Principles and Practices of the Church
Elder J. D. Holder
Elder Harold Hunt
P O Box 5352
Maryville TN 37802
HISTORY OF THE CHURCH
There are many justified reasons why our people should read more, why our young people should be encouraged in the study of sound religious literature. We know of no better text book than our Bible, to carry to college when the young boy or girl is working to finish a course of study in the field of education.
We are living in a day of changes in almost every field of human activity, and in the field of Christian ethics. Many of those changes have not been sound, and have not been erected upon the foundation of Bible truth, and therefore, will not stand the test when the opposing forces of evil become a substitute for the elements of the Christian faith. The books written two hundred years ago by our people are nearly all out of print. Our representative brethren have given much time to reading, and therefore were more capable of writing a history of the people known as "Primitive Baptists," but few have left us their writing in books. I know of no better work in the field of research, and arranged as the history of the Church than Elder Hassell 's History. All lovers of Church History can and should spend many hours in the study of this work.
The fact that there are so many conflicting religious bodies in the world today claiming to be the true Church is a demonstrated fact that there has not been a prayerful study by many good people in this field. The fact that we have permitted our enemies to write our history is very evident. We have so very few who have worked in this field for the past one hundred years, and our critics have boldly written their histories, and the real facts of what the Baptists believed and practiced have been condemned, or hidden away not to be mentioned unless in a very obscure manner. William Jones and Orchard may well be claimed as our writers, and since they wrote of events back of the modern Mission movement and before the day of Fuller and Cary, their works may well be classified as Baptist History without mention of the modern Mission movement, because the date of its birth is this side of the history written by these men. David Benedict's Old History is very valuable until the writer gets to the issues causing the great division among the Baptists a little over a century ago; then he became very prejudiced in giving facts. He wrote in his last years a small volume, Fifty Years Among the Baptists, which was more factual and makes clearer the real issues of the day. Thomas Armitage's History in my opinion is the best History of the Baptists our Missionary friends have compiled in their short history as a church, or independent body of Baptists.
The fact that there are twenty-three factions denominated Baptists in the U. S. A. makes it very obvious that the people known as Baptists need to read more, and become better acquainted with the history of the Baptists in the past centuries.
The main object of preparing this small volume has been to collect as much information from different authors who have written in the past, and to preserve as much as we could in this book for present-day readers. I am deeply indebted to those from whom I have quoted, and have sought to be correct in quotations used, and not to lift from the context of their writing thoughts which would change their words to mean something other than their writings expressed.
Some two or three years ago I wrote, through the columns of the Primitive Baptist, continued articles on the History of the Church, and since then many have written asking me to con-tinue and to write a history of our people bringing the historical account of the Church up to our time. No doubt this would be of great benefit and to do so at present would take much research and help by many to secure the needed records and material that should go into a work of this kind. That a work of this kind is badly needed at present, I suppose all will agree.
Our young readers and ministers have a right to search for truth, and to find the things needed to broaden their minds in the field of sound teaching. This requires sound books, and much reading, which would not be so difficult if there were not so much of the deception of Satan and false doctrine existing in the world today.
The Lord has but one Church in the world today. It should be the chief concern of every child of God to find it, live in it, and learn all we can about its history, the doctrine of God our Savior, and the laws of His kingdom, and live obediently to those laws. With Bibles to read, and the modern ways of communicationâ€”travel, printing presses, and prosperityâ€” are dangerous if not used correctly. But how blessed we are if we live humbly and use the bounties of God's rich blessings to the glory of God and for the purpose of going forward in the Master's cause while we live in the world.
I have sought to be accurate in quotations, giving the chapter and verse, page, volume, etc. I hope the reader will read the book and be charitable, looking over the many imperfections of the author, yet not forgetting that truth found is always a rich heritage; and truth itself owes to the one who finds it no apology. So I shall be rewarded above anything I deserve if, after I shall quit the walks of men, some hungry, thirsty soul may read it, and find in reading it, some little thought that is helpful to him in his pilgrim journey on earth. May God richly bless His dear people, His cause, and finally bring them home to glory by Jesus Christ.
J. D. HOLDER
HISTORY OF THE CHURCH
The very difficult task of writing a history of the people known today as the Primitive Baptists demands more than I am capable of doing. Many things enter into the arranging of the necessary materials, having access to reliable accounts in different centuries to the present. The distinguishing marks of the true Church meets with conflicting views of the many writers of history, as is true in the differing religious bodies, even the true meaning of the Bible texts.
I assure the reader of my sincere desire to be fair, yet plain where issues have been drawn, and facts called in question. To carefully give all historical accounts of them available would take volumes. So the following pages will only bring to the reader a limited account of the history of the Church.
This people has gone by different names, often by the name of their leader, and often by names given in derision by their enemies. I shall give in part what has been written by other writers more able to treat upon the subject, and having greater knowledge of the subject than I dare claim. We feel very grateful that the flames of persecuting enemies did not destroy all the history of this people, and that even their enemies have unwittingly stated things in their favor as to what they believed and taught, and at a time when their enemies sought to blot them out of existence. They have come thus far as a people in the minority, and the opposing powers have been looked upon too many times as being right when they were wrong. But yet the Bible is our criterion, our measuring rod to ascertain the true and expose the untrue positions taken by men. The unbiased reader of history will weigh and take into account the different positions taken and, as conflicting as they are, be guided by the merits or lack of merit in what he may read in his search for truth in the field of religious issues.
Our prayer is that the kind hand of providence may guide the mind of the writer and those who may chance to peruse the pages of the book, that good may grow out of reading it by friend or foe. Whether the reader agrees or disagrees with the contents, may the truth prevail, and the Church and people of God become more united in this age of darkness and confusion.
A system of doctrine may not be true merely because it is found far back in the pages of history; neither is it false merely because it has been recently discovered. The principles of wrong are as old as the power and influence of sin, and it makes its inroads in every conceivable way. More wrong principles are to be found in the field of religion than the so-called religious world has in the past been willing to admit; thus we have many doctrines and conflicting so-called churches in the world today. In the midst of all these things until the present it has at all times been safe to teach that salvation from the guilt of sins is by grace, and not by works, because this cardinal truth is abun-dantly taught in the Bible and also richly experienced by the work that saves His people. Its advocates have been found in every age back to New Testament times. It is safe and sound to teach the doctrine of election, or the choice of God's people in Christ before the ages of time. Even so, the predestination of them to the adoption of sons, and their being conformed to the image of His Son. (Ro 8:28-31; Eph 1:1-4). This embraces the family of God from the beginning of time until the last son and daughter is born again, or saved and brought into the benefits of the sufferings of Christ. This is Bible doctrine and it has been believed by the church and has witnesses back to apostolic times.
After A. D. 70 the fathers (Hilary of Poicters, A. D. 360)taught faith and grace to be the gift of God, and salvation to be irresistible and by divine grace. In A. D. 390 Heironymus taught the doctrine of predestination and that the elect were chosen in Christ before time; and even so the Bible teaches. Novatian taught in his book De Trinitate, which was then judged to be orthodox, that a certain number were predestinated to salvation and glory before time. This man was in the first division of the church and among other things he contended against Cornelius who held to lax discipline and ungodly corruption of the church by keeping such in the church while Novatian held that such should be excommunicated from the church, and that the church should be composed of clean and godly members.
Here is where to pin-point the beginning of what finally developed into what is known as the Roman Catholic Church. The division was A. D. 251. Remember this was the first division. Novatian was sound on these matters such as re-ceiving members and Bible discipline in the church, while Cornelius was unsound and he and his party moved into the corruption which developed into the Catholic Church. Let it be understood that while the seed was planted by some who had imbibed a mixture of Greek, Roman, and heathen philosophy found in the school of Alexandria, and began to find its way into the church by men from this school and was purged out here in this first division.
I shall here quote at length from as well informed and scholarly a writer as we know of in Church History: "After the return of the Jews from Babylon they established synagogues and synagogue schools; and there the Jewish Rabbis zealously accumulated and multiplied and taught the Jewish youth these interminable Pharisaic traditions which made void the law of God and which Christ severely condemned.(Mt 15:1-9; Mr 7:1-13). Verily, these are unfortunate precedents for the Theological Seminaries of the nineteenth century. The first Christian theological school, says Neander, and with him agree other historians, was established at Alexandria in Egypt about 180 A. D., and lasted about two hundred years. The earliest teachers were Pantaenus and Clement,'converted' heathen philosophers, and their principle aim seems to have been to teach so-called 'Christian' tradition, to transform Christianity into philosophy, to depreciate humble faith and exalt lordly knowledge, and to base human salvation upon the natural free-will of man, declaring that the first motion from sin to holiness must and can be made by the sinner himself. This false system became popular and spread widely throughout the Greek or eastern churches. The most learned and celebrated teacher in the Alexandrian school was Origen, a universalist. The study of 'theology' was pursued in the Catholic monasteries of Asia, Africa, and Europe during the dark ages and those called 'the schoolmen' were the most famous students. The cold, dry, barren Aristotelian, syllogistic, subtle, frivolous, wearisome, technical, metaphysical traditionary, mythological, casuistical, pantheistical tombs of the scholastic divinity virtually completed the edifice of the Papal Hierarchy.''â€”Hassell's History, page 311.
Also see page 301. Sprinkling for baptism, infant baptism, Reverend, the Most Right Reverend, Prelates, Cardinals, Monkery, Nuns, Holy Wafers, Holy Days, Holy Red-Hot Tongs, Holy Inquisitions, Holy Confessions, Holy Penances, Holy Purgatories, Holy Sale of Indulgences, to SIN for money to rebuild the St. Peters in Rome and a thousand other wicked things which have a beaten road to the lower regions conceived in the mind of Satan, the Pope and his agents. It is believed by millions to be the old mother church. Angels and all good men blush for shame to respect it as anything short of the enemy of God and His church in the world.
Many of the Waldenses, Donatists, Novatians, Paulicans, Paterines, Arnoldists were called Anabaptists because they refused to accept her baptism and her rites as any part of the church. They never were in line with Rome and perpetuated the truth of the church, and gave their lives as a testimony in every age. They would not join house to house and field to field with those who were not sound in teaching these and other things.
The Welsh Baptists boast of being in line with the Waldenses and all the way back to the time when they claimed the gospel was planted in their borders in the early New Testament times. The Welsh Baptists were Primitive Baptists in what they taught. Cardinal Hosius says, "If the truth of religion were to be judged by the readiness and cheerfulness which a man or any sect shows in suffering, then the opinions and persuasions of no sect can be truer or surer than those of the Anabaptists, [notice this] since there have been none of these twelve hundred years past that have been more generously punished.''
Orchard, (page 353, Volume 1) says: "Hosius' acquaintance with history is indisputable."
This statement by their enemy carries them back to the very time when the issue began to arise which gave them the name "Anabaptist." They did not sprinkle or pour for baptism and would not accept the work of those who did. They baptized by immersion those who came from others. They required faith as a prerequisite to being baptized. They renounced the Pope and his many corrupt teachers as being the beast of Revelation and anti-Christ, They were put to death by the thousands and yet remained firm in their doctrine and practice. They were falsely charged with refusing to baptize and the preaching of infant damnation because they refused to baptize infants. This is an old trick, yet we have heard the charge laid against the same people in this our day.
In answer to the question: "What do Primitive Baptists believe which draws a distinctive line giving them a scriptural right to being the New Testament church?" No one should desire to lay claim to being the church as a collective body unless they can go directly to the Bible for what they believe and practice. This makes it difficult for the reader of church history, because there are conflicting ideas and unjustified claims by the many and various organized sects in the world.
For about thirteen hundred years called '' The Dark Ages,''all who opposed Papal Rome were persecuted and many gave their lives at the martyr's stake, their books and literature being destroyed with them in the flames. This has thrown much darkness on their history other than what the enemy has said or charged against them as to what they believed and taught. This is a cunning trick of Satan to deceive the masses.
Rome is today at her height, as she sits boldly and rules the heads of governments, presenting her false claim to the masses, using almost unquestioned, the Press, Radio, Television, and even Protestant well-wishers in law-making bodies, heads of governments, to gain international power to further her claims. It is no small thing, and much to her advantage to capture the infant in the cradle, the sale of indulgences, her seven divine sacraments all essential to salvation. She is a world religion with world conquest both by political and ecclesiastical tricks to reach her designed end. She can proudly boast of over 30,000,000 members in the United States and over 450,000,000 in the world. While she boasts of having a continued chain of Popes back to Peter, the facts of both Bible and history refute her claim in telling us that for over five hundred years there was not a Pope and since the first Pope, at times, no Pope, and at other times, more than one Pope at the same time.
It is a sin to call a minister Reverend, even if he is a most dignified so-called divine at the head of the list of honors. It is wicked and should go without excuse and akin to blasphemy to recognize the Pope as Christ's vicar on earth, or elsewhere, but over his own deluded followers. He is a mortal man and must die as do others and to him is due no more homage than the poor slave at his master's door in so far as heavenly blessings are concerned, or a spiritual union with God. The often misused word Reverend is used in our Bible only one time, in Ps 111:9, and here it certainly addresses God, and not man.
One of the strongest distinguishing marks of identity of the true church is: The church holds that the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments thoroughly furnish everything she should hold, believe, teach, and practice religiously as individual followers of Christ or as the church of God. To go beyond this rule is to enslave the conscience of men and is unscriptural regardless of what it may be. The true church needs just what her one Lawgiver has delivered to her to keep until He comes the second time to carry His people home to heaven, no more, and no less.
Unbelief in God and disrespect to this rule is back of every departure from this rule, every modern sect, and each heretical doctrine and practice. Each modern sect, whether out in the world or in the church, becomes guilty of disrespect to this rule in all such departures. If the Lord set up His church, and is head over all things to the church, the Savior of the body, then is it not true that He knew just what the church needed so long as it is to function in the world? When our Bible is faithfully obeyed with proper respect for the great truths contained therein it will bring the saints together. It is the doctrine of men which divide and confuse and deceive the good people who should be a separate people unto their God.
Suppose Rome had succeeded in burning all the books; yea, even Wycliffe's translation of the Bible, the first English translation of that precious Bible, and destroyed the manu-scripts. We are told in history that when they burned his body and threw the ashes into the river, they also burned over two hundred of his Bibles. Suppose they had been successful in withholding the reading of the Bible from all but the priests and officers of the church of Rome. As the blood of righteous Abel crying against Cain, his brother who murdered him, the saints in all ages from the martyr's state, from prisons, from the wolfish emperors, one-sided and speedy death warrants recently handed down from the Pope, their cries shall be heard until the judg-ment day, that wherever Rome was there was a persecuted people who were so near the truth and so akin to Bible worship that they sealed their love for their God with their lives at all cost to bear it to others. Since the first division in the church and corrupt practices and members purged out of the church by Novatian and those who were with him, and Cornelius on the other side holding to a corrupt practice, and holding such members in the church, there have been two bodies of people who have made their history through the centuries down to the present time. One of those bodies of people desires to live separate from the world and wants to live free from the meddling of political powers and unscriptural law to further the cause of the Popes, kings, or inquisitors to enslave anyone to any form of religious teaching for a political reason or world power.
As long as an honest search for truth is in the world and the history of the past is not blotted out, there will be a dark cloud hanging over Papal Rome for her persecution of the church which was continued from the fall of Pagan Rome and her rise to political and religious power until the rise of the reformation in the fifteenth century. "The vaudois (or Waldenses) of the Alps are, in my opinion, Christians or descendants and representatives of the Primitive Church, preserved in these valleys from the corruptions successively introduced by the Church of Rome into the religion of the gospel. It is not they who separated from Catholicism, but Catholicism which has separated from them by changing the primitive religion." The Israel of the Alps, by Alexis Muston, D. D., Vol. 1, p. 3.
On page 37 of the same book he says: "Their only desire was to live in tranquility and in proximity to each other. We find them from time immemorial in the profound retreats of the Brianconnais as well as the Alps of Italy.''
William Jones' History of the Waldenses and Albigenses is good authority. I quote from him at length: "The Donatists (derived from the name Donatus, a native of Nuimidia in Africa) were a separate people or body of Christians for nearly three centuries, and in most every city in Africa there was near equality a bishop of this sect to another of the Catholics. The Donatists were very numerous for we learn that in the year 411 there was a famous conference held at Carthage between the Catholics and the Donatists at which were present 286 Catholic bishops and of the Donatists, 279,which when we consider the superior strictness of their discipline, must give a favorable opinion of their numbers. But the Donatists were not to be reconciled to such an impure communion; to all their overtures for peace they replied: 'What has the Emperor to do with the church?' " (Page 187).
"These people were not taxed with any immoralities, but were condemned for speculations or rather for virtuous rules of action, which all in power accounted heresies. They said a Christian church ought to consist of only good people; a church has no power to frame any constitutions; it was not right to take oaths; it was not lawful to kill mankind; a man ought not to be delivered up to the officers of justice to be converted; . . . the church ought not to persecute any, not even the wicked." (page 238). Reinerious Saccho an inquisitor, and one of their most implacable enemies who lived only eighty years after Waldo, admits that the Waldenses flourished five hundred years before that preacher. [Meaning Waldo.] Gretzer, the Jesuit, also wrote against the Waldenses, and had examined the subject fully, not only admits their great antiquity, but declares his belief that the Toulousians and Albigenses condemned in the years 1177 and 1178 were no other than the Waldenses. In fact, their doctrine, discipline, government, manner, and even the errors with which they had been charged (by the Catholics) show that the Albigenses and Waldenses were distinct branches of the sect, or the former were sprang from the latter.''
Above this quotation it is declared they had the New Testament translated in the language of the Valdese written on parchment, and a book in their language on anti-Christ, etc,(Page 257). "Cardinal Hosius, a learned and zealous champion of the papacy, who presided at the Council of Trent, lived during the Lutheran Reformation move, and wrote a history of the heresies of his own time in which he says: ''The leprosy of the Waldenses spread its infection throughout all Bohemia, and following the doctrine of Waldo the greatest part of that kingdom separated itself from the Church of Rome. Lindanusa Catholic Bishop of the Sea of Ghent, who wrote in defense of the tenets of Rome about 1550, terms Calvin the inheritor of the doctrine of the Waldenses."
Mezeray, the celebrated historiographer of France, in his abridgment of Chronology speaking of the Waldenses. says: "They hold nearly the same opinions as those who now are called Calvinists."
"Gualtier, a Jesuitical Monk, in his Chronological tables, drew up a catalog consisting of seven and twenty particulars in which he shows that the principles of the Waldenses and those of the Calvinists coincided with each other.''
"Thomas Walden, who wrote against Wycliffe, says that the doctrine of Peter Waldo was conveyed from France to England,â€”and that among others Wycliffe received it. In this opinion he is joined by Alphonsus de Castro, who says that Wycliffe only brought to light again the errors of the Waldenses.''
"Aeneas Sylvius (afterward Pope Pius II) declares the doctrine taught by Calvin to be the same as that of the Waldenses.''
"Dr. Mosheim, the ecclesiastical historian, says, 'to speak candidly what I think of all the modern sects of Christians, the Dutch Baptists most resemble the Albigenses and Waldenses. 'He also said, 'Before the rise of Luther and Calvin there lay concealed in almost all the countries of Europe persons who adhered tenaciously to the principles of the modern Dutch Baptists.' " â€”Jones History, pages 296, 297.
The above quotations from these writers in history and some of the enemies of these persecuted people are very interesting and for this and many other reasons, '' The people known as Primitive Baptists have had to bear the thrust of critics, calling them Calvinists, Hyper-Calvinists, etc., as though we went to Calvin's altar and stole his dogmas and so the things which belong to Calvin. But the fact in history is the reverse and abundantly shows that Calvin, Wycliffe, and others went back to the old church for their thunder or dynamite to raise the corrupt foundations of Papal Rome and expose her corruption. I have submitted to you the witnesses who wrote back there and from their words we, and not Calvin and others have held to these great truths before the rise of these reformers or before their day. They belonged to the Catholic Church and in bringing to light the corruptions of Rome they had to resort to some truth to shake her foundation, and went to the old church for their material.
All but Wycliffe turned and persecuted the church and literally hated the ones who bore these truths in the dark night of popery. They were not Baptists, but Catholics, The followers of Wycliffe known as the Arnoldists, Lollards, were Baptists. And no doubt this great man was with them in sentiment and did not persecute them. It has been said: "Wycliffe is the morning star and in the genuine move toward the reformation."As Primitive Baptists, going back and tracing the truth, in history, and its advocates in the church, "We are neither Catholic nor Protestant, and never have been in alliance with either."
The Church of God is not set forth in the world to build sectarianism, either in part or as a whole, nor to persecute those who do. But she has been persecuted by both Catholic and Protestant and has always been in the way of any and all religious sects started by men. If some should question the existence of the church in every age (and some do), or if it is believed that Papal Rome is the old mother church as she falsely claims, then let this fact be recognized: " In the first, and well into the third century she cannot find her existence as such, not even by reliable traditions, her rituals, her Popes, the ideas of such were still in the embryo of Pagan heathen corruption and was born as it is today by gradual development.
Now I have brought forward proof of a people who were not in union with Papal Rome through the dark ages to the reformation in the fifteenth century, and I shall link them with the Dutch Baptists in Holland and the low countries as well as in England and Welsh Baptists before I come to the United States. They were neither Catholic, Protestant, Arminian, nor Calvinists. They were God's witnesses in these dark times and can fairly be looked upon as the church coming up to us from apostolic times. We are not responsible for how, nor when, the enemy borrows the truth to defend when his back is to the wall. But we rejoice that even the enemy can at times discover the power of truth is greater than the rubbish of corruption and heathen paganism cloaked under the worthy name of religion.
THE BEGINNING OF NEW SECTS OR CHURCHES
It has been stated by some that the Baptists hit a cold trail in the fifteenth century, and must go to John Smyth who started the General Baptists in 1607. Reasoning as they do, there is no existence of such people back of this date in history.
â€œSmyth,â€ﾝ according to the authority I now give, "was with the English Separatist Church (or Church of England) and wrote a treatise of seventy-one pages against infant baptism and in favor of believer's baptism. For this, he was dis-fellowshiped by the church charging him with open war against God's covenant, etc. This left Smyth, Hewleys, Morton, and thirty-six others to form a new church which should practice believer's baptism and reject infant baptism. We are told they were on good terms with the Dutch Baptists but would not receive their baptism lest they should recognize them as a true church, for they believed the true church of Christ had perished. Besides, Smyth did not believe with the unlawfulness of a Christian to serve as magistrate nor on the freedom of the will [as Smyth believed] and the distinctive points of Calvinism, he being an Arminian, which points he considered vital. With the design of restoring this pattern, he baptized himself on his faith in Christ in 1608, then baptized Thomas Hewleys with about forty others and so formed a new church in Amsterdam. '' â€”Armitage History of the Baptists, pages 452, 454. This was the beginning point of the General Baptists.
The name "General" Baptist meant that they believed in a universal or general death and atonement of Christ for sins; that is, believing Christ died for all of the race of Adam.
If our modern Missionary neighbors were as ancient as they would have some believe they are, John Smyth and Company could have rushed over to them and would have been gladly received on Arminianism, Free-willism and the general atonement question and the fact that Christ died for all man-kind would have gone without question and saved the world from a new sect added to the already growing list.
Just what can be established here ? First, there were Baptists in Holland at this date who were not Arminian in doctrine.
Second, they believed as we, that the atonement of Christ was special or limited to the elect only, not universal or general. Third, they were not free-willers as was Smyth. And finally, it established the fact that no such Baptists existed back of Smyth's day and drives the stake at 1608 for our Missionary friends who believe as did Smyth, and turns them back as a modern sect this side of Smyth which shall be clearly shown.
If they seek to tie onto the Waldenses they cannot agree on doctrine. If it be our Pedobaptist friends, they must go to the Roman Catholic route seeing the Waldenses did not believe in infant baptism, and sprinkling or pouring for baptism. Where it is found among them (it is rare and very doubtful)it was not a general practice, but very exceptional. The Waldenses and their brethren positively declared against infant baptism and sprinkling as the mode of baptism. Entirely too many of them were killed by Rome to dispute this fact, and on this very issue thousands were slaughtered in every conceivable way by the Papal hand of persecutors. Webster's definition of "Calvinism" the distinguished doctrines of the system are: "Election and Predestination, Particular Redemption, Total Depravity, Irresistible Grace, and the certain Perseverance of the saints." I have before me a book titled:"Calvin's Calvinism." From the preface page of that book I quote the following:
The Absolute sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for all matters.
The Triune God, or Jehovah.
The Sovereignty of God.
The Deity and perfect humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Personality of the Holy Ghost.
The fall of man.
Particular redemption and effectual calling.
Justification by imputing the obedience and sanctification of Christ.
The preservation of the saints.
It is reasonable to deny that Calvin and others who lay claim to these tenets of Bible doctrine did anything more than to borrow them from the Waldenses and the persecuted people called Anabaptists who existed many centuries before the rise of Luther and Calvin. Calvin went to extremes on the decrees.
It is persons and not necessarily things (and not all things)which are predestinated. How anyone can get the predestination of sin and wickedness in the lessons mentioned in Ro 8:29-34, and Eph 1:4-9 is hard to understand. It is not true, but to the contrary, these extremes are found rooted in the minds of men either not sound in other points of doctrine, or hard pressed in the field of sectarianism. Condemnation for sins guilt, and the final separation of the wicked from God, is not because of God's decrees. It is because of the sin found in man against a holy God and His righteous laws. The penalty for its guilt is just and deserved. Christ is, and has ever been the only remedy that can save from sin's guilt. It must be by grace and not by works which the sinner may be required to do.
All suggested remedies are failures and shall continue to fail. "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one." Job 14:4. To seek to reform the Church of Rome and thereby make it anything other than what it is, brings to light one of the failures of the Reformation move by Luther and Calvin, this resulted in the birth of two new sects of conflicting world religions. John Wycliffe is the brightest star in the Reformation move, much sounder in what he sought to accomplish. He did not start a new sect, but rather renounced the Church of Rome as the anti-Christ; he renounced her empty rituals and her heathenish dogmas and did not persecute the poor despised saints whom he so closely imitated in what he taught. He can well be referred to as one of the many Baptists of his time and was persecuted with them.
So we look for the succession of the true followers of Christ in the dark times, and find them with the Donatists, the Novatians, Albigenses, Waldenses. called Anabaptists, because they would not accept the work of Papal Rome as being the church, or as scriptural, and they baptized all who came to them from Rome and were opposed to any other mode of baptism but by immersion of the whole body in water.
I quote from Benedict's History of the Baptists, page 35: "Some of the Popish writers themselves own that this people never submitted to the Church of Rome." One of the Popish writers in speaking of the Waldenses, says the heresies of theWaldenses is the oldest heresy in the world. It is supposed that people be took themselves to this desert secret place among the mountains to hide themselves from the severity of the heathen persecutions which were before Constantine the Great,and thus the woman fled into the wilderness from the face of the serpent. (Re 12:6-14). "And thus to the woman were given the wings of a great eagle that she might fly into the wilderness into her place where she is nourished for a time from the face of the serpent." And the people being settled there their prosperity continued there from age to age afterwards, and being as it were, by natural walls, as well as by God's grace separated from the rest of the world, never partook of the overflowing corruption. (Edwards History of Redemption page 293). This account of these people dates back of any reliable claim that Rome can make of her origin. In going on their journeys preaching the gospel, they usually went by two. Benedict states: "These missionaries knew where to find their brethren, they went to their houses and held meetings, administered the ordinances, ordained deacons, and sustained the faith and hopes of the persecuted and tempted ones." Page 35.
Who would dare deny this to be Bible missionary work, and not the modern kind so much in demand today ? One remarkable thing which can be traced through history, and that is God's protecting care over them. They went forth and preached the gospel, but we are told that they sought out their brethren. Such expression would rarely be thought of or used by Arminians today. They were not in the soul-saving business to help Christ, but sought out their brethren to strengthen their faith and to comfort the persecuted ones. It is to the point and facts in history and should be respected that this people were strong dissenters upon principles of scriptural directives from the Church of Rome and also of national establishments of any form of religion. This has been, and is yet, a distinctive mark of the true church. "My kingdom is not of this world," so speaks our Savior. I shall give a condensed account of this people and what they believed by William Jones. I shall give here his history, their confession and other matter of interest.
"Sir Samuel Morland has fixed the date of the first confession of them in the year 1120." Page 30, Morland's history of the Churches of Piedmont, and in Jones' History, page275, 276.
THE CONFESSION OP FAITH OF THE WALDENSES
We believe and firmly maintain all that is contained in the twelve articles of the Apostles Creed," and we regard as heretical whatever is inconsistent with the said twelve articles.
We believe there is one God,â€”the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We acknowledge for sacred canonical scriptures the Books of the Bible (here follows the title of each, exactly conformable to our received cannon, but which it is deemed to that account quite unnecessary to particularize).
The books above mentioned teach us that there is one God, almighty, unbounded in wisdom, and infinite in goodness, has made all things, for He created Adam after His own image and likeness, but through the enmity of the devil, and his own disobedience, Adam fell, sin entered into the world, and we became transgressors in and by Adam.
That Christ had been promised to the fathers who received the law, to the end that, knowing their sin by the law, and their unrighteousness and insufficiency, they might desire the coming of Christ to make satisfaction for their sins, and to accomplish the law by himself.
That at the time appointed of the Father, Christ was born. A time when iniquity everywhere abounded, to make it manifest that it was not for the sake of any good in ourselves, for all were sinners, but that He who is true, might display His grace and mercy toward us.
That Christ is our life, and truth, and peace and righteous-ness,â€”our shepherd and advocate, our sacrifice, and priest, who died for the salvation of all who should believe, and arose again for their justification.
And we also firmly believe that there is no other mediator, or advocate with God the Father but Jesus Christ,and as to the virgin Mary, she was holy, humble, and full ofgrace; and this we also believe concerning all other saints, namely, that they are waiting in heaven for the resurrection of their bodies at the day of judgment.
We also believe that after this life, there are but two places: one for those that are saved, the other for the damned which (two) we call paradise and hell, wholly denying that imaginary purgatory of antichrist, invented in opposition to the truth.
Moreover, we have regarded all the inventions of men (in the affairs of religions) as an unspeakable abomination before God; such as the festival days, and vigils of the saints, and what is called holy water, the abstaining from flesh on certain days, and such like things, but above all the masses.
We hold in abhorrence all human inventions as proceeding from anti-Christ, which produces distress, and are prejudicial to the liberty of the mind.
We consider the sacraments as signs of holy things, or as visible emblems of invisible blessings. We regard it as proper and even necessary that believers use these symbols or visible forms when it can be done. Notwithstanding, which we maintain that believers may be saved without these signs, when they have neither place nor opportunity of observing them.
We acknowledge no sacraments (as of divine appointment) but baptism and the Lord's supper.
We honor the secular powers with subjection, obedience, promptitude and payment.
This confession is sufficient to all reasonable and thinking minds of what this people believed to be sound and Scriptural, and it is very doubtful that a more sound people could be found today, or any who could be more scriptural and expressive than this people in their day.
The wear of time with so much corruption, and unscriptual practices, could not justifiably point the linger of scorn and criticism at these Bible principles found in this ancient document. Let all religious bodies compare and see if they can claim likeness to these ancient people. These people were found in the different countries of Europe, and with but very little communication from one place to another were tortured and run down as wild beasts by Papal Rome and her religious controlled governments. In this dark time they could well say, "We hold in abhorrence the inventions of men as proceeding from anti-Christ. And which produces distress, and are prejudicial to the liberty of the mind.'' How very true this is today in the minds of the many conflicting sects, and in the masses of so-called religious professors.
This people wrote their history in sufferings and extreme sacrifices, from New Testament times to the rise of Protestant rebellion against the corruption of Papal bondage held over the souls of men. They were called different names by the enemy, mostly by the names of their leaders in different countriesâ€” Donatists, Novatians, Paulicians, Lollards, Anabaptists, Baptists and in our day, Primitive or Old School Baptists, to mark 'the line of distinction between the Modern Missionary Baptists who originated in 1792 and were cut off from the original Baptists in 1832. There have been departures all the way back to New Testament times. It is not unusual for the heretical side to wear an acceptable name, or a good name, 'but let it be known that everything is passive in receiving a name and it is a fact that the Kingdom of Christ is not of this world. It must at least bear the marks of idenity, call it by whatever name you may. It is, and always will be just one divine institution, and as such to remain so she must be guided by the laws of her King, and must honor her King by taking orders from Him whose laws are from heaven and not of men. Her life is hid with Christ in God. They are spiritual, and as such are subject to Christ in all things.
A given law is a rule of action, a rule of life given to regulate and govern the subjects who are under such laws. Absolutely no given law is designed to give life, whether that law be human or divine. "Is the law against the promise of God? God forbid: For if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law." (Ga 3:21; also see Ge 2:21). Salvation is by grace, and not by keeping a given law. Here it should be forever remembered that both the Old and New Testaments are the given laws of God; they are given to be obeyed, but they do not give life. Here modern science and theory must stand apart. Bible science and the agnostic may clash, but it yet remains true that the Bio-Genesis account of existing life, and the origin of life is owing to antecedent life. This is a self evident fact and should be admitted by all fair thinking minds. Both the preaching of the gospel, hearing it, and believing it is from the heart, which has been prepared by grace for the sowing of the seed of truth,as prepared ground is a prerequisite to the growth, and a bountiful harvest of gospel fruits and Christian living. The sowing of the vain philosophies of men under the cloak of religion let loose as it is today brings to us the divided issues of over thirteen hundred so-called religious sectsâ€”all laying claim to being the genuine or the New Testament Church. Any form of religious teaching without placing God first, and Christ the full and complete remedy for sin's guilt, and the Savior of sinners, and the saved committed to the Bible as the only, and the full and complete rule of faith and practice, is a stranger to the Church.
God's saving grace was earthly and originated from physical powers of
men, then it could be seen, heard and comprehended by the sinner in
nature's darkness, discerned by the carnal minds of men. But this is
in direct conflict with the expressed truth of our Bible. We are told
that the carnal mind is enmity against God, not subject to the law of
God, neither indeed can be. (Ro
So evident is this fact that if God should withdraw His presence from
one child of His, that child would stand in darkness, though he were
a prophet, an apostle, a minister in our day, a church, or the whole
body. Christ is that life, and the life is the light of men (Joh
Men, though they may be good by human standards, preaching human
effort and thus substituting human means rather than Christ as the
means of salvation, are standing in darkness and are blinded, and
will also lead others into the same darkness. ''The light of the body
is the eye: if, therefore, thine eye be single, thy whole body shall
be full of light; but if thine eye be evil, the whole body shall be
full of darkness. If, therefore, the light that is in thee be
darkness, (professionally), how great is that darkness! No one 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
"Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey,
his servant ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of
righteousness." (Ro 6:16).
True worship cannot be where there are two or more personages being worshiped. God is first and before all things,and devotion is due only to Him. If God is within us, and we are being led by His Holy Spirit and walking in the light of His life, it is then the eye is single and looking to Christ alone. Then the whole body is full of light. Devotion to other persons or things is devotion in darkness. Christ is not only the one Savior from sin's guilt, but He is the only means to this end.He by His perfect righteousness and perfect obedience to the law, and then a perfect sacrifice, was a perfect atonement for the sins of the elect family of God. He met the conditions to make effective their salvation. A departure from this fundamental Bible truth has been the ultimate cause of the sects or world religions of today. It draws the line of demarcation now existing between the Lord's Church and the institutions of men.It distinguishes between a walk by faith in Christ and a departure from the faith of the gospel. The one is based upon our belief in Christ as Savior; the other is a demonstrated unbelief in Christ and turning to give glory to another.
THE MODERN MISSION MOVE UNSCRIPTUAL
This very important subject involves a serious departure growing out of the original Baptists, and developed into a new group of Baptists. Hence a new sect was added to the growing list of departures from Bible simplicity. It is a sad task to open the pages of history and write concerning a great body having so many of God's people involved in such departure. We are glad to recognize them as children of God in gross error,and many of them apart from the main body yet believe in the doctrine of grace. Our missionary neighbors often use against us such terms a "Calvinism, Hyper-Calvinism, Anti-effort, Hardshell," etc. But we shall see who their forebears were before the division, and just what they believed before and after the mission question which caused the division. I assure you, it shall be interesting, informative, and easy to discover. The move did not spring from the general Baptists, nor from Arminian Baptists, who now believe as do they that the alien sinner must pay through, and pray through, and by the simple terms of the gospel as a means of salvation by repentance and faith. Repentance before faith, and then the next breath assert that it is all by grace, and not by works, and off again by saying it is conditionalâ€”off again, and gone again jernigan.
In a careful study of Fuller, Cary, and Robert Hall, a percentage of their founding fathers, their followers have traveled faster, and went farther away from original grounds than any sect in Christendom, and the move has in all its formative and contrived display proved to be an utter failure to take the world for Christ, and to reach and save the heathen.
We have shown that Calvin and others borrowed their views on predestination, unconditional election, the sovereignty of God, salvation of the sinner by sovereign grace, and the preservation of the saints from those old Waldenses, Novatians, Albigenses, Donatists, and those ancient Baptists. Long before the rise of Protestantism, and without having to come out because they were never in union with Papal Rome, these worthy people bore the true identity of the Church, and carried the light of truth through the dark night of Popery to New Testament times. Arminianism is a system of salvation by works, originated by James Arminus who was a Catholic and lived A. D.1560 to 1609, and his system was repudiated by all leading church-men, even by the Catholics. Calvin's system was built around a belief that salvation from sin is unconditional, and is by grace and not by works. Behind the Reformation move in the fifteenth century, Pelagius, who lived in the fifth century and also a Catholic, gave the world another mixture of extreme Arminianism, a product of Catholic Monasticism, Platonic philosophy, where Pelagianism and Semi-pelagianism began to develop, and found its enemy in Augustine who was said to be sound in the doctrine of grace. Pelagius was a. British Monk and legal moralist, and Coelestius a Scotch or Irish lawyer residing in Rome, converted by Pelagius to monasticism. Neither of them, it would seem, having any Christian experience, were the founders of Pelagianism. See Hassell's History.
So Arminianism and Pelagianism both spring from Rome and by these men. Both were repudiated as being unsound in their theories by Rome. It can be reliably stated that these doctrines were the exception, and not the prevailing doctrines of any church before the rise of Protestantism. Augustine's ideas against Pelagianism prevailed in Papal Rome when each were put to test. All ripe scholars in the field of theology who are worthy of respect for over fifteen hundred years were found on the side of salvation by grace, though many of them seemed to hate the Church where it was found. This can be said of Luther, Calvin, and Old Presbyterianism, and many others. The Presbyterian Church did not until recent years lay aside Calvin's views and begin to adopt Arminian views in doctrine. But how is the field of so-called Christian ethics today compared with the past? So far as I know, all of them believe the Arminian theory, and have a very passing notice of salvation alone through Christ and by grace, except the people known as Primitive Baptists.
In this modern age of so-called enlightment, if it were based upon a popularity contest, the old Church is outdated and far behind, but to stay in the line of Bible directives she has nothing to fear. But on the contrary, she has more justified reasons to hold fast the time tested truths upon which she has come thus far than any religious doctrine advocated today. Many in the past have laid it down and walked away for a more popular theory.
Mr. Fuller, and those who worked with him, quietly waited until the great man Dr. John Gill's remains rested in death, and his voice was stilled, and his fruitful pen rested on his desk, before they advanced their new ideas of taking the world for Christ. Dr. Gill's scholarly writings, his Body of Divinity, and his complete commentary on every verse of the Old and New Testaments are more sound, and show a deeper, richer mind than any scholar of his day and some say than any man since New Testament times. While very few of Mr. Fuller's distinguished followers care to pull from the shelf his writing and ponder their meaning as well as their failure to stand the test of Bible theology. Writers of two hundred years ago, and now, should not forget that events in the future as well as at present must be tested, and entirely too little attention has been paid to facts then and now as regards the Church and its history.
The perfect Law Giver will not hold up and sustain those things which contradict Bible truth, whether it should be found in the Church or in the world religions in our day. Calvin and Wycliff sought and used the truths held by the Church to lay low the political power of Papal Rome over the nations of Europe, Even though they came from the Catholic Church, they knew the value of the truth held by the Church at the time, and that Satan dreads the light and the weapon of truth. The Church should be very active in the work God has given her to do, but it is not the work of the Church to help Christ, or aid and assist Christ in saving the lost sinners, or His people from their sins. Christ is a victorious Savior and is not to be worshiped as a defeated and dependant Savior, whose defeated cause is made effective by the efforts of men.
