RELIGIOUS FREEDOM... 4411

Remarkable Providences. 4413

Remonstrants, The. 4462

Repentance. 4462

REPRESENTATION.. 4463

Representative Principle, The. 4464

Resurrection, The. 4464

REVEALED.. 4473

Revelation, The Beasts Of The. 4474

Revelation, The Book Of 4479

Reverend. 4480

Richard Coeur-De-Lion King of England. 4481

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth. 4481

Robinson, John. 4521

ROMANS 10. 4521

Romans, The Book Of 4522

ROSE OF SHARON.. 4523

ROYAL PROCLAMATION.. 4524

Sabbath, The. 4525

Sabbaths, Multiple. 4529

Sacraments, The. 4530

Sacrifices of The Mosaic Law, The Different 4531

Saint Peter's Cathedral 4534

Samaria And The Samaritans. 4535

Satisfaction. 4536

Saul of Tarsus. 4563

Saul, King. 4563

SAVED BY HOPE. 4564

Scapegoat, The. 4575

Scholastic Theology. 4576

Schoolmen, The. 4576

Scottish Covenanters, The. 4576

Second Century, The. 4577

Secret Societies. 4578

Selah. 4611

Semi-Pelagianism.. 4611

SEPARATE PEOPLE, A.. 4611

Servetus, Michael 4612

Shiloh. 4612

SIGNS AND WONDERS. 4612

Simmons, Menno. 4614

Sin Unto Death, The. 4614

Six Hundred and Sixty-six. 4628

Sodom and Gomorrah. 4628

Solomon. 4628

Solomon's Temple spiritualized. 4631

Sons of God, The. 4632

Sons of the Prophets. 4632

Soul 4633

Soul of Man, The. 4633

SOUND DOCTRINE. 4633

Spanish Inquisition, The. 4635

SPECIAL ATONEMENT. 4635

Spiritual Birth, Then Spiritual Instruction. 4649

Staupitz, John. 4649

Strict Baptists. 4650

STUDYING THE SCRIPTURES. 4650

Sublapsarianism (Infralapsarianism) 4650

SUBMISSION.. 4650

Sunday Schools. 4652

Supererogation, Works of 4652

Supralapsarianism.. 4653

Synergism.. 4653

Tabernacle, The: Symbolism.. 4653

Tables Of Stone, The: Symbolism.. 4655

Tempt 4655

Ten Virgins, The. 4656

Tertullian. 4657

Tetzel, John. 4658

THANKFUL FOR MY BRETHREN.. 4658

THE BESETTING SIN.. 4659

The Bride and Seven Other Women. 4660

The City Foursquare. 4706

The Civil War 4712

The Civil War - It Was Not About Slavery. 4712

The Civil War - New England Slave Traders. 4726

The Civil War - The Experience of a Slave in the Old South. 4735

THE EVERLASTING COVENANT. 4747

THE FINAL JUDGMENT AND A BURNING HELL. 4763

The Gospel 4778

THE GOSPEL AND THE UNREGENERATE. 4799

THE HIGH COST OF ABORTION.. 4800

THE INDESTRUCTIBLE TRUTH.. 4809

THE JOURNEYS OF A FAITHFUL SERVANT. 4830

THE KING JAMES VERSION AND ALL THOSE MODERN BIBLES. 4832

The Law of Moses. 4845

THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH.. 4855

The London Confession and It's Place in Baptist History. 4856

THE LORD IS IN HIS HOLY TEMPLE. 4955

THE MOTHER OF OUR LORD.. 4969

THE OFFERING OF PRAYER.. 4981

THE OLD WELLS. 4982

THE OMNISCIENCE OF GOD.. 4983

THE REPROACH OF THY WIDOWHOOD.. 4985

THE SLIPPERY SLOPE. 4986

THE WICKED.. 4989

Theodore. 4990

Thessalonians, The Books of 1st and 2nd. 4990

THEY HAVE KEPT THY WORD.. 4990

THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.. 4991

THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH.. 4993

THINKING ABOUT THE ALMIGHTY.. 5002

THIS IS MY LIFE. 5013

THIS UNTOWARD GENERATION.. 5015

Thomas A Beckett 5016

Thomas Aquinas. 5017

Three Hours Darkness. 5017

THROUGH HIS BLOOD.. 5017

Time Salvation. 5018

TIMES THAT TRY MEN’S SOULS. 5048

Torquemada, Thomas de. 5050

Total Depravity. 5050

Trajan. 5056

Transubstantiation. 5056

Trichotomy. 5057

Trinity, The. 5057

TRUE CHARITY.. 5097

TWELVE and TWENTY, The Numbers (in Combination) 5098

Twelve Marks, The. 5098

Twenty-third Psalm.. 5098

Two Seed Doctrine. 5110

Ussher's Chronology. 5114

Uzziah. 5114

VANITY OF VANITIES. 5115

Virgin Birth, The. 5126

VOLUNTARY AND INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE. 5126

Waldenses. 5128

Wartburg, The Castle Of 5132

WATER BAPTISM... 5132

WEAK SPOT IN THE WALL, 5145

Welch Tract Church, The. 5146

Wesley, John. 5147

What Did God Determine Before To Be Done. 5148

When God Thunders In The Heavens. 5165

WHICH SYSTEM IS UNFAIR?. 5180

WHICH SYSTEM MAKES SENSE. 5193

Whitefield, George. 5202

WHY CALL YE ME LORD?. 5204

WHY THEY MATTER.. 5205

Will, The or Free Agency. 5206

WILLING AND OBEDIENT. 5213

Works of Supererogation. 5214

Works, Salvation By. 5214

Worms, Diet Of 5234

Wycliffe, John. 5234

Ye Must Be Born Again. 5238

YOU HATH HE QUICKENED.. 5249

Zedekiah. 5251

Zwingli, Ulrich. 5251

 

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

Elder W. N. Tharp (deceased)

[This letter was submitted to The Messenger of Truth (September 1920) by Elder John R. Daily and endorsed by him. It originally had been sent by Elder Tharp to The Indianapolis News, but was turned down by that publication. This letter shows the support of our brethren of the historic Baptist position against the combination of church and state. – Ed.]

Note: This editorial is one hundred years old. Today, powerful forces such as the National Education Association have turned public schools into machines to wage war against the Christian religion. This editorial shows that the sword can cut both ways. Schools have no right to promote or to oppose religion. hlh.

I am in receipt of your circular in support of Mr. Edward C. Toner, of Anderson, as a Candidate for Governor. I want to thank you for sending me this literature, because of a certain statement made in it. You say, “Incidentally through his newspaper, he has in recent years been a vigorous advocate of the movement to place the Bible in the common schools.”

Against this I wish to enter my solemn and vigorous protest, and I think, when I am doing so, I am speaking the sentiment of the denomination (Primitive Baptist) with whom I am identified. My reasons for this are numerous, but I will call your attention only to the principle ones.

The first and most important is, it is the first step in a return to the “dark ages” wherein men and women were slaughtered for not bowing to legal religion. This first step may look very innocent, but it is like the blind man leaving the path and going toward a precipice. The first step is an indication of the danger. The literally blind will heed the first voice of warning, but those who are blinded by a false religious zeal know not that they are blind, and will shout back in defiance to those who would warn them. Paul says of such, “I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”

I have had some opportunity to observe some of the working of this zeal without knowledge. I made a tour lately of some of our churches in North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama, and the last named state has legislated the Bible into the common schools, and the County School Boards have gone several steps further in their blind zeal. The teacher must be a church member. This is easily complied with by the basest hypocrite or the unscrupulous infidel, while others who are not church members, but far better teachers and moral examples, prefer to seek other employment rather than play the part of a hypocrite. In one instance, a young man of excellent scholarship, years of experience, and of unquestionable character, applied for a school, when the following dialogue took place:

School Board. To what church do you belong?

Teacher. No church.

School Board. You must be a member of some church before we can contract with you.

Teacher. Which church must I join?

School Board. Most any one, Baptist Methodist, Presbyterian – not particular.

Teacher. How will the Primitive Baptist Church do?

School Board. Oh! not at all; they are not good.

Teacher. Then I will not teach at your school. I will dig stumps rather than violate my conscience in such a way.

He was turned down, notwithstanding there was a scarcity of teachers. It set up a bar against everyone who is opposed to being dictated to in his religious principles.

Another step is: they have adopted a Reading Circle book for the school which has for its object the union of church and school. It says, “The church and school are inseparable.” The next question to be settled is: “Which church?” It may take much bloodshed to settle this question, and after it is settled, it will take more blood to enforce obedience. It was so in the past, and will be so in the future, when we have a church established by law. We are not so far from the precipice as some may think. I fear that some men are walking in their sleep and will not wake up until it is too late.

The next step taken by the Alabama School Board is, in some instances, to require a satisfactory grade in Sunday School lessons before passing. Our people seriously object to this because we no more believe some of the things taught in those lessons than those who write them believe some of the things taught in the Bible.

On a certain Friday afternoon a teacher was informed that his school was wanted at its close to hear a religious lecture at the hall. A child of Primitive Baptists told the teacher that he could not go as he was wanted at home. The teacher told him he must go or remain a prisoner for one hour in the school house. This parent and teacher met the next day and the teacher was told with some emphasis that such a thing must not occur again. Is this parent to be forced into submission? If so, the battle is on, and mere fines and imprisonment will not force submission in this case and thousands of others, if the order remains in force. Are our children to be taken from us by force (compulsory attendance at school) and we compelled to pay for a religious training that we conceive to be contradictory to the Bible?

This government was founded by the better element of Europe who fled from religious persecutions, and they secured to us a government in which each citizen is at liberty to worship according to the dictates of his own conscience, or not worship at all, just as he pleases, with no one to molest or hinder. Shall we so soon return to barbarism? These would-be religious guides will say, “We will never do that. We will not kill as did our fathers.”

So said the Jews, but they killed the lowly Nazarene. Will they now make laws and not enforce them? If fines and imprisonments will not force submission will they not kill? The philosopher, scientist or scholar knows no more of God by reason of his research than does the wild man of the forest. Proof – each has his own peculiar ideas of God, each differing from the others, and among the most eminent of them are atheists, infidels and skeptics. Then why should their pupils and inferiors presume to teach us what we should believe, and how we should worship?

I will serve them notice that the conscientious Christian will be subject to their power, but not to their orders, even if disobedience results in the restoration of the Roman Inquisition. Therefore give us a candidate with clean hands. From the Primitive Baptist, submitted by Elder Mark Green.

Remarkable Providences

Remarkable Providences

THE GREATER PORTION OF REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES APPEARING IN THIS BOOK WERE PUBLISHED IN THE GOSPEL MESSENGER AND IN THE ADVOCATE AND MESSENGER
BY THE EDITORS SYLVESTER HASSELL AND R. H. PITTMAN

Edited By R. H. PITTMAN

Elder Harold Hunt
P O Box 5352
Maryville TN 37802

PREFACE

"Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men!" "Whoso is wise and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving kindness of the Lord." Ps 107:8,43.

While the blessed truths of the Scriptures describe the child of God, and assure him of his final salvation in heaven, they also assure him of his heavenly Father's care over him in this time state. He who notes the sparrow's fall, and numbers the hairs of our head will not suffer us to be plucked from His hand. And Jesus said, "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." (Mt 18:10). Take heed! It is as if we offend the Master, to offend His little ones. He jealously guards and cares for them. He is not speaking of infants in age, but those who might be compared to such for their modesty and humility; those believers in Jesus who were mean in their own eyes, and mean and despised in the eyes of the world. We have such among us today—children in faith, and love and simplicity. Such are not striving for the mastery, not self appointed leaders, not seeking high positions in the Master's kingdom, but are willing to serve the Lord and His people in the most lowly and humble manner. They are God's jewels. He will gather them into His eternal kingdom when their service here is over. But the Master continues: "For I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father." Their angels! Then these little ones have the care of angels. They are cared for by a power higher than the power of man. These angels are ministering spirits unto them. They are their guardians, they encamp about them and do many good offices for them. David said also, "This poor man cried, and-the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them." (Ps 34:6-7). What comfort to the poor, trembling child of grace to feel that when the night is dark, the wind of adversity blowing, and sorrows coming thick and fast, that God knows all about it, and will in some way deliver. "This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him." Blessed thought, the Lord always hears the cry of the poor and needy who look to Him. And He delivereth them that fear Him. Dear reader, do we fear Him? Fear to do wrong, fear to disobey His word, fear not to serve and honor Him the best we know. Do we have that filial, reverential fear of the Lord? If so, then let us rejoice and press on in the faithful, humble service of the Master, for the angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him." "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." "If God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, 0 ye of little faith?" 0 that all of us were more faithful and less selfish ; more devoted and less doubtful. The apostle Peter says, "Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time; casting all your care upon him: for he careth for you." (1Pe 5:5-7).

During the time Elder Sylvester Hassell was Editor of the Gospel Messenger he published many "remarkable providences." I have also published quite a number in The Advocate and Messenger during the past few years. Those before published, together with a few I have gathered from other sources I now present in this little book. May God bless it to the comfort of many of His children and to the glory of His name.

November, 1940

R. H. Pittman

 

NOTES OF INTEREST

PROVIDENCE means:—Act of providing; foresight and care; a manifestation of God's care and superintendence over his creatures; an event divinely ordained. Shakespeare said, "There's a special providence in the fall of a sparrow." While the word "providence" is used in the Bible but one time, the words "provide", "provided", and "providing" are used twenty-three times. Jehovah-jireh-the Lord will provide.

"Be not dismayed whate'er betide, God will take care of you;
Beneath His wings of love abide, God will take care of you.

Thro days of toil when heart doth fail, God will take care of you;
When dangers fierce your path assail, God will take care of you.

All you may need He will provide, God will take care of you;
Nothing you ask will be denied, God will take care of you.

No matter what may be the test, God will take care of you;
Lean, weary one, upon His breast, God will take care of you."

MIRACLE means:—A supernatural operation performed alone by the power of God; an event or effect in the physical world deviating from the known laws of nature, or transcending our knowledge of these laws: supernatural. The Bible is replete with recorded miracles in both the Old and New Testaments. People who do not believe in miracles do not believe in God.

"The greatest word is God.
The deepest word is Soul.
The longest word is Eternity.
The swiftest word is Time.
The nearest word is Now.
The darkest word is Sin.
The meanest word is Hypocrisy
The broadest word is Truth.
The strongest word is Right.
The tenderest word is Love.
The sweetest word is Home.
The dearest word is Mother."

"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, 0 Lord, my strength, and my redeemer." Ps 19:14. Editor.

 

PRESENTMENTS

"Presentments" or previous feelings or anticipations of some dreadful thing in the future, seem to come from God, especially when they result in the saving of life. Several of such instances are related in a little book entitled, "The Guiding Hand". Read them:

A gentleman bought a ticket for a point on a railroad fifty miles distant. The train was on time, and he entered the car, and was sitting reading a paper in his hand, when the bell sounded the signal "all aboard." It sounded to him like a funeral bell tolling the death of a friend, and he involuntarily arose and left the coach as the train moved off. In two hours the news came that the train had met with a frightful accident, and that the coach in which he had been sitting was buried under the general ruin.

A man in Iowa, after dinner, left his family for the harvest field, passing by a spring, and filling his jug with fresh water. He had just begun to work when he suddenly dropped all, and said he must go home; and in doing so, he passed by the spring again, and was just in time to save the life of his darling and only child, who had followed him at a distance, and, in trying to "see the baby" in the water, had fallen into it.

A gentleman was to make a pleasure trip on a river with some of his friends. Everything was ready, and he was just entering the boat, when his sister, a deaf mute, came suddenly and most anxiously along, seized her brother's arm and coat, and tried to keep him back; but finding this unavailable, she threw herself at his feet, and, taking hold of his knees, expressed, by the most imploring gestures, her wish that he should not go on the trip. Touched by her painful and entreating expression and posture, several persons joined in the prayers of the poor unfortunate girl, and her brother finally yielded to their wishes. It was well that he did so, for the boat had gone but a short distance on the water when a sudden gust of wind capsized it. Several of the company found a watery grave; and he, who could not even swim, would probably have shared the same fate, if his sister, by some divine premonition, had not prevented his going.

A venerable minister in England once felt an unexpected desire, late at night, to visit a friend of his, whom he knew to be of a very melancholy turn of mind. Though extremely wearied of the cares and labors of the day, he could not resist the secret impulse. So he went, and strange to say, arrived just in time to prevent his friend from taking his own life. The nightly visit and friendly exhortations had such a wholesome effect on the depressed spirits of his friend that he never again attempted to commit suicide.

Professor Buchner, of Marburg, Prussia, being once in very pleasant company, felt a strong desire to go home and remove his bed from its old place to another corner of his bedroom. He yielded to the impulse. Having done so, he felt again at ease, and went back to his friends. During the night a large portion of the ceiling in the room, just where the bed formerly stood, crumbled down, and would have probably killed him, if the bed had not been removed.

 

EXHORTATION

REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES

The God we worship is a God of providence as well as a God of grace. "Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep." (Ps 121:4). David again said, "In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me." He ever hears the cry of His children, and He will help them when all other help fails. He cannot fail. All power, both in heaven and in earth, is given unto Jesus. He is the Captain of our Salvation. He conquers all enemies. The last enemy is death. This enemy, Jesus also conquered. He rose a mighty conqueror over death, hell and the grave, and will bring off more than conqueror every one the Father gave him. And in this life; in this time state, He is not unmindful of us, and tells us to ask of him. "Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find ; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." If we as parents know how to give good gifts unto our children, "how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him." The wise parents do not give to the children every thing they ask for. The parents know better what is good for the child. And this human wisdom and human love is but a faint type of the wisdom of our heavenly Parent and the love He has for His children. Paul said, "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things." (Ro 8:32). If God gives us the greatest gift—the gift of His darling Son— will He withhold lesser gifts that His children need? David exclaims, "The Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly." (Ps 84:11). Are we walking uprightly? Do we not sometimes suffer because of our evil deeds? God said, "If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments, if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquities with stripes." (Ps 89:30-32). Peter said, "But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters." (1Pe 4:15). I cannot for a moment believe, either from experience or from teaching of the Bible, that God's children always do as He bids them, that all they do is according to His will and they could do otherwise. I believe they sometimes suffer as evildoers, and God does not predestinate, order or even tempt them to do evil. "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." (Jas 1:13). I believe Old Baptists sometime neglect their own duties and become busybodies in other men's matters—and suffer for it. "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf." (1Pe 4:16). Rather than be ashamed, we should rejoice if we suffer for the truth. Jesus said, "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven." But before we rejoice let us examine ourselves and be assured that the evil things said against us are false. If they should be true, we should hang our head in shame and mourn. But the Lord is good to us. Even when we disobey Him and bring reproach upon His dear name, his loving kindness will not utterly fail. For surely "He has not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities." But "as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust." and His mercy "is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children; to such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them." (Ps 103:17-18).

But I want to give now many remarkable providences. The first is related of:

 

THE LADY AND THE ROBBER

In the early part of this century there lived, in a large, lonely house in the south of England, a lady whose only companions were, two maid-servants. Though far away from all human habitations, they dwelt in peace and safety, for they trusted in God, and feared no evil under His protecting care. It was the lady's custom to pass around through the house with her maid-servants every night, and see that all the doors and windows were properly secured, and then to lie down and sleep in peace under the shadow of the Almighty, who was her trust and her shield. One night she had accompanied her maids about the house as usual, and having ascertained that all was safe, they left her in the passage close to her room, and then went to their own apartment, which was quite distant, at the other end of the house. As the lady, thus left alone, opened the door into her room, she distinctly saw the feet of a man under her bed. Her feelings may be imagined. Her servants were far away, and could not hear her if she called for help; she might be murdered before they could arrive, even if they did hear her; and if they were there, three weak and defenseless women would have been no match for an armed and desperate burglar. Danger was all around her; flight was impracticable; all earthly refuge seemed to fail. What then could she do? She did what it is always safe to do—she trusted in the Lord. She knew that she had a God to go to, who never leaves nor forsakes His people who confide in Him; and she possessed her soul in patience and in peace. Making no outcry, and giving no intimation that she had observed anything wrong, she quietly closed the door, locked it on the inside as she had been in the habit of doing, leisurely brushed her hair, seeking meanwhile the help and guidance of the Word whom she served; and, putting on her dressing gown, she took her Bible, and calmly sat down to read the word of God. Selecting under His guidance some such passage as the ninety-first Psalm, which recites the watchful care of the Lord over His people by night and by day, she read the words aloud. Never was a chapter so read before. In that lonely house, with a desperate robber hidden in the room, that helpless woman read out the mighty promises of Him whose word can never fail, and stayed her soul upon those assurances of divine protection which can not disappoint the hopes of the trusting children of the Most High. Her heart gained strength as she read the words of truth, and closing the book, she kneeled and prayed to God, and prayed as she had never prayed before. She told the Lord of her helplessness and need; she commended herself and her servants in their defenselessness and loneliness to the care of a protecting God; she dwelt upon their utter lack of all human defense, and clung to the sacred promises which were given for comfort in the hours of trouble and distress. She lingered long in supplication, for it was her hour of need, and she came boldly to the throne of grace, for every other refuge was in vain. At last she rose from her knees, put out the candle and laid down upon her bed— but not to sleep. And how felt the wretched man during the time? He was bold, he was bad, he had companions near, and in his desperation was prepared for any struggle or for any crime; but how must he have felt to hear the promises of Almighty God read forth, and to listen to the pleading voice of that helpless woman, as she poured out her prayer to the God of her life!

Soon after the woman had laid down, she became conscious that the man was standing at her bedside. He spoke to her in a voice different, we may be sure, from his usual tone; begging her not to be alarmed, and said, "I came here to rob the house, and, if necessary, to kill you, and I have companions out in the garden ready to obey my call for help. But after hearing the words you have read and the prayers you have uttered, no power on earth could induce me to hurt you or to touch a thing in your house. You must still remain perfectly quiet, and not attempt to interfere with me. I shall now give a signal to my companions which they will understand, and then we will go away, and you may sleep in peace, for I give you my solemn word that no one shall harm you, and that not the smallest thing belonging to you shall be disturbed. He then went to the window and opened it, and whistled softly, as a signal to his comrades to disperse to a distance, and returning to the bedside of the lady, who had neither spoken nor moved throughout the whole, he said, "Now I am going. Your prayer has been heard, and no disaster will befall you. But I never heard such words before; I must have the book you read out of," And taking her Bible, willingly enough given, you may be sure, he bade her good night, and disappeared through the open window.

Soon all became quiet and the lady composed herself to sleep, upheld by that faith and grace which had so signally sustained her in her hour of trial, and awoke in the morning, to give thanks to Him who had preserved her from "the terror by night," and been to her a rock of refuge and a fortress of deliverance in her hour of need.

Several years afterwards at a religious meeting in Yorkshire, England, a man arose and told the story of that midnight scene, as a testimony to the effective, saving energy of the word of God applied by the Divine Spirit to the heart, and he said that under the influence of those wonderful words of truth and those pleadings of the distressed child of God, the robber was led to Christ for mercy and for salvation: and he said in conclusion, "I was that man". And immediately an elderly lady rose from her seat in the midst of the congregation, and quietly said, "It is all quite true; I was the lady", and sat down again. Many years had passed since the lady and the robber parted, and she had never heard anything further from him before that day. But the Lord had watched and guided, led and saved that sinful man, and he stood forth a monument of the wonderful providence and the saving grace of God. Thus, through the amazing mercy and grace of God, the helpless and trusting woman experienced a great natural deliverance in her hour of distress; and the wicked man realized a still greater spiritual salvation.

 

THE WIDOW'S NEED

A reliable lady says, "One cold, stormy evening, my children were in bed, and I had seated myself with my work, when my husband came from his study and said, `Mary, I want you to take a basket and fill it with food for Mrs. L.' "Why!' I exclaimed, `I shouldn't dare to; it would never do; they have just moved here. She seemed so proud and inclined to keep aloof from the neighbors; she would feel insulted. What could have put such an idea into your head? My husband replied, 'As I sat reading, the impression came to me so strongly that that woman was in need, I must help them. I can not shake it off. I will go with you.' With many remonstrances and objections on my part, a basket was filled with bread, meat, tea, coffee, and such things as my pantry afforded. I had previously been repelled by her distant and haughty manner and I dreaded to go on this errand. We went to the woman's door. In answering my knock, she led the way to the sitting room, and with much embarrassment, I put down the basket and said a few kindly words. For a moment she stood still, white and trembling; then, bursting into tears, she told us her situation. With three little children, she was a widow with very scanty means, and this Saturday night she had put the last food she had on the table for supper. `Then,' said she, 'I went on my knees to the Lord and told Him all, and begged Him to help me in my desolation. My father was a good old minister, and I believed that his God would not forsake me. While yet pleading with Him in prayer, the God of the widow and the fatherless heard my petition, and mercifully sent you to relieve the needs of myself and my poor little children.'"

 

THE POOR LITTLE STOWAWAY BOY, WHO EVEN TO SAVE HIS LIFE, WOULD NOT TELL A LIE

"On board an English steamer a little ragged boy, aged nine years, was discovered on the fourth day of the voyage out from Liverpool to New York, and carried before the first mate, whose duty it was to deal with such cases. When questioned as to his object in being hid on the ship, and who had brought him on board, the boy, who had a beautiful sunny face, that looked like the very mirror of truth, replied that his step-father did it, because he could not afford to keep him, nor pay his passage out to Halifax, where he had an aunt who was well off, and to whose house he was going. The mate did not believe the story, in spite of the winning face and truthful accents of the boy. He had seen too much of stowaways to be easily deceived by them, he said; and it was his firm conviction that the boy had been brought on board and provided with food by the sailors. The little fellow was very roughly handled in consequence. Day by day he was questioned and re-questioned, but always with the same result. He did not know a sailor on board, and his step-father alone had secreted him and given him the food which he ate. At last the mate, wearied by the boy's persistence in the same story, and perhaps a little anxious to inculpate the sailors, seized him one day by the collar, and dragging him to the forepart of the ship, told him that unless he told the truth, in ten minutes from that time he would hang upon the yardarm. He then made him sit down under it on the deck. All around him were the passengers and sailors of the mid-way watch; and in front of him stood the inexorable mate, with his watch in his hand, and the other officers of the ship by his side. It was a touching sight to see the pale, brave face of that noble boy—his head erect, his beautiful eyes bright through the tears that suffused them. When eight minutes had fled, the mate told him he had but two minutes to live, and advised him to speak the truth and save his life. But he replied with the utmost simplicity and sincerity, by asking the mate if he might pray. The mate said nothing, but nodded his head, and turned as pale as a ghost, and shook with trembling like a reed in the wind. And then while all eyes turned on him, the brave and noble fellow, this poor boy whom society owned not, and whose own step-father could not care for—knelt with clasped hands and eyes upturned to heaven. There then occurred a touching scene somewhat like that of Pentecost. Sobs broke from strong, hard hearts as the mate sprang forward and clasped the boy to his bosom, and kissed him and praised him, and told him how sincerely he now believed his story, and how glad he was that he had been brave enough to face death and be willing to sacrifice his life for the truth of his word.

The God of truth was with this poor little friendless cast-away boy, and caused him to adhere to the truth, and the mate to believe him and to spare his life".

“Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men." " Whoso is wise and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving kindness of the Lord." Ps 107:8,43.

 

FURTHER EXHORTATION AND PROVIDENCES

I have written and published a great deal in The Advocate and Messenger on the Comfort of the Scriptures. But the subject has only been touched upon. It can never be exhausted for God is in the Bible in the sense that every author is in his book, every builder is in his building, every artist is in his picture. All that we see and hear and know—all that we can learn of nature; of man—his history and his destiny—of the beginning of time and the end of years—of the past, the present, and the future—all is but the embodiment and revelation that God has made of Himself. And the Bible is the Book of human speech of which God is the author. In it we learn of the origin of the universe, for there we read, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth". There we read the history of events occurring during 4000 and more years of time. There we read the only perfect code of ethics ever written upon which are based the best laws of all civilized nations. And above all, there we are instructed in the knowledge of Christ—of His person, offices, grace, righteousness, obedience, sufferings, death, resurrection, and ascension. There we are told about the great salvation He came to obtain, and has obtained, and the characters from whom it was obtained. There we are perfectly instructed in the doctrines of grace, of pardon through the blood of Christ, atonement by his sacrifice, justification by righteousness, acceptance by the Father in His Son, and eternal life through Him. There we are informed of our duty, and how we ought to behave toward God and men. And there we learn of the "inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." (1Pe 1:4-5). And there too, , we read of God's wonderful providence over His people, and how through the faith He gave them the "subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in flight, turned to fight the armies of the aliens". How "Women received their dead raised to life again;" and how others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain abetter resurrection," and "others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment; were stoned, sawn asunder, tempted, slain with the sword; they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; 'being destitute, afflicted, and tormented; of whom the world was not worthy." (Heb 11:33-38).

And when we read of these things and compare our own blessings to the hardships and trials of others, who, were no doubt, far more worthy than ourselves, ought we not to love God more and serve Him better? "Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men." But here are more Remarkable Providences:

 

THE GOD OF THE FATHERLESS

A gentleman, walking along one of the streets of Philadelphia, was accosted by a boy who pleaded for a penny. The gentleman was at first inclined to send him away, but something in the boy's face forbade that, so he asked—"What do you want to do with a penny?" "Buy bread, sir," was promptly answered. "Have you had nothing to eat today?" "Nothing, sir." "Boy, are you telling me the truth?" asked the gentleman, looking him steadily in the face. "Indeed I am, sir." "Have you a father?" questioned the gentleman, now thoroughly interested in the boy. "No, sir; father is dead." "Where is your mother?" "She died last night. Come with me and I will show you where my mother is." Taking the hand of the boy, the gentleman followed his guide down a narrow alley, and stopped before a miserable place which the boy called home. Pushing open a door, he pointed to his dead mother, and said—"There is my mother, sir." "Who was with your mother when she died?" asked the gentlemen, deeply moved. "Nobody but me, sir." "Did your mother say anything before she died?" "Yes, sir; she said, "God will take care of you, my son."

"Sooner than his dying mother had dared hope, God had honored her faith by sending to her son one whose heart was touched with tenderest pity for her condition. The gentleman was a Christian, to whom God had intrusted much of this world's goods, and the little orphan was kindly cared for by him. God in His word is called the Father of the fatherless. He has said that none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate, and it is safe to trust in His promises."

 

THE MINISTER AND THE BEGGAR

"Some years ago an aged servant of the Lord, full of faith and the Holy Ghost, was in company with two young ministers, on his way to a religious meeting. The eldest minister was noted for a willingness to bestow his last penny upon the needy, and for an unfaltering trust in God at all times and in all difficult places. On their journey they met a beggar who was in great want. The two young men were first appealed to for charity, but they gave nothing. For they reasoned, `Our means are scant; we are to be all day on the road; we need our little money to buy a dinner for ourselves and for our horses.' But the old minister, Elder A., emptied the entire contents of his purse into the eager hands of the asker for alms. He trusted in God that He would deliver him, himself knew not how; and his astonished companions set themselves to see in what way he was to be relieved from his dilemma. Noon came; an inn was reached, and all three called for dinner and food for their jaded horses. Now for the trial of faith. How was the servant of God, among strangers, without means or credit, to meet his bill? He who made the fishes of the sea to contribute money wherewith to pay His taxes, knew; and His eyes were upon the man who dared to take God at His word and trust his Maker in every extremity. The order for dinner for man and beast was given without faltering, but the heart of the aged servant of God was in earnest prayer. The meal over, the younger men advanced first to the landlord and paid their reckoning, nearly exhausting their little purses, which in those days were not so well stocked with funds as are those of many preachers now. Then as boldly as the others, came Elder A., asking, `What is my bill, landlord?' The landlord started, and looked at the questioner closely. `Are you Elder A., from M.?' he asked. `I am; that is my name,' was the prompt reply. `Oh, nothing; I have no charge, never mind', said the landlord. `Stop', he added as the minister was about turning away. `Here, take this', and the drawer was pulled open and the very money paid in a minute before by the young men was placed in the hand of God's trusting servant, who went on his way with thanksgiving and praises. It is needless to say that those young preachers learned on that day a lesson which they never forgot. Reader, it is safe to trust God. It is better to trust God than to put confidence in the flesh of princesses. The bank of Heaven will never suspend or fail, neither will its beneficent and wealthy Owner ever become bankrupt, nor will God's children ever run away with the money in His bank, nor will thieves break through and steal it. `There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth, and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth shall also be watered himself' (Pr 11:24-25). `He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord, and that which he hath given will He pay him again' (Pr 19:17). The times are growing perilous. Evil men and seducers wax worse and worse. Everything earthly is uncertain. Put your money in the unfailing Bank of Heaven."

 

REMARKABLE PROVIDENCE

ANN YOUNG'S TEXT

"Every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills." Ps 1:6.

About the middle of the eighteenth century a poor, and hardworking couple lived in a thinly-settled part of Scotland, remote from town or village and several miles from any other habitation, and they found it very difficult at times to procure even the barest necessities of life for themselves and their four little children. The Lord many times proved to them, by unexpected interpositions of His providence, that He is to His chosen ones who trust in Him "a very present help in trouble". At some miles distance from their humble cottage lived a wealthy and benevolent Christian woman, Lady Kilmarnock, who delighted to minister of her substance to the poor and needy. But though Ann Young (for that was the maiden name of the cottager's wife, and by it she was still known in that section) had been a servant in her family, yet she preferred to suffer want rather than to appeal to her or others for relief. On one occasion the provisions of the poor family gradually diminished until they were exhausted. Ann Young had given her children the last morsel of food, but having learned by her experience to trust in the loving-kindness of her God, she did not despond. The day passed slowly by, and no prospect of succor appeared. Night came at last, and still no relief came. The children cried for their supper, but there was none to give them, and their mother undressed them and put them to bed, where they soon cried themselves to sleep. Their father, much dejected, also went to bed, leaving the poor, sorrowing mother alone, and yet not alone, for the Lord was with her. Many sweet hours had she spent in that little cottage apart from the world, with her Bible and her God. Precious had these opportunities been to her of pouring out her soul to God—of spreading all her trials before him, and giving vent to a full and now, alas! A heavy heart. Having replenished the fire on the hearth and trimmed and lighted the little iron lamp on the wall, she moved the clean oaken table near, and from among the six or seven well-read well-worn volumes on the bookshelf, she took a large Family Bible, and placed it upon the table. As she paused, before opening the sacred volume, to implore the Divine blessing on what she should read, the following text came involuntarily into her mind—“Every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.” The text, she thought is not very suitable to my present condition, and opening her Bible, she proceeded to look out for some of her favorite passages of Scripture. But “Every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hill,” was uppermost in her thoughts. She knelt down and tried to pray, and tried to recall former experiences, and to think of the promises of God which used to come with power to her heart, but they brought no satisfaction now. The text, “Every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills,” seemed to abide with her, and to fill her mind. Yet, thought she, it is God’s own word, and she then read the fiftieth Psalm in which the text is contained. It seemed to her a beautiful Psalm, but many other verses in it appeared to her more suited to her condition than the tenth verse, which she could not banish from her mind. She tried to pray again, and she read the Bible again, and kept thus praying and reading until midnight, and then thus continued until early dawn. When daylight appeared, she heard a loud, impatient rap at the door. “Who’s there?” said Ann. “A friend,” answered a voice outside. “But who is a friend?” she replied. “What are you?” “I’m a drover; and quick, mistress, and open the door, and come out and help me. And if there’s a man in the house tell him also to come out with all speed, for one of my cattle has fallen down a precipice and broken its leg, and is lying at your door.” On opening the door, Ann was astonished to see a large drove of cattle from the Highlands of Scotland, being driven to the market in the south. The black moving mass filled the road in each direction as far as the eye could reach; and there at Ann’s door lay a disabled beast, with its leg broken. After a moment’s thought and effort, it was found that nothing could be done to relieve the animal, and the drover, whose time was precious, made a present of it to the poor family. The father gathered his little family around him, and gave thanks to the Lord for this new proof of His loving-kindness to them. They had meat sufficient for many months to come, and in their first joy they totally forgot that they had no bread. But He who "commanded the ravens" to bring to the prophet "bread and flesh", did not forget it. God does not work by halves. About 6 o'clock in the morning another knock was heard at the door, which was quickly opened, when the steward of Lady Kilmarnock presented himself with a large sack of meal from his mistress, who he said had been incessantly thinking of Ann Young for a few days, and could not get her out of her mind, and who was satisfied that she was in want, though she would not make it known. The steward said that he fully intended to bring the meal the previous day, but, from having been unusually busy, he did not find leisure to come, and therefore made it his first business that morning. Thus were the poor and trusting cottagers, by a wonderful interposition of Providence, amply provided for, and Ann Young found out why that passage of Scripture had been so impressed upon her mind, and learned to understand more fully than she did before the meaning of that old and yet new and true and faithful word of God, "Every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills."

 

THE FORGOTTEN TEXT

On Sunday morning in 1770, as related by Mr. H. L. Hastings in his Tales of Trust, Mr. Neale opened his Bible to look at the text upon which he had been meditating the previous week, and from which he expected to preach that day. But, though he entreated the Lord to help himn, he was never able to find it, nor to recall any of his thoughts in regard to it. But, while he was thus troubled, there flashed into his mind, with peculiar energy, the blessed words of Paul, "For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ro 8:38-39). Instantly this whole passage became luminous to his mind. "My soul," said he, "saw the precious truth." As he went on to meeting he endeavored to remember the text which he had previously studied, but he could not, but the passage in the eighth chapter of Romans still pressed itself on his thoughts. In his public prayer he felt an uncommon degree of the divine influence, and, after the singing of the hymn, he, although distressed by the loss of the text which he himself had selected and thought to use, felt that he had nothing else to preach from except Paul's language in Romans.

Soon after he had begun to speak he observed a well-dressed man, a stranger, enter the place, take a seat, and recline his head upon the back of the bench before him. And before long he saw him pull out his handkerchief to wipe his face, which seemed to be bathed in tears. Then it occurred to him that the Lord was in this matter. So he proceeded in his discourse, and never had more liberty. Through the whole of the service the stranger never raised his head, but seemed to feed upon the message of grace that was delivered, as a hungry man feeds upon bread. In the evening the man called upon Mr. Neale, and wished for a copy of the discourse which he had delivered that day, and embracing him in his arms, said his purse was at his service for the sermon, and added, "Two or three years ago I heard you, in such a place, preach upon such a subject, and ever since then I have been under the spirit of conviction and bondage. This day I took my horse and rode to hear you; and, blessed be God, He had now given me to see Him as my reconciled God and Father, in Jesus Christ, and has given me to enjoy that liberty wherewith He makes people free." This and more did he say before Mr. Neale could speak a word. Mr. Neale then told him how he had been circumstanced in regard to that text. He also assured him that, were he to give him the whole world, he could not commit the sermon to writing, for he had delivered it just as it had occurred to his thoughts in the pulpit. "We both, by this time," continued Mr.Neale, "began to see the good hand of God in the case, and His good providence in determining me, in such a remarkable manner, to preach upon a text which I had never before used, and which He had accompanied with such efficacy as to make it an immediate message from Himself, and in causing this stranger to come fourteen miles to hear me preach that day! To me it was one of my best days, and one which, both by him and me, will be remembered through a long and joyful eternity."

 

THE YOUNG DELIVERER

Mr. H. L. Hastings, of Boston, relates the following interesting incidents in "The Guiding Hand":

The late Mr. Timothy Bradbury and Mr. Timothy Rogers dined one day with Mrs. Tooley, a lady in London, who was famous for the love she bore to Christ and to all His servants and people. After dinner Mr. Rogers (born 1660, died 1729) entertained Mrs. Tooley and Mr. Bradbury with some of the experiences of his father, who was one of the Non-Conformist ministers ejected from the Church of England in 1662 in accordance with the Act of Uniformity passed by Parliament in that year. Mr. Rogers particularly related that he had often heard his father, with a good deal of pleasure, tell himself and others, of a deliverance he had from being sent to prison for preaching, after his mittimus (order by a magistrate for committing a person to jail) was written out for that purpose. He lived near the house of one Sir Richard Craddock, a justice of the peace, who was a violent persecutor of all who dissented from the Established Church. He bore a particular hatred to Mr. Rogers, and wanted above all things to have him in his power. A fair opportunity offered. He heard that Mr. Rogers was to preach at a place some miles distant; and he hired two men to go as spies, who were to take the names of all the hearers, and to witness against Mr. Rogers and them. The thing succeeded to his wish; they brought the names of several persons; and Sir Richard sent and warned them and Mr. Rogers to appear before him. Accordingly, they all came with trembling hearts, for they knew the violence of the man. While they were in his great hall, expecting to be called upon, there came in a little girl, a grandchild of Sir Richard's, six or seven years of age. She looked at Mr. Rogers, and was much taken with his venerable appearance; and he, being fond of children, took her on his knee, and made a great deal of her. At last Sir Richard sent one of his servants to inform the company that one of the witnesses had fallen sick; therefore he summoned them to come on another day, which he named to them. Accordingly they came; and the crime of preaching and hearing preaching outside of the Established Church was then proved. Mr. Rogers, before he came, expecting to see the little girl again, had brought some sweetmeats to give her—and he was not disappointed; for she came running to him, and was fonder of him than she had been before. She was a particular favorite of her grandfather's, and had got such an ascendency over him that he could deny her nothing. She was, withal, a child of violent spirit, and could bear no contradiction. Once when she was refused a request, she ran a pen-knife into her arm, which nearly cost her her life. After this Sir Richard would not suffer her to be denied in anything. While she was sitting on Mr. Rogers' knee, she looked wishfully at him, and he said, "I believe your grandfather is going to send me and my friends to jail." "To jail?" said she; "why, what have you done?" "Why, I did nothing but preach at such a place, and they did nothing but hear me." "But," said she, "my grandpa shall not send you to jail." "Ay, but, my dear," said he, "I believe he is now making out our mittimus." She ran immediately to the chamber where her grandfather was, and knocked with her head and heels till she got in, and said, "What are you going to do with my good old gentleman here in the hall?" "That is nothing to you," said her grandfather, "get you about your business." "But I will not," said she; "he tells me that you are going to send him and his friends to jail; and if you send them, I will drown myself in the pond as soon as they are gone; I will, indeed." When he saw the child was determined, it shook and overcame him. He stepped into the hall, with the mittimus in his hand, and said, "I had here made out your mittimus to send you all to jail, but at my grandchild's request I will set you all at liberty." They all bowed and thanked him. Mr. Rogers stepped up to the child, and laid his hand upon her head, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, said: "God bless you, my dear child! May the blessing of that God whose cause you now plead, though as yet you know Him not, be upon you in life, at death, and throughout eternity!" And then he and his friends went away.

Mrs. Tooley listened with uncommon attention to the story; And looking at Mr. Rogers said, "And are you that Mr. Rogers' son?" "Yes, madam," answered he, "I am." "Well," said she, "as long as I have been acquainted with you, I never knew that before. And now I will tell you something you never knew before; I am the very girl your dear father blessed. It made an impression upon me that I could never forget."

Upon this Mr. Rogers and Mr. Bradbury were desirous to know how she, who had been brought up with an aversion to serious religion, came to be so eminent for it. Mrs. Tooley complied with their request, and very freely told them her experience. She said that after her grandfather's death, she was left the sole heiress of great estate; and being in the bloom of youth, and having none to control her, she ran after all the fashionable diversions of the times in which she lived, without any manner of restraint. But at the same time she confessed that at the end of them all she found a dissatisfaction, both with herself and them, that always struck a chill to her heart, which she did not know how to get rid of but by running the same fruitless round over and over again. She contracted some slight illness, upon which she thought she would go to Bath, a city on the river Avon, in southwest England, noted for its beautiful situation, its mild climate, and the curative effects of its hot saline springs, a place of pleasure as well as of health. When she came there she was providentially led to consult an apothecary, who was an excellent and religious man. He inquired what ailed her. "Why, doctor," said she, "I do not ail much as to my body; but I have uneasiness of mind that I can not get rid of." "Truly, Miss," said he, "I was so too till I met with a book, from which, by the Divine blessing, I obtained relief." "Books!" said she, "I get all the, books I want, such, as plays, novels, romances, etc., but after I have read them my uneasiness is the same." "That may be," said he, "but the book I speak of, I can say of it what I can say of no other I ever read; I never tire in reading it, but, after reading it through, I begin to read it again as if I never read it before. And I always see something new in it." "Pray, doctor," said she, "what book is that? Can not I get a sight of it?" "Yes," said he, "I can help you to do so." "Pray get it for me, then, doctor, and I will give you anything you ask for it." "Yes," said he, "if you promise one thing, I'll bring it to you; and that is, that you will read it over carefully; and if you should not see much in it at first, that you will give it a second reading." She promised faithfully that she would; and, after raising her curiosity, by coming twice or thrice without bringing it, he at last brought it, took it out of his pocket, and gave it to her. It was a New Testament. When she looked at it, she said, "Pooh" (with a flirt) ! "I could get that at any time." "Why, Miss, so you might," replied the doctor; "but remember I have your solemn promise that you will read it carefully." "Well," said she, "though I never read it before, I will give it a reading." Accordingly she began to read it, and she soon saw something in it which deeply concerned her, and which caused her to grow ten times more uneasy than she was before. So she got away back to London, to see what the diversions there would do again. But all was in vain. She lodged at the court end of the town, and had a gentlewoman with her by way of a companion. One Saturday night she dreamed that she was in a place of worship, and heard a sermon of which she could remember nothing, when she awaked, except the text, but she remembered distinctly the inside of the house and the minister's face. The dream made such a strong impression upon her that she told it to her companion Sunday morning, and, after breakfast, both of them set out to see if they could find the place. They looked diligently until an hour after noon without success. They then got dinner and set out again. About half past two p. m. they saw a great many people going down a street, they went with them until they came to a meeting-house in a part of London called Old Jewry. As soon as they entered the house, Mrs. Tooley said to her companion, "This is the very place I saw in my dream." She had not been there long when Mr. Shower, the minister, went up into the pulpit. As soon as she looked at him, she said, "This is the very man I saw in my dream! and if every part of my dream holds true, he will take his text Ps 116:7-'Return unto thy rest, 0 my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.' " Every sentence of his prayer went to her heart, and he took that very passage of Scripture for his text, and there God met with her, ' and she at last gained what she so long had sought for in vain elsewhere, rest in Christ to her troubled soul.

The foregoing account of the experiences of Mr. Rogers and Mrs. Tooley is abundantly authenticated.

 

THE WET GRIST

A reliable gentleman gives the following account of the preservation of the lives of himself and all his father's family by a remarkable interposition of Divine Providence.

"My father was a man of prayer, and in our home the family was never permitted to fall down, nor its fire to expire or grow dim. Around that altar our dependence on God was constantly acknowledged, and the Divine blessing continually invoked. Nor was that blessing sought in vain, but mercies new and fresh from day

to day were granted in answer to a father's prayers. One bright morning in the spring of 1850, after commending us to the Divine protection, my father put two bushels of rye into his wagon and started for the gristmill at Rockland, Rhode Island, a few miles distant from our home. When more than half-way there he had to cross a bridge called `The Wharf', along the sides of which there were no railings, but only some logs laid upon the end of the planks. When on the middle of this bridge the horse stopped and began to back. My father leaped from the wagon, and the horse continued backing till the hind wheels went over the logs and off the edge of the bridge, and the wagon-seat and grainbag tumbled out and fell into the stream. At this moment the horse stopped, the forward wheels caught on the log, and the hinder part of the wagon hung over the edge of the bridge, being held by the horse and the forward wheels. Four or five men soon came to the rescue, the wagon was lifted back, the grist fished up from the water, and in half an hour he was on his way back home to dry his grist and get it again ready for grinding. There was mystery about the whole transaction. We could not imagine what had made the horse back when upon the bridge. He showed no signs of fright, and had never acted so before. My father was troubled. He had earnestly prayed that morning that the angel of the Lord might encamp round about us that day, and now to be subjected to such an unusual occurrence and to so much inconvenience was something of a trial to his faith, though it did not shake his confidence in God. He returned home, and we went to work to dry our grain and prepare it for grinding; but, when we spread out the rye upon a cloth in the sun to dry, we noticed, scattered all through it, fragments of a fine, glittering substance, which on examination proved to be alas! thousands on thousands of little fragments and splinters of broken glass mingled with those two bushels of rye—enough to have caused the death of all our family and a hundred others if the grain had been ground and baked and eaten. We were amazed at this revelation; and with the most grateful hearts we knelt around the family altar and thanked God for His wonderful providence which had so strangely preserved our lives. But how came the glass thus mingled with the grain? It was all explained very soon. The rye had been kept in an open barrel, and over this barrel our neighbors had smoothed axe-handles, using pieces of glass to scrape and polish them. These pieces of glass were thus broken and splintered, and the fragments dropped unnoticed into the grain, and were measured up and placed in the bag to be carried to the mill. No one suspected the danger, and, if that grist had been ground, no human power could have averted the calamity, or saved our family from the terrible effects of a poison so deadly as powdered glass. God in His merciful providence interposed and preserved our lives. Truly it is but right that they should be consecrated to His service."

 

THOMAS WILLIAMS' ESCAPE

"About 1785 Thomas Williams, a miner, about 19 years old, was working in a lead mine near Llanarmon, in North Wales. The mine was under a very high mountain, and while he and his partner were working at the farther part of the mine, a vast quantity of rubbish fell down, stopped up their way, and left them closely confined 48 hours. At the end of that time they were dug out by their partners, neither of them having sustained the least damage except what they suffered through cold. At another time Thomas Williams was employed in a slate quarry in Lancaster, England. He was one day raised a considerable height from the bottom of the quarry to loosen some stone near the top, when a large quantity of earth and huge pieces of rock gave way, and fell with all their force upon him, and undoubtedly would have crushed him to death, had it not been for two of the large stones, which as though designed for the purpose, met together, and formed a kind of arch over him. Hence, although he was much bruised, in a few weeks he recovered.

The most wonderful and gracious of his deliverances was as follows: On June 5, 1805, he, being then a private in the Second Regiment of Royal Lancashire militia, Captain Ridgeway's company, was employed with one of his comrades in sinking a well in the town of Colchester, England, and went down into the well, which was some forty feet deep, about three o'clock in the morning. He had scarce been an hour in the well when he heard a crash. He immediately looked up and saw that the curb, a piece of wood in a circular form for the purpose of supporting the bricks, had given way. He at once tried to run up the rope, hoping by this means to prevent some, if he could not prevent the whole, of the destructive materials from falling upon him. But, the windlass not being fast, he was immediately covered with about fifteen hundred bricks beside the earth which fell in with them. The bricks fell in such a way that he just could move his head, but for some time could breathe. The earth above him was 15 feet deep. He was perfectly sensible the whole time, and that his thoughts turned to his wife and child. Expecting never to see them again on earth, he earnestly commended their bodies and souls to the mercy and care of the Lord. Supposing that he would soon be deprived of his reason, he endeavored to throw himself on the merits Immanuel's blood, trusting therein for life and salvation. In a little time he found himself able to breathe more freely, and he began to sing that reviving hymn:

My God, the spring of all my joys,
The life of my delights,
The glory of my brightest days,
And comfort of my nights.

In darkest shadows if Thou appear,
My dawning is begun;
Thou art my soul's bright morning Star,
And Thou my rising Sun.

The opening heavens around me shine
With beams of sacred bliss,
While Jesus shows His heart is mine,
And whispers I am His

My soul would leave this heavy clay
At that transporting word,
Run up with joy the shining way
T' embrace my dearest Lord.

Fearless of hell and ghostly death,
I'd break through every foe;
The wings of love and arms of faith,
Should bear me conqueror through.

He said that in singing this last verse his soul was unspeakably happy, and his prospect of eternity peculiarly delightful.

When his colonel and captain heard of the accident, they hastened to the place, and were deeply affected, even to tears, and determined, if possible to get him out, dead or alive. Fifteen men were immediately employed to remove the materials beneath which he lay. About 10 o'clock they heard him shout, and by 11 the colonel and one of the men caught hold of his hand, and brought him out—not having received any other injury than that of being a little crushed with the pressure of the heavy materials. He had been confined to the dark cell seven hours. He said that he reflected with pleasure on the omnipresence and omniscience of that God who heard the cry of Johan from the body of the fish in the bottom of the sea. That night he attended Divine service and requested the congregation to unite with him in thanksgiving to Almighty God fro His gracious deliverance. The unmeaning term ‘Chance’ does not account does not account for such wonderful deliverances, but they are due to the guardian care of our Heavenly Father, who keeps his people in all their ways. We should be swift to recognize the goodness of the Lord, and the efficiency of His kind providence, by which He manifests Himself a present help in every time of need, and redeems from destruction the lives of those who trust in Him.

 

THE CAPTIVE'S RELEASE

During the war, called Braddock's War (1775), says a writer in the Christian Advocate, my father was an officer in the British army. One night, as they were running close to the coast of Barbary, in North Africa, the officers on deck heard some person singing. A moment convinced them that he was singing the One Hundredth Psalm tune. They immediately conjected that the singer was a Christian captive, and they determined to attempt his rescue. Twenty stout sailors, armed with pistols and cutlasses, manned the ship's boats, and approached the shore. Directed by the voice of singing and prayer, they soon reached the abode of the prisoner. It was a little hut at the bottom of his master's garden, on a small river. They burst open the door, and took him from his knees, and, in a few moments, he was on the ship's deck, frantic with joy.

The account that he gave of himself was, that his name was McDonald; that he was a native of Scotland, and had been a captive eighteen years; had obtained the confidence of his master, and had the privilege of living by himself. He said he was not at all surprised when they broke open his door, for the Turks had often done so, and whipped him when on his knees. Throughout his captivity he had held fast his faith—though apostasy would have secured his freedom—and had waited and hoped until the hour of his release. And, while all seemed dark and unpromising, the Lord, who looks down from the height of His sanctuary to behold the earth and "hear the groaning of the prisoner," had planned and provided a way for his rescue from his long and dark captivity. And how visible was God's guidance in his deliverance! A song of Zion, sung "by the rivers of Babylon," brought him help. Had he feared the wrath of his foes; had he hushed his song and whispered out his praises to escape their persecution; or had he sung sooner or later than he did; or had the vessel passed by in the day, when others would have observed their movements, he might have still remained in bondage, and died a captive in a hostile land.

But God never makes mistakes, and His providential arrangements are never too early, never too late, always in time, always in place, and always true and righteous altogether—The Guiding Hand.

 

THE ORPHAN'S PRAYER ANSWERED

A writer in the New York Observer tells of a poor German widow who found herself and family destitute of food one day. Sustained by an unfaltering faith, she said to her little ones: "My dear children, I can give you nothing to eat this morning. I have no bread, no meal, not even an egg in the house. Ask the dear Lord to help . He is rich and mighty, and has Himself said, 'Call upon Me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee.' Little Hans, who was scarcely six years old, went very hungry and sad on the way to school. As he passed by the open door of a church-house, he went in and kneeled down, and, seeing no other person in the house, he prayed with a loud voice: "Dear Father in heaven, we children have nothing to eat. Our mother has no bread, no meal, not even an egg. Oh! help us. Give us and our dear mother something to eat. Thou art rich and mighty and can easily help us." So prayed little Hans in his childish simplicity, and afterward went to school. When he came home, he saw upon the table a large loaf of bread, a dish of meal, and a basket of eggs. "Now, thanks to God," cried he joyfully; "He has heard my prayer! Mother, has an angel brought all these things through the window?" "No", said his mother; "but still God has heard your prayer. As you kneeled and prayed in the meeting-house, a kind lady was also kneeling there. You could not see her, but she saw you and heard you. She is the angel through whom the Lord has helped us. Now, then, thank God, and never forget through your whole life to call upon Him in the time of trouble."

"If it had not been the Lord who was on our side . . . then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over my soul." Ps 124:2,4. "The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble." Ps 9:9.

 

THE ENGINEER'S PREMONITION

"One of our railroad engineers, some years since," says the Home Monthly, "was running an express train of ten filled cars. It was in the night, and a very dark night too. His train was behind time, and he was putting the engine to the utmost speed of which it was capable, in order to reach a certain point at the proper hour. He was running on a straight and level track, and at this unusual velocity, when a conviction struck him that he must stop.

`Something seemed to tell me,' he said, `that to go ahead was dangerous, and that I must stop if I would save life. I looked back at my train, and it was all right. I strained my eyes and peered into the darkness, and could see no signal of danger, nor anything betokening danger, and there, in the daytime, I could have seen five miles. I listened to the working of my engine, tried the water, looked at the scales, and all was right. I tried to laugh myself out of what I then considered a childish fear; but, like Banquo's ghost, it would not down at my bidding, but grew stronger in its hold upon me. I thought of the ridicule that would be heaped upon me if I did stop; but it was all of no avail. The conviction that I must stop grew stronger, and I resolved to do so. I shut off the steam, and blew the whistle for brakes accordingly. I came to a dead halt, got off, and went ahead a little way without saying anything to anybody as to what was the matter. I had a lamp in my hand, and had gone but about sixty feet when I saw what made me drop the lantern from my nerveless grasp and sit down on the track, utterly unable to stand. I found that some one had drawn a spike which had long fastened a switch rail, and had opened a switch which had always been kept locked, which led on to a track, only about a hundred and fifty feet long, which terminated in a stone quarry! If I had not obeyed my premonitory warning, I should have run, with my heavy engine and train, going 45 miles an hour, into a solid wall of rock 18 feet high! The consequences must have been most fatally horrible. Thus we have another illustration of the care of Him whose tender mercies are over all His works."

"Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass."-Ps 37:5.

Trust not the strength of feebly hand, Nor yet the help of mortal man; In God, and God alone, we dare To look for time and eternal care. Trust not in wealth's alluring call, Nor mammon's velvet vaulted wall; For they, like all our mortal dust, Shall fail and turn to cankering rust.

 

CATO'S INK BOTTLE

“Well, Cato, what ground have you for believing yourself a true Christian?" said a minister one day to an old colored man, whose life was not in harmony with his profession. "Been baptized, sir," replied Cato, placing marked emphasis on the word "baptized." The minister vainly tried to convince Cato that mere baptism could not make him a Christian. Cato was stubborn on this point, for he had been taught that the water of baptism cleansed the heart of its sinfulness. He believed in baptismal regeneration. The poor fellow knew nothing of the work of the Spirit in the heart. Just then a happy thought struck the minister's mind. He led Cato into

his house, took an empty ink bottle from the shelf, and holding it said: "Cato, do you suppose I can cleanse this bottle by washing the outside with water?" "No, sir you must wash de inside too, if you would have it clean," said Cato, with a grin of self-approval. "Very well, Cato," rejoined the minister; now do you supose that water applied to the outside of the body of a man can cleanse sin from his heart, which is inside of him?" "I see it now, now, I see it," said Cato, placing his hand on his brow. "My heart is like de inside of dat bottle. Baptism no cleanse de inside. I need the power of the Holy Spirit to make my heart clean inside." Thus, by the illustration of an old ink bottle did the worthy minister overthrow Cato's faith in baptismal regeneration; and the latter was led to see the necessity of the inward washing of which baptism is only the symbol. Reader, are you like an ink-bottle washed on the outside only? Have you, like Cato, substituted the form for the spirit of religion? If so, let me commend to you the prayerful study of the true way of salvation, as described long ago in these words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy: "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."-Hastings' Family Circle.

"Safe in the arms of Jesus, Safe on His gentle breast,
There by His love o'er sweetly my soul shall rest.
Hark 'tis the voice of angels borne in a song to me
Over the fields of glory, over the jasper sea.

Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe from coroding care,
Safe from the world's temptation, sin cannot harm me there.
Free from the blight of sorrow, free from my doubts and fears."
Only a few more trials, only a few more tears.

 

THE LADDER ON THE CLIFF

We can never be placed in such straits or difficulties that the Lord can not help us, says Mr. H. L. Hastings in the Tales of Trust. Years before the emergency occurs, He may set on foot a train of circumstances that will lead to our relief at just the moment need it. We should learn to acknowledge thankfully the source from whence the blessing comes, just as we would if the Lord had sent an angel down from heaven to give us help. One dark and story night a vessel was wrecked on a rocky island of Scotland. The crew had watched with terror the white waves as they dashed on the stately cliffs, and felt that to be drive on these rocks was to seal their doom. The cabin was filled with water and the captain's wife was drowned. The sailors climbed into the rigging, and prayed as they never had before, that God would have compassion upon them. That He would save them from temporal death seemed almost incredible. But the cruel waves drove the vessel on and on, till the very foot of the awful cliff was reached. Oh, if they could only reach its top! There would be safety and, no doubt, friendly hands to help them. Just as they struck the rock, they espied on the face of the cliff a ladder. Here their despair changed to joy. They sprang from the rigging, and climbed the ropes as rapidly as their benumbed fingers would permit; and they were all rescued, and in a few moments more the vessel went to pieces. The ladder seemed to them almost a miracle; yet its presence there was easily explained. It was used by the quarry-men as they climbed up and down to their work every day. Though usually drawn up when they, the suddenness of the storm that had caused the workmen to hurry to the shelter of their humble homes without taking time to remove the ladder. It was God who had ordered this seemingly trifling matter for the preservation of all their lives. Learn to observe His kind hand in all events of life, and it will save you from many dark hours.

"My barque is wafted from the stand—by breath Divine.
Upon the helm there rests a hand—other than mine:
One who has known in storms to sail—I have. on board.
Above the raging of the gale—I hear my Lord
He holds me when the billows smite,—I shall not fall;
If sharp, 'tis short; if long, 'tis light,—
He tempers all. Safe to the land!
Safe to the land! The End is this;
And then with Him go hand in hand,—Far into bliss."

 

A REMARKABLE AND MYSTERIOUS
INTERPOSITION

The following, sent by a friend, was taken from an old periodical; we should have been glad had there been more details, not that we wish to question the truth of it. —Editor.

In that part of the country to which our narrative refers was found scattered here and there many churches of Truth. These , These churches had formed themselves into an Association in order that they might help each other in any operation that might refer to an individual church, or to them as a body, their great aim being the furtherance of the kingdom of Christ and the spread of pure gospel truth. Amongst the funds of the Association was one called the "Chapel Building and Enlargement Fund," and when application was made by any church, the committee met, and if the application was approved and accepted, the rule was (and we think this rule worthy of record and imitation) that the pastor or deacon of each church should take a book, and fill up the form on the cover as to how much they would collect by the time of opening. The pastor or deacon would then inform his church of the amount they stood engaged to raise by such a time, and requested that as many could would kindly give in their names for weekly subscriptions of

one penny and upwards, but that such subscription must not interfere with the regular contributions to the cause.

The dear old pastor to whom we have now to refer was one of their leading men. Perhaps his was the largest and most wealthy of all the churches connected. He had on this occasion promised a handsome sum, and as the time sped on he found his people "coming up" remarkably well. At last the opening services of the new chapel were announced, and this dear old pastor was to take a most prominent part in these services. His book contained a sum far exceeding the amount promised, which he made a matter of special thanksgiving to the Lord.

The chapel being at some long distance, and his presence being desired and needed at their business meeting the previous evening, he decided to start in the afternoon of the previous day. He rode his horse, as a good part of his journey lay through fields where no vehicle could pass, so as to save the much longer distance by the main roads. He possessed a valuable gold watch and chain, the gift of his people, and when commencing his journey with the packet of money, thoughts arose which led him to breathe the fervent prayer, "Lord, do give me a safe journey!"

He traveled on till within a short distance of the place where he turned into the fields. Here stood a wayside inn. It being a hot summer's day, he resolved to refresh himself and his horse. He was shown into the parlor. Passing in, he saw in another room a rough, powerful-looking man sitting on the table, having before him a large bagging hook, used in harvest work, bound up in hay bands. He did not like his appearance, but as his stay was short, he supposed he had left him behind. He turned into the fields, and whilst going down the first long one he came to a break in the hedge, and was alarmed to see, some distance ahead, the same man, crouching on the other side of the hedge and unbinding his hook. He at once stopped his horse.

It came to his mind, "Before starting, you committed yourself to the care and keeping of your heavenly Father. Trust Him!" He leaned forward, resting his head on his horse's neck, and for some minutes poured out a fervent prayer for divine interposition. He raised his head, and was much surprised to find by his side another horseman, of most superior appearance. He felt at once a solemn persuasion that the Lord had sent him in answer to fervent prayer. As the stranger did not speak, he commenced to address him.

"I feel," he said, "humbly grateful, sir, that you should have been sent to accompany me at such a time of need, for I am apprehensive of danger from a man I have seen crouching on the other side of the hedge. But I feel now all will be well." He bowed most reverently. "How timely," the old pastor continued. "Ah! God is never behind with His interpositions." The stranger bowed as before.

They now came to the gate leading into the field where he expected to meet the man he had dreaded. He had a secret wish that his august companion should go through first, so taking the crop of his whip, he laid hold of the latch of the gate, pulling it open and backing his horse to let the stranger through, but was much surprised to realize the fact that he was nowhere to be seen, and was gone.

Looking up by the hedge where he expected to see the man, he saw him at the top of the field, making his way out as fast as he could, again binding up his hook. He stayed a few minutes to pour out his praise and thanksgiving to God for the marvelous deliverance granted, and pursued his way in full speed with joy and gladness of heart.

He reached his journey's end in peace and safety, and told of the wonders God had wrought in even sending His angel to deliver him, when he and his dear friends praised the Lord together. Blessed services were held next day. The foregoing circumstance was referred to, showing how the enemy was defeated, and God abundantly glorified. The opening day was one of great rejoicing and free giving, and with the noble collections, and the surplus brought by the dear old pastor and others, we believe the chapel was freed from debt. To God alone be all the glory."

The above narrative is taken from The Friendly Companion, of August, 1910, a monthly periodical published by Fancombe & Son, of London, England. It was published, with some slight variations, in The Gospel Messenger of April, 1903, from Mr. C. H. Spurgeon's book, "The Clew of the Maze." Mr. Spurgeon said that he copied it from a Welch quarterly magazine, and that the name of the minister was Jones, and that Mr. Jones testified to the literal truth of the narrative to his dying day. As the church was a member of an Association, and as Baptist Associations began in Wales, it is probable that Mr. Jones was a Baptist minister. The Welsh magazine said that the vicious looking man had a scythe whose blade was covered with grass, and that the stranger who appeared, after Mr. Jones' prayer, was a man in white clothing on a black horse, and that the latter passed through the gate at the foot of a long gently-sloping hill, and that, when Mr. Jones, remounting his horse, looked at the stranger and said, "Surely the Lord has sent His angel to deliver me," then the stranger for the first time spoke, saying "Amen!" and at once vanished from sight. See Ps 34:7; Ac 12:1-19.

 

HEALING OF A PARALYTIC WITHOUT HUMAN INSTRUMENTALITY

I quote from a Georgia newspaper in regard to the Lord's recent and wonderful healing of a young paralytic in Georgia without the intervention of any human being:

"All the people of Ashburn, Ga., are stirred up over the miraculous healing of a paralyzed young man. Mr. Taegle was a soldier in the Philippine Islands, and was there stricken with paralysis from his waist down. He had absolutely no use of his feet and legs, and no feeling in them. Thirteen months ago he was sent from the hospital in San Francisco to the home of his sister in Ashburn, Ga., as an incurable. Here he has been a familiar figure on the street in his roller chair. A few weeks ago he had a stroke that left him unconscious for ten hours. Last Sunday night, week, he had another severe stroke. His sister at the church was sent for, and the doctor came. The preacher referred to the fact that he would never be able to walk again. After church, many friends called to see how the young man was. He was cold, and the doctors said he would not live till midnight. His sister left the room, thinking every breath would be the last. Suddenly the sick man opened his eyes and smilingly asked that his feet be lifted to the floor. `The Lord has told me to rise, take up my bed and walk,' said he, and he arose, picked up a quilt and walked. Monday morning fully 150 people went to see him walk. Monday afternoon he walked down town. Monday night he walked to church, and told the people how he was healed. He has been walking ever since."

Elder Hassell in 1911 wrote and published in The Gospel Messenger an account of the Lord's special providences to himself and to his children as follows:

 

DIVINE PRESERVATION

I desire to mention some instances in my own sinful life in which I am sure that I have been preserved by a Divine and merciful and almighty power, and some of these wonderful facts are well known to other persons, yet living, besides myself.

