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Theological Notes on Salvation, c1813

This theological essay (or sermon notes) was found among Westcott family papers. It may have been written about 1813 by a student at Cheshunt College, Hertfordshire, and reviewed by a tutor. Cheshunt College was established in 1792 by the followers of Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon, as the successor to the college which she had originally founded in 1768 at Trevecca House, Brecon.

The town of Cheshunt has special significance for the Westcott family, because Martha Westcott (c1753-1837) spent her final years there. Furthermore, her daughter Elizabeth Henman's (1788-1880) firstborn child Selina Henman (1808-1884) was baptized in 1808 at the Surrey Chapel on Blackfriars Road, London, by the Nonconformist preacher Rowland Hill, a staunch supporter of Lady Huntingdon and her Connexion.

From the perspective of family history,there are two intriguing questions:

1. Who was the author of these notes?

2. Why were the notes preserved by the family?

Acts, Chap. 13.26.

"To you is the word of this salvation sent."

Salvation is the best news that ever reached our lower world. It has a tendency to make a man happy, when everything of a temporal nature seems to [inserted: distress] irritate him: for example, we have an account of Job and all his afflictions. It brings a peace which the world are [sic] totally unacquainted with, to the most abandoned wretches; such as a Magdalene, out of whom were cast 7 devils. And it makes the most avaricious, and bigoted characters to become the most devout christians, and liberal members of society. Thus a Publican could come as a penitent to a throne of grace, and smile upon his breast, and say, "God be merciful to me a sinner." And what a great change was wrought in the heart of the Apostle Paul by a spiritual application of this salvation! At one time he thought that no one had a right and title to everlasting glory, but such as adhered to the Jewish traditions, the ordinances of the old dispensation, and noticed the strictest observances of the outward letter of the law of the 10 commandments: but when the gospel was brought home with Almighty power to his heart, and when the scales of ignorance fell from his eyes, he saw differently. He saw that whosoever believed in the Lord Jesus Christ should be saved: therefore he addresses the people of the Jews, and some Gentiles in this Chapr; from the 16-41 verses: part of which are the words of our text. "To you is the word of this salvation sent." From which words we shall endeavour to consider the 4 following particulars.

1. The nature of this salvation.

Salvation is to save from destruction, either of a temporal, or spiritual nature. Thus, when the Israelites were departing out of Egypt, the Lord wrought a temporal salvation for them, but the salvation spoken of in the text is a spiritual one.

Here are three properties belonging to it which we shall endeavour to consider:-

(I.) It is a free Salvation.


(II.) This salvation comes to us by the preaching of the gospel. Mark.16.16. And when it is faithfully preached and attended by the gracious influences of God the Holy Ghost it makes the person to whom it is sent "wise unto salvation." And

IV. We come to consider the result of the preaching of this Salvation.

(I.) A refusal of it is eternal punishment. The Ministers of the gospel warn and exhort men to partake of it. And if they neglect such warnings and invitations the consequences will be dangerous. "How shall ye escape if ye neglect so great salvation!" But

(II.) This Salvation is everlasting glory to those that are made the happy recipients of it.


From hence we see the infinite mercy of God, by saving us from irrecoverable destruction. 1. To shew forth his praises here, and [...] to be mere[?] partakers of his kingdom in glory. When Christ came to stand in our law-place, he offered himself freely without any compulsion. Heb.10.4-10. Joh.10.17,18. And it is offered to his subjects in the like free manner. Rev.22.17. Isai.55.1.

(II.) It is a rich Salvation.

1. Because it was purchased by the inestimable blood of the adorable Redeemer, 1 Pet.1.18.19.

2. Because it was wrought out by such a dignified character as the Prince of peace. And

(III.) It is a complete Salvation. Rom.11.6. We come

II. To consider who are the Objects of this salvation.

Sinners are the Objects: Those that feel their wretched condition. "To you is the word of this salvation sent." But [comment: Enlarge here a good deal]

III. We come to notice the manner in which we come by it. [comment: or rather obtain it.]

(I.) By an attendance upon the means of peace. God has in all ages of the church been pleased to make use of means to bring his purposes into effect. And therefore men ought to attend upon the Ordinances of the Lord's house as being an indispensable duty

Thanks:  Anne Child