Go with me to the theory, and we shall open their convent and expose its failure. The people of our day have a right to know how this new move has gotten along since leaving the cradle in the back parlor of Mrs. B. B. Wallace in Kettering, England, October 2, 1792, and from this cradle grew to full manhood in the modern Mission business. I shall quote Mr. Fullerâ€™s son, the Rev. A. G. Fuller, Principle Work and Remains of Rev. Andrew Fuller. On page six of this book Fuller has this to say of himself: "In reflecting upon my broken vows, I saw that there was no truth in me. I saw that God would be perfectly just in sending me to hell, and to hell I must go, unless I were saved by mere free grace, and as it were, in spite of myself. I felt that if God were to forgive me of my past sins, I should again destroy my soul, and that in less than a day's time." On page twelve, young Fuller goes to his pastor about a member and his unbecoming conduct. This is what pastor Joseph Diver rightly advised him as to sins: "We certainly could keep ourselves from open sins; we had no power, he observed, to do things spiritually good; but as to outward acts, we had power to both obey and to disobey it,'' Page 14 and the year 1771: his pastor had held out hopes that he was going to become a minister, but he had in some way changed his views,which dampened his pastor's hopes on that subject.
On pages 19 and 21 Mr. Fuller says, ''With respect to the system of doctrine I had been used to hearing from, my youth, it was the High-Calvinistic, or rather the Hyper-Calvinistic strain, admitting nothing spiritually good to be the duty of the unregenerate, and nothing addressed to them in the way of exhortation, excepting what was related to external obedience. My change of views on these subjects never abated my zeal for the doctrine of grace, but in some respects increased it, I never had my predilections for Arminianism, which appeared to me to ascribe the difference between one sinner and another, not to the grace of God.'' On page 27 he said, '' It seems as if the Church and I should break each other's hearts. Tonight I have been truly charged with having an irregular mind. How heartily could I embrace death if it pleased God to send it." The above quotations are given to show the state of Fuller's mind, and conflicting with the views of his pastor and the church where he belonged. Again I quote on page 35, "On the second day of October, 1792, the Baptist Missionary Society was formed. The number of individuals present were thirteen, of whom were twelve ministers." This noted meeting was in the parlor of Mrs. B. B. Wallace in Kettering, England. These men withdrew from the North Hampshire Association to this place for the purpose of organizing the modern mission movement. This organization, and action was outside and independent of any of the churches or association at that time, and the enterprise was the result of these men who met here to begin a new move never thought of, advocated, or participated in by the Baptists for over seventeen hundred years. Not in Jerusalem, not a gospel meeting, not in Bethlehem, but in a parlor; not by our Lord nor His authority, not in A. D. 33, but in the year of our Lord 1792, on the second day of October the Modern Missionary baby was born in a parlor in Kettering, England. This is a scene of the pages of their own history. It was unheard of and the Baptist were as silent as the grave upon it until this date in history.
I shall quote Mr. Fuller again: "From the years 1786 to 1792 I experienced a great degree of spiritual darkness and dejection. I had sunk into a carnal spirit, and brought guilt [No wonder, look what the man is here doing] and distance from God upon me."
So far as Mr. Fuller is concerned, and the new enterprise, it was conceived of a carnal spirit, the darkness of dejection and a guilty distance from God. No wonder such a thing cannot be the Church of our Lord. Quoting further from page 35: "I know of nothing which has so enlarged my heart as engaging in a work the object of which is the salvation of the world." Evidently this also was spoken in the darkness, just as the enterprise was conceived in darkness, and its utter failure to save the world after it now becomes 168 years old is evident. The world seems to be even worse and worse as time wears on, with one half of the world behind the iron curtain in bondage and slavery. Satan and sin reign with as many, and even more per capita population of the world as when the enterprise was conceived in the minds of twelve men.
With all the modem technique, prayer-rooms, money drives, polishing and training methods contrived, they are dispelled as unworkable. The art of persuasion, yea, brain-washing, searing, with threats of fire and brimstone is sectarian egotism. Figures will not lie, and accordingly there are today estimated about 1,300,000,000 classified as heathen unreached by human effort in the world. And, no doubt, taking a look at what it really takes to constitute genuine conversion and the new birth, this calculation is far too low.
This once more I quote Mr. Fuller. Mr Fuller to Dr. Ryland at Bristol (subscribing his initials) : "Without experience no one can conceive of the depression of my spirits. Yet I have not despondency,â€”I am a poor guilty creature, but Christ is an almighty Savior. I have preached and written against the abuse of the doctrine of grace; but that doctrine is all my salvation and all my desire. I have no other than from salvation by mere sovereign efficacious grace, through the atonement of my Lord and Savior. With this hope I can go into eternity with composure. Come Lord Jesus! Come when Thou wilt! Here I am, let Him do with me as seemeth Him good." These seem to have been his last words before going into another sphere. His words here seem to be well spoken, and from sound thought for a dying man.
We shall now review the move as it comes to the shores of America, and in fairness I shall give their witness as my proof.
"In the year 1800 the Boston Female Society for missionary purposes was formed. It had at first only fourteen members; of some these were Baptists and some were Congregationalists. In its first year it raised $150 for home missions. This is said to have been [Get it, please] the first society established in this country of a purely missionary character. It should not be forgotten when we award honorâ€™s to the benefactors of their race that women formed the first distinctively missionary organization in America." Cathcart's Baptist Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, Page 540. Reader, this was one hundred and sixty-two years after the Baptists planted the first Baptist Church on the shores ofAmerica.
A Mr. Waller was appointed to travel among the churches in the interest of the convention. This was in the year 1832. We are told that much good was accomplished through his labors. This convention was the first missionary organization that was established in the state of Kentucky among the Baptists. Many of the churches openly opposed it, we are told, and many others were hesitating and suspicious in regard to the propriety of such an association. (Spencer's History of the Kentucky Baptists, Vol. 1, page 448). In 1814 the Elkhorn took up the subject and after discussion rejected it. The subject seemed not to have been agitated again until 1827, page 649. This Missionary historian says: (page 653): "It was sufficiently manifest that the convention which was unpopular from the beginning was constantly becoming more so. The friends of the organization made strenuous efforts to sustain it, but their efforts were in vain. It was manifestly failing. When the first churches (Bap-tist) were planted in Kentucky, there was no such thing as Sunday Schools known in the world, and for many years after-ward the institution was unknown in the Mississippi valley."
Page 718 of the same book the Baptists began to explore this new section about 1769 to 1780. William Hickman, Marshall Tensley and the Boones were among the first to go into this wilderness, and possibly the first Bible subject preached on was, "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his." (Nu 23:10). "The Elkhorn Association was established on Saturday October 1, 1785. William Cave was chosen moderator. At the request of Gilbert's Creek Church, the oldest church in the association, a committee was sent to inquire into its standing. The answer to a query from Tates Creek, the church was advised to use all tenderness to reclaim persons holding the error of conditional salvation, but if they could not be reclaimed, to exclude them. (Vol. 2, page 10). Here is an association at least thirty years before the mission question began to take root in the state of Kentucky,sending a committee to investigate and labor with tenderness and reclaim, if possible, some who had imbibed an Arminian idea that salvation was conditional, and failing to repent they were to be excluded. This same position carried through would literally set out and unchurch the whole missionary fraternity as being unsound in doctrine. So, for the same reason, those early Kentucky Baptists were Primitive Baptists and not modern Missionaries. If such was unscriptural then, it is now.
In 1814 the subject of foreign missions was brought before the association for the first time. No action was taken on the subject that year. This was twenty-nine years after this association was constituted. See page 18. In 1821 in deference to a respectable minority of churches, and for the sake of peace, the association with drew correspondence from the Board of Foreign Missions. In 1827 in answer to a query the association advised the members of their connection in no ease to join themselves to a Masonic Lodge. "The following year they advised their members not to join any society, the principle of which is secrecy." Church today holding as did these Old Baptists could not be modern Missionary Baptists because the very things which would make them so now were rejected by the Baptists then.
The first Baptist Church established in this country was constituted by John Clark at New Port, Rhode Island in the year 1638. See Armitage's History of the Baptists, page 671,and on page 673 he has this to say: " The first successor of Clark as pastor was Obediah Holmes, 1676-82, the second Richard Dingley, 1689-94; then William Peckham, 1711-32; John Comer, 1726-29; a colleague to Peckham, John Callender became pastor in 1731, and died in 1748, and from him a pastoral succession has gone on in a line of worthies which would honor the history of any church, while many of its deacons have been known as the first men in the common-wealth. The church has always been Calvinistic, and has practiced singing as a part of public worship, excepting for a time in the early part of the eighteenth century.''
This Missionary historian tells us the first Baptist Church in America was Calvinistic for over a hundred years. Now just what does he mean ? It held to the special or limited atonement of Christ, or that Christ died for the elect only. It believed in the Bible doctrine of predestination, and the effectual calling of God. It believed in the sovereignty of God in saving the elect and the certain and effectual application of the saving merits of Christ for all He died for; the preservation of the saints, the imputed righteousness of Christ, and the unconditional salvation of the elect and their final deliverance from the guilt of sin. These Baptists are from the old stock of Dutch, Swiss, and Welsh Baptists having a direct line with the Waldensian Church, the Lollards, Albigenses, Novations, and Donatists, and back to apostolic times. Armitage tells us that there were some of this kind in Britain in the fifth century when the Catholic monks began to plant their doctrine there. See page 599. In about 1894 Mr. J. A. Scarboro wrote a book exposing the corruption of the Board System: "The Bible, The Baptists, and the Board System."
Take notice please of the following facts in history: The first Mission Board was organized by the British Parliament on July 27, 1649. the act was entitled: "A corporation for the promotion and propagation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in New England." The government appointed a, president,treasurer, and fourteen assistants and gave the corporation power to acquire lands, goods, and money. "This is the first Missionary Board recorded in history." Mr. Scarboro is a bit incorrect as to this Board being the first. The first was by Pope Gregory XV in 1622. It originated in no church, but in the British Parliament. This was one hundred and forty-three years before the Missionary Baptists started theirs in England. (Mr. Scarboro's book, page 7). I shall here give for the benefit of the reader, the moves in this line as they appear in history. Please notice where they came from:
By Pope Gregory XV, 1622 (See Hassell, or other standard Encyclopedias on the subject).
By British Parliament, July 27, 1649.
By English Episcopalians, chartered by William III,1701.
At North Olsler Denmark, in June, 1721.
By the Moravians at Hernhutt 1732 by government Episcopal.
By the English Baptists in 1792, at Kettering, England by twelve preachers.
By the Congregationalists of America, 1810.
By American Baptists in 1814 (See Encyclopedia of Missions).
No doubt these were acts indirectly advanced by bosses of the various Churches who with power over the common membership moved with blind zeal for money and prestige, lorded it over them with a total disregard of Bible directives,the Church, or for the truth for which it should stand. Hear Mr. Scarboro again: "For a hundred years we have looked for men as leaders; we have made leaders, and our home-made leaders have led us into division, strife and failure. They have led us to the borders of Episcopacy, whence the way leads on to prelacy and Popery." (Page 21). Again: "Question: What is the historic relation between Baptist Churches and associations and the first Baptist Mission Society organized in Kettering England, October 2, 1792? It was organized during an association by twelve preachers who withdrew to a private house for the purpose and was outside and independent of all Churches. The Churches did not, and the association by its constitution, could not have organized it. It was therefore a DE FACTO organi-zation based solely upon the authority of twelve preachers." (Page 42).
Our missionary organism originated with our English brethren at the time of the revival of the missionary zeal through the influence of Cary, Marsham, and Fuller. Let it be borne in mind then that our missionary organism is of human origin and of very recent date, entirely outside of, and independent of the Churches and was not known in the primitive age of the Church. (Tennessee Baptists, September 8, 1860, page 51.) "But the advocates of the covention are fruitful in rhetoric as they ask with great fulness and complacency, Would you pull down the old house before you give us a new and better one ? I would certainly pull down our present and imposing building and invite my brethren to move back to the old house built by Christ and the Apostles." (Page 55). Do you wonder where they would go to find the old house? Remember, I am allowing the Missionary witness to speak his mind. Hear him further: "From the beginning of this system among the Baptists, England 1792 and the United States 1814, about half of the Churches had nothing to do with it. They positively refused to aid and affiliate with it, and this resulted in a division which rent the Churches and associations, precipitated discussions and strife which have continued to the present time. No other single agency has done so much to divide and destroy the unity of the Baptist Churches as the convention Board System.'' (Page 58).
How very true is this statement and yet the one who made it did not show the moral courage to leave it and come away to the side where there is order, or even mention the people who had nothing to do with it. Nor did he dwell strongly on the old house he would move back to. But on the very heels of this they came out and started the Anti-Board Baptists, or better known as the Bogard Baptists, who would like to wear the name, Landmark Baptist. This Baptist Baby was born in1894, adding to the long list of new sects, or religious bodies.
But my Missionary friend is still speaking: "Happily we all agree on one thing: that human wisdom cannot solve our problems, and only God can do it." Certainly so! Maybe after all, His plan is in the Bible, and we have overlooked it. Certainly it is that our plans have failed to do the work (Page83).
"Gentlemen, open the doors of your Baptist Missionary convent! Let the light shine in! We have enough of this close corporation business in Baptist Missions, and at the expense of Baptist Churches. Tell who the Missionaries are, where they are, where they are pastors, or sure enough Missionaries, and what they are paid at our expense." (Page 105). This book from which I have quoted was written by J. A. Searboro, having 419 pages, and it would seem, thunders into deaf ears against the corruptions and unscriptural practices of the Church. At the time Mr. Scarboro wrote the book he was with them, seeking to reform them and teach them away from the very things which gave rise to the modern Missionary Church; modern, because it originated in 1792 in England, and in 1814 in America. He gives very good reasons, and some sound objections to Convention bosses, and simply because the machinery is not mentioned in our Bible. So it was not the objection made by our people to preaching the gospel, as they are often accused, but rather the unscriptural reasons for which they went forthand by means invented unheard-of in the Baptist Church forover seventeen hundred years. Primitive Baptists purged these heresies out of the Church after laboring with it here and there for forty years. It caused a very sad scene of divided Churches over the field where it was introduced. It was fed by designing leaders and caused more distress than any division in past history of the Church. Its very purpose then and now has developed into a failure to help Christ do anything; and certainly it. has not saved the world from its sins.
Things advanced which bring about a departure from Bible doctrine must of necessity grow into unsound practice.This it true and should be stated that they have, during the one hundred and sixty-eight years of their history, departed farther from the original Baptist doctrine than any other sect among the modern religious sects. They have made more unreliable charges against the people whom they left than the facts could reasonably prove to be true. Entirely too many times in their writings, and from the pulpits in different lands,this organization has seen proper to make their strong indictments, untrue charges, insulting name-calling, such as "Hard-Shells," Moss-Backs," "Do-Nothings," "Know-Nothings," etc. They have charged that we are opposed to preaching the gospel,denying the responsibility of man; that we are ignorant, and using such statements as: "Thank God, they will all soon be dead," "I will live to preach the last one's funeral," etc.
If we did not live in a land with Bibles to read, such charges should be passed by with pity, and unnoticed. The old Church has no need to get excited so long as our Missionary neighbors in a religious discussion will turn and use our platform, which they renounce when in discussion with our people. The reason is evident. They do not have one of their own upon which to stand. Salvation from the guilt of sin is by grace through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift ofGod, not of works lest any man should boast. (Eph 2:8-9). No other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved, save through Christ. (See Ac 4:11-12). He, (Christ) shall save His people from their sins. (Matt, 1:21). This is Bible doctrine and therefore it is what we believe and teach. To believe in Christ, and at the same time to hold and teach that the heathen and other untaught persons will go to hell if we as God's ordained means to save them do not give ourselves, our money, schools, doctors of medicine, doctors of agriculture, doctors of music, etc. to help Christ save the lost. Well, the fact is, such unknown foolishness is a demonstrated belief in an unscriptural program, and unbelief in Christ as Savior.
The artful practice of charging consequences, calling names,and stating things contrary to the facts is unfair, and should not be engaged in. The Bible is our criterion. It presents to the saints a perfect rule by which to be governed. It is a standard by which our friends may find their way back to the old house which they left in 1832. This rule has and ever shall be a becoming way to walk together in unity and peace. However the guiding hand of Providence and His way of leading and blessing the Church has always been, and yet is a strange rule as seen by the world and the worldly religions. It will be a very dark day for the Church, should she leave this way and go with the world to men-made methods of pleasing God. Christ is the firm foundation upon which to build and grow. It is upon Him only the Church may prosper and have influence for good in the world. The famous saying by the Church so long used is: "We believe that the Old and New Testaments (the Bible) to be the inspired word of God, and is a sufficient rule of our faith and practice." This saying is found in the old Waldensian Churches, and by Novatian, before
the reformation move, and back to apostolic times. Today it is the grand mark of distinction between the Church and the world. The true and faithful followers of Christ have always been few compared to the many who depart and go into heretical doctrines. They are passed by and unreckoned. They are unseen and resented by the masses as being the Church of our Lord. Yet some in other bodies have seen and respected the doctrine held by the Church.
"The National Synod (in South Holland) convened by the state General for settlement of the Arminian controversy,containing among its eighty-four members, twenty-eight delegates from Germany, the Palatinate, Switzerland and England, sat from November 13, 1618 to May 19, 1619. All the Dutch members were orthodox. Three Arminian delegates elected from Utrecht had to yield their seats to their orthodox competitors. Francis Gomarus was said to be the only Supralapsarian delegate. Professor Schaff said that in learning and piety, the Synod has never been surpassed since the days of the Apostles. The Synod emphatically condemned all five points of Arminianism and affirmed to the contrary: first, Unconditional election; second, Particular redemption; third,Total depravity; fourth, Effectual calling; fifth, Final perseverance. They declared that election, instead of being founded upon foreseen faith and holiness and eternal life; that while the atonement of Christ is of infinite value, abundantly sufficient to expiate the sins of the whole world, its efficacy extends only to the elect so as to bring them infallibly to salvation; that all men are born in the likeness of their fallen parents, in a state of spiritual death; that faith and repentance are the efficacious gifts or works of the Spirit of God in the hearts of His chosen people who are thus wholly of God rescued from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of His dear Son that they may show forth His praise and not glory in themselves, but in the Lord, and that notwithstanding all the remains of indwelling sin, and all the temptations of the flesh, the world and the devil, God, their heavenly Father and unchangeable Friend, who has conferred grace upon His elect, is faithful and will never leave nor forsake them, but will recover them to true repentance and humility from their falls and mercifully confirm and powerfully preserve them in a glorious state even to the end." Hassell's History, pages 512-13.
"Every man that shall enter glory was elected of God to that blessed state and because of such election, is prepared by the Holy Spirit for its enjoyment. No elect person can be kept out of heaven." Cathcart's Baptist Encyclopedia, page 363, Vol. 1. This quotation is by my Missionary friend again. Yet on page 77 of the same book by this same witness, he charges the people who believe these things as being hyper-Calvinist, and pushing the doctrine of grace to extreme fatalism, and denying the responsibility of man. The Doctor should learn that responsibility arises in life and never a prerequisite to securing life. Thus he would save himself from being a prevaricator. The above quotation from Hassell's History clearly reveals that Arminianism as a doctrinal theory was repudiated as unsound and unworthy of serious minds who would pattern after the Bible truth in the fifteenth century. Today it is believed and taught by our Missionary friend as an accepted doctrine in their Church. This is true also with hundreds of other Churches in our day. In fact, all Churches with the single exception of Primitive Baptists subscribe in part or as a whole the doctrine of James Arminus. Any modem theory that turns to a person or thing other than Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart to save from the guilt of sin is a system of Arminian theology. The Church does not and by scriptural right cannot thus teach and be sound and orthodox. The man to whom its origin is traced was a Catholic. So the theory belongs to Papal Rome and not to the Church. And even they at the time repudiated both him and the theory.
If salvation be by works now and should be believed and taught as Bible doctrine by the Church, then it must have been also then, or in the long past. If it was not true in the fifteenth century when it was not the accepted doctrine of the sects or world religions, neither can the same theory be true though taught and believed as the popular doctrine of such Churches. The New Testament Church stands today as in the past on the time-honored truth that salvation from the guilt of sin first to last is wholly by the grace and mercy of a triune God. Christ met the conditions demanded in a just, but violated and broken law. Sinners were under this law and therefore were subjected to punishment if payment is not made. Christ took the place of the elect family of God as Mediator, meaning to interpose between parties and reconcile them, and to give security. "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus." (1Ti 2:5.)
If there is but one Mediator, then there can be but one mediation, means, or power to bring about reconciliation between God and the sinner. The Church has but one Man, one answer to the critic. "The one Man, Christ Jesus." And the Book positively so states. The gospel is not a means. One may rub his hands together and speak out against the Bible; he may have prayer rooms, pressure groups, programs, faith, repentance, and water baptismâ€”not one or all of these can be a means to bring about a reconciliation between the sinner and God or to save one from the guilt of sin.
"This is the stone which was rejected of you builders, set at nought which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby ye must be saved." (Ac 4:11-12). The old Church is perfectly willing to risk Him as the one Savior, the one remedy or means of reconciliation. He is the Mediator, the middle Man to bring about full and complete reconciliation. This position has never been refuted and never will be so long as Christ is loved and respected in His office as Savior of poor hell-deserving sinners. So long as words have meaning, sound logic and Bible truth is respected, the old Church has nothing to fear. They may rest on this position. All external teaching must reach and make its appeal to the mind. There can be no knowledge without power to comprehend. Neither voice, open excitements, or the art of presentation before the eye can be effective without the mind to comprehend.
The alien sinner has only the natural, or carnal mind. By use of this mind he may learn and explore the realm of natural things and become wise. He may be trained and master the field of natural science. This is an often demonstrated fact. He may become a genius, but only in the kingdom of nature may he use the tool of life which he possesses. His intellectual powers seem to be unexcelled. Yet the words of Jesus Christ thunder in his ears: "Accept a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." (Joh 3 :3). Again, "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned." (1Co 2:14). Again, "For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.'' (Ro 8:6-7). While in debate with a trained sophistical Campbellite, the question was asked: '' Which mind do you make your appeal to in preaching what you call the gospel? The carnal mind, or the spiritual mind?" I finally succeeded in getting him to arise to his feet and by offering him a dollar he finally answered: "I make my appeal to the spiritual mind of man."
This is giving us the Arminian theory a full yard wide, and cannot be answered any other way and respect the Bible truth, though he literally hates the consequences of such a position. For the past ten years he has left our people alone.
We are told: "To be spiritually minded is life and peace." (Ro 8:6). To all who are satisfied with what our Bible teaches this lesson is clear. The whole super-structure of Arminianism is a falsehood and full of deception, and it must fall. Fuller's new idea that the gospel is a means to reach the untaught heathen, who without it will go to hell is false. He teaches that the gospel is designed as a means of God to save the race of Adam. But the alien sinner is "dead in sins."(Eph 2:1-6). His ears are uncircumcised; his heart is deceitful and filled with sin. He is blind, deaf and in his pride he will not seek after God. God is not in all his thoughts. He (God) is far above out of his thoughts. Therefore the sinner in this state is reached by external teaching and influenced in any way, the teaching or preaching must be carnal, earthly, and agreeable to the sinner's corrupted nature. That is exactly what it is where and when the alien sinner is excited and rushes into the power and influence of worldly teaching. Plainly the theory is a trick of Satan to detract from the true gospel of Christ. The true gospel of Christ is of the Spirit and it is heavenly and is spiritually discerned. It reaches those who have spiritual minds whose hearts are prepared, whose ears are circumcised. They are given spiritual sight so that they may see; spiritual ears so that they may hear; a spiritual taste and feeling. Their spirtual emotions turn to that they need and which they desire. Now the spiritual, intellectual power is active and comprehends, the mind and soul is elevated, animated, and they receive with joy the news of their salvationas they hear it and believe it. They now believe in Christ whom the minister is required to preach.
The critic may come near and frown upon the need of God going before by His quickening Spirit to plant the life in the soul as a prerequisite to spiritual knowledge and a genuine belief in the gospel of Christ. But this position is so richly taught in God's word. The Church and the ministers who believe and thus teach need have no fear of the mockers of our time. They need not fear the popular trend to the Arminian theory of salvation by works or human efforts being substituted for Christ. It is His shed blood alone that can remove the guilt for sin. Our people in the past have moved back to avoid a constant flow of criticism and ugly charges. They have, in some instances we fear, removed some ancient landmarks of true identity. Some have gone to the extremes, to the right or to the left and have left the beaten path of Bible precept. But the sound and orderly churches positively have no reason to fear the position taken against our brethren in the modern missionary move a little over a century ago, nor should they pull up stakes and move back and fall for the popularity contest, going along with them in their departure from Baptist simplicity. Bible doctrine and faithful adherence by the humble followers of Christ will live when the heresies of men will burn with the chaff of this world.
I quote from a debate held in 1947 in Birmingham, Alabama by W. Curtis Porter and Dr. Glen V. Tingley. Dr.Tingley has this to say on page 10 in his first speech of the discussion, when he should have been cool and deliberate: "There are five thousand languages and dialects in the world. The Bible has been translated into only a little over one thousand of those languages and dialects. Yet the Bible plainly declares that the Holy Spirit is omnipresent in the world." You see it all depends upon who you are disputing with when you read from the pen of one of these fellows and find an admission like this. Because they both believe the gospel to be God's means to reach and save the untaught heathen or the lost. Grant the Doctor of a sick divinity to be correct; this was in1947, not five hundred years ago, but of recent date, and in an age of culture unparalleled in history. Travel and communication by the air, sea, and land, yet not half the people have a Bible which they can read in their mother tongue. With all the stream-lined methods of printing, the radio, the television, theological schools, prayer rooms, religious brain washing,â€”and a little over one fifth of the people of the earth with a translated Bible which they can read. Then these religious do-gooders tell us the God of all the earth cannot reach them only through this modern so-called soul-saving enterprise gotten up in these last days by these men. God is omnipresent, present everywhere, and He gives everybody a chance to be saved. He reaches the lost only through human effort, but He reaches only a small percentage that way. Angels blush at such contradictory unexplainable weakness of mankind who thus teach and call it the way of salvation.
So far as the English speaking world is concerned, we have the first translation in 1381, 1382 and some sixteen English translations this side of this date. Besides, there are many private works by many at different dates to the present. See James Hastings, M. A. D. D., Vol. 1, and 4. Christ is the means of salvation from sin's guilt and He met the conditions to bring this about in Himself while here in the world. Our old family Bible teaches this fact, and we should not be turned to another personage or thing and thus give glory to men and earthly means which is to be given to God alone. We do not wish to discredit any effort put forth to give us Bibles to read; we do not wish to discourage any effort to spread Christian principles to the nations of the earth; nor do we oppose the preaching of the gospel of Christ nor the fact that there are many of God's people in the worldly religions doing many good and noble things. Many fine works have been compiled into books and many scholarly works to aid in the search for better understanding of the Bible. Though they are often mixed with error and covered with a false gloss. What I do oppose is any Arminian theory that presents action before life, spiritual knowledge from a carnal intellect, thus substituting what does not exist for Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit as a prerequisite to Christian duty. Spiritual understanding and a belief of the true gospel of Christ as opposed to another which is not the gospel of Christ.
I will again call to the stand my Missionary witness: ''Our undertaking at its commencement [the mission move] really appeared to me somewhat like a few men who are deliberating about the importance of penetrating a deep mine which had never been explored. We had no one to guide us, and while we were thus deliberating Cary as it were, said, Well, I will go down if you will hold the rope. But before he went down, he, as it seemed to me, took an oath from each of us at the mouth of the pit to this effect: that while we lived we should never let go the rope. Mr. Fuller held it fast till his hand fell powerless in death." Cathcart's Baptist Encyclopedia,Vol. 1, page 421.
This saying is an open insult to the Church. If she is right in her understanding and preaching the gospel for over seventeen hundred years, and an open shame of the blind indifference held by the Church if Fuller and Cary should be correct in their new method of saving the lost. Because they said: "The mine had never been explored." Now just behold the teeming millions of untaught heathen dying and going to hell for seventeen long centuries because the gospel rope had not been let down with gospel preachers into the heathen mine.
And still more: ''They had no one to guide them in this new undertaking." After one hundred sixty-eight years of experi-menting with countless societies, money drives, brain washing, auxiliaries, parties, machine-controlled churches, they have not, and the Bible being true, they will not take the world for Christ. Such a wild and reckless dream is at war with the Bible and is evidence of the present condition of both machine and the world.
There is said to be over two and one-half billion people in the world and at least one billion this very day are behind the iron curtain of agnostic Communism; and still according to figures, one billion three hundred million are classified as heathen. According to Bible truth and census reports, there are more heathen today per-capita than when the new experiment began. Tell your people the truth about it and I frankly say they will cease to support it. But this you will not dare to do. I say as my Missionary witness: ''Pull down your present imposing building and move back into the old house." Thequestion is yours, and by you it shall be answered. See Scarboro's B. B. and B. System, page 55. The old house left by them is still here, notwithstanding your often-used prophecy:"They will soon be dead." Having a name as being dead,behold we live. '' There is one lawgiver who is able to save and to destroy; who art thou that judgest another?" Jas 4:12. But why judge another? There is no other. How different to behold our departed brethren coming back to the old house they left. Take up where they left off and begin to follow Christ with His poor afflicted people. Just leave what you invented out in the world where it belongs and we welcome you that love and fear God to come back and walk with us in the old Church. There is no justifiable reason for God's people not to live and work together, if indeed they desire and will deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Christ.
Those who have not learned, will then learn the meaning of the words of Christ when He said: "My kingdom is not of this world." We may strive for mastery and attain to the goal with training, and with a silver tongue, we may be masters of pulpit manners to attract the carnal wishes of a listening audience. He has yet to strive lawfully to meet God's approval and to be crowned with God's blessings in what he teaches.God will not accept a half-hearted service, nor pass without a frown the deceitful lip-service. (See 2Ti 2:5).
If one should speak with the tongue of angels, and have all earthly goods, and all wisdom, and should make the supreme sacrifice of offering his body to be burned, the poor man is profited nothing without love or charity which comes from God. (See 1Co 13). If God should so design to save a lost world by boards and money drives, and other cumbersome things so prevalent today, it would be found in our Bible, and the fact that it is not so given is sufficient evidence to forever pass it by as the doctrine of error. "There is a way which seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Pr 14:12. And again: "My glory will I not give to another." Isa 42:8. If the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle which was only a pattern of the true, then should not the true which God builds and not men, give Him glory for all things set in the Church? In the beginning God set in the Church apostles, prophets, teachers, helps, and governments, and there were diversities of gifts, but by the same Spirit. He set all the members in the body as it hath pleased Him. If it should please God to call the weak the unlearned, and give them a place in the body, and then they give themselves to study, prayer and meditation of the word, and then a few (not many we are told) wise and mighty, yet humble in the Spirit, having no confidence in the flesh, then the weak and the strong, the wise and the unwise, may be exalted together by the same Spirit to preach the wonderful works of God to the children of men. I am sure that this manner of teaching and preaching the gospel of the Son of God is far better than the vain and carnal displayof the flesh, and the wisdom of men, which at best is earthly and not heavenly, and to the glory and praise of God.
I remember a few years ago talking with an old seasoned lawyer and state Senator, who served my state in that law-making body many years. Among other things he said: "In my law practice I never use a script, or a written outline of what I may say to the jury or before the Court." His reason was, that an extemporan-eous speech from the heart founded upon what you know or believe is the strongest manner to reach others in speech making or in public speaking. I believe this to be true, and so far as I know the ministers in every age have uniformly followed this rule behind the sacred desk in preaching. I hope they shall see best to follow this rule and refrain from using notes and outlines or even copied sermons arranged by some so-called Bible school. Very likely it is the case that neither the author nor other users of such preaching have even a letter knowledge of what should be preached. Both our efforts to pray, or to preach may be very poor, and we may feel to be poor, yet to obscure or to hide from the listening audience prepared sermons it seems would be far more difficult than to hide our weakness, or still worse, our ignorance of Bible truth. I do not wish to hear this kind of preaching.
As the body without the spirit is dead, we may say the Church and the ministry and our efforts put forth are dead and formal without the Spirit to inspire our thoughts, when we meet in His name to worship. Perhaps the first time our Lord preached while on earth He said: '' The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted,to preach deliver-ance to the captives, and the receiving of sight to the blind; to set at liberty them that are bruised; to preach the acceptable year of the Lord." (Lu 4:18-19). John the Baptist was sent to the children of Israel. And many of the children of Israel shall be turned to the Lord their God. And He shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." (Lu 1:17). Lu 1:77: "To give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins. Notice this language. Suppose His people did not have remission of their sinsâ€”people of God, yet no remission of sins! But they have this remission of sins. The gospel was preached unto them to give them knowledge of it. And more, it was preached to His people to give them that knowledge. The alien sinner does not have this remission of sins in its application and this kind of preaching to such ones so it could only give knowledge of what they did not have.
In preaching the gospel it is designed to publish glad tidings, to publish the truth, not something to make it true. The Church went forth in the beginning as a Spirit-filled, and a Spirit-directed body of baptized believers. If one or more of its members are God's instruments, or are instrumental in God's hand to build the house of God (save the lost), then when the building is finished the instruments or tools will be laid away in the tool-chest to rust away and are not part of thebuilding. Else the house builds the house, which is ridiculous.
"Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that built it; except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." (Ps 127:1).
The minister here is the watchman. He is a watchman over the house which God builds. He is to sound the alarm when danger approaches, to feed the Church taking the oversight, and care for the house of God. He is also a part of the house and needs the watchfulness of others, that he remain faithful to his trust. In the beginning the Elders or Bishops were equal in rank, but today one or more are set over the others with flattering titles, and have power as lords over them, consigning them to their field of labor. They have power to hire and fire as they may see proper to do. The Bible is as silent as the grave on such practice in the Church in its early history. This practice was unknown for centuries. The Baptists did not preach or practice it before Fuller's day. Wherever it is practiced it has always corrupted the Churches.
Bishops, elders and presbyters are on equality, and the words have the same meaning, as to the office. The Church resents the lordly titles such as Reverend, Most Right Reverend,Father, Holy Father, Lord God the Pope, etc. The word reverend is found only one time in our Bible and has reference strictly to God and not men. See Ps 111:9. It is sinful to flatter some man by addressing him as Father or Reverend. He deserves no such title.
The above mentioned things are departures from the divinely given rule for the Church. The world from which they came is no closer to being brought to Christ and saved than ever. To all thinking people this is evident when we turn and observe its state or condition today. As given in another place in this book, Pope Gregory the XV (1622) advanced the first undertaking a (Societas De Propagana Fide), Propagandism to bring the world to the Roman Catholic doctrine. This was 170 years before Fuller and Cary went into the business of taking the world for Christ. This and all other such moves since 1622 by Pope Gregory are mere prototypes from the Papal mold.
Do you ask why Primitive Baptists have no Missionary Societies, Boards, Sunday Schools, Training Unions, Theological Schools designed to make ministers, and programs with countless auxiliaries to prop up the the Lord's business? I shall gladly answer: Such things are not one time mentioned in our Bible, nor practiced in the early history of the Church. Such things are the blundering additions to the word of God. I know of no better reason to leave them off. However, I shall make this concession: no doubt it is believed by some that they must have them, and to this I agree. But the very thing you must have will literally kill a scriptural New Testament Church that adopts the use of such things. It has been observed too many times to be denied. We just plainly desire to stay with the Bible way of doing things,â€”believing God has given to the Church all the things she should practice religiously. His laws are arranged and set in the Church, and addressed to His people to reach His designed ends, and they are suitable for every age until His second coming. Our Fathers in the past, and to this date, have and do believe that the Church of God is the only divinely organized and Bible-directed religious society in the world. Her duties are clearly laid out in the Holy Scriptures, and are not to be changed. They are sufficient to the coming of our Lord to redeem His people from death and take them home to glory. A disregard of these wholesome truths has resulted in the weakened condition and divided state of the Lord's people as it is today. And it would be well that all concerned confess this our sin, and repent of it, and come back to the Old House built by Christ and the Apostles.
The Lord said to Israel His people: "Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, let us reason together, saith the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as 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, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." (Isa 1:17-20).
Is it possible then, and now, that God's people should get in such a condition? According to the Bible and according to the condition of His people now, we are fearful it is the state of our affairs today. To our Missionary friends I would say, your admitted departure is serious. The superstructure of errors is great, yet a love for the people of God is compelling, and we would invite those who love God, and who are yet searching for truth to come back to the Old House, in answer to your searching question.
"Come now, and let us reason together." Is it reasonable to say that all departures from truth is going beyond a given rule, or seeking to change and perverting Bible truth? Christ our Savior is the Son of God, and as the Son of God He made a perfect sacrifice for the sins of His people, lived a perfect life, died, was buried, rose from the grave the third day, conquered death, went back to His Father's right hand in the heaven, after paying the sin debt, pleads His righteousness for those for whom He died. This being true, is it reasonable to claim we are believers in Him as Savior, and at the same time turn to some other person or thing, and trust in that person or thing as a means without which the sinner cannot be saved ? If Christ has finished His work, and has done all, and yet the sinner is not saved,â€”all because he has not repented, believed and accepted Christ by simple faith, is it not then something in addition to Christ which saves from sin's guilt? Would this not be God plus what the sinner does which constitutes salvation ? We are told that Christ dwells in the heart by faith; and such ones rooted and grounded in love (Eph 3:16-17). But Christ does not dwell in the hearts of alien sinners. If Christ dwells in the heart of an alien, and then dwells in the heart of His child, the child of God could have no evidence he was such, by faith, or by the indwelling of Christ, because such is also the case with the alien sinner. Is this reasonable ? It simply is not.
Is it reasonable to suppose one or many contrived acts or methods which are unscriptural, set forth in the act of worship,or preached and therefore believed and practiced, meet God's approval? Then the gate is open, and we claim what cannot be true, that God is well pleased in what we do. Is not this the life and soul of every departure, of every sect, of world religion today ? And therefore it is the cause of division and strife.
Would not this procedure grant in what we believe and do, that anything we thus do so long as it is under the cloak of religion is permissive with God, and His Church? Would this not bring the Church to a complete loss of Scriptural identity? Is it not time for God's people to be reasonable, and call all such things as these a trick of Satan ? They bring open rebellion against God, and as such we should flee from it. Would it not indeed be a sad state to be found in as the Church, when it has in it the very same things to be found in the institutions of the world? I maintain that these questions are reasonable. They should be answered with a prayerful heart. The sober-thinking family of God should keep them out of our lives, if indeed we claim to be the true followers of Christ. If the great Head of the Church suffered for us, it is well that we be willing to suffer for well doing rather than for evil doing, and departing from the living God.
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear," 1Pe 3:15. Baptists should give a good reason for what they believe and do, in the spirit of meekness. Their walk and conversation should be becoming to our profession. "This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintin good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.'' Tit 3:8
Constructive criticism demands that we offer to the reader something better than the things we criticise. So again, I shall offer testimony from a Missionary witness, rather in favor of what I am set out to prove. Mr. Benedict was a Missionary writer in the times of the Mission move by Fuller and Cary.He was well informed on the growth and development of the Baptists at the time he wrote his own history, and his last work, Fifty Years among the Baptists. Yet he was hostile to our people, because we opposed the new movement waged upon Baptist Churches. This brought down upon the Original Baptists their wrath, and this also is now a matter of history. As frequently stated by them in their writings, I shall bring this forward in this book.
I shall here quote Mr. Benedict: "The anti-mission movement must of necessity be a short-lived one. It has within itself the elements of its dissolution; and before my stereotyped pages could reach the different parts of the country, to say nothing of remoter regions, it will be among the things that are past and forgotten. Old School and Primitive Baptist are appellations so entirely out of place, that I can not even as a matter of courtesy use them without adding 'so-called,' or some such expression." History, page 935.
Out of respect for one who has passed away years ago, yet having a right to rebuke false prophets dead or alive, as a matter of courtesy, I must say over a hundred years have passed since the prophecy of my witness. Indeed the stereotype, and the worn pages of his book is very evident, and very few of them could be found on the shelf of libraries over the nations,I am quite sure. Primitive Baptists are quite alive, and what the writer then said, and no doubt believed, is but a dream, and a sordid expression from a twisted mind; and mock the wanted power to cloud the issues of his day. I now quote from his last work, Fifty Years Among The Baptists. Reader, please notice his contradicted statements.
"Our Old Baptist divines, especially those of British descent, were generally strong Calvinists as to their doctrinal creed, and but few of them felt at liberty to call upon sinners in plain terms to repent and believe the gospel, on account of their inability to do so without divine assistance. The Old Baptists in England for the most part held with their brethren elsewhere, the doctrine of Depravity, Election, Divine Sovereignty, Final Perseverance, etc. Yet they were not in the habit of enforcing them as strongly as in New York, Philadelphia, and further south." Page 102-103. Also: "The Fuller system which makes it consistent for all the heralds of the gospel to call upon men everywhere to repent was well received by one class of our ministers, but not by the staunch defenders of the limited atonement. According to their views, all for whom Christ suffered and died would certainly be effectually called and saved. These conflicting opinions caused altercations of considerable severity for the time, among the Baptists who had hitherto been united on the orthodox side. The Gillites maintained that the expositions of Fuller were unsound, and would subvert the genuine gospel faith. If, said they, the atonement of Christ is general in its nature, it must also be in its affects, as none of His suffering will be in vain; and the doctrine of universal salvation will inevitably follow this dangerous creed. While the dispute went on, it was somewhat difficult for the Fullerites to pass muster on the score of orthodoxy with the Old School party, or be on terms of entire cordiality to stand the pressure." page 106.