When about twenty years of age, I was driving a mule attached to a spring wagon, three miles south of Williamston, N. C., my native place, and, in going down a rather steep hill, a part of the harness broke, and the mule ran away, and overturned the wagon, and broke loose, and threw me out on the ground; but, except that I was stunned f or a few moments, I suffered no other harm. In May, 1898, when riding with my step-brother in a buggy from a meeting at Smithwick's Creek Church, ten miles south of Williamston, the breeching not having been properly fastened on one side, the buggy kept striking the horse, and the horse ran rapidly past other conveyances, and through the water on the left-hand side of bridges, the more rapid striking of the buggy urging him on faster, but he finally calmed down, and was easily stopped by a brother who was near by, and the breeching was fastened, and there was no further trouble. Neither my step-brother nor myself was injured, nor the horse or buggy. In May, 1909, Elder G. W. Stewart and I were riding in a buggy with Elder W. T. Everitt from Dawson, Ga., three miles to Elder Everitt's home, when the horse began running down a long hill, and at its foot across a bridge at almost right angles with the road, and then up a hill to a mail-box, when a man, who had been working in a garden near by, headed the horse and stopped him. None of us were hurt, although we found that the buggy was nearly on the ground. In August, 1909, Elder Charles Meads and I were returning from attending the Ketockton and Ebenezer Associations in Northern Virginia, and our train on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was late, and the conductor told us that we could not reach Washington, D. C., in time to board the steamer going down the Potomac to Norfolk, Va., unless we took a taxicab (an automobile for hire) in Washington, and, if we did, it would be at the risk of our lives. But we were so desirous to get home that we engaged a taxicab at the Union Station, and went with tremendous speed down streets and around corners and through the Capitol grounds, and safely reached the boat one minute before it left the wharf. On the steamer were my children, Charles and Mary, and their cousin, John L. Hassell, just returning from a trip up the Hudson River.

During the War Between the States the Federal gunboats on the Roanoke River shelled Williamston, N. C., seventeen hours, and did not kill anything, and destroyed only one building. I took my step-mother's mother, Sister Rebecca George, and my father's younger children, and walked out, during the night, a mile or two into the country. Nearly all the people left town, but my father and step-mother remained in their home with a sick son: When the Federals came up town next morning, and saw Father and asked him what he had been doing, he told them that he had been praying for them. Afterwards a troop of cavalry from Plymouth, N. C., dashed into Williamston, and one of them shot at my father as he was about to enter his house, and the bullet went into the wall. Another was about to fire at me as I was escaping through an open field, and a colored servant begged him not to shoot me as I was only a schoolboy. That servant, Harriet, is yet living.

In January, 1891, my oldest child, Frank, then nine years old, and I (after visiting Dr. Charles Cullis, of Boston, Mass., a Baptist, and an eminent physician, preacher, and philanthropist, who, by the prayer of faith, took tender care of thousands of friendless and penniless invalids without money and without price) were on the fine steamship, the City of Savannah, going from Boston to Savannah, on our way to spend three months at the hospitable home of Elder J. R. Respass, in Butler, Ga., and, when off Hatteras we encountered a terrific storm; the waves seemed to rise about twenty-five feet high; and all night long the large steamer creaked and shivered and groaned like a human being. But the next day the storm abated, and we reached Savannah without any loss, except of a day's time. And I have gone through innumerable and fearful storms on land, from Canada to Texas, and from Florida to Missouri, without any injury. Though traveling tens of thousands of miles, by train and by ship, I have never been in a wreck.

And, during the last fifty years, I have been brought apparently to the verge of the grave by diseases of the lungs, bowels, kidneys, nerves, glands, heart, and brain; and yet the Lord has raised me up and spared me. Of the seven children of my father's first marriage, I only survive, the last, Sister Henrietta Rogers, having died sixteen years ago. Of the four children of his second marriage, only two, Sister Cordelia Slade and Brother Walter are living. My first wife, Mary Isabella Yarrell, died in 1871; and my second wife, Frances Louisa Woodard, died in 1889; and my eldest child, Paul, in 1886, in his sixteenth year; and my children, John, Mark, and Minnie, in infancy. I have precious reasons for believing that all these six members of my family were subjects of Divine grace. And it is my deepest wish that my surviving children, Frank, Charles, Mary, and Calvin, may be similarly blessed.

And now, Brethren and Sisters, spiritual children of Abraham by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, I am assured that all these trials and deliverances that I have experienced were the operations of the living God, who is infinitely wise, holy, merciful, and powerful, who is the Author of all temporal and eternal blessings, who is the only Saviour of sinners by the blood of His Son and the power of His Spirit, and who is the Eternal Judge of quick and dead. And I desire to be fervently and forever thankful to Him for all His dealings with me, and above all for the hope that He has given me of an interest in His holy and everlasting salvation.

Sylvester Hassell.

 

RESTORED IN ANSWER TO PRAYER

Mrs. Ruth Keene Spitler, a daughter of the late Elder F. W. Keene of Raleigh, N. C., wrote Eld. Hassell in 1913 the following account of God's mercy to her:

"I want to relate an experience which to us was a remarkable providence of God-occurring last February. At the time I was suffering from indigestion of a most painful and alarming nature. Several times I lay all afternoon in a stupor, alone save for my baby of two years and a quarter, unable to move, of course unable to ask for aid or get to a telephone next door. Keene (my baby) would play on the floor, get up and lie down beside me and go to sleep. I always left milk and crackers where he could get them, as I could not tell when I would have such an attack. Medicine did me little good, if at all helpful. One night I woke from an exceedingly fitful slumber, suffocating. I could scarcely whisper, but the inarticulate noises wakened my husband, who asked me what he could do. I could not tell him, but he raised me in his arms, and tried to give me more air; the window was open, so the air was fresh. Still I could not breathe, and I verily thought I must die. My heart was in a peculiar state. I could not have sat up without Wesley's support. I seemed about to lose consciousness when I heard him cry aloud in anguished tones, "Lord God, help us!" The next instant my breath came in a few moments I lay down in perfect comfort, and slept as I had not for weeks. I remember the curious feeling that came over me as I heard my husband's appeal to God. "He can not fail," I thought. `I must be relieved, for Wesley believes with all his heart that God is here and will cure." At times afterward for three months or more I had attacks of indigestion, but never again of a serious nature.

I know the medical fraternity would not be slow to find some explanation of this remarkable deliverance we, however, know, as we know concerning our salvation, that the hand that brought health and life to me that night was none other than God's to whom we are constrained to give the glory and the praise."

 

A PRAYER ANSWERED

Below is an account reported by Elder Hassell, who said "To go forth and do the work which God assigns us, trusting wholly in Him, and relying only on His promises, may seem but madness in the eyes of worldly wisdom; but the believing Christian needs not to be told that where the Lord guides, He provides; where He directs, He protects. And that He has other means besides subscription-papers and contribution-boxes to make good His purpose that `they who preach the gospel shall live of the gospel.' This may be seen from the following authentic statement of a simple fact which recently occurred. "A stranger arrived not long ago in a large city, having come there to preach Christ, trusting in Him who said, `Bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure' (Isa 33:16). Very few were known to him there, and fewer still knew of his desire of preaching the gospel of Jesus in its freeness, making his needs known only to the Lord. A few weeks after his arrival, when walking one Sunday afternoon to his appointed place of preaching, he met with a brother, Mr. D., whom he had seen before, and who was now going to hear him preach. As they walked on, arm in arm, Mr. D. said, `I have been looking for you the last few days, having wanted to see you. Were you not praying two days ago for something?' The preacher being silent, not wishing to make known his need, Mr. D. continued, `I know you have been praying, for two days ago; sitting in my house, I felt thoroughly impressed that you needed money, and so prepared this letter for you,' at the same time handing him a sealed envelope. On his return home, he took it from his pocket; there were three words on the outside— 'God is Love'— and enclosed was fifty dollars. I need scarcely add that the servant of God had been praying two days previously, while at the same time the Lord put it into the heart of one of His children, in another part of the city, to administer to his needs.'

"Surely it is safe to trust in the Lord; for He, whose ancient servants, though sent out without purse or scrip, could joyfully testify that they lacked nothing, is as mindful today as He then was of the needs of those who for His name's sake, have gone forth in simple confidence in Him to supply their necessities; and He yet has servants not a few, who believe with John that we `ought to receive such, that we might be fellow-helpers to the truth,' and who stand ready, like Gaius, to bring them `forward on their journey after a godly sort' (3Jo 6-8) while they fulfill their ministry."

 

SAVED FROM SWALLOWING A POISONOUS INSECT

The late S. B. Luckett of Crawfordsville, Ind., the able writer and well-known Baptist, reported to Elder Hassell the following incident in his life:

DEAR BROTHER HASSELL: Your "Remarkable Providences" in the August Messenger -were unusually interesting to me. When living at the home where you have visited us, I stepped out to the pump one dark night for a, drink of water. As I was lifting the cup to my lips a sudden impression of mind to examine it in the lighted room came over me. Imagine my surprise and horror to see on the surface of the water a three-inch centipede, its body and "thousand legs" in a frenzy of motion to get over the edge of the cup, and of course had I drunk it would have been the first thing swallowed. I know it is said, "If they shall drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them," but is it not even a greater blessing to escape the fright of having drunk some "deadly thing"? I do not remember any other time of being so impressed when taking a drink in the night-time, but I do acknowledge with humble gratitude having been blessed many times in what I regard as the undoubted and special providences of the divine Being. 0, that men would praise the Lord for all the undeserved and loving mercies they have received at his hands! Your poor brother in the belief of an ever present, compassionate, and merciful Jehovah, "O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever. Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever. Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever. Let them now that fear the Lord say, that his mercy endureth for ever. I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place." Ps 118:1-5.

 

THE HIDDEN CHILD

There is no earthly affection so devoted, steadfast, patient, pure, and true as that which glows within a mother's heart, says Mr. H. L. Hastings in his "Readings for Leisure Moments." One of the most touching accounts of maternal affection which we have heard was related by Mr. Norman McLeod, of Scotland, in an address delivered in Glasgow. He said that one cold day in winter a Scottish mother was obliged to cross a bleak mountain with her infant son in her arms. As she ascended the heights the weather grew very cold, and she began to fear that both she and her babe would freeze to death. But she resolved to save the child if possible, and so she took her shawl and wrapped it round the little boy, and laid him snugly in a cleft in a rock, where the chilling blasts could not disturb him. The night wore away; the poor woman grew numb, and cold, and stupid, and at last lay down and slept; and in the morning she was found, frozen stiff and dead; while her little boy was warm, and well, and sweetly sleeping in the rocky cleft where a tender mother's hands had laid him down.

Such is a mother's love. But how soon this love exhausts its source! This mother loved her child better than her life; but then she could do no more for him, and was forced to leave him to the mercies of a cold and stormy world. But God's love outlasts a mother's; God's pity never fails. And though the loving Christ died for sinners, yet He lives again, and lives to love them still.

When Mr. MeLeod had related this truthful narrative, an old soldier came forward with tears in his eyes, and said, "That was my mother. She died to save my life. She hid me in the cleft of the rock. I love her, and I hope that I love my Saviour, who, when I was in danger of dying the second death, said to me, `I will put thee in the cleft of the rock, and will cover thee.' "

"Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee."

"When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trodding seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but have to sigh;
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must-but don't you quit.

Success is failure turned inside out.
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are;
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit".

 

DIVINELY FOREWARNED AND SAVED FROM DEATH

The following incident was reported by Elder Hassell and published in The Gospel Messenger: In a small log house, on land belonging to Mr. N. R. Boon, about three miles southwest of the old Sappony Meeting-House, in Nash County, N. C., there lived for two or three years a colored woman named Nancy Locust and her son. About 25 feet southwest of the house stood a large oak with large limbs and top. In the fall of 1880 she was divinely warned to leave there, as she was in danger. Her son and the owner of the place did not want her to move, and did all they could to dissuade her, but she kept on urging her son to move, so that, to satisfy her, he vacated the house, and rented another house about three miles north. On the night of February 19, 1881, as many persons now living will remember, one of the most destructive storms ever known in North Carolina swept over portions of Johnston, Nash, Wilson, Martin, and other counties. The large oak was blown on the small log house, and knocked it down; but the old colored woman was three miles away, and was thus saved from death or injury. She had not been considered of sound mind, but the people did not ridicule her solemn and effectual warning any more. All these statements are indisputable facts.

 

SAVED IN A TERRIBLE CYCLONE

(Reported by Eld. Joe Hudson, Bartow, Fla.)

In 1875 on March 21st in the early morning the weather was not at all threatening. It was on a Saturday my mother took her baby and went to spend the day with her cousin about two miles distant. My father took some plow shares to the blacksmith shop to have them sharpened. (This was about two or three miles.) About nine or ten o'clock the weather became threatening; the clouds became dark and agitated. There was no one left at home except my oldest sister about seventeen, myself, eight, and younger brother six.

Now it was not father's custom before nor after this time to spend any time nor especially to eat a meal away from home, if it was at all convenient for him to get home. It seems if there was ever a time when the nature of the circumstances suggested he should hasten on home to the children, it was this time; but on his way home his path led by the edge of Mrs. Ann Oxford's yard. She was a cousin to my mother. As father was passing she was out in the yard. They spoke and passed the usual compliments of the day, then she said: "Get down from your horse, and eat dinner with us, (having two children, son and daughter about eighteen or nineteen years old) the dinner is now on the table." He said he never thought of the children being alone or the now serious agitation of the clouds, but alighted at once, went in and ate dinner. After eating they sat down by the fireplace and soon began to hear a distant roaring they could not account for which seemed to be approaching. Going to the west door looking out they could see what looked like a rolling ball of fire, having passed over red earth and mixed it up with other debris it carried. Father said: "Let's get out of the house, it is going to be blown away". Cousin Ann replied: "No use to run from that, it's fire." Father said: "Come on, Dolly; George, bring your mother if you have, to drag her."

They went out perhaps forty or fifty yards and Father showed them how to fall on their faces and grasp a small peach tree which broke off just above their hands, never to be seen or heard of again. When the cyclone was over there was no part of the house nearer than perhaps two hundred yards and some of the lighter particles twenty miles distant. Nothing that was in the house was ever seen again except a bed quilt in the top of a tree in an adjoining county. But strange to say no one was hurt.

In a short while the people had built her as good a house and as well furnished as the one blown away. Just east of her lived a Mr. H, his wife and a hired man. When Mr. H. saw the cyclone coming he and the hired man ran, left the house and his wife, and called to her to shut all the doors. The house nor Mrs. H. was hurt while Mr. H. and the hired man were both seriously injured. "The works of God are wonderful and marvelous in our eyes."

 

ELDER CRIBBS AND THE DRUNKARD

(Reported by Eld. Joe Hudson, Bartow, Fla.)

The late Elder D. L. Hitchcock related to me: An old Baptist preacher whose name was Cribbs lived in Southeast Georgia. He was a very poor man; worked hard to sustain natural life, knowing only manual menial labor, much of which was splitting rails. He was generous-hearted. Once he went on a short preaching tour. When he had filled his last appointment he had just enough money to buy his ticket on the R. R. back home. Before time to go to the train he met a man in distress who needed help. His distressed condition appealed so strongly to Eld. Cribbs that he gave him what money he had, not thinking how he needed it to pay his fare on the train. When time came to go to the train he started on wondering (and I am sure, praying) how he could go. Before reaching the station he saw a drunken man, staggering toward him. He tried to avoid him, which caused the drunken man to call to him saying, "Is that Mr. Cribbs?" "Yes," he replied. "Well, wait a minute, I have a little money I have been wanting to give you for quite awhile." The amount was just what was needed for the ticket. The Lord knoweth how to deliver us when distressed, and He doth deliver.

 

ELD. WEBB AND FAMILY IN BATTLE AND CAME OUT UNHARMED

(Reported by Eld. Joe Hudson, Bartow, Fla.)

There lived near Atlanta, Ga., an old Baptist preacher named Webb, a very illiterate man. He lived in a house built of huge hewn pine logs. During the Civil War there was a battle fought with the Federals on one side of his house and the Confederates on the other. Before the battle started he was notified to evacuate on account of the impending battle to which he replied, "This is all the home I have, and the God who has cared for me in time of peace and in whom I trust, can also care for me in the midst of battle:"

He and family remained and were unharmed and not a mark of shell or shot was ever seen on his house. How Eld. C. B. Spivey spent a night with Eld. Webb about 50 years ago and got from him the above fact. Eld. Spivey said there were various evidences of the battle about the place, yet no marks on the house. How good to trust the Lord in times of need and distress.

 

ELDER BOWIE THE BLIND

(Reported by Eld. Joe Hudson, Bartow, Fla.)

According to several witnesses there lived in South Georgia a man born blind, whose name was "Bowie" and who was a Primitive Baptist preacher. He had a wife, and perhaps children. Though blind he attended to certain domestic affairs about the premises such as cutting wood, feeding stock, etc. On one occasion he started to feed the stock and lost his way to the barn. This never had occurred before. He found his way back to the house and got his bearing and made another effort and lost his way again. This he did the third time with the same result. Discouraged and dismayed he called his wife to lead him. On arriving at the barn and opening the door she saw, just where he would likely have put his hand, a large rattlesnake in his coil. "God moves in mysterious ways his wonders to perform."

 

LITTLE REGINA'S WARNING

Little nine-year-old Regina said that "something told her" not to go on a picnic journey. She had been visiting her uncle and aunt and spent a night with a friend. They both sat up planning to be on the picnic the next day. They talked excitedly about what they would wear, how they would eat, and what games they would play. But when they got up the next morning Regina didn't want to go. She insisted she should go back to her aunt and uncle's. Her friend pleaded with her, but Regina refused strongly. Something kept saying—. So she returned home arriving there shortly before 9 that morning. At five minutes after 9 Regina's friend and six other companions were instantly killed. Regina just could not explain what made her give up her plans. She just knew that she did. 'It was an act of God," her parents gratefully acknowledged. Reported by Miss Alice Fiske, Dalton, Pa.

 

A DISAPPOINTMENT TURNED INTO A BLESSING

While employed by a corporation in New York City, I was in the habit of having my lunch in a cafeteria right across the street. One day I had an appointment for lunch in this cafeteria, but about 11 o'clock one of our out-of-town representatives came into the office and desired some work cleared up immediately. Naturally, I was unable to go out for lunch at my allotted time and I was furious over the situation.

Then about 12:30 we heard the clanging of ambulances coming up the street and stopping at the restaurant. We could see from the office window one stretcher after another carrying patrons from the restaurant. Two of these people died in the hospital. We learned from newspapers that a gruesome mistake had been made by someone in using insecticide powder, which contains Paris Green, instead of baking powder in the pastry. Thus what started as a disappointment for me, turned out to be the most thrilling experience of my life, as I am a great lover of pastry and no doubt I would have been one of the victims if I had not remained at the office to finish the extra work. Quoted from an "employee of a corporation in New York City," and sent the Editor by Miss Alice Fiske, Dalton, Pa.

Mrs. Allie Blalock White of Durham, N. C., wrote me June 27th, 1940, as follows:

May I relate an incident that took place in 1933? My little ones and myself were in our humble home, and it was bleak November and getting colder and colder, until it was at a freezing point. Water in the room where we were was freezing. We were on relief, and they were supposed to give us coal, but as yet had not. During the day my little ones, six and eight years of age, had called over the telephone asking that they would please send the coal. As it was growing dark I said: "Children, we must pray" and I leaned on the mantle shelf and prayed. I don't know how long. Then there was a knock at the door. I thought I would ask who was there as we had just moved into a strange neighborhood; but I went and opened the door, for the Lord had spoken to me in that still small voice, "Be not afraid." As I opened the door two people stood there, a man and a boy. One said, "We have brought you some coal." "0, thank you," I said. Then the children said, "Mama, we won't freeze now." The man said, "When I heard the telephone message at the store I never was so sorry for anyone in my life. The boy kindled the fire and they departed. Then my little boy said, "Mama, the good Lord answered our prayer," and there was a sweet humble look on his childish face. I hope never to forget, and 0h, I find in my weak way to thank our heavenly Father for His wonderful goodness to me. "0, Lord how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who has set thy glory above the heavens." Ps 8:1.

 

"AFFLICTIONS OFT ARE IN MERCY SENT"

Below is a very remarkable incident of God's protecting power when He alone could see the danger ahead; and in the relation of it there is much good advice and comfort for all of us. Editor.

 

ALL FOR THE BEST

A traveler, during a dark and tempestuous night, had fallen into a ditch by the wayside. He was very anxious to reach home, from which he had been absent for a long time. He had been abroad in a far country, and was returning with the fruits of his industry. When he had almost reached home he was overtaken by a storm of wind and rain. Darkness increases; he cannot see his way before him; the road is washed into gullies; he stumbles and falls; he has broken his leg, so he can proceed no farther on his journey.

The poor man in the ditch, with his leg broken, bemoans his sad fate. His wife and children are expecting him this very night. They trim the midnight lamp and anxiously await his arrival. He comes not; and as they hear the howling winds and driving tempest without, are filled with direful apprehensions. The disabled traveler, as the storm beats upon him in the ditch, is ready to exclaim, "All these things are against me." He is, perhaps, tempted to murmur against Providence, when he was at the point of reaping the reward of a long season of toil and privations, to be thus thrust back when upon the threshold of the realization of his hopes and to be thrown groaning into a ditch. But wait awhile, and it will be seen "it's all for the best." When the morning light appears the dismal traveler is filled with joy and gratitude at his wonderful deliverance. Had he proceeded a few feet farther on his journey, he would have fallen from the broken bridge, sunk and perished in the foaming flood beneath. When upon the brink of destruction a kind Providence turns his feet aside and prevents his moving from a place of safety. His family also are kindly cared for and preserved.

That very night a plan was to be put in execution to rob, and perhaps murder, the inmates; but the midnight lamp showed that the master of the house had not arrived with the expected treasure. Thus we often perceive, as in the light of the noon-day sun, the truth of the saying that "affliction has been a mercy." We doubtless are preserved from many dangers unseen by what are termed the mishaps of life. Let us not deny the truth of the proverb because we see so many good men live in suffering and die unrelieved, and so many bad men arrive at the summit of wealth and outward prosperity. By looking forward to another life we discover its full meaning. Our trials and troubles here are nothing in comparison to our riches over there. Even here we often find the trials of life are like the bracing wintry winds which invigorate our frame, or like the fire that tries and purifies the gold.

Let us, therefore pursue our onward way, like Bunyan's pilgrim, through the mire of the slough of despond and up the hill of difficulty or down the valley of humiliation, with courage, confidence and submission. Let us confide in the wisdom that is above us.

Men are but short-sighted beings. "Behind a frowning Providence is seen a smiling face." Whatever may befall us, or whatever afflictions may attend us, they will, if rightly met, prove but blessings in disguise; and if not at the present time understood, we will later find they were " all for the best."

 

THE CREW OF THE POLARIS

The following is one of the most wonderful providences of the nineteenth century, and reminds the Bible reader of Ge 18:23-32; 19:21-22. For the sake of the godly, the Lord gives natural blessings to the ungodly :

Do you remember the extraordinary experience of those eighteen persons composing a part of the crew of the Polaris, dispatched by the U. S. Government in the summer of 1871 on a trip to discover the North Pole? How they were strangely separated from the ship on October 15, 1871, high up in latitude 81° 38", longitude 61° 44," and thrown with a few provisions, some guns, ammunition, and a small boat upon the ice, and where, less than 500 miles from the Pole, they commenced one of the strangest voyages ever taken by man?—a trip on a "God-made raft", as their leader styled it. Just how it happened, and how they fared; the suffering, the peril by ice, cold, and hunger; the hair-breadth escapes, and final deliverance, were related by Capt. George E. Tyson in thrilling words.

They were on an ice floe twenty or thirty feet in thickness, but constantly thinning, for a period of 187 days, from October 15th till April 30th; right through the rigors of an Arctic winter and the gloom of an Arctic night, with the thermometer from 20' to 40° below zero, and so down to the freezing of the mercury; no sun for months, no fire, no light save a little burning seal oil, no fuel, no bed but the ice and the few skins of animals they killed; no houses but huts of snow, no compass, the winds blowing with hurricane fury, the ice cracking around them and often right under their frail huts, tossed from the floe to floe, tormented with fear and anxiety, nearly starving often for food, compelled to live on frozen seal and bear meat eaten raw, and the hungry men tempted to cannibalism; still drifting, drifting, drifting down southwards through Baffin's Bay, fifty or one hundred miles distant from land, past desolate, inhospitable shores, during six and a half months of dreary days and nights a distance of 1500 miles until rescued April 30, 1872.

The astonishment of the civilized world when this strange voyage was heralded knew no bounds. Old experts in Arctic adventure were incredulous. They declared it impossible," "ridiculous." Hundreds flocked to see the party on their return to the United States. People could hardly be convinced of the truth of the marvelous story. The company had increased to nineteen when Captain Bartlett of the seal ship Tigress took them off the ice; for, strange to say, there were several women and children in the group, and a babe was born on the voyage! "The misery of that fearful drift," says Tyson, "will haunt me as long as memory endures."

But how did they subsist? It seems nothing less than miraculous. Captain Tyson appears to have been a Christian—perhaps the only one present—as well as a brave, cool, hardy, resolute man. Had it not been for his wise leadership and the Divine blessing, all would have perished. Again and again in his narrative he puts his faith on record thus—"I trust in God to bring us through." God surely did. In the very auroras he saw the flashes of a divine power, and caught hope from their strange fires. "Our little ice craft," he once wrote, " is plowing its way through the sea without any other guide than the Great Being above." Hundreds of huge icebergs were often all about them; once they dashed against their frail ice craft, threatening instant destruction. They escaped and drifted on and on. They would get nearly out of food when Providence would send them, just in time, a few seals, or birds, or a bear, which was perhaps eaten raw, and the warm blood drunk as a luxury.

"Thank God," the Captain would exclaim, and put his grateful words on record. When their piece of ice was broken up, so that but a single acre remained, he wrote, "A kind and merciful God has thus far protected us, and will, I trust, yet deliver us."

During the last month the ice would crack, and grind, and roar like an earthquake, filling all with sleeplessness and alarm. The sea would rage, the winds were terrific. "God alone knows what we suffer," wrote the Captain; "no pen can describe it. God's will be done!"

Their trust was rewarded at last. As one ice cake would break up, they would traverse the tossed sea in their boat to another. Only made to carry eight persons, these eighteen souls were often launched in that blessed boat. On its preservation life depended. Sometimes the ice would snap and move asunder, leaving them on separate pieces. Gales swept furiously, the sea ran high, they were wet, cold, and getting weak and worn out. The night of April 19-20 beggars all one's imagination of supreme icy horrors. The elements raged in their might. From 9 p. m. to 7 a. m. the men stood and held the boat from washing away from their now little piece of ice; cold waves dashed chunks of ice against their limbs; darkness and gloom reigned through the awful hours. None spoke a word. Morning broke. "Man can never believe, nor pen describe, the scene we passed through; surely we are saved by the will, of God alone," wrote the believing leader.

But now there was no food. The merciless sea had swallowed all. They were bruised, wet, weary, hungry. "God will send us some food," wrote Tyson. In the afternoon while starvation stared all the party in the face, an Arctic bear, much farther south than usually seen, and totally unlooked for in that low latitude, roamed toward the unfortunates, was discovered, and instantly shot. They shouted with joy. "God has sent us food," says Tyson.

In one week more they were rescued by the Tigress. Once on board and safe, a gale of three days' duration, exceeding in savage fury all that had been previously experienced, swept that cold sea. All on board the vessel were of the opinion that had this sorrowful company then been on their ice floe they would have gone down before its power, with no survivor to tell this strange story. Says our Christian hero, "He that guided us so far is still all-powerful to save!" D. T. Taylor.

The above authentic narrative was published in The Christian, of Boston, Mass., of March, 1909, and of October, 1909. Editor

 

PROVIDENCE IN WAR

Some years after the first "World War," I wrote and published in the Advocate and Messenger the following Editorial. The second "World War" is now (Oct., 1940) raging in Europe and other parts of the world. God's hand of deliverance has already been seen and more will be as the war progresses. But read of some remarkable providences in past wars. Editor.

The poet beautifully expressed a truth when he wrote;

"God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm".

Another poet writes:

"Lord God of hosts, whose Almighty hand
Dominion holds on sea and land,
In peace and war Thy will we see
Shaping the larger liberty.
Nations may rise and nations fall,
Thy changeless purpose rules them all."

And in this article I want to give some evidences of God's hand in war, for "Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain." (Ps 76:12).

It is reported that in the darkest hour of the World War someone asked King George, "How will it end?" He replied, "God will have to work a miracle." And apparent to thousands God did, for one report says:

"It was at four o'clock on the afternoon of April 22, 1915, that the Germans at Ypres turned loose for the first time their deadly poisonous gas on the allies. It was all unexpected and the allied armies, all unprotected fell in windrows. They were piled up like bloated cord wood. All Germany now needed to do was to march through, take the English channel, and the world was hers. Then, why didn't she do it? And why was this particular time selected to turn loose the gas? It was not the military but the meteorological authorities that fixed the hour. Dr. Schmaus, the head of the meteorological department announced to the German general in charge that the direction of the winds was fixed and settled for thirty-six hours to come, and they would carry the gas far out over the allied lines. So the gas was turned loose—when, all of a sudden, it whirled and flung itself back over the German army. And the Germans, gasping, strangling, staggered by the thousands to their death. Dr. Schmaus, in his official report said, ('In forty years of meteorological records of the German government the wind never acted so peculiarly before.') And the doubly strange and striking thing was that the wind whirled in only a small area."

And again in the darkest days of June, Austria and Germany had swept down the Alps to crush Italy. Just before them is Venice, the heart of Italy. It seems if Venice could have been taken, Italy would soon be under the heel of Germany, and the Allies would have lost. And nothing lay between the on-rushing victorious German and Austrian armies except the inferior forces of Gen'l. Diaz and the Piave river. In their mad rush the Austrians and Germans, poured over the small river, taking no food with them, for the granaries of Italy were just ahead. They got within six miles of Venice. But just then, out of what had been a dead dry sky an hour ago, burst thundering clouds and torrents of rain. Within a few hours the Piave was a racing, roaring, mad wide sea, sweeping before it boats, bridges, everything, even whole battalions of Austrian and Germans are said to have -been swept to the sea. The remainder were cut off without supplies, a great terror seized them, and the Italians captured or killed more than forty thousand. Italy was saved, and Gen'l. Diaz said, `God did it." It was in Nov., 1917, when the German submarine strength was at its tide. For a year they had been turning them out and now they claimed to have enough submarines to sweep the seas of American ships and soldiers, and in their daily papers they claimed the war was already won by their submarine warfare. But then, reports tell us that the seas rolled and raged and would not cease, and the submarines, unable to return to their bases, were forced to come to the surface and were captured or sunk, one hundred and ninety-nine, with three thousand of their crew, and the back of the German submarine warfare was broken, and Germany lost.

And too, a strange thing happened during the German's first mad rush on Paris Sept., 1914. They were in sight of Paris. The Kaiser through his glass could plainly see Eiffel Tower. The French had but eight hours' ammunition. The orders were already given, "When the last round is fired every man take to his heels." Eight hours–and the war is done, for the Germans will soon be in Paris. But all of a sudden the Germans ceased firing, and did not begin again for forty-seven hours. And for forty-seven hours the French re-enforced their position with every available soldier and a fresh supply of ammunition, and when the Germans renewed their attack they were pounded back, and never in four years were as close to Paris again. The German Generals reported they did not know why they ceased firing. The Bible answers:-"So far shalt thou come, and no father." "Thus saith the Lord concerning this wicked king, He shall not come into this city. By the way that he came, by the same way shall he return. He shall not come into this city, saith the Lord, for I will defend this city to save it." And Germany lost.

And here is another remarkable report in regard to Germany's food supply. Read it:

"By the spring of 1917 the German scientists had solved the problem of growing food and grain, and perfected it as it had never before been perfected in the history of the world. They announced that Germany would have the potato crop of all time: that they had put in each potato hill that which would kill every enemy of the potato under ground and above ground. And how the potatoes of Germany grew! When those uncounted acres and miles were in blossom, lo, a blight therefore unknown swept over the potato fields of Germany, and in a day they were scorched, scabbed, shriveled as though fireswept! and hungry Germany learned the bitter truth uttered by Napoleon, ('`An army travels on its belly, and will not travel when that belly is empty.') A mutiny broke loose in the army forced the abdication of the Kaiser and brought the armistice. Ludendorff, in his history of the war, says that it was the failure of the potato crop of 1917 that lost Germany the war."

The world recognized that Germany was superior in the air, and yet as the world knows, and Germany conceded, that she was worsted in the air the last few months of the war. The head of the aerial service explained this, saying:

"The allies did not have superior airships nor fighters, but it was the accursed clouds that defeated us. Nearly every time when we had a bevy of the enemy's ships in a pocket ready to take them, one of those accursed clouds would be hanging handy by and would envelop them as thick as a blanket, and the devil himself couldn't find them, and they would escape at their leisure. It was the accursed clouds that did it." He spoke by the records. "My clouds shall curse them in that day, saith the Lord." Many of our boys who were in the air service report the same thing— "that just when they were in a tight corner a cloud coming from nobody knew where, would screen them.

A recent writer on Civil War matters has this to say of the battle of Gettysburg :

"Lee, in his official report of the battle of Gettysburg says that if he had followed up his advantage of the second day by attacking early the third day, he would easily have won. But he didn't attack the third day until three o'clock, giving Meade plenty of time to recast his lines, throw up his defenses, reform his forces. And when Lee did attack he went to his defeat, and the death of the Confederacy. Lee, in his report says, `I do not know why I waited until three o'clock in the afternoon.' God is the answer. When Napoleon all but has Waterloo won, he cries, `Oh, why doesn't Grouchee come?'

Grouchee? He lay off yonder with thirty-five thousand of the picked soldiers of France. Napoleon sent him an urgent message to come. True, the messenger was captured and Grouchee never received the message, but for hours he heard the bombardment and knew that the battle was on, and yet he did not move. His officers and generals begged him to go, pleaded with him, besought him with tears, threatened him, but he did not move. He was twice tried by the French Council of War, and he was charged with having deliberately betrayed France and Napoleon. He denied it. He said he was a true Frenchman and was loyal to Napoleon, but he said he could not explain why he didn't go. God is the answer."

I quote below further proof of God's dealing with nations and protection of His people in war:

"When the children of Israel were caught with the sea on the left side, the high mountains on the right, and the army of Pharaoh behind them—every way closed except up—they cried mightily to God, and God dropped a thick cloud between them, which to the Egyptians was a black wall, but to the Israelites it was like an aurora borealis. All the night the Israelites by the light of that cloud beheld Jehovah with his spade, divinely made, digging, digging, throwing up the waters till he had uncovered the pavement of the sea, and the children of Israel passed through dry shod, while all that time the Egyptians battered their heads against the wall of that cloud. "A cloud came between them." "He commandeth the clouds." "The Lord rideth upon the clouds." "The clouds are his." "The clouds are dust of his feet." "He maketh the clouds his chariot." One hundred and sixty-two times the Book speaks of God's doings and dealings with the clouds. Germany was beaten on the sea, beaten on the land, and beaten in the air, because, "Behold the sea, the earth, and the sky, they are mine, saith the Lord." Germany ventured on the wrong reserves and lost.

"Those that the gods would destroy they first make mad." In those early days of the war, Germany could easily have cut through to the channel port and had England at her mercy. But blinded and maddened like a mad and blind bull the Germans struck for Paris. They never reached Paris, and they never reached the channel ports, later trying to do, they paid the price of nearly two million men; for Germany knew she must have the ports of the English channel to win the war. Six weeks after she began the war, she might have possessed every foot of the channel, but mad and blinded she plunged Paris-ward, for the Kaiser must have his "Christmas dinner in Paris." The only possible explanation is— Germany was mad. "Let them alone," saith the Lord. "They are the blind leading the blind, and if the blind lead the blind they shall both fall in the ditch." Mad and blinded, she struck for Paris and that gave England time to get between the channel and the enemy, and there she stood for four long years with her back to the wall, and Germany lost.

And there were some remarkable coincidences when the armistice was called `between the warring nations. It was the eleventh day of the eleventh month (1918). And the eleventh verse of the eleventh chapter of the eleventh book of the Bible has this to say: "Forasmuch as this is done, oh king, and thou hast not kept my covenants and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and give to thy servant." (1Ki 11:11). And if that was ever done to any nation and any ruler, it was done to Germany and the Kaiser.

Germany had for many years taught that might made right. She had forsaken Christ for Krupp. She had turned from the cross of Calvary to the cross of iron; and her doom was sounded. The cross of Christ points the only way for nations and individuals, for it is Christ or chaos. He is our only hope of victory over self, the world and the devil. How beautifully the Psalmist expresses the truth when he said, "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him? (Ps 8:3-4). And yet God is mindful of us. He who notes the sparrow's fall, and numbers the hairs of our head, will manifest himself to those whose trust is in him as "an ever-present help in time of need." "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time : casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." (1Pe 5:6-7). And may we all, dear readers, when troubles arise and the night is dark, be able to say with full assurance, "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should arise against me, in this will I be confident." (Psl. 27: 1, 3). May we through patience and comfort of the scripture rejoice more and more in the sweet hope of our heavenly Father's care over us here on the shores of time and of his salvation of us when we "go hence, and be no more."

 

FALLING BOOMS DIRECTED BY ISRAEL'S GOD.

Editor H. J. D. Sawyer, of Zion's Witness, a Baptist Magazine published in England, reported in his annual address (which appeared in his paper Oct., 1940) many gospel truths and interesting facts, one of which I quote below:

"Greater is He that is for us than all they that be against us, and so said the prophet of old when he asked the Lord to open the eyes of the young man, "Fear not: for they that be with us, are more than they that be with them." And were our eyes opened likewise, we should without doubt see a convoy of guardian spirits all around to protect those who place their trust in Him. "The hosts of God encamp around the dwellings of the just.

Deliverance He affords to all who on His succor trust. Fear Him, ye saints, and you will then have nothing else to fear; Make you His service your delight, your wants shall be His care."

In a most marked way have we proved this. We were recently visited by a large force of enemy aircraft in, broad daylight. The place is very compact, almost like a small town; and this was literally strewn with bombs. But hedged about this little place surely was, for it is one of those highly favoured districts well sprinkled with that people of whom it is said, "The eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year," for not a bomb fell but what was directed in its course by Israel's covenant God; and though it is said that at least forty of these infernal bolts were hurled down upon one occasion not one person was injured, except a careless youth; not one house was damaged materially, except a small outbuilding, and scarcely even one window-pane broken in the whole place; yet they fell all amongst the houses, and within a yard or two of them in many cases. We visited another stricken district some distance off, and there the scene was quite different. How can we account for these things? "Sheer good luck," would be the answer of most in this godless age. But what do the Lord's people say, God's sovereign care, forbearance, and favour toward the one, and His equally sovereign justice and indignation toward the other. 0 what safety is the sovereignty of God! Denied by the vast majority now, yet acknowledged it will be by all in the great Day, either in their condemnation or their acquittal."

 

HITLER'S ATTEMPTED INVASION OF ENGLAND

On Oct. 19, 1940, a Washington Post correspondent gives the following report of Hitler's attempt to invade England. Channel gale—strong winds—are said to have scattered his fleet. Read what travelers reported:

"Several persons arriving in New York from Europe recently have told of seeing bodies of German soldiers washed ashore at French Channel ports. There have been repeated reports that invasion had been attempted. A highly placed Government official of a conquered nation, who asked that his identity be withheld, said when he arrived September 20, that German officers had told him practice maneuvers for invasion had cost the Germans 10,000 men.

On September 24 informed British military spokesmen in London made no comment on dispatches from the French-Spanish border, published in the London Daily Mail, that Germany lost "between 50,000 and 60,000 picked troops" in a disaster of September 16, when a Channel gale scattered Adolf Hitler's "invasion fleet." The assertions were made by Harold Cardozo, a special correspondent on the French-Spanish border."

 

BRITISH ARMY DELIVERED

In the summer of 1940 a Remarkable Providence was clearly seen when a British Army of some 350,000 in the Netherlands were surrounded by Germans and pressed into the costal town of Dunkirk. It seemed utterly impossible for this army to escape destruction. Read the authoritative report given below :

On the Sunday before the deliverance, in England, under the request of King George, multitudes of Christian believers were engaged in prayer to God for His succor in their desperate need. The channel that separates the Continent from England is noted for its boisterousness. But on the night in which in every sort of vessel that could be found the English troops embarked at Dunkirk it was as smooth as a pond. Though it is extremely unusual at that time of year, a fog settled down that hid from the multitudinous birds of death of the German air service the location and movement of the vessels. The British Army escaped what looked like certain demolition. Readers may remember a similar interposition of God that changed British history hundreds of years ago, when the enemy's vessels, powerful and ready to strike, were driven back to sea by contrary winds. There is a God on high who made this earth, and without whose knowledge a sparrow does not fall. It is unfashionable now, even among a multitude of so-called Christians, to believe in such a God. This may explain why God is forcing nations to suffer, if perhaps they may be aroused out of their self-conceit and lack of faith. Britain prayed to God, and a few days later God wrested a large British Army out of the hands of a merciless enemy, who felt himself sure to conquer and destroy it! May God in mercy to His people break down and bring to nought the Satanic plans of the totalitarian powers of Europe to subject it and the world to their anti-God rule!

 

GOD'S HAND SEEN

The following report of the deliverance of the British Army was given by Pastor T. T. Sheilds in Jarvis Street Church, Toronto, Canada:

God has already shown His hand on our side. I have not heard half as much about it as I should like to hear. In this place we bowed in special prayer, at the King's request, with millions of others throughout the Empire that we might all beseech God's help for the men in Flanders. We did not know what Mr. Churchill knew, when in his broadcast he tried to prepare the Empire for "heavy tidings." He expected to have to report that the whole army of three hundred and thirty-five thousand were either destroyed or captured. What a tragedy that would have been! When someone spoke to me of their evacuation. I said, "It is useless. They will have to fight it out. Evacuate nearly half a million men under the fire of Hitler's air force?" On the Tuesday following the day of intercession heavy weather held up the German drive. Then the fog came down as it did when God stood between Israel and the Egyptians, and they were covered. The shadow was the shadow of His wings. It is said also that the waters of the Channel were as tranquil as a millpond-such calmness as had not been known, as one writer said, "for centuries." Every kind of ship and boat that could float, went across for men. Many waded out waist-deep; the difficulties were insuperable, beyond human power—but three hundred and thirty-five thousand men were snatched out of the jaws of Death, and brought safely back to England. All honour to the brave men of that "bumboat armada," of the Royal Navy and the Air Force. But all must have failed had not God intervened.

Have you given God thanks for that? The Star Weekly carried an article yesterday by Frederick Griffin, in which he said that he found people everywhere in England saying that it was God Who saved us at Dunkirk; and he asks the question whether a great religious revival is coming to England. He says that men who never prayed, who did not go to church, went that Sunday and prayed and later they saw God make bare His arm at Dunkirk; and he says that people everywhere are turning back to God. I pray that it may be true, and on an ever-increasing scale. Here John Newton speaks for us again:

"His love in times past, forbids me to think
He'll leave me at last in trouble to sink;
Each sweet Ebenezer I have in review
Confirms His good pleasure to help me quite through."

From The Gospel Witness, Toronto, Canada.

 

REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES RELATED BY THE LATE ELDER T. S. DALTON

Eld. T. P. Dalton of Baltimore, Md., kindly sent me the following incidents in the life of his father. Below is his letter to the Editor:

MY DEAR BROTHER PITTMAN: At your request I have searched through Father's many books and papers and found many quite remarkable providences of the preservation of his life, for,as he writes—reasons known only to God. And I have picked out four of them and have condensed them into my own words, which, I believe, will convey the picture of the incidents in which he was made to feel God's protecting care. My prayer, Brother Pittman, is that this same God may bless your efforts in publishing such a book,-"Remarkable Providences" to the edification of His people and that it may redound to His glory and honor. Do with the incidents which I have written as it seems best to you. Your brother, in Fellowship and Hope,

T. P. Dalton.

 

THE FOUR INCIDENTS

SAVED FROM A WRECKED TRAIN:

After the close of a debate held at Middleton, Tennessee, between a man named Crum and Father, Father desired to catch a train leaving at 1 A. M. the following morning. One of the brethren invited Father to go to his home, obtain some rest and he would call him in time to catch the train. About an hour before the train was due, Father's host fell asleep and did not awaken until a few minutes before train time. He called Father, who hurriedly dressed and together they hurried for the station, but ere they reached it, the train went whizzing by without stopping. They returned to the home of the brother and went to bed. Next morning word was received that the train had been wrecked, several people killed and many injured. Here are the words Father wrote: "I was made to rejoice that the Lord had been so good to me as to preserve me, as unworthy as I was, from this dreadful disaster. This I have received as a special providence of God in my preservation for a purpose known alone to God."

SAVED FROM A SECOND WRECK

On another occasion Father had some appointments to fill in the state of Mississippi. To reach them required a change from one railroad to another. The train on which he started his journey was 15 minutes late reaching the junction point. The engineer of the train on which Father was to continue his journey from the junction point was an old Baptist by faith, knew that Father was on the train which was late, so he requested the conductor to wait and he would make up the time. The conductor replied he had orders to proceed and could not wait. When Father arrived and found he had missed connections, he was vexed and made some very disparaging remarks to the station agent about railroads in general and the one which he desired to use in particular. Father in relating this incident said, "Really, I was very angry." In about an hour the station agent called Father and said, "If you knew what I do, you would be rejoicing instead of frowning. The train you wished to ride has fallen through a trestle and nearly all the passengers are either killed or severely injured." With tears rolling down his cheeks, Father said, "God has again favored me with a special providence and preserved my life. Oh! how good the Lord is to me and I so unworthy of His notice."

BOTH WONDERED WHY THEY DID NOT SHOOT

During the Civil War, Father was leading his men in a charge against an enemy position defended by an Illinois regiment whose commanding officer charged out upon the battlefield toward Father. Each rode at the other with drawn pistols, but neither fired. On a preaching tour about twenty years later, Father visited the section of Illinois in which this army officer lived, and strange to relate, baptized this officer, who told of this incident at the time of his reception into the church.

THREATENED TO KILL THE PREACHER BUT WAS BAPTIZED BY HIM INSTEAD

While Father was living and serving churches in Illinois, a lady joined during the cold winter months. The ordinance of baptism was to be administered at the time of the next meeting. When the lady's husband heard about his wife joining the Old Baptist Church and was to be baptized during the cold weather, his anger was so aroused that he called on Father and demanded that his wife be not baptized in such cold weather, but evidently his real reason was he did not want her to become a member of such an organization of "old fogies." Father kindly, but positively, informed the husband that if it was his wife's desire to be baptized, so that she could become a member of the church he termed was composed of "old fogies," he, as the servant of his God and the church, felt compelled to do so. At this, the husband became so enraged that he told Father that he would shoot him at the water, before he would ever lead his wife into it. On the day appointed for the baptism it was necessary to cut the ice which was thick enough to bear the weight of the entire congregation which had assembled, many of whom came to see what would happen in view of the husband's threats, which had been widely published. Father, after preparations for the ceremony was completed, mentioned the husband's threats and pointed to where he was sitting with his rifle across his knees, saying, "God giving me strength, I fear not what that man may do." Some of those present said that, after as fervent a prayer as they had ever heard uttered unto God for such strength, Father led the sister into the water and baptized her. Ere they had come up out of the water the husband threw away his gun, came rushing up, tears streaming down his face, asking, begging that he, too, might be buried in the liquid grave, and amidst much rejoicing he was received and baptized.

"Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty, just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints."

 

SOME PERSONAL DELIVERANCES

In my little book, "Memories Of Long Ago," published in 1930, I mentioned some deliverances and quote below from page 18:

"God has been good to me, even as a boy. His providence and blessings have ever been round about me, for when about two years old I fell into an open fireplace, narrowly escaping death, the scars of which burns I still carry. Later by a fall my arm was badly broken and injured for life; a runaway team turned over the vehicle in which I was driving and I was caught under it; I fell under the edge of a moving train and escaped with bruises and torn clothes. These and other things have happened to me along life's way from which I have escaped and which has caused me to believe that surely God has been my keeper. In no sense would I compare my little life with that of the great apostle to the Gentiles, but I have often read with interest of God's providential care over him, when he `suffered shipwreck, was stoned, was in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils among the Jews, in perils among false brethren." (2Co 11:26). Surely God's angels encampeth around about us and delivereth us."

Since the above was written ten years ago, other narrow escapes have caused me to believe that surely God has been my keeper. Once I was forced to run off the road by a reckless car driver in order to prevent a head-on collision, but somehow kept the car from overturning. . . At another time when wife and I were returning from North Carolina I became drowsy, and just for a moment lost consciousness, and ran my car down a fifteen foot embankment, and why it did not turn over was considered by many who viewed the scene as marvelous and unexplainable; yet little damage was done to the ear and neither my wife nor I was hurt. To me this was a remarkable providence, indeed. . . In driving from Washington (D. C.) about a year ago in the dim twilight a little boy on a bicycle ran directly in front of my car, and to prevent running over him I quickly turned the car and ran into a ditch and into a fence,—the bicycle was knocked down, the boy injured and the car almost over-turned. To me this was another evidence of God's protecting care.

 

MY FATHER'S WAR EXPERIENCE

When a boy it was interesting to me to hear my father who served four years in the Civil War and was at Appomattox, when Lee surrendered to Grant, tell of some of his narrow escapes. He had two holes shot through his arm and one through his body; his face was sometimes grazed by bullets, yet he received no mortal wound, and often spoke of the protecting power of God in relating his war experiences.

FOUR WOUNDS IN ONE BATTLE

My wife's father, Brother H. D. Barnes, was a strong predestinarian and expressed himself as not believing that a man would die before his time came; he said it had been tried on him. The Federal forces wounded him four times in the battle of Williamsburg; later they captured him and kept him in prison, where he said he suffered more from hunger than he ever did from bullets. But he lived through many battles, and through an epidemic of small-pox and other diseases in prison and died at the ripe old age of 89 years, 9 months and 4 days.

"Oh that men would praise the Lord for His wonderful works to the children of men!" "Whoso is wise and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving kindness of the Lord."Ps 107:8,43. R. H. P.

 

A PSALM OF LIFE

Tell me not in mournful numbers,
"Life is 'but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem."

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
"Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow,
Finds us farther than today.

Art is long, and time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle !
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead past bury its dead!
Act, act in the living present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead.

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time:

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

 

LOOKING UNTO JESUS

We look to Thee, kind Shepherd,
for guidance day by day;
For tender hands to lead us,
and keep us, lest we stray.

We look to Thee, strong Helper,
for comfort, strength and grace;
When clouds of grief o'erwhelm us
we long to see Thy face.

We look to Thee, good Master
our Refuge, Guide and Friend;
With Thee no fears assail us-
Thou'lt keep us to the end.

We look to Thee, blest Saviour,
for cleansing from our sin;
For power by Thy Spirit,
to make us pure within.

We look to Thee, wise Teacher,
for truth from God above;
We pray Thee, draw us closer,
and teach us of Thy love.

We look to Thee, dear Jesus:
our Fount of purest joy;
Come, fill our hearts with blessing
our lips with praise employ.

J. Harold Gwynne in The Presbyterian.

"LOOKING UNTO JESUS, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Heb 12:2). Reader, can you see? Some "have eyes and see not." To the disciples Jesus said, ". . . blessed are your eyes for they see." If you see beauty in Jesus you are a blessed character. R. H. P.

THE END

Remonstrants, The

The REMONSTRANTS (See under James ARMINIUS) Anthology Arminius, James

Repentance

REPENTANCE: C.H. Cayce: There is a legal repentance required of every violator of law. If one is guilty of the violation of law—let it be God’s moral law, or any other righteous law—it is his duty to repent; it is his duty to turn from such violation or wrong doing, and live in obedience to the law. Then there is a gospel repentance required if gospel subjects. (Cayce’s Editorials vol. 3, ppg 184, 185)

REPRESENTATION

REPRESENTATION

Elder Adam Green

The Scriptures speak very clearly of the doctrine of Representation. Abraham represented Levi in giving tithes to Melchisedec (Heb 7:8), and Adam represented his descendents when he sinned (Ro 5:19).

Thankfully, the great subject of Representation in the Bible is our Savior, Jesus Christ. When Christ fulfilled the law with His life and suffered the penalty and guilt of sin on the cross, He represented someone as well. He represented all those that are “in Christ Jesus.”

What does “in Christ” mean? It means to be in a position or state of relationship to Christ whereby His actions are on your behalf. It means to be represented by Christ. Eph 1 lists some of the many blessings that are had by those “in Christ Jesus.” Eph 1:10 tells of a wonderful gathering in Heaven for those that are “in Him.” Eph 1:7 says that it is “in” Jesus Christ that we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins. Verse six states that our acceptance with God is “in the beloved.” Eph 1:11 proclaims that we have an inheritance by virtue of being “in” Christ Jesus.

None can deny that being in Christ is a position of wonderful legal standing before God and a place of forgiveness of sin. Ro 8:1 says that there is no condemnation to them which are “in Christ Jesus.”

How then does a person get into that position? Since this relationship to Christ is so vital to the eternal happiness of a sinful human being, how is this relationship established or achieved? The question might be asked, “What can I do to be in Christ Jesus?”

Can I get that relationship to Him by joining the church and being baptized? Can I get it by praying a prayer of repentance? Is that what comes of believing that Christ is my Savior? All of these questions ask what a man can do to secure or create that relationship to Christ.

The truth of the Bible, however, is that no man can create that relationship to Christ. No man can get himself “in Christ.” You may ask then, “How can that relationship ever exist, if I cannot create it?” 1Co 1:30 plainly lays out the truth: “Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus.” It is not of any man or any man’s will that one is in Christ Jesus; it is the sovereign act of a Sovereign God.

Listen now to the words of Eph 1:3-4: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”

Before the world was ever created, God chose a people in Christ, to be represented by the works of His Son. He did this “according to the good pleasure of His will” (Eph 1:5). No inhabitant of Heaven will ever be able to claim that he did anything to save himself, because that work was completed and finished by Christ.

No person can ever claim that he applied the benefits of Christ’s work to himself, for that relationship was established in covenant by God before we were in existence.

By the obedience of Christ we are made righteous, but that is because we are “in Him” by the placement of God, and the Hand that created that relationship keeps it so that we can never be plucked out of His care, His love and the salvation He has secured. Submitted by Elder Mark Green

Representative Principle, The

The REPRESENTATIVE Principle: Sylvester Hassell: The mysterious principle of representation pervades both Scripture and nature (Ge 9:22,25; 25:34, compared with Ob 19; Ex 20:5; 34:6-7; Nu 16:32-33; Jos 6:25; 7:24-25; 1Sa 3:14; 15:2-3; 2Sa 12:10; 21:1-9; 1Ki 14:9-10; 2Ki 5:27; Jer 32:18; Mt 23:35, etc.) The God of nature visits the crimes and vices of individuals in many ways upon their posterity. By finite minds God’s “judgments are unsearchable, and his ways past finding out” (Ro 11:33). But, though “clouds and darkness are round about him,” his children know that “justice and judgment are the habitation of his throne.” (Ps 97:2). We cannot understand the doctrine of representation or imputation any more than we can understand why an infinitely wise, powerful, holy and benevolent Being should have ever permitted the existence of sin and misery in the universe.” (Hassell)

Resurrection, The

The RESURRECTION J. T. Oliphant: The Christian hope earnestly expects the vile bodies of men now in their graves, sleeping the sleep of death, to be awakened from the dead and made to live. For God has said: “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise.” Again, “The hour is coming when all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation,” Joh 5:28. By these words of our blessed Savior, we learn three things, viz:

1st. The dead will be raised to life.

2nd. The time in which they are raised from their graves.

3rd. Who will be raised.

Hearing God, who cannot lie, in his Word say, all in their graves shall hear his voice and come forth, we believe him, and fondly expect it will be so. “Some have erred, saying the resurrection is passed.” Erred as to the time. The time of resurrection from the graves is not in the past, but future; the hour is coming. There is such an hour, or set time, and it will be here with certainty. The persons who being dead shall live, are they that have done good, and they that have done evil. “The just and the unjust.” The righteous, and the poor ungodly of all mankind will be included in the resurrection.

To further prove abundantly by God’s own word in the blessed Bible, that resurrection of the bodies of the dead is truth, read Da 12:2, “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

Also, Ac 24:14, “And have hope toward God which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” This was Paul’s hope explained. The enemies of his faith also “allowed,” or admitted the truth of his hope in that one particular. (Compare Ac 23:6).

Paul again asserts and affirms this hope before King Agrippa. Ac 26:6-8. And he asked him the forcible question, viz; “Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?” God is almighty. “Nothing” good in his sight “is impossible with him.”

Considering who and what God is, what is incredible or in any way inconsistent with the nature of things ? God is sufficient as a cause, to produce that effect. God made all dust out of nothing, and formed man out of that dust. By reason of man’s sin he dies, and now returns to the dust from whence he is taken. The same God that made man have one existence, can make him to have a second living existence. And surely God, who has made both angels and men, is able to reproduce the bodies of all dead men, some to one state (of life), and some to another state (of damnation).

When God tells us by his Bible that his purpose is: there shall be a resurrection both of the just and unjust; then who dares or has any right to deny it, or to even disbelieve that word? And so “make God a liar,1Jo 5:10.

Annihilation of all men, old and young, us and our children, is a thought so dreadfully withering to our minds, that to sensible, thoughful men and women, it is unbearable. Then how dreadful, aye, how miserable life would be, if no hope carried us beyond the grave! To have no sure prospect of meeting, seeing and associating with any of our fathers, mothers, children, and loved kindred whom we have buried in the grave, and with them buried our present happiness of their company.

O! how intolerable it would be to endure by any of us! Yet, more sad would it be that no soul of man would ever see and rejoice in the heavenly glory of its Maker above! None to live among angels and learn the bliss of God and godliness? Who is able to rejoice in non-resurrection? If there is no resurrection, then Jesus is yet dead. Death holds forever Jesus and all now sleeping in the earth and sea, so that we have no living Savior and High Priest to remove our sins and save us, if resurrection is not true. “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept,” 1Cor. 15;20. So there is some resurrection done now. Jesus body is already raised. And John saw with this Lamb, Jesus, (Re 14:1-4) standing on the Mount Zion, with a hundred, forty and four thousand redeemed from the earth. “These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb.”

Now, dear reader, consider these first fruits. God has received them up in heaven to himself from the earth. “First fruits of them that slept,” of all the dead. Read your Bible and answer this question; Did God ever receive an offering of first fruits from the vineyard, orchard, or wheat field in the hands of a high priest in Moses’ tabernacle or Solomon’s temple, and not preserve, mature, and save the crop from which that offering was taken? No. The first fruits received, then the crop was safe, and harvested in due time in good maturity. In that was seen the principle of the resurrection. The law of first fruits (Ex 22:29; and Pr 3:9-10), is the law of the resurrection.

So God having received the body of Jesus and those of a hundred, forty and four thousand of his church as first fruits of all the dead; this secures and makes safe the “harvest that truly is great of gathering in the entire crop remaining in the field” (the world). And just so sure as his crucified body was raised from the new sepulcher, with nail prints in its hands and a spear-wound in its side, and so exhibited to Thomas and the rest of his disciples, and afterward it was received up from Mount Olivet to heaven, even so sure will the bodies of all saints be raised like his.

Jesus is the pattern like unto which all saved must be fashioned. Yes, even our poor bodies. For it is written, Php 3:20-21, “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body,” etc. Mark, our vile body is the thing he shall change. Change the vile or sinful body to a glorious body. Into a body all filled and clothed with glory. Not glory of earth, nor of stars and planets, but the glory of our ever blessed Jesus in heaven. Also Ro 8:11.

O what a change to be made in a vile human body! God can make it easily, I suppose. I have thought it would be no difficult work to the omnipotent, eternal, ever blessed God to make this change in our bodies, for he will do it so quickly. To him it is the work of a moment. The entire change can be made by him in the twinkling of an eye. Strange it is that what is done by him so very quickly and hence so easily, should be so very difficult to men to even believe.

Why is only the believing so difficult to men of brains, common sense and scholarship? Let Jesus’s words answer, Mt 22:29, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” Ignorance of God’s power, and of the Bible, is why men live in error about this change.

Then in 1Co 15:5,52, read how it is done, “Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

To further disperse the clouds, fog and smoke of ignorance from our minds, and aid in ridding us of error on this subject, read 1Th 4:13-18, “But I would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” Remove the ignorance on this subject and it lessens sorrow about the dead. The light of truth as relates to when, and how, the dead will be made alive, increases hope in the soul. Hope saves from grief and sweetens even our tears. This rests on Jesus being raised. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” Believe God did raise Jesus from the dead, and it will be difficult to believe those in him will not also be raised.

Christ is raised for us. Its effect must also be seen in us. “The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

All this is said to those in Christ, new creatures in spirit and born again. The new birth is a change, a miraculous resurrection of the soul. The body must be born again when it comes from the grave, even as Christ is “the first born from the dead.” Both the change of soul and body is a miracle of God’s power, and display of his reigning grace.

The natural soul and body must be made spiritual, to live and dwell in a spiritual world. Earth is a natural world; heaven is a supernatural or spiritual world; the glory of one is not the glory of the other; hence, those who live on earth must be changed in their state or condition, to another state, to live in and enjoy heaven. Fish could not survive in the open air, nor birds in the water, unless God who made change their state by recreation. So is illustrated (1Co 15:39) that mysterious change God makes in men to fit them for his heavenly kingdom.

By his creative power, they “are created anew.” By the “renewing” power of his Spirit they are made “new creatures” for a new world, a new home. To effect this great work in us none but God our Savior is able. “Jesus is the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in him, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” He then is the fullness and power, the life and essence of the resurrection. Examples were given on earth showing forth this power in the resurrection of Lazarus of Bethany, the widow’s son, the ruler’s daughter, and, in fact, in all the miracles he wrought. He that changed water to best wine, is able to change an earthly body into a heavenly body. For we read, “As we have born the image of the earthy, (the first Adam) we shall also bear the image of the heavenly,” (of Christ). 1Co 15:49.

Again, in 1Co 15:53-54, “For this incorruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” So when this is done, then what will be? “Death swallowed up in victory.” The last and all enemies destroyed. Yes, even death destroyed. “There shall be no more death,” Re 21:4. If there shall be no more death, and death is ever destroyed, then I ask, can there be any remaining dead: How death can be destroyed and the dead not released and raised, we cannot see.

By the fullness, power and grace in Christ, those who dwell in, and die in the Lord, shall also “in Christ be made alive.” For in him they possess eternal life. Not so of those out of Christ. Out of Christ, the wrath of God abideth on them. The law worketh wrath; it takes its due course on those out of Christ, out of the “hiding place, the “covert” of saints, and they have no shelter from wrath, no cloak or covering for their sins. Then how blessed is that soul whose “life is hid with Christ in God.” So that “when he who is our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory.” Here is seen “good hope and everlasting consolation given us through grace.”

Perhaps you often try to imagine in your minds the glory of the scene when Christ and the saints all appear in glory together. Survey his transfiguration on the mount. He is suddenly covered by a bright cloud, his countenance is as the sun, his garments shining exceeding white as no fuller could white them, then heavenly visitors with him. Let this scene aid our weak minds in looking for the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior in this world, with his people, at his second coming, for he will come again in like manner as he ascended up from Mount Olivet in a bright cloud of glory.

Remember his promise, “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come unto you.” “Behold I come quickly.” Unexpectedly to most men on earth, he will come as a thief in the night. Many, unprepared for his coming, shall wail because of his sudden presence, to judge and reward all men. Paul certifies, “As it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment; so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many. But unto them that look for him will he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”

When he came before, he bore our sins in his body. When he comes again he will come without sin and make us like him; to make us sinless, immortal and all-glorious and heavenly, fit for a new home in heaven with God. Now, our sure and steadfast hope in Christ causes us to expect all this, will soon come to pass. We look for and greatly desire the glorious coming of Jesus, our adorable and blessed Savior, when we shall meet all redeemed souls of every age— patriarchs and prophets, apostles and saints, adults and infants, of all time; black and white, rich and poor, the sane and the idiot, are all to be changed, resurrected. God’s grace will be honored and glorified in its sovereign power, and impartial goodness in saving and resurrecting a mighty host which no man can number, out of every nation, kindred, tongue and people under heaven, to stand with him on Mount Zion. “And so shall they ever be with the Lord.”

The use to be made of this subject, as we learn from the words of Paul, is to “comfort one another with these words.’ You will often be in trouble. These truths will comfort you. Comfort the bereaved and desolate. Let them be used on all occasions, these words are soothing and consoling. Another use is to prompt us to active obedience to God.

In 1Co 15, last verse(1Co 15:58), it is said, “Therefore, my brethren, dearly beloved, be ye steadfast, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” This encouraging doctrine should be used to enforce a steadfast obedience at all times. Good works are not lost if resurrection is truth.

RESURRECTION: T.S. Dalton The Bible is very plain in setting forth the idea that the same body that was slain, was put in Joseph’s new tomb; the same body arose from the tomb; and the same body appeared to the disciples, and it was a flesh and bone body, for Jesus said to them, “handle me, for a Spirit hath not flesh and bones as you see me have” Oh! says one, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.” That’s so, but he doesn’t say that flesh and bones cannot enter Heaven, neither did he mean any such thing, but is simply showing the inability of man as corrupt, fallen creatures, to conform themselves to the image of Christ; for he says, “neither doth corruption inherit incorruption,” which shows that change from corruption to incorruption, from the image of the earthly Adam to the image of the heavenly Adam, was alone the work of God. But to deny that flesh and bones enter Heaven is to make Jesus Christ a deceiver and an imposter, for the Gallileans did gaze upon that body which Jesus said had flesh and bones, as it ascended up and was received out of their sight.” (T.S. Dalton Zion’s Advocate July 1893)

RESURRECTION Proof Texts: Job 19:23-27, “Oh that my words were now written; Oh that they were printed in a book. That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock forever. For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though after my skin worms destroy this body yet in my flesh shall I see God; whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.”

Ps 17:15, “As for me I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness.”

Isa 26:19, “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.”

Da 12:1-2, “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to everlasting contempt.”

Ho 13:14, “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be destruction; repentance shall be hid from my eyes.”

Joh 5:28-29, “Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”

Joh 6:54, “Who eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Ac 24:13,15, “Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me. But this I confess unto you, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets; and have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead both of the just and the unjust.”

Ro 8:10-11, “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his spirit that dwelleth in you.”

1Co 15:51-55, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. So when this corruptible shall have put on corruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory.”

RESURRECTION: Harold Hunt: Php 3:20-21, “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”

God is coming back for these bodies, and he is going to rejoin them to our departed spirit. I don’t know how he is going to do it, but then, he is not depending on me to help, so it is not important for me to know how he will do it.

Job 14:11-12, “As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up. So man lieth down and riseth not, till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.”

How long is man going to be in the grave? Job says it will be “till the heavens be no more.” As long as the sun shines in the heavens, as long as the moon rules over the night, as long as the stars twinkle in the sky, these old bodies will stay in the grave. But there is a day coming, when the Lord will step out on the clouds of glory, and declare that time will be no more. The elements will melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up (2Pe 3:10), and God is going to speak to these bodies, and raise them out of the ground.

Men will forget, but God remembers, and on the resurrection morning he will find you. I get the idea that day may not be very far off, but people have believed that for a long time. I am consoled in the fact that God knows when that time will be, and he will be on time.

I believe that one reason a lot of people want to believe the time is near is because they are afraid that if it is a long time the Lord might forget who they were, and where they are buried. But God knows who you are, and he will know where to find you.

I knew a good brother who had diabetes, and had to have his leg amputated. I went to the hospital to stay with the family on the day of his surgery. There was a man from the funeral home there; he had come to pick up the leg. He took the leg back to the funeral home and preserved it in formaldehyde.

I did not ask the old brother why he wanted his leg preserved in formaldehyde; I knew what he was up to. When he died, he wanted the leg buried with him. He was trying to make it easy on the Lord. On the resurrection morning he did not want the Lord looking all over Union County trying to find that leg.

Job 14:13, “O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me in secret until thy wrath be past, that thou woudest appoint me a set time and remember me.”

We do not always think of the grave as a hiding place. But what more secure place is there for the Lord to hide his chosen ones from all the trouble raging around them. In the grave God hides their sleeping dust, preserves it, and watches over it, until that grand day when he will call for them. He will raise those sleeping bodies from the grave, reunite them with their departed spirit; and spirit, soul, and body, he will carry them home to be with him in all eternity.

Job 14:14-15, “If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait until MY CHANGE come. Thou shalt call and I will answer thee; thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.”

There is a change that is going to take place in the resurrection; these old bodies are going to be changed. I remember when I was a boy, we used to sing a song that said, “We will have a new body.” We will have a new body in that this body is going to be made new—THIS SAME BODY.

1Co 15:42, “So also is the resurrection of the dead; it is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.”

There are some changes that are going to take place on that day. There are some things we are going to leave in the grave. All that is vile, all that is corrupt, all that is sinful, we will leave in the grave.

