Monday, December 27, 2004

A 1748 Doctrinal Pamphlet

The following is a doctrinal pamphlet published in 1748. "J.F." is James Fanch, about whom I haven't been able to discover anything further. The reference to the eternal covenant suggests Calvinist influence, but can be explained in other ways. Some of the pamphlet reads like sermon notes, and it is not at all impossible that some of it is based on a sermon series or two. The pamphlet is arranged so that on the left-hand side of the page the outline and verse reference can be found, and on the right-hand side, the verse is actually stated. Like this:

I. The Moral Law is the Will of God revealed a a Rom 1:19

a---Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath shewed it unto them.

Rather than do this, which in blogging would have been an immense pain, I have just linked to the initial letter (italicized in the above example) and done away entirely with the marginal reference (a Rom 1:19) and the explicit verse on the right-hand side.

Also, since in blogging it's difficult to do structured outlines in a way that will come out with any consistency, I have used parenthetical numbers rather than indentation as the original does. Where I write (II.1.1), the original only has 1., indented so as to show that it falls under section 1. of section II. The spelling is as it is in the pamphlet. The word 'Session' just means 'sitting'; it refers to Jesus's sitting at the right hand of God.

UPDATE: Rebecca notes in the comments that much of Fanch's discussion is highly consistent with covenant theology. It's hard to say for sure, given Fanch's purpose in the pamphlet and the limits of his method, but this does seem likely. You can find a discussion of the history of covenant theology here.


A COMPENDIUM of the Principles of Religion, Doctrinal and Practical;

In a short VIEW of the LAW and GOSPEL,
With some OBSERVATIONS on both.

The whole

Illustrated with particular PORTIONS of SCRIPTURE adpated to each Head, in a Method entirely New, Easy, and Comprehensive.

Designed chiefly


By I. F. Minister of the Gospel

O how I love they Law! it is my Meditation all the Day. Ps. cxix 97
R E A D I N G :

Printed for S. BLACKMAN, at the King's Arms in Fisher-Road
(Price 3 d.)

Initial Matter


You will sometimes find several Scriptures under one Letter of Reference, but observe, they are all design'd to prove the Truth asserted under the Head to which the Letter refers; so that the Asterisms (*) and Obelisks (†) are only design'd to direct the Eye more readily to the beginning fo the several particular Texts in the same Proof: As for Instance, at the beginning of teh View of the LAw under the Letter d there are several Texts from Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Isaiah, but all design'd to prove that we are to believe one God only; and so of the rest.

To the

The Design of the following Pages is to give a general and comprehensive View of our holy Religion in it's chief doctrinal and practical Principles, in a plain scriptural Way. My Method would not suffer me to offer any Thing in the Form of an Argument, I have therefore only asserted such Truths as appeared to me of the greatest Importance, and plainly revealed in the Word of God; to which in every Sentence I therefore appeal, as the only infallible Rule in all Matters of Faith and Practice.

I very well know that every Text I have quoted (nay every one I can quote) may be, by Art or Violence, explain'd away, and press'd to serve a contrary Scheme; but as to any Thing of that Kind I am quite easy, having no Design of entering into a formal Controversy with any Man.

My main design is to assist Parents in the Instruction of their Families, and to furnish the serious Youth, and other Beginners in Religion, with such Materials as might not only help their Enquiries into divine Things, but enable them to judge of Truth and Falshood the more readily and safely; and so render the reading and hearing the Word more profitable to them, preserve them from that Unsteadiness and Vanity of Mind that too much prevails among the Professors of this Day, and direct their Practice in the Duties of Piety and Morality. And thus what I ahve written may be used either as an Introduction or an Appendix to the Assemblies Catechism, just as the Teacher finds most convenient.

As to the Method of learning it, I should think it were best that the View of the Law and the Gospel be got by Heart first; and after that the Observations, all
without meddling with the Scriptures: Then let the whole be gone over again with the Scriptures, but without regard to to Chapter and Verse the first Time.

That my Endeavours may be attended with the divine Blessing, I hope will be your Prayer, Reader, as well as mine, the Author
, J. F.

Primary Matter

A short VIEW of the LAW

The LAW is either Moral or Positive,

I. The moral Law is the Will of God revealed a as an eternal Rule of Righteousness to all Men. b

II. The moral Law teacheth us our Duty towards God, and towards Man. c

(II.I) Our Duty towards God is
(II.I.1) To believe in one God only, as he reveals himself in hiw Works and Word. d *
(II.I.2) To pay divine Worship to one God only. e(II.I.2.1) In Simplicity, without Images, f
(II.I.2.2) In Sincerity and Purity, g
(II.I.2.3) In fervency of Affection, h
(II.I.2.4) In Faith of his Acceptance. i
(II.I.3) To treat his Name, at all Times, as holy, dreadful, glorious, and delightful. k *
(II.I.4) To devote one Day in seven particularly to his Worship, l
(II.I.4.1) In Adoration of his Being, m
(II.I.4.2) Prayer for his Assistance, n
(II.I.4.3) Praise for his Perfections, o
(II.I.4.4) Attention to his Word. p *
(II.I.5) And to redeem some Time daily besides for this Worship. q

(II.II) Our Duty towards Man, is,
(II.II.1) To honour our Superiors, r *
(II.II.2) To be kind to our Inferiors, s
(II.II.3) To preserve Chastity t in Thought, u Word, and Deed w
(II.II.4) To be tender of the Life, x Property, y and Reputation of all, z
(II.II.5) To envy none, a but be content in our Condition. b