In the first quotation the distinguished historian revolts at the idea of being courteous in calling them Old School or Primitive Baptists. Just so-called, in the other with sugar in his mouth, calls them ''Our Old Baptist divines,'' and admits their Calvinistic doctrine stronger than the Fullerites set over against orthodox Baptists. But they insist that Daniel Parker is the founder of Hardshellism, and the first to oppose the mission move. But again, facts will not sustain the charge. As already shown, the new move was set forth in 1814, in America, and in England in 1792 at Kettering, England. How in the world could Parker or any one else oppose a thing before it begins to exist ? And still further, Daniel Parker opposed a new move, rather than being the author of such move. But the Mission move was opposed in its very beginning, in both England and America. Such position is weak, and has not a leg to stand on. Opposed it was, and yet is, by the Church from which these men came forward with it, and should have been purged out at the beginning and saved so many finally being purged out of the Church as disciples of these men in 1832. See Cathcart's Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 540, and Spencers History of the Kentucky Baptists given at another place in this book.
I shall continue to quote these men because I wish to bring this history to the minds of our young people who have not had access to the history of the Missionary Baptist Church. Some of their own writers are even more blunt in exposing it than we; yet without the moral courage to come out of it. They have more, perhaps, Primitive Baptist material members, who should be with us in the Church than all other religious bodies combined. Just enough grace is preached to them to satisfy uninformed members to stay with the new departure from original Baptist principles of Bible doctrine. Kind reader, if Christ our Lord has failed, and now fails in carrying through His design to save His people, why bolster up another scheme to take His place? How can poor puny man accomplish what the God of all the earth fails to accomplish ? Just where is the faith of such people anyway ? Is he defeated by the power of Satan ? Is it all because Satan does not want to exert his power that sinners are saved ? Is it not true that Jesus has power over Satan, over all flesh, over death? See Mt 1:21; Joh 17:1-5.
The writer does not doubt that many of God's people are among the sects of our day. We love them for Christ's sake.Some of them are my dear friends and neighbors. Nor is it right to fail in recognizing the good deeds, their generous giving for worthy causes. Like wars fought on the battlefields, and finally peace is declared; then as we begin to weigh the cost in lives, and suffering, both sides begin to say it all should not have happened, and could have been averted. How true this is in all our Church wars and divisions. Prayer is neglected, and deliberation not resorted to enough to reach sound decisions.
The sacred Scriptures are not consulted before rash movements into a field of destructive elements of new and untested acts. This always brings grief, and sad separations among God's people.
When new and unscriptural measures are advanced, causing a division, the party or parties introducing them are the new parties, the Seceders. They move away from the original grounds occupied by the Church. For the orthodox side to yield to the seceding party is to admit the original position to be wrong. This is to begin from disorder, and could not be right because of growing out of a corrupt fountain. When our Missionary friends started their new move, it was not designed to expand and reach more people with the gospel. This would not have been opposed, but it was a new stamp placed upon the purpose of preaching the gospel which had not before been believed and taught by the original Baptists, and certainly unauthorized by the Bible. Fuller and Cary were compelled to change the doctrine to agree with the purpose of preaching the gospel as a means to save the untaught heathen. The new move was no part of the old, and therefore could not blend as one.
The potentialities for the Church to move out and actively engage to do what God's orders command, has been ahead of our efforts put forth to reach better conditions, in growth, in giving our time and support to the cause of Christ and His kingdom. But the Church must at all times move out on Scrip-tural orders. This is not and never will be opposing the preach-ing of the gospel as we have often been accused of believing. Nor is this opposed to Christian benelovence. Anti-effort,putting forth no effort to evangelize, educate, preach duty to the saved under the laws of the kingdom of Christ, or to the lost under the moral government of God. Just think of this extreme accusation: Preachers and the Church opposed to preaching the gospel of the blessed Son of God! The charge is false; and there it shall rest, until it is taken down with due apology. It looks more like a design to prejudice the minds of a new following, which fails to thrive upon truth to enhance a sinking cause, rather than being fair and reasonable, on existing issues. Such charges are not now nor were they then true. The Church has borne the accusation of antinominianism by these designing men. What the word may suggest in its meaning, we deny, but admit there have been isolated cases of unsound teachers creeping into the Church in every age of its history, perverters of truth, causing disciples to follow after them. Yet even the Church should not charge them or others with things they do not assume and teach.
EXAMINATION OF BAPTIST CHURCH SUCCESSION
AS COMPILED BY D. B. RAY
Both our missionary friends and the Primitive Baptists,believe the true Church as set up by Christ has existed in every age to the present time. Due to persecution, and burning of records, history, etc. by Papal Rome, it is difficult to prove by existing Churches, or local congregations existing a chain unbroken by what writers have preserved and brought down to this age. But providence, and even our enemies, have spoken in the dark night of popery and notwithstanding the critics on this question, we can present ample proof of the existence of the followers of Christ in every age to Apostolic times.
The Greek word Ekklesia translated "Church", Kalein,"to call," ek, "out of", meaning, "called out,â€ﾝ or â€œthe called out.â€ﾝ The word translated Church, and used referring to the New Testament Church, it simply means, the called of God, or those called of God, or the called by the gospel. The word is used 109 times in the New Testament, translated Church, and three times as referring to assemblies of a different nature to the Church, Christ is the Head, and law-giver to the Church, as well as the builder of it. Matt. 16 :18. Set up by Him it has its existence in the world to the present time, and according to the Bible will exist to His second coming. In its glorified state it will continue into eternity after all temporal governments and organizations of men will have ceased to exist.
Scholarly men have differed and yet do on the nature of its existence, some denying and others affirming its existence through the dark ages, a period of at least twelve or thirteen centuries. Bible truth must prevail on the subject, and properly demands our search for its identity. "I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Again, "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. Rome designed to destroy her history in this dark age, but it should be remembered, its existence, and a knowledge of its existence five hundred years afterward are quite different things to observe. It can be agreed, that to pick up step by step, through the centuries trace the footsteps of the flock of God is difficult.
The conflicting account of different religious bodies and treat-ing perhaps on the same people and the same events in their history, makes it difficult to get the facts and present them accurately. You simply cannot believe the claim of all the existing bodies as they contend that they are that true Bible Church built by Christ. Christ built but one, and has but one Church. Any religious body may make this high claim, or even coin a very suitable name, designated as the genuine thing,and this is often done. There are today about 268 religious bodies in the U. S. A. and over 1300 in the world. There are 23 such bodies denominated as Baptists in this country.
It shall be my pleasure to call another Missionary witness to the stand, a very able critic, and we shall review some remarkable statements in his book, Baptist Succession, written by D. B.Ray several years ago. So far as I know his works have not been tested directly by our people to this date. I believe I have before me the twenty-sixth edition of the book. So it has had a very wide circulation. It seems as usual the natural thing to do is put the Hardshells, or Anti-mission Baptists in a closet behind locked doors, because of being in his way of succession. And in this he is very correct. Really, I would like to see if his powder is dry, and do a little searching in the fog and get the facts. Perhaps when all is out of the way, throw a match and see if his succession theory explodes. No harm please. I quote him as follows:
He quoting Dr. Howell: "I assert that from the days of the Apostles to the present time the true legitimate Baptist Church has ever been a missionary body." (Page 87). "Some say that we spring from the Hardshells or Anti-mission Baptists, others that we originated with Roger Williams," etc. (page89). "But of late some less informed, or of less information, or candor, contend that the Missionary Baptists broke off from the Old School or Hardshell Baptists about seventy years ago (1832). And the Old School or Hardshell call them the New School Baptists, and some even tell us they can remember when the Missionaries started." (Page 90). Then he calls up historic document of his own to prove the point at issue, some of which I have presented in another place which prove the point, and dates the time when they started their new move.
Expressions such as: "Old School," "The Old System of a limited atonement," "The Old Orthodox brethren," etc. The living words of David Benedict, as he, as it were, picked up his iron pen and engraved in the rock his picture in the quick-sands of contradictions, in disregard to facts also stated by their representative men that the Mission move originated by twelve preachers in the parlor of Mrs. B. B. Wallace on the second day of October, 1792, outside of and independent of any Church or association, so says Mr. Scarboro, your man. But the Church we must understand as he states, "was from the Apostles to the present a Missionary body.''
Who denies that the Church has a mission in the world? Not me. Every active body has a mission. Agents representing business, or a company working under others have a mission. If the man by such expression proves anything, he proves too much. Our Methodists are missionaries. The Catholic and Protestant Churches are constantly reminded by their leaders of their charge. The field of labor is consigned to them. In the same breath Satan is one of the most active parties with his agents in the field known to mankind. Does this prove all these mentioned parties to be the Church ? I hardly think so. Pick up any reliable history back of the Modern Mission move by these men. Such histories are as silent as the grave as to their existence in the world, because they simply did not exist under the Baptist name. But why call us ugly names because we oppose this modern so-called soul-saving business a mine which had never been explored? Your man said it, why cry about it? There is a people who oppose your new enterprise. This is true, but our very good reason is that it is a machine unmentioned in the Holy Scriptures, and unknown under the worthy name Baptist for over seventeen hundred years.
The ministers back of this move were said to have gone forth and preached everywhere, and against every foe. Where, oh where is it said a Board sent them? Or that they were helping the Lord save the lost? Echo answers, absolutely nowhere.
Under the missionary work of the Roman Catholic Church they reach and convert to the Catholic fold more by their missionary program than all other religious bodies combined. But that proves nothing unless their efforts are put forth along a scriptural method which God approves. To reason: The prefix "Anti" simply means opposed to, against, etc. Very well, are our critics opposed to baptismal regeneration,or that baptism is in order to obtain remission of sins? Our Campbellite neighbors baptize by immersion, so do we, but we are not opposed to baptizing believers because there are some who differ with us in its design. We believe God calls men and puts them in the ministry. We believe they should preach the gospel sent forth by the one who calls them and sends them forth. Their field is anywhere, and everywhere God in His wise providence may send them. To charge that we do not believe in preaching the gospel is a ridiculous charge to evade facts. What we do not believe, and therefore oppose, is the false claim that ministers are used as God's ordained means to reach and save sinners from the guilt of sin. Multiplied thousands who die without hearing these little saviors will go to hell. Now this theory is new under the sun under the Baptist name, and we frankly confess that we do not believe the theory to be sound and scriptural.
We shall now go to some facts in history. The first and great division, A. D. 251, brings to light a distinguished man, Novatian, as leader of a people who believed in the purity of the Church, and purging out ungodly members, corrupt doctrines and he held a sound discipline by the Church over her members. This people existed under every opposition, persecution and contrived method of Rome to erase them from the earth for over five hundred years. The Donatists during this time, and the same people, also suffered for the cause of truth. The Old Waldensian Church, the same people, often hid away from the eyes of the enemy, often were run down as wild beasts and destroyed because they refused to align themselves with the Roman Catholic Church, or accept her baptism. Also, they did not recognize her claim as being the Church of God. In the Protestant Reformation move by Luther, Calvin, and others, they came out of the Alpine mountains and the valleys of Piedmont literally by the thousands. We are told in history that it was not unusual to observe that their children could recite the entire New Testament by memory, others the Book of Job, etc. They had their Bibles in their mother tongue. They were poor in this world's goods, but industrious. They abhorred and spoke out against the conventions of men, in all religious duties. No boards, auxiliaries, Sunday Schools and such like.They were just plain simple Bible Baptists. Though in different countries of Europe, they were called by different names, often by their leaders, and as often by their enemies. They were admitted to be the same people as to what they believed and taught. The Dutch Baptists in Holland, the Welsh Baptists, and in England had a connecting link with these ancient people.
From Europe they came to the shores of America, and they planted the truth and set up Churches holding in the main, the same doctrine as their forebears. Their articles of faith, associa-tions, such as the Philadelphia, Kehukee, and many more could be mentioned, asserts what they believed and can reasonably be claimed as Primitive Baptist Churches bringing down to us the same people, adhering to Bible precepts for what they believed and taught.
Now, if there be such thing (and I believe this to be true) as Baptist succession, through these people, that line of succession must go, or demonstrate the utter failure of such claim.
I have before me the Old Philadelphia Confession of faith; also a copy of the Old London Confession written and subscribed to in 1689 by over one hundred Churches in England, the very same people our missionary friends were excluded from in 1832.
I shall quote at length from this confession, Chapter III,articles 5 and 6, on God's decrees: "Those of mankind that were predestinated unto life, God before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and secret council and good pleasure of His will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of His mere free grace and love, without any other thing in the creature as a condition or cause moving Him thereto. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so He hath by the eternal and most free purpose of His will foreordained all the means thereunto; wherefore, they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, were redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, and sanctified and kept by His power through faith unto salvation."Of Christ as Mediator, Chapter VIII, article 8, I quote: "To all those for whom Christ hath obtained eternal redemption, He doth certainly and effectually apply and communicate thesame, making intercession for them, uniting them to Himself by His Spirit, revealing to them in and by the word, the mystery of salvation, persuading them to believe and obey, governing their hearts by His word and Spirit and overcoming all their enemies by His mighty power and wisdom in such manner and ways as are most consonant to His wonderful and unsearchable dispensation; and all of free and absolute grace,without any condition foreseen in them to procure it."
Chapter X, and articles 2 and 3: "This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not at all from anything foreseen in man, nor from any power or agency in the creature, co-working with His special grace; the creature being wholly passive therein, being dead in sins, and trespasses, until being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit; he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it, and that by no less power than that which raised Christ from the dead."
Article 3: " Elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit, who worketh in them where and when and how He pleaseth, so also are all other elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the word."
Mark my word when I say Mr. Ray will lovingly hug this document and those who subscribe to it to trace his line of succession, or else his chain must break. But I must quote the author of Baptist Succession again; (page 90) and I quote: "The opposition of our Anti-mission brethren to mission work and kindred objects is a new feature among Baptists." Here my witness is so very correct. He is right. And why? The answer is easy. The thing positively did not exist to be opposed among the Baptists. Who opposed Alexander Campbell's move in 1737? Not one soul on earth, and why? The date is one hundred years before Campbell's move was asserted. "Who opposed Mr. Fuller's move in 1692? Not one soul among the Baptists lifted a voice against it, and why? The date is one hundred years too early for such idea to be advanced among the Baptists.
You may recall, it was said by them, they penetrated a mine which had never been explored. Pick it up where you may, it goes no farther back as a Baptist project than Fuller and Cary's day. This is fair and dealing with facts which cannot be refuted. Though Primitive or Old School Baptist are appellations entirely out of place, and such people, we are told, will soon all be dead. But we must remember there are other religious bodies who have grown in great numbers along with our missionary neighbors. That which proves too much proves nothing. But we are very sorry to be in their way and break this imaginary line of succession.
I have before me a history of the general Baptists, two volumes written by Adam Taylor. It is the best work on the General Baptists I have yet seen. Among other things it brings to light some very important matters as to the date of this body of Baptists in their origin. The General Baptists were started in 1607 by John Smyth in Holland, who was with the Church of England, and became dissatisfied with sprinkling for baptism and other matters. He could not allign himself with the Dutch Baptists due to his believing in the general atonement of Christ, and other Arminian tenants to which he held. At that time the Baptists in Holland or the Dutch Baptists held as the Particular Baptists in England and Wales, said to be Calvinistic, or that the Atonement was particular or for the elect only. So Smyth baptized himself, and then others, and thus the beginning of the General Baptists in 1607.
Now at this date in history, if our Missionary friends had so ancient footing on the shores of time, pray tell me why Smyth did not go to them for membership seeing they both hold the same position on the freedom of the will and the nature of the atonement of Christ being general or for all the race of Adam, and for this very reason he differed with the Dutch Baptists in Holland. No such Baptists existed in Holland, England and Wales for Smyth to join, so he baptized himself, believing contrary to the Baptists at that time.
If Mr. Ray, believing as Mr. Smyth on the will of man and the nature of the atonement to be general, should set sail through the General Baptists for a line of succession of Baptist Churches, he would come to a dead end at 1607. If he sets sail to tie onto the Old Baptists and back to Apostolic grounds, he finds fault in the fact he has totally departed from them in both doctrine and practice. The Old School Baptists are positively correct when they say the line of succession is with them. They have never been in line with the General Baptists, but have a clear sailing through the Dutch Baptists, and the Baptists of Wales, to the Waldensian brethren, the Lollards, Mennonites, Paulicians, Novatians, and back to the New Testament ground originating from Christ and the Apostles. The Baptist Church has nothing to be ashamed of in refusing to be called Protestant, because they were never with Rome.
The Church in the beginning was not a part of the Roman state, nor did the Church in any way seek to rule through the temporal government. It was the fact that the early disciples worshiped the (true God, and the converting power of truth which made the idol worshipers cry out against the disciples of Christ, saying, ''Great is Diana of the Ephesians,'' or Paul at Athens; the things he preached seemed to this idol worshiping people to turn the world upside down, and they have come hither also. See Ac 17.
Strictly speaking, Pagan Rome was a heathen power then ruling over all the countries of Europe, and no part of the Church, but rather set to destroy it. Now in some way Papal Rome has got to get a footing if she can in any way prove she is the mother Church. The one must fail, and the other must rise up. Not until A. D. 313, when Constantine the Great enacted laws to govern the Church, can Papal Rome put on her religious cast. Her forms of doctrine, and many of her rituals she seeks to impose today upon tradition, was cast in the Council of Nice A. D. 325, brought from the Cornelius party to this meeting which was the corrupt party in the first division between Novatian and Cornelius A. D. 251. The fall of Pagan Rome, and the rise of Papal Rome must put this date upon her as a Church, and back of this date as a Church she cannot go. So for this reason and a thousand others, she cannot be the mother Church. She has not her needed connecting link. The chain is weak, and the evidence dim at the Council of Nice, and welded to the very first link in A. D. 251. Novatian and not Cornelius identifies the true Church based upon the purging out of corruption brought on by Greek and heathen philosophies of Rome and Greece taught in the School of Alexander.
The want for truth to sustain the scripturalness of the modern Mission move, or an accurate account of even its resemblance on the pages of history back of the date of it origin, demands a very close examination of the subject, rather than empty claims. For one hundred and sixty-two years the Baptist Churches of America carried on without its mention in history. Now two hundred, or to be more exact, one hundred and sixty-eight years after the mission baby was born in the parlor of Mrs. B. B. Wallace in Kettering, England, this old world of Adam sinners has over half of its population of 2,500,000,000 classified in world statistices as heathen. But more, this grants the number of all religious bodies as being Christian. How shocking! The utter failure of this move laid beside unquestionable facts. Are we today going to let the issue rest, and the door to the convent remain closed to the great mass of people supporting it, yet uninformed of the facts on the subject? Observe again the things the Baptist Church did not have before Fuller's day, and I shall again use my Missionary witnesses.
"They had no Sunday Schools," Benedict, Fifty Years Among the Baptists, page 20. They were Calvinistic and Hyper-Calvinistic in Fuller's day, and before. This means they be-lieved and taught that the atonement of Christ was special and particular, and that Christ died for the elect only. The idea of a general atonement belonged to the General Baptists before Fuller's day and not to the Original Baptist Church." Again neither Mr. Ray nor his distinguished men today can run their so-called chain of Baptist Succession one step back of Fuller without going through these Old Baptists, and ah! my friends, read Mr. Ray's book again. This is exactly what he does. Think about it please. '' They had no Boards, Auxiliaries, Conventions, Money drives, and a fervor to help Christ save the lost from the guilt of sins before this date in history."
Where is Baptist history back of Fuller's day stating that ministers of the New Testament go forth to help a defeated Christ save lost sinners from the guilt of sins? That history simply is not obtainable. These Old Churches in Europe and America, the associations, their confessions were as silent as the grave on the question.
I have before me the history of the Baptists written by Thomas Armitage, D. D., L. L. D. Personally, I believe his work is the best work put out by the Missionaries. On page 673 of this work he states the following regarding the first Baptist Church constituted in America in 1638 and I quote him: "This Church has always been Calvinistic." Nearly one hundred years after its establishment, 1730, page 671: "In 1730 Comer, an earlier successor of Clark says that this Church maintained the doctrine of efficacious grace, and professes the baptizing of only professed believers, upon profession of total immersion in water." As shown in another place in this book, Calvinism is not rightly a product of Calvin. He is not the author of the contained elements of the so-called five points of Calvinism. He borrowed the tenets from the Waldenses, and to this many history writers have frankly admitted. Primitive Baptists believe what is contained in the five points of Calvinism. It asserts Bibleism, New Testamentism, and belongs to the fathers of the New Testament Church and no one else. Armitageâ€”see pages 410-411.
The Waldenses, Paulicians, Novatians, Donatists, called Anabaptists from the third century through the dark night of Popery because they immersed for baptism, and refused and repudiated sprinkling or pouring for baptism. They refused all alien baptisms and baptized all communicants from others, etc. Called Anabaptist to the reformation, and then Baptist and Primitive Baptist, yet the same people in doctrine and practice.
I will quote Mr. Ray this one more time: "It is to be hoped that no one professing intelligence in the future, will so far betray his ignorance or malice, as to affirm that the Missionary Baptists originated with the Old School Baptists between eighty or ninety years ago." We deeply regret to be exposed; also it is very humiliating to admit ignorance, but it is a pleasure of a lifetime to expose these doctors who thus rashly evade their own positions, and as here beg the question. I am reminded of a statement made by a noted editor of one of their papers a few years ago. '' I see in my imagination a belligerent Campbellite, and Baptist disputant discussing the succession ofBaptist Churches, denied by the Campbellite, and affirmed by the Baptist. The Baptist with pride lays out before his audience the fact or history of the old Welsh Tract Church. As a body she came to the shores of America, and settled just out of Newark, Delaware. Through her, Baptist Churches have a clear sailing from America to Wales, tie onto the Waldenses and through them back to Apostolic times. But one other thing please. The old Welsh Tract Church is a Hardshell Church."
See how very difficult it is to take a child born in 1792 and prove the child to be born in A. D. 33. But Mr. Kay's book fails in many ways to prove his idea of Missionary Churches having a line of succession to Apostolic times. There are some things which should be set before the people constantly in the close study of how men perform in the field of controversy. If his position is provable, and he feels secure, he then has no reason to resort to sophism, a trick, a quibble, devised to mislead the minds of others, such as calling others ignorant, and without candor, etc.
Our children go to school like other children; they are taught in the homes where they grow up, and go with their parents and associates to Church like other children. Their parents teach them to read their Bibles, to be clean in their habits, to tell the truth, to be honest, to respect elderly people who have more years behind them than their children who are so unfortunate to be born into Primitive Baptist homes. Frankly when I was quite young I grew up hearing these constant nick-names which were designed to create a prejudice in the mind. Iwondered then, and I wonder yet why such men are not smart. They were, and are still very critical of things to which they have given little serious thought. Else they would be honest and at least show respect for the truth, though at times it may hurt.
I have read Mr. Ray's book, Baptist Succession. It is not un-like many other books written by our Missionary friends, except this one thingâ€”and really it is seriousâ€”else the cows in Texas would laugh. He makes himself entirely too conspicuous by trying to tell how ignorant we are for not side-stepping the gulf between us so as to let him pass by the Church and what it believed and taught for over seventeen hundred years without the modern Missioary move existing on the shores of time. There are two routes for my distinguished author here, and only two: They are, to go to the General Baptists and stop dead still at 1607, or to undertake to put the Old School Baptists to rest long enough to pick up and read their path to Apostolic times. How strange for a smart man, one with so very much candor to so deal at the expense of the poor ignorant Primitive Baptists! Food for thought! Imagine the Primitive Baptists tracing the line of Church succession through the Missionary Baptists, believing as they do today. If it could be done, I would join them, or at least go to the anxious seat and pray through to victory. They never turn down this kind of a patient. And further, I seriously want to find an effective remedy for ignorance. Mr. Ray did it, only more people need to be enlightened by reading his book and then investigating the writings of others; first of all, the Bible.
Those old associations were what would be called today Primitive Baptist. They positively had no such thing as our Missionary friends have today, such as the modern Sunday School, modern revivals on a high pitch of excitement, to enlarge their membership. They had no pressure groups, no money drives, no prayer rooms, no altar calls to the unsaved; they had no supper clubs. But why mention these unscriptural machines? Ecclesiastical history is as silent as a tomb about such things being practiced by the Baptists before Fuller's day. I shall again quote from Mr. Ray's Baptist Succession, beginning on page 120: "Thomas Griffith, from South Wales emigrated with the Church of which he was pastor, in the year 1701. They settled at first near Pennepek in Pennsylvania, where they remained two years and finally settled at Welsh Tract, in Pennsyvania (now Delaware) in 1703. This Church was organized in Wales in 1701 with sixteen members. They sailed in Church capacity on board the ship James and Mary. Here we have a whole Church with their pastor, emigrating to this country; they kept up their regular Church meetings while crossing the billows of the Atlantic Ocean; and after its settle-ment at Welsh Tract, it sent forth quite a number of able ministers who aided in planting our American Churches. Among these were the names of Elisha Thomas, Enoch Morgan, Jenkin Jones, Owen Thomas, Able Morgan, and David Davis. The editor of the Minutes of the Philadelphia Association remarks that this Church appears to be very singular in its first settle-ment, and hath been the best supplied with ministers of any Church belonging to this association (Philadelphia Association, page 15) And this old "Welsh Tract Church sent off branches as swarms from a parent hive to form new Churches." Page 121.
Now this is all very true, and can be repeated with pride by real Baptists. But here is the fallacious delusion he would carry his readers into: I suppose any informed man on the subject, and the Church very well knows that old Church is a Primitive Baptist Church and has never been anything else; or rather it has never been a modern Missionary Church. Very sophistically he displays an untrue account of the matter. The reason is evident. Our dear friends cannot go one step back of the Fuller and Cary move started in 1792 in England, and is not strained with the charge of ignorance to be correct. It is the cold facts of history which cannot be refuted. Again I repeat, the people known as Primitive Baptists did not start a new move. They did not occupy new grounds as to doctrine and practice, but to the contrary, they opposed a new move, and a departure in doctrine and practice, and which was unknown among the Baptists for over seventeen hundred years. This new move was what rent the body, drove the wedge, caused the divided state that gave rise to a new sect in Christendom.
WHAT THE CHURCH BELIEVED IN 1689
The Church believed and taught that the sacrifice and atonement made by Christ for sins was special, particular, and for the elect, and not for all the race of Adam. It is true that such people as bore the marks of the true followers of Christ indifferent ages and found in different countries did not express their thought using the same words to convey their thought to others; neither do we conform to identical words to express our thoughts today.
Now the Arminian teacher of today finds comfort in laying claim to these ancient fathers as being the same stock, and sub-scribing to the same things they believed is inconsistent. I shall give perhaps some things already mentioned, the Old London Confession, 1689, and the Philadelphia Confession of faith written September 25, 1742. See Armitage History of the Baptists, page 715-16. By this and other good authority that the early Churches in America were the same as those who sub-scribed to the Old London Confession. In 1707 the Pennapek, Middle-town, Piscataqua, Cohansey, and the Welsh Tract Churches appointed representatives and formed the Philadelphia Association and other Associations. Those Churches and early associations were in the main one united people, believing agreeably with those old confessions and associations. One of the most remarkable things in writing the history of the Church, our Missionary authors stay shy of what the Churches believed and taught, unless it should happen to be such things believed to be favorable to their cause in the modern mission work. But how can two walk together except they be agreed? See Am 3 :3. How can a people depart so far from the practice, and not leave the doctrine also? "They went out from us, but they were not of us: for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us." (1Jo 2:19).
I have before me a book written by Elder J. S. Newman, entitled Missionary Baptist Contradictions. Elder Newman was as well informed on Church history as any man of his day. His strong memory was surpassed by few men, and he easily discovered anything in an adversary calculated to deceive, or mislead concerning things he believed and taught. I shall quote at length some things written in the book.
'' Therefore salvation is not the result of redemption alone, but of a multitude of other causes combined with it, to bring them that were afar off, nigh by the blood of the covenant."N. Y. Baptist Repository, 1833.
Newman's proof: "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." (Ro 3:24).
''In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace." (Eph 1:7). "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." (1Pe 2:24). It should be observed how they stress "trusting in Christ, believing in Christ as Savior, as we test them by their sayings. Salvation (say they) is not alone through redemption, but of a multitude of other causes combined.'' How is that for believing in Christ as Savior? One of two things here must be the result: The covenant must be as broad as the redemption and all the race of Adam, or the Bible: "A covenant ordered in all things, and which does not grow."-(2Sa 23:5), Baptist Visitor, March 24, 1898.
"The following scriptures teach a general atonement: Joh 3:16-17, and 1Ti 1:10."
Newman's reply: â€œIt will be necessary to take some notice of Dr. James Mullen a Baptist minister, who moved into the territory about1797. The Doctor preached and contended for the general atonement system, which was so contrary to the Regular Baptist doctrine, and the articles of faith on which Baptists in the territory had been constituted, that he was unable to obtain membership.â€ﾝâ€”Griffin's History, page 74.
The place and account of Mullen's venture here is at Salem Church near Natchez, on Cole's Creek in Jefferson County, the first Baptist Church constituted in Mississippi. This is unques-tionably an Old Baptist Church as her articles of faith upon which it was constituted clearly show. Here is one of their preachers who could not become a member because of his new doctrine. Though they now memorialize it as being their very own. But let us hear them again. Baptist Visitor, March 24,1898.
"Personal and unconditional election contradicts God's word, or man's responsibility; it contradicts God's word of His unbounded love to a lost world. It contradicts God's plan of salvation because it teaches men are regenerated before repentance toward God, and faith in Christ. Because all who are regenerated are saved, and saved without repentance and faith.
Newman's reply: "We believe that before the world began God did elect ascertain number of men unto eternal salvation, whom He did predestinate to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ of His own free grace. And according to the good pleasure of His will; and that in pursuance of this gracious design, He did contrive and make a covenant of grace with His Son Jesus Christ, on behalf of these persons wherein a Savior was appointed, and all spiritual blessings provided for them; as also, all their persons, with all the grace and glory, were put into the hand of Christ and His special care and charge.â€”Article of faith of John Gill's Church."
It is certain this old Church had John Gill as its pastor, Horslydown Church. He was born 1697, and died 1771; so he lived and died before our Missionaries were set forth by Fuller and Cary. But if personal unconditional election be true, then certain other things must be reckoned with. If it is not personal, then what persons are embraced in it? But it is unconditional from the fact stated in our Bible. See Eph 1:4; 2Ti 1:8-9. It could not be conditioned on the part of the elected ones, unless they existed before time. They did not, so it is stupidity to deny this fact, and at least with preachers, it is wilful to deny it, and that the Bible so teaches. Whatever stipulation or condition which may be set forth it is before the designed end is reached. Now the end is regeneration or being saved. The article states that if unconditional, it means salvation without repentance and faith. Now let us look at it from the other side. If faith and repentance go before and are procuring, or conditions, then if the party has faith and repentance before he is regenerated or saved, he has nothing the unsaved sinner does not have, and he has no evidence that he is saved by repentance and faith. If he does, so do sinners who have the same thing. But repentance and faith are evidences, the effect, not the cause of regeneration. Faith is the fruit of the Spirit, and of course the tree that bears it exists before the fruit. God gives repentance, God works repentance, God leads to repentance. Repentance is a noun. Repent is a verb. See Ac 5:31; Ro 2:4; 2Co 7:10; Ga 5:23, American Baptist Flag, November 17, 1898. "I am a Baptist through and through, and have no use for alien immersion, pulpit affiliation, etc. But I consider the idea of unconditional election alike dishonoring to God, and destructive to man." â€”D. R. Barber
Newman's Reply: " It is equally as true and may as evidently be deduced from the word of truth, that foreseen good works are not the cause of our election to salvation. One end of our election was to bring us to love and practice holiness; and therefore good works, or holiness of life could not have been the reason of the eternal purpose to recover us to the divine image and favor. The purpose of election stands not of works, but of Him that calleth (Ro 9:11). All the grace of the Spirit, and all our acts of true religion and virtue are to be considered as effects of the unconditional and eternal counsel of God in Christ.â€” Minutes of Philadelphia Association." Page 263.
The two positions expressed here are as far apart as darkness and light. They do not dwell together for the same people to take, believe and walk together. The one expresses the views of the Original Baptists. The other is a total departure.
"I believe God's word teaches that whosoever that calleth upon God shall be saved, and the very moment that he or she trusts in Jesus to save his soul, right then and there he becomes one of God's elect." J. A. Chambers in American Baptist Flag, November 11, 1897.
''Good works are by no means the foundation of our acceptance or justification in the sight of God. Nothing that we have ever done, and nothing possible for us to ever perform, will have the least concern or weight in the important affair of our acquittal from guilt, and acceptance as righteous before the tribunal of a holy God. Nothing on earth or in heaven can be found to answer this glorious purpose, but the finished righteousness and atoning of the great Emmanuel, God, God with us." Philadelphia Association Minutes, page 263.
Here the Missionaries contend that the very moment the sinner believes and trusts in Jesus, he is at that moment elected. But the election took place in eternity, before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4). And right then at that moment the sinner did not exist. The stipulated conditions of repentance and faith as such must go before the election, and it is the sinner who must meet these conditions to become an elect. This simply cannot be the truth of the Bible. On the other side we have the position of the old Philadelphia Association, a body of Baptists which they boldly assume to be their kind of Baptists, which is also false.
"Have you something to do, gentle reader? Then do with all your might. If you have nothing definite to do, stop and breathe a prayer to God to direct you into some useful task in His service. Your joy and growth depends upon it, the advancement of God's cause depends upon it, and might we say, the salvation of some soul may depend upon it."
"The doctrinal system of the denomination of Baptists is Calvinistic and orthodox. They believe in the eternal decrees of God, in reference to the salvation of the elect, and hold that such as have been predestinated to be saved from the foundation of the world SHALL be saved, and NO OTHERS."â€” Smucker's History, page 40, 41.
Again I quote our Missionary friend: "Since the division the Missionary Baptists teach that the election taught in the scriptures is sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. And that none are authorized to consider themselves elected until they repent and believe the gospel.'' Big Saline Association of 1863.
Newman's Reply: â€œIn 1765 the Kehukee Association was formed, and on page 51 of the history of that Association we find the article of faith of this noble body of Baptists; the third article reads thus: "We believe that God before the foundation of the world, fora purpose of His own glory, did elect a certain number of men and angels to eternal life; and that this election is particular, eternal, and unconditional on the creature's part."
Again we have here a clear demonstration of total departure from original ground occupied by the Baptists before the division. The one was written expressing the position of the Baptists sixty-seven years before the division, and the other article expressed the views taken by the Missionaries thirty-three years after the division.
"We have digged deep into the scriptures of eternal truth, and believe this work will stand the test. [This I seriously doubt.â€”J.D.H]. I believe the doctrine of election to be a whole-some doctrine, and it is our duty to understand and preach it to a lost world. If election is confined to only a few, why send our missionaries to preach the gospel to the lost? If they were elected before the foundation of the world, they will be saved whether they hear the gospel or not."â€”H. A. Thompson on Election, page 19.
Newman's Reply: ''We believe all those who were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world are in time effectually called, regenerated, converted, and sanctified; and are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation." Griffin's History of the Baptists, page 77.
While the articles of faith of these Old Baptists in Mississippi plainly give evidence of the kind they were before the division, the quotation from Mr. Thompson plainly shows that instead of digging deep in the scriptures for proof of what he believes, he is deeply in error and evidences his labor to save his mission god. If Mr. Thompson feels deeply concerned and therefore must deny the Bible on this point, then they should answer the issue by showing this election takes place when the sinner believes. Again, if the untaught heathen who has never, and shall never hear these men preach, and must hear them or else they will spend eternity in hell, then who is responsible for their damnation? If such ones die and are cast into hell for not believing what they could not believe until they hear the gospel, and these men fail to carry the gospel to them, then the responsibility is upon the shoulders of these men, and damnation it seems, would rest upon them for not carrying the means of salvation to them. Blessed opportunity is placed here upon the wrong party as to damnation. Mr. Thompson did not dig deep or else he would have found the following scriptures: "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." (Eph 1:3-4).
But let us dig a little deeper here, please: It was Paul, and it was the saints at Ephesus, and it was the faithful in Christ Jesus who were thus chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. That was a long time ago. The faithful in Christ Jesus are certainly the ones created in Christ, born again, new creatures, etc. So are all others who are in the family of God. Now this would include our Missionary friends, if so be that they have been born of God, and therefore see the kingdom of God (Eph 2:8,10; Col 1:12-13; Joh 3:3-8) Or rather, such ones can see, they have eyes to see, and ears to hear. Not as Mr. Thompson charges, when he said: "If election is confined to only a few, why send out missionaries?" etc. But this is not the position taken by the people he is here speaking against. It is not assumed how many are elected, nor how few. It is positively stated: "The scriptures foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, 'In thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.' So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. (Ga 3:8-9). Here the truth is preached in the promise of God to Abraham, that the heathen would be justified by faith, and those which be of faith are blessed. And the heathen now are people untaught, and then the untaught Gentile nations, or His people among them.
''Men tell us that the election was made in eternity. Does God say so? Most assuredly He does nothing of the kind."â€”H. A. Thompson, page 12.
Newman's Reply: ''That in eternity, God out of His own good pleasure chose a certain number of Adam's progeny to eternal life, and that He did not leave the accomplishment of His decree to accident or chance, but decreed all the means to bring about the event: therefore they are chosen to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. Their calling was decreed, in the purpose of election. It is said when called, that they are called according to His purpose and grace given in Christ Jesus before the world began. And all in order to manifest the glory of His grace.'' History of the Ketocton Association, page 17.
If the choice or election took place before time, or before the foundation of the world, and the Bible so teaches (Eph 1:1-4; 2Ti 1:8-9; 1Pe 1:2), the choice was made in Christ in eternity, and Mr. Thompson simply begs the question here, and would seem against his better judgment, and he therefore stands exposed before thinking minds who may read his statement. "I know this is a stronghold for unconditional election, but it is not taught here, nor anywhere else. The thirty-seventh verse is the strong part: 'All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me.' Now the question is, when did the Father give them to Him? When the sinner comes to God by repentance. The Father gives them to the Son for life, and the Son says: 'He that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out.' "H. A. Thompson, page 18.
Newman's Reply: It pleased God in His eternal purpose to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus Christ His only begotten Son, according to the covenant made with them both, to be the Mediator between God and man, that Prophet, Priest, and King, Head and Savior of His church, the heir of all things, and the judge of the world; unto whom He did from all eternity give a people to be His seed and to be by Him redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified.â€”London Confession, Section 8.
Here we have strong language by Mr. Thompson, and also by the old London Confession. One is set squarely against the other. He in effect seeks to evade the force of the language and Bible truth: "All the Father giveth Me shall come to Me." (Bible). "All that comes shall be given." (Thompson).
"Election belongs to time, as salvation belongs to time. When Christ died He blotted out forever the Adamic sin, so that man is not condemned for Adam's sin, but for his own sin, and by virtue of the sacrifice of Christ Jesus made, all men can be saved who will repent and believe in Jesus." H. A. Thompson, page 16.
Newman's Reply: "Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose and secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory out of His mere free grace and love, without any other thing in the creature as a condition or cause moving Him there-to." Griffin's History, page 20.
Well, well! What is the Adam sin? Are we not, as the offspring of Adam., sinners? Or children of Adam's race? If Christ died for all Adam sinners, then He died for all sinners. Someone please tell us what other kind of sinners we have but Adam sinners. But the poor fellow breaks his theological neck on such wild expression. Why? If our personal sins are different, and not Adam sins, committed by Adam sinners, then here is what the gentleman has: "So then man is not condemned for Adam's sin.'' Our personal sins cannot be the Adam sin. We are yet in our personal sins with no redemption made for them, no sacrifice made to put them away.
Now if repentance and faith removes our personal sins, we have found Thompson's savior, his god, and there is no way to evade the issue. Here is where the Arminian theory breaks and falls apart. But all the election we have is like salvation: It takes place in time. Such a reckless position as this flatly denies Bible truth, and sets the sinner or heathen on the waiting list for a preacher to come and present to him the only hope he has in this world or the world to come, namely, the message from the preacher, and a right disposal is strictly based upon his repentance and faith which puts away his personal sins. No other way to look at it; and if true, it all turns to the act of the preacher and the sinner as the god who saves.