The longer I live the more real that day becomes to me. I am not in a hurry to leave this old world. I wouldn’t mind to live to be about 90 years old, and preach at least once every day until then. I am enjoying living. I am having the time of my life. I have never enjoyed life more. I have never enjoyed the church more. I have never enjoyed preaching more than I have the last several years. I have never enjoyed my Bible more than I have the last few years. I enjoy visiting among the churches, and experiencing your fellowship, and preaching to you.

It is a delight to any God-called minister to have an opportunity to preach the gospel, and he appreciates any invitation to visit and preach to the Lord’s people. Jeremiah said this desire to preach is a fire shut up in the bones. The only way the preacher can get any relief from that burning desire is to preach.

But in spite of all that, I get more than a little anxious to see that eternal city. I like to close my eyes sometimes, and envision what it must be like. In spite of all the sin and wickedness there is in the world, this old world is still a beautiful place to live. Sometimes I like to just look around and admire the beauty of God’s creation. Especially in the spring, when the azaleas are in bloom, and the mountain laurel, and the rhododendron, and the dogwoods, and all the others, and the grass is its greenest green, and everything around us has that fresh smell of new life, we cannot help but be amazed at the beauty of God’s creation.

And then I like to think that as beautiful as this world is, how beautiful Eden must have been before sin ever entered the picture. But, not even Eden in that day could compare with what that eternal city must be like. I don’t know if there will be azaleas, and pretty little pink bushes, and pretty little white bushes in heaven, but I kind of think there will be. After all, heaven is a real place, and we will be walking around in real bodies. I don’t know any reason to think there will not be all those scenes over there that dazzle our minds down here.

But any way you look at it, I believe that heaven with all its splendor will outshine anything we have seen down here.

Sylvester Hassell: Enoch and Noah, and perhaps other prophets, preached righteousness, and predicted the coming terrible judgment of God upon the ungodly race, but in vain. Enoch walked with God, and, about a thousand years after the creation of Adam, was translated to heaven without dying; just as, about two thousand years afterwards, during the rampant idolatry of the kingdom of Israel, the prophet Elijah was similarly favored—these two witnesses, before the coming of Christ, thus being divinely enabled to demonstrate to an unbelieving world, the doctrine of the resurrection of the body and its existence with the soul in glory. In the same manner, the bodies of the saints who are living on earth at the second or last personal coming of Christ, shall be changed, in a moment, without dying, from a mortal to an immortal state, and be caught up with their spirits to dwell forever with the Lord (1Th 4:15-17).” (Hassell)

REVEALED

REVEALED

By Elder Mark Green

Paul quoted the Old Testament to the Corinthians, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1Co 2:9). Then he contrasts that condition with this: “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit.” There are certain things - spiritual things - that men cannot know apart from the revelation of the Spirit of God. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1Co 2:14). These things are foolishness to natural men because they have not been revealed to them. They are foolishness to such a man because he is a natural, unregenerate man and does not have the capacity to understand spiritual things.

“And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (Mt 16:17). The thing that flesh and blood had not revealed and could not have revealed to Peter was the fact that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. No man ever has or ever will believe that from his heart apart from having a renewed heart. If a man does not know Christ, then it is impossible for him really to believe this wonderful fact about Him. “No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him” (Mt 11:27). It is impossible for a man to know God the Father or God the Son (or God the Holy Spirit, for that matter) apart from the revelation of Jesus Christ. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (Joh 17:3).

The essence of eternal life is the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ. This is a vital knowledge, not a scholastic or intellectual knowledge, otherwise it would be impossible for infants to possess it; and we know that John Baptist possessed it in his mother’s womb. Christ said that this knowledge is a special revelation, and that flesh and blood (mere human beings) do not have the power to convey it. That is why Jeremiah told the Jews that “they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them” (Jer 31:34). Flesh and blood cannot do it in any case, and certainly not in the hard cases of infancy or mental incapacity, or with those in the farther reaches of the earth - but God can do it. He can teach men to know God where human beings cannot go, in situations where we could never have power to act. Therefore, for men to claim that they can teach men to know God is to claim to be able to do something that God has reserved exclusively to Himself. He has hidden these things from the wise and the prudent, but has revealed them unto babes, so that men may not think that it is our wisdom that brings us to know God.

Revelation, The Beasts Of The

The Beasts of the REVELATION: Sylvester Hassell: The first Apocalyptic Beast rises out of the sea (Re 13:1) or out of the bottomless pit (Re 17:8), and has seven heads and ten horns, each horn having a crown upon it, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy; he has the power and authority of the Dragon, and makes war upon the saints and overcomes them; and all the world wonders after the beast, and worships him, except those whose names are written in the Book of Life and the lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Re 13:1-10).

The First Beast shows himself to be the direct representative of the Dragon, who also has seven heads and ten horns (Re 12:3), and who, first in human history, assumed the lowest beastly nature, that of the serpent (Ge 3). The First Beast represents the World-Power opposed to God—the seven heads implying the assumption of Godhead, and caricaturing the seven spirits of God (Re 1:4); and the ten horns implying the whole cycle of worldly opposition to the Divine perfections.

The seven heads seem to be the seven world monarchies— Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, and the Germanic Empire (the German hordes that conquered Rome); though many scholars think the last or seventh is not yet developed; it is certain, from the interpretation of the angel to John, that at least six of these heads have already appeared (Re 17:10), and that sixth was Rome, which reigned over the earth while John was living. Pagan Rome deified her emperors, and worshiped, it is said, 30,000 idols, and dominated the civilized world, and massacred the saints of God in ten persecutions.

Christianity seemed, for a brief period, to give its idolatry a deadly wound, in the fourth century; but that wound was healed, that is, the idolatry was restored by the apostasy of Papal Rome to picture-worship, Mariolatry (the worship of Mary), and the adoration of the Pope and the Eucharist. The ten horns of the First Beast seem to be ten kings who are to be subordinate to this world-power in its last development (Re 17:12).

The Second Apocalyptic Beast is the same as the False Prophet (Re 13:11-18; 19:20; 20:10); and also seems, in most respects, identified with the great, richly-dressed, blasphemous murderous whore, Mystery Babylon, who rides upon the First Apocalyptic Beast, and is drunken with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus (Re 17); the same s the “little horn” on the fourth beast in Da 7, and the “man of sin,” or “son of perdition,” predicted by Paul in 2Th 2; and, in its full development, is the chief and last of the “false Christs or false prophets” foretold by John in his first epistle (Re 2:18).

He rises out of the earth, that is, out of civilized and consolidated and peaceful society, and is of the earth, earthy, worshiping earthly idols and not the God of Heaven—it is a beast, all the time, notwithstanding that it has two horns like a lamb, mocking Christ, and appearing mild and innocent, yet really having the spirit of the Dragon, and, out of the abundance of its heart, speaking and acting like the Dragon.

While the First Beast was a political power, this adds to the features of the First Beast hypocrisy and deceivableness, and is a pseudo-spiritual power, prophesying and working deceptive miracles for the First Beast, and making an image to the First Beast, and commanding all to worship the image, and killing those that refuse, and setting a mark in the right hands or foreheads of the idolatrous worshipers, and letting none buy or sell except such as have the mark or name of the beast, or the number of his name.

The Second Beast (or False Prophet), although assuming the garb of religion (see Mt 7:15), is more oppressive than the first. The Dragon, Beast and False Prophet, “the mystery of iniquity,” form a hellish Anti-Trinity, counterfeit of “the mystery of godliness,” God manifest in Christ, witnessed to by the Spirit. “The Dragon personates the Father, assigning his authority to his representative, the Beast, as the Father assigns his to the Son; while the False Prophet, like the Holy Ghost, speaks not of himself, but tells all men to worship the Beast, and confirms his testimony by miracles, as the Holy Ghost attested Christ’s Divine mission.” (Hassell’s History ppg 254, 255)

The Mark of the Beast: Sylvester Hassell: The mark in the right hand and forehead implies prostration of the body and intellect to the Beast; or the mark in the forehead shows profession, and in the hand shows work and service for the Beast. The mark may be, as in the sealing of the saints, not visible, but symbolical of allegiance.

The number of the Beast is said to be the number of a man, and is 666. Countless attempts have been made to solve this enigma. Before the invention of the Arabic digits, numbers were generally represented by letters; so that every name, by the addition of the values of its letters, had a certain numerical value. From the language of the angel to John (Re 17:18), it seems certain that Rome was at least primarily meant; and the most scholarly solutions point to Rome.

The language in which John wrote the book of Revelation, like that of the remainder of the New Testament is Greek; and the numerical value, in Greek, of each of the following words, or phrases, is 666:---Lateinos (Latinus, said to have been the first king of the Roman aborigines, from whom they derived their name of latin); E Latine Basileia (the Latin kingdom); Italike Filii Dei (Italian Church); Paradosis (tradition); Euporia (wealth). Vicarius Filii Dei (a Latin phrase, meaning Vicar of the Son of God, blasphemously assumed by the Pope); Vicarius Generalis Dei in Terris (Vicar General of God on earth), have the numerical value, in Latin, of 666. Also the word Romiith (Roman), in Hebrew, has for its numerical value 666. Latin is Rome’s language in all official acts.

Let it be especially remembered that “the only two Greek nouns in all the New Testament, whose numerical value is exactly 666, are Paradosis and Europia, precisely the two expressing the grand corrupters of the church, Tradition, the corrupter of doctrine, and wealth, the corrupter of practice. The only unquestionable 666 in the Old Testament is the 666 talents of gold that came in yearly to Solomon, and were among his chief corrupting influences (1Ki 10:14; 2Ch 9:13).” (Hassell’s History ppg 255, 256)

The Two Horns of the Earth-Beast: Sylvester Hassell:

The two horns of the earth-beast represent the two phases of idolatry which ever corrupt the church, literal and spiritual image-worship and covetousness. In Pelletan’s “Profession of Faith in the Nineteenth Century,” Wealth is addressed “Divine Son-Messiah-Redeemer-dumb confidant of God— begotten by mysterious conception, who hast saved men from misery, redeemed the world,” etc.

As the woman divinely clothed with the sun, and having the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars, and persecuted by the Dragon (Re 12), represents the true church, so the woman humanly arrayed in purple and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, and sitting upon the scarlet-colored beast, and having upon her forehead the name Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth, and drunken with the blood of the saints, represents the false or apostate church with her daughters, whether Roman, Greek, or Protestant, not loving Christ, the heavenly Bridegroom, but giving its affections to worldly idols— corrupted by tradition and wealth.

The name Babylon given to the head of the image of the world-powers in the second chapter of Daniel is given in Revelation to the harlot. This connects her with the fourth kingdom, Rome, the last part of the image. Her sitting upon seven mountains or hills (Re 17:9), and her being the city which in John’s time reigned over the kings of the earth (Re 17:18), also prove her to be Rome. Babylon means confusion, and well describes the rival claims of apostate Rome and her apostate daughters, and the “confused noises and blood-rolled garments” of their many wars upon each other and upon the followers of the Lamb, the Prince of Peace (Isa 9:5-6); but all these persecutors shall stumble, and their “confusion” shall be “everlasting” (Jer 20:11). (Hassell’s History pg 256)

The Time of His Coming: Sylvester Hassell: In regard to the time when all these events shall take place, it is altogether uncertain. Christ told his Apostles that it was “not even for them to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power” (Ac 1:7); and that the day and hour of the coming of the Son of man were unknown to any man and to the angels, and even to himself in his humanity, and known only to the Father (Mr 13:32).

Therefore all his people are to watch (Mt 24:42). What is called the Year-Day theory is popular with many writers, though rejected by several recent and able scholars. This theory is sought to be based upon such passages as Le 7:5; De 16:9-10,16; Nu 14:33-34; Eze 4:5-6; Da 9:24; and maintains that a day in prophecy means a year in history. It is replied that prophetical numbers are symbolical, and can hardly be thought to be also literal; that the above passages are irrelevant, especially the main passage in Da 9:24, where the word translated weeks simply means sevens; that the theory is contrary to the words of Christ about our not knowing the times or the seasons; and that if it is applied to any prophetical numbers, it should be applied to all, and that would make the Millennium (Re 10:1-7) last 360,000 years.

Scarcely any Year-Day theorist applies his theory to the Millennium. Still, he insists that, in the latter days, many were to run to and fro, and knowledge was to be increased, and the book of prophecy was to be sealed only to the time of the end (Da 12:4); and that, as the beginnings of the periods are uncertain, although we know the periods themselves, their ends are also uncertain, so that Christ’s words would still be true.

The three years and a half, or time, and dividing of time, or 42 months, or 1,260 days, so often mentioned in prophecy, are the same period; and, if the Year-Day theory be true, they denote 1,260 years. As for the fall of Mystical Babylon, we cannot tell the exact date, even if she were to continue 1,260 years. Pope Boniface III., in A.D. 606, received from the Emperor Phocas the title of “Universal Bishop;” Pope Theodore I., in A.D. 648, assumed the title of “Sovereign Pontiff,” and was the last pope whom a bishop dared to call brother; Pope Stephen III., in A.D. 754, by acknowledging the usurper Pepin as the lawful king of France, received from him the three territories of Rome, Ravenna, and Lombardy, the beginning of the temporal power of the popes.

Reckoning the 1,260 years from these dates, we should reach A.D. 1866, 1908, and 2014; or, if only 360 days are reckoned to a year, A.D. 1849, 1891, and 1997. If the latter date were correct, and there was then to be a persecution of God’s people, unprecedented in horror, and lasting a literal period of three years and a half, as many suppose, it would make the fall of Romish Babylon about A.D. 2000. (All future dates are, of course, except to God, uncertain.)

As shown by Re 19:17-21, “the world, at its highest development of material and pseudo-spiritual power, is but a decorated carcass round which the eagles gather,” as literal Jerusalem was at its destruction by the Romans (Mt 24:15-28). The one was a lively type of the other.

Mr. Charles Hodge (in his Systematic Theology), however, makes the wise remark: “Experience teaches that the interpretation of unfulfilled prophecy is exceedingly precarious. There is every reason to believe that the predictions concerning the second advent of Christ, and the events which are to attend and follow it, will disappoint the expectations of the commentators, as the expectations of the Jews were disappointed in the manner in which the prophecies concerning the first advent were accomplished.”

In reference to the highly important discourse of Christ in Mt 24 and Mt 25, it is to be observed that Christ is answering three distinct questions of his Apostles: 1st, When the temple and city of Jerusalem were to be destroyed; 2nd, What were to be the signs of his coming; and 3rd, What was to be the time or the sign of the end of the world (Mt 24:3). The questions, perhaps, amounted to but one in the minds of the disciples at that time, because they probably supposed that these three events were to be simultaneous. It is in accordance with the entire analogy of Scripture prophecy to understand that these predictions had a primary and lower fulfillment in the destruction of Jerusalem, but will have a final and higher fulfillment in the destruction of this sin-polluted world.

So the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah were intended to foretell, not only the deliverance of national Israel from Babylonian captivity, but also the far more important redemption of spiritual Israel from the bondage of sin and Satan.

For the declarative glory of God, the righteousness and mercy of his dealings are to be displayed before the assembled universe on the most solemn and final day of judgment (Mt 11:22,24; 25:26-31; Lu 10:14; Ac 17:31; Heb 6:2; 2Pe 2:9; 3:7-13; 1Jo 4:17; Re 20:11-15). The time and place and duration of that momentous scene have not been revealed to mortals. Christ, the Mediator between God and man, the Savior of sinners, he who loved and gave himself for his chosen people, embracing every truly humble soul, is to be the judge (Mt 25:31-32; 28:18; Joh 5:27; Ac 10:42; 17:31; Ro 14:10; Php 2:10; 2Ti 4:1); otherwise his little ones “would sink in despair before the terrible bar.”

The persons to be judged are men and angels (Ec 12:14; Ps 1:4; 2Co 5:10; Ro 14:10; Mt 12:36-37; 25:32; Re 20:12; Mt 8:29; 1Co 6:3; 2Pe 2:4). “The saints will be present, not to have their portion assigned (for that was fixed long before, Mt 25:34; Eph 1:3-4; 2Th 2:13; 1Pe 1:1-5; Joh 5:24), but to have it confirmed forever, and that God’s righteousness may be vindicated in both the saved and the lost (Ro 14:10; 2Co 5:10), before the universe.”

The books that are to be opened are the book of the law (Ga 3:10), the book of conscience (Ro 2:15-16, and the book of God’s omniscience (Heb 4:13); and, besides these, another most precious book, the book of God’s fatherly remembrance, mentioned at the close of the Old Testament (Mal 3:16-18; 4:1-3), which is the same as the Lamb’s book of life, mentioned at the close of the New Testament (Re 13:8; 20:12-15; 21:27)—a book containing the names of all the redeemed to God by the blood of the Lamb out of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation (Re 5:9-10; 1:5-6; 17:14; Isa 35:10; 53:5-11; Jer 23:6; Mt 1:21; Joh 10:15,27-30; 17:2-3,9-10,20-24; Ac 13:48; Ro 5:19-21; 8:28-39; 1Co 1:26-31), their names being written therein, not for their works, but for Christ’s work for and in them—the Lamb’s book of life (Ro 3:10-20; 6:23; 11; 6).

The saints are justified freely by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Ro 3:24), or justified by faith, the gift of God (Ro 5:1; 4:16; Ga 5:22; Eph 1:19; Php 1:29; Heb 12:2). Faith being appreciable by God and the believer alone (Re 2:17), and works being appreciable by all, the saints “works of faith and labors of love” are published as the external and evidential test to indicate their preparedness for glory, and to vindicate the righteousness of God (1Th 1:3-4; Mt 25:34-40; 7:16-20; Ga 5:22-23; Eph 2:1-10).

Acquitted by the free mercy of God, while humbly feeling their own utter unworthiness, the saints are shown to be the children of God by their divinely inspired deeds of mercy to his people (Mt 25:34-40; Jas 2:13-26; Eph 5:1-2). True faith worketh by love, which is the fulfilling of the law, and the proof that we have passed from death unto life, and are the justified children of God (Ga 5:6; 6:15; Ro 13:10; 1Co 13:13; 1Jo 3:14-18; 4:7-8,11,13,20; 5:1; Ro 3:24-26; 5:1-5). As for their sins, while they themselves can never forget them, and never cease to be deeply grateful to him who loved them and washed them from their sins in his own blood, (Re 1:5), their covenant God has long since promised, not only to forgive, but to remember their sins no more (Jer 31:31-37).

Being thus accepted in the Beloved, and freely justified by his grace (Eph 1:6-7; Ro 3:24), the saints will become assessors with the Judge, and heartily indorse his righteous judgments (Ps 149:5-9; 1Co 6:2-3; Re 20:4; 19:1-5). In the light of the “Great White Throne” (Re 20:11) all deception will be banished, the secrets of all hearts will be revealed, every individual will appear in his true character (Ec 12:14; 1Co 4:5; Mal 3:18); the wicked, though seeking to justify themselves, will be justly condemned by the holy law of God, and by their own consciences (Ro 3:19; 2:12-16; Ga 3:10), and will be sentenced to everlasting misery, while the righteous are welcomed to everlasting blessedness (Mt 25:46).” (Hassell’s History ppg 257-262)

Revelation, The Book Of

The Book of REVELATION: Sylvester Hassell:

Three Methods of Interpretation: There are three methods of interpreting the book of Revelation— the Preterist, the Futurist, and the Historical (or continuous). The Preterist maintains that the prophesies in Revelation have already been fulfilled—that they refer chiefly to the triumph of Christianity over Judaism and paganism, signalized in the downfall of Jerusalem and of Rome. Against this view it is urged that if all these prophesies were fulfilled some 1,400 years ago (the Western Roman Empire fell A.D. 476), their accomplishment should be so perspicuous as to be universally manifest, which is very far from being the case.

The Futurist interpreters refer all the book, except the first three chapters, to events which are yet to come. Against this view it is alleged that it is inconsistent with the repeated declarations of a speedy fulfillment at the beginning and end of the book itself (Re 1:3; 22:6-7,12,20). Against both these views it is argued that, if either of them is correct, the Christian church is left without any prophetic guidance in the Scriptures, during the greater part of its existence; while the Jewish church was favored with prophets during the most of its existence.

The Historical or Continuous expositors believe the Revelation a progressive history of the church from the first century to the end of time. The advocates of this method of interpretation are the most numerous, and among them are such famous writers as Luther, Sir Isaac Newton, Bengel, Faber, Elliott, Wordsworth, Hengstenbeg, Alford, Fausset and Lee. The ablest living expositors of this class consider the seven seals, seven trumpets, seven thunders and seven vials as all synchronous, or contemporaneous, or parallel, a series of cyclical collective pictures, each representing the entire course of the world (as connected with the church) down to the end of time; just as the seven churches in the first three chapters represent the universal church, the message to each pointing to the second coming of Christ.

So the introduction in the first chapter, and the conclusion in the last chapter, refer to the beginning and the end of time, and to the second coming of Christ. Three times in the last chapter is his quick coming predicted. For these reasons the book of Revelation has been called the “Book of the Prophecy of Christ’s Coming.”

It is the most difficult and sublime book of the Bible. While foretelling the righteous and terrific judgments of God upon the sins of man, it shows that all things are absolutely subject to the Divine foreknowledge and control (Ac 15:18; Ps 76:10; 46:6; Mt 24:22); and it abounds in the strongest consolation to the tried people of God, revealing the certainty of their final triumph over all their enemies, and their sure entrance into eternal bliss. Hence, it has been impressively remarked that “the book spreads itself out before us like the mantle of dusky night, broidered over with brilliant stars like jewels—enlivening the hope, patience, perseverance and love of the church of God, and affording her way in situations of the greatest obscurity, while presenting an impenetrable veil to the profane gaze of the worldly mind.”

Scarcely are any two leading interpreters agreed as to the exact events alluded to by each prophecy; no doubt many of the prophecies are still future, and cannot be understood until their fulfillment. While the prophecies may have one, or more than one, typical, imperfect, historical fulfillment, there can be no question that they also imply a higher spiritual fulfillment.” (Hassell’s History ppg 252, 253)

Reverend

REVEREND The term “Reverend,” has, in modern times, taken the place of the New Testament term “Elder.” Primitive or Old School Baptists are about the only people who hold to the term Elder for distinguishing the pastor. They do not want any high-sounding titles applied to them. To apply reverend to men appears to them bigotry, pride, and a species of robbery. This word is used but one time in the Bible (Ps 111:9), and then in connection with the Lord’s name only. And when inspiration says “Holy and reverend is his (God’s) name;” to change it to say, “Holy and Reverend” is the preacher, is robbing God of his name, to satisfy man’s vanity. As well say, “Holy Mr. Smith,” as say “Reverend Mr. Smith.”

Protestants have borrowed this and many other unscriptural customs from the Catholics. May God enable us to reverence him, and like Elihu (Job 32:21-22), not give flattering titles to men.” (R.H. Pittman)

Richard Coeur-De-Lion King of England

RICHARD COEUR-DE-LION King of England (See under The CRUSADES) Anthology Crusades, The

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

Rightly Dividing The Word of Truth

A Collection of One Dozen Editorials

Recently Published In ZION'S ADVOCATE and MESSENGER OF TRUTH
also an APPENDIX Containing Other Articles and Answers to Questions

BY R. H. PITTMAN, EDITOR

Elder Harold Hunt
P O Box 5352
Maryville TN 37802

DEDICATION

To MY Friends who read with pleasure these editorials as they appeared in the columns of the ADVOCATE and MESSENGER, and expressed a desire to see them published in this form, in this little book

Lovingly Dedicated

and it is the author's wish that a further perusal may give you [and every reader], both profit and pleasure; and that God may bless it to the upbuilding of His cause, the edifying and unifying of His people, and to the glorifying of His precious name.

R.H. Pittman
Luray, VA, November 1922

Second Edition
September, 1923

Luray,. Va., November 1, 1922.

 

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

EDITORIAL No. 1
Calling and Qualifying Ministers

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2Ti 2:15).

Thus wrote the Apostle Paul to a younger preacher. It was needful that the younger preacher be instructed along the line of preaching else Paul would not have thus taught him. The gift of preaching is from the Lord, but the one receiving that gift can improve it by study.

God calls and qualifies His ministers, but not in the sense that there is nothing for the preacher to do. I do not read where God preaches through the preacher. If God did the preaching it would always be the truth. God cannot lie. The best of men can, and sometimes do. If God did the preaching, it would not be imperfectly done. It would be perfectly expressed (for He is perfect) ; and in harmony with all other truth (for He is not the author of confusion).

God calls His servants by His Spirit. There is that divine influence in their heart; that love for the cause of truth; that desire to defend it; that impelling faith that leads towards a life of usefulness to others and glory to God. There is that beauty in the scripture never seen before;

that hunger and thirst for more knowledge; that rushing in on the mind of light and liberty, in the field of truth, sometime in the busy hours of day—sometime in the quiet slumbers at night amid dreams and visions. Only the God called minister can understand this. And is it not also true that the God called minister is the one—and the only one—who feels a heavy responsibility to work in the Master's vineyard, and woe if he does not do so, yet at the same time realizing his inability and unworthiness for such a work?

And right here is an important test. There are thousands of preachers who seem to have forgotten the preparation that must come from God. They look to man for preparation. The schools of men are sought; the god of human wisdom is worshiped. And they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears. They appear to believe it is all of man. They dare not preach without time to prepare the sermon. It must be cut and dried. And their faith seems to be more in their Notes than in God. Primitive Baptist preachers look upon such as manifesting a lack of faith in God. And it is.

But is there not danger of some Primitive preachers going to the other extreme? In charging others with lack of faith, let us not presume too much upon God. Let no one think God is going to do all the work. Man is His servant. The servant is to labor and to feel his responsibility in how he labors—how well he does the work. A preacher who says his preaching is the Lord preaching through him, is presuming too much. He is an extremist. Sometimes the church, for its own good and God's glory, has to exclude such men. And when this is done, no right thinking man—no Bible Baptist for one moment concludes such church took action against the Lord. Such action is against the man. A preacher that boasts that God does it all, and he does nothing is worth nothing to the church. Such an extreme is fatalism, or to express it more plainly, do-nothing-ism. And it is as dangerous as Arminianism, or do-all-ism.

Now upon this subject—the subject of what the preacher should do and what he should teach people to do, I desire to present some thoughts for Primitive Baptists to consider. The subject is a comprehensive one and I shall not undertake to exhaust it. I could not if I tried. My ability is too limited and my time too brief. But I feel it is of great importance to the household of faith. "Like priest, like people," is a true proverb. The sheep will follow their shepherd, certainly to a great degree. Every division can be traced to some leader of the people. Sheep without a shepherd are in a pitiful condition, but not more so than when following an unsound and unfaithful shepherd. The prophet Isaiah complaining of the people turning from the Lord said, "For the leaders of this people caused them to err; and they that are led of

them are destroyed," (Isa 9:16). Leaders often cause people to go in error. How important then it is that our preachers take heed to themselves and to the doctrine they preach. Paul at another time writing to Timothy said to him, "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them; for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. "1Ti 4:16). Let us try to do this with honesty of purpose and sincerity of heart.

Study to show thyself approved unto God:—The minister then is to study. He is not told to go to the schools of men to learn how to preach. And there is not one example in all the word of God where it can be shown that one called to serve Him as prophet, apostle, or preacher was ever directed by divine inspiration to the schools of men to be prepared for the work. Therefore, Primitive Baptists do not undertake to maintain, nor do they patronize Theological schools. But because they have no such schools for the purpose of preparing men for the work of the Ministry is no evidence that they are advocates of an ignorant ministry, else such charge is equally applicable to God's servants whose lives we find recorded in the Bible.

Nor is it any proof that the ministry of the Primitive Baptist church do not study. As a rule they are a studious body of men, and they should be. And I conclude it is also safe to say that they are as well versed in the Holy Scripture as the college taught ministry. This is their text book. They want "a thus saith the Lord" for what they preach and practice. This Book of God should be searched diligently and prayerfully. It is God's revealed will to man—a, lamp to our feet, a guide to us through life, and a comfort to us in death. And then, too, there is the Book of Nature ever open to the disciple of the Lord. And on its every page is to be seen the handiwork of God. From the tiniest insect that floats in the breeze to the tallest mountain with its snow capped peaks, God, the creator of all things is pointed to, and as the work of his hand, seem ever praising him.

And also from the Book of Experience, are learned many lessons that can be learned in no other school. And lessons once learned in this school are not soon forgotten. And thus the sources of information are within, and without, and all around, and when being led and taught by the Great Teacher, even ignorant men, are made able ministers of the New Testament. Not that God in His word justifies any to put a premium on ignorance. Wisdom is to be desired, and sought after. Yet God calls not many wise men, not many noble. Some few of great worldly wisdom are called. Such were Moses and Paul. In God's providence Moses was raised up in the King's palace and trained in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. These Egyptians educated the man who broke the yoke of bondage from the neck of the Israelites which finally led to the destruction of Pharaoh and his hosts.

Paul was educated by the Pharisees and then used by God to expose and tear down Phariseeism. When God needs a man of great human wisdom, He knows where to find him and how to use him. But all this justifies no minister in a life of self-satisfaction and apathy. Instead of boasting of either education or illiteracy, let us study to show ourselves approved unto God. True, Jesus told His Apostles (Mt 10:19) to "take no thought how or what ye shall say", but that was in case they were brought before governors and kings to be tried and persecuted for the truth they were preaching. He was not considering their service in a general way. They were to be fishers of men, feeders of sheep, sowers of seed,— "in the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand,"— labor in the Master's Kingdom with all due care and diligence.

Approved unto God:— The minister is not to seek to displease men, yet it is not his business to study to please them. "Speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all gentleness to all men." One can be firm for the truth and yet not be rude. Speak the truth in love. The great influence of kindness, forbearance and patience, seasoned with love, can never be estimated. The minister is to be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves. To be like a serpent in wisdom and a dove in harmlessness, is indeed a wonderful gift.

Such a gift can win souls. Mind you, win souls, not save souls. Win them from the ways of error to that of truth, win them to the cause of righteousness; enlist them in the service of the Master. "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise," (Prov, 12:30). But it is God-who has called him into the service and who sustains him there. Therefore the approval of God is above every thing else, is to be sought. To study to please men is an evidence that such an one is not a servant of Christ. It is a danger signal to see a preacher courting the popularity of the world, preaching and practicing anything that pleases the world. "Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you." Thus spoke Jesus to His ministers, (Lu 6:26). He also said in the same chapter, "Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake." The true minister may expect such treatment. But "rejoice and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven." He is to preach as a dying man to a dying people.

Tell them the truth though they receive it not, and like Paul say, "Brethren, my hearts desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved." (Ro 10:1).

Preach the Gospel openly and freely with all sincerity, commending yourselves to God, and to every man's conscience, leaving the result to the Righteous Judge of all things.

A workman that needeth not be ashamed:— He that desireth the office of a Bishop, or Elder, desireth a good thing. There is no higher profession in the world than to be a true servant of God. The world does not so esteem it. But the judgment of the world is not the best judgment. Noah was a preacher of righteousness, but very unpopular with the world. Some wit once said "Noah must have been an Old Baptist Preacher for he hammered on that Old Ark a hundred and twenty years, preaching righteousness all the time, and didn't save but eight souls." Well, the eight souls saved in the Ark were all that were saved when destruction came. And in Jesus, the Ark of Safety, will be saved all that shall ever be saved eternally when the final test comes.

Had you not rather have been with Noah, unpopular though he was, than with the popular world on the outside, when the waters covered the earth? If one is right, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Let the vain, giddy world laugh and mock. Let us choose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasure of sin for a season. God's word is right, and he will save his heart's delight. And though the church in the world is a sect every where spoken against, but "ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praise of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light," (1Pe 2:9) Preaching Jesus is a work, and a good work; and those that perform it aright are worthy of honor and esteem.

And not only is it honorable, but difficult. It requires industry, diligence, and application. A lazy man can not make a useful minister. Nor can the most industrious and talented succeed without the directing and sustaining grace of God. They are laborers together with God, and laborers in His vineyard. And those who are faithful and sincere need not be ashamed even though their work may not apparently be blessed as the work of others. If true to God, they have nothing to be ashamed of. If they teach false doctrines and lead in false practices; if they are slothful, negligent and careless ; if their lives are not moral, upright and honest, then they have much to be ashamed of. But let no minister be ashamed of the Gospel of Truth, the good news of salvation alone through the merit— the blood and righteousness of Christ Jesus.

This system of salvation is a divine one. God is its Author, Jesus its Executor, the Holy Spirit its Finisher. And not one heir of promise shall be left out; all of His children among all the races of men in all the world, and for all time, shall be safely housed in eternal glory.

And "blessed are your eyes for they see,"— "blessed are your ears for they hear," and blessed and favored is that workman in the Lord's vineyard who handles not the word of God deceitfully but who preaches Jesus "the way, the truth, and the life" all the time, as the means, and the only means, that can purge our sins, purify our conscience, cleans us from guilt, redeem us to God, and fit us for heaven. Such a workman needeth not be ashamed.

 

EDITORIAL No. 2
Not Truth, But the Word of Truth Divided

In a previous article I commented in a brief way on the subject matter in this verse, except the last clause. To this last clause I purpose to give more time, study and prayer. It is, I feel, of great importance to our people at this time. And I trust that what I may publish will be blessed of God to the glory of His name and the good of His people.

RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH:— It is not TRUTH, but the WORD OF TRUTH, that should be divided. The word of truth, under consideration, is the scripture,— the Old and New Testament. And in looking up the word TRUTH, I was astonished to find this word used the exact number of times in each of the Testaments. ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTEEN TIMES the word TRUTH is found in the Old Scriptures, and ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTEEN TIMES it is found in the New; a total of two hundred and thirty-four times in our Bible,— the King James version. Is this not remarkable? The 39 Books of the Old Testament were written in Hebrew,— some of them centuries before Christ;— the 27 Books of the New Testament were written in Greek in the first century of the Christian era, and each division of the 66 Books containing the word Truth an equal number of times. Does it not look as if INSPIRATION rightly divided the word of truth in the Old and the New Testaments, giving to each

dispensation an equal portion? Does it not look like the Spirit of God directed this matter? Will the serious minded person contend that this only happened so? In the Old Testament there are 607,207 words; in the New Testament, 179,476. And yet in each of these number of words, the word truth, appears an equal number of times.

To my mind this is another evidence that "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

TRUTH ! WHAT IS TRUTH? Pilate asked Jesus this question but did not stay to get an answer. To Pilate Jesus said, "To this end was I born in the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth My voice."

Pilate said unto Him, "What is truth?" And when he had said this he went out again unto the Jews, and said unto them, I find in Him no fault at all." (Joh 18:37-38). There are many Pilates in the world today, asking, What is truth? but not really caring for an answer. They have their self-appointed opinion and do not want to be removed from it. And when you convince one such against his will, he is of the same opinion still. Maybe Solomon had in mind such when he said, "Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him." (Pr 26:12)

We are admonished by the Apostle Paul to "Be not wise in your own conceits." "Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool that he may be wise, For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God."

Webster tells us that TRUTH is fidelity; constancy; steadfastness; faithfulness; sincerity; genuineness; conformity to fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be. Truth cannot be destroyed for God is the God of truth. Coleridge said, "Whispering tongues can poison truth" but it cannot kill it. Bryant said,

"Truth crushed to earth shall rise again,
The eternal years of God are hers.
But Error, wounded, writhes in pain,
And dies among his worshipers."

"Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." And Christ said of himself, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." And in his prayer for his people recorded in John's Gospel, seventeenth chapter, we find he said, "Sanctify them through thy truth ; thy word is truth." And it is this word of truth that we want to carefully examine.

"The worth of truth no tongue can tell,
'Twill do to buy, but not to sell."

Francis Bacon said, "The proper inquiry after truth, which is the wooing of it; the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it; and the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it, is the sovereign good of human nature.

The first creature of God, in the works of the days, was the light of the senses; the last was the light of reason; and His Sabbath work, ever since, is the illumination of His Spirit. First, He breathed light upon the face of matter; then He breathed light into the face of man ; and still He breathed and inspired light into the face of His chosen. Certainly it is heaven upon earth to have a man's mind move in charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of truth."

Eld. Hassell, in an article published in the Gospel Messenger some years ago, in showing how little the wisest of men really know, said, "But blessed be the name of the God of Israel, His people, taught by Him, know that He is a God of truth (Ps 31:5), and that His Son Jesus Christ is the perfect incarnation of essential and eternal truth (Joh 1:14-17), and that His Spirit is the Spirit of truth (Joh 14:17), and that His word is the holy and everlasting truth (Joh 17:17) upon whose declarations and promises they may securely rest their hope for salvation for time and eternity. Yet no man, nor do all men together, understand the written word of God in all its depth and fullness, and seeking to understand it we are, like others, (2Ti 2:269: Jas 5:19) liable to err. Among the leading causes of error are one-sidedness, partiality, prejudice, passion, inattention, haste, sloth, forgetfulness, imagination, hope, fear. self-love, pugnacity, limitation of our faculties, infinitude of truth, imperfection and ambiguity of language, and consequent logomachy, or mere wrangling about words."

Note the leading causes of error as stated by Eld. Hassell. And has he not well stated the causes? And do you note that not one of these several causes of error, which lead to strife and division, is a fruit of the Spirit? The Spirit of God produce no such fruit," but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." "Be not deceived ; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Some wrest the scriptures to their own destruction. They read in them more than is clearly taught. They refuse to see and teach the plain truths expressed therein. They maximize one set of scriptures and minimize other scriptures equally as important. And the Apostle Peter warns against this when he said, "Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." Peter taught that there is a growth in grace and knowledge.

Now growth is an effect. The cause is life and proper nourishment. God is the giver of life and the furnisher of nourishment. Ought we not seek to wisely apply the nourishment. Do not wise parents seek to properly apply nourishment to their children that they may grow and develop? Should not the under-shepherd be careful how he feeds the flock of God? Many of God's children, "as new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that they may grow thereby." And many need the strong meat of the gospel that they may grow strong. Then what better pasture could the sheep of the Lord be led for their peace, happiness and growth, than into the scriptures of God's truth, rightly divided, giving each his portion in due season? Let us carefully and prayerfully study this division.

DIVIDE : This does not mean to rend and tear,— to add to, or take from. The word of truth is perfect in every essential. It is a thorough furnisher for all good works. To tear and rend it shows enmity to its precepts and examples. To add to, or take from, shows insubordination and opposition to its authority and demands. Nor should it be adulterated with error. The Bible says what it means and means what it says. We cannot understand all about it, but the way of holiness is sufficiently plain that God's children, "the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein." (Isa 35:8). The true minister realizes the responsibility and sacredness of handling the word of truth. He wants to distribute the food it contains to the babes in Christ, and to grown Christians, according to their capacities, and suitable to their cases and circumstances. He does not want to pervert, and wrest, and poison this pure fountain. He wants to point out the truth in it, show unto men the way of salvation, and plainly and faithfully preach the gospel contained in it. He desires to declare the whole counsel of God, and keep back nothing that is profitable.

Nothing is more clearly taught in the Bible than the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man. And yet these cardinal principles cannot, by finite man, be fully reconciled. The old London Confession of Faith, and hundreds of other confessions published by Baptists and Protestants, have endeavored to reconcile these two aspects of eternal truth.

It is a scriptural fact that God permits sin, punishes for sin, and over-rules it for His own glory and His peoples' good. God is an absolute, infinite and eternal sovereign. He "works all things after the counsel of His own will." But He does not tempt, much less compel His creatures to sin.

And Elder Hassell has well said "the idea that, if God permits His creatures to sin when He might prevent them, He is just as responsible for their sins as if He compelled them to sin, and is as guilty as His sinning creature, is a blasphemous sophistry in which we allow Satan to entangle us, and ignores the radical distinction between the creature and the Creator-the creature being made by the Creator, and being necessarily placed under law by the Creator, and justly accountable to his Creator for his disobedience; while the Creator is not justly obliged to sink His voluntary and rational creatures to the level of inanimate and insensate matter, to reduce them to mere machines, and compel them to obey His laws, but may justly leave them to obey or disobey, and justly punish them for their disobedience."

Now if we, in the study of the word of God, keep in mind these two view points of the relationship between God and man, the harmony of all scripture will be more clearly seen. If we be moved from this position we shall either go into Arminianism on the one hand, or Fatalism on the. other. Both are dangerous. Broadly speaking, Arminianism robs God of glory in the salvation of sinners; Fatalism charges God with the sin of sinners.

The one makes too much of obedience; the other denies obedience altogether, but says all things are appointed, necessary, inevitable. One system teaches that Heaven is gained by obedience; the other system teaches that nothing is gained by obedience. Both are wrong. Our salvation from sin is alone the work of the Triune God. Our salvation from error; from false ways and false doctrines; from immorality, disgrace and dishonor as God's children, is in obedience,— not in disobedience to God's law.

Our obedience is not independent of the Spirit, but is a fruit of the Spirit working in us. "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit," says Jesus. He also tells us to "strive to enter in at the strait gate." And the psalmist prays, "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."

 

EDITORIAL No. 3

Salvation From Sin, Salvation From Error, Etc.

In my last article I said:—Our salvation from sin is alone the work of the Tri-une God. Our salvation from error; from false ways and from false doctrines; from immorality, disgrace and dishonor as God's children, is in obedience, not in disobedience of God's law. I also took pains to say that: Obedience is not independent of the spirit, but is a fruit of the Spirit working in us. Then I quoted the following language of Jesus, "Herein is my father glorified, that ye bear much fruit."

By "Salvation from sin," I mean from the nature and the effects of sin. Our parents in the Garden of Eden were made good and upright. God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." This was done. From the hand of God man was sinless. But it was not long before he was tempted to sin, to disobey God. This he did. And the sin man first committed was not ordered of God, but forbidden by Him. And so no sin is ever ordered by the Lord, but always forbidden. Nor did God tempt our first parents to sin. They were tempted of the devil. God tempts no man to sin. In sinning, ignorantly or with knowledge, they involved themselves and their posterity in the transgression. "The wages of sin is death," and death hath passed upon all men for all have sinned.

Then, how shall man be saved from sin? There is but one way. There is no need for but one way. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." The Angel said of the birth of Jesus, "His name shall be called Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins." He came in the world for this purpose. He came to live as they should live,—to suffer as they deserve to suffer, and to die that they might be saved from eternal death, or banishment from God's presence. The prophet Isaiah said of Him long before His advent into the world, "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: and by His stripes we are healed." This same prophet also saw the victorious end of his suffering and said," He shall see the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied; by His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities."

And Paul said of Him, "When He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." (Heb 1:3). Paul in Heb 5:9 also said, "And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him." And all Primitive Baptists contend that this salvation from sin, and from the effects of it, and from the death ,of it, can be accomplished alone through the sufferings, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. And they all contend that this was accomplished once for all, that when Jesus, on the cross, said, "It is finished," that He was speaking of His work, for "He was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. (Ro 4:25). And no Primitive Baptist contends that man has anything to do with this work. But on the contrary they all deny that it is by the works of men, in whole. or in part. Man must be born again. "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (Joh 3:3). And again, "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (Joh 3:7). The new birth is an absolute necessity. To see heaven and enter therein one must be born from above.

Yet, nowhere in all the word of God is it made the duty of man to be born again. No where in God's word is he exhorted to be born again. Why is this? Why is man not exhorted to be born again? Why is it not made his duty to be born again? Is it not because he is entirely passive in regeneration, entirely helpless? That which is born, whatever the creature may be, is passively born. That is, there are no duties to be performed by things unborn in order to be born. This is clearly understood in the natural kingdom; it is as clearly taught in the spiritual kingdom.

Paul said, speaking to the Ephesian brethren, "You hath he quickened." God did the quickening. He is the life giver, the source of all life. "For the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will. (Joh 5:21). "It is the Spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing." (Joh 6:63).

These texts prove conclusively and without the shadow of a doubt that the salvation under consideration— salvation from sin and in heaven, is by grace. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of your selves: it is the gift of God." (Eph 2:8). "And if by grace, then it is no more of works ; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be by works, then it is no more grace; otherwise work is no more work." (Ro 11:6).

The Apostle shows as plainly as language can express a fact that this salvation is by grace, by the mercy, unmerited favor, of God . And then he just as clearly shows that it is by grace wholly, entirely, completely. No mixture of the grace of God and the works of men in this salvation. That it is entirely unconditional upon the part of man. Of course this salvation is not wrought out, accomplished, without conditions performed. There were conditions to perform. But there were none among the whole race of men to perform them. And so one came from heaven to perform them. This One was Jesus. He said of Himself, "I came down from heaven not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which He hath given me I should loose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day." (Joh 6:38-39). This salvation was conditional and Jesus performed the conditions. He was the Executor of His Father's will, and He performed that will perfectly. Every stipulation was

complied with, and the heirs of that will shall not fail to come into full possession of the benefits of the provisions of the will. He said, "All the Father giveth Me shall come to Me, and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out."

Their salvation is secure in Him, and to comfort His children, Jesus also said, "I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." (Joh 10:28). This salvation from death to life, from sin to holiness, from earth to heaven, is wholly by the grace of God, and is in no sense by the works of the creature. But when one has been born again, quickened into, or given eternal life, passed from death unto life, made a new creature in Christ Jesus, are there not duties for him to perform, obligations for him to fulfill, and salvations for him to work out? Are there not things in this life from which he can save himself?

I learn by a reference to God's word that the word "salvation" is mentioned therein one hundred and sixty-two times. And I feel confident that while a portion of these one hundred and sixty-two references to salvation mean the salvation briefly discussed above, yet not all such references mean this salvation. And as God's responsible creatures, and we trust His children also, we should prayerfully and carefully study His word and seek to rightly divide the word of truth.

 

EDITORIAL No. 4
God's Government Over His Children is Parental

By a careful reading of the closing sentence in my last article you will note I make a distinction between God's creatures and God's children. I feel confident there is a Bible distinction. The oft heard expression in the religious world today— "The fatherhood of God, and the brotherhood of man," is very catchy to the natural ear and pleasing to the carnal mind. But is it true? We know God is the creator, upholder and preserver of all things; animate and inanimate. But He is not the father of all His creatures. Nor is He the father of all mankind spiritually, but only of those born of His spirit. Those born of His spirit are His children by virtue of the new birth. They are given eternal life and shall never perish.

But some of the race of men shall perish, and some shall be saved. "When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit on the throne of His glory; and before Him shall be gathered all nations; and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats; and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on the right hand, `Come, ye blessed of My Father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. * * * Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, `Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."Mt 25:31-46).

Jesus said to certain ones in plain language, "If God were your Father, ye would love Me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do ye not understand My speech? even because ye cannot hear My word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do." (Joh 8:42-44). "By their fruits ye shall know them."

Many scriptures might be presented and logical argument advanced showing the erroneous teaching in the popular theory of the "Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man" as it is applied to things, spiritual. But I only wanted to say this much in order to set forth the position of Primitive Baptist on this subject as related to the "Fatherhood of God" of His people chosen in Christ. He is the spiritual father of His children. They are born of His spirit,— born again, born from above.

AND GOD'S GOVERNMENT OVER HIS CHILDREN IS A PARENTAL GOVERNMENT. He does not govern them as if they were blocks and stones to be moved about by physical force. They are led by His spirit; "For as many as are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (Ro 8:14). And it is not rightly dividing the word of truth to teach God's children, by tongue or pen, that when He wants them to obey Him, He will force them to do so. We earthly parents do not so deal with our children. Children are sometimes forced to obedience.

But it is neither pleasant to the parents nor to the children. "To obey is better than sacrifice." To disobey is to suffer, Adam disobeyed, and suffered for his disobedience. In olden time it was written, "every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward." And since God does not change His method, or dealings with His people— "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?"

God has given laws for the government of His people. Will they escape when they forsake His laws? He has established statutes for their guidance? Will they be punished when they break His statutes? He has, by prophet and apostle, and by His own Son also, given His children many commandments. If they keep not His commandments, will it be well for them? Are there no difference with the dealings of the Lord towards His people when they obey, and when they disobey? What saith the scripture on this subject? Here it is— "If His children, (the children God gave His Son), forsake My law, and walk not in My judgements; if they break My statutes, and keep not My commandments; then will I visit their transgression with a rod, and their iniquity with stripes." (Ps 89:30-32).

Would the Lord do this if there were nothing to be gained by obedience? Would the Lord use the rod, and make the stripes, if He were pleased with His people in their disobedience? And through Isaiah (Isa 1:18-20) God says to His people, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land; But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword."

"Let us reason together." Then God does reason with His people. Therefore, they are reasonable creatures. They are led and moved in a reasonable way, or God would not reason with them. Paul said "Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men." He could not, by persuasion, make men the children of God. But He could make them better children, more useful in this world, and more glorifying to God. "For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in His body, according to that He hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men."

And likewise, as above stated, the sins of God's people shall be washed and made white as snow,— not by obedience to law, but through the blood of Christ. And yet there are blessings promised in obedience:— "If ye be willing and obedient". Then the promise,— "Ye shall eat the good of the land." Is this not an inducement for God's people to obey. "But if ye refuse and rebel" then

the warning. And in this warning God's people are not taught that in disobedience, they lose heaven and gain hell. But if ye refuse and rebel ye shall not eat the good of the land, but rather fall, be devoured, by the sword.

And through Jeremiah (Jer 7:23-24) God said, "Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be My people; and walk ye in all My ways that I command you, that it may be well with you. But they hearken not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination off their evil heart, and went backward and not forward." If they had obeyed they would not have gone backward. Disobedience leads us backward— leads us from God. Why obey?— "That it may be well unto you."

Obeying the commandments of God does not make us His children, but manifests us as obedient children. All children should be obedient. `Children, obey your parents in the Lord; for this is right." If it is right for natural children to obey their parents, is it not more important that God's children obey Him? "Honor thy father and mother; * * * that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest live long on the earth." (Eph 6:1-3). If blessings are promised natural children in obedience, is it strange that we find blessings promised God's children in obedience? There is a high and noble purpose in the obedience and good works of God's people.

That purpose is not their eternal salvation. This was wrought out by Christ. This is by grace. But good works does no violence to the doctrine of grace, but rather establishes it, proves it, and makes it look more beautiful and sublime. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Eph 2:10). Good works are ordered of the Lord. He has prepared them, set them forth in His word, and promised blessings in the performance of them. And "we should walk in them." His people make miserable failures often in the performance of good works.

But they have no excuse in their failures, for when God requires duties of His children does He not give strength to perform them? We know Jesus said, "without Me ye can do nothing." But with Him, His children can do all things commanded of them. Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Php 4:13). And the doctrine of Salvation by Grace should be adorned by a Godly walk and conversation. Such is the will of God. "For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. (Pet. 2: 15).

There are many foolish men in the religious world. In all ages efforts have been made to show that the doctrine of Salvation by Grace alone tends to an evil life. And Primitive Baptists, more than any other people in all the world, should be careful to maintain good works." And though a Baptist may walk circumspectly, he should also be careful to impress upon others their duty to perform good work. Especially is this true of Ministering Brethren. They should in their preaching insist upon the performance of good works. The Bible abundantly bears them out in this course, for by a careful study of the scriptures we shall learn that only about one fourth of the written word tells sinners how they are saved, while about three-fourths tells them how they should live. Let no Primitive Baptist preacher in his zeal to preach salvation by grace, fail to insist upon the children of God walking worthy of the vocation wherewith they are called. They need to be put in mind "to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work." He is to "reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine." Therefore, let us exhort one another to love and to do good works, "and so much the more as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries." (Heb 10:25-27).

 

EDITORIAL No. 5

Good Works Not to Be Minimized

Now if it be true that about one-fourth of the written word of God tells sinners how they are saved, while about three-fourths tell them how they should live, who is bold enough to minimize good works? Who, of all the servants of God, should in this day preach doctrine continually to the exclusion of good works? Prophets and Apostles did not so do. They rightly divided the word of truth. They taught good works as God commanded them to do. And only such works as God commanded are really good works. And all He commands, are good works. Good works that God's children perform are not the cause of their salvation, but evidences of it. How can we in a better way, "make your (our) calling and election sure." How can we better manifest our thankfulness to God than by serving Him? And how can we better serve God than by serving one another here in this life? "Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feeble minded, support the weak, be patient toward all men." (1Th 5:14. So brethren sometime need to be exhorted. Some are unruly. Some know not as much as others and should be instructed. Some are not as strong as others and need to be helped along over the rough places. All of us need to exercise patience. And Paul goes on further in this chapter and says, "See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow after that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men." Quite a lot of work laid out here. And all of it good works. Last summer at an Association I heard a minister contending against the preaching of good works. I fear he would not have enjoyed Paul's preaching. The Apostle goes on in the same connection and says: "Rejoice ever more." Have we not much to make us rejoice? Old Baptists ought to be a happy people. Moses thought so. He said, "Happy art thou, 0 Israel, saved by the Lord." Being saved by the Lord, ought we not rejoice evermore, live at peace among ourselves, and not fall out by the way? But Paul goes on and tells us to, "Pray without ceasing." If we continually have the spirit of prayer, we will not have time to entertain evil designs against our brethren.

Some one has said that an idle brain is the devil's workshop." And is there not much truth in it? And in the same connection Paul says, "Quench not the Spirit." There is a sense in which God's children can quench the Spirit, or Paul would not have told them not to do so. It is not the personal Spirit that we quench, but the graces of the Spirit, the work of the Spirit in our heart. Is not the Spirit's work as a fire in our bones, a light to our feet, a warmth to our coldness, And can we not so live that we will feel less of this warmth of love and fellowship, and see less of the light that we once saw, "If ye sow to the flesh ye shall die."

But I had intended to write a little in this article on the relation of faith and good works. Read Heb 11. What a wonderful record there of God's children. The faith they had was the "faith of God's elect." Every child of God has a measure of the same quality, but not the same quantity. It is a gift of God. God gives more to some than to others. And where much is given much is required. How about your faith, dear reader? Do you say," I have no faith in self, but all my faith is in God, so much so, that I love to hear the doctrine of salvation preached in its fullness. I want to hear of no other Saviour except Jesus.

I love to hear His word." Well then, James says to you, "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." (Jas 1:22). James did not want God's people to be deceiving themselves about this matter of good works. And when they want to be hearers, and not doers, of God's word, they will actually deceive themselves. Have you ever been deceived by some one else? Did not feel very good about it, did you? Well now, if you have been one of those satisfied hearers of the word only; if you have not been concerned about being a doer of the word; if you have been taught by some preacher that to preach good works, and to do good works, would be Arminianism, have you not been deceiving your self? Was James an Arminian? James also said, "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." Again, "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." Again James asks, "Was not Abraham our father, justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" Can it be made perfect any other way? "Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the friend of God." Can we be called the friend of God when we do not what He bids us do? Jesus said, "Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you." (Joh 15:14). When we are not careful to follow His commandments are we His friends?

And there is a justification in proving our friendship for Jesus. Abraham was justified by works, but as Paul more fully explains, not before God. "For" says Paul, "if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God." (Ro 4:2). None can be justified before God by human works of whatever kind or character. The best of God's people do too little, and imperfection, more or less, is mixed with all our good works.

But there is no contradiction between Paul and James. Paul was speaking of justification before God; James of justification before men; Paul of the justification of a person, James of the justification of a cause a man represents. Though we cannot be justified before God except in the perfect work of Jesus who stands for us, can we not, however, be justified before men, before the church of God if we are careful to maintain good works? Can we not stop the mouths of adversaries by walking right, really more so than by talking right?

Are not actions stronger than words? I rejoice to know that Primitive Baptist preachers speak the truth when they preach salvation by grace. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of your selves: it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast." But I love to hear them keep right on preaching the truth. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained (appointed, ordered) that we should walk in them." God having ordained good works, "we should walk in them." "The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. * * * Moreover by them is thy servant warned : and in the keeping of them there is great reward." (Ps 19:8-11).

We know too "That without faith it is impossible to please God." But God gives His people faith, and we know that "he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is rewarded of them that diligently seek him." (Heb 11:6). If there is great reward in keeping the commandments of the Lord, do not confuse God's children by telling them there is no reward in good works. If God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him, do not discourage God's children when He says to them, "Seek ye My face." Such preaching is confusing and is not rightly dividing the word of truth. And as you read of the wonderful faith manifested by God's servants in Hebrews, and other portion of God's word, you will see how faith wrought with their good works, and with works, not without works, was their faith made perfect.

 

EDITORIAL No. 6

We Are Not to Labor For the Kingdom, But Labor In It

There are in the world hundreds of different beliefs, religiously. Besides the various "isms" and "ites" in our own land, we are informed by the census report of religious bodies, if I mistake not, that there are eighteen different kinds of Baptists, seventeen different kinds of Methodists, twelve kinds of Presbyterians, several kinds of "Christians" or Disciples, several kinds of "Dunkards," and so on down the line of various religious beliefs. And each body of believers hold to some special doctrine, or view of doctrine, or of some particular practice which is different from others.

But when it comes to the real belief upon the subject of salvation of the sinner—whether it is alone and altogether, all the time and under all circumstances, by the grace of God; or whether it is a kind of mixture of the grace of God and the works of man—there are but two classes of religionist. If Christ be the Saviour, the only Saviour, and it is His work alone that procures salvation from sin to holiness, (without which no man shall see God), then all who put their trust in Him, and Him only, are BELIEVERS. And conversely, those who put their trust in anything except the perfect work of Christ, are UNBELIEVERS. That is, they are unbelievers in Him to the same degree that they believe in, or depend upon, themselves or others.

But in a little broader and more liberal sense there are three kinds of believers as plainly manifested in the religious lives of various religionist around us. First, those who believe in salvation by grace alone. Second, those who believe in salvation by works alone. Third, those who believe in salvation by grace and works.

Every reader knows where the Primitive, or Old School Baptists stand. And it is our own people we are specially concerned about. We all know that they pin their faith to but ONE—that they do not put their trust in man. And like the early Christians, they are "a sect everywhere spoken against." But the "little flock" need not fear, "for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." (Lu 12:32.)

And yet kind reader, while the kingdom is a gift of God to "the little flock", and they do not labor for it in the sense that they can deserve it on account of their labor. Still they are to labor in it. And every child of God when quickened into divine life, born again, and begins to see things in their true colors, feels impressed to do something. And preachers, when they have an opportunity, should teach them gospel duties. Paul's first prayer seems to have been, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" No longer was he concerned about doing the will of the high priest who had commissioned him to bind and persecute those who looked to Jesus for salvation. His proud spirit was humbled. His strong will subdued. He then could pray, "not my will, but thine be done." He wanted to know, and do, the Lord's will. And even after in life he was a tireless worker in the kingdom of his Lord. Though he preached salvation by grace stronger, and more clearly, possibly, than other of the Apostles, yet he just as clearly and strongly insisted upon the performance of good works. His prayer, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do," was answered. And he went to work doing something himself, and telling others what they should do. And he is a pattern other Baptist preachers should follow. Cornelius, another child of God, became concerned about doing something. God said to him in a dream," send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: * * * He shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do." And when Peter told him what to do in order to serve in His kingdom, Cornelius did it. Serving the Lord as God's word tells us to serve, does not make us His children, but proves our obedience to Him, and our love for Him. Jesus said "If ye love Me, keep My commandments." And on the day of Pentecost, when Peter was preaching, some were pricked in their hearts. God had quickened them into divine life. Their hard and stony hearts had been taken away and a new heart given, and upon the tablets of their heart had been written His law. And when they heard, through Peter, how they had broken God's law—how they had crucified the Lord of glory—their pure minds were stirred up, their conscience condemned them, and they cried out, "Men and brethren, what shall we do? Peters' preaching did not make them God's children, but manifested them as God's children. Others were present who heard the same preaching and whose hearts were not pricked, but who went away mocking and said the Apostles were "full of new wine." How different is the same preaching received. But the difference is in the characters, not in the preaching. If the cause had been in the preaching, it would have had the same effect upon all who heard it. But God's children who were alive to their true condition, desired to know what to do.

Then Peter said, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." They were told some things to do, and when they did those things, they were added to the church. Christ does that which adds you to heaven, you do that which adds you to the church.

No doubt but that some are added to the church who will never reach heaven. And likewise some shall live in heaven who never live in the church on earth. But this does not lessen the obligation of God's children to do those things needful that they may live in the church. It only magnifies the grace of God that saves from sin, and proves that the religious work of some is not done in faith, and for the love of God, but in hypocrisy, and for the love of self. But while on this scripture (Ac 2:37-40), let us not forget that Peter did some more preaching, for we are told that with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, "Save yourselves from this untoward generation." Peter was not sparing with his words. He used "many other words." How many we do not know. But he gave testimony of the doctrine of salvation. And he exhorted to duty. And he plainly said, "Save yourselves." He did not tell them to save themselves from sin, or to save themselves in heaven. But "from this untoward generation." That generation was a wicked one. It was under the leadership and dominion of priests, scribes, and pharisees—a perverse generation of men upon whom should soon fall the wrath of God for their impenitence and unbelief, their rejection and evil treatment of Jesus, the Messiah. Could God's children separate themselves from, save themselves from this generation? Peter tells them to do so, and He certainly would not tell God's children to do that which they could not do.

SO HERE IS A SALVATION THAT PERTAINED TO THAT GENERATION—TO THAT PERIOD OF TIME. Was it not a time salvation, or a salvation from a wicked people here on earth in this time state? But some object to the term time salvation. Would it sound better to call it a generation salvation? What ever you call it, let none seek to destroy the meaning of God's truth. Do not confuse God's children. Tell them plainly that Jesus alone can save them from sin and fit them for heaven, but that there are many evil things in this world—this time state—from which they can, and should, save themselves. God gives them life and liberty, faith and strength, and has promised to be an ever present help in time of need. Let them use, and not abuse, that which God gives them. Jesus said to His servants, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

Certainly it is good to do that which Jesus said do. God gives His children light. It then belongs to them. Use it. Do not put it under a bushel. Do not be ashamed of it. Let it shine before men. And let it so shine—in such a manner—that men may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Your heavenly Father should be glorified. He deserves all glory. It is good to glorify Him by good words—to sing, and pray, and preach— to testify publicly and privately and tell of His wonderful mercy—His loving kindness, to the children of men. But the strongest testimony is the testimony of good works.

It is a good thing for men to hear your good words; but it is better for them to see your good works. Good words without good works is like sounding brass and tinkling cymbals. If you have any good works, let your light so shine that men may see them. And if you are a child of God you certainly can manifest some good works, for His Spirit dwells in you and produces good works. "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you," And the fruit of the Spirit ,"is love, joy; peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, temperance, meekness." (Ga 5:22-23). Dear Reader, are you not bearing, at least, some of these fruits? Do not deny your love for the dear Lord, for His church and His people:— and love directs you to service.

Do not say you have no joy in the prospect of heaven through the perfect work of your blessed Redeemer; and joy needs to be expressed. Do not deny that you have in your heart at times a peace which the world cannot give, nor take away. And too, you want to be long suffering, and gentle, and good, and faithful, and temperate, and meek. Is not your very desire an evidence that you have in your heart the spirit of the matter? And wishing these things, there is a promise that you shall possess them in fullness, for such feelings are nothing less than that hungering and thirsting after righteousness with which we "shall be filled?"

Then take courage, dear child. You are bearing some fruit. Take your place among God's people. March under His banner. Fight the fight of faith. Be ready for every good work and endeavor to bear much fruit, for Jesus said, "Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples." (Joh 15:8).

 

EDITORIAL No. 7
Two Systems:--One, Do and, live, the Other, Live and Do

In the world of religious workers there are two great systems. One may properly be called the system of DO AND LIVE. This system of works is illogical, unscientific and unbiblical. It cannot be sustained by good reasoning, nor by science, nor by the Bible. It is a system of religious works based on error. For it is a self-evident fact that the dead cannot act in order to live. Life must in all cases precede action. And to put the sinner, "dead in trespasses and sins," to work in order to obtain spiritual life, is a popular error of the religious world. It has ever been, and will ever be, a failure. Children may be sprinkled in infancy, but it does not change their nature. Adults may be baptized in water, but it will not cleanse from sin. Religious workers may by various methods "swell their numbers" and increase their membership, but they cannot regenerate the soul. They cannot make a child of God. They think they can, but thinking so, does not make it so. They can make children of error like unto themselves. Christ taught this truth plainly when he said, "Woe unto you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites; for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves." (Mt 23:15) Evidently the Pharisees, in the time of Christ, believed in the do and live system. But their system then, and the system now, is selfish and faithless, and would make man a co-worker with God in the matter of life-giving, and salvation from sin. And no Primitive or Old School Baptists, and thousands of others who are not Baptists, believe in this do and live system. But they believe in the system of LIVE AND DO. For this system is logical, scientific and Biblical. "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Life must precede even the action of seeing. Life precedes hunger, thirst, sorrow, pain, repentance, faith, belief, soul joy and true service. None of these things produce life, natural or spiritual. Life comes from The Giver Of Life. Christ said, "I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish." Now when this spiritual, eternal life is given one, then the live and do system of religious works appeals to him. AND THIS POINT I WOULD EMPHASIZE. I want to see all our people—all Primitive or Old School Baptists—and all others, who believe in the LIVE AND DO SYSTEM, to PROVE IT BY THEIR DOING.

Now inasmuch as the position Baptists occupy on the doctrine of works is sound— that is, one must be alive spiritually before he can perform works acceptable to God, then, to be consistent, Baptists must "be careful to maintain good works." For if they teach that only the living children of God can perform acceptable works, and they perform not those works, then they would make it appear that they are not living children of God. Ought they not, so far as they possibly can, "make their calling and election sure?" And besides, have not the living children of God greater reason to serve God than others have to serve self ? If that part of the religious world who believe they can do something to make themselves children of God are busy laboring and toiling in their do and live system, should we not be equally busy and toiling in our live and do system? If they serve in order to be God's children, ought we not to serve because we are God's children? If they are willing to make sacrifices that they may obtain heaven, ought we not want to make sacrifice, because heaven has obtained us? If they labor to pay the debt of sin, ought we to labor less because the debt of sin has been paid by Christ? If they labor zealously from a selfish motive, ought we not labor just as zealously from a grateful motive? God's dear Son has done far more for us freely, than they can ever do for themselves working, and so we should lovingly labor to show forth praise and gratitude to Him.

This seemed to be the Apostle Paul's view of service. As a Pharisee, believing and rejoicing in a false religion, he was a great worker. But when converted from the error of his way, he became no less active. Saul going about to establish his own righteousness was a worker for self. Paul going about to establish the righteousness of Christ was a worker for the Lord. Saul hoped to gain heaven by his own works. Paul hoped to obtain that glory world by the works of Christ. Saul built his house upon a sandy foundation, and it fell. Paul built his house upon The Rock, and it did not fall. Paul, the grace preacher was just as tireless a worker as was Saul the zealous Pharisee. And so it should be now. Primitive Baptist preachers claim to be grace preachers, and their claim can easily be established. Then if they agree with Paul in his preaching, let them agree with him in his working. He labored, and taught others to labor. Preaching a grace system of salvation, did not in his mind, make void a system of works. Advocating predestination did not lead him to feel satisfied with things just as he found them. Preaching election did not with him, exclude the preaching of faith, repentance, and good works. He said, "If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above." And this reminds me that I intended to write something along the line of seeking in this article.

As we examine God's word we shall find the word seek used about 241 times. Let us not forget that it is always applied to the living, either naturally or spiritually, as the case may be. The dead seek not, nor can they. Lazarus in the grave sought not life. When called from death to life he could be served, and serve others. His friends could not give him life. Jesus did that. But when given life his friends could "loose him and let him go." Then he could seek the things of this life. So with the children of God.

When quickened into divine life—when called from the grave of carnality—then they can seek in the right way and from the right motive, spiritual things. Then they can serve, and be served by others, spiritually. Then they can seek, and knock, and find. And they are exhorted to seek.

God said to National Israel when they should be scattered among the Gentiles, "If from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find Him, if thou seek Him with all thy heart, and with all thy soul." Again it is said, "when thou art in tribulation, and all these are come upon thee, * * * if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shall be obedient unto His voice, * * * He will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee." (De 4:29-30). David in one of his Psalms exclaims, "Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His face continually." Again he said, "When thou saidst, `Seek ye my face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord will I seek"'. (Ps 27:8).

The Lord's work is a heart matter, and when, He speaks to us in regard to seeking Him and obeying His commandments, our heart testifies that it is right to do so, but our feet do not always walk as our heart would lead. Many of God's children in their heart have been lead to the Old Baptist church when their eyes have beheld the spiritual service there, but their feet have lead them elsewhere in the way of service. And many of God's children in the church fail to do things they are impressed in their heart to do. They wickedly forsake the Lord and walk in forbidden paths. And God does not lead them in sin, nor tempt them in sin. But He says to them "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God for He will abundantly pardon." (Isa 55:6-7). This is to God's straying children—those who had been with the Lord and had departed. Let them return. To return to the Lord is evidence they had been with Him. This is a good text. Also the one in Mt 6:33 - "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." And another one spoken by Jesus as recorded by Mt 7:7-8 - "Ask, and it shall be given you ; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." This is the way Jesus preached to His children.