I. The Moral Law is sum'd up in ten Commandments in the old Testament. a

II. The Moral Law is sum'd up in two Commandments in the new Testament. b

III. The Moral Law was given to Man as a covenant of Life, thro' perfect Obedience. c *

IV. Upon Adam's Disobedience, it pronounced Death upon him and his Posterity d *

V. From the Law's Sentence of Death we cannot be freed, but by Christ the Redeemer. e *

VI. No Works done by us at any Time, in this World, can be perfectly Good, in the Eye of the Law. f

VII. But the Works done by Christ in the room and stead of Sinners, were perfectly Good in the Eye of the Law. g *

VIII. Therefore we can have no Right to Life by our Works, but by the Obedience of Christ only. h *

IX. The proper Use of the Law is
(IX.1) To shew us our Duty. i *
(IX.2) To convince us of Sin. k
(IX.3) To condemn us for it. l

X. The Gospel does not make void the Law, m but enforces our Obedience to it. n
(X.1) To manifest our Gratitude to Christ for our Redemption. o
(X.2) To silence the Cavils of ungodly Men. p
(X.3) To promote the Glory of God, q and the Good of the World. r

XI. The Gospel calls those Works Good, s which are done
(XI.1) By the Grace of Regeneration. t
(XI.2) By Faith in Christ's Mediation. u *
(XI.3) By the Assistance of the Holy Spirit. w *
(XI.4) Out of Regard to the divine Authority. x
(XI.5) From the Motives of the Gospel. y
(XI.6) With a View to the Glory of God. z

A short VIEW of the GOSPEL

I. The GOSPEL is the good News of free Salvation to Sinners. a *

It may be considered as, I. CONTRIVED, II. CARRIED ON, III. COMPLEATED.

The Gospel is I. CONTRIVED.

I. In the eternal Counsels of God the Father, freely chusing some to grace and glory by Christ Jesus, b *

II. In the everlasting Covenant of Grace, between the Father and the Son. c *

The Gospel is II. CARRIED ON.

I. In Redemption by Christ.
From, 1. The Guilt of Sin, d
2. The Curse of the Law, e
3. The Wrath of God, f
4. In-dwelling Corruption, g
5. The Power of Satan, h
6. The Malice of the Wicked, i
7. The Evils of the World, k
8. The Power of Death, l
9. The Pains of Hell; m

Through, 1. His mysterious Incarnation, n
2. His spotless Nature, o
3. His perfect Obedience, p
4. His acceptable Sacrifice, q
5. His compleat Atonement, r
6. His bitter Death, s
7. His powerful Resurrection, t
8. His triumphant Ascension, u
9. His glorious Session, w
10. His prevailing Intercession, x
11. His universal Government y of Providence and Grace, z
12. His final judgment of all. a

The Gospel is also carried on

II By the Publication of Grace ---
(II.1) In the free Promises of
(II.1.1) Pardon to the condemned. a
(II.1.2) Justification to the ungodly. b *
(II.1.3) Adoption to strangers. c
(II.1.4) Sanctification to the impure. d
(II.1.5) Perfection to the imperfect. e
(II.1.6) Immortality to the mortal. f
(II.1.7) The Sum of all which is, g
(II.2) In wide Proclamations. h
(II.3) Kind Invitations. i *
(II.4) Powerful Perswasions. k
(II.5) Strong Protestations. l
(II.6) Merciful Expostulations. m
(II.7) Solemn Warnings. n
To all, o Particularly

(II.7.1) To the impenitent for Conviction. p
(II.7.2) To the penitent for Comfort. q
(II.7.3) To the backsliding for Recovery r

III. By the Operation of the Spirit,
(III.1) Enlightening the Mind. s
(III.2) Convincing the Conscience. t
(III.3) Perswading the Will. u
(III.4) Melting the Affections. w
(III.5) Quickening the holiness of the whole Man. x
(III.6) Enabling to persevere to the End. y


I. In the Resurrection, and glorious Change of the Body at the last Day. z

II. In the blessed Vision of God in the heavenly World, a * which will be
(II.1) Perfectly clear, b
(II.2) Intirely transforming, c
(II.3) Eternally satisfying. d


I. Some scripture Doctrines are so joined with the Gospel as to be inseparable from it, viz.
(I.1) The Godhead of Christ, a * by whom it is procured.
(I.2) The Godhead of the Holy Spirit, by whom it is applied. b
(I.3) Original Sin, from which it delivers. c *
(I.4) The Perfection of the Law, which it every where magnifies. d *

II. The Decrees of God, and Covenant of Grace, enfold the Salvation of his People in its Compass; so that
(II.1) The Covenant of Grace, is Salvation enclosed. e
(II.2) Salvation in the Gospel, is the Covenant unfolded. f *
(II.3) The Conversion of the Sinner, is the Cov'nant apply'd. g
(II.4) The Glorification of a Saint, is the Covenant compleated. h

III. The saving Operations of Grace are
(III.1) Perfectly free. i *
(III.2) Unsearchably Deep. k
(III.3) Omnipotently strong. l
(III.4) Eternal in Duration. m

IV. The internal Glory of the Gospel is not to be seen, without the special Grace of the Spirit. n
  For which therefore we are
(IV.1) To seek diligently. o
(IV.2) To pray constantly. p
(IV.3) To hope chearfully. q *


((There is an appendix on the Lord's Prayer "In a Method partly borrowed from Bernard's Thesaurus Biblicus, with scripture Illustrations," which I will not give here.))

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