"The doctrine of unconditional personal election is however a very old dogma. It dates back to the fourth century after Christ." T. C. Greenwood.
Newman's Reply: ''Ignatius to the Church which blessed in the greatness and fulness of the Father to her who is predestinated before the world began to be forever unto everlasting and unchangeable glory, perfected and elected, of Jesus our God." Stow on The, Bible, page 432.
Indeed the doctrine of unconditional election is a very old dogma, and as much a part of our Bible as any other subject taught therein. Suppose these men with great zeal should set out today to identify themselves as the true Church, and yet deny these points of doctrine. Frankly, there is but one road back of the Mission move for them to take, and that road is Papal Rome, and it fades away in A. D. 313, when Constantine enacted laws to govern the Church and from here sent out a flood of persecution against the poor suffering saints.
From what we have said, various useful observations by way of inference might be made; but we shall only mention two: "First, that according to the gospel, the atonement of Christ did not extend to every individual of the human race; and secondly, that the gospel contains no conditional offers of salvation." (Philadelphia Minutes, page 311). But I must call another Missionary witness to the stand, and let him tell us where the Church is to be found. Hear him: '' Waco, Texas, September 18, 1893. You ask me if I regard baptism administered by Primitive, or Hardshell Baptists valid. This question is of great and growing importance; and for years I have given it earnest and prayerful study, weighing everything on both sides fully, and my deliberate conclusion is that baptism administered by Primitive or Hardshell (Baptist) preachers in good standing, to a converted believer, is as valid as if administered by John the Baptist, the Apostle Paul, John, A. Broadus, or James H. Stribling. My reasons are: first, a mistake from honest conviction, or prejudice about preaching the gospel to the heathen does not invalidate baptism. If so, the baptism of three thousand on the day of Pentecost and the twelve thousand during the first revival at Jerusalem would be invalid. For nothing is clearer in the New Testament than that Peter and all the Apostles at first were anti-Missionary, or Hardshell Baptists, and the whole Church at Jerusalem were so intensely anti-Missionary or Hardshell, that as soon as Peter returned from his first foreign missionary [Reader, if it were not for the seriousness of the matter this would provoke a hearty laugh, a smile is not enough here. J. D. H] tour the Church arraigned him for trial. The third reason is, that our Primitive, or Hardshell brethren have never rejected any ordinance or doctrine of the Baptist Church as founded by Christ and the Apostles 1892 years ago on the banks of Jordan. It is a mournful fact that while some of our Hardshell brethren have become fatalists, scores of our Missionary Baptists are only immersed Methodists in the Baptist Church. I repeat, our Primitive brethren have not rejected any doctrine or ordinance of Christ. But with wonderful tenacity they cling as we do, to all the doctrines and ordinances as they came from heaven, pure, simple, and sublime." R. C. Burleson, in Baptist Reflector, April, 28, 1892.
I had just about begun to think that Mr. Burleson was headed for the Mourner's bench. I detest being called a Hardshell, but since Peter and Paul, and the whole church at Jerusalem are thus called, I am delighted to be in such good company. If the Church Mr. Burleson describes as being Hardshell has kept the ordinances, and the doctrine with wonderful tenacity from heaven, pure, simple, and sublime, then the mission move is in a very bad light to criticize the Church for so doing. And after they were purged out of the Church, the Primitive Baptists have uniformly rejected their baptism as being invalid, and our reason is that the departure is so evident, and the positions taken by them, so greatly in error, that they must so far as we are concerned, be classified as a new sect, or a new denomination. We could not do otherwise and be scriptural, because the Apostle told the Church to keep the ordinances as delivered. "Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances as I delivered them to you." (1Co 11:2). Our Waldensian brethren through the dark night of Popery and from time out of mind, even back to the very statement of the Apostle, the Church has believed and taught there are two ordinances given to the Church to keep and observe. They are set in the Church and we are forbidden to recognize them as being moved to other institutions of the world. The ordinances are the Lord's Supper, and baptism. This very truth was firmly held by the Church in the beginning of sprinkling, or pouring for baptism, or the baptism of Rome. All who were converted to truth from her ranks were baptized disregarding any of her forms she had administered and called baptism. She raged at the fact that her rituals and empty forms were repudiated, and hundreds of thousands have been put to death in every conceivable way by her for this reason. When new and unscriptural practices are used, drawing away disciples after designing leaders, new sects are the result. Such departures leave the ordinances, and the right to administer them, just as they leave the Church. This it a strong mark of the true Church today as it was in the past history of the Church, by standing firm in the faith.
It is here admitted by them that we have not departed from the doctrine and practice of the first Church, and the Apostles in the beginning. Again admitted, it is the old house built by Christ and the Apostles, and the new and imposing building by Fuller, Cary and others in Kettering, England in 1702. Disregarding the old landmarks, and Bible directives are very evident, when men start out to build up a new following. The serious things about this thing erected by designing men is that it deceives so many of the Lord's people, and obstructs the way to the true Apostolic Church. Such men may have obtained valid baptism, and membership with the saints in the Church, but when expelled, and apart from the Church they have no right to administer baptism, because apart from the Church, the ordinance does not exist. If so be the Church as commanded, keeps the ordinances as delivered to the Church. But suppose a good man and with good intentions, is not a member of the Church, yet a minister finds a penitent believer in God not led into the gospel truth and to the Church. The minister baptizes the subject in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. He immerses his subject for baptism. One may ask what could be wrong in the act or procedure here? It is my sincere belief the baptizer, and the baptized have neglected one thing, and that thing is, the Church and where the ordinances are to be found, have been disregarded, so the act is invalid.
The true disciple is required to do what God commands, and not to contrive ways of doing things, teaching things, to please alienated religionists of the world. Though they be by human standards good men, yet they owe first in their lives, obedience to God. Had the Church failed, or if it has failed to do this, she will soon loose her identity as the Church of our Lord. If these things are adhered to by the Church, and respected by good material for the Church who are not as yet members of it, it would put deceivers out of business who work under the cloak of religion.
Let me make this observation based upon being a member of the Church nearly thirty-eight years, and a minister for over thirty-one years, and I certainly mean what I am going to say: The Church and her ministers believe in, and feel the weight of responsibility to preach the gospel of Christ wherever the door of faith is opened, and as the Lord by His Spirit directs, and to reach the hearing ear and the hearts prepared to receive the gospel truth, believe and obey them. Such ones and no others are commanded to repent and believe, and obey the gospel of Christ. They are unopposed to any scriptural means to reach the field, preach and administer the ordinances, and they teach those who hear and believe to observe all things whatsoever our Lord commands. God calls, and He sends His ministers to preach. Let who may deny this position, it is the only way entered into by men that has proved to have the stamp of God's approval upon it. Boards, presidents, secretaries, clubs, unscriptural schools, auxiliaries, money drives, all set in operation to aid and assist Christ in saving sinners of Adam's race from the guilt of sin, is a monumental failure, and reliable figures on the field so proves.
But the greater objection which can possibly be offered: It is a modern machine the Bible knows nothing about, only to condemn as the doctrines and commandments of men.
Now for this position we must be charged by its advocates as being opposed to preaching the gospel. Well, this is an old grey-headed untruth, which fair-minded people refrain from using. The thing opposed is the designed end its advocates suggest, and not preaching the gospel of Christ. The false plea that the world can and should be taken for Christ in this age or in any age, is a mythological delusion of the mind, and the state or condition of the world is concrete proof of it.
Again, the theory is at war with the Bible, and the language of our Savior who said: "I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given Me." Again, "My kingdom is not of this world. They [the anti-Christ] are of the world, therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth Me: and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me. And I will pray the Father and He will give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you and shall be in you." (Joh 13:20; 14:16-17). The very fact that the world receives the modern teachers of our day needs no explanation, other than the fact they have just what the world conforms to.
There are justified reasons why this modern machinery setup should be exposed or brought to light, so that others may see just what is going on behind the scene. With fairness to all concerned, the system is a prototype of Papal Rome, and just as her untiring effort is to bring into the Catholic fold the nations of the world, so the modern Mission move is set out to get the number following the pattern of Rome.
When God, "at sundry times and in divers manners, spoke unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom He also made the worlds." (Heb 1:1-2).
He sent the prophets to Israel, and not to the nations around them. The place is wanting in the Old Testament where the prophets or anyone else got their orders from God to aid or assist Him in saving others from the guilt of sin.
Israel was disobedient, nevertheless, God sent prophets to warn them, and to teach them. So it is today. God's dear people at times are very disobedient. At times they rebel and go back; others turn their ears away from the truth; but God calls and sends His servants into the field to warn them, to rebuke them, and to gently teach them to shun the evils of their day, to repent of their sins to observe all things whatsoever their Master and Lord commands them to do. Just a shadow, just a likeness, or it may be something, person, or thing, yea, anything, set forth to take the place of, to aid or assist the sovereign and triune God save the sinner from sin's guilt and it occupies the same place in Bible history as anti-Christ. Here some will differ but let us turn to the ugly word and get its definition."antiâ€”prefix, a combining form. Gr. anti- against, contrary to, opposed to, in the place of," etc.â€”Webster. "Anti-Christ, against and an adversary of Christ or Christianity. He is said to be the man of sin." Its nature is deceptive; he exalteth himself above God, or all that is called God or that is worshiped. As God he sitteth in the temple of God (2Th 2:2,4). He is presented as false prophets, through his agents, as they work and display his doctrine.
The spirit of anti-Christ denies the Christ in His office as Savior. His agents are said to be of the world, and speaks of the world and the world hear them (See 1Jo 4:1-5) "He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad." (Mt 12:30). There is but one Christ, He is the anointed One, and the only Savior, the only One who stands and officiates as the Savior of sinners. He is the means to this end, and therefore met all the divine requirements to reach the designed end, and for this reason, He is the only Savior. "For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus." (1Ti 2:5)There are not two mediators, two or more Saviors. There is equally as much power or authority in a preacher of the gospel to step between God and men as Mediator or Savior, as there is in the Popes of Rome, his Cardinals, Prelates, Bishops, and Priests. But there is exactly no power, and authority of this kind given to men. This work is not in men. So for a mortal man to become so exalted in himself as to sit professionally in the temple of God, declaring himself as a means, and designed to take the place of another, as God's ordained means to this end, is in effect, declaring himself to be god and this is the life and soul of Popery. (See 2Th 2:3-6).
The truth of God, or the gospel is kind, gentle, yet effective as it warms the hearts of believers. It does not storm and rage for a place behind locked doors, but seeks opened doors, and a receptive mind and heart in which to dwell. Satan and his agents must compel their subjects to stay busy, with constantly nagging at them for new programs, attractive to the carnal wishes of the world. So many times this makes it very difficult to reach those who are deceived and led into the wrong kind of teaching. When it was first carried to the Gentiles, they heard it, and it was said they rejoiced and was glad, and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. (See Ac 13:48). Those who were ordained to eternal life as believers to them then and to all such is the word, or the gospel of salvation sent. There is a line of distinction drawn here between the Church as it perpetuated the truth down through the past ages, and all other organizations, and doctrines taught by them. It seems that most of the advocates of such theories believe the power is in the thunder rather than in the lightning that kills. I rather think the thunder is the report of the power which is in the lightning.
THE GOSPEL, ITS DESIGN, WHY IT IS NOT A MEANS TO REACH AND SAVE THE ALIEN
The gospel is to be preached, published, or proclaimed. It may be considered as that which is to be preached as to the mission of Christ in the world, and what He did, and what He accomplished in His life, death and suffering, in His victorious death, and His going back to His throne in heaven. As Lord, to rule, as Christ to save, His official place is to give eternal life to all of the citizens of His spiritual kingdom. He gives laws to direct them in their lives, to rebuke them for their sins. He calls men and puts them in the ministry as gifts in the body, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. They are to go and preach the gospel, the glad tidings of good things. There is interest in heaven by angels as they announced the birth of our Savior to the shepherds. It was an angel who said: "He shall save His people from their sins." (Mt 1:21). He is the one whom prophets said would come, and He is mighty to save. Just as He brought Israel out of Egypt with a mighty hand of deliverance, so will He bring His people out from the bondage of Satan and sin and the power of death, and carry them home to heaven to be forever with God.
Preach Christ as the one, the means, the way, the truth, and the life. His authority is backed with the oath of God."Wherein God willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His council, confirmed it by an oath." (Heb 6:17). He is the head and lawgiver coming in the office of Savior to carry through and finish the Father's will to save them. He is a merciful High Priest of God, having an everlasting priesthood which is unchangeable. He made the one sacrifice to put away sin, the first one, the last that did accomplish the removing of the guilt of sin off of His people before God. By His own blood He made the only atonement that covers our sins before God. Now the gospel is not what accomplishes these wonderful things, but rather the gospel publishes these facts, reports the truth of it. The death, burial and resurrection of Christ is not the gospel, neither is the gospel the vehicle through which God conveys life. It is not the new birth, nor that which makes one a child of God. Its design rather is to declare how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, how He saves, or publishes the truth about His death, burial and resurrection. It is a witness to testify, publish, or proclaim facts, not fiction, whether it be the gospel in prophecy, or the unfolding of promises made by them of future blessing. It must be based upon facts to be the true gospel of Christ. If in prophecy it deals with things foretold based on the certainty of it coming to pass. What it contains for its subjects is good news, good tidings of great joy. To believe the gospel is to believe this report, and to believe Christ is that Savior, God's anointed one to save His people, and to believe He is, and to believe on Him as the Savior. This is the gospel of your salvation.
It seems there is a relation here of an Old Testament lesson. The fiftieth year is the year of jubilee when all debts are declared paid. The servants, or slaves, were set free. It was a time to blow the trumpet of joy. Pentecost was fifty days from His death. The observance of it fifty years after the giving of the law, and thereafter every fiftieth year was a year when all debts were paid. Christ has paid our sin debt and the gospel publishes this wonderful fact. Every sin-sick soul should be filled with joy to whom has been declared this truth or good news. The so-called gospel of hell fire and Satan, rather than preaching Christ, is a deception and a delusion. It is a perversion of the word, gospel. The Bible is a stranger to the idea of a proffered gospel, or part by Christ and part by the sinner. It simply is a modern heresy and should not be taught being unwarranted by the Holy Scriptures.
There is but one gospel, and we are told: "If an angel from heaven preach any other than that which is preached, let him be accursed." (Ga 1:8-9). The gospel is designed to reach and teach believers and in it is God's power to convince and even to save from error and from disobedience. It draws the believer to the obedience of Christ See Ro 1:16-17. As the gospel directs in the path of obedience by the laws of the kingdom of Christ, it leads also away from the path of disobedience and thereby saves the believer from error and disobedience. This deliverance is in time and is not eternal. So it saves those who are born again (1Jo 5:1-2), those who have passed from death unto life (1Jo 5:11-12).
Nowhere do we find where the gospel saves other than be-lievers. This is clear and not difficult to prove because of the state or condition of the alien sinner before the work of grace begins in his heart. The sinner is said to be dead in sin and alienated from God (Eph 2:1-4). This is the sinner's condition before he is born of God, or saved by grace. There are fourteen things wrong with the sinner in an alienated state which finds him negative to heavenly tuition by or through the gospel. I shall briefly mention them:
There is not one righteous. There is not one who understands. There is not one who seeks after God. They have all gone out of the way. They are together become unprofitable. There are none that doeth good, no not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre. The tongue uses deceit. The poison of asps is under their lips. The mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their ways. The way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.
It seems here that God knows more than some preachers desire to learn about the lost sinner. But I have still more and from the Bible.
Like a serpent, which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, though charming ever so wisely. He is like the deaf adder with stopped ears. (Ps 58:3-5). The wicked shall do wickedly and none of the wicked shall understand (Da 12:10). There is a woe pronounced upon the Arminian theology which calls them good: "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put light for darkness, and darkness for light, and put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter (Isa 5:20).Our Savior said to such ones: "Ye will not come unto Me that ye might have life.'' Again He said: ''Why do ye not understand My speech? even because ye cannot hear My words."Notice the kind of remedy offered by some. It goes like this:"The sinner must exercise simple faith, and trust in Christ, make the decision, exercise will power. Remember, God wants to save you, if you will only let Him into your heart." "Hell is full of the unsaved who did not do what it requires to be saved." But may we test this and most generally accepted theology ?
Suppose as taught by some, the sinner must have simple faith as a prerequisite, or condition to be born of God. No issue that salvation is by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-9). But if the sinner has faith, and also the saved have faith, you would not know you are saved by faith, because both the sinner and the saved have faith. But faith worketh by love. Faith will not work without love, and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God (Joh 4:7). We are told by the people who thus believe that they know they are saved. Now as the sinner must have faith, repent of sins, and having deep contrition in soul, he only has the very same things the child of God possesses, and it would follow that such one would not know by these things when, or if you are saved because both bear the same fruit. If this position be correct, you could not know the tree by the fruit it bears. But the Savior said: " By their fruits ye shall know them."
The theory begs the question here without proof, and when proved it would erase the need of the new birth, the need of life to act, or that a change of heart goes before these acts of the sinner. A stipulated condition, or a prerequisite designed to reach an end desired must be that which affects the end in view as an essential property. If it fails to reach the end, then such stipulated things cease to be conditions to reach the end. If they reach the end, then they, and not Christ, are the things which save the sinner. So far as we know, nothing in a state of death acts to receive life, and the sinner is in a state of death in sin before the new birth. The Savior said to Nicodemus: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (Joh 3:3). The subject of birth here is passive and acted upon, and not active in the birth. The work of the new birth is God's work.
We have quite a number of parallel lessons given in the Bible, all meaning the same thing. The new birth is called a quick- ening into life (Eph 2:1-2). A raising up from a fallen state; a creation unto good works; a washing of regeneration, which He sheds on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior (Tit 3:5-6). It is called a deliverance and a translation from the power of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son (Col 1:13-14). And where the subject is set forth in every instance it is expressly declared to be the work of God, and not the act of the sinner. The theory of Arminianism presents an idea without proof, that the sinner dead in sin acts in order to receive life. The unborn subject is active in being born and the freedom or will power before the life produces the will. The sinner must act in a realm of life in which he does not exist. The unborn sinner is animated by the spirit of man to think, reason, hear, feel, see, taste smell and act in a realm of life in which he does not exist to bring him from the natural to the spiritual life. Again if this should be true, there is no need of the new birth, new life, new will, or new nature.
Please take notice of another trick of Satan advanced in the theory; and it is so very popular: "The universal father-hood of God, and the universal brother-hood of man." "The God life is in all mankind, and we need only to cultivate it by the golden rule and thus live with God when we finish the work given us here on earth.'' If the natural life God gives us elements us to live with God, and only needs to be cultivated to live with God after death, then here is what you have: You have the universal father-hood and brother-hood not only of man, but with the animal kingdom, the fish family, the fowls, and vegetable, etc. God is the great creative Father of all these kingdoms of life. He is the Creator of both the natural and spiritual kingdoms of life. Here is the main stamping ground for Satan, and the many doctrines of men. From here branch off into the denial of the resurrection of the body, the moral up-lift to substitute for the new birth, etc. These things should by all means be recognized, and we shall be better prepared to understand the design of preaching the gospel of Christ and its accomplishments in the lives of the children of God.
I shall here offer abundant testimony that the gospel is not a means to reach and save the alien sinner from the guilt of sin.
The gospel of Christ is the seal of apostleship in preaching it to those who are in Christ, and not to the alien sinner (1Co 9:1-2).
Those who are in Christ are new creatures.
To the perishing the gospel is foolishness; to the saved it is the power of God (1Co 1:18).
The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth. (Ro 1:16). The believer is born of God. (1Jo 5:1-2) Is passed from death unto life (Joh 5:24). The believer has eternal life (1Jo 5:11-12). The believer is not condemned. (Joh 3:18). The believer is justified from all things (Ac 13:39). Reader, I shall brief my quotations, to save space. Please read these proofs as given in your Bible.
The gospel is said to be food; it is the living who eat, and not those who are dead in sin. Feed the church of God. (Ac 20:28). I have fed you with milk. (1Co 3:2). It is the sincere milk of the word (1Pe 2:2). If the gospel is to be taken in as milk and meat, then it must be that which nourishes or sustains life and not a means to give life.
The prophets, apostles, evangelists, pastors, and teachers and the work of the ministry are gifts in the body of Christ, designed to edify the body to perfect the saints, to bring to a unity of the faith, and therefore not a means to reach and save the lost.
The work of the Holy Spirit is direct in His work of saving the sinner. So the gospel is not a means thereto. It is compared to writing. The Spirit writes the law on the fleshly tables of the heart. (Cor. 3 :3-6). The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord (Pr 20:27). For thou wilt light my candle, the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. (Ps 18:28).
How may we test these lessons and find what they teach? Did you ever write a letter to a friend and with pen in hand, and not directly touch the paper on which you wrote? Did you ever use the match to light a candle and the flame not directly touch the candle! Admitted these are very foolish questions, but we are dealing also with a very foolish theory in its denial of these Bible lessons.
Now let the hand that holds the pen represent the Father, the pen represent Christ, the ink represent the Spirit, and the paper on which you write, the heart and it plainly reasons that the preacher has no need meddling with God's grace as He works and changes the hearts of men. So it is with the lesson of the candle.
The spirit of man is the candle, the flame of the match the Spirit. The hand of God who lights the candle, and the work direct, and of directness, it contains no human means, nor a medium in the Spirit's work."
The gospel is said to be hid to the lost, and depends upon the light of life to shine in the heart, to give the light of the knowledge in the face of Jesus Christ. (2Co 4:3-7)
The gospel preached does not profit, unless mixed with faith in the hearer, and all men do not have faith, as it does not profit without faith and some have it not, and so those who have it not cannot be profitably reached and saved by it. Either it is the saved who have it, or the lost who have it. One of the two classes have it not, which must be the lost, so the gospel is unprofitable as a means to save them. Heb 4:2 and 2Ti 3:1-2.
Christ is said to dwell in the heart by faith, Eph 3:17. If Christ dwells in the heart by faith, and it happens the sinner does not have faith, then Christ does not dwell in what the preacher plants in the heart of the sinner, if so be the preacher is a means of planting faith in the heart by preaching the gospel to them. If Christ dwells in the heart by faith in the alien sinner, and also dwells in the heart of the saved, then there is no proof that the saved are such by faith.
Again we are told that faith and love is in Christ Jesus. 1Ti 1:14. If faith and love is to be found in Christ Jesus, and nowhere do we find that these fruits of the Spirit are to be had out of Christ, but all spiritual blessings are in heavenly places in Christ. Eph 1:3; it follows that since the alien sinner is not in Christ, they are where faith and love is shown, so if they have faith and love it can not be evidence.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.' Eph 1:3. Faith is the fruit of the Spirit, so is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, good- ness, etc. Ga 5:23. If the alien sinner bears one of these fruits, he may also bear all of them, and no one could tell a tree by the fruit it bears, not that he is a child of God by such fruit, seeing both the saved and the lost bear the same fruit, Paul requested prayer that he might be delivered from them that do not believe in Judea, and that his service be accepted of the saints at Jerusalem. (Ro 15:30-31) "Brethren pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified even as it is with you; and that I may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men, for all men have not faith." 2Th 3:1-2. In these lessons if prayer should be answered, at the request of this inspired apostle to the Gentiles, it would literally close the shop of this modern so-called human soul-saving business, or the gospel as a saving means to whom?â€”to the unbelieving, to unreasonable, and wicked men, to those who have not faith, and that the gospel should be preached to, the saints, the family of God, and such as are under the laws of the kingdom of Christ. It puts the theory of Arminianism under the beating ray of light and truth, with the condemnation by an inspired man against the theory.
But this man, Paul, was saved before he heard the gospel preached by Ananias. (See Ac 9) He was called and put in the ministry, and sent to the Gentiles before he heard the gospel. (See Ac 26:15-17)
Cornelius was saved before he heard the gospel by Peter at the house of Cornelius. Notice the description of this man: He was a praying, devout, godly man, gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always. His prayers were remembered before God, (Ac 10:1-4) A cleansed man (Ac 10:15), a just man (Ac 10:22), his prayers heard as a God-fearing man who worked righteousness (Ac 10:35), and accepted with God. Now this all took place with this man before Peter opened his mouth and began to preach to the house of Cornelius (Ac 10:34). Finally he had received the gift of the Holy Ghost as did the apostles from the beginning, and before this Baptist preacher baptized him, "They magnified God" (Ac 10:40). Well, pray tell me why magnify God for something you never receive until you meet Christ on the other side of the creek?" Indeed there is food for thought here.
The eunuch was saved before he heard Phillip's preaching, and was baptized, because we are told he had been to Jerusalem to worship (Ac 8:27). Philip's preaching from Isa 53 where the eunuch was reading, was to guide him and give understanding, showing it was Christ spoken of in this wonderful chapter, and not some other man.
The same is strongly implied in the interest Zacchaeus manifested in running before and climbing the sycamore tree to see Jesus, his receiving Him joyfully into his house, and the Lord's statement that he was a son of Abraham. (Lu 19:1-9) He said, "Behold Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold." If the man did not tell the truth, then why did not our Savior rebuke him for such high claim of benevolence shown in hypocrisy by an unsaved man? Modern preachers seem never to understand Zacchaeus climbing the sycamore tree to see Jesus, nor why he came down and received Him joyfully into his house, since they say he was an unsaved sinner, the kind they are still telling to come down! It should be observed there is a strong tie of relationship here with Christ and the promised seed of Abraham. Zacchaeus being a son, he received our Lord joyfully into his house.
Nathanael was another who was saved before he heard gospel preaching. "Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, we have found him, of whom Moses in the law and in the prophets did write. Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth ? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed in whom is no guile! Nathanael said unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel." (St. Joh 1:44-51)
It is clear that there had not before this been any gospel tuition, by Philip, Nathanael's knowledge of Christ, and His goodness was called in question by him, until the revealed fact that he had been seen under the fig tree, then the evidence burst forth: "Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel." It is very significant that the words: "Before Philip called thee, I saw thee" is here used.
Lydia is another example of one being saved before hearing the gospel. She was a worshiper of God, and heard Paul, whose heart God opened that she was attentive to the things spoken of by Paul. (Ac 16:14)
The worshiping of God, and opening of Lydia's heart was before Paul's preaching to her the gospel.
The woman of Canaan was clearly a Gentile woman, as the lesson brings forth, and she had great faith, and was granted her request; her daughter was made whole. The poor untaught Gentile woman came crying: "Have mercy on me 0 Lord thou Son of David." (Mt 15:22-28) Time and space forbids that I carry the references further. The position I have taken is based on the abundance of proof that is more fully given perhaps than but very few subjects taught in the Bible, and it is sad to think that it is so deluded with the contaminated errors of designing men, that such men have deceived so many good people, and this and a thousand other reasons should tend to carry us back to Bible reading for our own individual good as well as for the good of others. I strongly believe that God is first, and before all good works, laid down for us to be governed by.
The law of Moses governing those who were under the temple worship is now nailed to the cross. The laws of the Kingdom of Christ are strictly given to the people of God, or the Church. The nature of such laws are restricted to the citizens who reside in such province, and who come under such laws are given to regulate their conduct. So the gospel of Christ is designed to be published, preached, or proclaimed, and to be heard, believed, and obeyed by the children of God.
They are comforted, enlightened, rebuked, and chastised, condemned, and corrected by such laws. We preach Christ as the only Savior of those who are under such laws. Also we declare by the gospel that any other remedy for the guilt of sin is nothing less than anti-Christ. They are false remedies offered in unbelief in Christ, whether it be a person or persons, acts or things, offered to take the place of, or act instead of Christ. The Church in every age has contended for and believed that the Holy Scriptures, the Old and New Testaments, are divinely inspired, and are completely sufficient as the rule of the faith and practice of the believer or men of God in all Christian duties. To preach less than the Scriptures is not enough, and to go beyond them and preach more is too much and becomes a yoke of bondage contained in forms, and rituals of men, and are rightly called by the Bible, '' The doctrines and commandments of men.'' 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, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2Ti 3:16-17). Also the Church believes that God is all wise, all powerful, a sovereign over all His creatures and worlds. He is unchangeable, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient. Also the Church believes it is sound and scriptural to acknowledge that there are three persons, or a Trinity in the God-head, the Father, and the Son and Holy Ghost, and these three are one. (See 1Jo 5:7-8). In and by the one Trinity, God there is perfect harmony, in the work of saving the sinner, the power, work, and accomplishment of finally saving His people and carrying them home to heaven to live forever with God. And the carrying out of this work is according to His divine purpose and grace, and shall be to His glory, justice, and everlasting righteousness wrought by Christ Jesus for them. God the Father made choice of them in Christ His Son, and gave them to Him in covenant, and they are made heirs to covenant blessings in and through Christ, both here and in heaven, and they become His children by birth, adoption and by the covenant of grace.
He died for a covenant people, and shed His blood as a sacrifice and paid their sin debt as their covenant Head. They have through Him a place in Him, and a place prepared for them in heaven, and they are now being prepared for that place which was prepared for them from before the foundation of the world. His people have been always loved of Him, known and embraced in that love which is said to be an everlasting love. (Jer 31:3). Their names were written in the Lamb's book of life before the world began. (See the references here given: Ps 139:15-16; Da 12:2; Mt 25:32-34; Joh 6:37-39; 10:15-30; Ro 5:6-11; 9:8-16; 11:5-7; 8:29-39; Eph 1:1-4; 2Ti 1:8-10; Also Re 13:8; 17:8). I submit here the modern translation of the last two references. These men were confronted with the original language and they make it a bit stronger than the King James translation. I shall quote from the Revised Standard Version: "The authority was given it [the beast] over every tribe and people and tongue and nation, and all who dwell on earth shall worship it; everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain. If anyone has an ear to hear, let him hear." Re 13:8. "The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is to ascend from the bottomless pit, and go to perdition; and the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will marvel to behold the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.'' Re 17:8.
With all the untiring efforts of the Arminian theologists to turn loose the thunder of criticism against the Church on the lessons here given, the unbreakable chain of the different versions we may consult, they dare not change the English tongue or language contained in their references to suit the taste of the modern thinkers. The Church stands alone today in teaching them. So far as I know there is not a Church today other than the Primitive Baptists who yet hold and teach this part of the Bible doctrine. It cannot consistently be held that Christ died for all mankind, and thus made a universal atonement, for all alike. There is no place for these sterlings truths to fit in with modern theology and the so-called soul-saving business of men, or by human means. They simply do not dwell together. So one or the other must be given the silent treatment and occupy the out-dated use, and be branded as a dangerous doctrine. The idea of a general atonement for sin, or universal to all the race of mankind, and based upon foreseen faith and good works as a prerequisite to salvation laid beside the sovereign grace of God, are perfect strangers to each other. They do not dwell in the same system of theology. The one must be discarded, and this is what has been done by worldly religionists. Is it sound to take the position that God is first, and back of all good, the first great cause, and all second causes or contingences, and has power over them? Second causes or contingences may not reach the designed ends when based upon human effort to reach them. But we must admit that there is a power other than first cause to prevent the designed end made operative by human effort. So it would seem that if that power is the work of the devil, and not the power of first cause, then it is by the grace of the devil that anyone may be saved and must rest upon the fact the devil did not want them to be captured in his net of deception.
Because we get into a thing, it does not follow that we may get out as easily as we get in, or that we may get out at all. Man by hearing a falsehood by Satan, believing the falsehood, and obeying that falsehood, and therefore rebelling against God and His law, sinned and fell from his state of innocence. Satan, and not God was the cause. Man, and not God, was the transgressor. Now men seem to think that the escape route is to retrace his steps, pull himself out by taking hold of his boot-straps and lifting himself up from the pit of sin. But Satan is a great imitator, and he offers just anything other than Christ. There is an account where he offered to Christ the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. He said unto Him, All these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me (Mt 4:8-9). Just to mention some of his tricks of trade: It might be the counting of your beads, going to mass, or turning to the priest as one having power to forgive sin; or the sale of indulgences, kissing the Pope's toe; or it might be as simple as being baptized or belonging to some modern religious sect. Some men tell you it is just your simple faith, or a complete surrender; or it may be just living above sin. Oh, anything but Christ! But to preach Christ the wayâ€” No, no, that is a dangerous doctrine, you see! God does operate through means and second causes to reach ends in life, but never in death, and the sinner is in a state of death in sin. (Eph 2:1-5). All that God does, or causes to be done is designed to reach righteous ends. He is righteous in all His works, and holy in all His ways. So David declares.
Man is a sinner, and all sinners deserve punishment for the guilt of sin before God. So apart from the stoop of God's mercy and grace, men would be damned and justly so for sin's guilt.
So it follows that God may save as many as He wills to save, and to leave others where they are to die in their sins. For the guilt and deserved punishment for their sins they will be separated eternally from God. To save the great family of God from sin's guilt is by grace and to the glory of God's grace, and this glory He will not give to another. (See Isa 42:8). "He shall save His people from their sins." Mt 1:21.
HISTORY, AND THE FACTS ABOUT CAMPBELL'S MOVE
The so-called reformation move by Alexander Campbell and his father and Barton W. Stone had its beginning chiefly in the state of Kentucky where these men as leaders developed a new sect. It is often referred to as Campbellites, because Campbell was the head of the reformation move. The Campbells were Presbyterians before they left this body and became Baptists. Coming from Ireland with strong objections to infant baptism which they had in the Church which they left, and Fuller sprinkling or pouring as a mode of baptism, they spoke out plainly against the idea. As soon as they came to the shores of America, they began to seach for new grounds to occupy, and on Wednesday, the 12th day of June, 1812, Alexander Campbell and his wife, his father and mother, Thomas Campbell and his wife, and Mrs. Hanen were baptized by immersion by Elder Mathias Luce, a Baptist minister. This is all the baptism they received from this time on through their lives so far as is known. Alexander Campbell had new and strange ideas from the beginning, and set out as he thought to reform the sects and as he expressed it, do away with all creeds, confessions, and speak where the Bible speaks, and be silent where it is silent.
He was a well trained and scholarly man, and in his field was equal to his critics in the conflict on his reformation move. Baptist or otherwise, he was a talented man for his undertaking. He finally, as he thought, found that the Church had apostatized and he was the criterion to restore it to New Testament order, and to plant the seed of life in the hearts of men; a thing which had not been done for centuries after the New Testament order as he contended. But the Campbells were not inspired men. They were short of a prophet's vision, and though they were very prolific in writing books, debates, etc., they could not chart the course of their disinguised followers. This being true, I shall be kind, and gentle by using him and his followers as my witnesses, as I have also done with other men in this book. I do this because I believe it is fair, and also the very best way to refute and expose error, and to set facts in a proper light.
It seems that Campbellism is a cold, heartless form, a letter religion, if indeed it can rightly be called a religion. It seems to be a stranger to the Spirit's work in the heart, negative to the spiritual emotions of the heart. The Spirit's power, warmth, and influence seems to be an idle tale and an unreal fable, rather than heartfelt religious emotions. Its power rests in lifting here a little and there a little, ignoring the context of the lesson, and thereby making out the idea and being sure to Fuller give chapter and verse. It ignores the Bible lesson, or the period at the end of a sentence. Yet it is well trained, skillful well organized in the small circle in which it works. I shall with delight go to their authors, and omit the cumbersome task of digging facts from the history of this body back of the Campbell move. Back of this date in history they have no existence as a religious body. The fact that he is head and founder of this sect is not difficult to prove. Mr. Campbell said: "Remission of sins cannot be enjoyed by any person before immersion, without knowing this and believing this, immersion is a blasted nut. The shell is there, but the kernel is wanting." Christian Baptist, page 531. "The people were filled with bewilderment at the strange truths brought to their ears, and now exemplified before their eyes in the baptism of a penitent for a purpose which now, on the 18th day of November, 1827, for the first time since the primitive ages was fully and practicaly realized." Memoirs of Campbell by Richardson, Vol. 2, page 212. This was the baptizing of William Awmend by Walter Scott and the first candidate baptized under the new and now accepted patented design of baptism, in order to obtain the remission of sins. Get it please; the first time since primitive ages is one baptized under this new design. Mr. Richardson tells us that it was accepted by the Campbells at once. November 18, 1827, fifteen long years, and five long months, and six November days after Mr. Campbell received all the immersion he ever had at the hand of a Baptist minister, and with it he went on to be with the fathers. And who before stated that "Baptism is, without knowing its proper design, a blasted nut."
''According to every reasonable deduction from the position here taken, and what his distinguished followers believe and teach on the subject today, the man Mr. Campbell had no baptism himself that is scriptural. Therefore he is consigned to the place of the unsaved. Baptists do not, and in his ease did not baptize for the purpose of obtaining the remission of sins. Nor could they do so and be scriptural in administering the act of baptism. Thus in 1823, the design of baptism was fully understood, and publicly asserted. It was, however, reserved to Walter Scott a few years later [Nov. 18, 1827,J.D.H], to make a direct and practical application of the doctrine and secure for it the conspicuous place it has since occupied among the chief points urged in the reformation." Memoirs of Campbell, Vol. 2, page 84. This in clear and easy language to understand, and asserted by them, and the head and founder did not receive this kind of baptism and by their position he could not have been saved unless God made an exceptional case of Mr. Campbell's baptism. How can a body composed of a head, hands, and feet, and all the members be the Church of our Lord, and the head be lost in hell, and at the same time the other members finally be in heaven? How ridiculous will men become to prove their point?
I quote from one of their leading church papers: "While Campbell gave the correct diagnosis of the ills of the religious world, it was left to Walter Scott to apply the remedy; it was accepted by the Campbells at once, and has been accepted by all faithful Christians ever since. It has stood the test for one hundred and fifteen years, and is as impregnable as the New Testament today. So to Walter Scott belongs the glory of discovering the gospel plan of salvation, and restoring it upon the earth." Gospel Advocate, March 26, 1942. But Mr. Campbell did not adopt a newly discovered design of baptism. Papal Rome is where is came from and Rome as early as the history account of sprinkling or pouring for baptism, and infant baptism which began in the third century on the same please that its design was to secure to the subject the remission of sinsâ€”Adam sins as well as all sins are remitted in baptism, so the need of infants being baptized 'to save them from the Adamic sin. So the fact that Campbellism is the doctrine of Papal Rome revamped, and infant baptism left off, so Scott adopted this idea, rather than being so wise as to start the heresy. It is a delusion and without wisdom and came from Rome.
Campbell said:'' The cause which we plead, was not pleaded by Stone or anyne else twently years ago." Mil. Harb. Vol. 1, page 300. Again in the year 1843 while in debate with a Mr. Rice, page 473, he said the following: "The cause which we plead is less than twenty years old." Campbell bore a letter of introduction to Europeans by Henry Clay as the head and founder of one of the leading religious communities in the United States." Mil. Harb. Vol. 2, page 548. Mr. J. W. Shepherd of Birmingham, Alabama, in submitting a census report to the U. S. Census for this Church, 1926 Census, said in that report they trace their origin to a movement in. the early part of the nineteenth century.(Census of Religions Bodies for 1926, Vol. 2, page 471). It seems appropriate to examine the claim on doctrine taught by them, because in this field they use flattery, claiming to be very correct.
Campbell said: '' An efficacy is ascribed to the water (which it des not possess) and as certainly an efficacy is ascribed to the blood (which it does not possess). Certainly water can wash away sins. There is then a transferring of the water to the blood of the efficacy. This is a plain solution of the whole matter. God has in some way transferred the whitening efficacy or cleansing power of water to the blood, and the absolving of pardoning power of blood to water." Campbell's Christian System, page 215. This kind of perverting Bible truth is an old trick borrowed from Rome again: trans-substantiation, the wafer and the cup in the holy Eucharist, wherein the bread and wine are elements which are changed to the body and blood of Christ, the sacrifice of the mass. Now Mr. Campbell must follow the grand display by explanation that there is a transferring of the virtue of one to the other and when it is so transferred water then washes away sin. Well this just plainly is false. The one by Rome is exactly as the other by Mr. Campbell, perpetuated to establish a false theory. Yet we are to know the Campbell's slogan is to: "Speak where the Bible speaks, and be silent where it is silent." This body from the beginning strongly condemned Confessions, Creeds, as unwarranted by the Scriptures. But nine years after the Campbells and their followers became a religious body, Mr. Campbell wrote a book called, Christian System, having 358 pages. It was written in 1836, and it is noon-day clear that the book contains the by-laws and tenets of doctrine to which they hold, the bone and sinew of the sermons of their present-day ministers. The Old London Confession and the Philadelphia Confesion contains about 73 pages. Those old confessions strongly stress the belief of the Baptists who wrote them that the Scriptures contain a full and complete and a divinely given rule of faith and practice of the Church. They are only expressive of what the Baptists then believed, just as Campbell's System is expressive of what Campbell and his distinguished followers believe. True, a creed may be unsound, just as a sermon preached may be unsound, but I suppose that it would be very difficult to find a man having a rational mind who does not have a creed, either written or not written, and certainly all religious bodies have a creed; so did the Campbells then and the followers now. A creed or confession is only an authoritative summary of essential points comprising a certain belief, written or orally expressed. It may be as a sermon preached, true or false, scriptural or unscriptural. If not in total agreement with the Bible that part which is not is unsound. Any outward expression of man's belief politically or religiously may be rightly called his creed. Until man has an idea or takes a position he cannot be examined as to what he believes, so the right to examine a creed, or religious confessions is a common rule I suppose by all representatives of Church doctrines. It is my belief, and so it is with thousands of others, that the Campbells were unsound on baptism.