Shall grace preachers today run shy of such practical preaching? I feel that there are not many preachers in the world who know how, as do the Old Baptist preachers, to properly apply such texts. They were not, by inspiration, applied to the unregenerate, unbelieving, faithless sinner. Nor should they be so applied by uninspired men. But it is often done. And unbelievers are told they have the power to ask, seek, and knock; that they must do such things in order to get into the kingdom. Freewill preachers seem to delight in stressing this point.

But they never tell their hearers that they must be born into the kingdom, and that there is not a single exhortation, or command, in all the Bible, to be born again. It is a self-evident fact that the unborn cannot born themselves. These texts, as all others of like nature, belong to the children, and if grace preachers do not so apply them, it will not be done. Let us not surrender any portion of God's word to graceless preachers. Every portion of it is in harmony with every other portion. It all harmonizes. There is no confusion there. The confusion is in the minds of men. God inspired the Bible, and He is not the author of confusion. It is a lamp to our hearts, an inspiration to our souls. It does not contain eternal life, but it is a witness of Him in whom is eternal life. It tells us of our lost and ruined condition and shows the one way we can be saved from it. And it tells us that we "should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world." Then "Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." (Heb 13:13-16).

 

EDITORIAL No. 8
Bible Invitations to be Given to Bible Characters

There are many invitations in the Bible. To invite is to summons; ask; bid; allure; attract. Arminians, in their preaching, are very liberal with their invitations. They invite everybody. They want to appear liberal, and so they contend that it is narrow, contracted and selfish not to extend the gospel invitation to every individual. This is one extreme. But there are a few Primitive Baptist preachers who seemingly have no need in their preaching for invitations to anybody. This is another extreme. Two wrongs does not make a right. To follow extremes leads further and further from the truth.

To invite every body to the gospel feast is unauthorized by God's word. To invite no one is a violation of the same word. For while there are numerous invitations in the Bible, yet every invitation carries with it a description of those who are invited. The gospel feast is spread for gospel subjects. Gospel subjects will enjoy gospel food. They have the faith of God's elect:—all men have not faith. They hunger and thirst after righteousness; some men are filled with self-righteousness. They mourn because of an experimental knowledge of their sins:—some men are pharisical and thank God they are not like others whom thy consider far beneath them. So to rightly divide the word of truth with regard to invitations, we must apply those invitations to the same characters described by inspiration. To do otherwise would be doing violence to God's word. To take a Bible invitation in which a description of the invited are given, and extend that invitation to those who are not addressed, is pharisical officiousness that is unpardonable. On the other hand to take the same invitation and extend it to nobody, is a lack of duty that is condemnable.

Then let us examine some of the invitations given in God's word. "Come now, let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." In the matter of service and worship, God deals with reasonable creatures. In the above quotation from Isa 1:18, God is speaking to that remnant among the Jewish nation who realized their sinful condition and the wickedness of that nation. It was hope extended to them,— that even though they deserved to be cut off, and would be, if justice be given, yet there was pardon for the sinner at the bar of mercy. At this bar,—at the foot-stool of mercy—at the throne of grace—at the altar of his sacrifice and at the fountain of his blood, is where God reasons with sinners.

And so we, as poor sinners, are encouraged as the Israelites were, to come boldly to the throne of grace and plead a Saviour’s sacrifice for the remission of sins. Only those who see and feel the need of a Saviour, who realize their deplorable condition, are to be reasoned with, when it comes to preaching a substitute for the sinner. Paul asked the Thessalonian brethren to pray that he might be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men. The most unreasonable people are those who are wicked and who do not realize it.

Here is an invitation God gave through this same prophet, (Isa 55:1) "Ho, ever one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money: come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money, and without price." The waters evidently have reference to the ordinances of the gospel. At that age it was manifested in types and shadows, but now in the fulness and sweetness of gospel service. But who are the invited? Some extend the invitation to every one. And the text says "every one". But it says more than this, and this one word more is the address to the invitation. If we leave off the address, the invitation will not reach the right character.

So here we find thirsty people invited. And only the thirsty. "Ho, every one that thirsteth;" not those who may become thirsty later on, or those who would like to taste the waters from curiosity; or those who have an idea that to join the church and partake of the ordinances will make them more popular. None of these are invited,— only those that thirst. And this thirst is not a thirst for natural things, but a spiritual thirst. "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness." One must be born into this natural kingdom to thirst for natural things. So one must be born again—born spiritually—before there is a thirst after righteousness. Those who thus thirst, are God's children. The church is a home for them. The ordinances are for them. And every thirsty one is invited to come. Come and buy milk and honey—the good things of the gospel kingdom, without money and without price. These good things are to be bought—and strange to say—they are to be bought without money, and without price. We cannot pay for God's blessings—we can only enjoy them and thank Him for them. And the poor, those who have no money (self righteousness) are to buy. How? Jesus provides their necessities. They are to plead his righteousness, march under his banner, and sit at his table. "Ye thirsty ones, come."

In Mt 11:28, we have the record where Jesus says, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." The Master does not invite all. He does not say, "Every body, come." The persons invited are not all the individuals of mankind. But here, as elsewhere, the invitation is given with a restriction. All ye that labor, and are heavy laden. And Jesus does not mean those who are laboring in the service of sin, serving Satan, and laden with iniquity and insensible of it. Such characters are not weary of sin. Nor do they feel burdened with it. Nor are they seeking rest for their souls.

But the characters Christ invites are those who feel burdened with the guilt of sin in their conscience; who feel pressed down with the yoke of the law and human traditions. They are laboring to live right and to please God, but find they cannot. And it is these that are encouraged to come to Him, to lay down their burdens at His feet and look to Him, for salvation. "And I will give you rest." This rest is given to God's living, sin-laden children, through faith in Him. It is a gift.

But there is another rest mentioned in this text which is not given; It is a rest found. Lay down the yoke of the law. It is unbearable. The burden under the law is too heavy for you; dear children of God. Jesus says put off this yoke, and, "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls." "For My yoke is easy, and My burden light." Does not this taking His yoke mean to serve Him? And in serving Him will we not find rest? Will we find this rest if we do not serve Him? There is a rest in faith—a rest given; and there is a rest in service—a rest found.

Another text we find bearing on the same truth reads thus, "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth, say Come. And let him that is athirst, come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." (Re 22:17). Here we have the thirsty and willing ones invited. Let him that is athirst, come. If one is not thirsty for the things of the kingdom of God, he is not invited. Thirsty souls are living souls. To live naturally is to thirst for natural things. To live spiritually is to thirst for spiritual things. And so then it is said, "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Those who have a will to divine and spiritual things, whosoever they be, are invited. But no one can work this will to divine and spiritual things in himself. "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." God works in His people the will to do, and the power to do, of His good pleasure. And as His servants they should faithfully serve Him.

Sometimes they are stubborn, disobedient and unwilling. But in Ps 110, we are told, "Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power." God's power must be manifested in the sinners perverse and stubborn will, to make him willing. When made willing, he is a different character. And in this text he is invited. But he is not invited to take life, or eternal life, or to be saved. If he is a willing one, in the sense of this text, he is already saved. He has eternal life. And now he is invited to take the water of life.

The water of life, no doubt, designs the free favor and love of God—the joy, comfort and consolation to be experienced in spiritual service and worship of God—the refreshing milk and honey of the gospel. Every willing one is invited to take this water of life—to drink of it and enjoy it—and to do so freely. There is no charge. It is without money and without price. Naturally, in this life we get thirsty for natural water. We become thirsty because we are alive. And we drink water, not to give life, but to refresh life. So it is in a spiritual sense. The willing, thirsty ones are alive spiritually. They are invited to "take the water of life," not that they may have spiritual life, but that they may be refreshed. How clear are these truths! And every Primitive Baptist minister should invite and encourage God's hungry and thirsty children to the gospel feast. Jesus invites the laboring and heavy laden souls. So should we. Let us go, as the Master directs, into the "lanes and streets of the city" and "into the highways and hedges" and "bring in the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind." The poor need to be told that the Master has a robe of righteousness for them.

The maimed need to be assisted—they cannot walk very well. The halt need to be encouraged—they should be told not to confer with flesh and blood. The blind need to be led—they cannot see how to walk to the table on which there is a feast of fat things. Let us handle God's word carefully and apply the invitations to the same characters we find described in the invitation, and to none but these. But let us not neglect to preach this part of the gospel. And when we exhort God's children to duty, let us give them an opportunity to take upon themselves the yoke of service. When we invite them to the gospel feast, let us open the door for them to come in.

I have heard sermons along the line of exhortation, and then no opportunity given, during the meeting, for the performance of gospel duties. I do not think this is right. Let us try to help each other on the road of life, and try to do so at the right time and in the right way. "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Heb 4:16).

 

EDITORIAL No. 9

Christians Have A Race To Run

The Christians life in this world is likened to a race. All of us know what the word race means as applied to activity. The racers run, or go swiftly. There is competition among them for there is something to be won. Preparation and training are needful for successful running. Heavy and burdensome apparel that will impede the runners progress is not worn. And as the runners enter the race, great interest is manifested by the onlookers. Who does not like to witness a race? And so the apostle Paul said to God's children, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." (Heb 12:1).

Paul was an advocate of Christians running in the race. He was a runner himself. The race was set before him. He did not set it before him. At first Paul was running the race to ruin, but God's mercy found him. Jesus met him on the road to Damascus. He was changed from a persecutor and became a defender of Jesus and his people. And Jesus meets every one of His people somewhere on the road of life. They learn from Him lessons they can never learn from human teachers. For saith the Lord, "I will put my laws into their minds, and write them in their hearts; and I will be unto them a God, and they shall be to Me a people." (Heb 8:13). But the

Lord does not say they shall be unto Him an obedient people. They should be. They should run the Christian race with patience. Many witnesses are watching them. They should lay aside every weight. The burden of sin felt in our heart should be put on Christ—He is our sin-bearer. The practice of sin should be laid aside, put off. The love of the world and undue care for riches and honor, should be laid aside. And the sin which doth so easily beset should be laid aside. I suppose this may mean one's constitutional sin—some particular sin that is specially pleasant. Such a sin is easily fallen into, and become habitual—hard to throw off.

Or it may be the sin of unbelief. God's children, though they know the truth in their hearts are often led from a belief of it. How many doubting Thomases are there among us? How many doubt his promises to guard and guide—to comfort and sustain—to uphold and provide? Will He not fulfill every promise? Let us trust and serve Him? Let us endeavor day by day to lay aside the heavy weights that press us down, and the sin that so easily besets us, and let us run with patience, "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Was there joy set before Jesus? Inspiration says, "yes." "Who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame." If there was joy set before Jesus as He labored, and toiled, and ran the race, is there not joy set before His children as they run the race set before them? If no joy and reward is set before them how shall we understand the following scriptures? "He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." "And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (Re 22:12). Moses esteemed "the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward." "And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance ; that they might obtain a better resurrection." There is joy ahead for the Christian racers. They should be encouraged, for they shall be brought off more than conquerors through Him that loved them.

Paul rebukes the Galatian brethren for not obeying the truth. I suppose they could have obeyed the truth. If they could not, why rebuke them? Some few Baptists hold an extreme idea about obedience that is confusing. They seem to teach that God makes His children do all that they do. If He wants them to join the church, they just can't help it. If they do not join, they just can't help it. And so all through life they just have to do all that they do. I do not like this idea of obedience. I think it really destroys the spirit of obedience.

Obedience is dutifulness. Dutifulness pertains to duty. As God's children, we are under obligation to love and serve Him continually. His word teaches us to do so. And His spirit does not influence us not to do so. And yet we find ourselves often going astray. Why? "Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth." (Ga 5:7). "0 foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you." (Ga 3:1). Paul was concerned about the people among whom he labored obeying the truth. And when they did not obey, he tells them that they have been hindered and bewitched. And he does not excuse them for it. In fact they were foolish for being bewitched. They ran well for a while. When they first set out in a profession of religion they held fast, and were zealously attached to the truths of the Gospel. No doubt they were diligent in the discharge of duty, loved the service of God, and were careful to maintain good works. But false teachers came along.

Evidently, some taught that justification comes not by the works of Christ, but that you must do the work yourself. So they went back to the Law and became Moses' disciples. Maybe other teachers taught that you cannot be justified by what you do, and so the Galatians foolishly concluded to do nothing—to obey not the truth. But they should have obeyed the truth. They did wrong in not obeying the truth. And God did not predestinate that they should not obey the truth. God's predestination does not influence to evil, but delivers from evil and conforms to the image of Jesus.

In 1Co 9 Paul tells us more about this business of running the Christian race. He mentions this fact, "Every man that striveth for the mastery—that is in the race—is temperate in all things." An intemperate man need not run in the race for intemperance destroys strength of character, of mind, and of body, and such a runner will always be left behind by the temperate racers. Is there not food for thought here for those in the Christian race. There are some Baptists who are intemperate. They become extremists and waste their energy on non-essentials. Or they employ their mind in things too deep for them to solve. Why run, as an uncertainty? Why fight, as one that beateth the air? "So run, that ye may obtain." And keep your body under, and bring it into subjection. Can this be done? Some do it. Paul did. He said, "I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."

Have you ever known a preacher to become a castaway after preaching to others? If so, how about that man's life and character? Was he not intemperate in speech or action? Did he not cast himself away? Is he justified in charging his condition to God's predestination or purpose? "Be sure your sin will find you out." "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: * * * But let none of you suffer as a murdered, or as a thief, or as an evil doer, or as a busybody in other men's matters". (1Pe 4:14-15).

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength ; they shall mount up with wings as eagles ; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." (Isa 40:31).

Dutiful children wait upon their parents; servants wait upon their masters; beggars knock and wait at the door for a gift. God's children should wait upon Him, and serve Him. God gives them strength to approach and wait upon Him, and when they do so, they renew their strength. There is a growth of grace and knowledge. And there is a growth of strength by using in a good cause the strength given us. What a blessing it is to "run and not be weary" in the service of the Lord. And as we humbly, and faithfully, prayerfully and lovingly, patiently and temperately in the service of our Master, leaning on Him, trusting in Him, following Him, and running after Him, we shall run, and not be weary, we shall walk, and not faint.

And after awhile—in God's time, we shall receive the end of our faith, even the salvation of our souls. Then "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised). And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works." (Heb 10:22-24).

 

EDITORIAL No. 10
Predestination Examined

Recently I was asked this question, "Are you an absolute predestinarian, or a limited predestinarian?" So far as I understand the Bible doctrine of predestination, I am

neither. I am simply a Predestinarian. The Bible terms and plain applications suit me. I do not care to try to make predestination stronger or more extensive by prefixing the word "absolute," and affixing the term "of all things." It is not necessary, for predestination is just right as we find it in the Bible. "Absolute predestination of all things," is a term of modern origin. It is not a Bible term.

The word "absolute" is never used in the Bible. Why contend for a word that inspiration had no use for? Why not give our time and energy to the study and application of Bible words and terms? For instance, the word "love" is used in the Bible three hundred and six times. Yet some preachers seem to find more pleasure in preaching and writing about the word "absolute" than they do about the word "love." And the word "serve" is used two hundred and five times; the word "served" one hundred and thirty-one times; the word "obey" sixty-nine times, and the word "obeyed" forty-one times. Would it not be better to pay more attention to these words and make application of the lessons taught by them, than to show so much concern over uninspired words and terms?

Love, and not predestination, is the greatest thing in the world. God is love. It is nowhere intimated in the Bible that God is predestination. Predestination is only an act of God. Can we not be of more service in the world by serving , than we can by trying to explain the unexplainable?

We can hardly read a short chapter in the Bible without having some lesson of service presented, or some exhortation to obedience given. Why not preach more about love, and duty and service? We should not neglect predestination. Neither should we make a hobby of it. But we will if we undertake to explain all about it and apply it to all things. And not only will we spend our time hobby-riding, but we will confuse God's children who, with their thoughts, try to keep up with us.

Have you ever watched people riding around on hobby-horses? And is it not rather confusing to the onlookers. And it certainly gets the rider nowhere. Hobbyriding is an unprofitable business, whether literally or theologically.

And there is another brotherly criticism I believe I will make. It is this. To undertake to strengthen the doctrine of predestination by prefixes and affixes, savours too much of Uzzah trying to steady the ark of Israel. God had purposed to bring the ark from Kirjah-jearim on a new cart. But Uzzah concluded to give special assistance in the matter. To him it looked like the ark would fall. (Some brethren seem to think predestination will fall unless they prop it with "absolute" and spread it over "all things.") But the ark did not fall, though "the oxen shook it." Yet Uzzah "put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it." His motive seemed good. He wanted to keep it from falling. But "the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him for his error; and there he died by the ark of God." (2Sa 6:4-7).

I think Uzzah was a child of God, a very zealous and devoted one. But he made a mistake by undertaking to make a thing more secure that was already secure. For his folly he died. God smote him. Will not God smite His servants when they neglect the teaching of plain truths and duties and undertake to teach uninspired expressions of men? I do not mean a literal death. But have you known preachers to die in the sense of usefulness, influence and fellowship? Have you known churches to die while they yet lived? To the church at Sardis the Spirit said, "I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die." Re 3:1-2.

While the word "absolute" is not to be found in the Bible, the word "limited" is found but one time, and then not in connection with predestination. David in writing about the disobedience of Israel said, "How oft did they provoke Him in the wilderness, and grieve Him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel." Ps 78:40-41. Those who were limiting God were turning back. They provoked the Lord and grieved Him in the desert. Because some go to one extreme in their contention for "absolute predestination of all things," why go to another extreme in limiting predestination? Inspiration itself has done that. No where in the Bible is it taught that God predestinated all things that come to pass.

All that God does, He predestinated to do. But it is not taught by inspiration that God predestinated the wicked acts of devils and men. God is pure and holy and tempts no man to sin. He hates sin, warns against it, and will punish for it. His attitude toward sin is permissive and overruling. Far it be from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity." Job 34:10.

And no Primitive Baptist should construe the glorious and comforting doctrine of predestination in such a manner as to make God the author of sin directly, or indirectly. It is not Primitive Baptist doctrine that wickedness is carried on by the hand and power of God. The Lord need not do such work. Wicked men and devils will do it. And pandemonium would reign and wickedness over-run the earth but for God's restraining power.

Very little is said in the Bible about the devil, and all that is said is in the way of condemnation and warning. Paul determined to know nothing among the people save Jesus and Him crucified. He did not seem to be worrying about who the devil was, where he came from, and where he was going. He was wise, but not wise above that which was written and revealed. But he was careful to teach "us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world."

PREDESTINATION:—means to predetermine or foreordain: to appoint or ordain beforehand by divine purpose or decree. The word is used two times in the Bible, viz "For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first born among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called; them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified. (Ro 8:29-30). Here we have set forth predestination as Paul preached it. It is a link in the chain of God's salvation. It is God's purpose being carried out in salvation. God predestinated His people to be conformed to the image of His Son. He did not predestinate that they sin, but to be saved from sin. Sin came by man—not by God's predestination. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." (Ro 5:12).

PREDESTINATED:—this word is used twice in the Bible, "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself ?" and, "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the, counsel of His own will." (Eph 1:5,11), Our adoption into the family of Jesus is according to God's predestination. The inheritance of His children is obtained alone in Christ through God's purpose and predestination. This makes salvation sure to the heirs of promise. They shall be conformed to the image of Jesus. That is, they shall be made like Him. Here they are not free from the effect, nature, and penalty of sin. They desire to be, and in God's way and time, shall be. They shall see Him as He is, be like Him, and be satisfied. And all this will be accomplished through God's purpose, grace, and predestination.

 

EDITORIAL No. 11
Utility or Use of the Gospel

The "Utility, or use of the Gospel," has for a long time been a matter of discussion. Divisions have arisen because of difference of views on this subject. The Gospels, in the sense of written messages, are usually confined to the writing of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. In a broader sense, all that God has given us in His word, and all the teaching of this written word, is the gospel. And so the preaching of the truth in regard to the salvation of sinners, is the Gospel. The word GOSPEL, is made up of two words, god spel, and means "good news." And in this sense of the word we want to look into the use of preaching and teaching. Primitive Baptists have clearly defined views on this subject. They feel it is not a matter for speculation, or to be guessed at, but that the Bible itself clearly defines the utility of the Gospel.

The popular idea of the Gospel is that it is a means of salvation in heaven of sinners that otherwise would not be saved. Some contend that it must be preached, or there can be no salvation for the sinner. Others have a little broader view and contend that the Gospel brings the sinner in touch with God whereby God can reach and save the sinner. The idea seems to be that there is a circle of Godly influence outside of which no sinner can be saved, and that the use of the Gospel is to bring the sinner into this circle, or good influence, where God can reach him.

Still others have the idea that God uses the Gospel as a vehicle by which salvation is conveyed to the sinner. And others still, who believe that the alien sinner is dead to spiritual things, claim that the Gospel is needful that the sinner may be quickened into divine life; that God uses the preached Gospel for this purpose. * * * Now our people deny all such positions. They may be ignorant, but they have enough sense to see the sandy foundation on which such advocates stand. They may be somewhat blind, but they can see that such a platform is entirely too narrow for the sinners salvation and God's glory. They may be dull of hearing, but they well know that there is no joyful sound in a Gospel, which would place salvation in the hands of men rather than in the hands of God. And this is what is taught by all who in any sense make the eternal salvation of sinners depend upon the works and teaching of the creature.

Narrow indeed is that system that limits salvation to where the Gospel is preached. It consigns two thirds of the human race to eternal woe. It holds out no hope for the infant and the lunatic to be saved if the Gospel must be heard and believed. It dethrones God and robs Him of glory, since salvation of sinners extends no further than the minister travels and preaches. Primitive Baptist preachers do not claim to be "salvation peddlers." To be sure, there is a saving influence in the Gospel. The Gospel when received in honest hearts, and believed, saves from delusion, from error, from a guilty conscience, saves gospelly in the church, but does not save from the being and the effect of sin. The blood of Christ alone does that, and that application is made by the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the author of eternal salvation.

But let us examine some testimony on the subject. Paul said "And he gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." (Eph 4:11-12). All these servants were gifts to the church. They were given to do the work specified. It is not specified that they were to make saints out of sinners. This cannot be done by the preached word.

Paul was preaching one time in the city of Corinth. He was meeting opposition. He concluded to leave, but, "Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace; For I am with thee; and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee; for I have much people in this city." (Ac 18:9-10). Paul’s preaching could not make the Lord's people. They were already in the city, and Paul did not know it. Paul was to hunt them out and teach them and establish them in the truth.

Paul was no Modern Missionary Baptist. True, he believed in preaching, and did more of it possibly than any man in all the world. But he did not preach in order to make believers out of unbelievers. Real, true believers are born of God. They are not born of God because they believe, but they believe because they are born of God. The perishing could not be saved from perishing by Paul's preaching, They looked upon it as foolishness. "But unto us which are saved it is the power of God." (1Co 1:18). The preaching of Paul which was to the lost only foolishness and could not save them, was a blessing to another class. For "it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." (1Co 1:21).

Not by foolish preaching. The preaching of the cross is not foolish preaching. It is the height of wisdom. But by "the foolishness of preaching." Unbelievers consider it foolishness. It has no saving influence to them. But how strange to the worldly minded, that though it did not reach the unbeliever, it did "save them that believe." The Gospel, therefore, which Paul preached saved the saved. Isn't this strange? Yet this is true. God saved by His grace from sin. And then the sinner thus saved is by the Gospel saved from error, from false doctrines of men and devils.

Paul testifies in another place (2Ti 1:10) that life and immortality is brought to light through the Gospel. The Gospel does not bring life and immortality, but brings it to light. In the light of the gospel, such as Paul preached, we can see the beauty of salvation stored up in Christ for all the promised seed, that is if we "have eyes to see." Some have eyes and see not. The Gospel does not give us eyes. God does that, and the preaching of the truth opens them, so we can more clearly see and understand the wonderful things God has done for His people. This is the way Paul talked about it. And in his defense before Agrippa he told his experience. (Ac 26 chap). He said God sent him among the Gentiles, "To open their eyes, and to turn them, from darkness to light," etc.

Some of the Gentiles had been given eyes to see and needed instruction. Cornelius was one of this kind. He was a child of God before ever Peter preached to him. Peter taught him that God had a people among all nations. He also commanded Cornelius to be baptized. The eunuch was another Gentile to whom God sent Phillip to teach. (Ac 8:26-40). He wanted to be guided. Phillip was sent to guide him. Not to guide into heaven, but into the pathway of duty.

Jesus guides into heaven. He is the way, the truth, and the life. He is the door. But God's called and qualified servants can by their preaching bring life and immortality to light, open eyes that are blinded by prejudice and tradition, and guide in the way of gospel

service. Jesus said: "My sheep hear My voice." They are His sheep. He does not send His servant out to save them in heaven. He does that. But He sends them to feed, and instruct, and comfort. "Feed My sheep." "Feed My lambs." "Teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." "Comfort ye, comfort ye, My people." This is a wonderful work for the preacher. Why cannot all preachers be content to abide in their calling and not undertake to do the work of the Lord. They can no more do His work of saving sinners from sin and preparing them for heaven than men could call Lazarus from the grave. Jesus called him from the grave. His friends were told to "loose him and let him go." This they could do, and this they did. But some say "when will the world be brought to the feet of Christ by the way the Old Baptists preach. When will the devil be defeated and the world be saved by your Gospel?" We reply that all this will be done just as quickly, and in the same manner, that Jericho fell. Just as quickly, and in the same manner, that the Egyptians were defeated and destroyed.

We are to do the bidding of the Lord, nothing doubting. When He says "Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord", do so. When He says "Go forward," do that. When He says capture the strong city Jericho by marching around blowing the ram's horn, just march and blow. The power of God will be manifest and the walls shaken down in His time and way. And when "the fullness of the Gentiles come in" the Jews shall again, be blessed.

Suppose God should bless them as He blessed Paul! Would not knowledge cover the earth as the waters cover the sea? Let us look alone to God for salvation from sin. Man is a failure. With all the boasted progress and righteousness of this twentieth century, the scarcity of pure and undefiled religion is evident. Crime is prevalent. Unselfishness is unusual. And according to statistics there are more heathen in the world today than ever before.

 

EDITORIAL No. 12
General Remarks--Conclusion

This is the twelfth article I have written on this subject and published in Advocate and Messenger for the consideration of our readers. This subject is inexhaustible, but it is my mind to leave it for the present, and if the Lord will, to write on other subjects. And in this closing article I want to write in a general way as my mind may be led.

First, I want to say that the truths I have discussed in these previous articles are clear in my mind and sweet in my experience. I have not written that which I half-way believe. Nor have I endeavored to reveal secret things. "Secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law." (De 29:29).

I have felt it is more profitable to write and preach the truths plainly taught, rather than spend our time trying to reveal secret things. The Bible is God's revealed mind, will, and purpose, to man. If we are satisfied with these plain truths, and faithfully commit them to others, we shall do well. Sin is a terrible thing,—God's word so portrays it. And sin came by man, not by God's ordering. Is he the friend of God who would charge sin to God?

And is he a wise builder who spends his time digging in Adam's garden trying to find out what would have happened if Adam had not sinned. Man has the terrible disease—sin. What we want to know is the remedy for sin. And the "word of truth" reveals the remedy.

The devil is in the world. He is our adversary, and as "a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." (1Pe 5:8). We are not so much concerned about where he came from, and where he is going, as we are how he is to be conquered. "The word of truth" tells us how he is to be conquered. But we are to "steadfastly resist him in the faith." Why God permitted sin to enter into the world, and why He still permits evil to exist, "the word of truth" does not fully reveal. Nor should His servants undertake to explain. It is unexplainable.

Real wisdom accepts facts rather than ask the reason why. Listen to His thanksgiving, "I thank Thee O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in Thy sight." (Mt 11:27). Jesus didn't ask the reason why certain truths were revealed to some and hid from others. Should His servants try to appear "wise above that which is written?" It is not always complimentary to call one "a deep preacher." Water looks deep sometimes when it is only muddy.

Second, I want to say that I have in these articles desired to write mainly for the benefit of our own "household of faith." I have not made it a point to defend the doctrine dear to every Baptist. I know that the Goliaths should be slain and God will raise up a David here and there to slay them. Mockers of Israel, and of Israel's God, will not be suffered to ever continue in their pride and bigotry. And we rejoice that we have among us strong defenders of the faith. And it is a great work.

But it is no doubt a greater Work "to feed the church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood," "to preach the word: * * * reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine," and to encourage, edify and unify God's children. This I would love to do. God's children need the church as a resting place, and too, they need the service of faithful under-shepherds. And these under-shepherds should labor together in love. They should not fall out by the way. When the leaders fight, the flocks are scattered. Being united on the precious principles of truth they should be forbearing in non-essentials.

Customs and practices are often the outgrowth of environment in which no principle of truth is involved, and should not be made "bones of contention." Nor should we make our brother "an offender for a word." It is wise and safe to let each put his own construction on the words he uses. Some time the user does not mean by them that which the hearer thinks he does. Mote hunters never make useful servants to the church. To hunt motes in the eyes of others is to not see the beams in our own eyes. And severe, judgment, judgment without mercy, is a mark of the hypocrite. Jesus was very severe in His denunciations against hypocrites. Better try in love and meekness to save the erring brother from the error of his way rather than to load him down with calumny.

"Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, and hide a multitude of sins." (Jas 5:20). And let us as ministers strive for peace and good will. "If it be possible, as much as Iieth in you live peaceably with all men." (Ro 12:18). "As we therefore have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (Ga 6:10). And we all should so live as "to have a good report of them without" as well as those that are within. And remember "the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out , of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” 2Ti 2:24-26).

"Blessed are the peace makers; for they shall be called the children of God". "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God."

"Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you." (2Co 13:11).

 

APPENDIX

Note—I am appending hereto an article on the Bible. Also an editorial on the "Unprofitable and Deplorable Strife of Words" written years ago by Elder S. Hassell, and which was reproduced in Zion's Advocate. Also answers by the same writer to a few questions. As the subject matter in these articles is of the same nature as that covered by my editorials, I feel that the interested reader will find them both entertaining and profitable.

THE BIBLE

The Bible was more than sixteen hundred years in writing and contains a history of the world. It was given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God might be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto every good work. The man of God—those who claim and hope to be God's children— need no other Guide Book. All that is profitable to be taught religiously whether in doctrine or practice is found in the Bible. God's people should listen to no doctrine in the sense to accept and believe it as the truth, if such doctrine is not taught in God's Word. Nor should they follow any religious practice not authorized by the Head of the Church. But they should be careful to maintain in doctrine and practice the truths of inspiration.

The Bible contains 66 books, 1,189 chapters, 31,114 verses. In my Biographical History there is an article on the Bible written by Elder John Leland, in which many interesting and instructive things are brought to light. It is well that we read this blessed book and read what other good people have said about it; make it the man of our counsel and the lamp to our feet, for of all books it alone points out clearly the Rock of our Salvation.

Recently I came across the following good description of the Bible, though the writer's name was not mentioned. He said the Bible contains: "The mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, doom of sinners, and happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort you, and cheer you. It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's character. Christ its grand subject, our hope its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart; and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be open at the judgment, and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, rewards the greatest labor, and condemns all who trifle with its holy contents."

 

ANOTHER UNPROFITABLE AND DEPLORABLE STRIFE OF WORDS

1Ti 6:3-5; 2Ti 2:14. I have earnestly labored for years (I hope not without success, which I gladly confess is due entirely to the Lord), to show that the contention, among Primitive Baptists, in regard to the extension of predestination is, when properly understood, a mere unprofitable and unwholesome strife of words. Every true Baptist believes that God fore-knows and controls all things; and no true Baptist believes that God influences or compels His creatures to sin. Thus God's foreknowledge or predestination of sin is not of a causative or compulsive, but of a permissive, directive, restrictive and overruling character. So far as I am aware, the war, among the most of our brethren, on the extent of predestination seems to have about ended; the vexed question being finally settled on this immutable basis of scriptural and eternal truth.

Another equally unnecessary and unprofitable verbal contention among a few Primitive Baptists is one similar to, if not connected with, the controversy on predestination. It is the question concerning what is called "the conditionality of time salvation," and, connected with this, the question as to the ability of the child of God to obey the commandments of his Heavenly Father.

All Primitive Baptists are agreed upon the unconditionality of our eternal salvation, and the inability of those, who are dead in sin to render spiritual obedience to the law of God; Instead of repentance and faith being conditions pre-requisite to salvation, we understand that they are the work of the Holy Spirit in the renewed heart, and are thus essential parts of salvation; and, until this spiritual renewal, the fallen child of Adam will love sin and hate holiness and continue in rebellion against God.

But there is an apparent disagreement in two or three of our Associations, among worthy and lovely brethren, who would be heartily fellowshipped and gladly welcomed by other Primitive Baptists everywhere, as to whether our time salvation, that is, our deliverance from spiritual darkness, coldness, distress, and chastisement during the present life is conditioned or dependent upon our obedience to God, and as to whether the child of God is able to obey God or not.

Now, even the authors of dictionaries have no right to manufacture or change the meanings of words; their business is simply to ascertain and state the meanings which words actually and already have in the language of which they treat. It would be deceptive to use words in a different sense from that which they generally have, unless we explain the sense which we mean. The most of controversies are strifes of words; and when words are properly defined, and their correct meaning is accepted by both parties, the controversy ends.

A "condition" is defined by the best of English dictionaries to be "an event, object, fact, or being that is necessary to the occurrence or existence of some other, though not its cause; a prerequisite; that which must exist as the occasion or concomitance of something else; that which is requisite in order that something else should take effect; an essential qualification." And these dictionaries say that the word "if" is "the typical conditional particle, and is nearly always used to introduce the subordinate clause of a conditional sentence," and means "on the supposition that; provided, or on condition that; in case that, granting, allowing, or supposing that."

There are 1,422 "ifs" in the Bible—830 in the Old Testament, and 592 in the New Testament ; and these conditional sentences make up about one-fifth part of the Bible. Thus forty-nine fiftieths of the Scriptures are unconditional, and one fiftieth is conditional. All reverent minds must admit that this conditional part of the Scriptures, though comparatively small, has a real and true meaning.

It cannot be denied by any informed and honest man that such Scriptures as the following are conditional: "If His children forsake My law, I will visit their transgression with the rod, nevertheless My loving-kindness will I not utterly take from Him" (Ps 89:30-33). "If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land; but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." (Isa 1:19-20). "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them" (Joh 13:17). "If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye, through the spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." (Ro 8:13). How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" (Heb 2:3). "If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.". (1Jo 1:7).

See, also, such scriptures as Le 26; De 4:29-31; 7:12-26; 11:13-32; 28. ; Eze 18; 33. Not only is it certain that these Scriptures are conditional, but it is equally certain that the condition, introduced by "if," necessarily precedes the conclusion, which would not take place unless the condition took place first. If the conclusion in these sentences means eternal punishment, then Arminianism is true; but either the text itself, or the context and other Scriptures, prove that the punishment or chastisement threatened in case of disobedience, is temporal and corrective, and not eternal and destructive, for God gives His children eternal life, and they shall never perish, and though their voluntary sins separate them from His face, nothing present or future can ever separate them from His love (Joh 10:28-30; Heb 12; Isa 59:2; Ro 8:28-39).

Thus the conditionality of time salvation is just as certain as the truth of the eternal word of God. Baptists have always heretofore understood it so; nearly all Baptists understand it so now; and this truth is in perfect accordance with Christian experience. And if the living child of God, having the indwelling of the Spirit of life and grace, which makes him alive, is not able to obey heartily and sincerely, though imperfectly, the commandments of his Heavenly Father, his real state does not differ from that of those who are dead in sin. Of course he can do nothing spiritual or acceptable to God except by that Spirit of grace; but that Spirit dwells in him (Joh 14:16-17; $oin, viii. 9-17; 2Co 6:16; Eph 2:22); and he " can do all things through Christ, who strengthens him" (Php 4:13; and he well knows and loves to confess that he has nothing good which he did not receive from God, and that without Christ he can do nothing, and that by the grace of God, he is what he is—a poor, hell-deserving sinner, SAVED BY GRACE —a brand plucked from the eternal burning (1Co 4:7; Jas 1:17; Joh 15:5; 1Co 15:10; 1Ti 1:15; Zec 3:2).

And he knows just as well, both from the Scriptures and his own experience, that, in willful disobedience to God, he does not enjoy that spiritual comfort which he has in obedience. All the, children of God are as assured of these truths as they are of their own existence; and bitter contention over them is wholly unnecessary, unprofitable, unwholesome, and subverting. The ENTIRE scriptural truth about any matter unites, comforts, and edifies the children of God; while a contention for a PART of the truth for the WHOLE truth divides, distresses, and overthrows them. Truth is spherical; we must look at it on all sides to understand it at all aright. Extremes are dangerous; let us avoid them as we would the verge of a fatal precipice. "Let our moderation be known unto all men—the Lord is at hand" (Php 4:5).

God is the only independent and absolute Being in the universe; not for one instant does any other being cease to be, both naturally and spiritually, dependent upon Him. All our sins come from ourselves alone, and with confusion of face we must take all the shame for them, and not charge them in any way upon our holy Creator— upon His foreknowledge, or predestination, or the partial withdrawal of His Spirit of grace, for well do we know that such a blasphemous imputation would be the grossest of sins; while all our salvation from sin and its consequences comes from God, who deserves and will receive every particle of the glory of it.

While fear and hope are, in the conditional Scriptures, recognized and addressed as strong motives to human action, pure, self-denying LOVE is set forth, in the Scriptures, as the highest and strongest motive that can actuate any being; the motive which assimilates us most to the character of the Three-One God, who is Love, and who saves His people because of His eternal and infinite love of them. Without this divine motive in our hearts, our services cannot be acceptable to God, and we can never enter that "heaven above, where all is love," or, if we could enter the home of eternal love, we could not enjoy its holy delights.

Man is not an unthinking, involuntary, irresponsible machine. He can and should be moral—it will be better for him in this world; but it is far better for him to be spiritual, and to be thus prepared for heaven.

I believe that all right-minded Primitive Baptists will accept these scriptural truths. Such acceptance would put an end to the useless and ruinous strife of words on this subject. S. H.

 

QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY ELD. S. HASSELL

Q. Do the original words translated "if" in the King James Version of the Bible have, no meaning? A. No person but an irreverent ignoramus or monomaniac can say so. It is an awful reflection upon the Holy Spirit to say that He would inspire men to write meaningless words. The words translated "if" occur 830 times in the Old Testament and 592 times in the New Testament, or 1,422 times in the Scriptures. According to the most authoritative lexicons of the Hebrew and Greek languages, these words denote a condition or a supposition or a concession or a cause or a desire or a time. No intelligent and reverent mind can read such passages as Ge 4:7; Ex 15:26; Le 26:3-4; De 4:29-31; 7:12-26; 11:13-32; Jos 24:20; Ps 89:30-32; Isa 1:19-20; Jer 7:5-7; Eze 18:5-23; Mt 6:14-15; Joh 4:10; 7:37; 8:24; 12:32; 13:17; 14:23; Ro 8:18; Ga 5:15,18; 2Pe 1:8,10; and 1Jo 1:7, and say that the words therein translated "if" have no meaning.

Q. Was Adam made a spiritual man, and did he die a spiritual death when he ate the forbidden fruit? A. No other man was ever like Adam, or ever had his exact experience, and we can only know of him what the Scriptures teach us. It is worse than useless to speculate as to Adam or any other subject beyond the plain teachings of the Scriptures. The truly humble soul does not desire to indulge in such speculations, or to hear or read such speculations from others. (Ps 131.; Isa 13:20; Ac 17:11; 1Ti 6:3-5; 2Ti 3:15-17). We know from the Scriptures that Adam was made with a body and a soul (Ge 2:7; Ec 12:7), and yet that he was made a natural man (1Co 15:45-49). Though he had a human spirit, he was not spiritual in the sense in which God's children are who are born of the Divine Spirit. And we know, from the Scriptures, that, when he ate the forbidden fruit, he died to the pleasant communion that he had before with God, became dead in trespasses and sins (Ge 2:17; Eph 2:1) and that he became subject to Divine wrath and to physical and eternal death unless saved by Divine mercy. (Ge 3:17,19; Ro 5:12,21). Some call the death in trespasses and sins, spiritual death; if by the phrase "spiritual death" they mean death in trespasses and sins, let us bear with them, and not make our brother an offender for a mere word or expression, when he means only what the Scriptures declare. (Isa 29:21).

Q. What is the difference between the sovereignty, foreknowledge, and predestination of God? A. God's sovereignty means His supreme and absolute authority and control of all persons and all events; His foreknowledge means knowledge of all things before they come to pass; and His predestination means His determining beforehand what comes to pass—holiness causatively and efficiently, and sin permissively and over-rulingly.

THE END

Robinson, John

ROBINSON, John (See under The INDEPENDENTS) Anthology Independents, The

ROMANS 10

Ro 10

By Elder James Isaacs

Certain parts of Ro 10 are frequently cited as a recipe for eternal salvation. For example, Ro 10:9, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved,” is often quoted by those who believe in a conditional eternal salvation. These false teachers will then claim that if the dead sinner will just believe in his heart and confess with his mouth the Lord Jesus, he will be born again as a consequence. The Apostle Paul did not say, “Thou shalt be born again;” rather he said, “Thou shalt be saved.” The saving under consideration is conditioned upon one believing that God hath raised Jesus from the dead and confessing with his mouth the Lord Jesus. Who can meet these conditions?

In Ro 3:10-18, we find a collection of Old Testament statements concerning those who are dead in sin. Among these is a description of the mouth: “Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”

Have you ever tried to talk with your mouth full? What comes out? If one’s mouth is full of cursing and bitterness, when he speaks, that which comes from his mouth is not confession of the Lord Jesus, but cursing and bitterness. An example of this can be found in Ac 9:1 where we find this statement about Saul of Tarsus just a short time before his new birth:

“And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord . . . .” Why was Saul so offensive in what came from his mouth? because his mouth was full of cursing and bitterness.

The state of the heart of the natural man is another factor which, when understood, will not allow us to think that the dead sinner may believe in his heart that God hath raised up Jesus from the dead. Jer 17:9 tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” This desperately wicked and deceitful heart will reject the truth concerning the raising up of the Lord Jesus from the dead every time an account of this fact is presented to the mind of the individual who has such a heart.

It is not until God takes away the hard and stony heart and gives us a new heart of flesh (cf. Eze 36:26) in the process of the new birth that we are able to believe with our hearts.

Another promise of conditional salvation is given in verse 13 of Ro 10: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Here, the condition is different from the one in the earlier passage, but the promise is the same. And, as in the earlier passage, it is impossible for the dead sinner to call upon the name of the Lord. As Paul points out in the next verses, the calling on the name of the Lord under consideration may be done only by those who have heard the preached gospel.

What a wonderful deliverance is available to those who truly call upon the name of the Lord. What a powerful closeness to God comes to the poor, trembling child of God who calls out to the Lord for deliverance in the trials of this life. How often have God’s children been delivered from dangers seen and unseen when they have called upon the name of the Lord?

Have we not found it the case that the effectual, fervent prayer of the poor child of God, made righteous by the righteousness of Jesus, avails much? Has not the reader felt to be wonderfully blessed when you have called upon the name of the Lord? Has not God been found to be with us in our trials, after we have called upon his name? But this calling upon his name is an action that can be taken only after we have passed from death to life.

So, we see that the salvation promised upon condition of confessing with the mouth and believing with the heart has to be a salvation available only to those who were born again before performing the conditions necessary to be performed in order to enjoy the salvation.

This salvation is in addition to eternal life, but it is conditional and enjoyed by only a part of those who receive eternal life. Even as Paul says concerning those who have been born again, “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?” Obviously, some of the elect in the days of Isaiah did not believe his report, and great numbers of the elect today live their entire lives and die without ever believing the gospel report; they fail to attain the salvation spoken of in Ro 10:9,13; but they are heirs of heaven and will enjoy the full blessings of that eternal abode. From The Christian Pathway, submitted by Elder Mark Green.

Romans, The Book Of

The Book of ROMANS: Sylvester Hassell: As Matthew is the fit beginning of the Gospels, linking the New with the Old Testament, so the epistle to the Romans is the fit beginning to the epistles, giving the genealogy of the doctrine of Christ through the Old Testament. The Apostle Paul, in this epistle, firmly holds his ground in the prophetic and historic line of the Old Covenant, and from that standing point opens the dispensation of the Spirit.

The Acts left him in Rome; the succeeding epistle is addressed to the Romans. It stands justly at the head of the Pauline epistles. It is the most comprehensive and systematic statement of Paul’s theology, both theoretical and practical, for which he lived and died. It gives the clearest and fullest exposition of a vital and fundamental subject, salvation by free grace, the need, nature and effects of gospel justification for individual souls, vindicated by the witness of the Law and the prophets. Luther calls Romans “the chief book of the New Testament, and the purest gospel;” Coleridge styles it “the profoundest book in existence;” Meyer, “the greatest and richest of all the apostolic works;” and Godet denominates it “the cathedral of the Christian faith.” (Hassell’s History pg 207)

ROSE OF SHARON

ROSE OF SHARON

Elder S. N. Redford (deceased)

“I am the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys” (Song 2:1).

Sister Wilcox of Harlingen, Texas, brought the most beautiful bouquet of roses and placed them on the stand at my appointment in the Rio Grande Valley. She knew I loved roses.

There is scarcely anything in nature that is not used to illustrate some truth in the Bible. Jesus is such a wonderful being, nature has been most exhausted to find objects to illustrate His divine protections. Christ may be compared to the red rose because of its color. In His deep humility in assuming humanity and in His bloody suffering in it, yet for all this He was God manifest in the flesh.

Divinity shines most bright and glorious in Him, making Him to be the most excellent of all beings. The rose of Sharon was said to be far superior to all other roses, even so is Christ fairer than all other men. I also understand he is the lily of the valley. Perhaps Christ is meant personally in the rose and mystically in the figure of the lilies.

Perhaps the lilies represent His local churches. The Church is His bride. The husband is responsible for all her debts. She exchanges her name for his, and he takes all her reproaches as his own. He who strikes her, virtually strikes Him. Christ’s Church is compared to a lily because of its Godliness and purity, made so by the imputed righteousness of Christ.

These are some of the thoughts that presented themselves to me as I looked on the beautiful bouquet of roses, and may the blessings of God rest on the one whose hands prepared it, is my prayer. [from Primitive Baptist Doctrine, 1934] Submitted by Elder Mark Green.

ROYAL PROCLAMATION

“ROYAL PROCLAMATION”

By Elder Mark Green

[This article was written at the request of a reader from Tennessee.]

Hymn No. 643 in The Good Old Songs is to the hymn tune “Royal Proclamation.” It speaks very poignantly of a time of strife and declension in Zion. Perhaps we see much of that today. Difficulties in the church have always been around, and we have our share in this generation. We shall look at a few expressions from that hymn.

“See the proud, assuming spirit some among us now inherit; striving who shall have dominion, slaves to popular opinion.” Those who would be great in the church must be the least of all. We are not to be as the kings and politicians of the earth, but we grow great as we grow small. Those who are the humblest stand tallest in the kingdom of God. A “proud, assuming spirit” will cause strife in the church every time. Particularly today do we see the attitude that “we are wiser than our fathers.” I have trod that path in the foolishness of youth, and it is suicidal. God save us from proud men who court popular opinion. Such will always cause trouble in the church.

“See the world and church uniting in the work of proselyting; wood and hay and stubble bringing to build up the gospel kingdom.” The true church of the Lord Jesus has ever been strictly separate from other religious orders. This is one of the identifying marks of the church. Many today seemingly do not like to be thought of as “behind the times” or “old fashioned,” and so have followed the popular religions of the day in their practices and attitudes. We ought to turn away from those things, for they will only harm the church, not help it. If God had intended the church to be like worldly religions, He would have set it up like worldly religions, but it is markedly different, and so it should stay. We are, after all, Primitive Baptists.

“See the train of ‘means and measures,’ filthy lucre, worldly pleasures, honors, titles, wealth and numbers, all combined to gain more members.” We all rejoice when God’s little lambs come home to the church, but an inordinate focus on numbers will always tempt us to conform ourselves to the world’s methods. After all, if they are able to swell their rolls by all their fancy parades of activities and auxiliaries, should it not work for us, too? Yes, we could gain more members by doing that, but it would be fatal to the church. God would not tolerate it. If we are looking to our own strength and popularity instead of to Him, we will see His chastening rod. The “means and measures” resorted to by the religions of the world are a fatal distraction from the true and pure religion which was set up by the Lord Jesus Christ.

“See the wide-spread desolations: churches and associations, once so happily united, now are like a house divided.” One of the great calamities of the last twenty years has been the number of old, historically-significant associations which have ceased their annual councils and worship services together. What a tragedy! What a sad thing that brethren cannot get along well enough to meet together one or two weekends out of the year to speak together of the wonderful works of God, to take council together regarding their mutual concerns and to worship God and hear visiting preachers from around the country! What a wonderful privilege these meetings are! How sad to see them cease, but that is what a proud spirit will cause! If we would walk together, then we must walk humbly and with consideration for the feelings of our brethren. Those who say they do not need the council of their brethren presume to be much wiser than I feel to be. I need to be associated with wise and sound brethren. I need their advice and I rejoice to be named among them. To that end, I pray that God will allow me to live humbly among them the rest of my days on this earth. The next session of our association here at home (the Salem) will be the 164th. What a wonderful blessing that Old Baptists in the hills of western Arkansas have been able to meet together for that many generations! What a treasure to pass down to our children!

Sabbath, The

The SABBATH: Sylvester Hassell: On the seventh day, as Moses informs us (Ge 2:1-3), God ended and rested from his work of creation, and, therefore, blessed and sanctified that day. Science confirms this statement, and declares that no new species of vegetable or animal has appeared on earth since the introduction of man. In saying that God “rested,” the historian does not mean that “the everlasting Creator” was “weary” (Isa 40:23), but that he simply ceased from the work of the material creation on earth.

That cessation, or divine Sabbath, yet continues; God still, however, carries on his Sabbath-day’s work of providence and redemption (Joh 5:17; Heb 1:3). “His resources are infinite; not baffled by the fall of man, he proceeds, according to his eternal purpose, to work out the grand plan of redemption. After a dark evening and night of 4000 years, the Sun of Righteousness at length arose, and began to dispel the gloom; but, after the lapse of nearly nineteen centuries, we still see but the grey dawn of God’s Sabbath morning, which we yet firmly believe will brighten into a glorious day that shall know no succeeding night” (Re 11:15; 21:25).

As man was made in the image of his Creator, he, too, was, according to the divine arrangement, to work six days, and then rest from his ordinary bodily and mental labors on the seventh day, (Ge 1:28; 2:15), Ex 16:22-26; 20:8-11), and to “sanctify” or set apart that day from a common to a sacred use by devoting it especially to the worship of his Maker (Le 10:11; 19:30; 23:3; De 33:10; Lu 4:16; Ac 13:14-15,27; 15:21).

“The Sabbath was made for man,” says the Lord of the Sabbath (Mr 2:27); if properly observed, it would be a blessing to the whole human race. Man needs, not only the night for rest, but one-seventh of his days also for rest. As proved by both physiology and history, this rest exercises a most beneficial influence on man’s physical, mental and moral nature. A change of employment is a rest; as God devotes his Sabbath to the work of providence and redemption, so it is a great blessing to man to have a frequently and regularly occurring day for solemn reflections upon his relations and obligations to his Creator and fellow-creatures, and upon his eternal interests.

Still, “man was not made for the Sabbath” (Mr 2:17); he is not to idolize the Sabbath, or observe it in the oldness of the letter, with pharisaical rigidity, and hypocrisy (Isa 1:13; Mt 12:1-14; Mr 2:23-28; Lu 13:11-17; Joh 7:22-24; Ro 15:5-6; Col 2:16; Ga 4:9-11). The Christian is especially to remember that the Sabbath is but a shadow or type, of which Christ is the substance (Col 2:17; Heb 3 and Heb 4),who ended the work of his eternal redemption by rising from the dead on the Lord’s Day (Mt 28:1-6; Heb 9:12; Re 1:10); and as a “holy priest” should he evermore offer up to his adorable Redeemer the spiritual sacrifices of heartfelt thanksgiving and praise (1Pe 2:5; Ps 103:1-5; 108; 1Th 5:16-18) Christ particularly honored the first day of the week, not only by rising from the dead on that day, but also by repeatedly visiting his disciples, after his resurrection, on that day (Joh 20:19,26). The apostles, too, it would seem habitually assembled on that day (Ac 20:7; 1Co 16:1-2; Ac 2:1). The day of Pentecost was the first day of the week, because it was the fiftieth day after the resurrection of Christ, the Christian church, delighting to honor their Lord has observed the Lord’s Day, the first day of the week, as the Sabbath, or Holy Convocation, Day of the New Dispensation; but Christian forbearance on this subject is inculcated in Ro 14:5-6, and Col 2:16-17.” (Hassell’s History ppg 44-46)

Sylvester Hassell: Servants and domestic animals were also to be allowed to rest (Ex 20:10; De 5:14). Only the covetous and carnal were impatient of the Sabbath restraints (Am 8:4-12). Works of necessity and mercy and religious service were in full accordance with the spirit and design of the Sabbath day (Mt 12:1-13; Lu 4:5).

The formalistic, self-righteous Pharisees, substituting an ostentatious ritualism for spiritual piety, held to a multitude of so-called “traditions of the elders,” which they pretended to have derived, by oral transmission, from Moses himself, and to which they attributed a higher authority than even to the written law. They resolved all religion into manifold and burdensome law. “Upon the single topic of the observance of the Sabbath, their Mishna (or second law) contains thirty-nine general rules, under each of which are numerous subordinate precepts, each with specified exceptions. Their labyrinth of casuistry, like that of the Roman Catholic Jesuits, was an instrument for evading moral obligations, and for committing iniquity under the apparent sanction of law.”—G.P. Fisher.

“After the exile and in the hands of the Pharisees the Sabbath became a legal bondage rather than a privilege and benediction. Christ, as the Lord of the Sabbath, opposed this mechanical ceremonialism, and restored the true spirit and benevolent aim of the institution. When the slavish, superstitious, and self-righteous sabbatarianism of the Pharisees crept into the Galatian churches and was made a condition of justification, Paul rebuked it as a relapse into Judaism.

In the gospel dispensation the Sabbath is not a legal ceremonial bondage, but rather a precious gift of grace, a privilege, a holy rest in God in the midst of the unrest of the world, a day of spiritual refreshing in communion with God and in the fellowship of the saints, a foretaste and pledge of the never-ending Sabbath in heaven. The due observance of it in England, Scotland and America is, under God, a safeguard of the public morality and religion, a bulwark against infidelity, and a source of immeasurable blessing to the church, the state, and the family.”— P. Schaff.

It must be stated, however, that in no passage of the New Testament is the first day of the week called “the Sabbath.” Neither the New Testament nor the literature of the early centuries mention any explicit appointment of the first day of the week as a day of Christian worship, or of the Lord’s Day, or Sunday, as a substitute for Saturday, the Old Testament Sabbath enjoined in the decalogue.

But the New Testament shows that the special religious commemoration of the Lord’s Day was a spontaneous exhibition of Christian feeling that sprang up under the eye of the apostles, and with their approval. Any formal decree abolishing the old, and substituting a new, Sabbath, would only have offended the weak Jewish Christians. The Sabbath and marriage were instituted by God himself in Paradise, not for the Jews only, but for the whole human race.

The penalty of death for the violation of the Sabbath was not threatened at its institution in Eden, nor even written in the decalogue, or moral law, on the tables of stone; but it was a peculiar feature of the Hebrew judicial or civil law (Ex 31:14; Nu 15:31-36), typifying the spiritual death of those who, while professing to have entered into the true Sabbath or rest by believing in the finished redemption of Christ, yet really depend upon their own works for salvation (Heb 3:4).

The Sabbath was instituted by God to commemorate both his first or natural and his second or spiritual creation (Ge 2:3; Ex 20:11; De 5:15); to remind men of him, their Creator and Redeemer; to turn their thoughts from the seen and temporal to the unseen and spiritual; to afford time for religious instruction and for the public and special worship of God; to give recuperative rest to sinful, toiling humanity; to be a type of that rest which remains for the people of God; and to be a sign of the covenant between God and his people (Ex 31:13,16-17; Eze 20:12). It is thought that nine-tenths of the people derive the greater part of their religious knowledge from the services of the sanctuary.

The Roman Emperor Constantine, 321 A.D., made Sunday a legal holiday, allowing only necessary agriculture labors on that day. Leo VI, about 900 A.D. repealed the agricultural exemption, thus thoroughly establishing Sunday as a day of rest. Alfred the Great, about the same time, forbade work, trade and legal proceedings on Sunday in England. “Calvin’s view of the fourth commandment was stricter than Luther’s, Knox’s view stricter than Calvin’s, and the Puritan view stricter than Knox’s. The Puritan practice in Scotland and New England often runs into Judaizing excesses.

About the year 1600 a strong Sabbath movement traveled from England to Scotland, and from both these countries to North America, the chief impulse being given in 1595 by a book entitled The Sabbath of the Old and New Testament, written by Nicolas Bound, a learned Puritan clergyman of Suffolk. Archbishop Whitgift and Chief Justice Popham attempted to suppress the book, but in vain—considering the Puritan Sabbath theory a cunningly concealed attack on the Church of England, by substituting the Jewish Sabbath for the Christian Sunday and all the Church festivals.

At last King James I brought his royal authority to bear against the Puritan Sabbatarianism, and issued his famous Book of Sports in 1618, afterwards republished by his son, Charles I, with the advice of Archbishop Laud, in 1633.

This curious production formally authorizes and commends the desecration of the evening of the Lord’s Day by dancing, leaping, fencing and other “lawful recreations,” on condition of observing the earlier part of the day by strict outward conformity to the worship of the Church of England. The court set the example of desecration by balls, masquerades and plays on Sunday evening; the rustics repaired from the houses of worship to the ale-house or the village-green to dance around the May-pole and to shoot at the mark. To complete the folly, King James ordered the book to be read in every parish church, and threatened clergymen who refused to do so with severe punishment. King Charles repeated the order. The people not conforming with the King’s decree were to leave the country.

The popular conscience revolted against such an odious and despotic law, and Charles and Laud, for this among other causes, were overwhelmed in common ruin. The Puritan Sabbath theory triumphed throughout the British Isles and the American colonies, the citizens of which countries have never been willing to exchange it for the laxity of Sunday observance on the Continent of Europe, with its disastrous effects upon the attendance at public worship and the morals of the people.

The Sabbatic view of Sunday is incorporated in the Presbyterian, the Congregational and the Baptist Articles of Faith. In 1678 under Charles II, all labor or business, except works of necessity or charity were forbidden by a statute which may be regarded as the foundation of all the present law on the subject in England and the United States.

“The Old School Baptists,” says Elder S.H. Durand, of Pennsylvania, in the Signs of the Times, “do not observe the first day of the week of the Jewish Sabbath, for Christ and his apostles gave no such command; but they refrain, on that day, from all works except those of necessity, for these three reasons: 1st, the law of our country forbids unnecessary work on that day, and we are commanded to obey the higher powers (Ro 13:1-5); 2nd, it is universally appointed for religious meetings, and it is a good thing that we can have one day in the week for the public worship of God without distraction from business; and 3rd, the apostles and early disciples appear to have met regularly on the first day of the week, though they also met on other days and from day to day. When the child of God believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, he ceases from his own works, as God did from his, and enters into rest, and all the remainder of his life is really God’s holy Sabbath with him, and all the days and nights of the week he should not do his own works or speak his own words (Isa 58:13-14)”

The phrase, Lord’s Day occurs only once in the Bible—in Re 1:10; but the same Greek adjective for Lord’s, Kuriakos, occurs in 1Co 11:10, applied to “the Lord’s Supper,” a literal as well as a spiritual feast; and the phrase, the Lord’s Day, is used to designate the first day of the week by the following writers of the second century: Barnabas, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Melito, Dionysius of Corinth, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian.

At first both days were kept; the apostles, like Christ, worshiped with the Jews in their synagogues on the seventh day, until the Jews persecuted and prevented them (Mt 12:9; 13:54; Lu 4:16,44; Ac 13:5,14-52; 14:1-7; 17:1-9,17; 18:4)

Christ particularly honored the first day of the week, Sunday, not only by rising from the dead on that day, but also by repeatedly visiting his disciples, after his resurrection, on that day (Joh 20:19,26). The apostles too, it would seem, habitually assembled on that day (Ac 20:7; 1Co 16:1-2; Ac 2:1). The day of Pentecost was the first day of the week, because it was the fiftieth day after the resurrection of Christ, which took place on the first day of the week. Without any formal commandment in the New Testament, but no doubt by divine arrangement (Eph 1:10-13) ever since the resurrection of Christ, the Christian Church, delighting to honor their Lord, has observed the Lord’s Day, the first day of the week, as the Sabbath, or Holy Convocation of the New Dispensation; but Christian forbearance on this subject is included in Ro 14:5-6, and in Col 2:16-17. (Hassell’s History ppg 44- 46)

R.H. Pittman: In remembrance of Christ’s resurrection the ancient church, like the apostolic church, observed the first day of the week (or Sunday) as a day of public joy and thanksgiving, of public worship of God, and of collections for the poor; but neither the ancient nor the apostolic church ever called that day the Sabbath. In the year 321 Constantine appointed the first day of the week, which he called “the venerable day of the Sun,” in reference both to the Roman sun-god, Apollo, and to Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, as, in some respects, a day of rest. He forbade the sitting of courts and military exercises, and all secular labor in towns on that day; but allowed agricultural labor in the country.

Under Moses—the law dispensation, labor is first. Under Christ—the gospel dispensation—grace is first. Christ deserves the first of all things, even the first day of the week for special public worship of his matchless name.” (R.H. Pittman)

Sabbaths, Multiple

Multiple SABBATHS: Harold Hunt: There could be more than one Sabbath in the same week. The Leviticus account of the day of atonement (Le 23:23-44) shows that there could be as many as four successive Sabbaths on four successive days. In addition to the regular weekly seventh day Sabbath (Ex 20:8-11), we are told, “On the first day shall be a Sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath” (Ex 20:26). Ex 20:26 says, “In the ninth day of the month at even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath.” And we are told, “Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you.....and ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement....It shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest” (Le 23:27-28,32).

Joh 19:31, “The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, (for THAT SABBATH DAY was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.”

Christ was not crucified on Friday. The Sabbath that followed the crucifixion was not the weekly Sabbath. It was rather one of the high day Sabbaths.

Mt 12:40, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

Christ was in the grave three full days and three full nights. The Jews did not divide their days at midnight; that was a Roman practice which came later. The Jewish day began at sundown of the night before. “And [first] the evening [then] the morning were the first day” (Ge 1:5). The Sabbath that followed the crucifixion began at sundown of the previous day.

Christ was taken down from the cross and buried on Wednesday before the high day Sabbath began at sundown. He was in the grave Wednesday night and Thursday, Thursday night and Friday, Friday night and Saturday.

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the sepulchre (Mt 28:1) before sunrise, “very early in the morning” (Mr 16:2; Lu 24:1) “when it was yet dark” (Joh 20:1), “as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week” (Mt 28:1). Notice that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are all very careful to demonstrate that Christ did not come out of the grave at sunrise on Sunday morning. When the women arrived at the tomb, the sun had not yet risen, and they discover that the Lord had already come out of the grave.

Neither the angel, nor the earth-quake, (Mt 28:2) had anything to do with the resurrection. The angel did not roll the stone away to let the Lord out of the tomb. Stones and doors are no hindrance to him (Joh 20:19). The angel rolled away the stone to let the women see that the tomb was empty. The Lord had been in the garden alone all night.

Sacraments, The

The SACRAMENTS: Sylvester Hassell: Roman Catholicism has substituted the unscriptural term sacrament for the ordinances of the Christian religion; and, in utter defiance of the New Testament and of the true nature of vital godliness, has defined a sacrament to be an indispensable and efficacious means in the hands, however of popish priests or Bishops who may be the vilest sinners, of conveying Divine Grace and salvation. In the Sentences of Peter Lombard, about the middle of the twelfth century, Rome fixed the number of sacraments at seven, as follows: Baptism, confirmation, the Lord’s Supper, penance, extreme unction, ordination and marriage. Thus to the two beautiful emblematic ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, instituted by Christ, Rome has added three institutions of her own invention— confirmation, penance and extreme unction, and two other institutions—marriage and ordination—which, though of Divine appointment, are nowhere in the Scriptures called church ordinances.” (Hassell)

Sacrifices of The Mosaic Law, The Different

The Different SACRIFICES of the Mosaic Law: Sylvester Hassell: As it has been well said, the key note of the whole system is the same—self-abdication and a sense of dependence on God. Every sacrifice was assumed to have a vital connection with the spirit of the worshiper. The offering, unless accompanied with the heart of the offerer, was rejected by God (Ps 40:6; 50:8-15; Pr 21:3; Isa 1:11-15; Jer 7:21-23; Ho 6:6; Mic 6:7-8; 1Sa 15:22; Mt 5:23-24).

There were three kinds of offerings for the altar, in the following historical order: 1st, The burnt-offering, which, throughout Genesis, seems the only offering made by the people of God; 2nd, the meat-offering (un-bloody), or the peace-offering (bloody); and 3rd, the sin or trespass-offering (Le 1; 2; 3; 4). The legal or ritual order was: 1st, The sin-offering; 2nd, the burnt-offering; and 3rd, the peace-offering (Le 8).

The idea of sacrifice was complex, involving three elements, the expiatory, the self-dedicatory, and the eucharistic. All these three ideas entered into every sacrifice; but expiation or propitiation was the predominating element in the sin or trespass-offering; and thanksgiving in the meat or peace-offering. The spiritual order corresponds to the ritual; the sin of the worshiper must first be taken away by an atonement; then he must be consecrated to God; and then he can offer up acceptable sacrifices of praise and love.

The sin-offering was in part burnt upon the altar, in part given to the priests, or burnt outside the camp; the burnt offering was wholly burnt upon the altar; the peace-offering was shared between the altar, the priests, and the sacrificer. The incense offered, after sacrifice, in the Holy Place, and (on the day of atonement) in the Holy of Holies, was a symbol of the intercession of the priest (as a type of the great High Priest), accompanying and making efficacious the prayer of the people.

The same five animals that God commanded Abraham to offer in the sacrifice of the covenant (Ge 15:9) are the five alone named in the law for sacrifice; The ox, sheep, goat, dove and pigeon (the ancient Jews kept no home-bred fowls or chickens). These animals fulfilled the three legal conditions; they were legally clean, were commonly used for food, and formed a part of the home wealth of the sacrificers, who thus offered up the support of their life for that life itself.

Every sacrificial animal was to be perfect, without spot or blemish, neither diseased nor deformed; except that a victim with a disproportioned limb was allowed in a free-will peace-offering. A male animal was generally required; and the age was from a week to three years old. “Such animals only were allowed in sacrifice as are most useful and valuable to man, and such as are most domestic (or nearest to man), harmless, patient and cleanly.

Neither filthy swine, nor devouring lions, nor the warlike horse, nor the subtle fox, nor the voracious dog, nor any creature that subsists on animal food, was appointed for sacrifice; but, in general, those alone which represent most aptly what Christ would be, and what his people ought to be; as the laborious ox, the gentle, harmless and cleanly sheep; and the tender, loving, mourning dove; for even the useful goat was sacrificed far less frequently than sheep and oxen.---T. Scott. (From Hassell)

“The unbloody offerings are generally acknowledged to have been expressions of dependence, thankfulness, and homage to God; but it is impossible to explain satisfactorily the bloody offerings except as originating by Divine appointment, and pointing forward to the one great spotless antitypical Victim who was to come in the fulness of time, and suffer for the sins of the spiritual Israel. Life was the divinely appointed forfeit of sin (Ge 2:17; Eze 23:20; Ro 6:23); the blood contains the life, according to both Scripture (Le 17:11) and science; and, therefore, for the remission of sins, the life-blood must be taken (Le 17:11; Heb 9:22).”

“But the victim must be more closely related to us than are the inferior animals; he must be, according to the first proclamation of the gospel, in Eden (Ge 3:15), a “seed of the woman;” and yet he must be without any blemish or sin of his own, as typified by the legal sacrifices; and he must be able to bruise the head of the serpent, or conquer Satan; in other words, he must be a holy, omnipotent man, one partaking of the nature both of God and of man, the Son of God and the Son of man; in order that, in his human capacity, he may render all the active and passive obedience that the law required, even unto death; and that, in his Divine capacity, he may rise again, re-enter Heaven, and ever live to make efficacious inter-cession for the purchase of his blood.”

