I uphold, mine elect in whom mysoul delighteth.” This is the image and all others hewill surely despise: this image is the pattern model exemplar, itis Christ’s holy nature and as the elect head of hisfamily, possessing all divine and human excellencies, graces andqualifications; these excellencies shining in the human natureeven in the seven-fold operations of the holy spirit that wasupon him, this was the image in which God made man: “in