First, they hold and teach, "Baptism is for (unto, or in order to obtain) the remission of sins, alien sins." The Bible states: "Therefore we are buried with Him [not in order to find or reach or get in union] by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Ro 6:4) "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Ro 6:11) This people baptize one who is dead in sins, so an alien sinner, and even after baptism, he has no new life to walk in; he only has the life in prospect, at the end of life, proffered on his obedience. So it is impossible to walk in newness of life. They simply do not possess the new life to walk in.
Second, they baptize those who yield to them in the act as instruments of unrighteousness, which is strictly forbidden in this same chapter (Ro 6:13). "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; [don't do this] but yield yourselves unto God as those who are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.''
Thirdly, they baptize an alien sinner before the love of God is shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and doing so they require faith without life, repentance without love, confession without love. With the mouth they are to confess and with a heart black with sin, while we are told that faith works by love, and faith without works is dead, "hold faith in a good conscience, which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck." (1Ti 1:19) No one has a good conscience that has not been purged by the blood of Christ. See Heb 9:14. "Holding the mystery of faith in a pure conscience." (1Ti 3:9) Nowhere do we find faith dwelling in any other kind of conscience. Faith is said to be in Christ, the alien sinner is not in Christ, so not where faith is to be had.
Remember the slogan, please, "We speak where the Bible speaks, and are silent where it is silent." Such a lofty claim should by its advocates have no fear of a very close examination. This being true, where in all the Bible do we find the expressed command for either saint or sinner to be baptized into Christ. Where do we find expressed by an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, tacher, or layman baptizing saint or sinner into Christ ? Where in all the Bible do we find, either saint or sinner commanded to be baptized into Christ? Echo answers, "It is positively not to be found." Where, oh where is the command? I beg for the answer.
Now this is not all, though it seems to be enough. There cannot be a Church on earth until some minister of the kind baptizes the alien sinner into Christ, if Campbell's Church is in any way scriptural on this important subject we are here dealing with. Here is where they must start, as a Church, and here is where the cry is made for proof and here is where it falls apart for scriptural authority to baptize their first candidate from which to start on Bible expediency. I wish to use a modern witness and a strong representative man, Mr. N. B. Hardaman; hear him: "I do not become a member of the Church by any joining process, but it was exactly [watch the word, â€˜exactlyâ€™] like I became a members of my father's family." Hardaman's Tabernacle Sermons, Nashville, Tennessee, page 242. Hear him again: "The Church and going to heaven is not like the Old Ship of Zion, nor riding a Pullman car, but rather the Church of God is like an old fashioned handcar on which we may get, and then hold and by bending your back and straining your muscles, you can reach the end in view." (p. 200) Now it happens that these men hold and teach becoming a member of the Church and being saved, or being born again are the same things. One is equal to the other. So Mr. Hardaman did exactly nothing to be born into the Hardaman family. This he knew very well when he so stated the matter. So in the one he did nothing, and in the other which he makes parallel, he must bend his back, and strain the muscles to reach the end in view. What a back-breaking theology, and exactly like becoming a member of the Hardaman family. But I quote him again: '' Now allow me to say this: I think a greater man than Alexander Campbell has never lived outside of inspiration, and the history of the man, and that which he did for the religious element of America, put him in a class almost by himself.'' (p. 264, same book) "Be it said to the credit of the most learned and most scholarly Baptist preachers, they no longer try to prove the unprovable idea of Baptist Church succession. When you hear of any man making these claims, you may assume that he is a partisan of the deepest dye, and hates to give up that which must be done in the light of intelligence and historic references." Hardaman, quoted by J. S. Newman. Any religious organization whose history is exhausted before you go back to the days of the apostles could not be the Church Jesus spoke of in the text of the hour." (Eph 5:25-26) Same book page 190. Mr. Hardaman again: "How can you and I know something definite, absolutely and positively certain regarding the Church founded by Christ? Its history cannot be traced to Pentecost, a line of succession cannot be found." Page 196. Now Mr. Campbell against Mr. Hardaman and as per Mr. Hardaman, a partisan of the deepest dye: "The Baptists can trace their existence in every century to the present time." Campbell-Walker Debate, page 262. Again Mr. Campbell: ''First century, Ano Domini 33, we read in a well attested history of a large Baptist Church, which was formed and exhibited as a grand model, by the immediate agency of the Holy Spirit. On the day of Pentecost 3,000 souls were illumined, led to repentance, converted, baptized, and added to the Church. Again, clouds of witnesses attest to the fact that before the reformation from popery, and from the apostolic age to the present time the sentiment of Baptists and the practice of baptism have had a continued chain of advocates and public monuments of their existence in every century can be produced." Campbell-McCalla Debate, page 339. "There were Baptists in all ages that never acknowledged the mother of harlots; and besides the Catholics, Episcopalians, and the Presbyterian clergy had joined their community and therefore whatever efficacy of office there was on earth, was to be found in the Baptist community, this I urged as an Argumentum and Hominem.'' Campbell again, same book page 345.
The reader will observe statements by Mr. Hardaman, and then by Mr. Campbell, as he gives the historical account of the Baptists. Then consolidate the two mens' words and we see how very conflicting the men were, and about the same matter under the critic's eye. Mr. Hardaman: "Any religious organization whose history is exhausted before apostolic times cannot be the Church." Now hear him again: "How can you and I know definite, and absolutely certain regarding the Church founded by Christ? Its history cannot be traced to Pentecost." And then the same man after saying that Mr. Campbell was the greatest man outside of inspiration, would have us to know that any man making a claim that the history of the Church dates back to Bible times, "Is a partisan of the deepest dye." Mr. Hardaman thus uses this great man who is unequalled by any outside of inspiration, and the head and founder of Hardaman's Church, when Campbell thunders in his son's ears that, and I quote Campbell again: "The Baptists can trace their origin to apostolic times, and produce unequicoval testimonies of their existence in every century to the present time." Mr. Hardaman says, "he is a partisan of the deepest dye," and that the Church cannot be traced to Pentecost. One may ask why all this contradiction and radical difference between two great men holding as they do to the same theology and the same Church. I have heard Mr. Hardaman perform on the stage as a speaker. He is first rate as an educator or teacher. This largely has been his life's work. He made these statements in the years of his life when he was at his best. It cannot be truly said that men like these are unlearned in their field. They are both scholars, but their system of theology is faulty. Arminianism is a system of theology which drives men into contradictions which cannot be remedied.
The truth of this matter here is that in the state of Kentucky twins were born, or a move by two religious departures started out about the same time. Our Campbellite friends in the year 1827, and our modem Missionary neighbors in the year 1832. Difficult as the road is for these twins to travel back of these dates in history, when they set sail to apostolic times, each comes to an impassible gulf. They must secure a transfer ticket from Papal Home, or ride the old ship of the ancient Baptists. Many are the theories and religious dogmas they have taken and used to bypass this obstruction, but before them the shadows fall, following their setting sun, the quicksands of unexposed fields with no marked passage; and here has been the pit of doctrinal error, and wild claims without reliable proof of Church history. Much is written by many religious bodies that conflicts. Not many will stop to examine the question, or to recognize the fact that the gospel phase of the kingdom of Christ is now, and has been in the past, a small minority compared to other religious organizations. The distinguished followers of Mr. Campbell are well informed in their line of doctrinal error. They have an educated ministry, often resorting to Mr. Campbell's interpretation of words and terms, and it is very rare that they get out of a small circle, and they do not seem to know much of the Bible beyond this little circle. It has been well stated by others: "It is a religious deformity.'' One in a religious discussion with them and not informed on their method of debating an issue either affirmatively or negatively may easily under estimate their power on the stage to sway the minds in their favor. To mention one to which they always resort. The play back and forth on the idea that you are wrong, unscriptural; we are right, scriptural, and you are here to deny the scripture; I am here to defend it by overthrowing your denial, and that by the Bible alone, etc. This would be fine, if true, but to examine the theory it is weak and easy to be overthrown by sound reasoning.
The following is a little composition arranged in dialogue form, and a copy of the same partly rearranged, which appeared in the Primitive Baptist sometime in the past. I entitle it, "Father Bringing Up Son."
Father is a very hard-working religionist having membership in a large Campbellite Church in the city. Brother Dodge is the beloved minister. They are Father Evergood, and his son Johnnie. Father Evergood is a strong advocate of Mr. Campbell's restoration move, and deeply intrenched in kindred ideas of his own which he believes are as good as the best. Son Johnnie has been taught to believe that he is pure to a certain age in life, when he reaches the line of accountability and becomes responsible, and therefore becomes a sinner, knowing right from wrong. This imaginary time is about the age of twelve years. Johnnie is rather independent minded and begins to explore what he has been taught, as he reaches twelve years of age and feels deeply impressed to talk with his father, Evergood, and does so after this manner:
Father, I am in great fear that I am crossing the line of accountability, and you have taught me this; I must obey the gospel and thereby receive the remission of sins and be added to the body of Christ.
Father Evergood: Yes Son, this is very true; you must be baptized unto the remission of your sins, and thereby obtain pardon and salvation.
Johnnie: You have also taught me that I am not a sinner until I cross the line.
Father Evergood: Yes, Son, and the Church which you will become a member of is the only one that stands clear of the sects and doctrines of men and devils, or that you can read about in the Bible.
Johnnie: Now I understand you Father, and must ask you some very vital questions. If today I should cross the line immediately and without sinning, and then go with Mother to Church and offer myself to be baptized, could I then be baptized in order to obtain the remission of sins?
Father Evergood: Yes, yes, Son,â€”No, that will not work; let me think, Son. I must ask Brother Dodge for an answer to your question.
Johnnie: Must I commit sin to cross the line, Father?
Father: Brother Dodge can have you a ready answer to that question, also Son.
Johnnie: Can I stay on this side of the line and remain in a state of innocence, if I will but live as I have to the present time?
Father: Son, you have become very stubborn. I am fearful that you refuse to think rightly. Such a simple thing as how to become saved. I have a ready answer, but Brother Dodge must by all means see you at once and answer your strange questions. Because, Son, you must be informed on such matters in view of certain death and the danger of hell if you should cross the line and die uninformed.
Johnnie: Father, you make me feel very badly. By becoming acquainted with the answer to these questions I then may become responsible, knowing right from wrong, cross the line, die and be damned. And if I remained ignorant, then would I cross the line of accountability? Father: No, Son, such ones not being able to know right from wrong are not held responsible, and therefore are not held accountable.
Johnnie: Then Father, will my lack of ability to know the right, destroy my ability to do right? And when will I cross the line in this state or condition?
Father: Son, you must have the ability to do things before you are accountable or responsible.
Johnnie: Well Father, if you should owe the groceryman $10.00 and not have the money to pay the bill, you then would not be responsible to the groceryman for the debt would you?
Father: My son, you must surely be sick in mind. Where did you get such crazy questions?
Johnnie: Father, every tick of the clock I am in danger, and both you and Brother Dodge are responsible for my soul if what I have been taught to believe is true. More especially, Brother Dodge who is all the time saying he is God's means through preaching and baptizing alien sinners in order to obtain remission or pardon of past sins, and without which sinners cannot be saved. I know according to what you both believe and say, I have crossed the line since last meeting time, and I just now think of another question: you have required me to read the Bible, and this is a very good thing to do; and also I have heard you say that you have read the Bible through many times.
Father: Yes, Son, this is all true.
Johnnie: Father, in the Bible do we find the word, "Responsibility?'' Just where is the word ? I remember your famous saying: You dare not speak where the Bible does not speak, and you are silent where it is silent. And also you have said by this that you make the sects miserable, and they cannot answer back.
Father: Right, Son, you are; but you must not press me until I have time to think and I shall find it for you.
Father Evergood speaks up and Johnnie waits: Don't ask me any more questions. I am thinking. I know what I shall do. I will call Brother Dodge over and he shall answer your foolish questions, and more if you have them to ask him.
Johnnie: I believe Brother Dodge is at the door. I shall welcome him in while you are thinking.
Father: No, no, I shall see him first, then you may ask him your questions.
Good Evening, Brother Dodge!
Brother Evergood, how are you?
Fine, fine! I am glad you came. Come right in and have a seat.
Brother Evergood begins at the door unfolding to him the matter between father and son, stating to Brother Dodge his belief that Johnnie has crossed the line, and is a sinner, asking strange and meaningless questions.
Brother Dodge: Call Johnnie into the room. I am glad to be just in time. I shall immediately relieve the danger of Johnnie being damned, and his blood be upon me.
Father Evergood: You shall soon see he has some very knotty questions for you before you baptize him into Christ, and take him to the creek, because he has grown up and has been reading lately.
Brother Dodge: Ha! Ha! I claim to answer any Bible question. It will be a matter of minutes before I shall baptize him into the body of Christ and have him in the ark of safety.
Unknown to the minister Dodge, and father Evergood, Johnnie is listening to the conversation, and new thoughts spring up to use as he enters into the conversation. Brother Dodge excuses the father and calls Johnnie into the room.
Good Evening, Johnnie.
Good Evening, Brother Dodge.
Brother Dodge: Be seated here Johnnie and tell me all about your problems and ask me anything you wish, and feel assured I have a ready answer for you to the thing you wish to know.
Johnnie: Well, Brother Dodge, I have so many things pressing me down. I am very much confused. I feel that I must have a very lengthy talk with you. So please be patient and lead me through to a better understanding.
Brother Dodge: I have the rest of the day, Son; but first, may I state to you that your feelings have absolutely nothing to do with your soul's welfare. Now go right on and ask your questions. I am anxiously waiting.
Johnnie: Just how many ways does God have to save the lost?
Brother Dodge: The question demands careful study, but my answer is, for the present age, He has but one way of saving.
Johnnie: Then, Brother Dodge, explain that one way the lost are to be saved.
Brother Dodge: Well now please listen how plain and simple it is. Be sure that all the sects are wrong and will be damned, and the Church of which I am a member is the only one we read of in the Bible. You must become a member of this one Church by hearing the gospel preached, then by faith and repentance and a good confession and being baptized by immersion in water, into the body of Christ in order to obtain the remission, or pardon and forgiveness of your sins. You just believe, repent, confess that Christ is the Son of God, and I shall baptize you into Christ. It is just that simple. Just arise and be baptized and wash away your sins. (Ac 22:16).
Johnnie: Well then, do I get salvation and eternal life?
Dodge: No, no, you have it in prospect, and at death if you have lived faithfully and earned it, then you will receive it.
Johnnie: Did Christ die for any but sinners?
Brother Dodge: No, He did not. He died for our sins, and for everybody's sins.
Johnnie: Well should I have died last month before I crossed the line of accountability, and I had to cross the line to become a sinner, and therefore be accountable, Christ would not have died for me, would He?
Brother Dodge: Well, no, I suppose not; neither did He die for little innocent babies, such ones just confidentially, between us and not to go any farther, do not need a Savior, or Christ.
Johnnie: Then you were not sincere when you said He died for everybody. According to you, there is but one way to save and to go to heaven when you die. Some will live in heaven who have no Savior. But this is heretical and I shall show you why. At the second coming of Christ all who shall be saved are designated as being on His right hand, and they are His sheep for whom He laid down His life. (Mt 25:32-34; Joh 10:15) If Christ did not die for you when you were a baby, and He has not died again since you were a baby, and since we were all one time babies, then He did not die for them, nor for us who have grown to be sinners. Sounds fishy to me, Brother Dodge. And back to baptism. You say Paul washed away his sins in being baptized (Ac 22:16), and baptism is unto, or in order to remission of sins in the blood. Baptism before reaching the blood. Sins washed away by baptism, so sins washed away before reaching the blood.
Brother Dodge: That's what the Bible says. Paul actually washed away his sins in baptism.
Johnnie: Baptism in order to reach the blood, then the blood does not wash away sins. So Paul, according to your reasoning, reached the blood after his sins were washed away in baptism.
Brother Dodge: Johnnie, I will answer your question with scripture. Now listen, Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?
Johnnie: Now, do you here take the position that you baptize the sinner into Christ?
Dodge: I baptize the penitent believing sinner into Christ.
Johnnie: I have for years been going with Father and Mother to hear you preach. I have seen you baptize, and each time I have seen you baptize, it was in water, not in Christ, but in water.
Brother Dodge: Yes, yes, I am commanded to do just that, and also the sinner is commanded to be baptized into Christ.
Johnnie: Now we can clear this issue and forever rub it out to stay, if only I get your answer to the following questions: Where in the Old or New Testaments do we have expressed the example, or the command to be baptized into Christ? Where is the command given in the Bible to the minister, or anyone else to baptize into Christ. I am begging for the chapter and verse where saint or sinner is commanded to be baptized into Christ. And since it cannot be produced or presented, I here and now state to you, there cannot be a Church of your kind until someone baptizes a sinner into Christ because this is the way your claim goes as to the members which constitute your Churches. I am waiting for your answer, Brother Dodge.
Brother Dodge: Well, just to be honest with you, Johnnie, it is not to be found in the Bible. I fear you have me in a tight spot here.
Johnnie: Have I not many times heard you say you would not dare speak where the Bible does not speak? You dare not express an opinion where the scriptures are silent?
Brother Dodge: Yes, I think you may have heard me say such things and we have won many battles with the sects by so pinning them down on this point and stating we would risk the whole issue on this, and Ro 6.
Johnnie: Then you should answer presently my questions.
Brother Dodge: Where did you get such foolish, and ridiculous questions? You seem to go along with some old people who have about all died, and they are outdated; never seem to think there is anything to do but to oppose someone else.
Johnnie: It matters not so much where I may have gotten the questions. However, I admit here of late your preaching seems so dry, and a mere form with no life in it, and I stand in doubt your mother went to hell who was a Presbyterian, and grandmother Evergood who was a Baptist, went to hell. Because she was as good as we have, and seemed almost as good as an angel in her goodness to others. I just do not believe they went to hell. And now you have to admit you do not have a Bible lesson for baptizing the sinner into Christ, the life and soul of Campbellism.
Brother Dodge: I almost hate you, you little smartie! bold enough to stand up and flout my years of study, and what I teach. I got my teaching and training in school, and by men; who could almost write another Bible if ours should be destroyed.
Johnnie: Well, Brother Dodge, sometime when you are in company with your professors, learned as they are, and as you claim, ask them for me: Why God loved Jacob, and hated Esau? (Ro 9:12) Is it true or false that the sinner you baptize is dead in sins, and the saved are dead to sins? Which one do you baptize?
Brother Dodge: If I were talking to a sectarian preacher, I would tell him that I baptize a penitent believer."
Johnnie: Well, is a penitent believer dead in sins, or dead to sins?
Brother Dodge: Why should you know? But just for the time (and don't you dare tell these other sects my answer) I will say, an alien sinner, dead in sins."
Johnnie: Is it not true that one yields in the act of obedience to the gospel, and especially in the act of being baptized?
Brother Dodge: Sure, Johnnie, that is a very sensible question.
Johnnie: Is the one whom you baptize righteous, or unrighteous, at the point of being baptized?
Brother Dodge: They are unrighteous as are all before baptism.
Johnnie: Then Brother Dodge, you violate a plain and express command right in the very chapter you propose risking the whole issue on baptism. Here it! "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness [don't do that] unto sin; but yield yourselves unto God, as those who are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God." (Ro 6:13) Those who are alive unto God are dead to sin. Ro 6:2. Those who are dead in sins, and the ones whom you say you baptize and unrighteous, and admitted, so in yielding in this act they are said to be instruments of unrighteousness, and are told not as such to yield in this act to baptism in that state. So if anyone must violate the plain scripture to be a full-fledged Campbellite, I advise them to not take the leap in the dark, and dismal formality. And further, you say you would not knowingly baptize a righteous person.
Brother Dodge: No, I would not!
Johnnie: Is it right and righteous for an alien sinner, dead in sins to believe, repent, confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?
Brother Dodge: Yes, I think so.
Johnnie: Then did you know the following expression is in your Bible? "If ye know that He is righteous, ye know that everyone that doeth righteousness is born of Him." (1Jo 2:29) Just one way to dodge this lesson, and that is to confess that even God is not righteous. If He is righteous, then the whole structure of Campbellism must fall as a religious deformity.
Brother Dodge: I shall freely admit you have me on a difficult spot, and I should have done the talking and you the listening. In fact your father called me, and so I came to baptize you into Christ for the remission of your sins. Will you yield to the truth, and let me now and perhaps your last opportunity to become saved, baptize you into the body of Christ?
Johnnie: Well, I could not be your candidate to baptize as an insrument of righteousness, and I am told not to yield in the act as an instrument of unrighteousness. So I will answer your request in this manner. I had rather obey God than men who pervert His taught lesson here referred to. And further, and you can do no less, you have admitted, because the Bible is as silent as the tomb, where you or any man living or dead, can read or find to be read, the example that I should yield to you or any. man on earth for this purpose in view. As a minister you have been deceiving the people, and on just about all you teach. If I should state the matter otherwise, it would goad my feeling on what I should do.
Brother Dodge: As I stated to you, your feelings have nothing to do with facts. All we know about God is what we read in the Bible.
Johnnie: At what point is one's heart purified by faith, and does the alien sinner believe from a pure heart, or is the heart corrupted, and impure?
Brother Dodge: The sinner's heart is pure when he believes, repents, confesses, and is baptized, and not before.
Johnnie: Well, if one is as mean as the devil and comes to you for baptism, it could not be because of any change of heart. Also, if one after baptism does not have eternal life, and is only saved in prospect, and must live on probation until death to be saved, then how can such one arise from baptism to walk in newness of life which he does not possess? If to reach Christ in the act of being baptized, why the expression: "Buried with Christ by baptism.?" (Ro 6:4-5; Col 2:12)
Brother Dodge: I shall refuse to answer on the ground of my constitutional rights under the 5th amendment.
Johnnie: Since you refuse to answer my questions, I shall turn to a different subject, which you also are deceptive about. Was Mr. Campbell inspired of God, and as his restoration move was to bring the sects away from sectarianism, and thereby restore the Church back to New Testament grounds, did he not start a new sect in his restoration move?
Brother Dodge: No, Johnnie, he was a great man and one all the sectarian preachers were fearful to discuss the issues of the day with, and he did what no other man since the day of Pentecost has done. He restored the Church back to Bible truth, which started on Pentecost, and apostatized, and went into the darkness of heresy.
Johnnie: Did Campbell restore the same Church which Jesus said, ''I will build, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against."? (Mt 16:18)
Brother Dodge: That is correct. Campbell restored it to New Testament practice. Like a grain of wheat, he began planting the truth in the heart of alien sinners and it produced New Testament disciples. That was all the kind you see there were at that time.
Johnnie: Is this why papa Campbell went to a Mr. Mathius Luce, a Baptist minister, and was baptized on the 12th day of June 1812, by immersion, all the baptism he ever received? Did this same Church exist when papa Campbell sought to restore it?
Brother Dodge: He had hopes of restoring the Baptists to Bible grounds. They were the Church in error, but not a word from you about it, because it would ruin us in our claim on Pentecost. We have to admit this to avoid the charge of starting a new sect.
Johnnie: Oh yes, I see! He could not take a thing which was not the Church and restore it, without starting one of his own making. This makes sense, and is logical, yet a dead giveaway that the Church you have is Campbell's Church. So this is the reason why others address you as Campbellites. Granting Campbell's move to be in good faith, he had to have the existing Church before he could restore it, but this he did not do. He started one of his own making. Like a man charged with a crime, he always pleads his innocence, with not a straw to stand upon. Did not papa Campbell say while in debate with Mr. Walker, page 262, "The Baptist denomination can trace their origin to apostolic times, and produce unequivocal testimonies of their existence in every century down to the present time"?
Brother Dodge: I demand my rights under the 5th amendment to not answer your question.
Johnnie: Papa Campbell went to Mr. Luce as an unsaved man, and was baptized by him an unsaved man, because a Baptist. Now what Church was he added to when baptized ? If at that time Papa's Church had an existence he would not have gone to a Baptist for baptism, or would he have gone to a Church not baptizing with the design to obtain remission of sins?
Brother Dodge: I refuse to answer on the basis of my constitutional rights, and fear of self-incrimination before the sects and our claim of being the Church of Christ.
Johnnie: Well, I will present the question another way. Suppose I go to the Baptists and offer myself for baptism as did papa Campbell in 1812. Would I be saved and added to the same Church Mr. Campbell was added to?
Brother Dodge: For the foregoing reasons I refuse to answer.
Johnnie: Can there be a scriptural Church without a scriptural administration of baptism? And did papa Campbell receive scriptural baptism when baptized by Mr. Luce a Baptist minister?
Brother Dodge: I exercise my constitutional rights under the 5th amendment to not answer your question.
Father Evergood: I see no point in carrying this discussion further, and we shall all just have a gentleman's agreement to say nothing about this our discussion. I do not know, but I am determined to find out the reason of Johnnie's stubborn disposition, and with whom he has been associating. And Brother Dodge, I think we elders shall have a meeting with view to the installation of another minister in our Church, who might be at least able to convert Johnnie to the truth and gospel obedience. If he has not crossed the line of accountability and is now responsible then I have no use for the word any longer.
Johnnie: Father, until you find the word in the Bible, and other matters called to your attention, I see no point in firing Brother Dodge and hiring another to take his place. It is not the weakness of your minister. It is the weakness of the fiber of papa Campbell's Church, and its doctrine and practice, its false claim, its cold formality, and the fact it is just another of the sects formulated by designing men, and not the Church of our Lord. I respect you, and as a son I deeply feel the obligation to obey you as my father in the family tie between us, and this I shall humbly seek to do. But just as the stars are high above our heads, so the laws of God are high above any law, enacted and set in force by men. Nor do they stand in need of duplication, imitation, change, or substitution by men. I am a mere boy, but I think if I were you, my father, and you, Brother Dodge, I would pick up the old gospel broom and sweep at least that which mars the beauty of your fine slogan: "We speak where the Bible speaks, and we keep silent where it is silent." So as your son, father, I do not wish to be ugly and disrespect you, nor anyone else, but I shall kindly call your attention to some things which your fine slogan would have removed, if lived up to in what it means.
Your textbook for all learning, first is the Bible, the inspired word of God.
The Bible is silent on schools to make ministers of the gospel, sweep them out.
As popular as the modern Sunday School is, male and female teachers, and Bible classes, they are not mentioned in the Bible, sweep them out.
The imaginary line of accountability and purity of life to a certain age and crossing this line is a delusion, and it also goes as not mentioned in the Bible, sweep it out.
Re-examine your often half-quoted lesson on taking the Lord's supper on the first day of the week only. Indeed they came together on the first day of the week to break bread. Paul preached, and continued his speech until midnight. One of his listeners fell into a deep sleep, and from the third loft he fell and was taken up dead, (as they thought at least) but his life was in him. Watch it now! "When he (Paul) therefore, was come up again, (that is he came up from where the young man Eutychus had fallen, and after he (Paul) had preached until midnight, went down, and came back up after midnight, because he preached until midnight; they broke bread, (early Monday morning, you see), and Paul talked until break of day and departed. See Ac 20:9. Sweep your little hobby out. It just will not stand.
Again, we are told that "When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 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; till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God," etc. (Eph 4:4-14) The word is used three times in the Bible, and here is the only place where we have mentioned the work of an evangelist. Now, it is as clear as noonday that your ministers pervert its meaning in that they presume this evangelistic work is to get alien sinners to the creek and baptize them. The work of an evangelist is for ''perfecting the saints, for the edifying of the body of Christ, and this affects the coming together, in the unity of faith, and knowledge of the Son of God, and the perfect man, and the stature of the fulness of Christ." The work of these gifts in the body of Christ are clearly laid out. They are for the saints, and for the unity, and edifying of the body of Christ, and are not designed to save the lost sinner. Sweep out your perversion of truth on the work of these gifts. Their work is clearly stated.
Not one place in the Bible do we have mention, command or authority to baptize saint or sinner into Christ. If indeed you baptize scriptarally, then you baptize in water. This is observed and too well known to deny. To claim to baptize the alien sinner into Christ is a perverted claim, sweep it out. It constitutes a monument of heresy, unmentioned in the Bible as you teach it. Sweep it out, and you go with it, because it strikes at the life and soul of Campbellism. In respect to your famous slogan, sweep it out, and it literarily defaces the whole move of Campbellism as a Church.
Here Brother Dodge adjourns the meeting and father Evergood, with a resentful look at the young boy, yet without further discussing the issue, shakes hands and parts with Johnnie's questions ringing in the ears of his critics unanswered.
May our young people find a more sound, and scriptural surrounding than did Johnnie. Ask their childish questions, and find sound answers to them. With humble hearts pray and meditate, with light and the life of Christ shining in the face of Jesus Christ, and in their hearts, find the place God has given them and fill it well is my sincere prayer.
THE BIBLE AND ATONEMENT OF CHRIST FOR SINS
One of the strongest evidences we may have and hold that the Bible is the inspired word of God, is in the fact that it has come to us unlike any other piece of literature. Contained in its sacred pages we find an accurate account of all kinds of sin, its origin, and man's behavior, or misbehavior as a sinner, or as a child of God.
It is an unexcelled looking-glass as we stand before its divine precepts, and view the secret and open sins of God's creatures.
It is broken up in many departments, as history, rules of service to each other, and to God, prophecies, poetry, beautiful language, true science, types, parables, metaphors, miracles wrought, rebukes, warnings, promises, etc. Without it we would know little of the origin of mankind, or the other creatures, where we are, what we are, and events beyond this life we live here upon the earth.
In the field of human learning, training, and modern research, things discovered, invented by wise and useful methods sought out and found and put in operation by man, the Bible is yet the textbook in its field unexcelled in giving both the history of the past and of the future. The exploring and discovery of oil, metals, minerals, etc. The building of highways, and unending progress of mankind is a demonstration of God's blessings. We see our misuse of them; our frail, selfish, greedy way of wasting God's bounties set before His creatures. Man goes beyond his bounds, and crushes to nothing by the penalty of broken laws of his Creator. None of these things contradicts what we are, but rather exposes the fact we are dependent creatures, and as a little child we need a ruler, or governor to remove from our hands the dangerous tools of life which we may have made and use to our own destruction. The Bible is translated into the different tongues and dialects over a period of many centuries. It meets the challenge of designing critics, and rightly divided, it is a book of perfect harmony, and holds the hand that strikes at its claim to be divinely given with a ready answer that he is a fool. The great apostle to the Gentiles writes: "And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness. God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." (1Ti 3:16) Again, "0 the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out." (Ro 2:29) Many times both good men and those who are not good have been overshadowed in His mercy, and have been able to see and feel it in display. Yet no man has yet been able to search the depth of His righteous judgments. So far as we know, no nation has long survived living moral or clean lives under civilized laws, when that nation begins to go atheistic, denying the God of our Bible.
'' A little philosophy inclineth men's minds to atheism. But depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds to religion.''â€”Bacon
Some may suggest that this is a little old world tossed away by Satan as a little boy's ball, and now he has sent his little children in search of the ball with orders to bring it back to God. Others sleep and dream that God is also asleep, and has now turned this little world over to capable hands to finish His work for Him, save the world and make it a good world, filled by the saved and Satan's schemes are subdued and overthrown by men.
While I suppose there are others old-timey enough to recall and submit to the truth where it is said: "If any man speak, let him speak the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." (1Pe 4:2)
There are signs and beautiful types of Christ in the many and various sacrifices, and the blood of animals shed and used in the service under the temple worship in the Old Testament. The word "atonement" is used only one time in the New Testament (Ro 5:11), seventy-six times in the old, and one time in the plural., '' atonements,'' according to Strong's Annl. Concordance. The word is defined as follows: "To cover, to placate or cancel, to cleanse, disannul, to appease, to forgive, be merciful, pacify, purge put off, reconcile, a redemption, price, ransom, satisfaction, expiation." Perhaps the offering of Abel, and the seed of the woman, and the firstling, and the fat thereof, were the first mentioned offerings typical of Christ mentioned; and then the priest and the law, and temple worship are in many places recorded manifesting in type the blood and sacrifice of Christ for the sins of His people. The lambs, and the firstling of the flock, beautifully represented Christ the only begotten Son of God, etc. We are told by scholars that the word in its early useage was "At-one-ment." The word often uses "Atone" is not used in the Bible.
Christ is said to be the Lamb of God: '' Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." Joh 1:29. Some translations use the word, "sins of the world." "A Lamb without blemish." (1Pe 1:19). "The book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." (Re 13:8). "Overcome by the blood of the Lamb." "Washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb." "The bride, the Lamb's wife."
All these and others have a great significance in leading the mind to reach the facts in a true application of the word, "Atonement." Christ, the Son of God, offering once, His body and shed blood for sins, swallows up, and completely fulfills all the types of it found in the Old Testament; and even more, for all time. They, as a closed door, find their proper place in Christ, the Lamb of God. So the word must have its proper meaning stressed. In fact, there will never be another sacrifice made, no other atonement for sins. A clear meaning is found in the fact that the offering was perfect. It meets its designed end in Christ alone. He covered, placated, cancelled, appeased, forgives, in mercy pacified, pardoned, purged, put off, reconciled redeemed, ramsomed, made satisfaction, and expiated the sins of ALL for whom He died.
I shall give abundant proof here, of my position and the position of the Church, which of course, is against the Arminian theory, that the death and atonement of Christ was universal to all the race of man, or of Adam's race. I consider it a solemn duty and it should be a pleasure here to honor the Lord and Him alone. I respect His sufferings, and the price of redemption paid the Father for the broken law by our sins. For them He fully made satisfaction. It is a duty to stay on the old platform upon which the Church has stood through the ages. As time wears on, I freely admit it becomes more and more unpopular in the mind and teachings of modern religionists of our day. Even so, it simply is a drifting further away from the unquestionable truth of the Bible. In fact, if Arminianism is true, it has no Savior to present to poor undeserving sinners, and this comprises all of mankind, because there simply are no other kind of sinners.
If Christ died for all mankind alike, just as He died for His people, then He did as much for Nero as He did for the apostle John, or Paul, or Peter. He went to the grave and conquered it, and lived a perfect life, made a perfect sacrifice for Nero and for the damned. They were not, and are not saved, but the family of God is to be saved. Now they are not saved through Christ and what He did for them. If this were true, He would have saved Nero, the damned in hell, and those who shall be damned. Why? The answer is: He did as much for the damned in hell as for the saved in heaven, and what He did failed to save them. But it is suggested that those who were not saved failed to do certain things, such as having faith, trusting, repenting, living sinless lives, etc. Then when we find that this is what they failed to do, and therefore they were lost, who can deny that this is exactly what the saved in heaven did, and had to do and therefore were saved. Adding up the final and inescapable conclusion, they were not saved through Christ, but by what they did. I maintain this argument has never and shall never be answered by the Arminian world. It is a total unbelief in Christ, and turning to other things as a remedy for sin. If this theory is true, Christ is not the Savior.
Again, there are near 2,500,000,000 people in the world today. Over half of this great mass of human beings are in lands where the gospel has not been preached. Between 700,000,000 and 1,000,000,000 people have heard and gave assent to the various forms of religion presented to them and have obeyed what they have been taught. My friends, this is being very liberal on this question in the face of world facts, and the cold statistics of religious bodies. Something the modern Missionaries do not whisper back home. To still be liberal, we shall concede for argument's sake if it is made, that God saves the heathen who are preached to by all these conflicting bodies in the field with their agents and programs. Now the universal sacrifice of Christ was designed as much for the untaught heathen if the theory be correct as for those who were reached by the gospel. Yet grant it, over half of the race of mankind dies without a chance to be saved. How do you like it? It could not be said those who heard not the gospel rejected it, or anything offered by it. They did not have a chance to hear it. Now if they die and go to hell for not accepting what they had not had presented to them, just who bears the blame? The ones who failed in carrying the gospel to them, or those who died without a chance to hear it preached to them?
Stipulated terms designed to reach an end cannot be the essential property only as it reaches the end designed. The designed end is salvation from sins. Christ is falsely set forth through the means of men and fails to reach the designed end. Therefore Christ is not the Savior of sinners, but some are saved notwithstanding by what they do. Angels blush for shame, and men fear and tremble for such a theoretical blunder. But it can be shown by reasonable deduction that the scriptures used by them do not teach the theory.
We shall now go to the Bible, and I shall give the place where the scriptures are to be found, and brief the text, so as to not take unnecessary space in the book, and tire the reader.
We shall take up the word "world." The word appears in the Old Testament 31 times, 252 times in the New Testament; â€œworldsâ€ﾝ three times, and â€œworldlyâ€ﾝ two times. In the Old Testament God passed by the Gentile nations and conferred His blessings on Israel, or the fleshly seed of Abraham. So the Gentiles were not so frequently referred to then as in the New Testament. The word, "world," is a very flexible word as used in our Bible as well as in the business world, or common references where the word is used. Webster defines the word as follows. "The whole system of created things; the universe; any celestial orb or planetary body; the earth and all created things." The above is its wide and unlimited scope of meaning. To continue quoting Webster: "That part, or portion of the globe known to anyone, as the old world, the new world, the world to come, a certain class, portion, or section of mankind considered as a separate or independent whole, as the religious world, the heathen world, the literary world."
It can be added: the business world, the eastern world, the western world, Catholic world, Protestant world, elect world, world of the righteous, world of the wicked, etc. Now we may reason that Christ did not die for the planetary world. He did not die for some celestial orb. He did not die for all created things. He did not die for some localized nation, such as the heathen world, the literary world to the exclusion of other people. He died for an independent whole, to be true, then He died for the elect world and it is my obligation to prove it because this is my position here taken. This momentous subject must be settled by the Bible and not by popular taste to evade opposition.
Heb 2:9: "But we see Jesus who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man." Everyone. The word â€œmanâ€ﾝ in the text is not in the original Greek. The word, "man," in Greek is â€œanthroposâ€ﾝ and in the text, â€œpantos.â€ﾝ See verse six and other places. The word â€œmanâ€ﾝ is a supplied word, and where it is so used, it is an accepted rule to be governed by the context of the lesson; and here it is very plain. It is said to be the sons He brings to glory. He is the Captain of their salvation through suffering for them. He that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, and all of one for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren. It is the children given Him (Heb 2:10-13). "Wilson's Emphatic Diaglott translates the text: "Everyone." (He brings to glory.) George Ricker Berry, Ph. D., of the University of Chicago translates the text "Everyone," (those He brings to glory, as in the context). The lesson is very clear and no justified reason for the above position not to be well taken.
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.'' The word, "propitiation," is a very strong word here. It means the same as the old Hebrew word translated, atonement, sin-covering, to expiate, to appease, to satisfy, to reconcile. Now look what you have here if so be the words "whole world," mean all the race of Adam. You have that part of mankind who die in their sins going to hell with their sins covered, satisfied for, reconciled to God, etc. And now paying the debt the second time by suffering for sins covered by the blood of Christ. Our sins, His people among the Jews, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. All of His people among the Jews, and in the Gentile nations, the whole family of the elect, a full and complete number. The independent whole, the elect world. We are told that every man pressed into the kingdom of God, but Herod did not, nor those who rejected the counsel of God against themselves did not. And it is so stated.
1Jo 5:19: "We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.'' If here the "whole world" is all of Adam's race, who are those distinctly stated as being of God? Again, "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. "They are of the world, therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them." (1Jo 4:4-5). Here the word, â€œworldâ€ﾝ is the ungodly, or the unsaved, those who are in their sins.
1Co 11:32: Here God's people when judged are chastened that they should not be condemned with the world. The word, â€œworld,â€ﾝ here are those who shall be judged at the end and cast into hell as the wicked. Again, God's people as a separate or independent number are not designated as the â€œworld.â€ﾝ
2Co 5:19: "God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them." Here is a lesson if all the race of Adam is meant by the word, world, that part who are lost go to hell with their sins not charged against them. The world here is simply the elect world or an independent whole, no more or less.
Jas 3:6: Here the tongue is said to be a "world of iniquity." Does this mean the tongues of the righteous people who bridle their tongues? It simply means a wicked unbridled tongue is a world of iniquity.
Re 12:8: Here we are told that Satan shall deceive the whole world. Is it not true that at least some people are not deceived and wandering after the beast?
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." This is evidently here His people both Jews and Gentiles, and conversing with Nicodemus, a Jew. At that time the Gentiles were considered as dogs, unclean, yet He is here to know that God so loved His people in the nations of the Gentiles as well as the Jews that they shall as believers be saved, and not perish eternally. In view of the Gentile Church age soon to appear by the gospel being sent to them, it is a very appropriate explanation to him, and to us today. World, His people, an independent whole, full and complete number, the elect world. I shall not depart from the definition of this word to make it teach otherwise than in accord with the many other places where the word is used.