“In the mind of every spiritual Israelite, even under the old dispensation, ‘the lessons conveyed in the symbols of the altar must have all converged, with more or less distinctness, towards the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Re 13:8), who was to come at the appointed time, that he might fulfill all righteousness (Mt 3:15), and realize in the eyes of men the true sin-offering, burnt-offering and peace-offering; who has now been made sin for us, though he knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2Co 5:21); who has given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor (Eph 2:13-14); our true paschal lamb which has been slain for us (1Co 5:7), to the end that by eating his flesh and drinking his blood we might have eternal life (Joh 6:54)”—S. Clark.

The nature and effect of Christ’s atoning sacrifice was forcibly illustrated by the ritual of the Day of Atonement (Le 23:26-32; Nu 29:7-11; Heb 9). This was the tenth day of the seventh day of the seventh month (third of October), five days before the Feast of Tabernacles. It was the only day of fasting and humiliation enjoined in the law. It was a Sabbath, a day of holy convocation or assembly, on which the children of Israel were to afflict their souls, and do no manner of work, under penalty of being cut off from the Lord’s congregation. “The one absorbing thought of all was to be the great atonement by the High Priest on that day. No other priest was allowed to be in or about the sanctuary on that solemn day, teaching that his antitype, the Messiah, has a priesthood exclusively his own, and no work of another is to be added to his complete work of atonement.

The High Priest bathed and dressed himself in white linen garments, symbolizing the holiness required for the admission into God’s presence—the holiness of Christ. This was the only day in the year on which the High Priest, even entered the Holy of Holies. Taking a censer with burning coals from the brazen altar, and applying a handful of incense, he entered the Most Holy Place, where the mercy-seat became enveloped in the cloud of smoke from the incense, typifying Christ’s merits incensing our prayers, so as to make them a sweet-smelling savor to God (Re 8:3-4).

Then, being a sinner himself, the Jewish High Priest atoned for himself and family; the true High Priest, being sinless, has to make no atonement for himself. Afterwards the High Priest offered an atonement for Israel. This consisted of two goats, on one being written “For Jehovah,” on the other “For Azazel” (or “For Complete Removal”). The lots were cast, and one goat (that for Jehovah) was slain, and its blood was sprinkled upon and before the mercy-seat, typifying Jesus’ vicarious bearing of our sins penalty, death; and the other, or scape-goat, after the High Priest had laid his hands upon its head and confessed over it all the sins of Israel, was sent away by a fit man into the wilderness, a land not inhabited, and there let loose typifying the complete removal of our sins out of sight to where no witness will rise in judgment against us, ‘as far as the east is from the west’ (Ps 103:12), ‘Christ’s rising again for our justification’ (Ro 4:25), so that, being to sin and the law, we live by union with his resurrection life, sin being utterly put away in proportion as that life works in us (Joh 14:19; Ro 6; Col 3).

Death and life are marvelously united alike in Christ and his people. The same fact was symbolized by the slain bird and the bird let loose after having been dipped in the blood of the killed bird (Le 19:4-7). The Jewish High Priest entered the Most Holy Place once every year to repeat his typical atonement; but the true High Priest infinitely transcends the type, for he entered Heaven, the Most Holy Place, not made with hands, once for all, having “by one offering forever perfected them that are sanctified,” and “obtained eternal redemption for us,” so that “there is no more offering for sin” (which condemns the Roman Catholic notion of the Lord’s Supper being a sacrifice).

After the typical High Priest’s atonement, the veil between the Holy and the Most Holy Place continued as before to preclude access to priests and people alike; but the veil was rent at Christ’s death, throwing open the holiest Heaven continually to all believers through faith in his sacrifice.

The Jewish Gemara states that the High Priest tied a tongue-shaped piece of scarlet cloth on the scape-goat, and that as the goat was led away, the red cloth turned white as a token of God’s acceptance of the atonement, illustrating Isa 1:18, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;” but that no such change took place for forty years before the destruction of Jerusalem—a singular testimony from Jewish authority to Christ, as he was crucified, or made the true atonement, just forty years before the destruction of the holy city; the type ceased when the antitype was realized.

The day of atonement was the indispensable preparation for the joy that followed in the Feast of Tabernacles; and so we can only truly “joy in God” when “through our Lord Jesus Christ we have received the atonement” (Ro 5:11).---A.R. Faussett. (Hassell)

Saint Peter's Cathedral

SAINT PETER’S CATHEDRAL: Sylvester Hassell: The sixteenth century was the period of the fixed and executed purpose of the popes to build at Rome a religious structure to be known as “St. Peter’s,” designed to eclipse in costly and colossal magnificence all the other temples of earth; and, though intended by the popes to be a grand perpetual monument of Roman Catholic glory, yet designed by Providence to be a grand perpetual monument of Roman catholic shame, proclaiming forever to the world the bottomless abyss of corruption into which an organization calling itself the “Holy Catholic Church” had descended to offer in the public marts of Europe the unblushing sale for gold of unlimited indulgences for past, present, and future sins---the declared object of the popes being to devote the gold to the erection of the cathedral of “St. Peter’s;” against which tremendous and unparalleled abomination Martin Luther was raised up by the Holy Spirit to utter a mighty trumpet blast of God’s absolute and eternal predestination of his people to everlasting life, of justification by faith alone, and salvation by grace alone, which reverberated all over Roman Catholic Europe, aroused sleeping millions from their nocturnal slumbers, and shook to its center the kingdom of Mystical Babylon.” (Hassell)

Pope Julian II. (1503-1513) was a bold unscrupulous politician and warrior, who devoted his administration to intriguing and fighting for his own aggrandizement. In 1506, changing the plans of Nicholas V., he laid the foundation-stone of the present cathedral of “St. Peter’s,” which was finished in 1644 at a cost of sixty millions dollars. The “elegant heathen Pope” Leo X. (1513-1521), having exhausted his treasury in lavish expenditures, and yet desiring to immortalize his administration by the completion of “St. Peter’s,” commissioned and sent out a number of Dominican monks to sell indulgences or pardons for sins in order to raise money for this purpose.

John Tetzel, one of these monks, went to Juterboch, four miles from Wittenberg, in Saxony, and, with unequaled exaggerations and shamelessness, “sold grace for gold as dear or cheap as he could.” He had a price for every sin, and so deluded the people that money poured into his coffers from men, women and children, rich and poor, even from beggars; and he boasted that he had saved more souls by his indulgences than the Apostle Peter had saved by his sermons, and that the red cross he carried had as much efficacy as the cross of Christ. He declared that Christ since his ascension had nothing more to do with the church till the last day, but had entrusted all to the pope, his vicar and viceregent. Tetzel had, years before, squandered large amounts of their iniquitous gains in the most abominable dissipations.

The cup of Rome’s iniquity seemed, indeed to be full. God no longer suffered this diabolical mockery of his holy religion to proceed unrestrained. Foreknowing all things, he had for thirty-three years been preparing, in the heart of Germany and in the bosom even of the Roman communion, a man qualified by his experience and by the Divine Spirit to meet this very emergency.” (Hassell) (See also under Martin LUTHER) Anthology Luther, Martin

Samaria And The Samaritans

SAMARIA and the Samaritans: Sylvester Hassell: The land of Israel was not left desolate when the king of Assyria depopulated the country. He brought in others to fill their places, men, women, and children, from different provinces of his empire, to secure the country which he had conquered; and in this way Samaria was settled. Here originated a most remarkable people, both in regard to their religion and their perpetuity.

The zealous king of Judah, Josiah, undertook to destroy the idols in the lands once occupied by the ten tribes, ninety-three years after their captivity. He met with resistance elsewhere, but not in Samaria. There he killed the idolatrous priests, which they were willing to, and had no objection to the worship set up by Josiah. Ninety-two years afterwards, viz., in the year B.C. 536, when Ezra under the decree of Cyrus was laying the foundation of the second temple, these people desired to assist him in the work on the ground of a common religion. Said they, “Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esar-haddon, king of Asshur, who brought us hither.” But the Jews replied, “Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the Lord God of Israel as Cyrus, the king of Persia, hath commanded us” (Ezr 4).

Upon this refusal of their assistance they became much displeased, and did what they could ever afterwards to hinder the work, and actually prevailed with the king of Persia to put a stop to it for awhile. The bitterness engendered on that occasion has never passed away. It continued between the two people all the time during the existence of the second temple. In the days of our Savior “the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans,” and we presume the prejudice remains to this day, whenever they come in contact.

The Jewish nation has been broken up for eighteen hundred years [as of 1885 Ed.], and their descendants are now dispersed abroad among the nations of the earth without the least sign of nationality; while the Samaritans occupy their old ground still, hold fast to their old religion, and are full of their old prejudices. They worship on Mount Gerizim, and hold to the five books of Moses, with the books of Joshua and Judges in a corrupted form. The Pentateuch, however, is their Bible, and they still look for a Savior to come. Their copy of the Pentateuch is very ancient, and written in the ancient Hebrew or Phoenician character. When they received it or what is the date of it is unknown—perhaps a little before the Babylonian captivity.” (Hassell’s History ppg 123, 124)

Satisfaction

SATISFACTION: Abridged from John Gill: Though the doctrine of satisfaction is not only closely connected with, but even included in, the doctrine of redemption, made by paying a satisfactory price into the hands of justice, and is a part of it; yet it is of such importance, that it requires it should be distinctly and separately treated of. It is the glory of the Christian religion, which distinguishes it from others; what gives it the preference to all others, and without which it would be of no value itself. And though the word satisfaction is not syllabically expressed in scripture, as used in the doctrine under consideration, the thing is abundantly declared in it.

Socinus denies [this]; though he himself owns, that a thing is not to be rejected, because not expressly found in scripture; for he says, it is enough with all lovers of truth, that the thing in question is confirmed by reason and testimony; though the words which are used in explaining the question are not found expressly written.

What Christ has done and suffered, in the room and stead of sinners, with content, well pleasedness, and acceptance in the sight of God, is what may, with propriety, be called satisfaction. This is plentifully spoken of in the word of God; as when God is said to be “well pleased for Christ’s righteousness sake,” and with it, it being answerable to the demands of law and justice; and is an honoring and magnifying of it.

The sacrifice of Christ, and such his sufferings are, is said to be of a “sweet smelling savor to God;” because it has expiated sin, atoned for it; that is, made satisfaction for it, and taken it away. [This] the sacrifices under the law could not do; hence here was a remembrance of it every year.

Isa 42:21 The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honorable.

Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor.

And there are terms and phrases which are used of Christ, and of his work; as “propitiation, reconciliation, atonement,” etc. which are equivalent and synonymous to satisfaction for sin, and expressive of it; concerning which may be observed the following things:

I. The necessity of satisfaction to be made for sin, in order to the salvation of sinners; for without satisfaction for sin, there can be no salvation from it; “for it became him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” That is, it became the all wise and all powerful Former and Maker of all things for himself.

It was agreeable to his nature and perfections. It was fitting, and so necessary, that it should be done; that whereas it was his pleasure to bring many of the sons of men, even as many as are made the sons of God, to eternal glory and happiness by Christ; that the author of their salvation should perfectly and completely suffer, in their room and stead, all that the law and justice of God could require; without which not a sinner could be saved, nor a son brought to glory.

If two things are granted, which surely must be easily granted, satisfaction for sin will appear necessary:

1. That men are sinners; and this must be owned, unless any can work themselves up into such a fancy, that they are an innocent sort of beings, whose natures are not depraved, nor their actions wrong; neither offensive to God, nor injurious to their fellow creatures. And if so, indeed then a satisfaction for sin would be unnecessary; and one would think the opposers of Christ’s satisfaction must have entertained such a conceit of themselves. But if they have, scripture, all experience, the consciences of men, and facts, are against them; all which declare men are sinners, are transgressors of the law, and pronounced guilty by it before God; and are subject to its curse, condemnation, and death, the sanction of it. And “every transgression” of it, and disobedience to it, has received, does receive, or will receive, “a just recompense of reward.” That is, righteous judgment and punishment, either in the sinner himself, or in a surety for him.

Heb 2:2 For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward;

God never relaxes the sanction of the law; that is, the punishment for sin it threatens; though he favorably admits one to suffer it for the delinquent. By sin men are alienated from God, set at a distance from him, with respect to communion. Without reconciliation or satisfaction for sin, they never can be admitted to it. A sinner, not reconciled to God, can never enjoy nearness to him, and fellowship with him; and this, when ever had, is the fruit of Christ’s sufferings and death. He suffered, in the room and stead of the unjust, to bring them to God. And it is by his blood, making peace for them, that they that were afar off, with respect to communion, are made nigh, and favored with it.

Eph 2:13-14 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

1Pe 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

The satisfaction of Christ does not procure the love of God, being [rather] the effect of it. Yet it opens the way to the embraces of his arms, stopped by sin. Moreover, men by sin, are declared rebels against God, and enemies to him. Hence reconciliation, atonement, or satisfaction, became necessary; as they are enemies in their minds, by wicked works. Yea, their carnal mind is enmity itself against God. And, on the other hand, on the part of God, there is a law enmity, which must be slain, and was slain, through the sufferings of Christ on the cross.

Eph 2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

And so made peace and reconciliation; for this designs not any internal disposition in the mind of God’s people, before conversion, which is overcome in it, by the love of God implanted in them; but the declared enmity of the moral law against them, broken by them; of which the ceremonial law was a symbol, in the slain sacrifices of it, and stood as an handwriting against them; all which were necessary to be removed.

2. The other thing to be taken for granted is, that it is the will of God to save sinners, at least some of them; for if it was not his will to save any from sin, there would be no need of a satisfaction for, it. Now it is certain, that it is the will and resolution of God to save some; whom he appointed not to the wrath they deserve, but to salvation by Christ; whom he has ordained to eternal life, and are vessels of mercy, afore prepared for glory; and for whose salvation a provision is made in the council and covenant of grace, in which it was consulted, contrived, and settled, and Christ appointed to be the author of it; and who, in the fulness of time, was sent and came about it, and has obtained it; and which is ascribed to his blood, his sufferings, and death, which were necessary for the accomplishment of it.

Some have affirmed that God could forgive sin, and save sinners, without a satisfaction; and this is said, not only by Socinians, but by some, as Twisse, Dr. Goodwin, Rutherford, etc. who own that a satisfaction is made, and the fitness and expedience of it. But then this is giving up the point; for if it is fitting and expedient to be done, it is necessary; for whatever is fitting to be done in the affair of salvation, God cannot but do it, or will it to be done.

Besides, such a way of talking, as it tends to undermine and weaken the doctrine of satisfaction; so to encourage and strengthen the hands of the Socinians, the opposers of it; much the same arguments being used by the one as by the other. It is not indeed proper to limit the Holy One of Israel, or lay a restraint on his power, which is unlimited, boundless, and infinite; with whom nothing is impossible, and who is able to do more than we can conceive of. Yet it is no ways derogatory to the glory of his power.

Nor is it any impeachment of it, nor argues any imperfection or weakness in him, to say there are some things he cannot do; for not to be able to do them is his glory; as that he cannot commit iniquity, which is contrary to the purity and holiness of his nature. He cannot do an act of injustice to any of his creatures, that is contrary to his justice and righteousness. He cannot lie; that is contrary to his veracity and truth. He cannot deny himself, for that is against his nature and perfections.

And for the same reason he cannot forgive sin without a satisfaction, because so to do, does not agree with the perfections of his nature. It is a vain thing to dispute about the power of God; what he can do, or what he cannot do, in any case where it is plain, what it is his will to do, as it is in the case before us. At the same time he declared himself a God gracious and merciful, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin. He has, in the strongest terms, affirmed, that he “will by no means clear the guilty,” or let him go unpunished; that is, without a satisfaction.

Ex 34:6-7 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

Jer 30:11 For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.

Na 1:3 The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked.

Nu 14:18 The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

Besides, if any other method could have been taken, consistent with the will of God, the prayer of Christ would have brought it out. “Father, if it be possible, let this cup of suffering death pass from me.” [He] adds, “not my will, but thine be done!” what that will was, is obvious.

Heb 10:5-10 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

It may be said, this is to make God weaker than man, and to represent him as not able to do what man can do. One man can forgive another the debts that are owing to him; and in some cases he should, and is to be commended for it. And one may forgive another an offence committed against himself, and ought to do it; especially when the offender expresses repentance. But it should be observed, that sins are not pecuniary debts, and to be remitted as they are. They are not properly debts, only so called allusively. If they were proper debts, they might be paid in their kind, one sin by committing another, which is absurd. But they are called debts, because as debts oblige to payment, these oblige to punishment. [This] debt of punishment must be paid, either by the debtor, the sinner, or by a surety for him. Sins are criminal debts, and can be remitted no other way.

God, therefore, in this affair, is to be considered not merely as a creditor, but as the Judge of all the earth, who will do right; and as the Rector and Governor of the world; that great Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy; who will secure his own authority as such, do justice to himself, and honor to his law, and show a proper concern for the good of the community, or universe, of which he is the moral Governor.

So though one man may forgive another a private offence, committed against himself, as it is an injury to him, yet he cannot forgive one, as it is an injury to the commonwealth, of which he is a part.

A private person, as he cannot execute vengeance and wrath, or inflict punishment on an offender; so neither can he, of right, let go unpunished one that has offended against the peace and good of the commonwealth.

These are things that belong to the civil magistrate, to one in power and authority. And a judge that acts under another, and according to a law which he is obliged to regard, can neither inflict punishment, nor remit it, especially the latter, without the order of his superior. God indeed is not under another; he is of himself, and can do what he pleases; he is the Maker and Judge of the law. But then he is a law to himself. His nature is his law, and he cannot act contrary to that.

Wherefore, as Joshua says, “He is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions, nor your sins,” that is, without a satisfaction; and which comports with his own honor and glory; of which he is a jealous God.

Sin is “crimen laesae Majestatis,”a crime committed against the majesty of God. It disturbs the universe, of which he is Governor, and tends to shake and overthrow his moral government of the world, to introduce atheism into it, and bring it into disorder and confusion, and to withdraw creatures from their dependence on God, and obedience to him, as the moral Governor of it. [It] therefore requires satisfaction, and an infinite one, as the object of it is; and cannot be made, but by an infinite Person, as Christ is. Such a satisfaction the honor of the divine Being, and of his righteous law, transgressed by sin, requires. Which leads to observe,

That to forgive sin, without a satisfaction, does not accord with the perfections of God.

1. Not with his justice and holiness. God is naturally and essentially just and holy. All his ways and works proclaim him to be so; and his creatures own it, angels and men, good and bad. As he is righteous, he naturally loves righteousness; and naturally hates evil, and cannot but show his hatred of it; and which is shown by punishing it.

God is a consuming fire; and as fire naturally burns combustible matter, so it is natural to God to punish sin. Wherefore, punitive justice, though denied by Socinians, in order to subvert the satisfaction of Christ, is natural and essential to him. He cannot but punish sin. It is a righteous thing with him to do it; the justice of God requires it; and there is no salvation without bearing it. He is praised and applauded for it, by saints and holy angels. To do otherwise, or not to punish sin, would be acting against himself and his own glory.

2. To forgive sin, without satisfaction for it, does not agree with his veracity, truth, and faithfulness. With respect to his holy and righteous law: it became him, as the Governor of the universe, to give a law to his creatures; for where there is no law, there is no transgression. Men may sin with impunity, no charge can be brought against them; sin is not imputed, where there is no law. But God has given a law, which is holy, just, and good; and which shows what is his good and perfect will.

And this law has a sanction annexed to it, as every law should have, or it will be of no force to oblige to an observance of it, and deter from disobedience to it. And the sanction of the law of God is nothing less than death, than death eternal; which is the just wages, and proper demerit of sin, and which God has declared he will inflict upon the transgressor; “In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

Now the veracity, truth, and faithfulness of God, are engaged to see this sanction established, and threatening executed; either upon the transgressor himself, or upon a surety for him; for the judgment of God is, that such a person is worthy of death; and his judgment is according to truth; and will and does most certainly take place.

3. The wisdom of God makes it necessary that sin should not be forgiven, without a satisfaction; for it is not the wisdom of any legislature, to suffer the law not to take place in a delinquent. It is always through weakness that it is admitted, either through fear, or through favor and affection. This may be called tenderness, lenity, and clemency; but it is not justice. And it tends to weaken the authority of the legislator, to bring government under contempt, and to embolden transgressors of the law, in hope of impunity.

The all wise Lawgiver can never be thought to act such a part. Besides, the scheme of men’s peace and reconciliation by Christ, is represented as the highest act of wisdom, known to be wrought by God; for “herein he has abounded towards us in all wisdom and prudence.”

But where is the consummate wisdom of it, if it could have been in an easier way, at less expense, without the sufferings and death of his Son? Had there been another and a better way, infinite wisdom would have found it out, and divine grace and mercy would have pursued it.

4. Nor does it seem so well to agree with the great love and affection of God, to his Son Jesus Christ, said to be his beloved Son, the dear Son of his love; to send him into this world in the likeness of sinful flesh—to be vilified and abused by the worst of men—to be buffeted, lashed, and tortured, by a set of miscreants and to put him to the most cruel and shameful death, to make reconciliation for sin, if sin could have been forgiven, and the sinner saved, without all this, by a hint, a nod, a word speaking; “Thy sins are forgiven thee,” and thou shall be saved!

Nor does it so fully express the love of God to his saved ones; but tends to lessen and lower that love. God giving his Son to suffer and die, in the room and stead of sinners, and to be the propitiation for their sins, is always ascribed to the love of God, and represented as the strongest expression of it!

But where is the greatness of this love, if salvation could have been done at an easier rate? and, indeed, if it could have been done in another way. The greatness of it appears, in that either the sinner must die, or Christ die for him; such was the love of God, that he chose the latter!

To all this may be added, as evincing the necessity of a satisfaction for sin, that there is something of it appears by the very light of nature, in the heathens, who have nothing else to direct them. They are sensible by it, when sin is committed, deity is offended. Else what mean those accusations of conscience upon sinning, and dreadful horrors and terrors of mind?

Witness also, the various, though foolish and fruitless methods they have taken, to appease the anger of God; as even to give their firstborn for their transgression, and the fruit of their body for the sin of their souls; which shows their sense of a necessity of making some sort of satisfaction for offences committed; and of appeasing justice, or vengeance, as they call their deity.

Ac 28:4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.

The various sacrifices of the Jews, they were directed to under the former dispensation, plainly show the necessity of a satisfaction for sin; and plainly point out forgiveness of sin, as proceeding upon it; though they themselves could not really, only typically, expiate sin, make atonement and satisfaction for it. But if God could forgive sin without any satisfaction at all, why not forgive it upon the foot of those sacrifices? The reason is plain, Because he could not, consistent with himself, do it without the sacrifice of his Son, typified by them.

Therefore it may be strongly concluded, that a plenary satisfaction for sin, by what Christ has done and suffered, was absolutely necessary to the forgiveness of sin. “Without shedding of blood is no remission,” neither typical nor real; without it there never was, never will be, nor never could be, any forgiveness of sin.

Heb 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

II. The ground and foundation of satisfaction for sin by Christ, and the cause and spring of it.

First, The ground and foundation on which it is laid, and upon which it proceeds, are the council and covenant of grace, and the suretyship engagements of Christ therein.

1. The scheme of making peace with God, or of appeasing divine justice, and of making reconciliation for sin, that is, satisfaction for it, was planned in the everlasting council; which, from thence is called, “the council of peace.”

Zec 6:13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.

“God was” then “in Christ,” or with Christ, “reconciling the world,” the whole number of the elect, “to himself.” That is, they were consulting together to form the plan of their reconciliation and salvation. And the method they pitched upon was, “not imputing their trespasses to them;” not to reckon and place to their account, their sins and iniquities, and insist upon a satisfaction for them from themselves. God knew, that if he made a demand of satisfaction for them on them, they could not answer him, one man of a thousand, no, not one at all; nor for one sin of a thousand, no, not for a single one. If he brought a charge of sin against them, they must be condemned; for they would not be able to give one reason, or say anything on their own behalf, why judgment should not proceed against them.

Wherefore, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” Since God will not, whoever does, it will be of no avail against them; for “it is God that justifies” them. And happy are the persons interested in this glorious scheme, to whom the Lord “imputeth not iniquity.” And it was also further devised in this council, to impute the transgressions of the said persons to Christ, the Son of God; which, though not expressed in the text referred to, yet it is implied and understood, and in clear and full terms signified, in the verse following but one, in which the account of the scheme of reconciliation is continued; “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin.”

2Co 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

That is, the sinless Jesus, who was made sin, not inherently, by a transfusion of sin into him, which his holy nature would not admit of; but imputatively, by a transfer of the guilt of sin unto him, by placing it to his account, and making him answerable for it. [This] was done, not merely at the time of his sufferings and death, though then God openly and manifestly “laid upon him,” or made to meet on him, “the iniquity of us all,” of all the Lord's people, when “the chastisement of their peace was on him,” or the punishment of their sin was inflicted on him, to make peace for them.

But [it was done] as early as the council of peace was held, and the above method was concerted and agreed to, or Christ became a Surety for his people. So early were their sins imputed to him, and he became responsible for them. And this laid the foundation of his making satisfaction for sin. For,

2. The scheme drawn in council, was settled in covenant, which, on that account, is called “the covenant of peace,” in which covenant Christ was called to be a Priest; for Christ glorified not himself to be called one; but his father bestowed this honor on him, and consecrated, constituted, and ordained him a Priest with an oath,

Isa 54:10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.

Mal 2:5 My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.

Ps 110:4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

Now the principal business of a priest, was to make reconciliation and atonement for sin. For the sake of this Christ was called to this office; and it was signified to him in covenant, that he should not offer such sacrifices and offerings as were offered up under the law, which could not take away sin, or atone for it.

And though God would have these offered, as typical of Christ’s atoning sacrifice, from the beginning, throughout the former dispensation, to the coming of Christ; yet it was not his will that any of this sort should be offered by him. “Sacrifice and offering thou wouldst not.” And therefore, though Christ was a Priest, he never offered any legal sacrifice.

But when anything of this kind was necessary to be done for persons he was concerned with, he always sent them to carry their offerings to a priest; as in the case of cleansing lepers.

Mt 8:4 And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

Lu 17:14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.

A sacrifice of another kind, and to answer a greater purpose, was to be offered by him, and which in covenant was provided; “A body hast thou prepared me.” [This] is put for the whole human nature; for not the body of Christ only, but his soul also, were made an offering for sin.

Heb 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.

Heb 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Isa 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

And this offering for sin was made by Christ’s suffering and dying in the room and stead of sinners, when he was wounded for their transgressions, and bruised for their sins, and stricken for their iniquities; that is, to make satisfaction for them. This was what was enjoined in covenant. This commandment he received from his Father, and he was obedient to it, even to die the death of the cross. And this work was proposed and appointed to him in covenant, and declared in prophecy, in order to finish transgression, make an end of sin, and make reconciliation for iniquity. And this he did by the sacrifice of himself.

Now as this whole scheme was drawn in council, and settled in covenant, it was proposed to Christ, and he readily agreed to it. [He] became the surety of the covenant, the better testament; and engaged to assume human nature, to do and suffer in it, all that the law and justice of God could require, and should demand of him, in the room and stead of sinners, in order to make full satisfaction for their sins, of which the above things are the ground and foundation.

3. There is nothing in this whole transaction that is injurious to any person or thing, or that is chargeable with any unrighteousness; but all is agreeable to the rules of justice and judgment.

(1.) No injury is done to Christ by his voluntary substitution in the room and stead of sinners, to make satisfaction for their sins; for as he was able, so he was willing to make it. He [assumed] human nature, was qualified to obey and suffer, he had somewhat to offer as a sacrifice. As man, he had blood to shed for the remission of sin, and a life to lay down for the ransom of sinners. And as God, he could support the human nature in union with him under the weight of sin laid on it; and bear the whole of the punishment due unto it with cheerfulness, courage, and strength.

And as he was able, so he was willing. He said in covenant, when it was proposed to him, “Lo, I come to do thy will,” and at the fulness of time he readily came to do it. [He] went about it as soon as possible, counted it his meat and drink to perform it, and was constant at it. And what was most distressing and disagreeable to flesh and blood, he most earnestly wished for, even his bloody baptism, sufferings, and death; and “volenti non fit injuria.”

Besides, he had a right to dispose of his own life; and therefore in laying it down did no injustice to any. The civil law will not admit that one man should die for another. The reason is, because no man has a right to dispose of his own life. But Christ had; “I have power,” says he, “to lay it down;” that is, his life. Hence he is called, “The prince of life,” both with respect to his own life, and the life of others,

Joh 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Ac 3:15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.

And accordingly it was in his power to give it as a redemption price for his people; wherefore he says, he came “to give his life a ransom for many.”

Mt 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

And which he did give; and he also had a power to take it up again. Was a good man admitted by the civil law to die for a bad man, it would be a loss to the commonwealth, and is another reason why it is not allowed of. But Christ, as he laid down his life for sinners, so he could and did take it up again, and that quickly. He was delivered to death for the offences of men, to satisfy justice for them; and then he rose again for the justification of them.

He died once, and continued a little while under the power of death, but it was not possible for him to be held long by it. When through it he had made satisfaction for sin, he rose from the dead, and will die no more, but will live for ever for the good of his people.

Nor is the human nature of Christ a loser but a gainer by his sufferings and death; for having finished his work, he is glorified with the glory promised him in covenant before the world was; is crowned with glory and honor, highly exalted above every creature, has a place at the right hand of God, where angels have not; angels, authorities, and powers, being subject to him. Nor has the human nature any reason to complain, nor did it ever complain of any loss sustained by suffering in the room and stead of sinners, and by working out their salvation.

(2.) Nor is there any unjust thing done by God throughout this whole transaction. There is no unrighteousness in him, in his nature, nor in any of his ways and works; nor in this affair, which was done “to declare his righteousness, that he might be just,” appear to be just, “and be the justifier of him that believes in Jesus,” upon the foot of a perfect righteousness, and full satisfaction made for sin.

The person sent to do this work, and who was given up into the hands of justice, and not spared, was one God had a property in. He was his own Son, his only begotten Son; and it was with his own consent he delivered him up for all his people; and who being their surety, and having engaged to pay their debts, and to answer for any hurt, damage, or wrong done by them; and having voluntarily taken their sins upon him, and these being found on him by the justice of God; it could be no unrighteous thing to make a demand of satisfaction for them.

Isa 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

That is, satisfaction was required of him, and he answered to the demand made upon him; and where is the unrighteousness of this? Christ’s name was in the obligation, and that only. Therefore he was the only person that justice could lay hold upon, and get satisfaction from.

Besides, there was a conjunction, an union, a relation between Christ and his people, previous to his making satisfaction for them; which lay at the bottom of it, and showed a reason for it; as in all such cases where the sins of one have been punished on another. As when God has visited the iniquities of fathers upon the children, there is the relation of fathers and children; and the fathers are punished in the children, as being parts of them.

Thus Ham, the son of Noah, was the transgressor, but the curse was denounced and fell on Canaan his son, and Ham was punished in him. When David numbered the people, and so many thousands suffered for it, here was a relation of king and subjects, who were one in a civil sense, and the one were punished for the other. Thus Christ and his people are one, both in a natural sense, being of the same nature, and partakers of the same flesh and blood.

And so satisfaction for sin was made in the same nature that sinned, as it was fit it should; and in a law sense, as a surety and debtor are one, so that if one pay the debt it is the same as if the other did it; and in a mystical sense, as head and members are one, as Christ and his people be head and members of the same body, so that if one suffer, the rest suffer with it.

Nor is it any unjust thing, if one part of the body sins another suffers for it; as, if the head commits the offence, and the back is punished. Christ and his people are one, as husband and wife are, who are one flesh; and therefore there can be no impropriety, much less injustice, in Christ’s giving himself a ransom price for his church, to redeem her from slavery; or an offering and sacrifice for her, to make atonement for her transgressions.

And as there appears to be no unrighteousness in God through this whole affair, so far as he was concerned in it, so there is no injury done him through a satisfaction being made by another; for hereby all the divine perfections are glorified.

Ps 85:10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

(3.) Nor is there any injury done to the law of God. It has the whole of its demands, no part remaining unsatisfied; for it is neither abrogated nor relaxed. There is a change of the person making satisfaction to it, which is favorably allowed by the lawgiver. But there is no change of the sanction of the law, of the punishment it requires; that is not abated. The law is so far from being a loser by the change of persons in giving it satisfaction, that it is a great gainer. The law is magnified and made honorable; more honorable by Christ's obedience to it, than by the obedience of the saints and angels in heaven; and is made more honorable by the sufferings of Christ, in bearing the penal sanction of it, than by all the sufferings of the damned in hell to all eternity.

Isa 42:21 The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honorable.

Secondly, The causes, spring, and source of satisfaction.

1. So far as God the Father was concerned in it, he may be said to be an efficient cause of it, and his love the moving cause.

He was at the first of it, he began it, made the first motion, set it in motion.

2Co 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

He called a council upon it; he contrived the scheme of it. He set forth Christ in his eternal purposes and decrees to be the propitiation for sin, to make satisfaction for it. And he sent him in the fulness of time for that purpose. He laid on him the iniquities of his people, and made him sin for them by imputation. He bruised him, and put him to grief, and made his soul an offering for sin. He spared him not, but delivered him into the hands of justice and death. And what moved him to this, was his great love to his people.

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

1Jo 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

2. In like manner Christ may be considered as an efficient cause, and his love as a moving cause in this affair. He came into the world to die for sinners, and redeem them to God by his blood. He laid down his life for them. He gave himself for them an offering and a sacrifice unto God, a propitiatory, expiatory one. And what moved him to it, was his great love to them, and kindness for them. “Hereby perceive we the love of God,” that is, of God the Son, “because he laid down his life for us,” and the love of Christ is frequently premised to his giving himself to die in the room of his people.

1Jo 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Ga 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.

III. The matter of satisfaction, or what that is which gives satisfaction to the justice of God; so that a sinner upon it, or in consideration of it, is acquitted and discharged. This is no other than Christ’s fulfilling the whole law, in the room and stead of sinners. This was what he undertook in covenant. Hence he said, “Thy law is within my heart.” He was willing and ready to fulfil it. When he came into the world, by his incarnation he was made under it voluntarily, and became subject to it, for he came not to destroy it, but to fulfil it. He is become “the end of the law,” the fulfilling end of it, to everyone that believes: he has fulfilled it.

1. By obeying the precepts of it, and answering all that it requires. Does it require an holy nature? It has it in him, who is “holy, harmless, and undefiled.” Does it require perfect and sinless obedience? It is found in him, who did no sin, never transgressed the law in one instance, but always did the things which pleased his Father; and who has declared himself “well pleased for his righteousness sake,” and with it. And that [is] as wrought out for his people by his active obedience to the law, which is so approved of by God, that he imputes it without works for the justification of them,.

Ro 4:6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.

Ro 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Nor is it any objection to this doctrine that Christ, as man, was obliged to yield obedience to the law for himself, which is true. But then it should be observed, that as he assumed human nature, or became man, for the sake of his people, “to us,” or for us, “a child is born.” So it was for their sake he yielded obedience to the law.

Besides, though he was obliged to it as man, yet he was not obliged to yield it in such a state and condition as he did; in a state of humiliation, in a course of sorrow and affliction, in a suffering state throughout the whole of his life, even unto death. The human nature of Christ, from the moment of its union to the Son of God, was entitled to glory and happiness; so that its obedience to the law in such a low estate was quite voluntary, and what he was not obliged unto.

Nor is it to be argued from Christ’s yielding obedience for his people, that then they are exempted from it. They are not; they are under the law to Christ, and under greater obligation to obey it. They are not obliged to obey it in like manner, or for such purposes that Christ obeyed it, even to justify them before God, and entitle them to eternal life.

2. Christ has fulfilled the law and satisfied it, by bearing the penalty of it in the room and stead of his people, which is death of every kind.

Ge 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Ro 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

[This includes] corporal death, which includes all afflictions, griefs, sorrows, poverty, and disgrace, which Christ endured throughout his state of humiliation. He took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses; and was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with griefs all his days. All that he suffered in his body, when he gave his back to the smiters, and his cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; when he was buffeted and smitten with the palms of the hand in the palace of the high priest; and was whipped and scourged by the order of Pilate; his head crowned with thorns, and his hands and feet pierced with nails on the cross, where he hung for the space of three hours in great agonies and distress.

Some have confined his satisfactory sufferings to what he underwent during that time, which though very great indeed, and none can tell what he endured in soul and body, in that space of time. Yet these, exclusive of what he endured before and after, must not be considered as the only punishment he endured by way of satisfaction for the sins of men. The finishing and closing part of which was death, and what the law required. Hence making peace and reconciliation are ascribed to the bloodshed and death of Christ on the cross.

Col 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Ro 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Which death was a bloody, cruel, and painful one, as the thing itself speaks, and the description of it shows, and was also a very shameful and ignominious one, the death of slaves, and of the worst of malefactors; and was likewise an accursed one, and showed, that as Christ was made sin for his people, and had their sins charged upon him, so he was made a curse for them, and bore the whole curse of the law that was due unto them.

Ps 22:15-16 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

Ga 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Moreover, Christ not only endured a corporal death, and all that was contained in it, and connected with it, or suffered in his body; but in his soul also, through the violent temptations of Satan, “he suffered, being tempted.” And through the reproaches that were cast upon him, which entered into his soul, and broke his heart; and through his agonies in the garden, when his soul was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. And especially through his sufferings on the cross, when his soul, as well as his body, was made an offering for sin. And when he sustained what was tantamount to an eternal death, which lies in a separation from God, and a sense of divine wrath. Both which Christ then endured, when God deserted him, and hid his face from him; which made him say, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!” And he had a dreadful sense of divine wrath, on the account of the sins of his people laid upon him, the punishment of which he bore; when he said, “Thou hast cast off and abhorred, thou hast been wroth with thine anointed,” thy Messiah.

Ps 89:38 But thou hast cast off and abhorred, thou hast been wroth with thine anointed.

And thus by doing and suffering all that the law and justice of God could require, he made full and complete satisfaction thereunto for his people. It was not barely some thing, some little matter, which Christ gave, and with which God was content, and what is called acceptilation, but a proper, full, and adequate satisfaction, which he gave, so that nothing more in point of justice could be required of him.

IV. The form or manner in which satisfaction was made by Christ; which was by bearing the sins of his people, under an imputation of them to him, and by dying for their sins, and for sinners; that is, in their room and stead, as their substitute. These are the phrases by which it is expressed in scripture.

First, By bearing the sins of his people, which we first read of in Isa 53:11-12, where two words are made use of, both alike translated: “And he bare the sin of many,” avn he took, he lifted them up, he took them off of his people, and took them upon himself; and again, “He shall bear their iniquities,” lboy, as a man bears and carries a burden upon his shoulders; and from hence is the use of the phrase in the New Testament.

Isa 53:11-12 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

The author of Hebrews observes, that “Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many,” pointing at the time when he bore the sins of many. It was when he was offered up a sacrifice to make atonement for them. The apostle Peter observes where he bore them.

1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

“He bore them in his own body,” in the body of his flesh; when that was offered once for all; and “on the tree,” upon the cross, when he was crucified on it. Now his bearing sin, supposes it was upon him: there was no sin in him, inherently, in his nature and life. Had there been any, he would not have been a fit person to take away sin, to expiate it, and make satisfaction for it. He was manifested to take away our sins; that is, by the sacrifice of himself; and in him is no sin.

1Jo 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

And so [he was] a fit sacrifice for it. But sin was upon him, it was put upon him, as the sins of Israel were put upon the scapegoat, by Aaron. Sin was put upon Christ by his divine Father; no creature could have done it, neither angel nor men; but “the Lord hath laid on him,” or “made to meet on him,” “the iniquity of us all.”

Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

[This was] not a single iniquity, but a whole mass and lump of sins collected together, and laid, as a common burden, upon him; even of us all, of all the elect of God, both Jews and Gentiles; for Christ became the propitiation, or made satisfaction, for the sins of both.

1Jo 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

This phrase, of laying sin on Christ, is expressive of the imputation of it to him; for as it was the will of God, not to impute the trespasses of his elect to themselves. It was his pleasure they should be imputed to Christ, which was done by an act of his own. “For he hath made him to be sin for us,” that is, by imputation, in which way we are “made the righteousness of God in him,” that being imputed to us by him, as our sins were to Christ.

The sense is, a charge of sin was brought against him, as the surety of his people. “He was numbered with the transgressors.” Bearing the sins of many, he was reckoned as if he had been one, sin being imputed to him; and was dealt with, by the justice of God, as such. Sin being found on him, through imputation, a demand of satisfaction for sin was made; and he answered it to the full. All this was with his own consent. He agreed to have sin laid on him, and imputed to him, and a charge of it brought against him, to which he engaged to be responsible. Yea, he himself took the sins of his people on him. So the evangelist Matthew has it.

Mt 8:17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.

As he took their nature, so he took their sins, which made his flesh to have “the likeness of sinful flesh,” though it really was not sinful.

What Christ bore, being laid on him, and imputed to him, were sins, all sorts of sin, original and actual; sins of every kind, open and secret, of heart, lip, and life; all acts of sin committed by his people. He has redeemed them from all their iniquities; and God, for Christ’s sake, forgives all trespasses. His blood cleanses from all sin, and his righteousness justifies from all. All being imputed to him, as that is to them: all that is in sin, and belongs to sin, were borne by him; the turpitude and filth of sin, without being defiled by it, which cannot be separated from it; and the guilt of sin, which was transferred to him, and obliged to punishment; and particularly the punishment itself.

Ge 4:13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.

La 5:7 Our fathers have sinned, and are not; and we have borne their iniquities.

Sin is often put for the punishment of sin, and is greatly meant, and always included, when Christ is said to bear it; even all the punishment due to the sins of his people: and which is called, “the chastisement of our peace,” said to be “upon him.”

Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

That is, the punishment [was] inflicted on him, in order to make peace, reconciliation, and atonement for sin. Bearing sin, supposes it to be a burden. And, indeed, it is a burden too heavy to bear by a sensible sinner. When sin is charged home upon the conscience, and a saint groans, being burdened with it, what must that burden be, and how heavy the load Christ bore, consisting of all the sins of all the elect; from the beginning of the world to the end of it?

Yet he sunk not, but stood up under it, failed not, nor was he discouraged, being the mighty God, and the Man of God’s right hand, made strong for himself. He himself bore it; not any with him, to take any part with him, to help and assist him. His shoulders alone bore it, on which it was laid. His own arm alone brought salvation to him.

He bore it, and bore it away. He removed the iniquity of his people in one day; and that as far as the East is from the West. In this he was typified by the scapegoat, on whom were put all the iniquities, transgressions, and sins, of all the children of Israel, on the day of atonement, and which were all borne by the scapegoat to a land not inhabited.

Le 16:21-22 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. Aaron was also a type of Christ, in bearing the sins of the holy things of the people of Israel, when he went into the holy place.

Ex 28:38 And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.

And the sin offering was typical of the sacrifice of Christ, which is said to bear the iniquities of the congregation, and to make atonement for them.

Le 10:17 Wherefore have ye not eaten the sin offering in the holy place, seeing it is most holy, and God hath given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the LORD?

Secondly, The form and manner in which Christ made satisfaction for sin, is expressed by “dying for sin,” that is, to make atonement for it; and “for sinners,” that is, in their room and stead, as their substitute.

1. By dying for the sins of his people. This the apostle represents as the first and principal article of the Christian faith, “that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures.”

1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.

According to the scriptures of the Old Testament, which speak of Christ being “cut off,” in a judicial way, by death, but not for himself, for any sin of his own; and of his being wounded, bruised, and stricken, but not for his own transgressions and iniquities; but as “wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, and stricken for the transgressions of his people.”

Da 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Isa 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

That is, [he was] wounded and bruised unto death, and stricken with death; which death was inflicted on him as a punishment for the sins of his people, to expiate them, and make atonement for them, being laid on him, and bore by him. The meaning of the phrases is, that the sins of his people were the procuring and meritorious causes of his death; just as when the apostle says, “for which things sake,” that is, for sins before mentioned; “the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.”

Col 3:6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.

The sense is, that sins are the procuring, meritorious causes of the wrath of God, being stirred up, and poured down upon disobedient sinners. So, in like manner, when Christ is said to be delivered into the hands of justice and death, “for our offences.” the sense is, that our offences were the meritorious cause why he was put to death, he bearing them, and standing in our room and stead; as his resurrection from the dead, having made satisfaction for sins, was the meritorious and procuring cause of our justification from them; as follows, “and was raised again for our justification.”

Ro 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

The Socinians urge, and insist upon it, that the particle for, used in the above phrases, signifies not the procuring, meritorious cause, but the final cause of Christ’s death; which they say was this, to confirm the doctrines and practices he taught, that men, by obedience to them, might have the forgiveness of their sins: which is a doctrine very false; for though Christ did, both by the example of his life, and by his sufferings and death, confirm the truths he taught, which is but what a martyr does; and that though through the grace of God, his people do obey from the heart the doctrines and ordinances delivered to them. Yet it is not by their obedience of faith and duty, that they obtain the forgiveness of their sins; but through the blood of Christ, shed for many, for the remission of sins.

2. By dying for sinners, as their substitute, in their room; so the several Greek particles, anti, uper, peri, used in this phrase, and others equivalent to it, signify a surrogation, a substitute of one for another; as in various passages in the New Testament, and in various writers, as has been observed by many, with full proof and evidence, and most dearly in the scriptures, where Christ's sufferings and death are spoken of as for others; thus Christ gave his life “a ransom for many,” in the room and stead of many.

Mt 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. So he himself is said to be antilutron, “a ransom for all,” in the room and stead of all his people, Jews and Gentiles. The prophecy of Caiaphas was, “That one Man should die for the people,” in the room and stead of them.

Joh 11:50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

“Christ died for the ungodly,” in the room and stead of the ungodly. “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us,” in our room and stead.

Ro 5:6-8 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Again, “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust,” in the room and stead of the unjust.

1Pe 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

The Socinians say, that these phrases only mean, Christ died for the good of men. That Christ became a Surety for good to his people, and has obtained good for them, by performing his suretyship engagements, is certain. Yet this good he has obtained by obeying, suffering, and dying, in their room and stead. Thus, that the blessing of Abraham, even all the spiritual blessings of the everlasting covenant, might come upon the Gentiles, through Christ, he was “made a curse for them.”

In their room, he bore the whole curse of the law for them, as their substitute, and so opened a way for their enjoyment of the blessings, or good things, in the covenant of grace; and that sinners might be made the righteousness of God in him, or have his righteousness imputed to them for their justification. He was “made sin for them,” had their sins laid on him, and imputed to him, as their substitute; and was made a sacrifice for sin in their room and stead, to make atonement for it.

Ga 3:13-14 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

This is the greatest instance of love among men, “that a man lay down his life” uper, “for,” in the room and stead of, “his friend.”

Joh 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

And such was the love of Christ to his church, “that he gave,” delivered “himself” to death uper authv, for her, in her room and stead.

Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.

5. The effects of satisfaction made by Christ, or the ends that were to be, and have been answered by it.

1. The finishing and making an entire end of sin. This was Christ's work assigned him in covenant, and asserted in prophecy; and which was done when he made reconciliation or atonement for sin.

Da 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

Not that the being of sin was removed thereby; for that remains in all the justified and sanctified ones, in this life, but the damning power of it. Such for whom Christ has made satisfaction, shall never come into condemnation, nor be hurt by the second death, that shall have no power over them. Sin is so done, and put away, and abolished, by the sacrifice of Christ for it, that no charge can ever be brought against his people for it. The curse of the law cannot reach them, nor light upon them. Nor can any sentence of condemnation and death be executed on them; nor any punishment inflicted on them. They are secure from wrath to come. Sin is so finished and made an end of, by Christ’s satisfaction for it, that it will be seen no more by the eye of avenging Justice. It is so put away, and out of sight, that when it is sought for, it shall not be found. God, for Christ’s sake, has cast it behind his back, and into the depths of the sea.

2. In virtue of Christ’s satisfaction for sin, his people are brought into an open state of reconciliation with God. Atonement being made for their sins, their persons are reconciled to God, and they are admitted into open favor with him. He declares himself “pacified towards them, for all that they have done.”

Eze 16:63 That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord GOD.

3. Sin being atoned for, and made an end of, an everlasting righteousness is brought in, with which God is well pleased. Bbecause by it his law is magnified and made honorable; all its demands being fully answered, by Christ's obeying its precepts, and bearing its penalty. Which righteousness God so approves of, that he imputes it to his people, without works. So it is unto all, and upon all, them that believe, as their justifying righteousness; which acquits them from sin, and entitles them to eternal life.

4. Immunity from all evil; that is, from all penal evil, both in this life, and in that to come, is an effect of Christ’s satisfaction for sin. Since sin being removed by it, no evil can come nigh them; no curse attends their blessings; no wrath is in their afflictions. All things work together for their good. It is always well with them in life, in all the circumstances of it. At death, they die in the Lord, in union to him, in faith, and hope of being for ever with him. And at judgment, the Judge will be their Friend and Savior, and it will be well with them to all eternity; they will be eternally delivered from wrath to come.

5. With respect to God, the effect of Christ’s satisfaction is the glorifying of his justice. For that end was Christ “set forth to be the propitiation,” or to make atonement for sin; to declare the righteousness of God, to show it in all its strictness, “that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believes in Jesus,” appear to be just in so doing. Yea, all the divine perfections are glorified hereby.

Ro 3:25-26 Whom God hath 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, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Ps 21:5 His glory is great in thy salvation: honor and majesty hast thou laid upon him.

There are many objections made by the Socinians, to this important doctrine, and article of faith. Some of the principal of which are as follow:

1. It is suggested, as if the doctrine of satisfaction for sin to the justice of God, is inconsistent with the mercy of God, and leaves no room for that. But the attributes of mercy and justice, are not contrary to each other. They subsist and accord together, in the same divine nature. “Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.” [He is] merciful, though righteous; and righteous, though gracious and merciful.

Ps 16:5 The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.

Ex 34:6-7 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

And as they agree as perfections in the divine Being; so in the exercise of them. They do not clash with one another, no, not in this affair of satisfaction. Justice being satisfied, a way is opened for mercy to display her stores.

Ps 85:10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

2. It is objected, that pardon of sin, upon the foot of a full satisfaction for it, cannot be said to be free; but eclipses the glory of God’s free grace in it. It is certain, that remission of sin is through the tender mercy of God, and is owing to the multitude of it; it is according to the riches of free grace, and yet through the blood of Christ: and both are expressed in one verse, as entirely agreeing together.

Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

The free grace of God is so far from being eclipsed, in the forgiveness of sin, through the satisfaction of Christ, that it shines the brighter for it. Consider that it was the free grace of God which provided Christ to be a sacrifice for sin, to atone for it; as Abraham said to Isaac, when he asked, “Where is the lamb for a burnt offering? My son,” says he, “God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering.”

Ge 22:7-8 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

So God, of his rich grace and mercy, has provided Christ to be an offering for sin; and his grace appears more, in that it is his own Son, his only begotten Son, he provided to be the atoning sacrifice. It was grace that set forth Christ in purpose, proposed him in council and covenant, and sent him forth in time to be the propitiation for sin. It was grace to us that he spared him not, but delivered him up for us all.

And it was grace in God to accept of the satisfaction made by Christ; for though it was so full and complete, as nothing could be more so; yet it would have been a refusable one, had he not allowed Christ’s name to be put in the obligation. Had it not been for the compact and covenant agreed to between them, God might have marked, in strict justice, our iniquities, and insisted on a satisfaction at our own hands. He might have declared, and stood by it, that the soul that sinned, that should die. It was therefore owing to the free grace and favor of God, to admit of a Surety in our room, to make satisfaction for us, and to accept of that satisfaction, as if made by ourselves.

Moreover, though it cost Christ much, his blood, his life, and the sufferings of death, to make the satisfaction for sin, and to procure forgiveness by it; it cost us nothing; it is all of free grace to us. Besides, grace in scripture is only opposed to the works of men, and satisfaction by them, and not to the works of Christ, and to his satisfaction.

3. It is pretended, that this scheme of pardon, upon the foot of satisfaction, makes the love of Christ to men, to be greater than the love of the Father. It represents the one as tenderly affectionate, compassionate, and kind to sinners; and the other as inexorable, not to be appeased, nor his wrath turned away without satisfaction to his justice; and so men are more beholden to the one than to the other.

But the love of both is most strongly expressed in this business of Christ’s satisfaction; and he must be a daring man that will take upon him to say, who of them showed the greatest love, the Father in giving his Son, or the Son in giving himself, to be the propitiatory sacrifice for sin; for as it is said of Christ, that he loved the people, and gave himself for them, an offering and a sacrifice of a sweet smelling savor to God, so it is said of the Father, that he “so loved the world,” that he gave his only begotten Son to suffer and die for men; and that herein his love was manifested; and that he commended it towards us, in sending Christ to be the propitiation for sin.

Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.

Ga 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

1Jo 4:9-10 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Ro 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Can there be greater love than this expressed by both? and which is greatest is not for us to say.

4. It is said, that if Christ is a divine Person, he must be a party offended by sin; and if he has made satisfaction for it, he must have made satisfaction to himself; which is represented as an absurdity. All this will be allowed, that Christ is God, and, as such, equally offended as his Father; and that he made satisfaction to the offended, and that, in some sense, to himself too; and yet no absurdity in it.

Indeed, in case of private satisfaction, for a private loss, it would be quite absurd for one to make satisfaction to himself. But in case of public satisfaction, for a public offence to a community, of which he is a part, he may be said, by making satisfaction to the whole body, to make satisfaction to himself, without any absurdity. A member of parliament, having violated the rules and laws of the house, when he makes satisfaction for the same to it, may be said to make satisfaction to himself, being a member of it. It is possible for a lawgiver to make satisfaction to his own law broken, and so to himself, as the lawgiver.

Thus Zaleucus, a famous legislator, made a law which punished adultery with the loss of both eyes. His own son first broke this law, and in order that the law might have full satisfaction, and yet mercy shown to his son, he ordered one of his son’s eyes, and one of his own, to be put out; and so he might be said to satisfy his own law, and to make satisfaction to himself, the lawgiver.

But in the case before us, the satisfaction made by Christ, is made to the justice of God, subsisting in the divine nature, common to all the three Persons. This perfection subsisting in the divine nature, as possessed by the first Person, is offended with sin, resents it, requires satisfaction for it; and it is given it by the second Person, in human nature, as God man. The same divine perfection subsisting in the divine nature, as possessed by the second Person, shows itself in like manner, loving righteousness, and hating iniquity; affronted by sin, and demanding satisfaction for it, it is given to it by him, as the God man and Mediator; who, though a Person offended, can mediate for the offender, and make satisfaction for him.

And the same may be observed concerning the justice of God, as a perfection of the divine nature, possessed by the third Person, the Spirit of God. The satisfaction is made to the justice of God, as subsisting in the divine nature, common to the three Persons. [It] is not made to one Person only, singly and separately, and personally; but to God, essentially considered, in all his Persons; and to his justice, as equally possessed by them; and that as the Lord, Judge, and Governor of the whole world; who ought to maintain, and must and does maintain, the honor of his Majesty, and of his law.

5. Once more, it is said that this doctrine of Christ’s satisfaction for sin, weakens mens obligation to duty, and opens a door to licentiousness. But this is so far from being true, that, on the contrary, it strengthens the obligation, and excites a greater regard to duty, in those who have reason to believe that Christ has made satisfaction for their sins; for the love of Christ in dying for them—in being made sin and a curse for them, to satisfy for their sins, constrains them, in the most pressing manner, to live to him, according to his will, and to his glory; being bought with the price of Christ’s blood, and redeemed from a vain conversation by it. They are moved the more strongly to glorify God with their bodies and spirits, which are his, and to pass the time of their sojourning here in fear.

The grace of God, which has appeared in God’s gift of his Son, and in Christ’s gift of himself to be their Redeemer and Savior, to be their atoning sacrifice; teaches them most effectually to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this evil world,

2Co 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

1Co 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

1Pe 1:17-18 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: 18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers.

Tit 2:11-12 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.

SATISFACTION: C.H. Cayce: My second argument is, All for whom Christ died will be saved, because he bore their sins in his own body on the tree. 1Pe 2:24, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed.”

If he bore their sins in his own body on the tree, it follows that their sins must necessarily have been taken off them and laid on him. Now, there are two points I want to argue from this text. We see , by the language of the text, the Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, the spotless Lamb of God, bare the sins of these people for whom he died. We see him bearing them on the rugged tree of the Roman cross, suffering the penalty due for their sins, to render satisfaction for their sins.

Now then, I maintain that in his bearing their sins on the cross he rendered satisfaction for their sins. He paid the debt that they owed to the demands of divine justice. So, if one of these characters, whose sins he bore on the tree, sinks down to hell, then God the Father is demanding payment of the same debt twice. That debt has been paid by the Son of God when he bore their sins in his own body upon the rugged tree of the Roman cross—there bearing their sins, suffering for their sins, paying the debt that they owed to the demands of divine justice. If that is for all of Adam’s posterity, and one of the race of Adam sinks down into eternal night, and is plowing the fiery regions of an endless hell, it follows that he is suffering for the very same, identical sins that Jesus has suffered for; the very same sins that Jesus Christ bore in his own body on the rugged tree of the Roman cross.

And I am going to state this right here, that Brother Penick or any other man can never make it appear that the justice of God remains untarnished and yet one sinner sink down to eternal night for whom Jesus has died.

In order that he make it appear that one of these characters for whom Christ died, whose sins he bore on the rugged tree of the Roman cross, sinks down to a yawning hell, he must show that God is unjust.

He must admit that God is just; and as God is just he does not demand the payment of the same debt twice. As Jesus bore their sins in his own body on the rugged tree of the cross, and paid the debt they owed to divine justice, it follows that every one of those characters whose sins Jesus bore in his body on the tree will finally be saved in heaven without the loss of one. Hence my proposition is sustained, that all for whom Christ died will be saved in heaven.

Remember the first argument: “The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” All their iniquities were taken off them and laid on the Lord Jesus Christ.....If any of these characters goes to hell, they go there without iniquity; they go there without sin; their iniquities having been taken off them and laid on the Lord Jesus Christ. (C.H. Cayce; Cayce: Penick Debate 1907)

Saul of Tarsus

SAUL of Tarsus, (See under PAUL the Apostle) Anthology Paul, The Apostle

Saul, King

King SAUL: Sylvester Hassell: Toward the close of Samuel’s life the kingly power was set up in Saul. Samuel’s sons, like those of Eli, were too unworthy to become his successors. The people demanded a king in order to be like other nations; and although forewarned of the evil consequences of a monarchy by Samuel, they disregarded all, and urged him to select a king for them. This displeased Samuel; yet God said unto him, “They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. Hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.”

Samuel did so, but they disregarded his warnings and demanded a king; which God gave them in his anger, and yet did not forsake them. He directed Samuel to anoint Saul, the son of Kish, a Benjamite, to be a king over them, and to go forth as their captain to deliver them out of the hand of the Philistines, because their cry under oppression had come unto him (1Sa 9:15-16). In making up the army of Israel cavalry was forbidden, lest the kings and people should trust in horses and chariots, and exhaust their resources too rapidly by keeping up such an expensive show of formidable array, and be tempted to engage in demor-alizing foreign wars. They were rather to trust in the living God, while they went forth in person to combat.

The kingly power, thus set up, did not overturn the previously existing theocracy, for the king was only the servant still, or viceregent, of God, to enforce his commands, and to be established in his authority or dethroned, as seemed good in his sight. The king’s authority extended to all temporal and spiritual affairs, and in this respect church and state were united, God, however, being admitted to be the righteous Ruler and Governor over all.

Saul, for unfaithfulness and presumptuous sins in office, was rejected from the throne, as was all his house. David, the youngest son of Jesse, was anointed and appointed to succeed Saul, and in his family it pleased God to make the kingly power hereditary. Saul came to the throne B.C. 1095, and reigned over all Israel forty years. In the Battle of Gilboa he was defeated by the Philistines, and took his own life. Saul was aware of David’s having been anointed by God’s prophet to be king over Israel, yet sought often to kill David so as to defeat God’s purpose in this respect.

Quite similar was the conduct of Herod about one thousand years afterwards, when, after having been specially informed that the king of the Jews was born in Bethlehem, who was to reign over the house of Jacob forever, he sent forth executioners, who slew all the male children in that vicinity from two years old and under, in order to frustrate the declared purpose of God!” (Hassell)

SAVED BY HOPE

SAVED BY HOPE

“For we are saved by hope, but hope that is seen is not hope, for what a man seeth, what doth he yet hope for.” Ro 8:24.

Primitive Baptists have more to say about hope than most people do. Hope is a precious thing to the heaven-born soul.

Hope is not absolute knowledge, but there is no more precious possession any person will have this side of heaven than that precious hope of living with God and all the saints in heaven above. It is that hope that sustains us and gives us strength for every adversity, and brightens our path all along the way.

But precious as that hope is, there are some of our friends who speak disparagingly of hope and tell us we need something better. They tell us they know beyond all shadow of a doubt they are children of God, and sometimes they tell us that, “If you are not absolutely sure you are going to heaven, you had better set about making sure.”

I want to give the benefit of the doubt to those humble, God-fearing children of God who are so convinced they have absolute knowledge in the matter, and who sometimes have unflattering things to say about hope. I have no doubt that most of them are children of God, who are simply confused in the matter. They love the Lord; and they want to do the right thing; but they have been misinformed by preachers who are just as misinformed as they are.

When we are dealing with those precious children of God who are confused, we need to be as kind and gentle as God will give us the grace to be. That was Paul’s advice.

2Ti 2:24-25, And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient; In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.

That was Paul’s advice, and it was the Lord’s way when he was here:

Mt 12:20, A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.

However confused they may be, we need to be very careful in dealing with the children of God. The Lord does not take it lightly when we offend his little ones.

Mt 18:6, But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

If you have a millstone around your neck, and you are in the depth of the sea, you are in bad shape; but the Lord says you would be better off there than to offend one of those little ones who believe in him. If that does not scare you, it ought to.

But while we are careful to give the benefit of the doubt to those of our know-so friends, who are simply confused, we need not be so generous with others. There are those who can be arrogant and offensive in their boasting about what they know. They insist they want something better than hope, and they can be insulting and abusive with those who talk of having a sweet hope of living with the Lord and all the saints in heaven. They spit out the expression sweet hope as if it fouled their very mouths to say the words.

They tell us that if we do not have absolute knowledge, we had better get it. We had better know; we had better know that we know; and we had better know that we know that we know.

But in spite of all they may imagine, the know-so religion does not give anything resembling the assurance they seem to think it does.

I recall a revival I was involved in long before I came to the Old Baptists. I joined the church in 1963, but I had been preaching for some other people for just over ten years before that.

We had revivals for the purpose of getting people born again, and I held a few of those revivals. I have to confess that I was never very good at it. I always had difficulty believing the doctrine. It was all I had ever known, and I did my best to believe it, but it was like an eight cylinder engine that was missing on two cylinders. It would run, just barely.

One night we had gotten a mourner to what we called the mourner’s bench, and we were all bowed around him, trying to help him pray through and be born again. First one and then another had knelt beside him, pleading with him and advising him. Nobody could seem to do him any good, and finally a preacher came around and knelt down beside him.

The preacher asked him, “Do you believe that Jesus died for your sins?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Have you repented of your sins, and are you willing to live for the Lord?”

“Yes.”

“Are you willing, right now, to accept Jesus as your personal Savior?”

“Yes.”

“You are born again; stand up and tell these people about it.”

The preacher was sure the boy was born again—he had met the conditions and that was all that was necessary. But the boy would not take the preacher’s word for it. Til this day I do not remember whether he ever got him to stand up, and I have no idea what impact that preacher had on him—but he had a powerful impact on me.

That preacher convinced me there was something wrong somewhere. It took me several years to figure out what it was, but it was obvious something was not right. How could the preacher know that boy was born again? How could he give him such assurance that he would know beyond all shadow of a doubt that heaven would be his home? What gave the preacher the right to give that kind of assurance? What did he know about that boy’s heart?

I never found an answer to that question till I found a better doctrine—not till I found the Lord’s church and found a home there.

Before we finish with this little booklet, I expect to give sufficient proof that those who are so boastful of their know-so religion can never have anything resembling the assurance of heaven as those children of God have, who have found that blessed hope that belongs to a heaven born-soul (Tit 2:13). That was Paul’s hope, and I am willing to rest my case there.

We will spend most of our time talking about what we mean by hope, but before we go there, it might be well to take a quick look at what our friends are looking to as their guarantee of heaven. It should not take long to find out just how absolute that knowledge is.

Our friends may boast that they know beyond all shadow of a doubt they are the children of God, but while those who live by hope would never wax so bold, we will see that hope gives a far greater assurance of salvation than any know-so system can ever provide.

The know-so system says that if you have believed the gospel, if you have repented of your sins, and if you have accepted Christ as your personal savior, you can have absolute knowledge you are a child of God.

But that system is not nearly so dependable as its advocates imagine it is. If you are grounding your prospect of heaven on anything you do, you can never know whether you have done it well enough to qualify you to see heaven.

If your prospect of heaven is based on your believing the gospel, you can never know whether you have believed confidently enough. The devils are not children of God, but “the devils believe and tremble” (Jas 2:19). How do you know for an absolute fact that your belief is different than theirs. If you truly believe, why do you still have doubts?

If you are looking to your belief of the gospel to get you to heaven, you will never be able to answer that question well enough to escape the fear of dying and facing your Maker.

Every time your faith falters, your absolute knowledge is going to falter. If the only basis of your prospect of heaven is your own faltering, sometimes doubting heart, you will always have some fear of dying and facing God in judgment. Your pastor may call it absolute knowledge, but in your deepest heart you know it is not so.

If your prospect of heaven is based on your own repentance, you can never know whether your sorrow is deep enough, nor if your resolve to do better is genuine enough. If you have truly repented, why do you fail so often? If your repentance is sufficient to gain you a home in heaven, why do you still sin?

Paul tells us: 2Co 7:10, For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of, but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

If you are depending on your own repentance to give you this absolute knowledge that you are a child of God, how do you know what kind of repentance you have? Does it come from that godly sorrow that worketh salvation? Or do you have the kind that brings nothing but death?

If you are looking to your repentance to bring that absolute knowledge we hear so much about, you can never know how real that repentance is. You can never know for certain that you are a child of God. And you can never have the calm assurance that comes from living by hope

You may have the guarantee of the soul-winner, but is that guarantee sufficient? Is that guarantee worth as much as the Spirit bearing witness in the heart? Those who live by hope look to the indwelling Spirit to bear witness they are the children of God.

Regardless of how some may disparage hope, those who feel to be saved by hope have far greater assurance of heaven than those who look to their own obedience as the ground for their prospect of heaven.

Still there are those who tell us if they did not have anything better than hope, they would be looking for something better. That was not the doctrine of Paul. He defines hope as “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Col 1:27).

If somebody is so alien to the truth he thinks he has found something better than Christ living in the hearts of his people and giving them assurance of their salvation, I don’t have the time of day for him; I am not interested in talking to him. He shows far too much contempt for my Lord.

Somebody may talk about their absolute knowledge, if they will; the fact is that God is the only one who has absolute knowledge about anything.

It should be easy enough to test that statement. I am firmly convinced that, at this moment, I am sitting in front of a computer pounding out words for this little booklet. But I have had dreams that were so real they scared the living daylights out of me. No doubt, some of you have had those dreams, and you can imagine how relieved I was when I woke up and realized it was all a dream. It seemed real, but it was not.

At this moment, I have no doubt that I am awake and working on this booklet, but I do not know that for an absolute fact. God knows; I don’t, but you would have trouble convincing me I am dreaming.

As strongly as I believe anything, I believe that I am a child of God, and heaven will be my home. I do not claim to have absolute knowledge, but I believe it as strongly as I believe I sitting in front of this computer, and you need not try to convince me that I am not here, or that I am not his child.

While all that is true, it is easy to get the wrong idea of what hope is all about—and most people do get the wrong idea. With most people when you mention hope, they think you are talking about wishful thinking. Hope is far more than wishful thinking.

We should resist the urge to go to the extreme in either direction. Hope is not absolute knowledge; but hope is not incompatible with knowledge, and it is far more than wishful thinking. We will get back to that in a moment.

Hope is the fond expectation of better things to come. Notice that it is not simply wishing for better things to come—it is the expectation of better things. I hope to show that this fond expectation can be far more comforting, and far more reassuring than any soul-winner’s guarantee.

We cannot conceive of anything better than Jesus Christ living and bearing witness in the hearts of his people, and it is the very presence of Jesus Christ living in the heart of the heaven-born soul that gives us the hope of living with him in the Glory World.

