GOSPEL MYSTERY OF SANCTIFICATION
(PDF version here)
published in 1692
Marshall was an English Presbyterian minister – a Puritan – best known
today for this excellent work on sanctification. Born in 1628, he was forced
to leave his parish in the infamous Great Ejection of 1662. However, he
remained faithful to the call of God, shortly finding another congregation
which he pastored until his death in 1680.
we may acceptably perform the duties of holiness and righteousness required in
the law, our first work is to learn the powerful and effectual means by which
we may attain to so great an end.
endowments and qualifications are necessary to enable us for the immediate
practice of the law. Particularly we must have an inclination and propensity
of our hearts thereunto; and therefore we must be well persuaded of our
reconciliation with God, and of our future enjoyment of the everlasting
heavenly happenings, and of sufficient strength both to will and perform all
duties acceptably, until we come to the enjoyment of that happiness.
way to get holy endowments and qualifications necessary to frame and enable us
for the immediate practice of the law, is to receive them out of the fullness
of Christ, by fellowship with Him; and that we may have this fellowship, we
must be in Christ, and have Christ Himself in us, by a mystical union with
means or instruments by which the Spirit of God accomplishes our union with
Christ, and our fellowship with Him in all holiness, are the gospel, by which
Christ enters into our hearts to work faith in us, and faith, by which we
actually receive Christ Himself, with all His fullness, into our hearts. And
this faith is a grace of the Spirit, by which we heartily believe the gospel
and also believe on Christ as He is revealed and freely promised to us in
this, for all His salvation.
cannot attain to the practice of true holiness by any of our endeavours while
we continue in our natural state and are not partakers of a new state by union
and fellowship with Christ through faith.
that endeavour to perform sincere obedience to all the commands of Christ, as
the condition by which they are to procure for themselves a right and title to
salvation, and a good ground to trust on Him for the same, do seek their
salvation by the works of the law, and not by the faith of Christ, as He is
revealed in the gospel and they shall never be able to perform sincere and
true holy obedience by all such endeavours.
are not to imagine that our hearts and lives must be changed from sin to
holiness in any measure, before we may safely venture to trust on Christ for
the sure enjoyment of Himself and His salvation.
sure to seek for holiness of heart and life only in its due order, where God
has placed it, after union with Christ, justification and the gift of the Holy
Ghost and, in that order, seek it earnestly by faith as a very necessary part
of your salvation.
must first receive the comforts of the gospel, that we may be able to
sincerely perform the duties of the law.
we may be prepared by the comforts of the gospel to perform sincerely the
duties of the law, we must get some assurance of our salvation in that very
faith by which Christ Himself is received into our hearts. Therefore, we must
endeavour to believe on Christ confidently, persuading and assuring ourselves,
in the act of believing, that God freely gives to us an interest in Christ and
His salvation, according to His gracious promise.
diligently to perform the great work of believing on Christ in a right manner,
without any delay; and then also continue and increase in your most holy
faith, that so your enjoyment of Christ, union and fellowship with Him, and
all holiness by Him, may be begun, continued and increased in you.
diligent use of your most holy faith for the immediate performance of the
duties of the law, by walking no longer according to your old natural state,
or any principles or means of practice that belong unto it; but only according
to that new state which you receive by faith, and the principles and means of
practice that properly belong thereunto; and strive to continue and increase
in such manner of practice. This is the only way to attain to an acceptable
performance of those holy and righteous duties, as far as it is possible in
this present life.
diligently to make the right use of all means appointed in the Word of God for
the obtaining and practicing holiness only in this way of believing in Christ
and walking in Him, according to your new state by faith.
you may seek holiness and righteousness only by believing in Christ and
walking in Him by faith, according to the former directions, take
encouragement from the great advantages of this way and the excellent
properties of it.
Doctrine of Justification Opened and Applied
all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by
His grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ: whom God has set
forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His
righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance
of God; to declare, / say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be
just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus (Rom. 3:23-26).