Lu 2:1: "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed." Well, well! I have not as yet paid my Jerusalem taxes, have you! The world here used meant the Roman Empire, the then known world.
Joh 17:9: "I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for those which thou hast given Me; for they are thine." If He prayed for those whom the Father had given Him, and all that the Father gave Him shall come to Him (Joh 6:39), then it is clear that the Father did not give Him the world here to save, who had not been given Him.
Joh 14:16-17: "And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot reeeive, because it seeth Him not neither knoweth Him, for He dwelleth with you and shall be in you."
"If the world here cannot receive Him, neither know Him, and Christ died for this world, then there are those for whom He died who cannot receive or know Him. But there are some who do receive and know Him, so they are not of this world here mentioned. This is enough proof that there are worlds, and Christ did not die for all the worlds, nor for those who shall finally be separated from Him.
ATONEMENT SPECIALâ€”NOT UNIVERSAL
I now offer proof that the atonement is special, and for His people and not universal to all mankind. There is not a plain lesson in the Old or the New Testament of a universal death of Christ for those who will finally be punished for their sins.
Ro 5:8-10: "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being not justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 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." Love toward us; we were sinners; we were enemies to God; we shall be saved from wrath through Him. We were reconciled to God by the death of His Son. We shall be saved by His life.â€ﾝ
Please notice these personal pronouns. The subject matter is not changed in the whole lesson, and here it expressly teaches that just as sure as He died for them, they shall be saved from wrath through Him, and saved by His life. If it teaches anything here, it teaches that those for whom He died shall be saved.
Joh 10:11-16: "I am the good Shepherd: the good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep. I am the good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine. As the Father knoweth Me even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be on fold and one Shepherd.''
Also see Joh 10:25-29. In the lesson here given, it is stated that Christ knows His sheep, and He laid down His life for them. It is certain He knew those for whom He died. He speaks and they hear Him, and of those who have not yet been brought in, He uses strong lanquage, saying: '' Them I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one fold and one Shepherd." He gives them eternal life, and they shall never perish. They are in His hand, and in the Father's hand, and none is able to pluck them out of their hands. Those here designated as sheep are represented in another place as the saved who will live with Him in heaven. Those designated as goats, the wicked, or those who die in their sins, are cast from Him into the place of torment at His second coming. Mt 25:31-34; also see Mt 25:41: "When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, He shall sit upon the throne of His glory; and before Him shall be gathered all nations: [here shall be gathered all the sheep, and all the goats] and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth the 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 to them on His right hand, come ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Now Mt 25:41: "Then shall He say also to them on His left hand, Depart from me ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."
It should be observed here that Christ has a people. He calls them, "My sheep. For them He laid down His life, or gave His life. They are His; were given to Him of the Father. This particular number, "the sheep," comprise the number for whom He died, and they shall be on His right hand at His coming in His glory. They are carried on to be with God, and inherit the Kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world. I must bring you. He says, they are given; they shall not be plucked from His hand; they shall inherit the Kingdom prepared for them.
These personal pronouns take the noun sheep for the antecedent. You, the sheep, are equal to the ones who shall be on His right hand at His second coming. The ones who shall be on His right hand, the sheep, are equal to those for whom He died. They are the same, and therefore equal to the same ones for whom He died. Persons or things equal to the same thing are equal to each other. Plainer language to teach the thought could not be constructed and this no one but a perverter of truth could reasonably deny, though it may clash with the teaching of many sects of our day.
Isa 51:11: "Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head; they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away."
Christ's death, sacrifice, and shed blood was to redeem, propitiate, and to reconcile God, and His broken law. We have but one answer to the question: Did He pay the price sufficient to release, set at one, or set at liberty and let go ? The answer is in the text. "They shall return to Zion with everlasting joy, and with singing the redemptive song, and sorrow and mourning shall flee away." But it did not say how many were redeemed. This is very true and I have no desire to say how many; but all the redeemed, all for whom He died, all the redeemed shall return, and why? The price for their sins has been paid in the person of Christ, the Son of God.
Heb 9:12: " Neither by the blood of bulls and goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in ONCE into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." The word, "us" either means all the race, or the family of God. If all the race, the damned in hell are those redeemed from sin, and it is said to be eternal redemption. Well, this position cannot be correct; and the other position is mine, and the position held through the centuries by the old Church.
Heb 10:14,17-18: "For by ONE offering He hath forever perfected them that are sanctified" (meaning those set apart to the obtaining of it). "And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more; now where the remission of these is, there is no more offering from sins."
By the many sin offerings made under the law there was a remembrance of sins, so the need of these offerings being made continually. These were a beautiful type of Christ, but could not make the comers thereunto perfect, nor put away sin's guilt. Now the great antitype is found in Christ, who forever put sins away, and so no more the need of another sin offering or sacrifice or the shedding of blood. And this was effected by ONE offering made by Christ. So it reasonably follows, that those for whom the offering was made, have for them the damnning affect of sins forever put away. This was made for the great family of God and effective in every age to the second coming of Christ. Those who die in their sins, and only they, are the ones who are finally damned for the guilt of their sins. "For He hath made Him to be sin for us, [stand for, and in the place of] who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." (2Co 5:21) Here He stood in the place of those for whom He died, and stood as a divine substitute. The punishment that was to fall upon their guilty heads was made to rest upon Him, and this was designed to make His righteousness appear before God as our own. His perfect righteous life ours, His perfect sacrifice, and offering ours, and so made satisfaction to God for all which could be against them. If this was for all of Adam's race and one is saved by it, then all for whom it was made shall reap its benefits made by Christ for them. So it follows again here. All for whom Christ died shall be saved. He just plainly did not do for the damned in hell. So the theory fails to stand up by the Holy Scriptures. Arminianism is not the truth.
1Th 5:9-10: "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with God." He so loved them that while consigning the wicked to punishment, He has, in His righteous will, appointed the elect to the obtaining of salvation through Christ. At His second coming some of them will be awake, or alive, and shall be changed, others shall be sleeping in the grave, or in death, but whether awake or sleeping in death, they should live together with God.
Ro 5:19: "For by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." By one man (Adam) the many he represented, or his offspring fell in him their head, and by his fall his offspring fell in him and became sinners, so by the obedience of one (Christ) the many represented by Him their head, and by His individual righteousness for them they shall be made righteous. Just as the one many by Adam became sinners, he representing his offspring, the race of Adam, so Christ representing all the family of God, and made righteous by one Christ. If this word "many" is as broad as the other "many," then as sin is universal by Adam, righteousness is also universal by Christ; and the Adam race would be saved, and universal salvation would be the result. But this is not true. So the road either way is a difficult one for the Arminian theory. Isa 53:11: "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." If He saw the travail of His soul, then He saw those for whom He died, and saw what was to be accomplished by His dying for their sins. He would have seen any power that would prevent the effect of His suffering for them. He could not, have been satisfied in beholding Satan's power preventing His power from saving them. His satisfaction was based upon His foreseeing them justified and saved. All are not justified and saved from sin's guilt, so it follows He did not die for those who die in their sins. They are not justified or saved.
Heb 9:16-17: " For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator, for a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth." Now there is a testament, and the Father's will, and as having children they are rightful heirs to the legacy. His Son is heir of all things, the children are joint heirs with Him. He assumes to do the Father's will. The Father gave to His Son in a special way those inserted in the will, made heirs to the heavenly legacy. So the Son and Testator died to bring the will in force, and by his doing all required to make His Father's will legal, just, He stands as the executor. It is unlike an earthly will in one respect only. The testator died, but the Testator of this will is not dead; He is alive and will carry through to salvation all the heirs of this will. They are covenant children, and the legacy is by promise in the Father's will. It embraces all the heirs of salvation, the covenant sons and daughters. Their names are written in the will, and in heaven. See Ps 139:15-16; Da 12:2; Re 13:8; 17:8. The Testator died to bring it in force, yet now, and forevermore He is alive to carry it through to the last son and daughter whose names are written in the Lamb's book of' life. This is a family covenant, and has a covenant head, and one to execute the Father's will, and He shed covenant blood for a covenant people.
Joh 6:37: "All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I shall in no wise cast out." Joh 6:39: "This is the Father's will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but raise it up again at the last day.'' And again, Joh 17:2: "As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him." And Joh 17:24: ''Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, may be with Me where I am; that they may behold Thy glory." Joh 17:4: "I have glorified Thee on the earth; I have finished the work Thou gavest Me to do.'' On the cross He said: "It is finished, and bowed His head, and gave up the ghost.''
2Sa 23:5: "Although my house be not so with God, yet He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure; for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although He make it not to grow." Hear David is impersonating Christ. This covenant made is an everlasting covenant, and it is not made to grow, meaning perhaps that the heirs to its benefits have been written in it when it was made. It stands sure, because its divine requirements have been fully met in Christ its Head, Executor, and by Him its benefits flow to the heirs of promise written in it.
Isa 54:9-10: "For this is as the waters of Noah unto Me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall My covenant of peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee." Ge 9:13-14: "I do set My bow in the cloud; I will remember my covenant; the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh,'' etc.
When we see the beautiful rainbow in the clouds, a token of God's covenant with Noah, and then that covenant be broken by God sending another flood to destroy all flesh, we may then begin to say God shall break His covenant with His people, and His covenant of grace, made for them. The covenant of works made with men are often broken, but this is a covenant of grace, a covenant of peace, an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and is not to be disannulled or changed.
I have offered here twelve reasons, and arguments with proof by the Holy Scriptures, that the atonement of Christ is particular, and limited to the elect family of God. They are strong, not because I have had my say, but because they are correctly set forth in the Scriptures. There is not one lesson found in the Old Testament designed to teach or that teaches a universal sacrifice or atonement for the sins of all Adam's race. It is the same in the New Testament.
The doctrine of sovereign grace is the only system and sovereign grace is the only system of theology that reaches and saves sinners. Some of them are the deaf and dumb, blind, maimed; some are on the far off isles of the sea; some of them never went to school a day in their lives; some died a physical death in infancy; some are sick in mind and body; some never saw a preacher, and therefore never heard the preached gospel. Some never saw a Bible; some are found in the universities, colleges or institutions of learning, and are trained in the institutions of learning and culture. They hold responsible position even at the head of governments; some are wise, and some unwise, the old and the young; they are redeemed by the blood of Christ out of every nation, tongue, and people. Kind reader, as sure as night follows day, there is but one and only one way God saves people in all these conditions in life. He simply saves them by grace, and through Christ the Son of God. These precious truths are not dead, nor worn and ready to be folded up and set aside for some imitation, patterned after the doctrine of men; nor is it true that the issue should sleep unmentioned, because the way of Christ is hated, and His followers are also hated by the world. Eternal life, or salvation from sin's guilt is the work of a Triune God, and Christ is the sinner's only Savior. Faith built around any other person or thing is human faith, and not divine or Bible faith. To preach or present anything or any other personage, and by such to draw away disciples is a demonstrated unbelief in Christ as Savior. Strictly speaking, and to a large degree all peoples hold some form of religion. We have not become intellectually strong when we yet count our beads, and fall down before images and make some man the vicar of Christ on earth. Those forms are religious, but borrowed from pagan heathen worshipers. Heathen countries have their moral code of ethics, as did Confucius, the head of Confucianism, a long time form of family life of the people of China. The religious bodies who send their missionaries abroad to convert the heathen (as they believe) to the Christian principles of Bible religion, have rather planted confusion in the mind of foreign peoples just as they have here in America. It is very proud and conflicting to advance a theory that is no more taught in the Bible and call such Christian ethics. It is no better than the heathen doctrine of uncivilized countries. The infallible Holy Father, the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on earth, with 485,000,000 members of the Church over which he is head, and representative, outnumbers all other religious bodies laying claim to Bible religion. Yet we still proudly boast of being a Christian nation, to other peoples of the world, and as though it is good usage to address a priest as "father," and let it go by saying all are striving to go to the same place. Perhaps, but how dangerous is that twisted, contradicting, perverting traffic cop, directing the passengers. "Be not ye called Rabbi; for one is your Master even Christ, and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth [meaning spiritual father], for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called master, for one is your Master, even Christ." (Mt 23:8-10)
"We are told by scholars that the words Elder, Bishop, and Presbyter are words having reference to the same office, and they confer this appellation on men holding the highest office God gives to the Gentile Church age. We are now living in that age, and it is a shame that so many ignore this plain lesson, and call their ministers "Reverend, "The Most Right Reverend," "Father," "Holy Father," etc. I am very little in so very many ways, but this I have not done, and by His grace I shall not. It is near the ugly word "blasphemy." Yet these men who stand at the top in admiration seem to delight in being thus flattered. It is to be observed that in the theory that God uses human means to beget, and to save the lost sinner, then it is a co-work with God, and not God Himself who saves, so these flattering titles are given.
THE DOCTRINE OF PREDESTINATION
This great subject is deep, and full of mysteries, and adverse to the natural mind and vain thinking of modern religionists. It can be said with a great degree of certainty that unbelievers never take the word or its meaning with any serious agreement of what it contains. Many books have been written to condemn it. It seems to be far above and out of the sight of even wise men in the field of learning. It is heavenly in its origin, and expresses the act of God, and not the acts of men, either good or bad. It is conceived in the infinite mind of God, and connected with His foreknowledge. It has to do with the divine scheme of redemption, foreseen of God. Its subjects are included, and the wicked who die in their sins are excluded from its designed end. It is hid from the wise of this world, and by them it is not understood. It is hidden and beyond their grasp.
The word "predestinate" is used twice. Ro 8:29-30. "Predestinated" is used twice. Eph 1:5,11. "Ordained." "before ordained," etc. are kindred in meaning, and the thought appears in many places in both the Old and New Testaments. His people are said to be ordained to eternal life. Ac 13:48. The good works which they are to walk in are said to be before ordained, and that they should walk in them. Eph 2:10. "Pre," a prefix derived from Latin, meaning before, "destinate," to design or appoint, appointed, or destined, etc. See Webster. It is persons, and not things; good works and not bad works, as we shall show. The acts of men either good or bad are not indicated in the lessons where the words appear.
The decrees of God, and His counsels, are altogether righteous, and where they have to do with wicked acts of men, such as in Ac 2:23: " Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: for of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel were gathered together, for to do whatever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.'' Ac 4:7,28. We have here both the wicked acts of men, and the act of God. The acts of these wicked men were to kill, crucify and slay the Christ. The act of God was: He (Christ) being delivered by the determinate Counsel of God, and His foreknowledge,â€”He laid down His life, but took it again. He died, but conquered death by His resurrection. He was delivered from their wicked design to kill him, and laid down His life. They counseled to kill Him; God counseled to deliver Him, and did. Pontius Pilate said: " I have found no cause of death in Him." Lu 23:22. It is also said: "They hated Me without a cause.'' Joh 15:25. In the first place, they by wicked hands did it, and God with His mighty power overruled and brought Him forth a victorious and living Christ over the hand of the enemy, and the power of death. And today He lives and reigns to the shame and condemnation of their wicked acts. God's decrees are never in the wicked acts of men, but He is the overcoming of them to the praise of His power and glory, and just condemnation of sins in whatsoever form. God is neither the author of sin, nor its cause. Men being sinful, and living in the lust and pleasure of sin, and those who die in such sins are damned for their sins, and not because of God's decrees. The laws of any court are not the cause of punishment, nor the cause of the act or crime, but judgment is passed on the guilty by the law, and the act of the crime is the cause of the sentence.
Now to be saved from sin's guilt is a stoop of mercy, and grace, which comes through Christ. And all the objects of His grace that He saves are undeserving of it, and have no just claim, other than that Christ bestows it upon whomsoever He wills. "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, [them that love God] He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first born among many brethren [those whom He loved]. Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called, and whom He called, them He justified; them He justified, He glorified.'' Ro 8:28-32. I here italicize the letters in the pronouns in the lesson, because the persons are those who love God, and all these mentioned things work together for their good. God brings them all the way from foreknowledge to their glorification, and in each mentioned thing it is expressly the act of God, or what God does for them. Predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, and the very same ones brought all the way to glorification. Their acts other than loving God are not mentioned. The other lesson where the word appears, is in Eph 1:5,11: "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will. To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved [as in Eph 1:6] in whom we have obtained an inheritance being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will."
"Predestinated unto the adoption of children." This was according to the good pleasure of His will. It was to the praise of His glorious grace. So the gospel of God's grace is a glorious gospel. This predestinated people are such by the will and purpose of God, and it brings them to be like Jesus. They are adopted sons, and receive all the benefits of born heirs in the heavenly family. They are those who love God. They are the saints, and faithful in Christ Jesus. They were chosen in Christ to salvation. Eph 1:4. '' Their names are written in the Lamb's book of life from the foundation of the world." Re 13:8; 17:8; Da 12:2; Ps 139:15-16. They are predestinated to be conformed to the image of Christ, foreknown, predestinated, called, justified, and glorified.
There is a very evident reason why the Arminian theory here breaks down, and therefore this Bible doctrine is not believed and taught by them. It will never conform to a system of doctrine by chance, and the uncertainty of salvation by works.
So Arminianism must blot out of memory this part of the Bible, or set it aside never to be mentioned only as an unwholesome doctrine to be condemned.
"Nay, but 0 man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus ?'' Ro 9:20. If in the heaven above there is a kingdom prepared for the saved ones, His sheep who shall be on His right hand at His second coming, and this Kingdom is prepared from the foundation of the world, and here in time they are being prepared for the place, why should they who are embraced in this doctrine reply against God? Why should one elected to grace and salvation be complaining about his election? The Son of God who is the Lamb of God, is God's sin-offering, and as such He is said to be the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Re 13:8. And those for whom He was slain have their names written in the Lamb's book of life from the foundation of the world. If God through the prophet wrote and gave us an insight to these wonderful blessings treasured in Christ for us, then we should suffer for the sake of the truth about these things, and for Christ's sake. Though men with negative minds talk and write criticizing the word at its mention, it is a rich and wholesome doctrine, expressing the divine interest of God over His people, His love and care of the elect family of God as its designed end. His servants should not shun to teach it just because a small minority accept it as we find it taught in the scriptures. God is the Holy and righteous God, and its Author, and though it is a mystery hard to understand, He predestinated that His family should be conformed to the image of His Son, and finally live with Him beyond the shadows of death and the grave. We shall maintain that the paradox (if it be a paradox) is true, and a part of the holy scriptures. God is first and before all worlds, and independent of all His creatures, and therefore He is free, and men cannot, though they may try, limit God in His divine attributes. He is all the holy scriptures and His mighty power reveal Him to be. He in His blessedness and the necessity of His being is all the Bible claims Him to be; therefore He cannot be the author of sin, nor can He be unjust in the display of His mighty works, nor in punishing any man for the guilt of his sins against His righteous laws, whatever that punishment expressed in His law may be.
THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION
Election as we find it taught in the Scriptures is an act of God the Father, out of His everlasting love for His bride, or the subjects of the kingdom of grace. Election is better understood if we at all times associate it with God's foreknowledge, and the fact that God is eternal. All things are before Him as present now. There are days of the past, present and future with man, so long as he lives upon earth. But with the eternal God, He is in His being wisdom, and His all seeing eye, one eternal now. The events of time must be unfolded to His creatures, for them to have knowledge. So He made choice of them before time, and gave them to His Son in the covenant of grace. Why make choice of a person or thing before such person or thing exists? We could not, but God is eternal and can and does. There are different kinds of life, and each has its environments suitable for the particular life it may have. Man is natural and lives in the kingdom of nature. Nowhere else do we find the natural blessings. This is also true in the kingdom of grace. There man has a new life, a new creation, and a new creature. See 2Co 5:17. He is born into this kingdom; it is heavenly and spiritual. So there are two kingdoms of life, and in each We must be born to see the things contained therein, and enjoy the blessings of them.
The spiritual blessings are evidences of, or 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. Eph 1:3-4. The choice was made in Christ before time, and we are blessed according to the choice, which is designed to bring the elect to a state of being without blame before Him in love. It is not according to our works, and could not be, because it was before time, and before we were in the natural life or spiritual. But it was according to His own purpose and grace given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. 2Ti 1:8-9. They are elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification (being set apart to it) of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. 1Pe 1:2. Again this election is not by works and grace (as held in the theory of Arminianism). "Even so at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise works is no more works." Ro 11:5-6. Here Paul the apostle to the Gentiles did not take the position that it was either by work or grace. But he positively brings out the fact if it is by grace, it is not of works, and if by works, it is not by grace. No doubt, the reasonable mind can see: Jacob and Esau are set forth to give the theories of men a baffling problem who deny the doctrine of election. "For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth: it was said unto her [Rebecca their mother] the elder shall serve the younger, as it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated." Ro 9:11-13. As is often shown in our Bible by characters such as Israel and Egypt, Able and Cain, Isaac and Ishmael, Sarah and Hagar, they represent the kind of people conspicuously the family of God, and those who are not; the elect and those who are not; the true service of God and that which is not. Certainly here is a lesson to test one's belief if he is critical and does not believe in the Bible doctrine of election. Some might say that environment, home training, tuition, is what determines the difference. But here are two boys, twins, born at the same place, having the same parents. Both are of the fleshly seed of Abraham, as were Cain and Abel. They are brothers. It is suggested that election is based upon foreseen faith, and good works. "Well, this is at least a try. But election was not made of sinners in a fallen state. It was made before the fall of Adam in sin. "We were in this respect as was Jacob and Esau. We had not been born nor had we done good or evil when God the Father elected His people in Christ. Here the gainsayers come to a wall and must go no farther with their evasion and denial of truth. If they do, they will be found wilfully displaying unbelief in this part of the Bible.
The family of God is said to be a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people. 1Pe 2:9. They are the promised seed, and the promise is sure to all the seed. Again, ''A seed shall serve Him; and it shall be accounted for a generation." These are His children, His heritage. Ro 4:16; Ps 22:30-31. They are the ones who shall be gathered from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other at His second coming (Mt 24:31). Their enemies shall not be able to lay any charge against them, and all things God does for them shall work together for their good. Ro 2:28-29,29. "Blessed is the man whom thou chooseth, and causeth to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts." Ps 65:4. Paul speaks of knowing the election of some, as the beloved of God (1Th 1:4). The Lord chooses, and then causes to approach unto Him, and to dwell in His courts. Paul gave thanks always to God for the brethren at Thessalonica, "Beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit (set apart by the Spirit), and belief of the truth." 2Th 2:13. If this choice was from the beginning, it was before they believed the truth to which they were set apart to believe, and have the truth set before them, unless they existed from the beginning, and this could not be reasonable and true. Election predates the world and the people in the world. God created the world, and then the things in the world. Man was the last of His creation, so if election is conditioned upon the acts of men, it simply had to be done before man existed. Conditions or stipulations set forth to reach an end must be operative before the end is reached. In this case the end is being saved. So man had to comply with conditions before the world was, and the world was made before man was created. Men, rather than to do the impossible, to get a little glory and rob God, present such foolish claims, as in this case I should not mention, and will not further express my thoughts about the theories set out to overthrow the Bible doctrine of election.
These and many other lessons found in the Holy Scriptures clearly set forth the doctrine of election. Such expressions as: "the Lamb's wife," "the bride," and the "Bridegroom," "Husbands love your wives as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it," (Eph 5:25) are useless expressions if the idea of a general atonement and sacrifice for sins be true. Love is special, and particular, just as a man may love his wife, with no reflection on other women, or may first love the young lady, and because of that love make choice of her to be his wife, he takes her to himself as his very own, and she takes the man as her very own. He does not acknowledge his love for and to her, and then state his universal love for all other women as he does his wife, because love in its very nature is special, and demands its object. Christ as the builder of His own house does not go out and purchase all the timber, or material, and then select what may be needed to build His house. He first selects the material, then prepares the material, and then builds the house. Nor is the material consulted, as to what it shall be, or where in the building it shall be placed. I shall here submit the views of William Cathcart, D.D., quoting at length from his work, Baptist Encyclopedia, Vol. 364: "Every man that shall enter glory was elected of God" to that blessed state, because of that election, is prepared by the Holy Spirit for its enjoyment. No elect person can be kept out of heaven. When men repent and put their trust in Jesus, they are called according to God's purpose. Ro 8:28. This is according to His plan of election, or they would never turn to the Savior; hence Paul says: 'Who maketh thee to differ? By the grace of God I am what I am.' 1Co 15:10. The electing grace of Jehovah has placed every believer in a saved relation with the Lamb. The entire elect were given to Christ to redeem. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. Ga 3:13. To intercede for: 'I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them whom Thou hast given Me, for they are Thine.' Joh 17:9. God's election of believers took place in eternity. '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.' Eph 1 :4. Before the existence of the earth, the fall was foreseen, and salvation of the elect gloriously provided for.
"Divine election in the scriptures has to do exclusively with individuals. . . Paul himself, rushing with cruel haste to Damascus, breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the saints of Jesus their Master, is called into the saved family. One moment he is a blind bigot full of murder, and another, solely through God's call, he is a trembling penitent crying for mercy. No one, when the Savior found him, heard the voice of Jesus but himself. It is addressed to him alone, 'Saul, Saul, Why persecutest thou Me.' " Now it is very difficult here to detect the trick. His position is very sound and scriptural. But what does this man believe and hide beyond detection? In the second paragraph he intimates it to be based upon foreseen faith or trust, etc. Now they all come out plainly and say it is repentance and faith as conditions performed by the sinner, and this is why we are elected,â€ﾝ etc. But we shall quote this author further. Page 365: "The greatest workers in Christ's vineyard have received the scriptural doctrine of election. Paul, Augustine of Hippo, Calvin, Cranmer, John Knox, Whitfield, the Evangelical Episcopalians, the Baptists, the Presbyterians, the Congregationalists, the men who have made this country what it is, who have given Britain most of her greatness, and continental European Protestantism much of its glory, were firm believers in election. This Bible doctrine will yet bless the whole Christian family on earth with its light. Among the elect angels in heaven, the elect believers before the throne, and the elect in infants in paradise, from every land and age, it is a crowning joy.'' Dr. Cathcart, should he become awakened from the sleep of death and view the scene today and how very far his distinguished brethren have departed from his position here taken, should, as all good men, arise and speak in thunderous tones that could be heard in distant lands. Arminianism is the blighted heresy that cannot blend with Bible truth, and they have left the beaten path of our fathers.
But our brethren have learned not to take too seriously what these men say, just because they may have reason better known by them. They have, and Dr. Cathcart has, in many places in his books flatly contradicted his position here taken. The great majority of their representative men today are so deeply embedded in the corruption of Arminianism, and their unscriptural machinery, clubs, fraternities, and auxiliaries, and an edifice programed to keep its members, they seem to have no time or patience with those who believe and teach this Bible doctrine.
''Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the heathen. I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah." Ps 46:10-11. "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision.'' Ps 2:4. The scriptures foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, '' In thee shall all the nations be blessed.'' Ga 3:8. All Bible readers, I suppose, know how that promise was made, and how it is being carried out. Here it simply has reference to the untaught Gentiles in the nations, embraced in the promise God made to Abraham, according to that promise made before the preaching of the gospel of it, and foretold by the scriptures. His untaught people are justified by faith, and here called heathen. Those who are saved by grace through faith, stand justified in that state by which they are saved. Then faith is shown by works, and good works certainly are connected with the gospel, but those who have not faith could not show their faith by works, because they have it not. The gospel instead of planting faith in the heart draws it forth, and so faith is shown by works, not obtained by works, as some who teach that faith is a condition performed by the alien sinner. Jas 2:18; 2Ti 1:9-10; Eph 2:8-10; Ro 10:17. The alien sinner does not possess faith. If so, and you should begin to show your faith as a child of God, you would prove absolutely nothing that the alien sinner can not prove, for both the saved and the lost would have the very same thing. This would simply prove that a tree is not known by the fruit it bears, a flat denial of the Savior's words. Mt 7:16-18; Ga 5:23.
The meaning of the word "heathen" in the Old Testament had reference to the untaught nations, or Gentiles. The word now may have the same meaning, only it may be Jew or Gentile, Pagan worshipers, wild, unskillful in true or applied Christian ethics. And here I mean Bible truth, not just any form of so-called religious dogmas. It could easily mean men behind the desk performing what may be accepted by many as the genuine gospel. I seriously question the thought being correct that God's people may settle this matter before God in offering up just any kind of service, or public worship. The counting of beads, the so-called holy water, going to the mass, purgatory, praying through the virgin Mary, or some departed saint is Pagan heathenism. Oh yes, I well know it is practiced in enlightened countries, and by so-called enlightened people. But in this it is in midnight darkness of heathen idolatry. Bowing to graven images, or to even make one and adore it, or use it as a means of public worship is strictly forbidden by the Bible. I call your attention to Bible proof that such idolatrous conduct is strictly forbidden. "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thy self to them, nor serve them, for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God." Ex 20:4-5. "Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it, for I am the Lord your God." Le 26:1-2; also see De 4:16-25; 5:8; 9:12; 16:22; Jg 17; 18. Israel borrowed these things from the heathen nations around them, and so if today God's people, or those who may not be His people participate in such idolatry, it is heathen, and should be totally abstained from in any form of worship toward God, or in the name of God. All such things are the substituted things invented by the devil, and lived and presented by his agents to deceive. How could the eternal God be first in our lives, and therefore independent, and at the same time be carried where he cannot go, and does not go, except by representatives, as suggested by the theory? If human beings are instruments, or God's ordained means to reach and save lost souls, as is so popular in this age, then when these tools finish the building, they are ready to be placed away in the tool-box to rust away, and are of no further use. But how much better in every way to be a member in that building, and Christ the wise Master builder of His own house. "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it: Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." Ps 127:1. The doctrine of election is a very old doctrine and has been believed and taught by the people of God throughout the Old and New Testaments. The very first time the thought is released to us it made a brother go into a rage and kill his own brother. "And in process of time it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth and his countenance fell. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and slew him." Ge 4:3-5,8.
Every time the doctrine of special redemption, election, or as here, respect of one, and passing by the other, is shown, it tends to stir up the old carnal nature of a depraved heart and in this case murder of a brother. Again, however it is suggested, the respect shown of God rests upon the fact that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground, and it was the offering and not the person. "But God had respect unto Abel and to his offering: but unto Cain and to his offering He had not respect." The difference could not be because someone had preached unto Abel, and had not reached Cain with the means of salvation. It could not be because Abel had read himself into the faith in God by reading the Scriptures. It could not have been through the voice of a prophet, and therefore Abel by faith made the offering of the firstlings of his flock, and the fat thereof. It just would not be a generally accepted idea to suggest that God passed by Cain, and bestowed a blessing upon one, as the elect of God. Now by faith we can see in this typical offering one depicted as one represented who is the Savior, and the one who shall come and by His own sacrifice and blood, fulfill what Abel's offering represented before God. Indeed, it is a mystery. But it takes an unbeliever to mock, be angry, and want to kill because of the fact it contains. "The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee." Jer 31 :3. "For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God. 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. The Lord did not set His love upon you, and choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people. But because the Lord loved you, and because He would keep the oath which He had sworn to your fathers," etc. De 7:6-8. "Understand therefore, that the Lord thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness: for thou art a stiff necked people." De 9:6. "But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, 0 Jacob, and that formed thee, 0 Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine." Isa 43:1.
THE DOCTRINE OF REPENTANCE
I have heard men behind the sacred desk charge our people falsely by saying that we do not believe in, or preach repentance. Such reckless charges simply have no foundation, and the charge is false. I fail to see how one could preach obedience to God to a disobedient people, whether it should be man in nature under the moral government of God, or the child of God under the laws of the kingdom of God, without preaching repentance. To repent is an act of the individual who repents, and "repentance," is the principle from which the repenting acts. The first "repent" is a verb, and the last, "repentance, " is a noun. Under the moral laws of God, and under His government over the kingdom of man in nature, it is a violation of such laws to steal, to commit adultery, to kill, to whip his wife, to not make a good husband, or wife, and build a good home for his children, and provide for them, etc. Adam's race as sinners are under such laws, and should repent when they violate such laws. Many of them do, but the most of them do not, it would be reasonable to say. ''The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God [His spiritual law, or the laws of the kingdom of grace] neither indeed can be." Ro 8:7. This scripture here is not meant to convey the idea that the sinner dead in sins is under no law of God. He certainly is, and therefore he is responsible. To be spiritually minded is life and peace (Ro 8:6). These are not alien sinners. Those who only have the natural life are said to be in the flesh, and cannot please God (Ro 8:8). Such ones are under the law of sin and death, and therefore dead in sins and cannot please God. Those who are dead to sins, and who are spiritually minded, are said to be alive unto God, through Jesus Christ (Ro 8:11). The unsaved are set in mind, and that mind is always carnal, and at enmity against the spiritual laws of grace. They are total strangers to such laws. So to tell such ones to repent and believe the gospel is to present something their minds are not subject to, neither indeed can be. They are said to be in the flesh, and therefore they serve the law of sin, and are servants of Satan, and willingly live in a state of death. See Ro 7:25; 8:5,11.
The fact that God called and sent His prophets to Israel, and passed by the nations of the Gentiles, and then sent the apostles, and the seventy to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and the epistles written to the saints, and to churches, should settle the issue forever. Israel sinned as a nation, and since the destruction of their temple, and the fall of Jerusalem, they have been a dispersed people, scattered in all the nations of the world, without a place to dwell in as a home and nation as they were before. The veil of the temple was rent in the midst. Mt 27:51: "And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom." No more place to go behind the veil, and the priest to officiate with animal sacrifices, and the blood to make atonement for the sins of Israel. Their form of worship has been taken from them and nailed to the cross, and as a nation, or as individuals, they shall see His face no more until they shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Mt 23:38-39: Their house is a desolation, or a desolate place, rather than for the face of the Lord to shine in their assemblies. Again, Ac 2:36-38: "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, 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." This was on the day of Pentecost. Ac 2:5. "And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men [godly men] out of every nation under heaven."
This was a time the Jews met at Jerusalem on Pentecost, a noted festival and observed by them. Peter's preaching brought to their attention the fact that they as a nation, and as some individually had crucified the One who is both Lord and Christ, and the One, therefore, who was to come and redeem Israel and to restore all things, etc. When they heard Peter's preaching, they were pricked in the heart and said, Men and brethren, what shall we do? The answer was: "Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins." So the act of repenting and being baptized was respecting the Christ who shed His blood for the remission of their sins. The issue here is: Do repenting and being baptized remit sins ? Or is it the other way? Is it to be in the name of another, and who by shedding His blood remitted sins? Do the words, "for the remission of sins," modify the verbs "repent and be baptized" and show for what purpose they are to repent and be baptized. Here again we come to a place where battles are fought over words, and the preposition (for, eis). Is it because-of or in-order-to obtain? With-a-view-to? Or is it hiding behind the Greek by saying, "repent," in order to obtain, and be baptized because of sins? Here is where men come to battle on words, and their meaning in Bible theology. It seems that the words "repent," and "baptized" joined together by the conjunction "and," would give repentance, and baptism, on equal importance. So the action of those verbs, it seems, must respect that which remits sins. The preposition is (for, eis) with a view to, or with reference to. Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. He shed His blood for the remission of sins (Mt 26:28). Ac 2:38 and Mt 26:28 are parallel texts. For the remission of sins is identical in both the Greek and English translation. The text does not read, "Repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins.'' The action is to be in the name of the One who remits sins. He shed His blood to accomplish this remission. The word Christ is not a translated word. To translate the word into the English, it would be "Anointed," "Christ," "Christos, or the â€œAnointed," etc. I shall here give the very best authority the Theological schools have on the question. Under the word "Christ," Thayers Greek-English Lexicon says: "In the N.T. it is used, of the Messiah, viewed in His generic aspects, the word that is to say being used as an appellative, rather than a proper name.'' In article 21 quote: "It is added as an appellative, Messiah, anointed, [Anointed not capitalizedâ€”J.D.H.] to the proper name, Jesus. A consecrating Jesus in the Messianic office, and furnishing Him with powers necessary for its administration." (See Crisma). Lydell and Scotts Greek-English Lexicon tells us the word is a verbal adjective. Smith's Bible Dictionary states: '' The name Jesus is the proper name of our Lord, and that of Christ to identify Him with the promised Messiah," page 400. George Ricker Berry's Greek-English Interlinear-. ("Christos, G. verbal adjective, from Chrio G.) anointed; as a proper name, see certain references. "I am very sorry to say that it has been my experience with some men in religious discussion, that they will stand on their feet and mis-quote, and mis-read the printed page to carry their point. In the above lesson we have this: Christ is the one who shed His blood, and if repentance and baptism is to effect remission of sins, then there is no place for Christ for this purpose. But Christ remitted sins by shedding His blood, and this is as true as the fact that He redeemed, or offered up His body as a sacrifice for sins, or that He entered into His office as the Messiah and met the requirements for which He was anointed. He officially did what He came to do, and then went back to the throne in heaven. This is the basis upon which Peter told these Jews who were pricked in their hearts to "repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.'' Jesus is the proper name, Christ Appellative, or the title designating Him in His office as Savior. To illustrate what I mean, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, president of the United States. Roosevelt the name, President the appellation. Jesus the Anointed Savior. Because of what He is. He is the ground for preaching repentance and remission of sins in His name, beginning at Jerusalem (see Lu 24:46; also Ac 2:38). "For the remission of sins," (eis aphesin hamarteon) this is My blood which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Mt 26:28). What for? "For the remission of sins." Jesus Anointed forâ€”what for? The issue here is as clear as the noonday's sun; so is the language. It is the preacher, the water, and the sinner, or it is Christ and His shed blood. The two are not in this lesson to accomplish the same thing. Whoever, or whatever occupies the office as Savior is the One who remits sins, and He also shed His blood to accomplish this end. From this there is no reasonable escape. I prefer to take Christ, and His shed blood on the cross of Calvary. I deeply regret to observe that the theory advocates baptism in water as a substitute. I do not believe this position here taken can be refuted by sound reasoning on the pet text here used by our Campbellite friends. Whatever may be essential to salvation from the guilt of sin, remitting and therefore removing the punishment for sins, must be of importance in the highest degree. An essential property also carries this meaning. Whatever is essential, and set forth to reach a designed end, must be absolute, universal, and without exception.
We are told water baptism is essential, therefore, it can not be dispensed with as a designed means to be saved from sin's guilt. So all who are not baptized will be damned for sin's guilt. Christ is not in the lesson here so far as the theory goes. So our friends go anti-Christ on Ac 2:38. Gospel repenting subjects, or repentance toward God is a family requirement in relation to the Church and gospel obedience. Repenting is a turning away from sins, your personal sins to a disciplined life found in the truth of the gospel; and then it is turning from false ways observed in others, religious dogmas which are unsound. Such settle for no other kind but true Bible directed worship of God. Here some were pricked in their hearts and said, "What must we do?" While there was another class present also, and who said, "These men are full of new wine," Ac 2:13. And then three thousand were baptized. They were those who gladly received the word and were baptized (Ac 2:41). Had our distinguished friends been on the scene, they would of necessity have baptized all those who mocked saying, ''These men are full of new wine." Why not? They were not changed in heart. Not having the love of God in the heart, the heart not purified by faith. All this takes place, we are told, on the other side of the creek or after baptism. So being pricked in heart is no sign of any change. It just will not do to admit any work of the Spirit before baptism. Finally, the proof that those who were baptized on Pentecost were not alien sinners, but believers and therefore saved before being baptized is not wanting in the Scriptures. Those who mocked, saying these men are drunken with new wine, were aliens, and we have no account of their being baptized.
"We are of God; he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." 1Jo 4:6.
"The natural man [alien sinners] receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned." 1Co 2:14. And once more: "So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God, but ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you." Ro 8:8-9.
Those on the day of Pentecost gladly received the word, and were baptized.â€”Bible.
Those who hear and gladly receive the word are of God, and have overcome the world. 1Jo 4:6.
Therefore, those who were baptized on Pentecost were children of God before baptism.
Again: The natural man [an alien sinner] receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him. â€”Bible.
The gospel preached is a thing of the Spirit because the laws of the kingdom of Christ.
Therefore those who hear, believe and obey the gospel are children of God and not alien sinners.
