The Efficiency of God’s Grace in Bringing Gain-Saying Sinners to Christ, by Simeon Ashe (d. 1662)
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Simeon Ashe (d. 1662) was a puritan minister of the Gospel and a member of the Westminster Assembly. He is described as a man of great sincerity, humility, benevolence, prudence, and patience: as eminently diligent in preaching the glorious gospel of the grace of God in season and out of season, so as not to please the ear, but to wound the heart. Samuel Rutherford described him as, “gracious and zealous.”
God’s power and saving hand is the only means to turn a fallen sinner from darkness to the Light of Christ. This was the basic and fundamental teaching about salvation that Jesus Christ taught. God demonstrates through the entire Bible that the only means by which men may be saved is through the regenerating power of the Spirit of God changing their heart, and making them a new creature in Christ, because of Christ, and for Christ’s glory.
Simeon Ashe proves this from the text of John 6:44, “No man can come unto me except the Father which hath sent me draw him, and I will raise him up at the last day.” He covers six doctrines out of this text, stemming from a divine affection, “no man can come to me except the Father which has sent me draw him.” And a precious promise, “and I will raise him up at the last day.”
He precisely confirms this by six important doctrines: that Christ as mediator between God and man was sent by the Father. That all men in their natural condition are absent and at a distance from Christ. That there is a necessity of man’s coming to Christ. That all those who come to Christ are drawn to him, for no man comes to Christ without being drawn. That the drawing of sinful souls to Christ is the peculiar work of God.
He then demonstrates in a chapter on drawing sinners to Christ, how that drawing occurs through conviction and conversion, and shows that this one text alone demolishes the Arminian idea that man’s will is free to come to God at any time. Instead, following Christ’s words, he teaches that in the point of man’s free will and power, people come to Christ at God’s sovereign pleasure.
Ashe teaches that not only is there solid, incontrovertible biblical evidence for a sinful man to be drawn to Christ by the efficient power of the Lord’s regenerating Spirit (Christ’s specific teaching on the matter), but that there are a host of biblical arguments which persuade gratitude from the Christian for such drawing.
This work is not a scan or facsimile, has been carefully transcribed by hand being made easy to read in modern English, and has an active table of contents for electronic versions.