Because he lives in us, we have the sweet hope that some day we will live with him.

Consider what that means and let it soak in for a moment— Christ in you—the very God of heaven living in the heart of a heaven-born soul. The very heaven of heavens cannot contain him, and yet he lives in the heart of everyone born of his Spirit.

Others tell us they know they are bound for heaven, because the soul-winner explained the conditions; they met those conditions, and now they have the word of the soul-winner they are heaven-bound.

Those who live by hope have something far better than the guarantee of the soul-winner. They have the presence of the Almighty himself living in their hearts and assuring them they are his children.

Ro 8:16-17, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children then heirs, and joint heirs with Christ.”

Think of that for a moment—to live by hope means looking to God’s Spirit living in our hearts to give assurance “that we are the children of God.”

The difference between living by hope and the know-so religion is the difference between trusting in the guarantee of the soul-winner and trusting the Spirit bearing witness in our hearts. I believe the know-so people have made a poor trade.

Those people are wrong when they imagine hope rules out knowledge. Hope is not absolute knowledge, but it is not incompatible with knowledge. John tells us, “We know that we are passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren” (1Jo 3:14). Love is a fruit of the Spirit (Ga 5:22), and when love is in the heart, it bears witness the Spirit is there. You are not likely to have the fruit without the tree that bears the fruit.

They are wrong when they imagine hope is the opposite of knowledge. Hope is not the opposite of knowledge. Hope is the opposite of despair. Hope is that experience you and I have that convinces us that we are indeed his children.

Let me say it again; generally when you refer to hope, people think you are talking about wishful thinking. There is a world of difference between hope and wishful thinking. Hope is the fond anticipation of better things to come—and that hope comes from the witness of God’s Spirit living in our hearts.

Listen to what Paul says in the Hebrew letter, and see if you think hope is nothing more than wishful thinking.

Heb 6:18-19, “That by two immutable things in which it is impossible for God to lie we might have strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us, which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both steadfast and sure, and which entereth into that within the veil.”

Paul refers to hope as a much more powerful force than most people imagine. He says hope provides strong consolation. Strong consolation is a lot more than wishful thinking, and if God calls it strong consolation, you can be sure hope is a powerful force. God does not throw words around carelessly.

He goes on to say it is steadfast and sure. The know-so religion is based on the word of the soul-winner. Our hope is based on the steadfast and sure promises of the Almighty.

All of that brings on another question. Notice that our text says we are “saved by hope.” But what does he mean by saying we are saved by hope? Are we saved by hope, or are we saved by the shed blood, and imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ? They are not exactly the same, are they?

Those who deny the reality of what we call time salvation will have great difficulty reconciling those two expressions, but there should be no difficulty for those who take God at his word. We are saved from eternal damnation—saved for eternal heaven—by the shed blood and imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

But there is a very real sense in which—in this life—we are saved by hope. Hope is a subjective matter; it has to do with experience. It has to do with this life.

Redemption by the shed blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ is objective. It has to do with all the Lord provided for us by his suffering and death. It has to do with his satisfying the righteous demands of God’s broken law.

They are entirely different. One has to do with time; the other has to do with eternity.

What our Lord accomplished by his suffering and death delivered us from eternal damnation, and gained us a home in heaven. His Spirit bearing witness in our hearts allows us to know and appreciate what he did while we live in this world.

If we might move from talking about our hope of eternal heaven, and consider what hope accomplishes in our everyday lives, it is clear that—in an purely natural way—we are more dependent on hope than most of us have ever realized. In a natural way hope affects us in everything we do. It affects every aspect of our lives.

It may sound somewhat lighthearted to say it, but I am entirely serious. It was hope that got every last one of us through school. We would never have made it through school, if it had not been for that precious hope that Friday is going to come someday.

I have an idea that every last one of you has counted down the days, “Three more days and it is going to be Friday,” or “three more hours and it is going to be 3:30, and I am out of here.”

Can you imagine what it would have been like in school if it had not been for the hope that Friday is going to come someday?

Our entire economy is based on hope. This nation would starve if it was not for hope. The farmer does not have absolute knowledge that he will have make a crop, but one of the clearest examples of hope is a farmer in the springtime. It is because of hope that a farmer plows the ground, and cultivates the soil. It is because of hope that he plants the seed, and works the crop. He does it all in the hope that he will reap a harvest. Where would we be—where would this nation be—if our farmers did not have the hope of a crop to come.

The business world is based on hope. We have over nine percent unemployment at the present time; it would be closer to one hundred percent, if our business men did not have the hope of making a profit.

Where would the economy of this nation be if businessmen, small and large, did not have sufficient hope to spend every dime they have, and mortgage everything they own, and exert every ounce of energy they can muster, to operate their businesses?

Why do they do it? They do it in the hope that their business will be successful, and they can earn a better living than they could earn working for somebody else by the day or by the hour.

It is because our business leaders are losing hope that our economy is faltering. Outrageous taxes are taking away the hope of a profit. Regulations are making it almost impossible to keep up, and our nation is teetering on the brink of economic disaster. Every business in the land is at risk unless some way is found to restore the hope of making a profit.

The family and the home are based on hope. Because a man and a woman have the hope of a long and happy marriage, they walk down the aisle, and make their solemn pledges to each other. When you see two people engaged in that ceremony, you can see the hope in their faces. Nobody would dare claim to have absolute knowledge their marriage will last, but if they did not have hope, they would never make the commitment.

Our very civilization is based on marriage and the family and the home. Those are the cement that holds our society together. When the family and the home fall apart the way they are falling apart in America today, we will never be able to build prisons fast enough and big enough to house all the people who need to be there.

Our very nation was founded on hope, and it was built by hope. It was because our Founding Fathers had the hope of an independent and prosperous nation they were willing to face all the dangers they encountered when they seceded from the British Commonwealth.

It was not the little rag-tag Continental Army that gave them the courage to secede. In doing that they took on the most powerful political and military force in the world. And it was not the unanimous opinion of the people that gave them courage. The fact is they were not united. Fully one third of the colonists wanted nothing to do with the revolution, and another third did not care one way or the other.

They had the courage to secede, because they had hope that the God of heaven would deliver them from the tyranny of King George III and his cronies in London.

Somebody may disparage hope all they will, but the only hope for this nation is in God. The answer is not at the ballot box. We vote out the bad guys, and vote in the good guys, and then the good guys turn out to be bad guys. We should vote our convictions; but if we are trusting in the ballot box to solve our problems, we have our confidence in the wrong place.

If our problems are solved, they will be solved on our knees. If this nation does not learn to go on our knees with our problems, those problems are never going to be solved. Our elected leaders do not seem to have the will to do what needs to be done. Our only hope is that God will continue to watch over us and take care of us.

We can all remember a day when our people called on God to save us in time of trouble. It is not usually that way today. We are engaged in conflict all around the globe, but for the most part America is not praying.

The Second World War was the last war America responded to by going on our knees. Those of you who are my age remember how it was. I was born in ‘36; so I was eight years old when the war ended, but I am old enough to remember.

At that time I had absolutely no knowledge of the Old Baptists, but I was acquainted with those godly Christians in the churches in our neighborhood. We Primitive Baptists should never get the idea we have a lock on sincerity. That is not right, and we do ourselves a disservice when we imply that might be the case. There are good and honorable children of God in denominational churches all around us, and I thank God for them. They may not understand some of those precious truths God has blessed the Old Baptists to see and enjoy, but they love the Lord, and many of them are praying for the welfare of this land.

I recall when I was just a boy; the Second World War going on. It was not going well, and the little churches in our area used to have prayer meetings to pray for our troops and for the nation. Churches have midweek services nowadays and call them prayer meetings. The meetings I am talking about were not like most of the little cut-and-dried Wednesday night meetings are nowadays. Those really were prayer meetings. Nobody was in charge; they just met to pray, and they prayed, and they prayed.

There was very little singing, and very little talking—they just prayed. They would wear themselves out praying. Prayer Meeting was not just the name of the meeting; they met for no other purpose than to pray, and to plead with God on behalf of this nation, and on behalf of their sons, and their neighbors’ sons, who were fighting in Europe and in the Pacific. Those were desperate times and they knew their only hope was in God.

I have absolutely no doubt that when they prayed God listened. That is one of the most bind-boggling thoughts to me—to think that when God’s children pray, the God of heaven listens. He listens, he understands, he cares, and he does something about it.

Sometimes they would meet on Wednesday morning or Thursday morning. It was farm country, and hardly anybody had a public job, so they could take time out from work and go to church to pray. When I say it was farm country, you should not imagine these were prosperous farmers. In our East Tennessee hills and hollows, they worked little, hard-scrabble farms where they followed an old mule all day and barely scratched out a living. But they loved the Lord and they looked to him for deliverance. He was their only hope, but that hope was sufficient.

The churches had red, white and blue banners hanging on the wall. The banners had individual blue stars against a white background, and a red border. There were exactly as many stars as there were young men from that community in the military. They embroidered the names of the men in the military on each of those stars, and they would call their names in prayer.

My mother’s family grew up in one little church, and my dad’s family lived nearer another church. A first cousin of mine is now the pastor of that church. I was talking to him a while back, and he told me there was only one boy whose name was on any of those stars who did not come home. That one boy who died was a second cousin of mine.

Prayer does make a difference. With that one exception, every person listed on those banners came through the war. Some of them came home in bad shape; but they came home.

I remember one young man who was in the war. He and one of my uncles married sisters. Those girls and their parents lived on a farm just up the road from my grandparents. They had a little tumbledown barn, and their mother had a favorite prayer spot down behind that barn.

The country was just coming out of the Depression, and nobody in that community had electricity, or any of the other conveniences we take for granted today, and every day she would put her dinner on the wood cookstove, and she would go down behind the barn to pray. She knew about how long it would take, and she would be back in time to take the dinner off.

But not every prayer time is the same. Sometimes we pray, and sometimes we say our prayers. There is a world of difference. On one particular day the good sister was able to pray in a manner that was not always the case. On that day she made contact with heaven. She prayed; God heard, and he granted deliverance. When she rose from prayer she was convinced those two sons-in-law were coming home. The old sister had a shouting good time behind the little barn that day.

When she got back to the house, her dinner was burned up, but she would have burnt all the food she had for the sense of deliverance she felt that day.

Those two men did come home, and one of them told an experience he had while he was in France. It was just after D-Day. Those of you who remember the war, or who have read anything about it, know what a dreadful time that was. Allied troops died by the thousands. They were dug in in their foxholes. Bombs were falling and exploding all around. Shells were bursting and shrapnel was flying in every direction. Men were being blown to bits. It seemed that any moment would be their last.

He told how he was in that foxhole, praying for deliverance, and promising God, if he lived to come home, he would serve him. And he told how at that very moment—in the face of almost certain death—there came over him a feeling of the sweetest peace he had ever known, and he was firmly convinced he was coming home. From that moment on he felt to be totally safe, and he was convinced that everything was going to be alright.

He did come home, and he was faithful to his promise. He preached for the Missionary Baptists till he died. I never knew anybody more faithful to his convictions than he was. He later came down with cancer, and I was able to visit him in the hospital just before he died. I think that visit may have done me more good than it did him. He left an honorable record, and I will always cherish his memory.

As he and his mother-in-law talked, they began to compare dates, and to adjust for time zones, and they realized that the very time his mother-in-law was shouting praise to God behind that little barn was the same moment he began to feel sweet peace in a foxhole halfway round the world.

When they realized that, they both had another shouting good time. God is not hindered by time nor space. He can do whatever he chooses to do, whenever he chooses to do it.

In that foxhole in France that good brother had hope. Somebody might say all he had was hope, but that implies hope is not much. Far from being a little thing, I cannot imagine he would have exchanged that hope for anybody’s guarantee.

Hope is not the opposite of knowledge; hope is the opposite of despair.

Hope saved that good brother in a foxhole in France. It did not save him from eternal damnation—but it did save him from the despair of watching his buddies die all around him—thinking he would be the next.

Somebody might have told him that if he did not have anything better than hope, he should be looking for something better. But you need not tell him; he was not in the market for what you are selling. To him there was nothing more precious than the hope he received at that moment. That hope saved him from utter despair—and nobody could take it away.

Heb 6:19, Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.

When Paul refers to hope entering into that within the veil, he is saying that by hope we are able to go where we cannot yet enter in body. It is hope that teaches us we are his, and he is ours, and that someday by his grace, we shall see him face to face. It is by hope that we are able to experience heaven— before we get to heaven. Our friends may think they have found something better than that—I don’t think so.

Hope is not only the fond anticipation of better things to come; it is by faith we are able to lay hold on that hope. It is by faith we are able to see it, to embrace it, and to enjoy it— before we fully receive it.

It is “Christ in you, the [very] hope of glory” (Col 1:27). Christ living in your heart, bearing witness and giving assurance in your heart, can give you what no self-appointed soul-winner, with his know-so religion can ever provide. It provides us with the very substance of all we are hoping for.

Heb 11:1, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

In his letter to Titus, Paul talked about that blessed hope— that hope that enters within the veil. Others may disparage hope and wish for something better, but Paul says it is a blessed hope.

Tit 2:13, “Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

This hope has to do with better things to come. We are looking for that blessed hope, when some day, before long, our Lord will step out on the clouds of glory, and declare that time shall be no more. He will raise those who are in the grave. He will change those that are up and around. We will all meet the Lord in the air, and thus shall we ever be with the Lord.

1Th 4:16-17, For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

THE END

Scapegoat, The

The SCAPEGOAT: C. H. Cayce: In the offering in which there was a scapegoat, two goats were used. See Le 16. Both these goats represented the work of Christ in His atonement and sacrifice for sin. One of the goats was slain. So was Christ slain. The priest laid his hands on the head of the scapegoat and confessed the sins of Israel on the head of that goat, then the goat was carried away by a fit man into the land of forgetfulness. Our sins were laid on Christ; see Isa 53:6. He bore our sins in His own body on the tree; see 1Pe 2:24. He put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself; see Heb 9:26. The scapegoat, therefore, represented the work of Christ in carrying our sins away into the land of forgetfulness, where they will be remembered against us no more. Our sins are, therefore, atoned for, satisfaction is made for them; and they are also all borne away, in the work of Christ.” (CAYCE’S EDITORIALS vol. 1, ppg 271)

Scholastic Theology

SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY: Sylvester Hassell: The Scholastic Theology is generally reckoned to have begun with Anselm, “Archbishop of Canterbury” (1033-1109), and terminated with Eckhart of Germany (1250-1329), thus extending from the middle of the eleventh to about the middle of the fourteen century. It was an application of Aristotelian logic to the support of Catholic doctrines, and a sublimation of theology of theology into metaphysics. Beginning with Realism (the doctrine that universal ideas are real things), it ended in Nominalism (the doctrine that such ideas are only the names of things); and after weary, hair-splitting debates of three centuries, the system resulted in rationalism, skepticism, and pantheism.

“The Schoolmen,” says Taine, “seem to be marching, but are merely marking time.” They served, perhaps, to keep thought alive, and prepare the way for modern thought. The initial point of the debate was the denial (about 1050) by Berengar of Tours that the bread and wine in communion are changed into the real body and blood of Christ; Lanfranc and Anselm, of Canterbury, endeavored, in reply, to establish the doctrine of Transubstantiation (that, while the sensible properties of the elements are not changed, their underlying “substance” is changed into the “substance” of Christ’s body). Twice was Berengar forced by the Catholic authorities to sing a recantation, which twice he revoked, “leaving a memory curiously mingled of veneration and abhorrence.”

Under the influence of the Nominalism of William Occam, Martin Luther substituted for transubstantiation the doctrine of “consubstantiation” (that the body of Christ is actually, substantially present with the bread and wine); but, “as the logic of Protestantism became clear and self-consistent, this weak compromise faded quite away.”

The schoolman Albertus Magnus (1193-1280) is said to have been familiar with all the learning of his time; and his disciple, Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274), in 2,000 folio pages, 600 topics, 3,000 articles and 15,00 arguments, made the most complete and authentic exposition of Catholic theology (Summa Theologie)” (Hassell)

Schoolmen, The

The SCHOOLMEN (See under SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY) Anthology Scholastic Theology

Scottish Covenanters, The

The SCOTTISH COVENANTERS (See under The COVENANTERS) Anthology Covenanters, The

Second Century, The

The SECOND CENTURY: Sylvester Hassell: The last one of the Apostles has passed away from the shores of time, and the Apostolic Age proper has therefore ended.

We now descend from the Primitive Apostolic Church, with all its inspiration, signs and wonders, to what may be called the church uninspired, guided by fallible teachers, who in expounding the Scriptures referred back to Christ and the Apostles for their authority, and who expected conquest by the silent and invisible working of God’s Spirit within men more than by miracles apparent to the natural eye.

“The hand of God has drawn a line of demarcation between the century of miracles and the succeeding ages, to impress us more deeply with the supernatural origin of Christianity, and the incomparable value of the New Testament. Notwithstanding the striking difference, the church of the second century is a legitimate continuation of that of the primitive age. While far inferior in originality, energy, and freshness, it is distinguished for conscientious fidelity in preserving and propagating the sacred writings and traditions of the Apostles, and for untiring zeal in imitating their holy lives amidst the greatest difficulties and dangers.”—Schaff.”

As admitted by all standard historians, there is an impenetrable gulf between the close of the New Testament and the beginning of uninspired church history. The Joseph Henry Allen, recent lecturer on church history at Harvard University, remarks: “Any bridge across this wide gulf must be built, so to speak ‘in the air.’ We can erect our two towers, but the cables will not meet.” Such is the uniform and destructive testimony of learning and candor against all claims to a material succession from the Apostles made by the Catholic and similar communions. Thus does the God of history direct the minds of candid inquirers beyond all mere human authority to the apostolic writings of the New Testament.

“Church history severed from the New Testament and from the Christ whom that Testament presents.” says the learned, eloquent and forcible writer, Mr. Wm. R. Williams, of New York, “is a very dismal swamp, a mere morass and pestilent jungle, where trees obstruct on every side the vision and show no pathway, where the foot sinks and the miasma ascends and the snake lurks, where a man learns to plunge forward into passive credulity or to start back into sheer skepticism and despair. But, with the Bible in hand and the eye fixed on Christ, the Lawgiver and Sovereign of the kingdom and the Leader of the sacramental host, order springs out of the tangled mass of seeming confusion.”The persecutions of the second century were unabated, and formed a continuous commentary on the Savior’s words; “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves;” “I came not to send peace on earth, but a sword.” No merely human religion could have stood such a fire as did the religion of Christ during the first three centuries. It not only suffered, but expanded and became more diffused among the nations, and went directly on towards victory over Judaism and heathenism, without physical force, but by the moral power, patience and perseverance of its votaries, and the omnipotent work of the Holy Spirit, thereby proving to the world the divinity and indestructibility of its nature. (Hassell) (See also article on PLINY) Anthology Pliny

Secret Societies

SECRET SOCIETIES: John R. Daily: [Secret Societies are not like the Lord’s church. They rise and fall; they come and go. The Lord’s church will stand forever. With a few exceptions, such as Freemasonry, most of the organizations mentioned by Elder Daily have gone out of existence during the 90 years since he wrote his book. But, the principles involved in such organizations are today as they were then. New organizations, with new names, have simply been erected on the old foundations. hlh]

Chapter 1: Secret Societies Religious: For thousands of years there have been secret societies in the world with their mysteries. The modern secret organizations have been constructed in part from the models furnished by these ancient ones. They are now quite numerous. They may be grouped as religious, political, patriotic, temperate and industrial. We shall give attention to the religious group in this work. The oldest among this group, except the Jesuits, is the Masonic Order.

The Jesuit, or Society of Jesus, was founded by Ignatius Loyola in 1532 , and was sanctioned by the Pope Paul III in 1540. We shall give no attention to this, as it does not affect us, being purely a Roman Catholic fraternity.

As Camber’s Encyclopedia says, “The history of Freemasonry has been overlaid with fiction and absurdity.” The first Grand Lodge was formed in London in 1717, by J. T. Desaguliers. This first Lodge was given power to grant charters to others. This is the origin of Modern Freemasonry.

Freemasonry being the oldest of the secret societies that directly concern us, now nearly two hundred years old, and being the pattern after which the others are mainly formed, and being the one in which the principles of lodgism are the most fully developed, we shall give prominence to that order in our treatise, though others also shall receive a share of attention.

Freemasonry, The Independent Order of Odd-Fellows, and others of like nature, are religious organizations. Take, for example, the prayer offered at the initiation of a candidate to the degree of Entered Apprentice in a Freemason Lodge, as given on pages 26 and 27 of the Craftsman and Freemason’s Guide. “O thou supreme Author of our being and lover of our souls; thou art everywhere present, and knowest the thoughts and intentions of our hearts; bless us, we pray thee, in our endeavors to do good, and spread peace and concord and unity among our fellow men. May this, our friend, who is now to become our brother, devote his life to thy service and his talents to thy glory. May he be endowed with wisdom to direct him all his ways, strength to support him in all his difficulties, and the beauty of morality and virtue to adorn his life. May he set thee constantly before his eyes, and seek thy approbations as his greatest treasure. May he become enlightened in the knowledge of divine things, and be induced to love thee from thy manifest love to him. And may he and we regulate our actions by the light of revealed truth, and so construct our spiritual edifice, that when done laboring as apprentices in this lower temple, we may be raised to the sublime enjoyments of the upper sanctuary—in that temple not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, whose maker and builder is God. Amen.”

This shows Freemasonry to be religious and to hold to the unscriptural theory that they can construct their own “spiritual edifice” so as to “be raised to the enjoyment of the upper sanctuary.”

Is it possible that any Christian, especially a Primitive Baptist, can have fraternal affiliations with such a religious sect as that? It seems unreasonable.

Take, as another specimen, the prayer at the close of a lodge-meeting of Odd-Fellows, as found on pages 99 and 100 of Odd-Fellow’s Text-book: “We bless thee, O Lord, that we have been permitted to enjoy this, another Lodge-meeting. Pardon what thou hast seen amiss in us; and now, as we are about to depart, let thy blessing be with us, and with our brethren throughout the globe. May brotherly love prevail, and every moral and social virtue adorn our lives, while members of the Lodge below, and at last be admitted to the joys of a better world : and thine be the glory, forever and ever, Amen.”

“The Lodge below” is suggestive of the idea of a Lodge above. The idea is held forth in many prayers they offer that there is to be a transition from the “Lodge below” to the “Lodge above.” How can any Primitive Baptist endure such blasphemy, comparing the Lodge, the secret oath-bound Lodge, in which wicked people mingle with them and call them Brother, comparing that Lodge to heaven and immortal glory? Echo answers — “how?” It is a religious order, but what kind of religion does it promulgate?

The following petition suggested for the funeral service of Freemasons, is given on page 199 of the Freemason’s Guide; “And at last, Great Parent of the universe, when our journey shall be near its end; when the silver cord shall be loosed, and the Golden bowl broken; oh, in that moment of mortal extremity, may the ‘lamp of thy love’ dispel the gloom of the dark valley; and may we be enabled to ‘work an entrance’ into the Celestial Lodge above, and in thy glorious presence, amidst the ineffable mysteries, enjoy a union with the souls of our departed friends, perfect as the happiness of heaven, and durable as the eternity of God. Amen. So mote it be.” Is the institution not a religious one? Are the members not taught that they can “work an entrance into the Celestial Lodge above?” Such Deistical, Arminian teaching! How can a Primitive Baptist ever endure it?

In the Ancient Constitutions of Freemasonry, which are said to be “obligatory, as fundamental regulations, in all parts of the world,” and are declared to be “absolutely requisite in all who aspire to partake of the sublime honors of those who are duly initiated into the mysteries and instructed in the art of ancient Masonry,” there is found the following significant statement in Chap. I. Sec. First: “Whoever, from love of knowledge, interest or curiosity, desires to be a mason, is to know that, as his foundation and great corner stone, he is firmly to believe in the eternal God, and to pay that worship to him which is due to him as the great Architect and Governor of the Universe.”

As it requires all who desire to become Mason, not only to believe in the eternal God, but to pay that worship to him which is due, it is undeniable that Freemasonry is a religious order. Its religion is purely Deism. We are so glad that we have never aspired “to partake of the sublime honors” of those who are duly initiated into the mysteries of ancient Masonry!

In the Odd-Fellows nine Chapters of Council, Chap, IV. Sec. Fourth, the following declaration is made: “Our infinite Creator, who is the Soul of all true friendship, and the Source of all Good; who is abundantly worthy of our love; and who may rightfully command our obedience, is the only proper object of our worship.”

Here is the doctrine of Deism again. The order would not dare to associate the name, the sweet name of Jesus with the Father. That would be contrary to its doctrine. So Odd-fellowship is a worshiping or religious institution, but save us from its doctrine.

In the Freemason’s Monitor, by Daniel Sickels, page 114, is found the following declaration: “That so, in age as Master Masons, we may enjoy the happy reflection consequent on a well-spent life, and die in hope of a glorious immortality.” On page 120, same work, we read: “That we may welcome the grim tyrant, Death, and receive him as a kind messenger sent from our Supreme Grand Master, to translate us from this imperfect, to that all perfect, glorious and celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the universe presides.” See, also, The Craftsman and Freemason’s Guide, page 75.

What blasphemy it is to apply to the God of heaven the terms used by the Masons as titles of the officers of this human, oath-bound, secret organization, such as Supreme Grand Master and Supreme Architect, and to speak of heaven as “The Lodge above!” While it is a religious order, what kind of religion does it inculate? We shall see in subsequent chapters.

The members of Freemasonry are not harmonious in their claims of the design and nature of the order. Some say it is a religious order, and that its religion is good enough for them. Some go so far as to say its tenets of religion and morals are in perfect accord with those of the Christian church. Some of these, when pressed by arguments showing the absurdity of such a position, retract by saying it is not really a religious order at all, but merely benevolent and charitable. Others claim for it that it is simply a kind of insurance arrangement and social in its nature.

To this Babel of voices we need not listen. From its prayers and ceremonies and literature we can learn that it is religious, and from these sources we ascertain the nature of its religion. The Lodges have their altars, and these are religious instruments. The order has its creed which is religious. It has its religious ritual. A mere social organization, insurance company or business firm has no need of an altar, a religious creed or ritual.

While the majority of Masons, perhaps, do not profess to be Christians, and many of them we know are very wicked, yet all, the good and the bad, are tied up in a religious order in a bond of brotherhood and under an oath of the most severe penalties that the human mind is capable of framing. Men of all religions, and of no other religion save that of Freemasonry, are thus bound together as brethren in a religious, secret, oath-bound fraternity. Who can read the following stanza, found in The Craftsman and Freemason’s Guide, without seeing the high claims of this order as to its religious expectations? It was appointed to be sung as the concluding stanza of a Most Excellent Master’s Song, addressing God.

Thy wisdom inspired the great Institution,

Thy strength shall support it till nature expire;

And when the creation shall fall into ruin,

Its beauty shall rise through the midst of the fire.

What real Christian is there of this order, who, reading the stanza, and seeing in it the high-sounding claims of this union of brotherhood, is not so disgusted with the whole thing as to give it up entirely and have no further affiliation with it? Let all who have read thus far read on to the end of this book.

In the Odd-Fellow’s Text-Book, page 54, in “A word to the Neophite” (one newly admitted to the order), he is told to be

attentive to the instructions he is about to receive, for “they teach him his duty to his God, his country, his family, and himself; they demonstrate to him that ‘vice is a monster of such frightful mein,’ that it should be shunned and hated; they persuade him that there is in Fraternal Union and Love the truest, sublimest pleasure; they lead him to obedience to his Divine Maker, in which he cannot fail to be blessed in life, death, and eternity.”

Just think of it! This Secret order, which says, “Jew or Gentile, Catholic or Protestant, is, as such, welcome to our doors,” (page 233, Odd-Fellow’s Text-Book), which in all its sacred rituals will not allow Christ’s name to be mentioned, pretends to teach an applicant for membership all his duty of God, to “lead him in obedience to his Divine Maker, in which he cannot fail to be blessed in life, in death, and in eternity.”

According to this he need not be a member of any other body religious, he need not attend to his Bible, he need not apply to any other source for religious instruction but a lodge of “Independent Order of Odd-Fellows.”

Following that instruction he will be sure to be blessed in life, death, and eternity! He will have all he needs here and hereafter, finding in that Fraternal Union the truest, sublimest pleasure, and a blissful home in eternity! Can you, Christian church member, subscribe to this? If not, get out of this oath-bound order of Pagan religion, with its Christless ceremonies, prayers, and lectures.

We now give two stanzas of a parting hymn for Odd-Fellows, given on page 272, Odd-Fellow’s Text-Book.

Brothers, bind the mystic chain;

Its links keep ever bright;

Not a blemish – not a stain –

To dim its golden light.

Wondrous chain, to mortals given,

Binding in the bonds of love,

Heaven to earth, and earth to heaven,

And man to God above.

Brothers! raise to heaven your hands,

The links that bind the heart!

Consecrate anew the bands

Of faith before we part;

Then, in heavenly peace and trust,

Part in Friendship, Truth, and Love,

Till, released from earth and dust,

We meet again above.

This Hymn of the Odd-Fellows makes the claim that the golden, mystic chain, wondrous chain given to mortals, the chain that unites them in an oath-bound brotherhood as Odd-Fellows, binds heaven to earth, earth to heaven, and man to God. Christian Odd-Fellows, I mean Odd-Fellows who are Christian, what do you think of this claim? Do you believe your joining the Odd-Fellows has bound you to heaven and God by a mystic, golden chain? If you do not, get out of that mystic”affair, break that golden chain. That is a religion you cannot afford to encourage by your sanction.

No wonder they leave the name of Christ out of their religious system. What need have they of Christ, when their chain of brotherhood binds them to God, so they can part with the expectation of meeting in heaven when “released from earth and dust?”

Chapter 2: Secret Societies Religious (Cont.) We have mentioned only the two leading secret societies thus far, because they are the leaders in the dark channel of mystic secrets. It will not be possible in the limits of this work for us to notice all the minor fraternal orders, nor is it necessary for us to do so. Such attention shall be given to them as their importance in this investigation seems to require. The Knights of Pythias is prominent among these minor orders. Take this tribute of respect for a departed Knight as an example of the religion of the religion of that secret order.

“Once again the Supreme Ruler of the Universe hath summoned, through death, a Brother Knight, from the labors of the castle here to the joys of the beautiful castle in the New Jerusalem. As a recompense of his service under tri-colored banner, he has received the plaudit ‘well done’ from the Great Father.”

As the Masons and Odd-Fellows claim a transit at death from their Lodges below to the “Lodge above,” so these wonderful Knights these oath-bound Knights—claim a passage from their “castle here to the joys of the beautiful castle in the New Jerusalem,” as a recompense for service rendered under tri-colored banner. They thus take the Holy Bible, purposely leaving out the name of God to keep from offending those of their number who do not believe in the God of the Bible, and then say that membership and service in their K. of P. Lodge is a passport into the presence of the One in whom many of them do not really believe! What consistency!

This secret order was organized in Washington, D. C., in 1864, by J. H. Rathbone. It now [1914 ed,] claims a membership of 500,000. In the opening ceremonies of this Lodge the Prelate offers the following prayer: “Supreme Ruler of the Universe, we humbly beseech thy blessing upon the offers and members of this Lodge. Aid us to avoid anger and dissension; help us to work together in the spirit of fraternity; and inspire us to exemplify the friendship of Damon and Pythias. Hear and answer us, we beseech thee. Amen.” All “Amen.”

Let all observe that this prayer is not offered for Christ’s sake, nor is the pleading made to imitate the humble, loving example of Christ. No, Christ is not in it at all. This order is like all other secret orders in the respect. Whom does the petitioner pray God to enable all to imitate? Damon and Pythias!

Damon and Pythias – who are they? They are two Pythagorean philosophers, heathen philosophers, whose friendship for each other was so great that by the tyrant Dionysius of Syracuse, Pythias asked that Damon be allowed to go home to see his family before he died, pledging himself to die in his stead if he did not return at the appointed time. Damon did return just in time to save the life of his friend Pythias, which so touched the heart of Dionysius that he pardoned Damon and saved them both.

It is upon this circumstance and the friendship of these heathen philosophers that this oath-bound, secret order has been constructed. It is a Christless, heathenish religion that is practiced by the order. How can a Christian say “Amen” to such a prayer? Echo answers How?

The Ancient Order of United Workmen is a secret order, founded by John Jordan Upchurch, October 27th, 1868. The watchwords, adopted to express the fraternal principles of this order, are Charity, hope and protection. This is also a religious order. The closing of an ode adopted to be sung at the opening of a lodge meeting is,

Let us pledge unto each other,

Charity and truth and love,

And we ne’er shall lack a brother,

And at last shall meet above.

The closing prayer, offered by the Past Master Workman, is very short but very expressive: “Almighty God, we ask thy blessing as we are about to separate. Go with us, guide us, and receive us at last. Amen.” All present respond “Amen.” This is a religious prayer, but notice it is Christless like all other secret order prayers. Notice also that this prayer asks Almighty God to receive them at last as a lodge of Ancient Order of Workmen!

There is a silly order known as the Improved Order of Redmen. If this is improved, what must the unimproved thing be? We say silly, and we mean what we say. We have printed the Constitution and By-laws for some of their lodges, being in the printing business, and we have their Complete Revised Ritual, adopted by the Great Council of the United States. We also have Robinson’s One Hundred Reasons why I am a Red Man. From all these sources of information we are made to wonder that sensible men allow themselves to be duped into as silly a thing as that. It may be because they pledged in writing their “most sacred honor to keep secret everything they might see and hear in the council chamber,” before they could be admitted to know what those secrets were.

This is a religious order. Read the closing prayer at the quenching of their Council Fires, and see. It is offered by the Sachem. “O thou great Spirit! We acknowledge Thy wisdom and goodness toward the Red Men of our Tribe. We ask thee to watch over us during the slumbers of the night, and while following the hunt. Guard us from all harm, succor the distressed, feed the hungry, clothe the poor. Do Thou, Great Spirit, impress upon each Red Man’s heart to bear patiently the lot assigned him on earth, so that, when he is called from the hunting grounds of his fathers, he may meet the shaft of death with unwavering courage, and feel assured that Thou wilt sustain him through the ‘dark valley of the shadow of death.’ Hear us, oh Great Spirit!” Response by the Brothers – “Hear us, oh, Great Spirit!”

Comment seems altogether unnecessary. How can a Christian member unite this, another Christless prayer, to the Great Spirit, with the wicked, saying, “Hear us, oh Great Spirit?” What mockery this is! It is not only a mockery of religion, but the whole thing is a shock to common sense!

We come next to the Modern Woodmen of America. It is very modern indeed, and scarcely less silly that the Order of Redmen! It is the product of the brains of Joseph Cullen Root, of Lyons, Iowa, who wrote its first ritual in 1882. The name came to him as he was listening to a sermon of “Rev. S. Crawford, in which he spoke of the woodmen felling the trees of the forest. This Ritual was revised and changed by W. A. Northcutt, who claimed to undertake the Herculean task in obedience to the commands of the Head Camp.

With much pomp and silly ceremonies and threatenings of murder, the candidates for admission to the degrees of the Beneficiary and Fraternal pass as members of these degrees. The candidate for admission to the Fraternal degree must ride the Camp Goat, while the Neighbors all sing, to the tune of Marching through Georgia: “Keep the logs a-rolling, boys and pile them high and dry,” &c.

He is then put to the task of sawing a tough stick of wood in two minutes. Later on his hoodwink is removed and he is tied to a moving rack that draws him slowly to a revolving saw, by a band of supposed enemies of the order, when, just as he is nearing the saw and ready to give it all up for this life, he is rescued by supposed friends and is congratulated for his fidelity to his oath, showing himself willing to die rather that give the secrets of the order away.

The odes and hymns and funeral rites of this oath-bound order show it to be a kind of religious institution, as well as a mystic play-house for the sporting class. But some say it is “Only a Mutual Insurance Society!” But why should a Mutual Insurance Society have all this connected with it? For our part, we are not insured save by him who has promised never to leave us nor forsake us, but if we wanted any earthly body of men to do His security, we would not patronize an institution like the “Modern Woodmen of America.” Never would be!

We are informed by the Cyclopaedia of Fraternities that there are some three hundred different brotherhoods and sisterhoods in the United States. In speaking of their origin it says, “Few, who are well informed on the subject, will deny that the Masonic Fraternity is directly or indirectly the parent organization of all secret societies, good, bad, and indifferent.”

There are sisterhoods, then, as well as brotherhoods. Yes, even women are encouraged and induced to join in bands of secrecy under a solemn oath. The Eastern Star is an order of the Masonic Fraternity. It has its degrees of Jephtha’s Daughter (Daughter’s Degree), Ruth (Widow’s Degree), Esther (Wife’s Degree), Martha (Sister’s Degree), and Electa (Benevolent Degree). Its teachings claim to be “founded on the Holy Bible,” and so it is a religious order. Only members of the Masonic Order and women relatives of such members may join it. The heroines of the different degrees are exalted by a perversion of Scripture that would be amusing if it were not serious. Electa, the title of the heroine of fifth and last degree, it is claimed, is alluded to in the second epistle of John. A wild claim, this!

The Rebekah Lodge, the members of which generally style themselves “Sister’s of Rebekah,” a Female Odd-Fellow lodge, was instituted by Schuyler Colfax, in 1851. The object seems to be to reconcile women to the lifelong pledge of secrecy made by their husbands by inducing them to take a similar obligation. Though men may belong to the Rebekah Lodge, no woman may become a member of an Odd-Fellow Lodge. The men may know the secrets of the women, but no woman has the right to know the secrets of the men. A fact this is which seems very significant.

This, like the secret orders of men, and like the Eastern Star, is of a Christless religion. We give here the opening of a lodge meeting, after which the Worthy Chaplain invokes the blessings of the Supreme Ruler of the Universe upon the meeting.

Brothers of our mystic union –

Sisters of our social band –

Here is peaceful, pure communion,

We at Friendship’s altar stand.

Love unfurls her banner o’er us –

Truth will guide us on our way –

Faith illume the path before us –

Hope a future bright display.

Charity that faileth never,

Calls to worship at her shrine;

Here we bow and pledge forever,

Labor in her cause divine.

When the clouds of sin and sadness,

Shroud in gloom the weary head,

Then in peace, and joy, and gladness,

Shall the love of light be shed.

This ode and the various rites and ceremonies of the order show it to be a worshiping order. But who is worshiped? Not the God of Christ, God manifested in the flesh, the God of the Bible, but a deistic god of its own. Sisters of the church, do not become entangled in the oath-bound fetters of the Eastern Star or the Rebekah Lodge. If you are already entangled, release yourself from the entanglement. You are married to Christ. How can you be content to be married, at the same time, to an earthly, Religious society that is Christless? Think you that your better, nobler Husband will approve of it?

The Modern Woodmen of America has its female auxiliary, known as The Royal Neighbors of America. Prayers are offered, hymns are sung, and there is considerable Scripture reading, in the lodge meetings. The lodge has also a funeral rite that is quite elaborate, giving every one dying as a member the hope of a happy immortality in heaven.

Chapter 3: Lodge Religion Deism: We have some very warm friends who are members of secret societies, and seem much devoted to them. They appear to really think them not only perfectly harmless, but a great advantage and blessing in many ways. These will be hard to convince that we are right in our convictions, and some may be so displeased as to think hard of us and feel cold toward us for publishing this work on secret societies. To all such we beg to say that all we ask is for them to read and carefully consider what we have written herein.

Come, let us reason together. This task has been undertaken and accomplished from a felt sense of duty, and we know we have in view the good of our fellow mortals, and especially our dear brethren in the holy cause of Christianity. We humbly hope that God may so bless our efforts that even the votaries of lodge secretism may be drawn closer to us in Christian affection.

We have shown that secret societies are religious. What has been shown of the orders mentioned, is true generally of secret societies. Even the temperance orders, so called, such as the Sons of Temperance, The Good Templars, The Knights of Honor and Temperance, gotten up with the avowed object of saving men from the drink curse, have interspersed in their program prayers, songs, Scripture reading and lectures. The secrecy, regalia, and the ceremonies are copied from the older lodges. The impression is made on the simple-minded that the religion of such societies is all right. Evidently there is nothing in the secrecy, oaths, regalia, or ceremonies of the temperance lodges that can save men from the snare of drunkenness. If they have done any good in that way at all it is not because of such secretism that they have done it.

Having shown that secret societies are religious orders, we now propose to show that the principles of their religion is absolutely false, and that it is not only out of harmony with the Christian religion, but that it is antagonistic to it.

Lodge religion is Deism. By Deism we mean belief in a God as opposed to Atheism, but not recognizing Divine revelation as recognized and received by Christians. Any religion that leaves Christ out of its system is Deism. While the Bible is on the altars of lodges, the whole Bible, is ignored by the orders and left out of their religious prayers and ceremonies. Readings are chosen in the Masonic ritual that do not contain the name of Jesus. One passage, 2Th 3:6,16, contains that sweet name twice, and is appointed to be read at the opening of the Royal Arch Degree. But, lo! The name of Jesus is stricken out of the passage entirely. See Craftsman and Freemason’s Guide, page 137.

Why is this done? Why is that name, the sweetest of all names to the Christian, taken out of this passage? The reason is that a great many members of this religious order do not believe in Jesus Christ in any sense whatever, and it would offend such to hear his name pronounced. The prayers they offer to their god, never contain this name. They never say for Christ’s sake.

“If Masonry were simply a Christian institution, the Jew and the Moslem, the Brahman and the Buddhist, could not conscientiously partake of its illumination. But its universality is its boast. In its language citizens of every nation may converse; at its altar men of all religions may kneel; to its creed disciples of every faith may subscribe.” Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, page 162. What Christian can kneel at such an altar and subscribe to such a creed?

“Whoever, from love of knowledge, interest, or curiosity, desires to be a Mason, is to know that, as his foundation and great corner stone, he is firmly to believe in the eternal God, and to pay that worship which is due him as the great Architect and Governor of the Universe.” Craftsman and Freemason’s Guide, page 212. He is not required to believe in Jesus Christ. He who enters a Masonic lodge must leave the Saviour at the door, as well as his wife and children.

The Book on the altar is denominated the Book of the Law. This term is given it so that it may be replaced by any other religious book the members of the order might prefer. This Book of the Law may be the Koran of Mohammedans, the Book of Mormon, the Book recognized by the Buddhist, the Parsee, or any worshiper of Deity under any form. Robert Morris says, in Webb’s Freemason’s Monitor, “So broad is the religion of Masonry and so carefully are all sectarian tenets excluded, that the Christian, the Jew and the Mohammedan may and do harmoniously united in its moral and intellectual work with the Buddhist, the Parsee, and the worshiper of Deity under any form.” “It is a Landmark, that a Book of the Law shall constitute an indispensable part of the furniture of every Lodge. I say advisedly, a Book of the Law, because it is not absolutely required that everywhere the Old and New Testaments shall be used. The Book of the Law is that volume which, by the religion of the country, is believed to contain the revealed will of the Grand Architect of the Universe. Hence, in all Lodges in Christian countries, the Book of the Law is composed of the Old and New Testaments; in a country where Judaism was the prevailing faith, the Old Testament alone would be sufficient; and in Mohammedan countries, and among Mohammedan Masons, the Koran might be substituted.

Masonry does not attempt to interfere with the peculiar religious faith of its disciples, except so far as relates to the belief in the existence of God, and what necessarily relates from that belief. The Book of the Law is to the speculative Mason his spiritual Trestle-board: without this he cannot labor; whatever he believes to be the revealed will of the Grand Architect constitutes for him this spiritual Trestle-board, and must ever be before him in his hours of speculative labor, to be the rule and guide of his conduct. The Landmark, therefore, requires that a Book of Law, a religious code of some kind, purporting to be an examplar of the revealed will of God, shall form as essential part of the furniture of every Lodge.” Mackey’s Text Book of Masonic Jurisprudence, pages 33 and 34.

Christian brother, how can you endure the religion of an order, a secret order, an oath-bound order, which ties you up with such company as that, which fellowships the Jew, the Mohammedan, the heathen Chinaman and Hindu, and blackballs you dear Saviour? This institution ignores Jesus Christ in order to have the fellowship of his enemies.

What is proved to be the religion of Freemasonry can be proved to be the religion of Odd-Fellowship. An inquiry, and an answer to that inquiry is found, in Donaldson’s Odd-Fellow’s Text Book, page 155: “Shall a man, a unit in the universal kingdom of God, stand aloof from his fellow-unit because he may not be of the same faith or nation as himself? Nay! The question must not be, ‘Is he a Christian, or is he a Jew, or a Mohammedan; is he a European, or an American, and Asiatic, or an African?’ But, ‘Is he a man and a brother?’”

Man is considered a “unit in the universal kingdom of God,” and Odd-Fellowship aims at the union of every religious faith in its own religious faith, which is a faith with no Christ in it. The Holy Trinity, Triune God, any recognition of Christ as the Saviour of Sinners, or as the second person of the Godhead, are intentionally omitted in the Odd-Fellow prayers, in order that Christian, Jews, Mohammedans, and all other religions, may unite in those prayers. This question was submitted to the Sovereign Grand Lodge at a session in 1888: “Is it lawful for a chaplain to commence and finish his prayer in the name of Christ?” The Grand Sire, after defining the word sect, said in answer, “In this sense Christianity is a sect, hence it is inexpedient, unwise and I think, unlawful to make prominent mention of it (the name of Christ) in Lodge work.” Official Report, No. 58 page 11.

“Judaism, Christianity and Mohammedanism recognize the one only and true God.” New Odd- Fellow’s Manual, by A. B. Grosh. Thus it is stated as a doctrinal principle of Odd- Fellowship that Judaism and Mohammedanism recognize the only true God, while they are the avowed enemies of Christ.

“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is anti-Christ, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.” 1Jo 2:22-23.

As the Odd Fellow Lodge denies Christ, it is anti-Christ, and as a religious teacher, it is a liar. “Let God be true, but every man a liar.” Ro 3:4. My Christian brother, in the unholy alliance of Odd-Fellowship, you are bound up by an oath with those who are the avowed enemies of your blessed Saviour, in a religion that denies him. Oh, can you, will you stay there? It is folly for you to say you can stay in the Free Mason or the Odd- Fellow Lodge, and affiliate with them, and not subscribe to their religion and to their god. You know that what we here give is the truth concerning those orders. You cannot accept the doctrine of the Church of Christ and accept the doctrine of these secret orders at the same time and be consistent. They are antagonistic and so are utterly unreconcilable.

The Ancient Order of United Workmen requires a candidate for admission to the Junior Workman Degree to declare that he is over 21 and under 45 years of age, that he is sound in bodily health to the best of his knowledge and belief, and that he believes in a Supreme Being, the Creator and Preserver of the Universe. The Foreman, in addressing him says, “The Ancient Order of United Workmen imposes no religious test other that a belief in the Deity.”

So we see the doctrine of this order is like that of the Masons and Odd-Fellows. The Society of the Improved Order of Red Men believe in the Great Spirit of the American Indians, but Christ is not known or needed in their ritual. In lodges of the Knights of Pythias the Bible lies on the altar with the two swords crossed, and is called the Book of the Law. But, like the other secret orders, the Christ of the Bible is wholly ignored. The Book of the Law is not followed. We have the last revised ritual of this order, and know whereof we speak. The Bible lies there open as a deception. The society of the Modern Woodmen of America, with its working tools of Beetle, Axe and Wedge, has its Christless ceremonies and prayers. The candidate as he is conducted along the route to the Arcana (singular-Arcanum, any thing hidden) never hears the name of Jesus pronounced.

In the closing ceremonies of a Rebekah Degree in the Lodge of the “Sisters of Rebekah,” after the singing of an ode in which the name of Christ must not be mentioned, the Nobel Grand calls upon the Chaplain to invoke the Divine blessing, but in doing so he must not do it in the name of Christ. Further statement or examination of this fact, that secret societies are religious without any Christ in their religion, is wholly unnecessary.

It may be claimed, and we believe it is by some, that Theism, and not Deism, is the doctrine of secret societies. The difference is so immaterial that this distinction is a hair-splitting matter. Both mean belief in a God, as distinguished from Atheism, which is a belief that there is God. In the early part of the seventeenth century the word Deism fell into some discredit, and after a time the term Theism was used in its stead. In 1871 a church was founded in London known as the Theistic Church. The leading principles are,

1. That it is the right and duty of every man to think for himself in matters of religion.

2. That there is no finality in religious beliefs; that higher views of God are always possible.

3. That it is our duty to obtain the highest truth, and to proclaim it and to detect and controvert errors.

4. That religion is based on morality.

5. That Theism is not aggressive against persons, only against erroneous opinions.

So it matters not whether we denominate the religious doctrine of secret societies Deism or Theism, for in neither beliefs is the Bible as essential rule of faith and practice, and the use of the Bible in their religious exercises is solemn mockery.

Chapter 4: Universal Fatherhood of God: Secret societies are founded upon the false religious dogma of Universalism—the dogma of the Universal Fatherhood of God, the Universal Brotherhood of man. Universalists stand upon this as the main plank in the platform of their faith. If they could prove this, they could establish their doctrine of Universal salvation beyond any successful contradiction.

In the Twenty-second Landmark of Freemasonry, given on page 35 of Mackey’s Text-Book of Masonic Jurisprudence, is this statement: “But the doctrine of Masonic equality implies that, as children of one great Father, we meet in the Lodge upon the level – that on that level we are all traveling to the one predestined goal.” Thus they say they are all traveling to the one predestined goal, being all children of the one great Father. That predestined goal we suppose is heaven, or final happiness somewhere. As this goal is predestined, they cannot fail to reach it, though many of them are known to be outbrokenly wicked!

It is said in Craftsman and Freemason’s Guide, page 35: “By the exercise of brotherly love we are taught to regard the human species as one family, the high and the low, the rich and the poor, who, as created by one Almighty Parent, and inhabitants of the same planet, are to aid, support and protect each other.” So they believe that not only members of the order are children of God, but the whole human species.

In the Odd-Fellow’s Text-Book, on page 127, we read, “Man is a constituent of one Universal Brotherhood, having come from the hand of a common parent. * * * * * By it, all nations, tongues, and creeds, may be brought to comprehend the motive for Fraternity. Fraternity! This is our cornerstone. Upon its solid basis rests our superstructure. It teaches us to regard the great family of mankind as our brethren; children of one heavenly Father, the great Author of our existence.”

The great cornerstone of Odd-Fellowship, the basis upon which the whole superstructure rests, is the greatest falsehood, the greatest error that was ever promulgated. This is not only the doctrine of Odd-Fellowship, but of the whole Lodge system. Even the little insurance orders, like the Modern Woodmen of American, declared at their National Congress in 1897: “Fraternity is the culmination of the ‘Sermon on the Mount,’ and the glorification of the sublime doctrine of Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man. This is the bedrock upon which every true order must be founded.”

Again, Odd-Fellow’s Text-Book, page 146: “Wherever man is found, in whatever situation in life, he bears his Maker’s image; he is immortal; and however poor, or even degraded he may be, in his soul are the signs of human equality. If thou canst do aught to promote his happiness, then, or canst relieve his wants, DO IT: it is thy duty. If there be a scheme of good, designed to meliorate his condition, engage in it with all thy heart, remembering that he for whom thou art laboring is thine own Father’s son. Pause not to inquire his creed or his faith, his title or his condition; but consider that, with all his errors or imperfections, he is thy brother.”

On the supposition that this is true, all men are Divine. What, then, is there in the Divinity of Christ? He stands not one whit above the lowest of the race in this respect. There is no need for any to be born again, in fact none can be, if all are already children of God by creation.

None are children of God except those who are born again, born of him. Man as born only of the flesh belongs to the creation of God, but there is a newer and higher sense in which he becomes a child of God and an heir of glory. We are creatures in Adam whom God has created, but we must be created anew in Christ Jesus unto good works to belong to the family of God. Eph 2:10. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Joh 3:6.

This claim of Universal Brotherhood stands face to face with an inconsistency that makes it hard to understand how men can use the term in connection with secret societies. One must be a member of the Lodge to be a brother. It is said to be rather difficult to get into a Mason or Odd-Fellow Order. They boast of that. A man may get one or more black balls, which shuts him out. Is he then a brother? Most persons cannot enter at all. Women, children, the maimed, all are barred out, not from any fault of theirs, but from their unfortunate state, as viewed from the standpoint of the claims of those orders.

Those who enter must pay to enter and keep on paying to remain in them, to be brothers. Yet all the human family, women, children, old men, the maimed, all are members in the one family of God! Nevertheless one who seeks a admittance into a lodge of K. of P. or of Modern Woodmen is a Stranger till he gets in, and one who applies to a Red Men Lodge for initiation is a Pale Face till he is duly initiated among the wild men of the forest.

Secret Societies claim to give no preference to the Christian over the Pagan, and pretend to be exceedingly hostile to divisions based on religious convictions, yet a large majority of the human family are forever prohibited from entering their dark and mysterious chambers. For our part we cannot tell how a Christian man must feel to be bound up in oath-pledge brotherhood with the avowed enemies of his Saviour, while his own Christian wife must remain separated from so near relationship with him. In the face of all these glaring facts, it is claim of secret lodgism that the Universal Brotherhood of man is the “bedrock upon which every order must be founded!” Surely in all their religious principles and ceremonies, secret societies display nothing better than a systematic and perpetual hypocrisy.

Chapter 5: Conditional Salvation: The doctrine of salvation as taught by the religious writings, prayers, and ceremonies of secret societies is conditional, as they hold forth the idea that man by his own efforts prepares himself for the “Lodge above,” as they style heaven. Though this conflicts somewhat with the Universal platform upon which these heretical orders claim to be founded, yet it is their doctrine. It could not be expected that a religious doctrine framed by the world would be consistent, even with itself.

Taking the secret societies in proper order, we shall first examine Freemasonry. “The Lamb has, in all ages, been deemed the emblem of innocency; he, therefore, who wears the lamb-skin as a badge of Masonry, is thereby continually reminded of that purity of life and conduct, which is essential necessary to his admittance into the Celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe resides.” Craftsman and Freemason’s Guide, page 29. A member of the Primitive Baptist church surely feels strange in wearing the lamb-skin to be reminded by it that his entering heaven, which Freemasonry requires him to regard as the “Celestial Lodge above,” is essentially and necessarily conditioned on his living a life of pure conduct, Christ and the new birth playing no part in the matter of his salvation. In this he is professing to believe two conflicting doctrines, the doctrine of Freemasonry and the doctrine of the Bible.

“The candidate receives those first instructions whereon to erect his future moral and Masonic edifice in a particular part of the Lodge, because as on the night of his initiation he commences the great task, which is never in his future life to be discontinued, of erecting in his heart a spiritual temple for the indwelling of God, of which the material Temple at Jerusalem was but the symbol.” Mackey’s Manual of the Lodge, page 41. Well! Well ! The great task of the Mason, according to the doctrine of his order, is to erect a spiritual temple in his heart for the indwelling of God, which task he begins on receiving his first instructions in the wonderful mysteries of Masonry, and he is never to discontinue this task during his subsequent life! Great task this!

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for—the evidence of things not seen. If we—with suitable, true devotion—maintain our Masonic profession, our faith will become a beam of light, and bring us to those blessed mansions where we shall be eternally happy with God, the Grand Architect of the Universe.” Mackey’s Masonic Ritualist, page 13. Now, think of it! Their reaching those blessed mansions where they shall be eternally happy with God, depends upon their maintaining their Masonic profession! What more? We shall see.

“And thus guided by the movable jewels of Masonry, he may descend the vale of life with joy, in the hope of being accepted by the Most High, as a successful candidate for admission into the Grand Lodge above.” Macoy’s General History, Cyclopedia and Dictionary of Masonry. Page 578. If a member expects to be admitted into the “Grand Lodge above,” then, he must wear the jewels of Freemasonry! We suppose these jewels are the three, so called, which are given to an Entered Apprentice; a listening ear, a silent tongue, and a faithful heart. How does that suit you, Christian Freemason? Is there any more? Abundance of it.

“The definitions of Freemasonry have been numerous, and they all unite in declaring it to be a system of morality, by the practice of which its members may advance their spiritual interests, and mount by the theological ladder, from the Lodge on earth to the Lodge in heaven.” Macoy’s General History, Cyclopedia and Dictionary of Freemasonry, page 147.

By practicing the Masonic system, according to the definition in which all Masons unite, the Mohammedan, the Confucianist, the Buddhist or the Parsee, can mount the theological ladder and reach the Lodge in heaven, as well as the Christian Mason. They all climb the same ladder, using their own Trestle-Board, or Book of Law. The Koran is as helpful to the Mohammedan as the Bible is to the Christian in making the ascent! Primitive Baptist Mason, get off that “Theological Ladder.”

In Captain William Morgan’s Exposition of Freemasonry, in the first section of Lecture on the degree of Entered Apprentice, the following instruction is given: “Union is that kind of friendship that ought to appear conspicuous in the conduct of every Mason. It is so closely allied to the divine attribute, truth, that he who enjoys the one is seldom destitute of the other. Should interest, honor, prejudice, or human depravity ever influence you to violate any part of the sacred trust we now repose in you, let these two important words (union and truth), at the earliest insinuation, teach you to put on the checkline of truth, which shall infallibly direct you to pursue that straight and narrow path, which ends in the full enjoyment of the Grand Lodge above, where we shall all meet as Masons and members of one family; where all discord on account of religion, politics or private opinion shall be unknown and banished from within our walls.”

This needs no comment, as it speaks for itself a plain language. This is our first quotation from this book. Freemasons have charges that this book is untruthful. But why should a Mason who had been in the order for thirty years, who knew his life was very greatly endangered by the exposure he was making, speak falsely in regard to the secrets of the order? His book exposing the secrets of Masonry was written and published in August, 1826, and in September of the same year he was kidnaped and carried away from the village of Batavia, N.Y., where he lived, and was never heard of by his friends any more. His exposition has been attested by such men as Chas. G. Finney, David Bernard, and John G. Stearns, men of honor, who, like Morgan, came out from this oath-bound society and declared against it. Hosts of others have followed this commendable example, commendable because the work of God requires it. “Come out from among them.”

Our denunciation of secret societies may seem rather violent and severe to the friends of such societies. Many of them have worked in their lodges so long that it will be very hard to convince them that there is anything wrong in them. Some of them, likely, just will not be convinced. In the face of all that may be said and proved against secret orders, they will still contend they are beneficial and accomplish much good. We ask all such conscientious persons, who profess the religion of Jesus, Has your Master in His book commanded you to bind yourselves by a solemn oath in a secret bond of brotherhood with men of the world, some of whom are the vilest of earth?

Chapter 6: Conditional Salvation: (Cont.) Odd-Fellowship pretends to teach men “Friendship, love and truth.” But the friendship it teaches is the friendship of the world. “The friendship of the world is enmity with God. Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy to God.” Jas 4:4. This alludes to friendship in a religious sense we think. True spiritual love is inseparable connected with faith in Jesus Christ. “And this is his commandment that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.” 1Jo 3:23. Odd-Fellowship discards Jesus Christ. The love it teaches, therefore, is merely love of the world. Christ is the Truth, and no system that ignores him can teach the truth concerning man’s well being spiritually. All this being true, Odd-Fellowship does not teach real Friendship, Love, and Truth.

It is pretended that initiation into the Odd-Fellow Society begins in spiritual darkness. The candidate is blindfolded and encircled with chains. The imitation of a coffined corpse is placed before him, and his blindfold is temporarily removed while he receives moral lecture. The Past Grand Master, in giving him instruction about doing, doing, doing, says in his closing words to him, “May your initiation and consequent practice aid in releasing you from all blindness of moral vision, and set you free from the fetters of ignorance and error.” This setting free is to be done by initiation into the Lodge and the consequent practice of the initiated. Such is the teaching of Odd-Fellowship.

We invite attention to the following given on page 126, Odd-Fellow’s Text-Book: “Man, by his own evil passions, brings himself into a state of slavery more bitter than any human bondage, if he suffers himself to be led captive by them, he must at last be dragged to the lowest depths of wretchedness—misery—despair. He should, therefore, if under their control, seek to liberate himself from their grasp, ere their hold upon him become so firm that it cannot be shaken. Man gropes his way through life in darkness and doubt; his reason and his moral nature are dark; until he acquires, by virtuous perseverance, a knowledge of himself, his duty, his destiny. Then the light breaks in upon him, and he sees clearly the path he is required to tread.” See how much of man’s own self there is in the system of salvation taught by Odd-Fellowship. Observe that the Spirit of God and the Saviour of sinners have no place in this scheme.

“But we must struggle on, though beset with danger, toil, and strife, through the wilderness of this world, to our destiny. Let us therefore be stout of heart, and determine, through faith and energy, to overcome the obstacles that lie in our path. Let not fear or discouragement cause us to turn back, after we shall have once entered upon our journey. Let us take honesty for our guide; however rough or uncouth he may seem, or whatever abuse may be heaped upon him by those who love him not, if we cling to him, he will assuredly bring us at last to a peaceful and pleasant abode.” Odd-Fellow’s Text-Book, pages 159, 160.

What is the faith and energy through which the Odd-Fellow is to overcome at last? Not faith in Christ or the energy of the Holy Spirit, but faith in himself and the energy of his own manufacture.

On page 17 of this book is given a quotation from this same Text-Book, in which the instructions to the “Neophite” claim to lead him “to obedience to his Divine Maker, in which he cannot fail to be blessed in life, death, and eternity.” By following the instructions of his lodge, and clinging to that honesty which its teaching imparts to him, he can escape the depths of wretchedness—misery— despair, and reach at last a peaceful and pleasant abode, being forever set free from the fetters of ignorance and error. We who are never thus initiated and instructed are in a bad row, and our destiny is forever sealed if Odd-Fellow doctrine should be true.

In the third section of chapter nine of the Odd-Fellows Counsel we find this: “It may be, that in following it (the road to heaven), poverty and want will beset thee: but keep up thy spirit; look not at present ease, which is but for a moment, but rather at future rest, which shall be everlasting.” In the fifth section we find this strong language: “Brother! cheer thee! Thou hast done well; thou art far on the toilsome way. The impediments and incitements thou hast overcome are in the distance; thank heaven! Thou hast pressed nobly through them. But, alas! how many, ere they come thus far, sink under the difficulties, or embrace sirens that crowd about them. Thou mayst ‘thank God and take courage.’ Thou hast learned and attained much through perseverance and firmness. Thy progress now shall be more calm; thy foes shall abandon thine as a hopeless case. Thou hast passed the critical point, and shalt henceforth proceed more safely. So is it with all who commence this journey betimes; who set out early for the goal of Virtue and of true Happiness: the longer they delay, the greater the danger they shall perish ere they shall attain to the point to which thou hast arrived. Thou mayst not know all that is yet before thee. Thou shalt feel nevertheless, in the midst of thy darkness, that thy Father will not forsake thee. And though a storm more fearful than any thou hast yet encountered—that of physical death—shall soon burst upon thee, the hand of God Almighty, which has sustained thee thus far, will protect thee amid that storm, and thou shalt come up through it with joy and gladness to the land eternal delight. In that glorious Rest, thou shalt behold the innumerable hosts who have traveled this path before thee. Thou shalt join the Patriarchs of the infant world, and mingle thy voice with theirs in the music of angels. Thou shalt dwell in the presence of the Most High, whose smile is heaven. Through-out the eternal ages of Jehovah thou shalt be the associate of angels and just men made perfect, in a land where, far mare than this, Faith and Truth are lovely and divine.”

The religious eloquence of this passage is indeed charming. In reading it one’s mind cannot fail to be impressed with the faultless diction and flowing style of rhetoric. But when we pause to think that the brother addressed as being on his way to heaven to mingle his in the music of angels, is a secret lodge brother, who may be as vile as Judas, the betrayer of Jesus, and that the course he is pursuing in following his lodge instructions is the way that leads to “the land of eternal delight,” the religious eloquence, the faultless diction and the flowing rhetoric of this passage become as empty and unstable as a bubble.

God Almighty is declared to be the sustainer and protector of this lodge traveler through the storms that are to come, even through the storm of physical death, because he has “passed the critical point,” has overcome the impediments and incitements and left them in the distance, and has learned and attained so much through his perseverance and firmness.

The author of the Text-Book from which we get the foregoing eloquent effusion, says on page 167, referring the Nine Chapters of Counsel, “We have endeavored, in the preceding pages, to lay before our brethren of the Order a synopsis of the grand principles of our institution, and the duties we are, as Odd-Fellows, pledged to practice.” So we who are not in the Lodge are to understand we are not on the way to heaven at all, and that those who are in it will not reach that land of eternal delights unless they overcome the “impediments and incitements” and pass nobly through them, so as to “pass the critical point.” Well, we would rather risk our hope in Jesus than risk the “mystic secrets” of the Odd-Fellow Lodge or any other oath-bound, human Lodge on earth. We happen to know the signs and grips of the order as well as the doctrinal principles, and we are not at all willing to risk the eternal salvation of our souls with the whole affair for one moment.

The first rank in the order of Knights of Pythias is the Rank of Page. Its motto is Friendship and its grip is called the Grip of Link of Friendship. The conclusion of the speech of the Chancellor Commander in conferring this Rank is, “Keep sacred the lessons of tonight; and so live that when you come to the river that marks the unknown shore, your hands may be filled with deeds of charity, ‘the golden keys that open the palace of eternity.’ I now confer upon you the Rank of Page in the Order of the Knights of Pythias.”

The teaching of this order is that by keeping sacred the lesson learned and filling his hands with deeds of charity the Page will have the key to unlock the “palace of eternity” when he comes to the “river that marks the unknown shore.” It appears that those who never enter that lodge can never unlock the “palace of eternity!”

Chapter 7: Conditional Salvation (Cont.) In the instructions given to a candidate for the Workman Degree, in a lodge of Ancient Order of United Workmen, who has just taken the oath, the Master Workman says to him, “Upon the altar before you are the emblems of our order—the Bible, the Anchor, and the Shield. The Bible contains within its pages man’s duty to God the Creator and Preserver, and his duty to his fellow men. The performance of these duties brings satisfaction here and eternal happiness hereafter. The Anchor symbolizes hope, which paints the promised joy of life, weaves a wreathe for every woe, and bids you look beyond the grave for its fruition. The Shield is the emblem of protection. It guards those we love from poverty, and defends them from danger and trial of this life. By its aid we uphold truth, preserve virtue and defend the principles of our order.”

We see it is the doctrine of this order that we are saved by what we do. That our hope, which bids us look beyond the grave for its fruition, is not predicated on anything Jesus does for us, but on the performance of our duty to God and our fellow-men. Jesus plays no part whatever in securing for us eternal happiness hereafter. In this its religion is like all other secret societies.

In the burial service of The Modern Woodmen of America, a part of 1Co 15 is used, but this is omitted: “the second man is the Lord from heaven.” Christ has no part in the system. On the ground of his being in this secret Lodge, and not on the ground of anything done for him by the Saviour of sinners, the departed Lodge member is declared to “live in the eternal glories of his Maker.”

Hostility is thus declared to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Worldly men have organized Lodges with their oath-bound secrets, making the claim that faithful membership in them will result in final salvation in heaven.

At the installation of officers in a Rebekah Lodge, the following prayer is ordered in the ritual to be offered: “Almighty and ever living God, we humbly beseech Thee to bless the work in which we have been engaged. Preserve, O Heavenly Father, the Order of which we are members. Aid us in the good work of benevolence and charity to which we are pledged, and give direction and success to our efforts. Bless, we pray Thee, the members who have been selected as officers of the Lodge. Endow them with Thy Spirit and Thy wisdom. Let thy protecting care be over them. Guide them, by Thy power, in the way everlasting. Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings, with Thy most gracious favor, and that in all our works, begun, continued, and ended in Thee, we may glorify Thy holy name, and finally by Thy mercy, obtain life everlasting. Amen.”

This prayer is not offered for Christ’s sake, and there is no reference made to Christ’s service in it. The idea is plainly prominent that the Lodge work and fidelity to the Lodge is the course that leads to everlasting. These secret organization set aside the divine plan of salvation, and substitute in its place mere moral teachings and Lodge fidelity, which are exemplified and enforced by material symbols. The Atonement of Christ, the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, and the experience of the child of God, are all wholly unknown to this human religion. The tendency of lodge teaching and ceremonies is to lead man to trust in his won miserable, paltry self-righteousness, for his final acceptance with God.

Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up the cross, and follow me.” Mt 16:24. No one is following Christ by taking on himself the oath-bound obligations of secrecy in a human Lodge, in the professed brotherhood of all classes of men, where the name of Christ is not named and his work in the salvation of his people is wholly unknown, and where false religious teaching abounds in the ceremonies and prayers and doctrinal principles that have been framed by people of the world.