Nowhere do we find the hard saying that they were damned because they did not become a part of the Temple worshipers, or because they were not taught the oracles of God. It is not in your Bible. The Gentile nations were not under that law of divine service, and therefore did not sin under that law. But they sinned, to be sure. Repenting is always connected with man as a sinner, whether a child of God under grace, or mankind under the moral government of God, as their Creator. Because man has, or may have lost his ability to do good before God, does not mean that the responsibility is taken away. Here our critics say the sinner is good enough as he is, and God is under obligation to such ones, to give them a chance to be saved based upon their doing certain stipulated things when the gospel is carried to them. But such wanted theory is at war with the truth of the Bible, and therefore I do not believe the theory. The alien sinner is dead in sins, as are all until quickened into life (Eph 2:1-5). "Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge." Ps 46:10-11. "He that sitteth in the heaven shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision." Ps 2:4. "The scriptures foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all the nations be blessed.'' Ga 3:8. All Bible readers should know how that promise was carried out. Paul said the promise is sure to all the seed. As Isaac was, so shall thy seed be, etc. Here this promise reaches out into heathen lands, and His own among them are embraced in the promise God made to Abraham. They are simply called heathen because they were untaught. All such are saved by grace through faith, and such ones stand in grace and have access by faith into this grace wherein they stand. (See Eph 2:8-9 and Ro 5:1-2.) The gospel draws forth faith from the heart where it dwells, and it is shown by works. (Not obtained by work, if you please), but shown, brought to light. The alien sinner does not have faith, and therefore is not justified by that he has not. Jas 2:18; 2Ti 1:8-9; Ro 10:17. If the alien sinner has faith, and then the child of God has faith, you could not tell a tree by the fruit it bears, and therefore you could not know by faith you are a child of God. Faith is the fruit of the Spirit, and this the alien sinner does not possess, or bear. Ga 5:23; Mt 7:16-18. The meaning of the word "heathen" in the Old Testament more often has reference to the Gentile nations. It means untaught. The word now may mean that part of any nation which is in ignorance and untaught of the Bible; or whole nations untaught the applied Christian doctrine. So the word repentance may mean under the moral laws of God the sinner's regret for his sins before society, and the fear of punishment. He stands exposed to punishment, and his sorrow would be a sorrow of the world, and not a godly sorrow. Bible repentance which God recognizes, and accepts, is a deep regret, and being conscious of sin's guilt, and of the wrong committee. Such as have this repentance is sick in soul, and turns from sin. To such ones are the words: Repent and believe the gospel. They then turn from their past course of life. In this state there is a grand connection of the gospel, designed to teach, enlighten, and to warn, and give knowledge, and to obey the truth preached. It is preached to quickened sinners. The preaching of John the Baptist, the apostles, the seventy, and our Savior was to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. They were lost in their rituals, empty forms of worship, their traditions, and lost to the prophetic truths as to the. coming Messiah as God's Anointed One. They were told to repent and believe the gospel. "Repent ye for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,'' etc. Also, '' Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any of the cities of the Samaritans enter ye not, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Mt 10:5-6. Again, "I am not sent [as a gospel minister] but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Mt 15:24. Israel here comprises those to whom they were to preach and they were to preach that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. They were to warn them to turn or repent, and believe the gospel; turn from their rebellious attitude concerning the coming Messiah. They were warned to turn from their judaizing ways, their sectarian and self-righteous customs, and the things which made void the law of Moses, rather than the things being fulfilled concerning that law. The prophets have spoken, and their prophecy is now being fulfilled before your eyes. They are relative truths to the gospel of the kingdom of heaven. "Or despiseth thou the riches of His goodness, and forbearance, and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance." Ro 2:4. Again, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Ro 8:14. There is not a formulated rule of divine service given in our Bible to any but those who are designated as the saved, or the family of God. So the words repent and repentance are connected with the gospel, and preaching it is of the Spirit, and is designed to teach the family of God.
On this often used word, there is a wide range of differences of opinion. It is easy to wade into contradictions which men make, and not the Bible. Man found in a state of death in sins, may be under one law and not under another. Both sinner and the child of God are under the moral laws of God. But the alien sinner is not under the laws of the kingdom of Christ, and the given rules of divine service in the Gospel Church state. Man is dead in sins, until he is quickened into life. Many of the religious orders of the day make war with Primitive Baptists because they say we do not preach that men should repent. This is a false charge. This lesson is often used to sustain their charge: "At the times of this ignorance God winked at: but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent." Ac 17:30-31. "Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained: whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised him from the dead." All the children of God are commanded to repent under the laws of the kingdom of Christ. God passed by (here it says winked at) the Gentile nations and did not require them to serve Him, and worship as did the Jews. But that has been taken out of the way and nailed to the cross. Now His people among the Gentile nations, (as were these at Athens) and every where are commanded to repent. This seems to be the sense of this lesson here. The difficulty on the lesson is not ours, but belongs to the critic. The Arminian theory of today is that men cannot believe, repent, and turn to God until the gospel is preached unto them, and until the gospel is heard, believed, and obeyed. In this the critic is very much behind with his preaching with over half the population of the world who have never heard the gospel. Granting here that all religious bodies preach the gospel, which thing I do not believe, such ones as this theory holds, say that all such die and go to hell. This I also do not believe. Here are over 1,300,000,000 people who are tied by this heresy and damned for what they cannot do. But the above lessons given clearly show that God works repentance in the hearts of His people, leads them by His goodness to repentance, and all such ones can and should repent. And as many as are thus led, they are the sons of God, as saith the scriptures. And further on in this very lesson, those thus spoken to did not repent, saying: '' We will hear thee again of this matter.'' Ac 17:32. And then: " So Paul departed from among them." Ac 17:33. God passed by the ignorance of the Gentile nations from the days of Abraham to the New Testament Church age, and conferred His blessings upon the Israelite nation, and absolutely that the alien sinner is not under the rules of divine service, and the laws of the kingdom of Christ until born again, and has a new mind, a new heart, and is made partaker of the divine nature.
"The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance." Ro 2:4.
''Those thus led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.'' Ro 8:14.
Therefore, it is the sons of God who repent and believe the gospel.
Repentance and the remission of sins should be preached in His name (the name of Christ), Lu 24:47. "The Lord is not slack concerning His promises, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to usward, not willing that any (of us) should perish, but that all (of us) should come to repentance." 2Pe 3:9. "Him hath God exalted with His right hand, to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and the forgiveness of sins." Ac 5:31.
God gives repentance and the forgiveness of sins to Israel.â€” Bible
Israel is God's people, and not alien sinners.â€”Bible
Therefore Israel to whom He gave repentance and the remission of sins will not perish.
"Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation, not to be repented of, but the sorrow of the world worketh death.'' 2Co 7:10. The reader will notice that in the above places given, ''repentance'' in each place used, expressly shows that it is the work of God in man, and not by man. So repentance rather expresses a state or condition of the soul, or heart, of a quickened sinner, working a change, and giving sight to the sinner, and showing him the sinfulness of sin. It enables the penitent sinner to see his state of guilt. This effects a state of regret, and shows one to be dead to sin, and alive unto God through Christ (Ro 6:11). He sees what he is, if left to meet his Maker in the corruption of his sins. All such having godly sorrow for sins, are not dead in sins, but dead to sins, and alive unto God, through Jesus Christ.'' How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer in sins." (See Ro 6:2; 7:11).
Those who are dead to sins are alive unto God, and not alien sinners.â€”Bible
These who truly repent of sins are sorry to God because of sins.â€”Bible
Therefore, it is not the alien sinner who has repentance, and believes the gospel.
"Therefore I will judge you, 0 house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith your God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions, so iniquity shall not be your ruin." Eze 18:30. This was the house of Israel, and here they were to turn themselves from their transgressions and iniquities. And they are active in so doing and should do as here commanded. "Repent ye therefore, and be converted that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." Ac 4:19. But who were those thus commanded to repent and be converted? They were the children of the prophets of Israel, and of the covenant God made with Abraham, the promised seed, the ones for whom God raised up His Son to bless in turning every one of them from their iniquities (Ac 4:5,26). Regeneration or the new birth takes place at a time, one time only, with each individual child of God. Here we have TIMES of refreshing coming from the Lord. Not every time we are born again, this time and that time, but when we repent and turn, this time and that time, the times then we receive the refreshing showers of God's blessings, as the children of the prophets, the promised seed, the children of the covenant, etc. What does it mean? To give new strength, to revive, to cheer, to restore. (See "refreshing," Webster.) Remember always, the sinner is still dead in sins, until quickened by the Spirit. "There were present at that season some that told him of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the sacrifice. [This was a physical suffering.] And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans because they suffered such things! I tell you nay: except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. [Perish like the Galileans perished.] Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower of Siloam fell, and slew them, [this also was a physical perishing] think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you nay; but except you repent ye shall all likewise perish." [Perished as they perished.] Lu 13 :l-5. If one perished so do ye if you do not repent. If they perished in hell so you shall perish in hell if you do not repent. But as in each ease here the perishing was a temporal, and physical perishing, so is the other. To deny this plain lesson is to deny this part of plain Bible truth. Also as here given, there is definite reference to the Jews, and not to Gentiles. A condemnation of the wrong position of the Jews taken by them of Christ and his mission in the world at that time and since and was literally fulfilled in the destruction of the temple A. D. 70.
Ministers many times seem to use a word, or an expression lifting the word or expression out of its context to prove a point not contained in the scriptures quoted or used. To illustrate what I mean, the word '' lost'' appears in the Bible about 33 times, and only about 6 times having reference to sinners in an alienated state before God, or yet unsaved from sins. "I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments." Ps 119:176. "My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill; they have forgotten their resting place." Jer 50:6.
Another lesson which is often taken out of its meaning : '' Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever." 1Pe 1:22-23. This lesson is often butchered by the Arminian teacher, and he usually stops at: "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truthâ€”" But obedience here is: "through the Spirit, unfeigned love of the brethren, and from a pure, and fervent heart." So it cannot be addressed to alien sinners who have not these principles of grace wrought in the heart by the Spirit, but rather to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father. 1Pe 1:1-2.
"Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God: repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations." Eze 14:6. Again, "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." Job 42:5-6. The more and better one can see God in His majestic greatness, His power, and love, and pity for the very best of men, the place before Him is low, and as Job said: ''Repent in dust and ashes.'' The shepherds cause His sheep to go astray, and then they are as lost sheep. No doubt the state or condition of the great family of God on earth today, with the conflicting theories of men, the most of which are void of Bible example, yet cloaked under the worthy name of religion, has caused many of God's sheep to go astray and they are lost to where the truth shines, and what to do.
THE BIBLE WAY OF GIVING OUR TEMPORAL MEANS
We have seen in our day over a period of forty years, many changes in the way or method of giving and supporting the cause of our Master, the support of the ministers who preach to their flocks. World religions are turning to the Old Testament rule of paying the tithe or tenth of their income. A very few years ago this method of collection of money for such churches was rarely if ever mentioned or practiced. The duty of churches to give is abundantly taught in the New Testament, and the rule of tithing to support the Temple worship in the Old Testament under that worship is also clearly taught.
Today we are taught by a New Testament rule to give to the necessity of the saints, to give to the poor, to support the ministers as they go forth in the work and labor preaching the gospel of Christ. To give according to their needs, and according as the Lord has prospered the giver. If the minister has prospered, I fail to see that he is less required than lay members to give and support the cause of Christ where he labors, and under such circumstances he would be setting the good example of giving rather than just preaching and not practicing what he is to teach others. It also seems to be the better way to use the deacon in his office. This would avoid carnality because the minister who may receive from his flock may not know who may give much, and those who not being prospered to give more but less. Thus will they be unselfishly esteemed as members of the same body with no respect of persons shown.
Tithing is not authorized in the New Testament, either by precept or by practice by New Testament churches, and it is not reasonable to say ministers who have read their Bibles and know what the Scriptures teach on the subject, and those who seek to follow the Bible rule of giving, should not permit themselves to be led away from this authorized rule on this subject. Tithing was a rule set under the priesthood of the Old Testament, or the law of Moses, and is not mentioned one time as a New Testament practice in New Testament churches. The tribe of Levi from which comes the priesthood under the law of Moses, was not to inherit, or have an inheritance among the children of Israel (Nu 18:24). The word tithe is used 14 times; tithes, 23; and tithing 2 times. Or in all, 39 times in the Bible. And seven times it is used in the New Testament, and each time where it appears, it carries the practice to the Old and never to a New Testament practice. It was strictly a practice under the Levitical priesthood under the law of Moses, and had to do with the temple worship under that law. From this there is no escape. To go back under the law is to flatly ignore the priesthood of Christ, and go to the law of shadow worship, and by some today, midnight darkness, especially when we look at the greedy lust for money and how the advocates of this Old Testament practice hide under it to get the money to carry on their unscriptural programs. Under this same rule is the requirements to offer an animal sacrifice, to let the land rest every seven years, and the fiftieth year as the year of jubilee with all debts canceled and declared paid. Indeed, it is an easy way to shake down the uninformed today and get their money, and this is exactly what is being done. I further venture, the advocates of the practice today know what they are doing. So it is wilful, and without excuse. Further, under that law they did not just tithe with money. This was rarely, if at all, implied. The tithe was with corn, wine, oil, the firstlings of their flocks, the vineyards, the fruit of the trees, etc. The tithe was given over to the tribe of Levi. I maintain there is not a soul upon earth (not even a Jew) who can possibly scripturally tithe today, no more can the priest go behind the veil and sprinkle the mercy seat with the blood of animals. We are told: "And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from top to the bottom." Mt 27:51. Also see Mr 15:38; Lu 23 :45. If people today fail to see the one sacrifice, and one sin offering in the offering of Christ upon the cross of Calvary, and turn despairingly to the offerings of the temple worship, in one manner, then why not be honest and confess our unbelief in the new and better way? And turn to an empty form, and a house made desolate. (See Mt 23:38-39). If there is any one thing more outstanding than another, it is God's divine requirement that a right attitude by faith, and a willingness we offer our service to Him in what we do. To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. So said the prophet. It may be that some will not agree when I say: Some are willing to go ahead and do what God requires them to do, and others are perfectly willing to let things go undone, having their way in preference to God's expressed commands. This results in things in the path of duty being left unattended to.
How should we give of our temporal blessing today in the Gentile Church age in which we live? "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come." 1Co 16:1-2. Here the lesson is very plainly taught. The liberality was a collection for the saints (1Co 16:1). The same was submitted to Galatia, and others, so do ye, sent to Jerusalem, etc. This is not being presumptuous. It was not sent to foreign heathen lands to enhance the salvation of lost souls, was it? And more, no such lesson is found or implied in the Scriptures. There is no certain percentage, or how much, but give as the Lord prospers. Some might be prospered so as to give fifty per cent, others less, and still others by necessity may have need to be supported from the bounty given by others. The liberality is by the Church to be used, no doubt, for the poor, to support the ministers as they labor in the gospel field, their wives and children as they may have need, feed the hungry, clothes for the poor, the widows, etc. And if the ministers have prospered as much, they also should give as much as the members. This is reasonable.
For it is written in the law of Moses, De 25:4; 1Co 9:9; 1Ti 5 :18: " Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn." And 1Co 9:14: "Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel." The ox does not have a long neck, as does the giraffe, so the lesson simply teaches the minister should eat right where he works, and God has ordained that he preaches the gospel, that he therefore shall live from the blessings of his labors, their substance supporting him. Those who thus give should give cheerfully, willingly, and with a ready mind. But by some it is suggested: Paul robbed other Churches taking wages, so it was a stipulated amount, etc. (See 2Co 11:8.) This position is very reckless, indeed. Paul said: "I profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.'' Ga 1:13-14. In verse 13 he stated that in this religion he persecuted the Church of God and wasted it. So here is where the man Saul took wages and now when he came to the Church at Corinth, and before he states the above, he asks the question: '' Have I committed an offense in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached the gospel of God freely ?'' 2Co 11:7. I robbed other Churches taking wages of them to do you service. Have I committed an offense by so abasing myself, in that I now abound with plenty, and can and do preach the gospel of God freely? Here is where the man profited in the Jews' religion, and not as an apostle preaching for a stipulated sum of money or a salary. It was when he was a proud Pharisee, and not as an apostle of our Lord. It was before his Damascus road experience, where he was both changed and made an apostle and sent to the Gentiles, that as a Pharisee he robbed and took wages. As a Gentile preacher, changed and sent to them, he preached the gospel without charge, and so should all other servants of God. In this he is a grand example that preaching the gospel is not a hireling pay business, but a high calling in Christ Jesus, and as said by him: '' Woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel." 1Co 9:16-18. A hireling is one who is hired, serving for wages, mercenary, employed, for money or other compensation. (See Webster.) When the wolf cometh, the Savior said: The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep (Joh 10:12). Such ones go where the pay is higher, and according as the pay, so is the preaching. Such ones preach because they are hired to do so, hired out, bought out, and such should stay out of the sacred stand, because we are told they care not for the sheep. How could they care more for the truth which should be preached, than for those to whom they preach ? Both the salvation of the sinner under the custom, and the preaching of the gospel back of it by its advocates is the money question, and how much determines the going. We know that such stands are condemned by the word of God. When we turn from the Bible and begin to look for human standards to be governed by, we shall step off into the quicksands of corruption. It is very disheartening to see young men rush off to so-called Bible schools to learn and as ministers for the pulpits of our Churches, not giving thought to the call of God, and the sacred duties required of men as they fill the place. The elements of production are by men and not by the Lord who calls men and puts them in the place.
Our people are not opposed to a sound learning, schools for our children where the natural sciences are taught, preparing them to fill responsible places in their endeavors to carry on in life. We, as citizens, along with our neighbors, willingly pay taxes to support such institutions of learning. But speaking of education, Mason said: '' Don't fall into the idea that the mind is a warehouse, and education is but the process of stuffing it with goods. The aim should be to convert the mind into a fountain, not a reservoir. That which is filled by merely pumping in, will be emptied by pumping out." "Education in its widest sense includes everything that exerts a formative influence, and causes a person to be at a given point what he is." Hopkins. No person is really educated to the point where he is not very ignorant about the many things which he has not explored. No minister has yet learned his lesson in theology so as to clearly explain the book of Jude, or the Savior's sermon on the mount, or the mystery of the virgin birth of Christ, and why He is declared to be both the Son of God and the son of man. Yet the student is a weakling who dares to deny they are and have been evident facts. Just as sure as this is true, the theological schools of learning evidently give their students their diplomas entirely too early. A mere lad who has read with spiritual understanding his Bible, easily detects his teacher yet needs to go to school. And the average man in the ministry constantly feels the same way, and all such will prayerfully consult the sacred scriptures to gain a greater knowledge that he may be better prepared by God's help to preach the truth. So ministers need the time, and opportunity to study, and to meditate upon the holy scriptures. To stay clear of secular ties, or things which hinder his duties as a minister. A man called of God and put in the ministry, if he reads his Bible, and gives himself wholly to these things, is an able minister of the New Testament in the use of the talents God may have given him. The minister as do others, may have a wife, and children, and he must provide for them their needs. He has expense of travel, clothes, etc. So there is need to support the servants of God with their temporal things. Also with your presence at the services, your words of encouragement, your watchcare, and your prayers for them. But this I say, he which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap bountifully. "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart; so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." 2Co 6:7. "If we have sown unto you spiritual things, it is a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?" 1Co 9:11. Personally, I believe that the blessing in what we do is better shown in a willingness to do what we find taught in the Bible. And the cause of Christ is honored when we give unselfishly not to be seen of men, or glorying in what we do. We do the things required of us because it is right before God. If He blesses us, or if He withholds the blessing, we still have only done our duty. I remember hearing an old minister state that if a poor and needy person feels impressed to give, receive it, and with thankfulness. But be sure you return the gift in some way that the giver shall not feel they are helping an ungrateful receiver of the gift.
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation." Mt 23:14. It is so easy to act the hypocrite. Perhaps the lesson may have in it the fact we can pray and never give out of our hearts, and if you please, our pocketbooks, the things the widow needs instead of devouring what she has. We may live at ease with plenty and pray for the poor and ill clad widow and her children, and our pretended prayer is not prayer. Prayer is answered often in what our friends and neighbors do and not so much in words and prayers to be seen of men. There have been times in the past history of the old Church when her members were poor in the goods of the world. So were their ministers. They met in caves fearing the murderous hand of Papal Rome, and worshiped. No one mentioned giving because they had only the bare necessities of life. No schools, no warm comfortable homes; no friends in the world. They were hated, despised as was their Lord, maligned and falsified against; yet they had then and have now as children of their heavenly King, far more than the gold and silver of the world. "The wicked through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. His ways are always grievous, thy judgments are far above out of his sight." Ps 10:4-5. There are many who are not deeply impressed with the knowledge of the modem teachers in the so-called Theological Seminaries. They have failed to be giants in their profession. They have provided more material for the sects, and the divided condition of religious bodies than any one other thing. What a blessing it would be if as Mary at the feet of Jesus, hearing His great words, and being taught by Him, ministers would find the same place, and the same Teacher, rather than to go to the vain, empty, materialistic, and in some instances agnostic systems of so-called theology in the schools of men. Let it be remembered, it is not my intention to offer criticism, or to resent in the least degree the importance and the good accomplished in the sound teaching of the Bible, whether in the home by parents, the institutions of learning, behind the pulpits, or even the Sunday schools. The objection is in the fact that it is very rare that the truth is taught in these institutions. Therefore, they feed the minds of their students on heretical doctrines of men. And last and of great importance, they are unmentioned, unauthorized, and therefore condemned by the Holy Scriptures. These schools of men and so-called Bible teaching, and the truths of the Bible clash and do not agree. "Nay, but 0 man, who art thou that repliest against God ? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?" Ro 9:20. Paul's schooling and usefulness as an apostle and preacher to the Gentiles, was not in his finished training in the Pharisee's religion, but in his experience and God's change of the man on the road to Damascus, when God called him and put him in the ministry. Indeed, he was a learned man, but the soundness of his theology was when dipped in the revelation of God's Holy Spirit, and not what he received by men. Paul said: "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men, after the flesh are called; not many mighty, not many noble are called." 1Co 1:26. He did not say not any, but not many. It was that way then, and we are thoroughly convinced that it is also true today. Those who wrote the Bible were inspired men of God, and spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. This was an extraordinary gift to them, and one men today do not have. But men today are called of God, and commanded as was Timothy to "study to shew themselves approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2Ti 2:15. All such it is the duty of the whole Church to support with their temporal means the necessary things, that they may preach and fulfill their calling, and to please God, and use their talents to His glory, and the edifying of the body of Christ; to go where they are directed and pastor churches, feed their flocks over which God has made them overseers. Wherever there is a people ready to hear, they should be ready to go and preach. The gospel thus preached today we have no doubt will be the '' power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth." Ro 1:16. Many things here arise to rebuke the saints, and the Primitive Baptist ministers who have not, we feel, rested upon God's helping hand, and by faith rest the whole matter in His care, and preached holding their ground. While the stipulated salaries were preached by the modern missionaries, the Original Baptists, preaching against the departures, failed in a large measure to preach scriptural giving to support the cause of Christ. While we are told there is a place prepared for those whom Christ saves, we wonder with waiting interest to learn of the place prepared for those whom the so-called soul-saving preachers save. We do not only wonder at the unexcelled zeal put forth, but also think the whole scheme is a failure, and it more and more appears to be a boomerang, as we look at the present condition of the world.
Certain things may be advanced which are unscriptural and therefore wrong, and the same teachers preach in part the truth on other subjects treated upon. I suppose almost all formulated systems of doctrine presented under the cloak of religion held and taught by new and recently organized religious bodies, are presented with good words, and fair speeches, and deceive the hearts of the simple. (See Ro 16:17-18). We are to mark such ones; they cause divisions and offenses contrary to sound doctrine. We are told that such ones serve not the Lord, but their own belly. The faithful followers of Christ should not refrain from preaching the truth because the deceivers of our time may in part teach some things found in the Holy Scriptures. "Beloved, when I give all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints." Jude 3. Departed groups may in part teach the very same things which may be neglected just to be different or for fear of being counted like others. The truth of God is original or first, and the model. As Primitive Baptists we do not believe in a hireling ministry. But we do believe in a free and willing support of the ministry, as well as the support of the Master's cause with our temporal means or blessings. We believe in the Baptism of penitent believers in water, and by immersing the whole body in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. There are others who use the same mode, the same ceremony, holding that the believer obtains the remission of sins in the act of being baptized. It would be a gross error to neglect the believer because a modern sect takes part; of the Bible directed way to baptize, and then perverts its scriptural design. Sound gospel ministers do not want what the people do not willingly wish to give them for their labors in the gospel field, or that beyond the prospered blessings of God; and then, "As every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give: not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver." 2Co 9:7. Such is commanded, and yet it is to be a willing service, if those who participate in it expect to receive a blessing in giving. Ministers preaching and teaching others should not be selfish, and wear the personal pronoun " I," "My," "My family," "My needs," etc. to the neglect of teaching it as a duty to be observed by all, and for the need of all the Church, and the cause of Christ, as well.
I personally believe this is a part of what the scriptures teach, and it along with other truths should not be neglected, as I fear it has been by some in the past. I have observed a fine spirit and a willingness in our people where they have been scripturally taught, comparable to others, and according to their being blessed with temporal means to give, and support their ministers, and the cause of Christ. Here it excludes begging, and greedy lust for more, and here it should stop in both word and deed. I do not think that the wave of begging and paying the tithe, was a practice found by but a very few of the Churches of the world back of the depression years of the early thirties. Hear our Missionary neighbors, as in the past, may see proper to continue using their appellation: "Anti-mission, anti-effort. Antinomians, opposed to preaching the gospel, opposed to giving of our temporal means, opposed to education, Hardshells," etc. Even so, we are not so far behind as they with their unscriptural machinery in taking the world for Christ. Facts and unquestioned figures cry in their ears that it is rebounding, and the thing is a grand falsehood. The fact that many religious bodies are at this very moment discussing between themselves, and with Papal Rome, a consolidation of these daughters with mother Rome, is a dead give-away of its utter failure. Why, oh why do they not tell their laymen the facts? It means certain decay in its own corruption. The merging of these bodies is nothing short of fulfilling prophecy concerning the adulterous woman spoken of in Revelation. And seemingly accepted by them of the International Federation of Churches, to accomplish power, and world conquest. By this is meant, Protestants, Catholics, and what have you. A stacking of arms, and merging with their conflicting doctrine, rituals, forms, and ceremonies, with a hush hush of differences to grind to nothing all who may finally oppose her Post-War planning; her new strategy to save the world. Mind you there are two powers actively moving on the scene. One is communism, anti-religious, agnostic, the other is nominal Religio-political. Will these two powers finally also blend? Will they finally merge as one? I shudder to think of the answer to this question. The seeming aim now very popular with some, is to go back to Papal Rome as little prodigal daughters, and repose as wayward children now coming back as a signal failure to get mother Rome's blessing. The International Federation of Churches is back of the move, and since you cannot bring a clean thing out of an unclean. Such move cannot, be for good. It is rather for power such bodies are losing in their, effort to stay in the field of competition with Rome. Reader, please turn and read Re 12; 13; 17. These are lessons largely dealing with our day in this matter. Nations are trembling with fear, and do not seem to know where to find remedies for our ills. It is not found in men, in the weapons of war, in laws enacted to curb its power and influence over nations. It is to be found only in God. '' The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: And He shall thrust out the enemy [of His people] from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them." De 33:27.
MARKS OF IDENTITY OF THE CHURCH
The Church built by Jesus Christ is one, regardless of the many claims made by men, as to the scriptural marks it may bear. The measure of knowledge we may have concerning it, or our lack of knowledge will not alter the fact that it is what it is, and must wear the stamp of being a divine institution because it was built by Christ, and it is therefore said to be His Church. "And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.'' Mt 16:18. Some insist that the Church had its beginning on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Christ and the words, "I will build," have reference to the future when Jesus said, "I will build My Church." In the spiritual or generic aspect, the Church embraces all the saved, all who are born again, all the great elect family of God, in all nations, and in every age or dispensation of time until the second coming of Christ at the end of this age. In its visible active, or governmental aspect it simply would mean those who are by the gospel of the grace of God called out into a state of obedience. They are obedient to Christ under the laws given and ordinances set in the Church. Local congregations of the same belief covenanted together, one here and another there, yet the same collective body of baptized believers. So, as long as men and women and children and babies are being born into the family of God, it can be said as Christ did say: " I will build My Church." As long as we see believers yielding in the services as instruments of righteousness, and as those who are alive unto God through Jesus Christ (Ro 6:15) ; taking up their cross and following Christ, there will be those added to the Church. '' I will build My Church," is as true as it was when spoken to Peter nearly two thousands years ago. But the advocates of the Pentecost theory are as near right on this as they are on many other matters. They are new and modern in the date of their origin.
"And 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 another people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.'' Da 2:44. '' And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills." Isa 2:2. The Church, I will build, the kingdom shall the God of heaven set up. The mountain of the Lord's house is established in the top of the mountains in the last days. The days of these kings, or rulers or emperors in the days ,of Christ on earth. If on this side of the Cross, then it should have said: It shall come to pass in the first days of the new dispensation, etc. The word "Church," (Ekklesia, G.) like the word "kingdom" (Basileia, G.) must be understood by the words connecting, or the context where the words appear. Scaff Herzogs Encyclopedia, p. 470. In the New Testament means: Either the universal Church, that is the whole family of God, or the local congregation. In profane Greek, Ekklesia from Ekkesian, (to call together, the called). The word says this authority has the connection with the word ''assembly,'' taken from the Hebrew in the Old Testament, meaning an assembly in general or for divine worship. Quoting in part from Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon, pp. 96, 97. The royal power of Jesus as the Messiah is to come in His kingship, power and dignity as King. He is to come in royal power and dignity. This Kingdom is spoken of as now already, actually present, in as much at its foundation has been lead already by Christ, and its benefits realized by men that believe in Him (Mt 11:12). These authorities are as good as we have in their field.
God has until now led His people through three distinct periods of worship from Adam to the Gentile Church age. First, from Adam to the flood, and to Mt. Sinai. Second, from Sinai and the giving of the law and the prophets, to the coming of Christ. Third, from the end of the temple worship to the end of the world, or the second coming of Christ. These different rules of divine worship did not change the fact that it was the people of God passing from one form of worship to another. It was different rules but the same people. To illustrate what I mean, we shall take three states: Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky.
Now John Smith lives in Mississippi ten years, a citizen of that state under the laws of that state. He now moves into the state of Tennessee, and lives in that state ten years. He is the same John Smith, but now not under the laws of the former state, but under the laws of Tennessee. He finally moves to Kentucky, and is now under the laws of that state, but not under the laws of the two former states in which he lived. Just what is the trouble here, anyway? We have entirely too many people entrenched in false doctrines which insist we become children of God by keeping a formulated rule of laws given us. If such be correct, then John Smith became a child of God three times in thirty years; or an Israelite became lost when the law of the Temple worship was nailed to the cross, until he was found, taught, and obeyed the New Testament laws of the Church. There is one bad thing wrong with the theory. It is just not true, and therefore badly wrong. Again, if the Gospel Kingdom or Church was set up or established on Pentecost, (remember, I said the Gospel Kingdom) and the sinner must hear, believe, and obey to be saved in that Kingdom or Church, and those who were under the law of Moses, or the Temple worship had to obey that law to be saved, there was a transition period of fifty days and no one could be saved under either dispensation, during that period. The laws of the temple worship had been abrogated, or nailed to the cross. The Church was not started. Let us further examine the theory: "for the husband is head of the wife, even as Christ is head of the Church; and He is the Savior of the body. Eph 5:23. Christ saves here, and not the body, or the Church. The command was to seek the Kingdom of God, and before Pentecost. Mt 6:33. He sent the twelve forth, commanding them to preach the Kingdom of heaven is at hand. Mt 10:5-7. The Church was referred to as the bride, and He the bridegroom before Pentecost. The Kingdom was preached from the days of John the Baptist, and suffered violence, before Pentecost, Mt 11:11-12. One of the five rules of dealing with an offending brother was to tell the offense to the Church, if he refused to hear and be corrected. This was before Pentecost. Mt 18:15-18. Christ was said to be King before Pentecost, and therefore had a Kingdom. Lu 19:37-40. Let us see whose company the theorist is in: The enemy sought to turn Him over to Pilate accusing Him as saying He was Christ, a King (Lu 23:1-3). He is said to be King in both the Old and New Testaments (Zec 9:9; Joh 12:13-15). Webster defines king: "The chief sovereign over a nation; one invested with supreme power, or authority. The entire spiritual realm, of which God is supreme ruler." (In the sense of being the saved, meaning the family of God.) It is positively declared the Kingdom came before Pentecost. And He both Lord and Christ. (Lu 2:9-11; Mr 11:10-11). Christ said: "If I by the Spirit of God cast out devils, then the Kingdom of God is come upon you. (Mt 12-28). Christ did cast out devils, and by the Spirit of God. They deny His kingdom had come at that time. Who is in company with whom here? The Church is the pillar and ground of truth. 1Ti 3:14-16). The Church is a city, and which cannot be hid (Mt 5:13-17; Ps 46:4-5). And once more: God hath set some in the Church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Please notice what things were set in the Church before the diversities of tongues. At Pentecost was the first account of speaking in tongues. These gifts were set in the Church before the speaking with tongues, so the Church was before Pentecost. Men pressed into the Kingdom before Pentecost (Lu 16:16). Ac 2:41: "Then they that gladly received the word were baptized, and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.'' Ac 2:47: " The Lord added to the Church such as were being saved, or such as should be saved." There is not one word said about the Church being set up on the day of Pentecost in the second chapter of the Acts, nor elsewhere in the Scriptures. But to grant the question to be well taken, it would not cause the Baptists to feel bad. We very well know that the various bodies started this side of Bible times cannot be the Church. The Church was set up, established, set up in the days of Christ or in the last days of the old dispensation of law service.
So one of the grand marks of its identity is that it was set up by Christ, and therefore is a divine institution. A King, which is from heaven is her Sovereign. Her laws are divinely given, therefore authoritative. In turn, the Church has through the ages spoken out against any laws binding the conscience or regulating the acts of its members under her Lord and lawgiver, and King but those found in the Holy Scripture. They are the only sufficient rule of faith and practice of the Church of God.
The Church is referred to as the "House of God, the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth." 1Ti 3:15. "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.'' Ps 127:1. "I will build my Church." Mt 16:18. It is said to be God's building (1Co 3:9). It is fitly framed together (Eph 2:21). As lively stones it is builded up a spiritual house to offer up spiritual sacrifices (1Pe 2:5). In this all the duties that are required are that Christ is to have the glory in the Church throughout all ages, world without end (Eph 3:21). God being its builder, and His love and protecting care is of such nature, that it is said to be a kingdom which cannot be moved (Heb 12:28). The Church built by Christ is of such nature that it cannot be supplanted by another, though designing men in different ages of the past have drawn off, divided, and started new and conflicting religious moves, and started new sects, yet the one Church built by Christ will stand as it has the test of the ages, and all other kingdoms, either political or religious in form, and set forth by new, and unscriptural laws, forms, and ceremonies, time and corruption from within, as well as from without shall fall and come to naught, Such institution may hold the truth in part. They may have a very worthy name, but such are false moves started by men. (See Ro 1:18-25.) To hold the truth of God in unrighteousness, and to change the truth of God into a lie, and. to, worship and serve the creature more than the Creator, has been one of the weaknesses of man from the beginning of time. If there could possibly be anything good said of the devil, (but there cannot be), he is not lazy. He is a missionary and with his agents is busy in the field of deception. The design of the preaching of the gospel of Christ is to call together the family of God, and to give light and knowledge of truth. This has ever been the grand mark of distinction between the Church and all other bodies. The laws of the Kingdom of Christ is given to His family. (See Jude 3.) They are family rules to be governed by, and not given to aliens, nor are they received by the alien sinner: ''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).
Another distinguishing mark of the Church is that she has through the ages held to the doctrine of election as taught in the Bible. Those who compose the spiritual family of God, are said to be a chosen people, a chosen generation of Christ (1Pe 2:9). They are chosen in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world, that they should be holy and without blame before Him in love (Eph 1:14). They are elected according to the foreknowledge of God (1Pe 1:2). They were seen of Christ when He died upon the Cross: "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, and shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.'' Isa 53:10. They are called His substance, and was seen. When as yet there was none of them, their names were written in the book of life. (See Ps 139:15-16.) They are saved and called according to God's purpose and grace which was in Christ before the time of the ages, and not according to their works (2Ti 1:9). They were given to Christ by God the Father, and shall be brought to Christ and saved (Joh 6:39,44-45). Their names were written in the Lamb's book of life before the world began (Re 13:8; 17:8; Da 12:1-2; Joh 17:2-24). From the virgin birth of Christ, through His life, His death upon the cross, suffering in the place of, and meeting all the divine requirements for their sins, the righteous judgments of God passed from them and were laid upon Christ. To take this punishment due the sinner, and live a perfect life in righteousness, offer up His body as a perfect sacrifice, for sin's guilt, and shed His blood in death as an atonement for, and to cover their sins. All of this, the person, the designs of it from His birth, to His going back to the Father a living conquering and victorious Christ, was meeting in the very highest degree what it takes to put away sins. The purpose of His mission in the world, unquestionably was to this end. If He in this work fails to reach the designed end, then that which is of a lesser degree presented is bound to be ineffective in reaching the designed end. Here the superstructure of the whole Arminian theory of a universal death and sacrifice of Christ is a mockery, and a faithless fiber of unbelief in Christ as Savior. And also the presentation of any system of works by men ever so good they may be, as procuring or essential to the salvation must rest upon the failure of Christ without such works; and therefore must be believed in as such to reach in a lower degree what has failed in the highest degree to reach the designed end, and save the sinner from sin's guilt.
This position is based upon Bible facts, and so expressed in the following lessons: "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then [how much more?] being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, [how much more?] being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." Ro 5:8-10. Here the provisionary side cannot be more than the effectiveness of saving from wrath through Him, and being saved by His life. So it is a special provision or else a universal salvation of all the race of mankind. It is special and particular to the elect and for no one else. (See Joh 10:15,27-29.) The Church has in a continued succession of centuries in the past held to and taught the doctrine of the special atonement and sacrifice of Christ for the elect only. This is a distinguishing mark not borne by any but the Primitive Baptists through the ages back to apostolic times. While many very able men have professed to believe this Bible doctrine, and the same is found in their writings, yet it as a rule is referred to in a passing manner, and now discarded as obsolete, and out-dated, and held only by unlearned ministers, etc. But this is not the case by any means. The doctrine of election is a sound, rich, and soul-cheering doctrine expressed in the everlasting love of God for His people.
God's electing love, through the foreknowledge of God the Father, is a Bible doctrine. It is believed by the Church through the centuries back to apostolic times, and therefore is a mark of distinction from all other Arminian Churches of our time.
The Church of God is pictured in the Bible as being beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth. God is known in her palaces for a refuge. The kings of the earth have seen it and they marveled; they were troubled and hasted away. (See Ps 48:1-5.) The time of trouble, wars, and adversities often cause a slumbering nation to tremble with fear and pass by and view her stronghold, her laws, and the quiet and patient suffering of a poor and afflicted people whose trust is in their God. "I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord." Zep 3:12. David said: "Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now have I kept Thy word." Ps 119:67. The Church is a home for the meek, and for the poor in Spirit. So joys are found in the Church when His people lean upon His strong arm, and cry for His help. They find in Him all the things they need. One of the very remarkable things which gave birth (to this nation, and the basic laws enacted by the founding fathers, granting soul liberty, and freedom of expression and the equal rights of its citizens owing to the cry of a poor and persecuted people, fleeing to her shores from the tyranny and blood thirsty kings and emperors. They fled political corruption, and the united religious power of the Pope of Rome. Its rulers strove to erase the true witnesses of Christ, and the laws of His kingdom from the face of the earth. Kings and men at the head of governments then passed by and saw the injustice of the hate in the hearts of wicked men in authority; and they saw the persecuted ones deprived of their rights. So, this is another way the influence of the Church quieted the sword, and her cries were heard by their God and He delivered them. This has been another mark of distinction from world religions of the Church of our Lord. They seldom if ever took up the carnal weapons to fight back, but they did prosecute the errors and heresies of their times, using the Holy Scriptures as their weapon, and God was with them. The identity of the Church is shown in that she has been poor compared to others, and persecuted, called names, and misrepresented by her enemies. They are described: "The Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of the devil; speaking lies in hypocricy , having their conscience seared with a hot iron." 1Ti 4:1-2. "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lust shall they heap to themselves teachers [make themselves teachers] having itching ears; and they shall turn their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables.'' 2Ti 4:3-4. The Church has spoken out against such departures, and against unsound teachers. "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth; that God in all things may be glorified through Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever. Amen." 1Pe 4:10-11.