When we were young we attended a burial service conducted by the Freemasons. A neighbor, who participated, asked us what we though of it. We were not slow in telling him. Wicked men led and united in that religious service with a few who were good. “So mote it be” was drawled out repeatedly with hypocritical solemnity by the non-professing, even by some of the most wicked men in the community. How any who have any sense of reverence for the Lord’s holy name can endure such mockery, we are unable to understand.

We here insert the second night’s experience in a Masonic lodge room, of a Methodist minister, M. L. Haney, as told by him in his work, The Story of my Life. “Next lodge night came round, and I, as a new convert, was on hand. I got my little apron, and sat down to take in the excellencies of my new brotherhood. I had not been seated long when the Holy Spirit suggested that I look around, and see my brethren. I slowly and thoughtfully scanned the whole circle; and to my surprise, there were the most profane in the city—drunk-ards, and vile characters—mixed up with a few good men. Having made the survey, and considered the heart relations into which I was brought with these characters, the Holy Spirit, as by a pen of fire, wrote these works upon my heart: “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord.’ I tarried not to confer with flesh and blood, but obeyed the heavenly vision, and at the earliest opening let those dear souls know that I could not stay with them and go with God; took off my little apron, and have never seen it since.”

There is a high claim made by the standard authors of the Masonic Fraternity, that initiation into that order is death to the world and resurrection to a new life.

We insist upon particular attention being given to the following from pages 20 and 21, Manual of the Lodge, by Mackey: “The Lodge is, then at the time of the reception of the Entered Apprentice, a symbol of the world, and the initiation is a type of the new life upon which the candidate is about to enter. There he stands, without our portals, on the threshold of this new Masonic life, in darkness, helplessness and ignorance. Having been wandering amid the errors and covered over with the pollutions of the outer and profane world, he comes inquiringly to our doors, seeking the new birth, and asking a withdrawal of the vale which conceals divine truth from his uninitiated sight. And there, as with Moses at the burning bush, the solemn admonition is given, ‘Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground;’ and ceremonial preparations surround him, all of a significant character, to indicate to him that some great change is about to take place in his moral and intellectual condition. He is already beginning to discover that the design of Masonry is to introduce him to new views of life and its duties. He is, indeed, to commence new lessons in a new school. There is to be, not simply a change for the future, but also an extinction of the past; for initiation is, as it were, a death to the world and a resurrection to a new life.”

Read this again, Christian professor, and answer this question, Can you afford to belong to such an order? You may say you do not have to subscribe to all its teachings and everything its authors may have written. But your affiliation with it and participation in its deistic, Christless religion is a subscription to its heretical literature. If you say you do not subscribe to the teaching of this human society and still hold membership in it and patronize its lodge meetings, your actions contradict your statement. We will give two more extracts.

“In the Ancient Mysteries the aspirant was always kept for a certain period in a condition of darkness. Applied to Masonic symbolism, it is intended to remind the candidate of his ignorance, which Masonry is to enlighten; of his evil nature, which Masonry is to purify; of the world, in whose obscurity he has been wandering, and from which Masonry is to rescue him.” Mackey’s Manual of the Lodge, pages 38, 39.

It is the religious doctrine of this human, oath-bound society, as stated by its recognized standard author, that a man, before he becomes a Mason, is wandering in the darkest obscurity of ignorance and in the evil of his nature, and that Masonry will rescue him from his ignorance and wash away the evil of his nature. This explains why Christ is left out of the entire religious system of Masonry. From this some astonishing inferences might be drawn as to the irretrievable state of women, children, old men, cripples, and others who cannot get into this mystical, pagan order. Let the reader draw them.

“The members of our society at this day, in the third stage of Masonry, confess themselves to be christians, ‘The veil of the temple is rent,’ the builder is smitten, and we are raised from the tomb of transgression.” Robert Macoy’s General History, Cyclopedia and Dictionary of Freemasonry.

These statements are not utterances of opposition; they are published declarations of the standard Freemason authors, and are sent forth as instruction to its members in the doctrinal principles of the order. Will our friends among the Masons who may read this book appreciate our efforts to lay these facts before them, and if possible to induce them to break away from this unholy alliance? Surely none of them will think less of us for it.

It may be held by some, in fact we have heard it assumed, that Albert G. Mackey, and Robert Macoy, and Cornelius Moore, and other recognized Masonic authors, are themselves conditionalists, and so may have written from their own viewpoint. But what they have written has never been disputed by any Masonic work. So their books on Freemasonry stand as the true exponent of the doctrine of Masonry. Besides this is exemplified in the ceremonies and prayers of the order. It is the most degrading of heresies.

Chapter 8: Oath-Bound Secretism: Oath-bound secretism is not right, whether it be for bad or for good. If it be for bad purposes, it is not right. All will agree to this. If it be for good purposes it is not right, for good purposes ought not to be secreted. Men in secret lodges do not let the good they are pretending to do there shine out. They cannot, for they are sworn under severe penalties not to do so. They occupy second or third stories, blind the windows and curtain the doors, allowing no one to come in unless he obligates himself in advance not to reveal a thing that is done inside. Assuming that every secret lodge is doing good, how is any one to know of the good done in the them? By paying the initiation fee and taking a solemn oath not to reveal what he is afterwards to find out about the secrets of the lodge! In swearing he does not know what he is swearing to. He is paying for a privilege and swearing to what he does not know in order to enjoy the privilege. It is like paying a fee to sign a contract and then giving affidavit to the contract before one knows what the contract is!

This is an utter disregard for the example of Christ. When asked in his trial by the high priest concerning his disciples and his doctrine the lowly Jesus replied, “I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue and in the temple; and in secret have I said nothing.” Joh 18:20. Thus the founder of the Christian religion and the religion he founded are continually open to the closest and fairest inspection and investigation.

Sworn secretism as practiced by the lodges is not only an utter disregard the example of Jesus, it is open violation of his express command. The children of God are called children of the day, and not of the night. For that reason they are commanded not to put their light under a bushel, but to let it shine out. In violation of this the member admitted into a secret lodge dares not tell his own wife and children what he has seen and heard and learned in the lodge. Suppose, after being initiated, he returns home to his family at a late hour of the night, and is asked by his devoted wife, “Was there anything bad or ridiculous in the proceedings?” “No,” he answers, “it was all good and solemn.” Well, if there was nothing bad or ridiculous in what was done, and all that transpired was good and solemn, tell me all about it.” “No,” he replies, “I cannot tell you anything.” “Why can you not tell me, that I may also know the good there is in it?” “Oh, I was sworn not to tell anything, under a severe penalty. So I cannot tell even you.”

Has God ever authorized such a bar to be raised between a husband and his wife? Has he not declared, “What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder?” He has never authorized or sanctioned the locking up of that which is good from our fellowmen in profound secrecy. The whole principle of secretism as practiced by the Lodges is anti-christian, and the whole principle of the Christian religion is anti-secret. The one belongs to the kingdom of light, the other to the kingdom of darkness. The one is from heaven, the other from this sinful world. Both are religious, but their religions are wholly incompatible.

In the lodges of secret societies two things are strictly insisted upon; vis. secrecy and obedience. When once initiated under the oath-bound fetters of a secret Lodge a man throws away his liberty and becomes the tied servant of a heretical, human order, heretical in all of its religious principles and purely human in its origin, organism and design. We remember Jesus says, “A corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit,” and we candidly believe he is right.

We raise a question here for all to think about. Why should organizations for the pretended purpose of benefitting mankind be secret orders and bind all their members to perpetual secrecy? Counterfeiters work in secret, and everybody knows why. Thieves form their plans and carry out their operations in secret, and the reason is plain. Men who plot treason against governments do their work in the dark, and all understand. But why should societies claiming to be benevolent, so carefully guard their secrets? Let no one misunderstand us here. We are not classing Freemasons, Odd-Fellows, Knights of Pythias, etc., with counterfeiters, thieves and anarchists. Not at all are we. We are simply asking why they should try so hard to keep their operations secret.

The false religious principles of secret societies, which we have proved to be the very platform on which they are based, and which no honest informed person will deny, furnish sufficient reason why any Christian professor should not belong to them, and especially any Primitive Baptist. Secretism, such secretism as they attempt, stands as an additional reason why no one should belong to them.

Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

Chapter 9: Charity: Charity is that disposition of the heart which inclines men to think favorably toward their fellwomen, and do them good. It means especially liberality and benevolence toward the poor. Charity, in its highest sense, is a divine principle. There is a distinction between human and divine charity. Human charity is but natural, while Divine charity is spiritual in its nature. This word, as used a number of times in 1Co 13, is from the Greek word agape, which means love. In this lesson it means the love of God in the heart of a Christian. This is Divine charity, which none possess but those who are born again, or born of God.

In this chapter we want to be understood as referring to human charity, that which is natural to man. A disposition to be charitable in this sense is very commendable. This principle of liberality and benevolence was once much more universally prevalent than now. Our fathers have told us of the good feeling that prevailed in the days of their youth, and we who are now fathers remember how it was when we were young. We have lived to see this noble principle dwindle down till it is almost undiscoverable now. The blaze has become so small that it is nearly down to a spark.

It seems to be an effort to remove the taint of secrecy that secret societies offer the plea of charitableness. They claim to be charitable institutions. Most lodges throw out this bait to those men whose oaths, and money, and influence they wish to secure. Provision for sick and death benefits form part of the bait. This is very tempting bait, and many are caught by it. We are all liable to sickness, and it is good when one gets sick to have proper attention and help. But is it an act of charity when lodge members who are obligated by oath to do so, wait upon a sick man who has paid his fee to get into the lodge and has kept his dues paid up to secure for himself such benefits? Far from it. Those who call this charity do not know the meaning of the word. We heard a member of the Odd-Fellow society say once that he had joined that order because he wanted to be cared for if he got sick. He said that in a spell of sickness before he became a member no one gave him any attention. It is too bad to have to buy friends. But are they real friends if they have to be bought? Is their attention in times of need a matter of charity? We leave this question to the sound thinking.

Nearly all secret societies are for men. Men only are allowed to join them. Men who are old, and men who have serious physical defects are not admitted. Also men who happen to be too poor to pay their fees of initiation and keep up their regular dues after their initiation are not taken in. Is that charitable? Does charity confine itself to those who are in a condition to need little or no help? Those who get in and then fail to keep up their dues are dropped out and lose all the benefit for which they paid when they entered. Is that charity? It might be termed a matter of business, but it is not charity.

Some orders pay out sums annually to their members in pursuance to an agreement, but no order pays out more that it collects from its members. So that is not charity. If a widow receives one, two or three thousand dollars after her husband’s death, because her husband was a lodge member and kept up his dues, that is not a donation of charity at all. More may be paid to the widow than her husband paid in, but more is not paid to widows than is paid in by all the members. In addition to what is paid out as sick benefits and death dues and other helpful purposes, grand and costly temples are erected, and vast sums of money is expended for vain display, all coming from the pockets of the members. And these societies are called charitable!

The dying out of the principle of charity in the human race today is mainly due to secret societies and insurance companies. If one gets sick now it is supposed by his neighbors that he is a member of some lodge that will take care of him, or that he has an accident insurance or an insurance to cover loss from sickness, and so no interest is taken in his case. If he does not belong to an order, or if his life is not insured, it is thought he has been willfully negligent, and so he gets no sympathy. The poor must share with the rich in this deplorable state of affairs. Our churches are affected by this so that they fail to do their duty toward their needy members and the poor that surround them. Money is paid into oath-bound secret societies, the religion of which is deistic and Christless as we have seen, that ought to be put into the church for purposes of pure charity. These societies pay no attention as a rule to the poor and the needy, while the church invites to sweet fellowship the poor, the blind, the deaf, the lame, without money and without price. Would it not be far better for all church members who pay in their dues to secret societies to withdraw from those orders and pay what they have to spare into the church of Jesus Christ that its influence for charity may be known to all men? Would it not be better to help the cause of Christ than to help the societies of the world?

Help due from lodges, so far from being a matter of charity, often comes grudgingly and is sometimes refused. The following is from a Lebanon, Ind., paper: “William C. Burk, of Thorntown, has brought suit against Thorntown Lodge, No. 124, Knights of Pythias, to enforce the payment of $126, which he claims is due him from the lodge’s nurse fund as a result of eighty-four days’ illness, during which time he required the services of a nurse. Mr. Burk alleges the lodge has refused to take action on his claim. Artman & Smith are his attorneys.”

Chapter 10: High Sounding Titles, and Oaths: We entertain no feeling of hostility toward members of secret societies. Some of them, as we have said, are among our best and most valued friends. We do not aim to be harsh and unkind in this work. Plainness, but gentleness and firmness are aimed at, and any seeming departure from these is of the head and not of the heart. In our opinion the titles, claims, rites and ceremonies and oaths of secret orders, are incompatible with the genius of the sweet, open, frank gospel of Jesus and his spiritual kingdom. We hold it to be our inalienable right to show our opinion, and we are trying to do so in the spirit of love.

Secret societies display the very opposite of the humble spirit of Christianity. The spirit of these societies stands out in bold contrast to the meek spirit of that holy religion. Jesus made himself of no reputation, and his true followers seek not exaltation. The tendency of the work of grace in the heart is to humble the subjects of it, while the tendency of the world’s religion is the very opposite. Of himself the Master said, “I am meek and lowly in heart.” He said his kingdom came not with observation; that is, it was of such a meek and quiet character, so different from what the men of the world did not recognize it or observe it when it came. How different it is with these worldly, men-made, secret orders!

The title of the chief presiding officer in a Masonic Lodge is “Worshipful Master.” Worshipful, worthy of worship, we suppose. It is sinful to pay such reverence to man. An organization which confers upon its officials the right to claim such reverence is anti-Christian. Master, one to be obeyed. Obedience to man, in this sense, is forbidden by the Savior. It was for this reason that he censured the Scribes and Pharisees. “They love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called Rabbi, Rabbi. But be ye not called Rabbi; for one is your Master, even Christ. * * * Neither be ye called Masters; for one is your Master, even Christ.” Mt 23:6-10. What he said concerning these Scribes and Pharisees would have applied to worshipful Grand Masters, if speculative Masonry had then existed as now.

In the Freemason Lodge are Deacons, Senior and Junior; Wardens, Senior and Junior; besides Tyler, Secretary and Treasurer. These are pledged to observe the will and pleasure of the “Worshipful Grand Master,” and they have their seats arranged in a certain order, the whole being intended to represent a worshiping court rendering obeisance to the secret, oath-bound institution, that is purely human in its origin and in all that pertains to it. In the midst of all stands the altar, with the open Bible placed upon it, over which lie the square and compass.

The Worshipful Master is seated in the east, the reason being, “as the sun rises in the east to open and adorn the day, so presides the Worshipful Master in the east to open and adorn the Lodge, set his crafts to work with good and wholesome laws, or cause this to be done.”

The Junior Warden’s place is in the south, for the explained reason that, “as the sun in the south at high meridian is the beauty and glory of the day, so stands the Junior Warden in the south, the better to observe the time, call the crafts from labor to refreshment, superintend them during hours thereof, see that none convert the hours of refreshment into that of intemperance or excess; and call them out again in due season, that the Worshipful Master may have honor, and profit and pleasure thereby.”

The Senior Warden’s position is in the west, for the following reason: “As the sun sets in the west to close the day, so stands the Senior Warden in the west to assist the Worshipful Master in opening the Lodge, take care of the jewels and implements, see that none be lost, pay the craft their wages, if any be due, and see that none go away dissatisfied.”

The Junior Deacon’s place is at the right hand of the Senior Warden in the west; the Senior Deacon’s place is at the right hand of the Worshipful Master in the east; the Secretary’s place is at the left hand of the Worshipful Master, and the Treasurer’s place at his right hand.

The Worshipful Master’s will and pleasure is to be observed by all, and strict observance to what is termed the Ancient Constitutions of the order is expected to be adhered to. This all shows the religion of the order to be of a Pagan type. Superstitions and idolatry pervade the whole service. Christians ought not to engage with wicked men in such a religious sham. All the advantages claimed for such a society may be obtained in ways that are far less objectionable. Connection with them is a grief to many of the humble followers of Christ, and all can readily see that connection and affiliation with such an order is, to say the least, of a very questionable character. We are sure that for these and many more reasons the better and safer way is to avoid connection with them altogether.

The highest official in a lodge of Independent Order of Odd-Fellows is The Noble Grand. It is considered a distinction of which a member may be reasonably proud. “By the laws of the Order he is required to support and maintain the rules and regulations of those bodies of which his Lodge is subordinate, and to enforce strict adherence to the laws of his own Lodge.” Next to the Noble Grand is the Vice Grand. Then there are Conductors, Wardens, Guardians, and Supporters, with Secretaries and Treasures. In the Degree Lodges are the High Priest and Deputy High Priest. In the Subordinate Encampments are the Chief-Patriarch, Senior and Junior Warden, Scribe and Treasurer. The Grand Encampments have their Grand-Patriarchs, Grand High Priests, and many other Grand officers. The high-sounding titles are often employed, “Most Worthy Grand-Master,” “Right Worthy Grand-Secretary,” “Right Worthy Grand-Scribe,” etc.

The religion and religious service of the I. O. O. F. Lodge, like the Masonic Lodge, are of a pagan, deistic nature. To be bound up by oath in such an organization is not to be separate from the world as the Bible enjoins Christians to be. Such an entanglement with the world is therefore, in positive and direct disobedience to what the Bible requires. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate,” is written in the word of God, and addresses the children of the Most High who are under the oath-bound fetters of such false religious orders of the world. There can be no mistake about it.

The officers of a subordinate Lodge of Knights of Pythias are, Chancellor Commander, Vice Chancellor, Prelate, Master of the Work, Master of Exchequer, Master at Arms, Inner Guard, and Outer Guard. In the Lodge Room the open Bible is placed on a triangular shaped altar, which is denominated the Book of Law, and on the Bible lies two crossed swords. The ritualist prayers and ceremonies of the secret order is Christless as we have seen. Like the Masonic order and the order of Odd-Fellows, it is a deistic organization, partaking of the nature of Paganism.

In the middle of the room of a Lodge of Modern Woodmen stands an urn instead of an altar. Into this urn the Neighbors, as the members of the order are termed, are required to drop a pebble, either white or black. A white pebble expresses happiness, and a black pebble expresses sorrow. This is said to be taken from an ancient custom of the Thracians, who, every evening before they slept, were accustomed to drop a white pebble in an urn if the day had been to them a pleasant one, but if it had not, they dropped a black pebble. At death it could be told by counting these pebbles whether or not their lives had been delightfully or ill spent. See what foolish customs are seized upon for the practice of modern lodges!

The officers M. W. Of A. Are Consul, Escort, Adviser, Banker, Clerk, Watchman, Chief Forester, Forest Patriarch, etc. Then there are Foresters who play their part in the silly performances. The officers are honored by the term Venerable; as, Venerable Consul.

The following funeral anthem shows how the members of this order are taught to look upon the state of their members after death, all because they have been true to the secret order.

Among the dead our Neighbor sleeps,

His life was rounded true and well;

And love in bitter sorrow weeps,

About his dark and silent cell.

No pain, no anxious, sleepless fear,

Invades his house; no mortal woes

His mortal resting place draws near,

To trouble his serene repose.

His name engraven on the stone,

That friendship’s tears will often wet,

But each true Neighbor’s heart upon

That name is stamped more deeply yet.

So let him sleep that dreamless sleep,

Our sorrows clustering ‘round his head;

Be comforted, ye loved, who weep!

He lives with God; he is not dead.

It is understood by this that his standing as a Neighbor in this secret Lodge has insured his happy state with God. He may have been wicked, as many of them are, yet this, or something like it, is sung over his remains by some who, like him, make no profession of religion at all. No thanks to Christ for his “secret repose,” for his “dreamless sleep,” for his not being dead. It resembles the others in this respect. The vilest of earth may have a standing in it. The wicked do have a standing there. Is it right for Christians to fellowship or patronize such an institution? It is the worst of folly to say it is.

In a Lodge of Ancient Order of United Workman, the presiding officer, Guide, Overseer, Foreman, Recorder, Financier, Past Master Workman, Inside and Outside Watchman. Then there are the Grand and Supreme Lodge officers; as, Grand Master Workman. An altar stands in the midst at which the Grand Honors are received, the Bible playing a hypocritical part in the proceedings.

The world may call these things Grand, and of this the wicked world may freely partake, but a Christian who thinks anything of his profession should certainly stand aloof from such mockery. It is natural for the world to love its own and hate what is pleasing to the Lord. But how can one love the Lord and, at the same time, love that which the world loves so much?

We need not take the space to speak of the high claims and titles of the other orders. There is a similarity pervading them all. We have not mentioned the Druids, the Elks, the Eagles, and scores of others. We hope any of them who may read this book will not feel slighted. The United Ancient Order of Druids sprang from a club organized in London, England, about 1718. Its branches or lodges are called Groves. A Grove was instituted in New York in 1833, which became the parent of the society in America. The name came from an ancient order of Priests of Celts of Gaul and Britain and Germany, a heathen order, one of whose religious characters was the sacrifice of human life. A Supreme body was finally organized under the name Grand Grove of the United States of the United Ancient Order of Druids. What a high-sounding title! The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, a secret society after the pattern of the others somewhat, was founded by members of the theatrical profession in New York city in1868, but now men in all professions and occupations are admitted. We shall make no more mention of the Eagles, and perhaps ought to ask to be excused for even speaking of that order at all.

Some of the oaths taken by candidates for initiation into the lodges of secret orders are most dreadful, especially the ones required to be taken for admission into the different degrees of Freemasons. The candidate for admission to the degree of Entered Apprentice is prepared by being stripped to his shirt and drawers, blindfolded, his left foot bare, a slipper on his right foot, his left breast and arm naked, and a rope called a Cable-tow around his left arm and neck. After certain ceremonies, he is required to kneel on his left knee, put his left hand under the Bible and square and compass, and his right hand on them. In this position he takes a long oath of secrecy, binding himself under no less penalty than that of having his throat cut across, his tongue torn out by the roots, and his body buried in the rough sands of the sea at low watermark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours. “So help me God,” he adds, “and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same.”

This oath begins thus: “I___________, of my own free will and accord, in the presence of Almighty God and the Worshipful Lodge, erected to him and dedicated to the Holy Saints John, do hereby and hereon, most sincerely promise and swear,” etc. Now we claim that such a use of the name of Almighty God, in connection with the Worshipful Lodge, and calling upon that holy one to help keep such an oath as that, is nothing short of base profanity. Surely it is taking his holy name in vain, and “the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” Ex 20:7. Are we right in our opinion? Let considerate men judge.

The Candidate for admission to the Fellow Craft Degree, a higher degree of Masonry, begins his oath with the same language, and concludes with these words: “Binding myself under no less penalty than that of having my left breast torn open, my heart plucked out and given as a prey to the beasts of the field and fowls of the air, should I ever knowingly violate this my solemn obligation of a Fellow Craft Mason. So help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same.”

The oath taken by a candidate for admission to the higher degree, that of Master Mason, is more lengthy and more ridiculous than the two mentioned. It begins the same way, and concludes by naming the following penalty: “Binding myself under no less penalty than that of having my body severed in twain, my bowels taken from thence and burned to ashes, and the ashes scattered to the four winds of heaven, that no more trace or remembrance may be had of so vile a wretch as I, should I knowingly violate this my solemn obligation as a Master Mason. So help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same.”

In taking the oath of Fellow Craft, the candidate kneels on the right knee, and the oath of Master Mason is taken with the candidate standing on both knees. In each case the candidate is hoodwinked or blindfolded. In the initiation of a Master Mason the awful play of the murder of Hiram Abiff is enacted. Frightful scenes are gone through with in these ceremonies.

The Past Master invokes the penalty of having his “tongue split from tip to roots.” The Most Excellent Master swears to have his “heart taken out and exposed to rot on a dunghill.” The Royal Arch Mason takes an oath to have his “skull smote off and his brain exposed to the meridian sun.” These are a few of the penalties which we give as samples.

We have not space in this small work to go into the secret ceremonies of the other orders, nor is it necessary. They are not generally so objectionable as those taken by candidates for admission to the different degrees of Masonry, but in all of them a solemn promise is made, pledging obedience to unknown superiors, and pledging never to reveal the secrets of the order.

Chapter 11: Come Out From Among Them: We now come to a final appeal. We are sure it is an appeal of love for God’s people who may be bound up under the fetters of oath-bound orders. This appeal will not be heeded by all who may read this, who should come out and stay out. But may we not hope it will be heeded by some? God grant that it may. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate.” 2Co 6:17. This is an appeal from the word of God, addressed to all who are entangled in an unholy alliance with the world. Will this not be heeded by such as love the Lord and want to obey him?

Separation from the world, such as real Christianity requires, is utterly impossible so long as fellowship is held in the brotherhood of Secret Societies. It will hardly be disputed by any that these societies belong to the world. It will not be pretended that they are of Divine origin. This will not be claimed even by their most ardent votaries. In this world only, they have their origin, from which come the principles that underlie their organizations. Their morality and benevolence, their aims and ends, are worldly. Their religion, as we have seen, is of the world, and is basely false. Their membership is predominantly made up of people that are worldly, people who make no pretensions to religion other than the false religion of the orders. Jews, pagans, infidels, Mohammedans, ungodly and wicked—these stand equally with Christians, in equally good standing in this religious, hypocritical brotherhood. Is this not being “unequally yoked together with unbelievers?” Surely it is. National Israel was most positively forbidden to enter into any alliance with the surrounding nations, and disregard of this express command became the most fruitful source of corruption and consequent calamity to that nation. This principle applies to the church of Christ today. The beloved, loving John says, “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” 1Jo 5:19.

“The whole world lieth in the wicked one,” is the literal translation from the Greek. Now we know that the true church is of God. Since the whole world lies in the wicked one, and since all Secret Orders are of the world, do we not know that they all lie in the wicked one? “What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness, and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols: for ye are the temple of the living God,” 2Co 6:14-16. This sets forth in strong language the attitude the church should maintain toward the Secret Societies of the world.

It is the duty of members of the church of Christ to stand in an attitude of uncompromising hostility to worldly societies. They should do this in order to preserve their freedom from their corrupting influences and to maintain a perpetual testimony against their evils. The word of God is the voice of duty and the voice of wisdom. It says, “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Eph 5:11. It is only by obeying that voice that we can keep ourselves unspotted from the world.

Let us suppose (what will never be) that the unworthy writer were a member of a Secret Order, tied up in such an unholy alliance with the world. On Sunday he preaches salvation by grace through Jesus Christ, wholly independent of conditions to be performed by man. A brother in the Lodge dies. He attends the funeral as an official in the brotherhood, and reads from his little book a prayer containing this remarkable statement: “And at last, Great parent of the Universe, * * * * may we be enabled to ‘work an entrance’ into the Celestial Lodge above, and in thy glorious presence, amidst the ineffable mysteries, enjoy a union with the souls of our departed friends, perfect as the happiness of heaven, and durable as the eternity of God. Amen.”

“So mote it be,” escapes the lips of a number of men of the world, some of whom are basely wicked. Christ’s name is not mentioned. He plays no part in the system whatever. Who is so blind as to be unable to seethe inconsistency of such? Would the members of his church, even Lodge members, be pleased with such inconsistency? Suppose, then, that an entered apprentice is to be initiated, and he reads a prayer as an official in the Lodge on that occasion, containing the following false petition: “And may he and we regulate our actions by the light of revealed truth, and so construct our spiritual edifice, that when done laboring as apprentices in this lower temple, we may be raised to the sublime enjoyments of the upper sanctuary in that temple not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, whose maker and builder is God. Amen.”

What confidence could any sound thinking one have in him after hearing him preach in the pulpit, and then offer such a false, ridiculous petition? Suppose he were to be lecturing the members of his lodge, teaching them the principles of the order, and should quote from the writings of a prominent author of the Society, Macoy, “The definitions of Freemasonry have been numerous, and they all unite in declaring it to be a system of morality, by the practice of which its members may advance their spiritual interests, and mount the theological ladder from the Lodge on earth to the Lodge in heaven.” Who would ever want to hear him preach after that?

Can any one blame us for saying that will never be? Are we not setting a good example, in this respect at least, to all who love and hold to the truth? No one can deny that we are. Then let all follow that example. Oh, come out from the world, you who have been deceived and enticed into such societies. They are wholly inconsistent with the genius and spirit of Christianity. “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God,” Jas 4:4. This is very strong language, but it is not ours; it is the word of God. To hold membership in an oath-bound secret order is to show friendship to the world in a way that is positively forbidden in the Word of God. Such societies are no real benefit to the world even, but if the world will have them, let them have them.

“Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

Selah

SELAH The word Selah, which occurs so often in some of the Psalms, and in the prayer of the prophet Habakkuk, which may itself be called a Psalm, has been variously interpreted by the learned, and it is probable that in our ignorance of ancient forms of music, we have no means of coming to a certainty as to its meaning. But what cannot be explained in words may be understood by the heart. There are “songs without words,” which reveal themselves to the sympathetic mind without need of comment, and thus the Selah, —the holy pause of the Psalmist, coming after some great truth, or some fresh discovery, requires nothing more.

The voice rests; perhaps the harp or the psaltery goes on to repeat in a solemn symphony the latest measure sung to its accompaniment, and our hearts, responding with an inward assent to the truth of God, feel that Selah is our “Amen. So let it be.”

There are three Selah pauses in Ps 3. Let us examine them as the examples of the times when such notes occur. In Ps 3:2:—“Many there be which say of my soul. There is no help for him in God. Selah.” This is the Selah of wonder.

The child of God starts in amazement at the bare thought of such blasphemy against his God and his father. No help for him in God! His tongue is hushed, his harp is silent with astonishment. He pauses awhile in horror. Then, gathering up his strength, he breaks forth into a burst of holy confidence. “But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head;”—a truth to which his own experience bears witness. “I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.” This is the Selah of praise.

Again the voice of the Psalmist in his song pauses, and we seem to see the eye of the singer raised in mute adoration. From his own experience he is lead to a grand general truth, and in the last verse he cries, “salvation belongeth unto the Lord; thy blessing is upon they people. Selah.” This is the Selah of triumph. He began with complaint, but ends with victory.” (From the Gospel Standard, reprinted in Zion’s Advocate Sept. 1898)

Semi-Pelagianism

SEMI-PELAGIANISM (See under PELAGIANISM) Anthology Pelagianism

SEPARATE PEOPLE, A

SEPARATE PEOPLE, A,

Elder Earl Daily

The Church of Jesus Christ is in the world, but is not of the world, and is commanded to keep separate from the world. When a church brings the world and worldly practices into its borders, then it becomes a part of the world and will lose its identity as a church of Jesus Christ.

“Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth. In mine ears said the Lord of hosts, Of a truth, many houses shall be desolate, even great and fair, without habitation” (Isa 5:8-9).

We are commanded to “come out from among them and be ye separate.” The church of Jesus Christ has ever been separate from the world and have not joined with other religious organizations. This has distinguished the Primitive Baptists apart from other religious orders, and we are recognized as a peculiar people. Because of this aloofness they have been characterized as selfish.

The Church of Jesus Christ has not always borne the name of Primitive Baptists, but their identity is established upon the doctrine and practice that corresponds with the Apostolic churches in all ages. This distinguishes them as a separate people, and in this they stand alone in this world.

Many churches that were once flourishing have long since ceased to exist and have become desolate and uninhabited because they have tried to become popular in the world, and have joined house to house and field to field. “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other; ye cannot serve God and Mammon,” (Mt 5:24).[from Primitive Monitor, January 1959. Elder Daily was the editor of the Monitor at that time. This is a most profound article that I wish our people would strictly heed. It is alarming how many who bear the name Primitive Baptist seem determined to see how much they can take in of the Missionary and Progressive churches’ practices. May God save them from that suicidal tendency! –Eld. Mark Green, The Christian Pathway, Aug. Sept. 2017]

Servetus, Michael

Michael SERVETUS (See under John CALVIN) Anthology Calvin, John

Shiloh

SHILOH (See under JUDAH) Anthology Judah, The Tribe Of

SIGNS AND WONDERS

SIGNS AND WONDERS

Elder Philip Conley

De 13:1-3, “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Many today are as they were in Christ’s day. They are constantly seeking after signs and wonders to have something tangible and material to believe in. However, due to our doubting natures, material signs soon fade from memory, and we once again can fall into a state of unbelief. How many times did the Pharisees ask for a sign? How many were given, and yet they still kept asking? When the rich man cried out from hell to Abraham to send Lazarus to testify to his five brethren, Abraham’s response was that they had the law and the prophets. When the rich man still wanted Lazarus to go, Abraham’s next response was that if they did not believe the law and the prophets, one coming back from the grave would get no better results. The truth is that one did come back from the grave, and His testimony is on record for us to believe and follow.

Here, the Lord instructs Moses and the children of Israel to prove those that bring signs, wonders, and dreams before them as laws and commandments. The Lord states that these dreams and wonders may even come to pass, but that was not the identifying mark for belief. Today, the identifying mark of someone’s testimony is NOT what they feel, dream, or a sign that they “bring to pass.” Recall that back in Egypt the magicians of the land were able to duplicate some of the plagues that came upon the land (although I suspect that their duplication was not of the magnitude of the Lord’s plague). However, was the fact that they could do something like that reason enough to believe their testimony? Let us look at the rest of the passage to answer that question. The Lord further states that even if their wonder or sign comes to pass they are not to give heed or follow the prophet if he departs from the clear commandment to follow the Lord. So, even if his dream comes to pass, do not use that as an excuse to go a-whoring after other gods. If he seemingly does a great miracle before your eyes, do not be so ignorant as to depart from God’s law. Today, there are many “faith healers” (so-called) that draw large crowds after them with their signs and wonders. However, I do not have to wonder whether to follow them or not, for after listening to their doctrine for a few brief moments, it is plain that they are not following the simple dictates of Christ.

We, as fallen creatures, many times get wrapped up in things our natural eyes can detect and see, but our text finishes on an unseen level. If someone dazzles the eyes with some great sign, the Lord may be proving us to see whether we will follow Him with all of our hearts and souls. We cannot see the heart and soul, but when the Lord tenders these elements in one of His children, we can see effects of them from time to time. If someone has a “good heart” or “kind soul,” what is generally meant by that is that they are quick to do something for someone that is unable to do for himself (unselfish charity). These are elements that cannot be felt with our natural hands nor can our natural eyes perceive the substance of their existence. However, these are the things that the Lord treasures in us, and we should follow after these more than the natural signs of men.

Simmons, Menno

Menno SIMMONS (See under MENNO SIMMONS) Anthology Menno Simmons

Sin Unto Death, The

The SIN Unto Death: Harold Hunt: 1Jo 5:16-17, “If any man see his brother sin a sin, which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death; there is a sin unto death; I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not unto death.”

There is a balance of truth, and sometimes we can emphasize one aspect of truth to the neglect of another, qually important, aspect of truth, and we give people an entirely wrong impression. The Bible teaches very clearly—as clearly as language can make it—that the child of God is eternally secure in Him, and that there is nothing in this world that can separate him from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.

In Ro 8:35-39, Paul list all sorts of things—everything the mind can imagine—and shows that none of those things can separate the child of God from the love of God. There is no possibility that any child of God will lose what God has prepared for him in heaven. There is no possibility that anything will ever separate one of his from his love.

But it is possible, and it very often does happen, that a child of God loses everything that is worth having this side of the grave. He will not lose anything on the other side; but it is possible for the child of God to lose everything that is worth having in this life.

Sometimes a person can tell the truth, and yet tell it in such manner as to give people an entirely false impression. Sometimes, in talking about the security of the child of God, we state that doctrine in such a way that people get a wrong idea as to what we are saying. Sometimes we say it this way. I have said it this way; I try not to say it this way any more, but I have said it in the past. Sometimes we say that if the child of God does not walk in the pathway of obedience, if he does not believe the truth, and abide in the truth, he will not lose his home in eternal heaven; all he loses is the joys and benefits of this life. Well, that statement is true. If a child of God does not walk in the pathway of obedience, he does not lose anything in eternal heaven; all he loses is the joys and benefits that would have been his in this life.

But when we phrase it in that way, I am afraid that we leave the impression that that is not very much to lose. I think it is better if we say that what the disobedient child of God loses is everything that is worth having this side of the grave. We do not stand to lose our home in that eternal city; but we do stand to lose ever so much, and in this booklet, I would like for us to look at some things the Bible says about that.

In this passage John says, “ any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death.” He goes on to say, “There is a sin unto death; I do not say that he shall pray for it.” Very nearly all of my life, I have heard people wrestle with the question, “What is the sin unto death?” I believe the Bible makes it clear enough, and if the Lord will assist me, I would like for us to notice what the Bible says about that subject.

Generally, when you mention the sin unto death, somebody wants to identify a particular offense, and say, “This sin is the sin unto death.” Somebody says the sin of adultery is the sin unto death. Somebody else says the sin of fornication, or the sin of murder, or some other heinous offense is the sin unto death. Now those are wicked sins, and we could spend the entire time talking about what terrible sins those are, and the great consequences that they bring upon the child of God. But when the apostle says, “There is a sin unto death,” He is not talking about any particular, nameable offense, such as adultery, fornication, drunkenness, murder, and so on. He says that “there is A sin unto death,” but in the next verse he goes on to say, “There is A sin not unto death.” Do you see, if you try to narrow that sin unto death down to just one nameable offense, you are, by your own argument, left with just one offense that is not unto death, and I don’t know anybody who believes that.

Well, before we go any farther, what is that sin unto death that John was talking about? It is simply this: The sin unto death is any offense that you commit—that you persist in—until God totally, and finally, and irreversibly cuts you off from the joys and benefits that might have been yours in this life in such manner that there is no reversal, no reinstatement, and you will never again, from that day forward, enjoy what you might have enjoyed had you walked in the pathway of obedience.

And we will notice in just a few pages, if the Lord will bless us that that offense, very often, is something that you might not have expected it to be. Let me say it again. What is the sin unto death? It is any offense in which you persist in—which you continue in—until God totally, finally, and irreversibly cuts you off, and sets you adrift—as far as this world is concerned—so that there is no prospect, no hope,

no possibility, that you will ever again be restored to the joy that you might have had here in this life.

You are still a child of God. Heaven is still your home. God chose you; Christ died for you; he has quickened you by his Spirit from a state of death in sin to a state of life in Christ Jesus—and yet you have made shipwreck of your life—and there is no possibility that you will ever have what you might otherwise have had.

The Lord gives us several illustrations of that. Mt 21:18-20, “Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered, and when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee from henceforth forever, and presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away.” Now bear in mind that this was a good plant, a good tree.

A good tree brings forth good fruit. A corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit. So this tree was capable of bringing forth good fruit. This tree is symbolic of a child of God, who is not bearing the fruit that he ought to bear. The Lord hungered, he looked for food on this tree, he came to it, and found no fruit thereon, but leaves only, and he said unto it, “Let no fruit grow on thee henceforth, forever.” Now bear in mind that it was a good tree. It was capable of bearing good fruit. It did not; te judgment of God fell upon it, and let me ask you: How long do you believe that it is going to be until this tree bears good fruit?

“Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward forever.” That is long enough, is it not? Never again will this tree bear the fruit it might have borne. This tree might at one time have borne that fruit, but now the judgment of God rests upon it, because it did not bear fruit, and now, there is no possibility that this tree will ever again be the fruitful tree that it might have been.

Let’s look at another illustration. In the twenty-fifth chapter, of Matthew , beginning at the fourteenth verse (Mt 25:14), “The kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.” You remember the story. There were three servants. To one servant he delivered five talents, to another servant, two talents, and to another servant one talent. The man with five talents went out and worked with them, and doubled what he had. He gained five talents. The man with two talents went out, and with what he had to work with, he did the same thing. He doubled what he had. He gained two talents. Not all of us have the same capacity. God does not require me to use your talent. All God requires me to do is to do the best I can with what I have to work with. And that man with two talents did just as well as the man with five talents. He just did not have as much to work with. But the man with one talent “went and hid his talent in the earth,” and when his Lord came back he challenged him. You remember the Lord commended those other two servants, and gave the same commendation to the man with two talents as he did to the man with five talents. But then in verse twenty-four he which had received the one talent came and said, “Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou hast not sowed, and gathering where thou hast not strawed, and I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth, lo, there thou hast what is thine. His Lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed; thou oughtest, therefore, to have put my money to the exchangers, and then, at my coming, I should have received mine own with usury. Take, therefore, the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents, for unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance, but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And he cast the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and gnashing of teeth.”

Notice that these were all servants of the same Lord. They all had talents given them from the same Lord. They all had the ability, according to their own capacity, to serve their Lord. The man with one talent could not do as much as the man with five talents, but he could have done just like the man with two talents. He could have used what he had. But he did not use it, and he lost it. Let me ask you again, what do you believe was the prospect that his Lord would ever give him another talent. What do you think is the prospect that his Lord will say, “kay, you have had one probation; you missed out that time, but I am going to give you another chance.” It is not going to happen, is it? He was cast out into outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. These were all three servants of the same Lord. They all had talents with which they could have served their Lord.

Now once more, in Joh 15, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away, and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you, as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine; ye are the branches; he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, for without me, ye can do nothing.”

Now let me ask you: is this talking to children of God, or is it talking to dead alien sinners? It is talking to children of God, is it not? He says, “I am the vine, and ye are the branches.” The dead alien sinner is not a branch in Christ Jesus. This is talking to the Lord’s children. Now notice verse six, “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered, and men cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”

Is that talking about eternal damnation? It is not men that cast anyone away into that terrible place. But notice that it is men that cast these people into the fire. Sometimes that happens by a vote in conference in church. “Men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”

Now it does not always happen that the person is turned out of the church. I have known some people who were in the condition that is described in these verses, who stayed in the church the rest of their lives. They never did anything so outward, so obvious, that they would ever be dealt with by the church, and yet, their joy was gone. Everything they had ever experienced was gone. It had been gone for years. There was no spiritual joy about them, and yet, they stayed right there in the church, and, sometimes, were the most insistent on making all the decisions. That becomes a problem in the church, when that happens. But that is another story, and I do not want to get sidetracked on that. I have another theme I want to follow at this moment.

“If a man abide not in me (that is one of the branches in him) he is cast forth as a branch and is withered, and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” Again, the same question we asked awhile ago: after this branch is cast into the fire and burned, what do you believe are the prospects that branch will ever be put back in the vine, and bear fruit in the vine. That is a ridiculous question, isn't it. None whatsoever.

If a person is born of the Spirit of God there is nothing in all of this world that is going to separate him from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. David said it in Ps 89, “If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then will I visit their transgressions with the rod and their iniquities with stripes, nevertheless, my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from them, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the word that goeth forth out of my mouth.”

He deals very clearly with the eternal security of the child of God. There is nothing in this world that can separate the child of God from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, but the child of God can so persist in sin, and go on, and on, until he loses everything that is worth having here in this life.

We talk about a person losing the joy of his salvation. He can do that. He loses the joy of the church, the joy of the gospel. He wonders why the preacher cannot preach the way he used to preach. He allows, “That preacher used to go to the pulpit every Sunday morning and he would just set this place on fire, but he just can’t preach like that any more.” Perhaps the preacher preaches as well as ever. Maybe the man cannot listen the way he used to. He cannot hear the way he used to hear. A person stands to lose the joy of the church, his home in the church, his job, his family, his children, his home, his health, and, perhaps, even his sanity.

There is no end to the things that a person stands to lose—this side of the grave. You will never lose what God has waiting on you on the other side. But I am sure that some of you can think of someone you have known very well. There is no doubt in your mind that he is a child of God. You have been with him in church. You have seen him rejoice under the preaching of the gospel, and you cannot doubt that he is born of the Spirit of God. And yet, today, he has made shipwreck of his life. You can supply the name. Everybody knows somebody who fits that pattern. He has lost the joy of his salvation; he has lost the joy of the church; he has lost his home in the church; he lost his wife; his children will not talk to him; he lost his job; he lost his business; he lost his home; he lost his health; and perhaps, lost his sanity. He lost everything worth having— this side of the grave. The text says, “Men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”

There is no possibility those branches will ever again be put back together and put back in the vine to bear fruit here in this life.

Heb 6:1-6, “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

I believe it is clear enough that he is talking about a child of God. He says that if that person shall fall away, it is impossible to renew him again to repentance, seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. That is still talking about that branch that was cut off and cast into the fire. It is talking about that fig tree to which the Lord said, “Let no fruit grow on thee from henceforth forever.” It is talking about that one talent servant whose talent was taken away and who was cast out into outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Paul says it is impossible to renew such a person to repentance.

Somebody may want to know, “But what if he decides to repent?” He cannot do it. It is not possible for him to repent. A person cannot repent just any time he decides to. If God does not give repentance you cannot repent. 2Ti 2:25, “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.” Ac 11:18, “When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.” Ro 2:4, “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”

The one text says that God gives repentance, the next text says that he grants repentance, and the last text says that he leads to repentance. If God does not give repentance, if he does not grant it, if he does not lead you to it—you cannot repent.

You cannot just wake up one morning, after you have lived for a long time in a bad way, and say, “Hey, I just believe I will repent today. I believe I will change my way. I am going to turn over a new leaf. I am going to start doing better.” It does not work that way. Now the religious world thinks you can do that. They think that is all there is to it. But they are wrong. You cannot just wake up one morning and decide, “I am going to do better.” If God does not give repentance, you will never repent. If he does not grant repentance, if he does not lead you to repentance, you cannot repent. The text says that it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance. You can talk to him all you want to, but you will never get him to repent. He cannot repent. It is not within his capacity.

Heb 10:26, “For if we sin wilfully, after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” This person is left without a consciousness of a hope in Christ Jesus. “There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” What state is he in? Here it is. “But a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.”

He is a child of God, and he will live in heaven some day, but he feels none of the power of that hope in his heart. All that is there is fear, that fear of indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses. Of how much sorer punishment suppose ye shall he be thought worthy who hath trodden the Son of God under foot, and counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the spirit of grace.”

Now Paul is telling us about something that is worse (a “sorer punishment”) than death. What is worse than death? It is for a child of God to be cut off and be in the condition we have been talking about.

Sometimes we talk about what a harsh thing the law of Moses was. And the Law of Moses was a harsh system. But for a person to be stoned to death was really a less punishment than to be left here in this life, cut off—com-pletely cut off—from the joys and the benefits that he might otherwise have had. “Of how much sorer punishment suppose ye shall he be counted worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing.”

“The blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified....” Is that talking about a dead alien sinner? It does not sound like it. Those who will one day suffer eternally are not sanctified by the blood of the covenant. He “counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace, for we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompence, saith the Lord, and again, The Lord shall judge his people.” This is talking about his people. If there was ever any doubt, that should remove all doubt. Heb 10:31, “t is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

2Pe 1:5, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith, virtue, and to virtue, knowledge, and to knowledge, temperance, and to temperance, patience, and to patience, godliness, and to godliness, brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness, charity, for if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren, nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, but he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.”

It does not mean that those sins are still charged against him. The Lord put those sins away at Calvary, and he “hath perfected forever them that are sanctified” (Heb 10:14). But the man in this condition is blind; he “cannot see afar off,” and he has “forgotten that was purged from his old sins.” He does not have that witness within his heart.

I was talking with a man a few years ago. I stopped at the place where he was working, and visited with him for just a moment, and in the course of the conversation he said, “Brother Hunt, I just don’t get a thing in the world out of the church any more.” Now he was there every Sunday, and, for that matter, he makes all the decisions, ninety per cent of them, anyway. But he said, “Brother Hunt, I just don’t get a thing out of the church any more.” He said, “I think, perhaps, I have gotten too old to enjoy the church.” He is just a little older than I am, and at that time he was about the same age I am today. But, anyway, he thought he was too old to enjoy the church. That is sad, isn’t it? But, oh, how many children of God are in exactly that same condition. They are blind; they cannot see afar off, and they have forgotten that they were purged from their old sins.

I would like for us to notice two characters the Bible talks about, who were in that condition. 2Pe 2:15-16, “Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam, the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, but was rebuked for his iniquity, the dumb ass speaking with man's voice, forbad the madness of the prophet.” That is talking about Balaam, a prophet in the Old Testament.

Balaam is one of the most mysterious characters in the Bible. And one of the reasons that he is so mysterious is because he behaved himself in such a manner that, sometimes, it is difficult to tell whether he was a child of God or not. But I believe that when we look at him closely, that the Bible makes it clear enough that he was a born again character. Listen to the way Balaam talks in the book of Numbers. In Numbers, chapter 23, beginning with verse 8 (Nu 23:8). Balak had called for him to come and to curse Israel, and he wanted to do that. Balak had promised him all kinds of wealth if he would curse Israel. Balak was afraid of Israel.

Balak said, in verse seven, “Come and curse me Jacob, and come defy Israel.” And then in verse eight, Balaam replied, “How shall I curse whom God hath not cursed, or shall I defy, whom the Lord hath not defied, for from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him, lo the people shall dwell alone and shall not be reckoned among the nations. Who can count the dust of Jacob, and number the fourth part of Israel, Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.”

Do you remember how Jacob died? Jacob died in his own bed, in his right mind, with his family all around him, with his mind on the Lord, and he was talking about the Lord and his goodness. Balaam said that when he came to die, that was how he wanted to die—in his own bed, in his right mind, with his family all around him, and with his mind on the Lord. Does that sound like a dead alien sinner to you? It does not sound like a dead alien sinner to me. One that wants to die with his mind on the Lord bears evidence of an experience of grace.

And in verse nineteen of that same chapter (Nu 23:19), he says, “God is not a man that he should lie, neither the Son of man that he should repent, hath he said, and shall he not do it, or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” Balaam had more light on Bible doctrine, and he manifested more light in that one verse of scripture than ninety-nine per cent of the religious people, and the religious leaders in America today. He does not sound like a dead alien sinner to me. “God is not a man that he should lie, neither the Son of man that he should repent; hath he said, and shall he not do it, or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”

And in Nu 24:17, “I shall see him but not now, I shall behold him, but not nigh, there shall come a star out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.” Some two thousand years later there were wise men from the East, who saw the star that signalled the arrival of the King of Israel—the arrival of the Lord Jesus Christ. They saw that star and they went to Bethlehem searching for the Christ child.

I have heard it said that they saw that star and then followed it to Bethlehem. They did not do that, they followed it to Nazareth. They did not have to follow that star to Bethlehem; they had the prophecy of Micah, “And thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel” (Mic 5:2). They saw that star and they went directly to Bethlehem. Why did they know that star signaled the arrival of the King of Israel? Why did they know that star signaled the arrival of the Savior? It was because they had read this prophecy of Balaam. They had read this text from Numbers, chapter twenty four, when Balaam said, “There shall come a star out of Jacob and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel.” Two thousand years later, after Balaam had prophesied that star would appear, it did appear; the wise men saw it, they knew that the time of the Messiah was at hand; and they went to Bethlehem, seeking for the Lord.

I believe the Bible gives proof enough to show that Balaam was a child of God. The wicked do not talk the way Balaam talked; they do not pray the way Balaam prayed. Balaam prayed, wanting to “die the death of the righteous.” He said, “Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.” But let us go to Nu 31:8, “Balaam also, the son of Beor, they slew with the sword.” When the Bible gets around to recording the death of Balaam, it records it almost as a footnote, as if to say, “Oh, by the way, Balaam was killed in the battle too.”

What happened to Balaam? What happened was that Balak offered him money if he would curse Israel, and he tried to curse Israel, and he could not do it. Balak made the offer again, and Balaam tried again to curse Israel, and he still could not do it. And Balak made the offer the third time, and Balaam tried to curse Israel the third time, and he still wound up promising blessing upon Israel.

But let us go to the Revelation. “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication,” Re 2:14. Balaam tried to curse Israel, and he could not. He said, “I cannot curse those whom the Lord has blessed.” But, do you see, he had seen Balak’s money, and if there was any way he could earn that money, he wanted to do it. But he had discovered that God would not allow him to curse his people.

Balaam was also a crafty man in a natural way. And he finally went to Balak and said, “Balak, I have got it all figured out; God has blessed Israel, and I cannot curse them, but here is what you can do: if you will send bad women down there, you can get Israel in trouble with their God.” He taught Israel to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. He says, “I cannot curse them; God has blessed them, and I cannot undo it, but if you will send enough bad women down there, and get Israel to misbehave, and to offer sacrifice to strange gods, you can get them in trouble with their God, and bring the wrath of God on them.” He earned his pay, but he lost everything.

I hear a text over in Matthew, where the Lord says, “What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mt 16:28. He did not lose his eternal destiny, but he lost everything that was worth here having in this life. The scriptures tell us. “In patience possess ye your souls.” Balaam did not do it. Balaam sold out. I am convinced that Balaam was a child of God, and I expect to see him someday. A man that talked the way he talked sounds like a child of God to me, and I expect that some day I shall see him there in the glory world. But he lost everything that was worth having here in this life.

Have you ever seen it? Have you ever seen a child of God, who sold out, and died, fighting against the very cause that he had, at one time, supported? Sure you have. It happened to Balaam.

In 1Sa 10:6, Samuel was talking to Saul, who was about to become king over Israel. And he says to Saul, “And the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy unto them, and shalt be turned into another man. And it was so, that when he turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart.” It does not sound to me like it is talking about a dead alien sinner. He said, “Thou shalt be turned into another man,” and he said, “God gave him another heart.”

What is it that happens in regeneration? God takes out that hard and stony heart, and gives a heart of flesh. Even though he was a big man physically, he was small in his own sight. He was a very humble man, a very self-effacing person. But he became king, and, as we say, it went to his head, and he was not able to handle it, and he became lifted up in pride. One time he endeavored to perform the office of the priest, because the priest did not get there on time. He tried to do the priest's job for him. That got him in trouble. He did not have any business trying to take the priest's job. And from there on it was downhill.

But, anyway, Samuel sent him to destroy the nation of Amalek. Do you remember? Amalek had stood against Israel, when Israel came into land of Canaan? Now God would send Israel to destroy the nation of Amalek. And he was commanded to destroy the entire nation—just wipe them off the face of the earth. There were reasons for that, which we don’t have time to get into, but suffice it to say that, because of their immoral life style, as people would say nowadays, because of the way they lived, they were just absolutely riddled with disease, and God was intending to use Israel, like a surgeon’s scalpel to remove that diseased flesh from the human race. That is as far as we need to go with that. But, anyway, God intended for that entire nation to be destroyed, to be wiped off the face of the earth. You remember the story. Saul did not do that. He saved the king, Agag, and the best of the cattle alive.

And then, when Samuel arrived, Samuel asked Saul, “Have you done what you were supposed to do?” “Yes, I have done just exactly what I was told to do.” And Samuel wants to know, “Well, if you have, what meaneth, this lowing of the cattle in mine ears?” “Be sure your sin will find you out.” Samuel says, “I hear cattle lowing over on the other side of the hill. What is that commotion, if you have destroyed all of Amalek, and all their livestock?” And you remember that Saul tries to blame it on the people. But, we don’t have time to get into all of that.

But in 1Sa 15:22, “And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.” The Amalekites were involved in witchcraft, and Saul was telling Samuel, “You are not a bit better than they are. Your rebellion is just like their rebellion.” Witchcraft was a part of their national religion. He says, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry, because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” 1Sa 15:26, “And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee, for the Lord hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. And as Samuel turned to go away, he laid of hold the skirt of his mantle, and it rent, and Samuel said unto him, The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbor of thine, that is better than thou. And also the strength of Israel will not lie, nor repent, for he is not a man that he should repent. Hath he said, and shall he not do it, or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good.”

I doubt that it is really a coincidence that Samuel winds up saying almost identically the same words that Balaam had said hundreds of years before. “The Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent, for he is not a man that he should repent.”

1Sa 15:35, “And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death. Nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul, and the Lord repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.” Now notice one thing in the first verse of the next chapter (1Sa 16:1). “And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel?”

Two things I want to notice. What do you believe was the likelihood that Saul would ever again be the king of Israel? None whatsoever. He had lost it. It was gone. His rejection was total, and complete, and irreversible.

One other thing I want to notice. He says, “How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel?” Do you remember another expression very similar to that? The verse we started out with said, “There is a sin unto death; I do not say that ye shall pray for it.” God said to Samuel, “How long wilt thou mourn for Saul; it won't do you you any good.” “There is a sin unto death; I do not say that ye shall pray for it.” Now that fits too well for it to be wrong. That is exactly what he is talking about. He says, “There is a sin unto death; I do not say that ye shall pray for it.” And here he says, “How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from being king over Israel.”

In 1Co 9:27, Paul the apostle says, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection, lest, by any means, after I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” What was Paul afraid of? Was he afraid he was going to lose his home in heaven? No. Paul made that plain enough. I don’t know any way language could make it any plainer than Paul made it.

Paul made that as plain as it could be, that if one is chosen of God, redeemed by him, and born of his Spirit, that he is heaven-bought, and heaven-born, and heaven-bound. and nothing in this world, past, present, or future, above us, or below us, or angels, or principalities, or powers, life, death, or anything else can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus (Ro 8:38-39). What was he afraid of? He was afraid that he would wind up like Balaam. He was afraid that he would wind up like King Saul. He said, because that could happen to him, he kept his body in subjection, “and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, after I have preached to others, I myself might be a castaway.”

I have known people to make shipwreck of their life. We have all seen that, at one time or another. And, sometimes, after a person has just made total shipwreck of his life, somebody else will square his shoulders, and say, “Well, I will tell you, right now, I will never be guilty of anything of any such thing as that.” I don’t know that; and you don’t know that. It behooves every last one of us to be constantly on our knees, begging God that God would give us grace to survive. and to persist, and to press on in his service. If Paul the apostle, as eminent a servant as he was, was concerned lest he himself should be castaway, certainly, it behooves Harold Hunt that I be constantly on my guard.

I would like for us to notice, just for a moment, two offenses that, I believe, are the most common offenses, that ever put a child of God in that particular condition. We know that a person can destroy his life by gross immoral conduct. We know that adultery, fornication, drunkenness, murder, debauchery, and the like will destroy a person's life. But, while we know that we are all at risk with regard to those things, generally, most of us are not very likely to commit any of those heinous offenses. Most children of God are not likely to fall into those sins. We stay on guard against those things.

That is not to say that we are totally immune against those terrible sins; I don’t want to leave that impression. But the thing I am pointing out is that the pitfall that you and I are most likely to get into is not nearly so much any of those things as it is some other things. There is much less likelihood that I will ever be guilty of robbing a bank than there is that I might fall into these offenses that we hear about in these next three texts. I believe that there are more children of God, who make shipwreck of their lives on these three rocks than on any other thing that ever besets any child of God.

Let’s go back, for a moment, to those three examples we used a moment ago: the one talent servant, the barren fig tree, and the branch that did not bear fruit. Let me ask you: what was the offense of those three? They were all guilty of exactly the same offense. What was their offense? Their offense was in doing absolutely nothing. Was that not their offense? Their offense was in doing nothing.

There are more children of God, who make shipwreck of their life in things that would never get you turned out of the church, than there are who make shipwreck of their lives in the great and heinous offenses. I want to notice three of them. We have noticed one already. There is, first of all, the great offense of doing absolutely nothing. And here are two others.

In Mt 6, the Lord is giving what we refer to as “he Lord's prayer.” In verses fourteen and fifteen (Mt 6:14-15), after he has taught them how to pray, he says, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Notice that it is “your heavenly Father” if you forgive, and it is still “your Father,” if you don’t forgive. This is not talking about a person’s eternal destiny. That person who is chosen, and redeemed, and born of the Spirit of God, is a child of God, and he will be in heaven some day. It is “your Father,” if you forgive, and it is “your Father,” if you do not forgive. But notice what we get into, when we transgress.

He says, “If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” A few times in my life I have seen somebody so upset at another person that he would look the other person in the eye, trying to let him know how angry he was, and tell him, “I will never forgive you until the day you die.” Did you ever hear anybody say that? It sends a cold chill over you, does it not? Just to thing that anybody would say that. “I will never forgive you until the day you die.” Let me ask you: if it sends a cold chill over you to hear somebody say that to somebody else, think of God saying that to you.

Imagine God saying to Harold Hunt, “Harold Hunt, you are my child, and I will have you with me in heaven one day, but as far as this life is concerned, I will never forgive you until the day you die.” That is what the text says. “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

There was no forgiveness for that barren fig tree. There was no possibility that the barren fig tree would ever bear another fig. There could be no forgiveness for that branch that was cast into the fire and burned. It could never be put together again. There was no forgiveness for that one talent servant, who lost his talent. It was gone, and he would never have it back again. Many a child of God has made shipwreck of his life. He persisted, and persisted, until finally, God said, “Enough.”

There is a sin unto death. What is the sin unto death? It is any sin that you continue in, until God finally says, “Enough,” and he cuts you off. And as far as this life is concerned, it is all over. I believe there have been more children of God who got into that condition because of malice, because of an unforgiving spirit, than, probably, for any other reason.

Somebody gets offended, and he says, “That is alright, I will bide my time, I will have my day, I will just sit here and pat my foot until my day comes. Just you watch, my day will come; I will have the last laugh.” And he persists, and persists with that malicious spirit. Perhaps, he would not do anything to the other person. He has too much judgment to strike out at the other person. Somebody would see him do that. He might chuckle if he passes by and sees him changing a flat tire in the rain and mud. But he would not overtly do anything to him. But he says, “I will watch; I will wait; I will have my day. Just you wait, I will have my day.”

And finally, his day does come, and like Saul, or like Balaam, or like the barren fig tree, God says to him, “Enough,” and as far as this life is concerned, it is all over. And that judgment is irreversible. There will never again be for him that joy that he could have had. It is all over. He will never repent, because he cannot repent.

Now he may come to church every meeting time for the rest of his life. He may be very active in the church. And once in awhile he may get some sort of satisfaction from the church. He does get some benefit from the good company. He knows the people at the church; he grew up with them; he has known them all his life, and he likes their company. So he goes to church. He is ashamed not to. He cannot feel anything, but he enjoys being with them. Perhaps, before he got in that shape the church may have let him make most of the decisions, so he still gets to make most of the decisions. Perhaps, they do not realize what has happened to him. But he still cannot feel anything. It is all gone. It is over with.

I have the idea that, probably, most of the trouble in our churches has come from people in that condition, who stay right in the church. They have no spiritual joy at all. It is all gone. They have no spiritual discernment whatsoever, but they are still bound and determined to keep everybody else in line.

I believe that there have probably been more people, who got in trouble, because of a spiteful, malicious spirit than any other thing.

And there is another text that goes with that thought. Mt 18:6, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones, which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” How very careful we ought to be with regard to the Lord’s little ones. And that is not always one that is young in age. It may be one that is advanced in years. “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones, that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

We noticed a text a few moments ago that talked about that same thing. Heb 10:28-29, “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye shall he be counted worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” Paul says that there is something worse than death—a sorer punishment than to be stoned to death under Moses’ law, and this text says the same thing. This text says that he would be better off dead—he would be better off if he was drowned in the depth of the sea.

A few times I have heard somebody say that some person would be better off dead. I am sure that you have probably heard somebody say that. It is a terrifying statement, is it not? But this is God talking, and if God says it, it is right. I have heard people make that statement, when I did not think they were right; but when God says it, you can be sure that is the way it is. And he says that this person would be better off dead. I would hate for God to say that Harold Hunt would be better off dead. But that is what he says about this character.

But what got him into this condition? Was he guilty of some heinous offense that would get him turned out of the church? No, he was guilty of offending one of the Lord’s little ones. “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones, which believe in me, It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” The Lord says he would be better off dead.

And the Lord says that it will not do any good to pray for him. His condition is irreversible. God has already pronounced judgment. The barren branch is burned up.

“There is a sin unto death; I do not say that ye shall pray for it.”

Six Hundred and Sixty-six

SIX HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SIX See the topic on The Mark of the Beast in the article on The Book of REVELATION Anthology Revelation, The Book Of

Sodom and Gomorrah

SODOM AND GOMORRAH: Sylvester Hassell: It is believed that the wicked cities occupied a part of the site now covered by the Dead Sea. There are vast quantities of sulphur and bitumen and salt, and numerous evidence of other than volcanic combustion, in and around that most mysterious body of water. The surface of the Dead Sea is 1,300 feet below the level of the Mediterranean, and its water, in the northern part, is 1,300 feet deep. It is the deepest depression on the surface of the earth; and the air above and around has a hot, steaming, stagnant, sulphurous character; neither animals nor vegetables live in the water; dead driftwood fringe the shores—apt emblems of the low morals of the corrupt inhabitants of the plain, and God’s terrible judgment upon them,—spiritual and eternal death. (Hassell)

Solomon

SOLOMON: Sylvester Hassell: Solomon, the son of David, succeeded his father, and was crowned king B.C. 1014, in a time of profound peace, and equaled him in the length of his reign—forty years. He was much devoted to God in the first part of his reign. He built the temple, placed the ark within it, and dedicated it. He was seven years and a half in building it, and completed it B.C. 1004. Immense sacrifices were offered to God upon its dedication; the glory of God filled the house after the ark was carried into it, so that the priests could not minister because of the cloud; Solomon, kneeling, spread forth his hands towards heaven, and offered the prayer of dedication; after which he dismissed the people, who returned to their homes joyful and with glad hearts (1Ki 8).

This, no doubt, was the greatest and happiest day that the Hebrew nation ever witnessed. The hundreds of thousands who could not be present at the dedication considered themselves equally interested and alike participating in the joyful festivities of the occasion. Wisdom was specially given to Solomon. God asked him, before this time, what he would have, and he asked for wisdom to govern Israel well. They were God’s people—they were then a great people—and he desired wisdom to govern them well for their good and God’s glory.

He did not ask for long life, or for riches or honor, but for wisdom. The Lord granted his request, and, in addition to wisdom, conferred on him riches and honor exceeding that of all other men. The temple was a small structure in comparison to many others, both ancient and modern; but it was the most costly of all, chiefly on account of the quantity of gold and silver used in its construction.

In this respect it was a forcible type of the true church in all ages of the world, which, though so much smaller than the false church, is yet the most costly of all—having cost the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb slain from the foundation of the world, and being clothed with his imputed righteousness, which outshines by far all the righteousness of man.

After the dedication the Lord appeared unto Solomon again, assuring him that he had heard his prayer and had blessed the temple, and would establish his (Solomon’s) throne over Israel forever if he proved faithful; but, should he turn from the Lord and serve other gods, he would cut off Israel out of the land, and cast the house which he had hallowed out of his sight! (1Ki 9:2-7).

Now was the zenith of Hebrew greatness. The sun of national Israel had pierced the horizon when Abram was first called from “Ur of the Chaldees,” and had been gradually rising higher and higher—higher and higher still—for nearly a thousand years, until, at this auspicious period, he stood forth in his meridian splendor, shedding his benign rays over the beautiful land of Palestine, the garden-spot of the world, with all the tributary nations around it.

Added to this was the religious character of the people; who were loud in their praises of, and faithful in adoring, the only true God. Israel in spirit was but little annoyed by Israel after the flesh: the sons of Belial shrunk back from persecuting the sons of God, and all seemed united in love, peace and prosperity—from Dan to Beersheba, and from the great river to the sea. Spiritual Israel here had rest, indicative of that which remains for the people of God in heaven, and indicative of that rest which all experience when changed from the legal to the Christian dispensation, or translated from the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of God’s dear Son.

But these halcyon days under the reign of Solomon were of short duration—God’s people must not expect a long continuance either of temporal or spiritual happiness in this poor, sinful world—both are fleeting in their character and soon pass away; but, while spiritual enjoyments are renewed from time to time until they are perfected by the transcendent glories of eternity, temporal enjoyments terminate at the grave.

Solomon transgressed the law of his God. He did not prove faithful to the end. He gave himself up to carnal pleasures. He made an affinity with Pharaoh, king of Egypt, by marrying his daughter, and took many wives from the heathen nations around him, all of which was expressly forbidden. His strange wives were idolaters, and he indulged them in idolatry. He built them high places for the worship of their deities, and joined some of them in their infamous worship.

With the decline of his zeal for God and the honor of his name came a decline of his earthly greatness. God made known to him his displeasure, and notified him of the downfall of his kingdom and the rending off the ten tribes in the days of his successors. He appeared not then to repent of his sins, but no doubt did before his death, which took place B.C. 975, when he was succeeded by his son Rehoboam (1Ki 12).

During the reigns of both David and Solomon, as at all other past times since the fall of Adam, while there were a few spiritual worshipers of God, the mass of the people either worshiped idols, or only outwardly worshiped God in accordance with the will, the example or the command of their rulers. “But the constant tendency was to idolatry; and the intercourse with foreign nations which Solomon maintained, as well as his own example, greatly increased the tendency. Under Solomon, indeed, idolatry struck its roots so deep that all the zeal of the reforming kings that followed him failed to eradicate it. It was not till the seventy years’ captivity of Babylon that the soil of Palestine was thoroughly purged of the roots of that noxious weed.”—W.G. Blaikie.

The question is sometimes asked, was Solomon a spiritual Israelite, a child of grace, an heir of God, and has he gone to heaven? We answer, Yes. All the writers of the books both in the Old and in the New Testaments were heaven-born and heaven-bound. God would not permit an unregenerate man, a heathen, a barbarian to write a book for him, and then place it in the sacred canon of Scripture. This would be a most preposterous thing. Besides, it is said that he “loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father” (1Ki 3:3). And again, the Lord said of him, “He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men; but my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before thee” (2Sa 7:13-15).

The Lord made two special revelations to him, and gave him more wisdom than any other man; and this wisdom was spiritual as well as natural. And, in addition to all this, Solomon wrote three books that are preserved and handed down to us in the Old Testament, viz., the Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, and Proverbs; in all of which there are evidences of a spiritual mind, and the unction of the Holy Spirit is clearly manifest.

We have said that during the reign of Solomon the sun of Israel’s greatness was at his height; and from his reign that sun began to decline, sinking lower and lower, until it finally set amidst the darkness and desolation that followed the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman army under Titus (A.D. 70). The nationality was then overthrown, and the remnant of Israel scattered among the nations.” (Hassell)

Solomon's Temple spiritualized

SOLOMON’S Temple spiritualized: Sylvester Hassell:

SOLOMON’S TEMPLE SPIRITUALIZED, or Gospel Light Brought Out of the Temple at Jerusalem, by John Bunyan, is probably the most wonderful piece of spiritual interpretation of Scripture in the world. A few of Bunyan’s seventy points we must give.

Mount Moriah, on which Solomon’s temple was built, was a type of Christ, the mountain of the Lord’s house, the rock against which the gates of hell cannot prevail.

The foundation stones of the temple were types of the prophets and apostles. Christ is the foundation of his church personally and meritoriously; but the prophets and apostles, doctrinally and ministerially.

Solomon, the wise and wealthy and peaceable king, as the builder of the temple, was a type of Christ. The trees and stones of which the temple was built were first selected out of the forest and quarry where there were others equally good by nature, and were thoroughly hewed and squared and fitted for their proper place, and then brought to the temple and properly adjusted without noise or confusion; so with God’s people, who are chosen by him in the wild field of nature, then hewed and squared by his word and doctrine applied by his Spirit, and afterwards brought in and added quietly by him to his Zion.

The temple, with its chambers, was narrowest downwards, and largest upwards different from all other buildings; so the hearts of God’s people should be narrow in their desires for earthly things, but wide in their desires for spiritual and eternal things; those in the church who are nearest or most concerned with earth are the most narrow-spirited as to the things of God.

The pinnacles of the temple were types of those lofty, airy, heady notions with which some men delight themselves while they hover like birds above the solid godly truths of Christ; these are dangerous places—Satan tried to destroy Christ on one of them. Christians, to be safe, should be low and little in their own eyes.

The porters had charge of the treasure-chambers, and had to keep diligent watch lest any not duly qualified should enter the house of the Lord; these were types of God’s ministers.

The door of the temple represented Christ. The wall of the temple was his divinely sustained humanity, and the fine gold on the wall a type of his righteousness.

The windows were narrow without, but wide within; types of the written word, through which as through a glass we now darkly see something of the glory of the Sun of Righteousness. By the light of the written word, the church can see the dismal state of the world and how to avoid it, but by that light the world sees but little of the beauty of the church.

The chambers represented rest, safety, treasure, solace, and continuance.

The two winding stairs from the first to the second story, and the second to the third, were types of the two-fold repentance of the child of God, that by which he turns from nature to grace, and that by which he turns from the imperfections which attend a state of grace and glory.

The molten sea was a figure of the pure word of the gospel, without men’s inventions, mingled with the fire of the Holy Ghost. The twelve oxen upon whose backs the sea stood were types of the apostles and ministers of Christ, who should keep their uncomely parts covered with gospel grace, and should proclaim the gospel in all the world.

A golden censer is a gracious heart, heavenly fire is the Holy Ghost, and sweet incense the effectual, fervent prayer of faith.

The Holy Place was a type of the church militant; and the Most Holy Place a type of the church triumph.

Things in the Most Holy Place could not be seen by even the highest light of the world, but only by the light of the fire of the altar, a type of the shinings of the Holy Ghost.

The floor of the temple was overlaid with gold, like the pure golden streets of the New Jerusalem. The walk of God’s people should be beautiful and clean; and, when we happily reach the Celestial City, we shall no more step into the mire or stumble upon blocks and stones, or fall into holes and snares, but all our steps will be in pure gold.

Oh, what speaking things, says Bunyan, are types, shadows, and parables, had we but eyes to see, had we but ears to hear! (Hassell)

Sons of God, The

The SONS of God Ge 6:2, “That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” Q. Who were those sons of God? A. “As the arts and sciences advanced, and population and civilization increased, wickedness also increased. The “sons of God” the Sethite professors of religion, intermarried with the “daughters of men,” the irreligious Cainites; the selfish, worldly, licentious and warlike offspring of these wicked marriages filled the earth with profligacy and bloodshed. (Hassell)

Sons of the Prophets

The SONS of the Prophets: Sylvester Hassell: There were “companies” of “sons” of the prophets (1Sa 19:19-20; 2Ki 2:3,5; 4:38-41; 6:1-7), but the object and end of their associations is little known to us. They are mentioned only in the days of Samuel, David, Elijah, and Elisha. They appear to have been young men who admired the prophets—sought their society—waited on them and received instruction from them in sacred music (1Sa 10:5; 2Ki 3:15; 1Ch 25:1-7), but could not be made prophets by their teachers. God chose whom he would and raised them to the prophetical office, without any regard to their former human training (Am 7:14-15; 1Ki 19:15-21). The collections of these young men were located at different places, such as Ramah, Bethel, Jericho, and Gilgal (1Sa 19:18-24; 2Ki 2:1-5; 4:38; 22:14). Nothing of the kind appears in the New Testament.” (Hassell)

Soul

See Anthology Soul of Man, The

Soul of Man, The

The SOUL of man: Sylvester Hassell:Dichotomy maintains that human nature has only two distinct sub-stances or elements—body and soul or spirit. Trichotomy maintains that there are in man three elements, body, soul, and spirit. In the account of man’s creation (Ge 2:7) and of man’s death (Ec 12:7) only two principles are mentioned—that which is called soul in Genesis being called spirit in Ecclesiastes. See also 2Co 5:1-8; Php 1:23-24; Ac 7:59. The Hebrew and Greek terms, in the Scriptures, translated soul, spirit, mind, heart, and life, are often used interchangeably, and denote the immaterial principle that man derived from God, each of these terms, however, being frequently employed to denote a particular aspect or function of attribute of that principle. The Greek and Roman philosophers taught that man had three constituent elements; and, in conformity with the usage of his contemporaries, Paul says “spirit, soul, and body,” to express the whole of man’s nature (1Th 5:23). In Heb 4:12, the term “herat” includes the two terms “soul and spirit,” the lower and higher faculties of the mind. In Lu 1:46-47, soul and spirit are the same principle.” (Hassell)

As to the origin of the souls of Adam’s posterity, it should forever abase the pride of human philosophy that it is unable to solve this first and nearest mystery of man’s existence—it cannot tell whether each soul is derived by direct creation from God, or by traduction from parents according to divine arrangement. (Hassell)

SOUND DOCTRINE

SOUND DOCTRINE

Elder Russell Key

The word sound has many meanings, but when applied to “sound doctrine” it means “free from defect.” Therefore, if we believe in Sound Doctrine, we know that, if it is based on what mankind must do, it will fail! Mankind was tried many, many times and man failed every time; but now we have a Sound Doctrine, not based on us who have failed, but on the sure mercies of David (Ac 13:34), the everlasting Covenant ordered in all things and sure, and anchor of the soul, sure and steadfast (Heb 6:19).

We find a list of those who will not stand for sound doctrine and we are to avoid them. The apostle Paul told of the time when they would not endure sound doctrine (2Ti 4:3), and as it was then, so it is now; many will not teach Bible Doctrine, but add to and take from the sound doctrine the Bible teaches.

This causes divisions and confusion among the Lord’s people, for some will follow one who will try to please the natural man regardless of whether it is based on the Bible or not.

When we come to realize that sound doctrine is free from defect, we know it must come from God, who cannot fail and never will fail (Isa 42:4). We find the God Man, who is the only begotten of the Father, being God and Man, Jesus Christ is the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

He and He alone was ever able to endure the tempting power of Satan (Mt 4:1-10), and by rising from the dead after three days in the tomb, having purged our sins and ransomed us from the grave, by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.

Now where remission of these is there is no more offering for sin (Heb 10:18). This sound doctrine was in the mind of God before the world was ever formed: “a Lamb without blemish and without spot;” “which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”

Those who are really sincere about their soul’s salvation will cherish these scriptures and praise the Lord for His perfect plan of salvation.

The command to the apostles to preach the gospel to every creature was carried out in their lifetime. It was given to the apostles and not the church; not in Jerusalem, but in Galilee. They went everywhere (Mr 16:20; Ac 2:1; Col 1:23). The Holy Spirit is able to bring about the new birth as free as the wind that blows (Joh 3:8) and is not dependent upon the efforts of some man, through the preached gospel or water baptism.

We are assured that all the Father gave to His Son will be saved by His marvelous grace and called by His Holy Spirit. This holy calling is irresistible. “Beyond their power they were willing of themselves” (2Co 8:3), after the Holy Spirit had brought about the spiritual birth (which is a new creation).

No man can create, and the new birth is a new creation in the hearts of sinners causing them to cry for mercy. As stated before, the command to the apostles was carried out in their lifetimes; now the seven Spirits of Revelation (Re 1:4; 4:5; 14:6 – these were not men, but actually Spirits), these are sent to preach the gospel to the elect which are among all the elect of God out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation (Re 5:9).

These tell the sweet story of redeeming love and bring peace to every troubled soul.

Then, when the final day comes and Jesus comes with all His holy angels, then shall He sit upon the throne of his glory. This is the final judgment (Mt 25:31-46). “And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

There will be no mistakes; not a one of the ones God gave to His Son will be lost. Bless the Lord, O my soul! Submitted by Elder Mark Green

Spanish Inquisition, The

The SPANISH Inquisition (See under the Spanish INQUISITION) Anthology Inquisition, The Spanish

SPECIAL ATONEMENT

SPECIAL ATONEMENT

By Elder William Mitchell

[Note: the following article by Elder Mitchell was first published in The Gospel Messenger in 1888. In my opinion it is the clearest and most convincing article I have yet found on Special Atonement. At that time the paper was published at Butler, Georgia by Elder J. R. Respess. hlh]

It has been said by some writer that atonement for sin is the first great blessing that guilty sinners need, to bring them into favor with God. It is a fundamental principle of the gospel, and there are so many other important points of gospel truth connected with, and flowing out from the atonement, that if our views on this important point of doctrine are confused, the same confusion will run through many other points.

The necessity of an atonement for sin is seen from the awful condition of man as a sinner. “Death hath passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” The death sentence of the law hath gone forth from the Sovereign Judge of quick and dead, and he is not waiting, as some vainly suppose, for the world to wind up, and men to have a trial, and then determine who are guilty of death and banishment and who are not. But death is already passed upon all, and the sentence of condemnation has also been clearly announced.

The flaming sword of God’s awful justice points every way against the sinner and keeps the way of the tree of life, so that no sinner can approach God acceptably until justice, eternal justice, is fully satisfied, and the guilty made innocent and justified before the holy law by which he is condemned. This is a great work. How shall it be done? And how shall man be just with God? Is not this a searching question in the heart of every sinner who has been made inwardly conscious of his sins?

And Oh, what an awful contrast there is to him between the holiness and justice of God’s law and his own unholy and sinful self! It is then that sin, as contrasted by the law, becomes “exceedingly sinful.” There is evidently awful grandeur and glorious majesty in this great work of eternal salvation; and there is no part of it that shines with greater brilliancy and splendor than an atonement for sin by which sinners, who are justly condemned before God, are made innocent, freely justified through the redemption that is in Jesus, and brought into reconciliation and favor with God.

It is impossible that guilty sinners should atone for their own sins, so as to be innocent and stand justified before the law, which declares them guilty. The law of God, which man has violated, has emanated from God, and it is, therefore, spiritual, holy, pure, and infinite, like himself; but man is finite, sinful, and polluted. If he should offer either his works or himself as an atoning sacrifice, it would be an accursed and polluted offering. Man is vile in soul, spirit, heart, mind, and conscience—and “every imagination of the thought of his heart” is regarded of God as being “only evil continually,” Ge 6:5.

He is “filled with all unrighteousness,” and neither his offerings, his works, his worship nor his thoughts can possibly be any better than himself before God. “The sacrifices and thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord,” Pr 8:20. It is written in the Scriptures that “By the law is the knowledge of sin.”

But it is evident that the sinner must first have some knowledge of the law in its purity and in its penal demands against sin, before he can have knowledge of sin by the law. The law of God is holy, just and good, and no man can see its purity till he is first quickened and made alive by the life-giving power and Spirit of God, and then he sees both himself and the law in a light he has never before known or felt. It is then that he realizes “by the law is the knowledge of sin,” because he sees its perfections.

There is no point of inquiry of more serious concern to the truly convicted sinner than to know how he shall be acquitted from his guilt, God’s justice be satisfied, and he enabled to come acceptably before God. The inquiry, as recorded by the Lord’s prophet, is in substance the inquiry of all truly convicted sinners. “Wherewith shall I come before God, and bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” Mic 6:6-7.

Men may seek to atone for their sins and come acceptably before the Lord by what they deem good resolutions, and promises of doing better, or by their lopping off a few of what they think to be their worst practical sins, or by their strict attention to religious services and meetings, their formal prayers or reading the Bible; but still, when one sees himself as he is before God, and sees the law of God in its holy perfection, he must feel and know that his iniquity is “marked against him before God,” Jer 2:22.

Seeing then that man’s condition as a guilty sinner is such a hopeless and helpless one, and that there is such necessity for an atonement to bring him into favor and communion with God, we will come more directly to speak of

WHAT AN ATONEMENT IS

An atonement is a full and complete covering for sin; a full satisfaction to the penal demands of the law of God for every sin, and every sinner for whom such atonement is made. It is a reconciliation for the sins of the people for whom the offering is made. Should any sacrifice or offering for sin stop short of a full satisfaction to the law and justice of God, it would not be an atonement at all. And should such offering or atonement not bring reconciliation for every sin and every sinner for whom the atonement is made, it would be a misnomer to call it an atonement, because its sufficiency to put away sin would be wanting, and if this is wanting, then all

that constitutes an atonement is wanting.

The very nature and signification of the word atonement pre-supposes a transgression of law, and whatever the penalty for the transgression may be, the atonement must be such as to pay the penalty, remove the transgression and satisfy the demands of violated law. In harmony with this view of an atonement, it is expressly written that Christ “put away sin by the sacrifice of himself,” Heb 9:26.

But sin cannot be put away so as to sustain the dignity, holiness and justice of the law until the just penal demands of the law have been fully satisfied on the part of all whose sins are put away, and who are represented in the atonement. But, thanks be unto God, there can be no failure to satisfy justice, or in putting away sin justly laid to the charge of our Lord Jesus Christ, when, as the Great High Priest over the house of God, He, “through the Eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot unto God,” and thereby purged the conscience from dead works to serve the Living God,” Heb 9:14.

This is a blessed thought, and David “describes the blessedness” of it when he says, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, and whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile,” Ps 32:1.

Again, we suggest here to the reader that he carefully note the fact that there can be no such thing as an atonement for sin where forgiveness of sin and redemption from the curse of the law does not follow such atonement. And no man has any right to say that he is embraced in the atonement until he has some personal evidence of it by release from a sense of guilt, and by the forgiveness of his sins. It is the work of God to make manifest those who are embraced in the atonement. This he does by their conviction for sin, and by giving them repentance and remission of sins. Redemption, reconciliation and forgiveness of sins always follow as the result of the atonement by our Lord Jesus.

Atonement and redemption are often spoken of as one and the same thing, but is there not a little distinction between them? It is true there is no atonement without redemption following, nor is there any redemption without an atonement; yet they are not precisely one and the same thing. And the same may also be said of forgiveness of sin. If it were consistent with the perfections of God, he could forgive sin even without an atonement being made for it at all. But this is not consistent with his character as a “just God and a Savior.”

To forgive sin where justice has not been satisfied by an atonement for sin, might exempt the sinner from punishment due his transgression, but it would leave him still in his guilt, as an enemy of God. We must remember that “justice and judgment are the habitation of God’s throne, and that such being his character, “He will by no means clear the guilty.”

Unless, therefore, both sin and the guilt of sin be put away by a atonement sufficient to satisfy justice and remove the transgression, no forgiveness of sins can follow. But it may be asked where is the necessity or consistency of forgiveness of sins when a full and complete atonement has been made for the transgressor? If one has met the demands of justice against him and paid all that is due, he neither asks, nor needs, forgiveness to set him free from the debt he owed. Nor would he be thankful, if his former creditor should say to him, after he has paid the last farthing, “I forgive your debt.” Could not the poor man justly reply, “I have paid the debt, and therefore, I have a legal right to claim release without either asking or thanking you for forgiveness.” And yet, in a Bible sense, there is no forgiveness of sins only as based on atonement.

We will now speak of some things necessary to constitute an atonement for sin.

1. The first thing necessary, of which we shall now speak, is that whatever may be the offering as an atonement for sin, it must be only such, in every particular, as God has appointed. No other sacrifice, no matter how great it might be, or how solemnly it might be offered as an atonement, could be acceptable unto God, but rather it would bring greater guilt and wrath upon him who dared to offer it.

All the sacrifices of the Israelites in the legal dispensation were such as God had appointed for them, else the whole service was vitiated and polluted, and brought a curse, rather than a blessing, upon them. These legal and ceremonial atonements, and all things enjoined upon that nation, were types, shadows, and patterns of good things to come, which were most gloriously fulfilled in Christ as the living substance of all these shadows. The victim to be offered as an atonement must be of the Lord’s appointing, at a certain age, and without blemish, else it could not shadow forth the atonement by our Lord Jesus, who was appointed of God, and, “Verily, foreordained before the foundation of the world,” to be offered as a Lamb without spot or blemish,”

1Pe 1:20.

2. The second thing which we here mention as necessary to constitute an atonement, is that it must be definite, for specified sins of specified persons. Such a thing as an indefinite atonement, or an atonement for sins in general, without regard to any particular sins or particular persons, is unknown in the Bible. And, indeed, if it is wanting in this particular point of being definite, it is wanting in everything necessary to constitute an atonement for sin or for sinners at all. By those who believe and preach an indefinite or general atonement for all sins and all sinners, the assertion above may be considered too strong. But we insist that there is no such thing as an atonement for sins or for sinners, unless it is special and definite for specified persons and specified sins.

This very point, respecting the nature and constituent elements necessary for an atonement, is clearly set forth in Le 4; 5; 6. If even one of the children of Israel should sin through ignorance, then there must be an atonement made for that one sin of that one person. If the anointed priest should sin, there must be a special atonement made for him, and no other person was interested in such atonement, nor was there any other sin put away by it than that for which the atonement was specially made.

Or if one of the rulers in Israel had sinned “through ignorance against any of the commandments of the Lord his God,” he must bring a “kid of the goats, a male without blemish,” and “lay his hand upon the head of the goat and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the Lord,” and thereby signify that his sin is transferred and imputed to the victim, and by its death he lives and his sin is put a way.

Or if the whole congregation of Israel should sin through ignorance “then the congregation” must offer a bullock for that particular sin, and the elders of Israel, as representing the whole congregation, should lay their hands upon the head of the bullock before the Lord, “and the bullock shall be killed before the Lord,” and the “priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them,” Le 4:20.

Here is a definite statement made for a definite sin of a definite and special congregation, in which no other sins or people were represented or interested. Nothing is hinted about its being general to all mankind in nature, or of its being limited in its application to only a part of those for whom atonement is made.

While considering these ceremonial atonements, let us bear in mind that they are real, existing facts, and literally performed as recorded, but at the same time they are also types, shadows and figures to illustrate the nature of the great atonement for sins by the blood of Jesus, when, as the great High Priest, he bore our sins in his own body on the cross, and thereby made a full, complete and sufficient atonement for every sinner, whom he represented, and whose sins were imputed or charged upon him.

The careful reader will not fail to notice that in the record given of these ceremonial atonements among God’s chosen nation, not one word is said, or anything indicating that the atonement had any sufficiency, merit or virtue to put away any sin or sins for any one, except such atonement was made for sins of persons specially designated as guilty of those specified sins. The victim offered as an atoning sacrifice must have the very sins for which it is offered imputed to it, and in its death represent the guilty party whose sins are thus laid upon it.

And so far as relates to the application of the atonement, it is always as extensive as the atonement itself; indeed, we know nothing of the extent of the atonement by our Lord Jesus, except as it is manifested by its application in turning sinners from darkness to light and giving them a good hope through grace in Jesus. When they who are dead in trespass and in sins are quickened by the Spirit and power of God, convicted of sin and have repentance, faith and hope given them, these are some of the sure signs of their interest in the atonement, without which no man has any right to say or believe that the atonement is made for him; neither does he know positively that it is not for him.

We do know, however, that it is written that, “When we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” The atonement was not made for godly people, but for the ungodly, and no ungodly man can positively know that he is not embraced in it; nor can he know the he is, till the Lord shall make it manifest by bringing him to a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. “God commendeth his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us,” Ro 5:6,8.

But if there is no application of the atonement, by calling sinners out of the darkness of sin and unbelief to the marvelous light of God’s saving grace, where is the evidence that there has ever ben any atonement made for them at all? An atonement for sin, which does not result in putting away sin, or that has no saving efficacy and virtue of itself to bring forth any saving fruits in those for whom it is claimed to have been made, is no atonement at all, and should never be called by that name. We are aware that the advocates of “general atonement” and “special application” claim that the atonement is sufficient for all Adam’s race, but yet the application of it is extended to none only on conditions which they are supposed to be able to comply with or to neglect at pleasure.

But where is its sufficiency, if in the end, it proves a grand failure? If there is not sufficiency of virtue and merit in the atonement to break down and remove the blindness and obstinacy of the sinner, how can it be said that it is sufficient?

If the saving efficacy of the atonement for sin consisted alone in the intense suffering and spotless purity of the Son of God, without regard to other things, then, indeed, it would be efficacious, meritorious, and altogether sufficient for all of Adam’s race, and a thousand more such. It is, doubtless, upon this very point that so many well-meaning persons have their minds bewildered as to the extent and saving virtue of the atonement. They think it would be underrating the intense suffering and spotless purity of the Son of God to believe that such sufferings and purity should not be efficacious in the eternal salvation of all sinners.

And this, doubtless, would be true, if the efficacy of the atonement for sin consisted alone in the intensity of suffering and the purity of his offering. He is indeed a “Lamb without blemish and without spot,” 1Pe 1:19. “He is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens,” Heb 7. He is “God manifested in the flesh,” 1Ti 3:16. He has a name that is above every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which to come.

And he was capacitated by his very character to suffer with an intensity of suffering that no created being ever could have suffered, and all nature seemed to have felt the shock, and have entered into sympathy with his dreadful sufferings when he died upon the cross. The bright luminary, the fountain of all created light, refused to shine, the earth shook and reeled to and fro, and the massive rocks burst asunder as if in agony while the billows of divine wrath were going over the head of the suffering Savior, when he suffered for sin and for sinners. And besides all this, he was mocked, and scoffed, and reviled, not only by the wicked, non-professing men, but by men professing great piety and zeal for God. He was spit upon, and put to grief and shame in every conceivable way until he cried out most piteously, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

In view of these facts respecting the holy character and intense sufferings of the blessed Jesus, we can appreciate the reverence that any may have for such sufferings; but we again repeat that something, more than the holy nature and great sufferings of Jesus must be considered, in order that his spotless purity and sufferings be meritorious, or of any saving virtue in putting away sin by an atonement.

Whenever anyone loses sight of the inseparable oneness and relation of the Lord Jesus Christ and his people for whom he died upon the cross, he loses sight of the grand turning point in an atonement. Those for whom Jesus died must sustain such a legal and covenant relation to him, and he to them, that in all his sufferings he fully represented them as their Surety and Covenant Head, who should bear all their sins in his own body, in such a manner as to meet the demands of the law of God for every sin, and for every sinner, whom he represented in his death. It would be folly in the extreme to speak of the merit and saving efficacy of the atonement extending any farther than to those for whom such an atonement is made.

And as all the typical and ceremonial atonements that foreshadowed and pointed to the great Atonement by the blood of Jesus were always for specified sins of specified persons, we feel sure that the Anti-type must agree with the type, and that the atonement by our Lord Jesus is as special and definite as any under the law. We cannot, therefore, extend the virtue of the atonement, or its application in the eternal salvation of any sinner, beyond the doctrine of election. Those chosen vessels of mercy are identified with Jesus, and sustain a relation and oneness to him, and in him, which none others of Adam's race do. Not that they are any better, by either nature or practice, than others are, for then their salvation would be by virtue of their own superior merit, and not by grace. It is a free and sovereign act of God's grace that makes them to differ from any other sinner. It is said of ancient Israel, which is a type of the Church of Christ, that "The Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself above all people that are upon the face of the earth," De 7:6. Here it is plainly seen that nothing made them a "special people," in distinction from other people, but the sovereign choice of God. "The Lord hath chosen thee to be a special people;" and they could not be a special people, having special blessings and mercies, otherwise than by the act of God. There was nothing in their numbers or their natures above other people to bring them into special favor with God. But the Lord so deals with his people, and so manifests his love, his power and his choice, that they shall know in their own experience, that "He doth put a difference" between them and other people, Ex 11:7.

He saith of them: "I am the Lord your God, which hath separated you from other people, and ye shall be holy unto me, for I, the Lord your God, am holy, and have severed you from other people, that you should be mine?” Le 20:24. We are bound to acknowledge, therefore, that by virtue of the sovereign choice of God, the Israelites, as a nation, are claimed of the Lord as his people in a special and peculiar sense, from all other people on the face of the earth.

And what but election of grace has made this difference! By virtue of this act of God they stand as a nation, in a covenant relation to God in a sense which no other nation ever did; and by virtue of this relation, the efficacy and application of those ceremonial offerings and atonements which were made for them, extended alone to them, and to no other people under heaven.

These offerings were figures for the time, to represent the atonement made by Christ for his people. The law, with all its offerings, which were made year by year, made nothing perfect, and without a perfect offering, the perfect law of God could not be honored or satisfied. But though these legal and ceremonial offerings "made nothing perfect," yet the "bringing in of a better hope" through our Lord Jesus Christ made everything perfect, Heb 7:19.

The law, in its offerings, its consecrated priests, spotless lambs and sacred altars, "had a shadow of good things to come, but not the very image," or substance; "the Holy Ghost thus signifying that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was standing," or until that figurative and legal dispensation"

should wind up, and all its offerings be fulfilled and blotted out by the one perfect offering of Christ, Heb 9:8.

In further confirmation of the definiteness and saving efficacy of the atonement, the apostle hath said, “Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness, by whose stripes ye were healed?” 1Pe 2:24. Those who are identified in the above text, are such as are born of the spirit, who had in time past been dead in sins, but are now "dead to sins," and made "alive unto righteousness," and that because Christ had his own self as their surety, "bore their sins in his own body on the tree," in order and for the very purpose that these very identical sins should be put away from these identical persons, and therefore it is written "By whose stripes ye are healed."

This special and definite offering for specified sins of specified persons, answers to the type of the legal offerings under the ceremonial law. We notice also in this last text quoted, that the application and saving efficacy of the atonement is as broad as the atonement itself. "By whose stripes ye are healed." Both the atonement and its application are founded on the relation which those whose, sins are put away, sustain to our Lord Jesus Christ when he so fully represented them, as to "bear their sins in his own body on the cross." "Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God."1Pe 3:18. The very object for which Christ once suffered for sins is that he might bring all for whom he suffered to God by his own righteousness, "without spot or wrinkle or any such thing."

The relation of Christ and his chosen people existed even before the transgression of the law, and it is on this principle of relationship that he, as surety and covenant head, is held legally bound to bear the sins of all whom he represented, and who were given him of the Father and chosen in him before the foundation of the world for the express purpose that they "should be holy and without blame before God in love," Eph 1:4.

The very name SURETY as applied to Christ, shows the utter impossibility of failure with regard to any of the provisions of that covenant of which he is the surety. The promises and blessings of the "New Covenant" are not based upon what man has done, what he can do, nor on what he will do. But every promise and every blessing necessary to the calling, repentance, faith, hope, preservation and eternal salvation and glorification of all who are represented in the suretyship of Christ, is based upon what Christ is and on what he hath done, and on what he will do for them. The glorious Lord of all worlds calls special attention to this fact that our Lord Jesus cannot fail.

"Behold my servant whom I uphold, mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him; he shall not fail nor be discouraged till he set judgment in the earth; and the isles shall wait for his law." Isa 42:4.

The word and oath of God are pledged not to suffer a failure, and by these two "immutable things" the heirs of promise are encouraged to have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to this blessed hope that is thus set before them, and of which hope it is written that "It is both sure and steadfast," Heb 6:19. God's pleasure always prospers in the hand of Jesus, as it is written, "When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hands; he shall see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied," Isa 53:10-11.

Could any form of speech or language be more expressive to set forth the success and prosperity of the atonement as founded on the relation of Christ to those for whom he died? Thus saith the Lord: "For the transgression of my people was he stricken; the Lord laid upon him the iniquity of us all; he was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities." So we see that by virtue of the relation of Christ and his people, the justice of God's law laid hold upon and "bruised him for our iniquities;" and such is the saving virtue of that bruising unto death, that "with his stripes we are healed."

If the atonement is broader than its application, embracing more sinners than it is ever applied to, or if it is more extensive than redemption and forgiveness of sins, how can this ever be known to men or angels?

The application of the atonement to the identical persons for whom it was made, is the work of the Holy Ghost, or of the Spirit of God. The Holy Ghost never makes a mistake in the application of Christ's sufferings and death, and it is by his work of grace, imparting life, love, faith, hope and every grace to the sinner, that his interest in the atonement is manifested. Without a manifestation of the fruits and effects of Christ's death, in the life and character of a man, who can tell whether he is embraced in the atonement or not?

Nothing is more clearly taught in the scriptures, though disallowed indeed of men, than that God hath an elect or chosen people whom he hath “chosen unto salvation, through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth?” 2Th 2:12. And here we see by what the spirit does for them and in them, they are made manifest by believing the truth of God upon this point of the gospel as well as upon other things which the Lord hath spoken and done.

The rule by which all spiritual blessings in Christ are dispensed to God's chosen people, is "according as he hath chosen them in Christ before the foundation of the world;" and the object and results of this choice are that they shall be holy and without blame before God in love. In the atoning sacrifice made for sin, Christ fully represented his chosen people and was held responsible to the penal demands of the law of God in the same sense that the shepherd and owner of a flock of sheep would be responsible for the trespass of his flock. Thus it is written, "Awake, O sword, against the shepherd and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord; smite the shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered; and I will turn hand upon the little ones," Zec 13:7.

Also the prophet Isaiah speaks of the relation and oneness of Christ and his people in this way, "In all their affliction he was afflicted, the angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he bare them and carried them all the days of old," Isa 63:9.

This clearly sets forth the identity of Christ with his people, even when they were dead in sins. So that "God, who is rich in mercy for his great love wherewith he loved us even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ," and saved us by grace, Eph 2:5. The scriptures fully sustain the position that God has a chosen and peculiar people, and that they had a relation to and in the everlasting love of God in Christ even before the world began.

And for this reason, as well as others, the transgression of Adam by which all his posterity are involved in guilt, condemnation and death cannot cause any change or abatement in the everlasting love of God to his chosen people; but it continues to flow and burn towards them with the same divine fervor, "even when they are dead in sins," that it did before they had transgressed the law of God.

Is not this a blessed and glorious plan of salvation? And is it not commended to our acceptance by considerations of the highest character? The great God himself "commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us," Ro 5:8. Was ever love commended for acceptance by higher considerations of mercy than is here presented? "While we were yet sinners," God "commended his love toward us," as the only remedy and in order to put away our sins and bring us into a near relation in nature and character to our God and Father. "Christ died for us." Does not such strong expressions of scripture as those above quoted, show beyond all cavil or doubt that these chosen people of God had an inseparable relation and oneness with and in Christ, not only before they sinned, but even after they had sinned, and that it was not after they had become good and holy people that Christ died for them, but even while they were yet sinners, unconscious of their true condition, even then "Christ died for them."

If, therefore, the love of God in Christ for his people did not abate when they were dead in sins, will they ever be in a worse condition than that?

But, in conclusion, we repeat that such oneness, identity and relation to Christ, is absolutely necessary to constitute an atonement by which his sufferings and death are efficacious and meritorious to put away sin or satisfy the justice of God's law.

The sufficiency of an atonement does not consist, as some have supposed, in the amount of sufferings or in the purity of the victim that suffers, unless there is a relation by which the very identical sinner for whom atonement is made, is fully represented and the law satisfied, so that in justice it may be said to the guilty prisoner, "Go forth"

An atonement opens the prison doors of death and brings the prisoner out. Redemption and forgiveness of sins follow as the gift of God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who is exalted by “the right hand of God, to be a Prince and Savior to give repentance and remission of sins to Israel?” Ac 5:31.

Redemption, faith, repentance and forgiveness of sins, experimentally realized, are some of the fruits and evidences of an atonement; and without these evidences how can any man know anything about who are embraced in the atonement? The Lord alone knoweth them that are his, and he alone makes them manifest as his, by his own work of grace, giving them a new heart and putting a right spirit within them, and causing them to walk in his statutes and bring forth the fruits of his spirit and love within them.

As we continue to contemplate the design, necessity and saving virtue of the Atonement, it rises higher and higher in grandeur, sublimity and glory. Though we are not able to comprehend it, yet the grand mystery of all the mysteries of the Atonement is embodied in the Mediatorial character of our Lord Jesus, as being both God and Man, A Mediator is one that intervenes between two parties at variance in such a way and manner as to remove that which separates the parties from each other, and bring about a reconciliation of principles of justice, equity, truth and righteousness.

And in order to be a suitable mediator to secure these blessed results, he must be fully and equally related to, and identified with both parties so that he can fully represent both in his mediatorial work. Jesus Christ is this character. No other personage ever sustained such relation. Both God and man are blended in this One Glorious Personage. He is Emmanuel— that is, "God with us," Mt 1:23. He is "a child born," a "Son given, and his Name is Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace."

It has been said by some, in speaking of the Mediatorial character of Jesus, that "The divinity was clothed in a body of humanity." But does this fully express the Scriptural view of the subject? "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;" "all things were made by Him," and the "Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth"

Nothing is here said of the "Divinity of God being clothed with humanity," but a relationship much nearer, though more mysterious, is presented. "The WORD is God," and the "WORD is made flesh"—not merely clothed with flesh, but made flesh—thus showing a relation, identity and oneness of Jesus with his people, and of God with man, much more intimately and inseparably than to say the "Word was clothed with flesh." If one should say "My hand is made glove, or my foot is made shoe," it would express and show a much more intimate relation between the hand and the glove, the foot and the shoe, than if he should say "My hand is clothed with a glove, or my foot is clothed with a shoe." But the truth is, that “Both. he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,” Heb 2:2.

It is written of our Lord Jesus Christ that, "being in the form of God, he thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man; He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him and given a name which is above every name," Php 2:6-9.

In the above quotation almost the whole substance of the Mediatorial character of Jesus is presented to us in few words. First, his equality with God is asserted. Second, he is in the likeness of men. Third, his death, even the death of the cross, is "obedience." Fourth God exalts him in honor, glory, might, power and dominion above every name that is named in heaven, or in earth, and says, "Let all the angels worship him," Heb.

But here let us ask how that dreadful and shameful death of the cross could be obedience, unless the penal demands of God's law required just such a death of him. And as he was holy and harmless, no guile ever having been found in his mouth, how could such a death in justice ever be required of him, unless he, as Mediator, was so identified with those for whom he died, as surety, that the law looked to and laid hold of him for full satisfaction to all its penal demands. And how could his mediatorial sufferings and death for sins and sinners be of any avail unless it should be special, definite and all-sufficient for every one whom he represented?

He took the place of those for whom he died, and bore, not only their sins in his own body on the tree, but bore also the guilt and penalty for those sins and thereby paid the whole debt that divine justice claimed against them. And not only so, but he did for them that which neither they themselves nor the law of God could do for them. "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh," or through the insolvency of the debtor, "God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh," Ro 8:3.

God's own Son is equal in dignity and holiness with the law of God, and is thereby fully capacitated to honor it by satisfying all its holy demands. "He also sustains such oneness with his people under the curse of the law, that he redeems them from the curse by being made a curse for them," Ga 4. "Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses," Mt 8:17.

Is there no sufficiency in all this arrangement? Does the main turning point of a sinner's salvation rest on his own defiled will? Has the atonement by our Lord Jesus no saving virtue in it of itself till the sinner puts in the ingredient of his sinful works to give it virtue?

Our Lord Jesus has told us, "This is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day," Joh 6:39. He is the Mediator of the New Covenant that is established upon "better promises" of success than that which was based upon the wishes of man. All its promises are sure because they are based upon what Jesus is as a faithful Mediator between God and man. Not only are the promises of an atonement, redemption, justification and everlasting righteousness embraced in the New Covenant, but forgiveness of sins, faith, hope and repentance, as well as the promise also of writing the law or principles of the Covenant in the heart and putting it into the mind, so that all who are embraced in this Covenant "shall know the Lord" in reconciliation, redemption and forgiveness of sins, from the least of them to the greatest, whether Jews or Greeks, wise or ignorant, little infants or old adult sinners—all shall know the Lord through the Mediation of Christ; and the Father saith; "Their sins and iniquities I will remember no more." "It behooved Christ in all things to be made like unto His brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people" for whom he died, Heb 2:15.

Inasmuch as the great Fountain Head of the atonement is embodied in the absolute sovereignty and everlasting love and mercy of God, it cannot possibly fail or be indefinite in its results. Christ Jesus was Mediator of the New Covenant even before God "created the heavens and the earth," and the love of God is as securely fixed on the heirs of promise through Christ, even when they are dead in sins, as it ever will be; and his love is as great towards them even before it is made manifest to them, or before they are brought to love him, as it is after they are called by his grace to a knowledge of the truth. There is no change in the plan of salvation, nor in the love of God, because of the fall of man.

God being rich in mercy, his love is a great love, and the manner in which that love is bestowed upon us is worthy of our everlasting admiration. "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God!"

"His love no end, no measure knows,

No change can turn its course;

Immutably the same it flows

From one eternal source."

All the race of Adam are alike involved in sin, and those for whom Christ made an atonement know nothing of their relation to Christ in the everlasting love of God, or in the atonement for their sins, till it pleaseth God to call them by his grace to a knowledge of it. They are quickened or made alive, spiritually, by the same Spirit, power and life that raised up our Lord Jesus from the dead; and when thus made alive, they have feelings, views and understanding of themselves and of the requirements of the holy law of God, such as they never felt or knew before. They become conscious of their sinful, lost and ruined condition, and the more they sorrow, cry, mourn and repent for their sins, the greater their sins appear to be, until they experimentally realize the need of just such an atonement as God the Father has provided for them in our Lord Jesus Christ.


They are brought by grace to know something of great debt against them before they can rejoice in payment by an atonement; they see and sensibly feel their sin and guilt in God's sight, before guilt is removed or sin forgiven.

But, we submit the thought to readers that the manifestations of God's love, mercy and grace to the needy, distressed and guilty sinner, is not the beginning of that love. There is quite a difference between the real existence of anything, and the manifestation of that existence to us. Eternal life has ever existed in Christ for all sinners of Adam's race whom God the Father hath chosen in him, and appointed to obtain salvation by him; but this eternal life is manifested, given and made known personally to the heirs of promise here in this world, when they are quickened and born of the Spirit. Hence the apostle saith, "We show unto you that eternal life which was with the Father, and was manifested to us," 1Jo 1:2.

But let us not lose sight of the fact that there is a vast difference between natural life and the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Natural life is a created life, and as natural men and women, we all have it by virtue of our relation to, and oneness with, Adam as a natural man. But eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord, is not a created life, but just what the word implies, eternal. It was not given to Adam in his original state of innocence, neither did he lose or forfeit it by transgression; for he did not have it to lose, and he could not forfeit it unless he had some promise of it on the ground of his own works, which we know he did not. But eternal life is promised on the ground of the mediation of Christ. "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord," Ro 6. It is a gift.

 

THE END

Spiritual Birth, Then Spiritual Instruction

Spiritual Birth, Then

Spiritual Instruction

By Elder C. M. Mills

The dead alien sinner must first be given spiritual life before he can have spiritual discernment, which enables them to distinguish between the things of the world and the things of God. Where men have gone and brought the alien sinner into their assembly, they have had to bring in the things of the world to entertain them and hence they have been absorbed by the institutions of men and lost their identity and spiritual freedom.

That is why the Apostle Paul gave this warning to the church at Colosse: “Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances (touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using), after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh” (Col 2:20-23).

The gospel was not designed to change the hearts of men. The gospel tells that the work is done by the Lord alone. The true church is aware of this fact and is showing her faith by her works. “The preparation of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord” (Pr 16:1).

All natural teaching must be after natural birth; likewise, all spiritual teaching, which comes by the gospel, must be after spiritual birth. That is why the True Church has never sent men out to do the impossible. [Elder C. M. Mills, from “What Purpose Does God Have for the Church Here on the Earth?” Identity of the True Baptist Church, 1971] Submitted by Elder Mark Green.

Staupitz, John

John STAUPITZ (See under Martin LUTHER) Anthology Luther, Martin

Strict Baptists

STRICT BAPTISTS (See under Strict BAPTISTS) Anthology Baptists, Strict

STUDYING THE SCRIPTURES

STUDYING THE SCRIPTURES

By Elder Lee Hanks

A minister should study the scriptures with great care and in a prayerful spirit and beware of far-fetched ideas that would alienate the Lord’s people. He should preach that which he knows by experience and let doubtful questions and expressions alone.

He should beware of hobbies, for they are hurtful. He should love the cause of Christ better than any hobby. “Secret things belong to God, but revealed things to us and our children.”

We should not preach so-called revelations to us that God’s word will not sustain. Everything revealed to us must harmonize with the scriptures. Often there is a strife about words to no profit when there is not real difference in sentiment. We should be careful to use sound speech that cannot be condemned. . . .

In order to have that unity, we must labor to see how near together we are and remove every hurtful thing that alienates us. If it is using some little prefixes and suffixes to the doctrine that the Bible is silent on, why not leave off those expressions for the sake of peace and use scriptural expressions.

When we oppose each other, we are opposing ourselves. New theories and practices that are offensive and hurtful to our cause should be left off, my dear brethren. [Elder Lee Hanks, The Gospel Messenger, 1912. Copied from Gospel Appeal.] Submitted by Elder Mark Green

Sublapsarianism (Infralapsarianism)

SUBLAPSARIANISM (Infralapsarianism) (See under John CALVIN) Anthology Calvin, John

SUBMISSION

SUBMISSION

Elder Adam Green

One of the most significant struggles of the teenage years and young adulthood is the principle of submission. The rebellious nature that we all have inside of us seems to manifest itself with vigor during this period of life, and there is a sense of frustration by children and young adults against the rules and limits placed on them by those in authority. These desires don’t just end at age eighteen, but somehow still seem to bubble to the surface for many young people when those rules and limits are gone. In their place are strong warnings and cautions given by parents, pastors and others with more age and experience.

Perhaps no other commandment in the Scriptures is as needful for us to heed in combating this feeling of rebelliousness and independence as Heb 13:17: “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” What a plain commandment by God! What an opposite direction from that in which our sinful, human nature wants to lead us!

Our nature wants to think that “it is my life and no one can tell me how to live it.” We assume somehow that no one else has ever been in the same situation we are in, or that no one understands us, or that no one can see anything from our perspective. We want to make our own decisions with no input or influence from those who have the rule or God-given influence over us. We want to go where we want, with whom we want, for as long as we want, doing whatever it is we want. If dating or marriage is the question, then we assume that our heart is the best judge over such matters and we resent any words of caution from parents and brethren in the church. Have we forgotten that God said that “the heart is deceitful?” No one has lied to us more, or even as much, as our own hearts have lied to us. With experience comes wisdom. Sometimes that experience is painful when it teaches the lesson that it teaches. If you had been burned by a hot stove, would you not warn someone else who was in danger of being burned, if you cared for that person?

This verse in Hebrews, and similar verses such as 1Pe 5:5 and Jas 4:7, tell us that we ought to submit. Submitting is a hard thing to do. It means recognizing the wisdom and authority of someone else. God gives authority to parents and pastors to watch out for those under their care. Just because a child turns eighteen does not mean that the parents no longer have an obligation from God to watch over that child and guide him in the right paths. Perhaps they cannot now force or insist, but they can and ought to influence. When a young adult rejects the attempts of parents and pastors to influence and caution, that young person is rejecting God’s commands. It is God who has told those in authority, whether it is direct or influential authority, to watch over those for whom He has made them responsible.

If you are struggling with submitting to the words of warning that parents or pastors are giving to you, then stop and listen. Remember that God commands us to submit and to listen to what they are telling us. Remember that it is coming from someone that God has told to watch for your soul – to look ahead to dangers you cannot know you are facing unless someone who has seen it from experience tells you. God has given us lighthouses, so we ought to listen to their warnings, both in the family and in the church.

Sunday Schools

SUNDAY SCHOOLS: Sylvester Hassell: Robert Raikes, of Gloucester, England, is generally admitted to have been the founder of modern Sunday Schools. In 1781 he hired teachers to instruct some poor children in Gloucester in reading and in the catechism on Sunday. His example was extensively imitated in the British Isles and the United States; and, by the end of the eighteenth century, the instruction had almost universally become gratuitous, and was said to be far superior in quality to what it was before, because now springing from pure benevolence. It is claimed by the Methodists that John Wesley, first in 1784, suggested that the instruction should be gratuitous, and also expressed the hope that Sunday Schools would become “nurseries for Christians” (See the Article on Sunday Schools in McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature, vol. x., p.21). The writer of the Article just mentioned declares that, “within the last fifty years Sunday Schools have come to be regarded as an essential branch of church action, not merely in England and America, but throughout the Protestant world, whether in home or mission fields;” and he intimates, at the conclusion of his Article, that, in the Sunday School, he sees “the problem of the conversion of the world in process of solution.” It thus appears that for nearly 1,800 years of the Christian era, the church was destitute of an “essential” requisite in its work, and the problem of the conversion of the world had not begun to be solved. (Hassell)

Supererogation, Works of

Works of SUPEREROGATION: Sylvester Hassell: The Lateran Council of 1215, under Pope Innocent III., adopted seventy canons, exalting the papal supremacy to the highest point, and containing a summary of papal doctrine and polity, justifying, among other things, transubstantiation, indulgences, works of supererogation, and the extirpation of heretics. The doctrine of works of supererogation was founded upon the alleged distinction between the precepts of the law and the exhortations of the gospel, the former being considered obligatory, and the latter non-obligatory; so that, when a person performed the latter, he laid up a stock of merits; and all the merits of the saints, with the merits of Christ, formed a vast treasury, from which indulgences might on certain conditions, be granted to persons of deficient merit or of positive sinfulness. This doctrine was defended by the famous Schoolmen, Alexander Hales, Thomas Aquinas, Albertus Magnus, and Bonaventura; and it was implicitly decreed in the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century.—The Council of Toulouse, in 1229, under Pope Gregory IX., prohibited laymen from possessing or reading the Bible in the mother tongue; and the same pope in 1231 prohibited laymen from disputing on the faith under penalty of excommunication.” (Hassell)

Supralapsarianism

SUPRALAPSARIANISM (See under John CALVIN) Anthology Calvin, John

Synergism

SYNERGISM: Sylvester Hassell: In the second and third centuries this Hellenistic spirit, in the Alexandrian and Antiochian schools, attempting to combine Pagan philosophy with Christianity, developed what is known as the Greek Anthropology based upon the trichotomy of Pythagoras, Plato, and, and after them, of the mass of Greek and Roman philosophers. They taught that man is composed of three distinct elements: 1st, some, corpus, or body, the material part; 2d, psyche, anima, or soul, the animal part (including animal life and propensities); and 3rd, pneuma, mens, or spirit, the rational part (including the will and the moral affections), and that, of these three elements, only the first two, the body and the soul, were affected by the fall of Adam, the third element, the spirit or will, being as free and pure in all men, when born, as it was in Adam before his fall; and this universal free-will of the human race can and must take the first step in regeneration, and then the grace of God will meet and help it, and, if the will continues to co-operate with Divine grace, the soul will be finally saved. This synergistic, or co-operative, or Semi-Pelagian theory of regeneration and salvation, basing the decision of man’s eternal destiny upon his natural free-will, had, for its ablest advocate Origen (born A.D. 185, died 254), who also taught that men are fallen angels, and that all men, and all the wicked angels, even Satan himself, will be finally saved. Though in point-blank contradiction not only to the general tenor, but to the plain letter of the Scriptures (Joh 1:13; 3:3-8; Ro 9:16; 1:6; Php 1:6; 2:13; Ps 110:3; Jas 1:18), synergism has prevailed throughout the Greek Catholic Church for 1,700 years, and still thus prevails; and the result, or rather the concomitance, is that the Eastern or Greek Churches are declared by the latest and ablest historians to be “dead,” “decayed,” “petrified.” Cyril Lucar, Patriarch of Constantinople, who believed the truth and attempted to teach it in the Greek communion, was five times deposed and finally strangled to death through the intrigues of the Jesuits, and his body thrown into the Bosphorus (A.D. 1638).” (Hassell)

Tabernacle, The: Symbolism

The TABERNACLE: Symbolism: Sylvester Hassell: The tabernacle represents Christ’s mystical body, the church, in which God dwells, and Israel draws nigh to God through atonement and regeneration, and with offerings, prayers, and praises. The court represents the Jewish dispensation; the Holy Place, the Christian dispensation; the Most Holy Place, the glorified church. In the world’s great wilderness, the church is a little garden inclosed by divine grace. Its aspect is toward the rising Sun of Righteousness. Every one who enters the true church must have the saving application of the Holy Spirit, represented by the holy anointing oil, and must pass by the altar of burnt-offering, and with the eye of faith behold the Lamb of God atoning thereon for his sins; and he must be washed in the laver of his precious blood— cleansed by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost. The blood comes first, and then the water; so faith in Christ’s blood should come first, and then the water of baptism, and then admission into the church.

In the midst of the spiritual darkness of his world, the child of God should let his light shine—that light proceeding entirely, not from the candlestick, but from the oil of the grace and Spirit of Christ in his heart. In order for that light to burn well, the snuffs of carnal thoughts, words and deeds will frequently have to be trimmed off with the snuffers of trial, are proof and admonition, and, so as not to defile the sanctuary, be carried off with the snuff-dishes of either repentance or church censure. Having the old leaven of malice and wickedness thus purged out, he is prepared to approach the table of the Lord, and celebrate that sacred and solemn feast with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, and thus from Sabbath to Sabbath have his spiritual grace renewed.

Though a poor sinner, and feeling himself to be such, he is yet a priest unto God, and therefore every morning and evening, and indeed evermore, should he desire to approach the golden altar, and draw as near as he may to the blessed mercy-seat, and, through the medium of Christ’s prevailing atonement and intercession, pour out his fervent supplications and thanksgivings to the God of his salvation. His great High Priest and Mediator, after having made a real, an agonizing, and an efficacious atonement for him, passed beyond the veil of the white, scarlet, and purple clouds, and the blue heavens, and entered the true Holy of Holies, and there now successfully pleads the merit of his blood for every member of his mystical body.

The seven branches of the candlestick represent all the different churches of Christ at different times and places, each independent of the other in its local government, but all united in one stem, Christ, and pervaded by the oil or grace of one Spirit, having one Lord, one faith, and one baptism.

The twelve loaves of bread represent the twelve tribes of Israel, continually shown or presented before the Lord, dedicated to him, and accepted, with all their offerings by him, through the sweet frankincense of Christ’s mediation, and ever partaking of his blessings. The profusion of gold represents the preciousness, beauty, solidity and purity of the church of Christ.

The perfect cube of the Holy of Holies, 10 by 10 by 10, with squares in every direction, containing the Shekinah in the midst of darkness, symbolizes the perfection, order and stability of the Divine Trinity, dwelling in inaccessible light, enveloped with impenetrable darkness. It is the parable of God’s presence and nature in creation, in providence and in grace. The cherubim represent the highest creaturely life, at once manifesting and concealing God, and glorying in loving submission to him, and interested in his wonderful plan of redemption.

The ark of the covenant is Christ Jesus, who above all others has ever kept the holy law of God, and who has kept that law for his people, so that the mercy of God covers all the violations of the law, and God always looks down upon them in mercy; and Christ also has in his hand the rod of universal and eternal power, and an everlasting sufficiency of heavenly provision for all the needs of his covenant people.

The perpetual preservation of the law in this innermost shrine of the Divine worship represents the infinite and unchangeable holiness of God, also requiring perfect holiness in all those who abide in his presence. None can so abide except the living, as indicated by the blood brought annually into the Most Holy Place by the High Priest; for the blood is the life; and yet, separated from the animal, it also represents death, signifying that in order to worship God aright, the flesh must be slain, the heart must be dead to all creature-worship, and alive unto God.

The duplication of the tabernacle in Solomon’s Temple represented the double emphasizing of all these momentous truths.” (Hassell’s History ppg 87, 88)

No windows in the TABERNACLE: The fact that there were no windows in the tabernacle indicates that the candlestick provided all the light the priest needed to perform his work. The light of God’s word, and the light of his Spirit are sufficient for our every need; we do not need the light of this world.

Ps 119:105, “Thy word is a LAMP unto my feet, and a LIGHT unto my path.”

1Co 1:21, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” hlh

Tables Of Stone, The: Symbolism

The TABLES OF STONE: Symbolism: Moses and Joshua, coming down the mountain, saw what the people were doing, and Moses was so filled with anger that he threw down and broke the two tables of stone on which God had written the Ten Commandments......typifying that the first use which man makes of God’s law is to break it.....God gave to Moses other tables of stone, like unto the first, and required him to deposit them in the ark for safe keeping. The first represented our safety in Adam, which failed; the second represented our safety in Christ, which cannot fail. (Hassell)

Tempt

TEMPT Q. Does God ever tempt anybody? Compare Ge 22:1, and Jas 1:13. A.: Ge 22:1, “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham, and he said, Behold, here I am.”

Jas 1:13, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” The word tempt has more than one meaning. It does not always mean to entice to do evil. In the Genesis text, the Hebrew word is nacah; it is a primary root word meaning to prove, to assay, to test, or to tempt. God was proving Abraham, testing him. hlh

Ten Virgins, The

The TEN VIRGINS: C.H. Cayce: The word then, the first word in the chapter, is used here in the sense of therefore. It denotes a reason; for this reason “shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins.” The kingdom of heaven is likened unto ten virgins, not likened unto five virgins. Five of the virgins were wise and five of them were foolish; and the kingdom of heaven was likened unto all of the ten. They all slumbered and slept—both the wise and the foolish.

At midnight the cry was made, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh.” Midnight denotes a time of darkness, and all were slumbering. So, at the closing out of the law dispensation, at the time of the coming of Christ into the world, it was a time of darkness—gross darkness—and all were slumbering.

The foolish said, “Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out”—or, “our lamps are going out.” Their lamps had been burning once; but they are going out now. There was a light in law worship and law service in the law dispensation; but as the law dispensation is going out, the light of that worship and service is also going out. The light was only a borrowed light, it is true; but it was needed then. In the night time, we need the light of the moon, which is a borrowed light; but when the day has come, and the sun has risen, the light of the moon is not needed, and goes out. The day of gospel worship has now come; the sun of gospel light is shining; the light of law worship is no longer needed, and it has gone out.

“But the wise said, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you; but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.” We do not presume that the wise virgins would tell the foolish ones to go and buy that which was necessary for them to have in order that they have a home in heaven. The grace of God in the eternal salvation of poor sinners is not for sale.

But there is something for sale without money and without price. See Isa 55:1-2: “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.” This language was addressed to Israel, the Lord’s children. There was something they could buy; but they could not buy redemption or regeneration.

Again, Re 3:18: “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” This language was for the church at Laodicea. They were the people of God. There was something for them to buy; and they could buy it in no other way than in rendering the service to the Lord which He required of them, and in being diligent in the same. The Lord does not require law worship or service; but He requires gospel worship and service. The light of law worship and law service has gone out.

“And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.” The readiness here, we think, is the engaging in the gospel worship and service. The door is shut on law worship and law service. That is closed out. It is not admitted in the gospel kingdom or church of Christ. The Lord has closed the door against that, and no man has the power or authority to open the door and admit law worship and law service into the church.

“Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.” He does not recognize law service. The light of that service has gone out. He now requires gospel service. Law worship and law service is not acceptable to Him. Those who engage in that kind of service are not recognized by Him. He will not receive them or their service. If the church engages in it, the candlestick will be removed.

“Watch therefore.” For the reason that all this is true, we should watch. How necessary it is that we watch, and not engage in law worship and law service. If we do engage in such, we may be assured of the fact that the Lord will not recognize it, and that He will not receive us into the manifestation of His presence here. “For ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”

He comes in the manifestation of His Spirit often; we know not when He will thus come. We should be diligent in rendering the service He requires, so we may be ready for Him when He does thus come. “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”—Re 22:12. He comes quickly, or often.

The final and great lesson taught in the parable is that we should watch. It teaches the necessity of doing this. The reason for doing this is that the law dispensation is at an end, and the light of the law worship and law service was going out. Hence, the great lesson taught is the closing out of the law dispensation, law worship and service, and the ushering in of the gospel dispensation, gospel worship and service. (Cayce’s Editorials vol. 2, ppg 283-286)

Tertullian

TERTULLIAN (See also under NOVATION) Anthology Novatian and the Novatianists

Tetzel, John

John TETZEL (See under SAINT PETER’S CATHEDRAL Anthology Saint Peter's Cathedral and Martin LUTHER Anthology Luther, Martin)

THANKFUL FOR MY BRETHREN

THANKFUL FOR MY BRETHREN

Elder James Isaacs

[The following was written over the Thanksgiving weekend especially to brethren in the churches in our area, but it could have been to a multitude of saints across the country who know and love this precious brother. – Ed.]

That the Apostle Paul was thankful for his brethren hardly could be denied. Look at the introductions to his epistles to the Philippians and to the Thessalonians. He says that he gives thanks always for them, that he gives thanks every time he thinks of them, and that he mentions them in every prayer to God. In 2nd Thessalonians, he says that he is bound to give thanks for them.

Oh, that I could honestly say to you brethren that I am so thankful for you. I want to be. I do have every reason to be as thankful for all of you as Paul was for his brethren. Only the weakness of my sinful self causes me to be so forgetful of the many blessings of God upon me, one of the chief of which is the fellowship of you brethren. Truly, the Primitive Baptists of Western Arkansas are the most wonderful people on earth to me. Like Paul to Timothy, I can remember the faith of many of your mothers and grandmothers. I have grown up with some of you, and much ahead of others of you. How I do love the younger brethren who are so full of zeal for God’s house. How I do appreciate the faithful pattern of those older brethren who mean so much to us now. What joy fills my soul when I see our younger members studying the Scriptures and asking for direction and help. How my heart does rejoice when I see our older brethren caught up in the Spirit and rejoicing in the truths of the gospel. How precious has been the faithful course of so many of our older sisters whose love and devotion to the church of God has been exemplary for so long. Who can estimate the value of young mothers determined to keep their homes and to rear their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?

Lord, make me more thankful. Cause me to see the blessings of this company and fill my soul with thanksgiving. Help me to remember thy works and thy love for these my brethren. Help me to see Thee in their lives. Help me not to think more highly of myself than I ought to think, but rather to rejoice in the special blessings that come from Thee to us. From The Primitive Baptist/The Christian Pathway, submitted by Elder Mark Green.

THE BESETTING SIN

THE BESETTING SIN

Elder Charles Holmes

“Wherefore seeing we are also compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Heb 12:1).

Using the center column in our Bibles, the notes would tell us that since we are surrounded by the witnesses, who “by faith” and “through faith” are mentioned in the preceding chapter, we are to lay aside things that weigh us down in our service to God and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.

The Apostle is putting before us the thought of the Greeks, who established the marathon races. Marathon was a coastal plain in Greece. In 490 B.C., a Greek army defeated the Persians and saved Greece from becoming part of the Persian empire. The Athenian general sent a runner from Marathon to Athens with news of the Greek victory over the Persians. He raced 25 miles to Athens at top speed, delivered his message, and fell to the ground, dead. Today the marathon race is 26 miles, 385 yards (42.2 kilometers).

We all have a race to run in God’s service. Paul is laying out the thought of this race that is set before us. In looking back at the Old Testament, the word beset is mentioned in Jg 19:22; 20:25 and in Ps 22:12; 139:5. Also it is mentioned in Ho 7:2. There are three root words that are used for the word beset. The general thought is: “surround, confine, enclose, compass about, an adversary, assault.” The word used in Heb 12:1 means “to ensnare, standing around (a competitor), thwarting, oppose, run counter to, frustrate (a racer).”

We do have things that run counter to our race here in time. We do have the adversary standing by to frustrate our continuing in the race. We also suffer from carrying too much weight in our race. The cares of this life many times affect our service to the Lord. The word as sown among thorns is choked, and we falter and fail in seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

We need to give the message that the runner gave, then fell dead. The victory has been won. We are told in Heb 12:2 that we are to be looking unto Jesus, the author (beginner) and the finisher of our faith. He endured the cross, made atonement for our sins, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. The battle has been won. This should be our message as we stand for truth until we, like the marathon runner, come to the end of our natural lives.

It will be good with us all if we can say with the Apostle Paul, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (his race), I have kept the faith.” The writer of the good old hymn says, “My latest sun is sinking fast; my race is nearly run.” We do have an adversary standing by to discourage us in the race. We need to be looking ahead to the right source to the completion of our race. Submitted by Elder Mark Green.

The Bride and Seven Other Women

 

The Bride

and

Seven Other Women

 

By Monroe Jones

A brief, comprehensive and authentic history

of the Baptist Church: For people

who are willing to learn the Truth

1948

Elder Harold Hunt

P.O. Box 5352

Maryville TN 37802

 

The Bride

and

7 Other Women

Foreword

I desire to greet my readers with a friendly hand-shake and a bouquet of good wishes.

We are going to take a trip down through the ages, down the pathway of history, to learn the TRUTH about the Church.

This Church spoken of in prophecy as a "kingdom which shall never be destroyed" (Da 2:44) and this prophet points directly to the old Roman Empire as the earthly kingdom in which the Church shall appear; and to the early ministry of John the Baptist, who baptized Jesus, as the TIME, or very near the time, when "the God of heaven" should set his Church up. Mt 3:2; 4:17 and Mt 11:12; Lu 6:16.

This Church, as we shall see, is the true Baptist Church. It is not "a part of the Church," but IS THE CHURCH. God set up ONE Church and ONLY ONE. All other "religious" organizations that call themselves "the Church" are NOT churches. You and I can trace every one of them to some man who came on the scene as a "reformer" and set up a NEW THING and called it a church.

 

In a sense, all Baptists are spiritual kinfolks. They have been separated by family quarrels. Today there are more than 20 bodies of people calling themselves Baptist. Only ONE of these can be the TRUE CHURCH IN ORDER AND IN DOCTRINE. Some may have the doctrine without the order, others the order without the doctrine. Or maybe all need more tolerance !

This was caused by men, so called "great preachers," who from time to time have led good brethren and sisters out of the old paths. Read Ro 16:17.

Besides Baptists, we must consider two false theories: Roman Catholic and Protestant. Protestantism came out of Catholicism. Baptists are in no sense to be classed as Protestants.

Then there are some minor so-called "churches" of very recent origin that are not to be classed as Protestant. One or these, as an example, was organized by Alexander Campbell after he was excluded from the Baptists for preaching heresy. These have gone under different names— the latest call themselves "Church of Christ."

This last group was organized in 1926 according to the New American Encyclopedia.

Then there are the "holiness" organizations, calling themselves "churches." One "holiness" preacher told me there are today "500 different kinds of holiness churches!" It's amusing, so much "holiness," and no one flying away to glory— not one Enoch nor Elijah in this "holy" crowd!

These came out of Methodism. Methodism came out of the Church of England and it came out of Catholicism. So all of these are Protestants of very recent date.

The three main lines of Protestantism are Lutheran, Presbvterian and Episcopalian.

Come with me now and we will trace the Baptist Church, follow its chain of Apostolic Church succession, without a broken link, from the banks of Jordan, where Jesus was baptized, down to the present time, February 4, 1948.

Monroe Jones,

Tishomingo, Oklahoma,

Rural Route No. 1

 

DEDICATION

In gratitude for services rendered me in helping me sell my book of poems, "Jingles and Heart Throbs," to get the money to publish this Baptist History, I hereby dedicate this History to the Memory of Elder W. S. Smart, Arlington, California; Elder B. L. Huff, Ryan, Oklahoma; Elder W. R. Dale, Stanton, Texas; Elder P. L. Jones, Las Cruces, New Mexico and Brother B. H. Pace, Buckeye, Arizona. Besides these, I must thank "Baptist Trumpet" of Belton, Texas.

 

THE EVERLASTING KINGDOM

In the Bible the Church is spoken of as a Kingdom. The prophets pointed forward to the coming of this Kingdom: the Christian Church.

The word kingdom suggests a country inhabited by people, governed by a king.

The Church is Christ's kingdom here on earth, and his OBEDIENT people live in it. Daniel foretold that it "shall not be left to other people."

The scriptures also sometimes speak of the Church as the Bride of Christ. Solomon had a vision of this when he exclaimed: "Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness leaning upon her beloved?"

John the Baptist came preaching in the WILDERNESS, saying. "the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Nebuchadneezar, king of Babylon, saw an "image" in a dream. This image had "a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, legs of iron and feet part of iron and part of clay." Da 2:32-33.

Daniel interpreted this dream and foretold the fall of Babylon. To the king he said: "After thee shall arise another kingdom, inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth."

History records that Babylon fell and that these SECOND and THIRD earthly kingdom came into power, decayed and fell, just as Daniel had said they would.

The Medes and Persians overthrew Babylon (Da 5:30-31) and Darius became ruler. In his reign he completed great military roads and the ancient canal from the Nile to the Red Sea. This SECOND kingdom was much inferior to Babylon. With all his military bombast, Darius went down, his kingdom passed away.

Next Alexander the Great appeared on the scene at the head of the Greek army, subduing peoples and nations, about 336 years B. C. The THIRD "kingdom of brass" now ruled the earth. Alexander was the world ruler. It is said that when he reached the zenith of his military glory, he "wept because there were no more worlds to conquer."

Alexander's power began to wane with the revolt of his soldiers, who objected to his humane treatment of conquered nations. The "kingdom of brass" was on its way out (Read Da 11:3-4).

About 750 B. C. the Roman Empire began to be founded on the banks of the Tiber. It gradually grew into a power that dominated the world. The City of Rome was its capital. Rome was there, settling on her seven historical hills, when Alexander the Great went down with his "kingdom of brass."

Cais Julius, the greatest of all the Caesars, appeared in Rome as the "Priest of Jove" 87 years B. C. Climbing swiftly to fame, he became dictator for life, and became the world ruler. The FOURTH kingdom, "strong as iron," was now in full power. Da 2:40.

But ,this FOURTH kingdom had a WEAKNESS. It was "divided," it was "partly strong and partly broken" Da 2:41-42.

Time passed and Augustus Caesar, grandson of the sister of Julius Caesar, came on the throne. Augustus was the ruler of Rome when John the Baptist and Jesus were born.

Under Augustus Caesar were a number of smaller rulers, called kings. Herod of Judaea, in his jealousy, feared that Jesus had come to usurp his place and rule his little territory. Herod murdered a great number of little children in his efforts to kill Jesus.

It was another King Herod who beheaded John the Baptist for telling the truth about divorce (Mr 6:27).

There were other "kings" ruling locally over cities and provinces, here and there, all over Rome. But "these kings" were all under the "iron" rule of Caesar. These KINGS were no doubt jealous of each other, some secretly desiring to usurp the throne of Caesar. Therein lay the "WEAKNESS" of this fourth KINGDOM OF IRON. It was as a "mixture of iron and clay."

When Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar's dream, he pointed his finger directly at the Roman Empire, "the fourth kingdom of iron," and said: "In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever." (Da 2:44).

 

GOD'S KINGDOM

THE CHURCH

At God's appointed time, John the Baptis