Another mark of distinction by which the Church is known is: It has held through the ages that God calls men, and puts them in the ministry, as a gift to the Church. And so the Church should not depend upon the schools of men to supply the needs of teachers in the Church. As far back as the schools have been erected for such ends, and the account of such schools in history, we have yet to find such schools producing any other kind of teacher than the particular Church or denomination that erects the school. Thus the conflicting clash of issues fed by the teachers at the head of the course of study presented. The corruption that developed in the first two centuries after New Testament authority and Bible precepts, given by inspired men, was the School of Alexandria, in Egypt. Hassell says this school was the great prototype of the modern Sunday School and the Theological Seminaries of our day. This School of Catechists of Alexandra in Egypt was founded about A. D. 180. The first president was a converted heathen Philosopher, Pantaneus, who was succeeded in 189 by Clement, another converted heathen philosopher. The great scholar and universalist, Origen, succeeded Clement in 202, and presided till 232, and was said to have raised the school to the summit of prosperity. Origen's pupils, Heraclas and Dionysius succeeded him. The last teacher was Didymus in A. D. 395. The chief purpose or object of the Alexandrian School was to prepare the young for the Church. Especially to prepare talented young men to preach. The number of students was very great, and it is said that many eloquent preachers were sent forth from this school. The doctrines inculcated in the school were fascinating to the natural mindâ€”Traditionalism, Arminianism, Rationalism, and Universalism. Religion was gradually blended with and superseded by Judaism, Paganism, and heathen philosophy, a liberal system adopted to accommodate and reconcile all parties. It seems that here was the hot-bed to breed the corrupted parties which followed and this monstrous compound of darkness, a little truth, and falsehood, darkness, Free-willism, Gnosticism, Platonism. The most famous Gnostic was the Alexandrian Jew, Valentinus. His system affected a fusion between nominal Christianity and the Platonic philosophy, leaving out the humbling idea of sin, repentance, and atonement and weaving in the proud ideas of Buddhistic pantheism, man being set forth as the most perfect realization of the Divine. This school contained the largest library of ancient times having 700,000 volumes. (See Hassell's History, pp. 365-66.) One of the most dangerous things to the young student in any institution of learning, is failing to learn that there is great need of separation, and being able to make the distinction between true science, and theory, tested facts, and mere fiction. Reading all the books, and eating the book rather than a brave determination to discard the unsound philosophies of the author, the teacher, or his own limited understanding, knowing that to learn is safe and wise, but to venture into the dark without the light of truth is dangerous, whether this be in the field of theology, or other fields of learning. Paul must have had something like this in mind when he wrote: " I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." 2Co 11:3. "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." Col 2:8. "0 Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings and oppositions of science [gnosis] falsely so-called, which some professing have erred concerning the faith.'' 1Ti 6:20-21. "And I brethren, when I came unto you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God: For I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ and Him crucified; that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in. the power of God." 1Co 2:1-5. This is a divine rule for both the teacher and the student. Coming from a man who has learned in the schools of his day, and both by experience, and by the power of inspiration, it sounds out the warning today as then, that men by natural wisdom know not God. Paul on the road to Damascus, a proud Pharisee, BLIND, yet with zeal to persecute the saints, was stricken down, and out of the effect of the pricking goads of God's work in his heart, he cries out in a little child's questions: "Who art Thou, Lord?" "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do ?" Wise in learning, yet he became a fool, and at his wits end, and with grace in his heart and changed from a persecuting Saul to a praying Paul. He learned at an entirely different school. God calls men according to His divine will, and puts them in the ministry. Some are men of learning as was Paul; others as poor fishermen, and said to be unlearned. (See Ac 4:13.) This has been a true mark of distinction between the world religions and the true Church unto the present day. I suppose if boasting should be timely, it could be said. They are equal in learning to their critics, and such of them as have given themselves to study, meditation, prayer, and devotion to God who called them, are able ministers of the New Testament, and thoroughly capable of meeting the so-called giants of the world religions of our time. "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mightily through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." 2Co 10:4-5.
The idea of schools to make ministers is one of those things which exalteth the theories of men above the knowledge of God, a high thing, made so because it cannot be dispensed with by world religions, and meet the popularity contest of religious rivalry of having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. How very dependent man is in this field with or without human learning in the schools of men. He should please Him who has called him to be a soldier, and to: " Put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." Eph 6:11. Personally, I believe an educated ministry is one found with information in the great field of spiritual knowledge, able to compare spiritual things with spiritual. This information is in the revealing power of the Holy Spirit, with the mind immersed with Bible reading, and prayer and meditation, and humble devotion to the cause of Christ, and the needs of His dear people in the gospel Church state while we live in this world. It indeed takes great faith to believe God will continue as He has in the past to give us ministers to feed the flock of God; men whom He calls, and from the different positions or stations in life where they are until He by His grace calls them. I am very grateful that the Church believes this, and more, the Bible teaches that He has, and will. All His great family are as children in His school. They are learning more and more about His wonderful works to the children of men. Compared to the great unrevealed things we know but very little, and do not live long enough to get our diplomas, and weary the nattering titles so much in demand by some of the D.D. L.L.D.'s etc. Thank God Bible divinity is not sick, and if it should be, the Church has but one Physician, and even then our illness is not derived from Bible truth, but the vain and empty things of the world. In this, perhaps, millions of people have need to look to Christ, and take the given remedy, and be healed. The heresies of our time are biting serpents which keep many Israelites from crossing the Jordan into the promised land, (or Church) the land of plenty. Why fall down to the dumb idols and worship at their shrine?
Another distinguishing mark of the Church is the equality of the members, and the equality of the ministers in that office. The work of their gifts in the one body is to feed the flock of God, to bring to unity in the faith, the perfecting of the saints, etc. The gifts are Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers (Eph 4:11). There is not one gift set over another as lords to rule, nor is this method found elsewhere in our Bible. One thing is as clear as the noon-day's sun: The Church of God has no Popes, Cardinals, Bishops, and ruling Elders. The Scriptures are as silent as the tomb on the thought. And we are told that Bishops, Elders, and Presbyters have reference to the same office, and certainly in apostolic times this was very true. The Lord has all power in heaven and in earth, and when He commissioned His disciples or the eleven, He said to them: "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching [them you teach and baptize] them to observe all things what so ever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." Mt 28:18-20. I have commanded you. I have the authority, therefore go. Teach all things which I have commanded you. How much more than this should they teach? Where is the authority? It is in the Lord who commands. Just as it would have been sin not to have gone as commanded, it would have been sin for them to teach one or many things not commanded. The gifts to teach or preach here were given to the eleven, by command, and not to the Church. If this were true, then since the Church is composed of both men and women, you would have the command given for the whole Church to preach, and baptize.
We rather believe this is not scriptural as a command only to individuals as here given, and to others as God calls and sends them forth to preach and to baptize believers, teaching them to observe (keep or do) all things whatsoever I have commanded.
Again, not one place did He command evangelists, pastors, prophets, apostles, and teachers to go as little saviors, instrumental in God's hand to help Him save just one lost sinner from the guilt of sins. It is simply not given or commanded. It was Israelites who were referred to as lost sheep, and not the Hittites, Hivites, Jebusites, Canaanites, Amorites, Girgishites, Perzzites, and other "ites." Out of the thirty-three times the word "lost" appears in our Bible, only five times does it appear having reference to the alien sinner lost under the guilt of sins. Modern men in the pulpit have coined entirely too many phrases to their liking to make the preaching of the gospel a means to save the lost in sins. If the Bible so teaches, then let us hear no more from the little despised few who teach to the contrary. Kind reader, it simply is not there, when scriptures are fairly observed, and the truth therein respected. It is another of the blundering dogma's of rank Arminianism, erected on unbelief in Christ as Savior. But on this the Church has stood almost alone in the purpose of preaching the gospel. Those to whom it is addressed, believed and who is to obey it. Shall we bow out of the scene, and take no issue ? or shall we yet teach Christ is Lord and Savior, and His ministers under Him as servants ? The true gospel preacher is placed in this light by the Apostle Paul to the Church at Corinth. "For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things ?" 2Co 2:15-16. There are two states or conditions man may be in; he is either dead in sins, and therefore alienated from God, and in a perishing condition, or he is dead to sins, and alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord (Ro 6:11). Now in preaching the gospel with the two kinds of people seated before you, the preaching of it is a savour of death unto death to them that perish, because they are dead to the life and spirit of the truth of the gospel. In them that are saved, or who are dead to sin, it is a savour of life unto life to them. It is a revelation of the righteousness of God from faith to faith (Ro 1:17). From faith to faith, from life to life. Now if the gospel is revealed from life to death and a savour of life to death, or to those dead in sins, and a savour of death unto life to the saved, or to those who are dead to sins, you erase the distinction between the saved and them that perish so far as the effects of the preaching is concerned. Just as Paul would say: "The world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." Ga 6:14. Just as he was dead to the world, the world was dead to him. So it would be death unto death to the world, and life unto life unto the saved. It is not the light of life kindled in the hearts of the alien sinners by the gospel, unless the one who preaches it has power to give or speak life into the soul. But rather first the light of life coming through Christ, and the light of truth coming through preaching the gospel to those to whom it is the savour of life unto life. And they are the saved in the lesson.
Another mark of identity of the New Testament Church is that she has kept the ordinances as they were delivered to the Church. "Now I praise you brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances as I delivered them to you,.'' 1Co 11:2. The ordinances are two; they are baptism and the Lord's supper, divinely given to be observed, and set in the Church, and by the Church to be administered. It is certain that these ordinances are not delivered to other institutions of the world by our Lord. "We have no record where they were so delivered, or where they have been given away by the Church to be administered elsewhere. No other institution as a Church existed when they were given. Now if the Church of our Lord has kept the ordinances as delivered then as now, they are to be found where they were delivered to be kept. To illustrate: A new and recently started organization springs up; the designing leaders begins to advocate new and unscriptural doctrines, which calls for a new formula of practice. He leaves the Church, drawing away disciples with him. This is a very common thing as we behold the origin of new sects of which there are over two hundred in the United States. The leaders of such moves begin, as they think, administering the ordinances to his new converts. Never in your life if the Church keeps the ordinances. Such men left the ordinances just as they departed from the Church. John describes it thus: '' They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us." 1Jo 2:19. To admit such departures, the right to administer the ordinances by such departures is to literally destroy the identity of the Church as being orderly, and to recognize disorder. By so doing it would bring about the difficult task of finding the Church in the world. It would cease to be the Church separated from the institutions of the world, and it would not be a separate people unto the Lord their God. Good authority is open and frankly admits, as writers of Church history, that this one thing caused the death and suffering of thousands of the poor suffering saints for over twelve hundred years through the dark night of Popery, and from the very beginning of departures from the Church. Many of these writers were not Baptists. Some of them I have quoted from in this book. Mosheim's, Neander's, Muston's Israel of the Alps, Roberson, and then Baptist authors such as Hassell, William Jones, Benedict, Cathcart, Armitage, and many more. They give a good account of the sufferings of the persecuted Church, and her deadly enemy Papal Rome. They were the Novatians, Donatists, Waldenses, Albigenses, Paulicians, Mennonites, Lollards, and other witnesses for the truth in the past. It was the doctrine of the Church then and now that all communicants coming from other religious bodies should be baptized by immersion on believing and showing repentance of their sins. The Church was not established on alien baptism, and has kept the ordinances thus far faithfully as delivered. In this there is no reliable information to refute her claim. The writers of history give a fair account of the Church. It is fair to all parties who may claim identity with the Church built by Christ. That Church has been with the Baptists through the ages. The Church for three centuries practiced baptism by immersion with not one mention by the early writers of history of infant baptism, or of sprinkling, or pouring for baptism.
Long after the first account of infant baptism, I shall quote Orchard's History on infant baptism. "During the first three centuries, Christian congregations all over the east, subsisted in separate independent bodies, unsupported by government, and consequently without any secular power over one another. All this time they were Baptist Churches; and through all the fathers of the first four ages down to Jerome, were of Greece, Syria, and Africa,â€”and though they give great numbers of histories of the baptism of adults, yet there is not one record of the baptism of a child till the year 370, when Galetes, the dying son of the emperor Valens was baptized by order of the monarch who swore he would not be contradicted." Pages 36,37. Not one natural infant of any description, appears to have been baptized in the Church of Rome during the first three centuries, and immersion was the only method of administering the ordinance.
Now we would like to find where the new idea of being baptized to put sins away originated. At the same time we shall find the grand excuse for baptizing infants, and the convenient method of sprinkling in what is called baptism. Augustine of Hippo in Africa said: "Augustine's views of original sin led many to enquire how it could be taken away from those who could not believe; the answer was, that sin was removed in baptism: consequently, this view of baptism drove him into Paedobaptism, and infants became eligible in his view, as minors and youths had been for the last century. Augustine to enforce his views of infant salvation by water called an assembly, of which we shall speak hereafter." Orchard, page 45. "Charles the Great in 789 issued the first law in Europe for baptizing infants." Page 47. No wonder the new and human contrived practice brought about persecution of those who opposed it. It originated by men outside the Church, and was the tap-root of what developed into the grand doctrine of Rome, and as usual, by law. After the first division in the Church A. D. 251, there were two parties, one led by Cornelius and was the corrupt party, the other by Novatian, who believed in discipline, and a pure practice of the doctrine of the Bible. He said: " If you be a virtuous believer, and will accede to our confederacy against sin, you may be admitted among us by baptism, or if any Catholic has baptized you before, by re-baptism. Or they did not accept the baptism of Catholic's or the Cornelius party. For this they were bitterly persecuted, and later called Anabaptists because they baptized all who came over from other parties, claiming the former baptism was no baptism.'' In 413 Innocent sent letters of advice to different ministers, in the same years the Baptists for re-baptizing were sentenced to death. Page 61. Many writers of history state that Novatians held pure the truth, and flourished in many countries of Europe for over 500 years. While the Cornelius party went into corruption and headed up at the Council of Nice A. D. 325, and from here the Catholic Church or the Church of Rome was full grown and began to make her history with Kings and Emperors at her side, in bloody persecution of the Church. Lardner says: "A famous conference was held at Carthage in 411 in this famous Synod, the number of ministers from different Churches, in both denominations was found to be nearly equal; though some ministers of the dissenting party were unavoidably absent. The Catholics numbered two hundred and eighty-six, and the Donatists two hundred and seventy-nine. The defeat of the latter is not attributed to the Catholic majority, but principly to Augustine's influence at court, and to his writings." Pages 93, 94. "The first and most fatal of all events to the primitive religion was the setting up of the Christian academy at Alexandria. Christians had been reproached with illiteracy, and this seemed to be a plausible method to get rid of the scandal." Page 65. From about the time of Constantine, and A. D. 313 when this man enacted laws to govern (or better said, control) the Church, as a hot-bed to breed corruption, the School of Alexandria, we have the beginning of many things unheard of before in the history of the Church. Baptism by sprinkling or pouring, infant baptism, foolish rituals, perverting Bible truth, etc. I shall here give the definition of the word "baptize," . "baptism," etc., and by good authority: "Baptismal, (baptizo) a word peculiar to N.T. and Eccl. writ. Immersion, submersion. 1. Used trop. of calamities, and afflictions with which one is quite overwhelmed. 3. Of Christian baptism; this according to the view of the apostles of Christ, is a rite of sacred immersion, commanded by Christ, by which men confessing their sins, and professing their faith in Christ, are born again by the Holy Spirit unto a new life, come into fellowship of Christ and the Church." Thayers Greek-English Lexicon, pp. 94,95. "Bapto, to dip, to dye, or to color." George Bicker Berry, English Lexicon. Liddell & Scott Greek-English Lexicon, p. 260. The word means to "dip, dip under, Lat, Immergere," etc. But why go into all this digging, and definition of words? The scriptural way to administer baptism is clearly laid down in the New Testament, and not one time do we have mentioned the baptizing of just one infant, or that baptism is a little water sprinkled or poured for baptism, or that it contains any merit or virtue to remit sins, save from sin's guilt, or that it constitutes the new birth. Any of this wild speculation is the vain delusion of the sectarian minds who ponder for an issue, and they have it, and they made it to the pattern of unauthorized, and unscriptural procedure. The right to administer baptism and the Bible way of being baptized is delivered to the Church as an ordinance to keep.
It seems that the whole issue should be resolved in going back to the Scriptures and there recognizing that the ordinance was delivered to the Church, and to the Church we must go to find it, and the authority to administer it. This we claim to know: There is not one example of infant baptism in the New Testament Scriptures, or of sprinkling or pouring in the action of its administration. On this we do not have any reason to fear being contradicted. It is said to be a burial with Christ, a planting together in the likeness of His death and resurrection (Ro 6:4-5; also Col 2:12). Both the words "planted" and "buried," could not reasonably be construed to mean sprinkle. This entire chapter is treating on the way to serve, and a yielding in service to God, and the commands given to those who yield, which could not be applicable to infants who are not beings capable of being taught. (See verses 13-16.) John was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim because there was much water there; and they came and were baptized (Joh 3:23). If here the cause rested in the location as a place, then it was also because of the need of much water, a sufficient amount to immerse the whole body. It does not take much water to sprinkle, so sprinkling is not the true mode of the administration of the rite of baptism (Mr 16:15-16). Believing is a prerequisite to being baptized. Infants do not believe, and are not capable of believing, or being taught externally any duties of the gospel, so they are not required to be baptized.
Infant sprinkling, as well as infant baptism was introduced by Rome upon the idea that the Adam sin was remitted in baptism, and that all who were not thus baptized would be damned. It is not mentioned in reliable history the first three centuries in the New Testament age of the Church, and was a very exceptional rule many centuries after. The word translated â€œbaptizeâ€ﾝ does not mean to sprinkle and pour for baptism, but to bury, dip, dye, wash, immerse, etc. It can reasonably be said that the grand purposes of infant baptism by Papal Rome and her imitators is to capture the babies in the cradle, and to enhance the membership of such religious bodies. Thus a trap of Satan to hold undeveloped minds of the little children in bondage to the doctrines of men, and keep them from the environment of Bible discipline, and home training agreeable to Bible truth. This is a method which fills sects with unbelievers, and unregenerated membership. The original Baptists are the ones who have brought down to the present time, believer's baptism by immersion, and a strong belief in a regenerated Church membership, as a true requisite to sound and true service to God, and of Christ the head over all things to the Church.
Another grand mark of the true Church is that she has never boasted of being strong only in the Lord, and never in having great numbers to rival the religions of the world. She has never been equal in number with other accepted religious bodies, and was not popular with the world in the Apostolic age, nor since. Our Savior said: "My kingdom is not of this world: If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight that I should not be delivered to the Jews." Joh 18:36. Nowhere do we find where the Lord set the example by word or by deed, nor did His disciples, that the Church should expand by the use of the carnal sword, or carnal weapons of war. But rather it is forbidden. It is to live, not by the power of the sword, not by the doctrine of men, not by bread alone, "But by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (4:4). It stands alone, and has ever stood alone, in so far as the generous support of the institutions of the world is concerned. Within, her sorrows have been many. Some of them have been due to her unfaithfulness and her sins. But never for want of the bounties of heaven, through Christ. She was to keep herself unspotted from the world, and to stand the test of all her enemies and to be what she is pictured in the Holy Scriptures: an everlasting Kingdom, one which cannot be moved, and shall stand forever.
To be a true disciple one must be a learner, and must follow Christ. To do this one must deny self. There must be a coming away from the things the world has to offer, which may be a mere imitation, but not the real pattern we are to follow. "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Joh 3:3. To be born again (genneo, born) to regenerate, bear, beget, be born, bring forth, conceive, be delivered gender, make spring. The subject of birth is the sinner and that which brings about the work is (or the birth is) strictly and altogether the work of God. And in every place where the word or its equivalent is used, it is expressly declared to be the work of God. So salvation from sin's guilt regardless of the conflicting theories of men, is by the grace of God, and not by the works of any man, saint or sinner. This position is the doctrine, and has through the ages been the belief of the Church. No other system known to men can uniformly and without contradiction reach and save poor fallen sinners in every walk of life. The infant dying in infancy, the deaf and dumb, the wise, the ignorant, the sick in mind, the taught, and the untaught, etc. While never believed by the world, and by faith only believed by the Church, it is a hated doctrine by the world. But Christ the head of the Church was hated, despised and rejected of men. (See Isa 53:3.) The unbelievers among the Jews called Him a blasphemer, and such ones we are told could not believe on Him (Joh 12:39). Again, ''If the world hate you, ye know it hated Me before it hated you.
If ye were of the world, the world would love its own, but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Lord; if they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My sayings, they will keep yours also." Joh 15:18-20. We may expect this to be the marks of the Church, or the true followers of Christ. Mankind in nature's darkness has ever been the same, regardless to his high claims, he is a poor fallen sinner, and the glory of his being brought out of his sin's guilt belongs to God, and not to men. To become better acquainted with how the Lord has led His people, and blessed them in the past, and better informed as to what He would have us do today it has never been better expressed than what He has given us in the Holy Scriptures. The difference in the people known as Primitive Baptists and others perhaps rests in the fact that almost all religions hold that God uses the written word, or the preaching of the gospel to save the alien sinner; and this is God's ordained means to reach the end, etc. The Spirit operates through the word to beget to life, or to quicken the sinner. While I am especially of the opinion this is not true, but rather He works sovereignly, directly, and independently in giving life in not just exceptional cases, but in all cases. It takes now, and always has taken the very same God, and the very same work, to save a sinner and quicken the sinner into spiritual life as it takes to raise the dead. But, says one, Where then is the written word or gospel to be used? Instead of being through the word as a means, the written word and the gospel, it is the Spirit's work. The gospel is always agreeable with the written word, or the Scriptures. The advocates of the theory would not say God works contrary to the written word, or the true gospel of Christ. But I must prove my position. "For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, even so [even so, even so] the Son quickeneth whom He will."' Joh 5:21. Again, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My word, and believeth in Him that sent Me hath [hath, a passive verb] everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live." Joh 5:24-25. It seems clear again the theory is not true, because Satan without books or with them, with direct or indirect influence reaches the fallen race of mankind, his agents deceive in every way and hold captive millions who are not reached with the so-called means to save the sinner. God is literally tied by His own methods to reach and save them, and yet the advocates cry telling us that He desires to save everyone. When in the grip of its absurd inconsistency, this is denied I very well know, but the God of all the earth is not the author of such weak and absurd theories; therefore it is not the truth. How very ridiculous it is to present the God of all the earth as making the mistake of calling forth men to preach and by that means saving the human race. At this late date they have not reached one half the human family with all these conflicting systems of theology. Yet the devil is unrestricted with his agents and has thousands of ways to deceive and reaches all places of the earth and holds with an iron chain the victims where the modem ministers of the theory have never gone. The lost heathen is damned for not believing what he has had no chance to believe, and the ministers advocating the theory have never carried it to them.
MAN, AS A CREATURE OF GOD
I am not going to explain, and drift into speculation, and spiritualize the great mysteries we find in the beginning of the Bible account of God's creation. Perhaps it may be done and throw a greater measure of light upon many things here given; I do not know. There may have been another world before this one; I do not know. ''In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." The beginning of time, the beginning of this world, the beginning of days and nights. He gathered the waters together, and dry land appeared, the dry land was called earth, the water He called seas. God said let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself upon the earth; and it was so. The lights God set in the firmament of heaven. The waters brought forth moving creatures that had life, fowls that may fly above the earth, great whales, and every living creature, we are told that every living thing brought forth of its kind, and God blessed them saying be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, fowls to multiply in the earth. After God had made all the other things, fowls, fishes of the seas, trees, all these things, God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, He also told the man and woman (Adam and Eve, male and female, to also multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it. And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. Then we are told that the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. We are told that before God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. He made woman from a rib which He took from Adam, and brought her unto Adam, and Adam said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be Woman, because she was taken out of man. Then Satan, or the serpent more subtle than any of the beasts of the field which the Lord God made, made the approach to Eve, and where God had said: ''But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." The serpent said unto Eve, or the woman: "Ye shall not surely die." But that her eyes would be opened, and that they would be as gods knowing good and evil. The woman did eat, and gave to her husband with her, and he did eat, etc. The first through the third chapters of Genesis have here been briefly reviewed, which brings us to the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, by which sin entered into the world, the penalty for it administered by driving man from the garden, separating them from God and where man became dead in sins. A very careful study of the Genesis account of God's creation, and the fall of man is very necessary to a right understanding of man, his state or condition as a creature along with the other living creatures, and his constant display of acts on the scene of his history both as a creature having natural life, and as a new creature in Christ as a child of God in the new or spiritual life. Since Adam (or man; the word for man is Adam in the Hebrew) only had natural life, and not spiritual life. He did not fall from the life he had which God gave him when he breathed into his nostrils the breath of natural life. He fell from his state of innocence. Now he is a sinner, and has transgressed the law of His Creator. He became dead in sins, or separated from God, cut loose from communion with God. Like every creature which the Lord God made, he was at the beginning elemented to live in the realm of life where his Creator had placed him. God did not element Adam nor has He since elemented his offspring to live with God in heaven having only natural life. The great apostle to the Gentiles gave us a clear application of this subject in 1Co 15:39-41. "All flesh (life) is not the same flesh: there is one kind of flesh [life] of men, another flesh [life] of beast, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, [heavenly; belonging to or relating to heaven; dwelling in heaven; as celestial spirits, celestial joys, an inhabitant of heaven, etc.] and bodies terrestrial, [pertaining to the earth; existing on this earth, earthly, opposite to celestial; see Webster] but the glory of the celestial is one and the glory of the terrestrial is another." Just as the glory of the sun, the glory of the stars, and one star differing from another in glory. So is the glory of the natural, and the glory of the spiritual, not being the same life, and each under the great skill of God's creative hand the glory reflects in the individual body resurrected to heavenly life, as well as the individual life of all His creatures. In the resurrection of the natural bodies, they are changed from natural to spiritual, and heavenly, and celestial, immortal and do not die. The earthly is mortal, earthly, terrestrial and must die because of sin, etc.
So far as I know it is very probable that if man had lived on in a state of innocence, he would have remained on earth without death. Yet even if he had retained his innocence, he would have been natural, earthly, and to live with God in heaven would have had need of being born from above; he would have needed the new life, the new nature, the new creation to live in a realm in which he by nature was not elemented to dwell. But far from innocence he by nature is a sinner dead in sins, corrupted, poisoned, depraved, lost and ruined, and justly under the condemnation of God, and under the law of sin and death, until redeemed by Christ from the damning affects of sin. Under such law all mankind is found until brought out, by and through the redemptive price of a perfect sacrifice, and shed blood of another, even Christ the Son of God.
The Arminian, however popular he may be, his theory will not stand upon its many and various theories presented to substitute. To play with the theory is too serious, but just when he cries out saying: "Away with your total depravity; it is not mentioned in the Bible," etc. Well, my friends, neither is the word " responsibility" found in the Bible. We find "account" 17 times; "accounted" 12 times; "accounting" one time, and "accounts" one time, and from there we go to â€œaccursed,â€ﾝ and so are the vain hobbies of such men. As I have in another place in this book given ample proof of the state or condition the alien sinner is in, I shall give a rank Arminian's comment on the subject of being totally depraved. I delight in using them for my witnesses, as the whole theory is a mess of open, visible, and inexcusable contradictions. But I do agree with my witness this one time. Hear him. To his distinguished followers I would say, Come on in boys, the water is fine. I quote Mr. Campbell, the head over all things to the Church of which he is head and founder, and a more ripe scholar you do not have. Under the heading, "Man As He Is," chapter VI, page 27, Campbell's Christian, System, I quote him at length as follows:
"God made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions. The natural man became preter-natural. The animal triumphed over the human elements of his nature, Adam rebelled. Sin was born on earth. The crown fell from his head. The glory of the Lord departed from him. He felt his guilt and trembled; he saw his nakedness, and blushed, the bright candle of the Lord became a dimly-smoking taper. He was led to judgment. He was tried, condemned to death, divested of his patrimonial inheritance; but respited from immediate execution. "The stream of humanity thus contaminated at its fountain, cannot in this world ever rise of itself to its primitive purity and excellence. We all inherit a frail constitution physically, intellectually, but especially morally frail and imbecile. We have all inherited our father's constitution and fortune; for Adam, we are told, after he fell, begat a son in his own image; and that son was just as bad as any other son born into the world; for he murdered his own dear brother because he was a better man than himself. Thus by one man sin entered into the world, and death by that one sin; and so death, the wages of sin has fallen upon all the offspring of Adam, because in him they all have sinned.''
Under section four and page 28, I quote Mr. Campbell: "There is therefore a sin of our nature as well as personal transgression. Some inappositely call the sin of our nature our 'original sin,' as if the sin of Adam was the personal offense of all his children. True indeed it is; our nature was corrupted by the fall of Adam before it was transmitted to us; and hence that hereditary imbecility to do good, and that proneness to do evil, so universally apparent in all human beings. Let no man open his mouth against the transmission of a mortal distemper until he satisfactorily explains the fact that the special characteristic vices of parents appear in their children as much as the color of their skin, their hair, or the contour of their faces. A disease in the moral constitution of man is as clearly transmissible as any physical taint, if there be any truth in history, biography, or human observation."
Here Mr. Campbell stated facts as they are, and in this and other of his writings seems to contradict himself and cross back and forth as his system seems to demand, and which is to be deeply regretted of men with such high training in the use of Bible language.
The sinner is in a state of death, and we wonder why he is so inclined to continue in sin until we see that while in a state of innocence, and at the first temptation of Satan he openly violates the law of his Creator. God said to him: "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Ge 2:17. He chose between two propositions if we may so state the matter; God said thou shalt surely die. Satan said God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. Satan said further: Ye shall not surely die. World religions have never settled the issue and never will until it is found that man is not God, and is not to be looked upon with admiration for what he does to be saved, because he is dead in sins, and he does not seek after God. God is not in all his thoughts. He is far above out of his sight. His pleasures are earthly, and in the wrong things, and none in that state seek after God. (See Ro 3.)
Corruption: A vitiated state; as, depravity of manners and morals. 2. In theology, a vitiated state of the heart; wickedness; corruption of moral principles; destitution of holiness, or good principles. Total Depravity: in theology, the doctrine that man's nature is innately bad and perverse; the original sin of Calvinism. Syn.: Deprivation, Corruption. Depravity is a disposition or settled tendency to evil, greatly vitiated, as a corruption of taste, or of language," etc. Webster. To define the word even better, our Bible is even more clear and explicit than the very best dictionaries. "The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear; which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely." Ps 58:3,5. There are fourteen stated conditions stated such as: "Both Jew and Gentile are all under sin; there is not one righteous; there is none that understands; there is none that seeketh after God; they are all gone out of the way; they are unprofitable; none that doeth good, no not one; their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongue they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips; their mouth is full of cursing, and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; they do not know the way of peace; there is no fear of God before their eyes (Ro 3:9-19). "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil." (Jer 13:23) Not including the four gospels, Paul wrote two thirds of the New Testament. The manner which he was saved, and converted to the truth must be good authority. In Ac 9:1, he is found breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the saints. His attitude was wicked, and bad (Ac 9:3). God appears on the scene (Ac 9:4). The Son of God speaks to him, and he is found pricked in the heart (Ac 9:5-6). He said: "Lord, what wilt thou have me do?" After he was told, "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest." (Ac 9:7) God shows discrimination between Paul and those who journeyed with him. He was told to break ranks and go into the city and there it should be told him what to do. Ananias was told to go where he was, and that he prayeth, and is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel. (Ac 9:11-15). Here, and in Ac 26:14-18 we have the matter clearly stated, that this man was called, changed from a persecuting man to a praying man, chosen, and called to preach, before Ananias preached unto him. Here in this wonderful lesson if Ananias had been an Arminian preacher of modern times, he would have taken issue with God, on the ground that the gospel had not been preached to him. The idea of being chosen, called, and sent to preach to the Gentiles, as a chosen vessel is revolting, and rank Hardshellism. But so it was, and Bible truth is as clear as the noon-day's sun. It was Paul to the shame of the theories of modem theology who said: '' For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.'' Eph 2:8-9. Again, ''But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain." 1Co 15:10. Salvation from sin's guilt, and of poor wicked, vile, depraved, undeserving sinners is referred to as a quickening, a raising up from a state of death in sins (Eph 2:l-6) and Eph 2:10, a creation in Christ unto good works, and as God's workmanship; a translation from the power of darkness, into the Kingdom of His dear Son (Col 1:13); a circumcision (of the heart) not made with hands (Col 2:11). "But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man that Thou are mindful of him? or the son of man that Thou visitest him?" Heb 2:6. The answer does not rest in man's deserving nor does it rest in his being made a creature of stronger intellect, will power, and purity. The profound mystery is very evident, and so the question: "Why did God think upon a poor fallen creature of His, and snatch one or any of them as a brand from the fire of His wrath, and give His only begotten Son to die, to redeem, to save, to wash and cleanse from the blighting stain and corruption of sin." This is a great mystery and a wonder. Why He saves any, not so much who He saves. "For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.'' Ro 9:16,16. And Ro 9:20, "Nay but, 0 vain man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?" Not why hast thou made me a sinner, not that thou hast made me sin, or that thou hast set a trap for my feet, etc. It was Satan, and then man, and NOT GOD who is worthy of blame for the fall of man. "And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.'' Ge 1:31. Persons and things are not good or bad comparable to what men may think, but set beside God's perfect rule, and facts agreeable to, or at issue with this rule is evidenced. "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.'' Ro 3:20.
MAN, AS A CHILD OF GOD AND A NEW CREATURE
Long before the world was peopled, and man and his wife whom God had made and gave him for an help meet, and sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons, or their ears were tuned to the voice of the Lord God, as they walked in the garden in the cool of the day; before sin entered into the world; before men were made prophets; before the songs of angels; before the forming of the great mountains, the seas, the rivers, and fountains of water; before the beautiful carpet of green grass made beautiful the landscape, the colors, the great trees of the forest, the flower gardens of ancient Bible lands, the world and the things therein,â€”back of all things visible and invisible, there was God, "the great I AM." How very clearly we see, beholding unexplained, and yet unrevealed mysteries. The heavens with their beautiful lights, the God-given blessings that we have eyes to see, ears to hear, minds to think and ponder with admiration, as we behold these wonderful things wrought by the handiwork of God. David the Psalmist by the help of God, and the beauty of clean words full of meaning said: ''The heavens declare the glory of God; the firmament sheweth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath He set a tabernacle for the sun; which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it; and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.'' Ps 19:1-6. Only the foolish would ask the questions: Is He a God of purpose? Has He infinite wisdom? Infinite power? Is He in need, hungry, poor, and dependent as we ? Does He know the depth, the height, the width of existing things? Is He in the highest degree what He is? If yes is your answer, or if it is a right answer, then if we are so fortunate as to be His people, His family of children, the vain and perishing things of earth are of far less value in our lives. We love Him because He first loved us (1Jo 4:19). "The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.'' Jer 31:3. He loved and elected them, or made choice of them in Christ, before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4). "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." 2Ti 1:9. The Christian's hope is because of being justified by faith, and having access by that faith into the grace wherein they stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulation also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience experience; and experience hope, and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us (Ro 5:1-5). Here the love of God is shed abroad in the heart and, 1Jo 3:1: "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not." Again, "Love is of God and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God (1Jo 4:7). The same John said: " If ye love Me, keep My commandments. If ye know that He is righteous, ye know that everyone that doeth righteousness is born of Him." 1Jo 2:29. These Bible lessons are plain and simple, and therefore specifically addressed to the saved, to the family of God, and not to aliens. The saved have the love of God shed abroad in their hearts, God loved them first and now they love God. They are citizens of His kingdom, saved by grace, and therefore stand in grace, having access to this grace, through Him, and can and should serve Him. They are under His laws which are spiritual and not carnal. They have a new life, and this life is spiritual and heavenly, and in them there comes light, knowledge, and present blessings, refreshing showers of gospel rain to revive, to comfort, to give strength as food, and all such should obey Him. They are condemned, rebuked, and chastised if they disobey the laws of the Kingdom of Christ of which they are a part, being born into that Kingdom, where there are old men and women, rooted and grounded in the truth of the gospel. The young men and women, the children who should by reading the scriptures, by prayer and meditation, and meeting at the house of worship and giving ear to the proclamation of the gospel, learn and grow in grace and the knowledge of truth. In the spiritual aspect, all those who are born again, in the gospel phase or governmental phase of the gospel Church state, have active duties in that kingdom. They are directed by the law of grace, the laws of the kingdom of Christ. In this we are known, or should be known by what we believe and teach, by our conversation, and how we walk before others, laying the pattern of good works. There are rewards in what we do, or as some say for what we do, and I prefer the way James expressed it, Jas 1:25: " But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." Certainly the Bible teaches rewards according to works. But the reward is in the field of labor, not in heaven above. It is in another place called sowing and reaping. "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully." 2Co 9:6. Imagine a farmer going into the field and sowing seed, and harvesting the crop in another place other than where he did the sowing of seed. It is not only true that whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap, but it is also true that we reap where we sow. Good seed sown, and good works wrought in the gospel field of labor, will under the blessings of God bring us to a bountiful harvest of joys and rich blessings right where we labor. It will bring warmth, union, and Christian ties of fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ, and with the dear people of God. It is out of this world when compared to the vain forms of the world to attract the praise of men, money, and human effort. Heaven is an inheritance through Christ, brought about by kinship to Him. "We are the children of God, and heirs to those blessings in the state of immortality, when freed from all imperfections, sins and trials, and often sad disappointments in life. In heaven there will be no low seats or high seats, no cabins, mansions, etc. "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God : and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ." Ro 8:17. God the Father did not only give His Son to die for them, and to offer His body as a perfect sacrifice for their sins, He shed His blood to redeem them by the glorious effect in the rich reigning grace. "If children [of God] then heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ." The Adam life was natural, and only elemented man to live upon the earth. "And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation." Ac 17:26. '' Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven." 1Co 15:46-47. So Adam in the transgression did not fall from spiritual life to the natural, but simply fell from his state of innocence, and became a sinner, separated from God and so was dead in sin, and subject to death.
THE RESURRECTION OF OUR NATURAL BODIES
While some are said to deny the resurrection of the dead, some say the resurrection has already passed. Some have run the thought into wild speculations, to the overthrowing of the faith of some. This wonderful mystery, in the rich reigning grace of God is the last, and crowning work of God in preparing His people to live in that immortal state with Him in heaven above. It is the capstone of the Christian religion, the rapture state of the great family of God, when they shall be made free from all imperfections, completely victorious over death, sin, and corruption in soul body and spirit. They will be completely elemented to live forever with God, brought away from time, and timely things, into the vast eternity of God in heaven, when time shall fade away, and be no more; when not only the redemption is made by Christ, but they will be redeemed from sin and death, their bodies from the grave. This shall be a full and complete reality.
"The Sadducees say there is no resurrection." Lu 20:27. "Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there be no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen; and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ; whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is Christ not raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins." 1Co 15:12-17. "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that sleep." 1Co 15:20. Those who have fallen asleep in Christ are not perished, because of the fact that He is raised proves the denial a falsehood. A living Christ is the first fruits of them that sleep and is a monument of proof that the same fruit is born in raising the dead He represented. Death is swallowed up in victory. 0 death where is thy sting ? 0 grave where is thy victory ? (1Co 15:54-55). The evident victory of Christ over death forever refutes the ground for denial of the resurrection of our bodies from the grave. "And hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.'' Ac 24:15. Possibly the denial of the resurrection at least by some is built around it being so difficult to believe the mystery of it. Paul said: '' 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." 1Co 15:51-52. "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall be raised 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." 1Th 4:15-17.
Those alive at His coming will not sleep in death. It does not say they shall not die, "We shall not all sleep but we shall be changed." All men must die, but those alive at His coming will not sleep in death, but all the saints shall be raised to spiritual life or immortality.
What a great mystery! Some have been sleeping in death from righteous Abel to the end of time, but that which was sown in weakness and had to die, shall be raised in power. It is sown a natural body (said Paul); it is raised a spiritual body, etc. If the great God who made the world, and gave life to His creatures can reach down and form man from the dust of the ground, and breathe into his nostrils the breath of life, and he became a living soul, then since man at death goes back to the former elements from which he was made, even so God can and does go back and raise the man from death and breathe into the same man spiritual, or immortal life. One is no more a mystery than the other. Thank God I believe He will do just what the Bible declares will be done in the resurrection of the dead. I also believe that just as it was the same Christ that gave His life on the cross, that was raised, seen of many witnesses, and remained as the risen Christ forty days upon earth before going back to the Father, it will be a person, individual resurrection of this very body which falls a victim of death. This, kind reader has been a grand mark of identity of the Church of our Lord, and in every century it has been believed and taught by the Church.
Before the death of Moses, and in blessing the tribes of Israel he seems to get the thought by saying: "And he said, the Lord came from Sinai and rose up from Seir unto them; He shined forth from mount Paran, and He came with ten thousands of saints: from His right hand went a fiery law for them.'' De 33:2. The old true and tried servant Job gave us a beautiful word picture of the last adventure of man, or death by saying: "If a man die shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait till my change come. Thou shall call and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hand." Job 14:14-15. Again, "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." Job 19:23-27. It is fair and a solemn duty of mine to confess to all concerned, I know but very little in the field of science and classical learning expressed by the words: "geology," "biochemistry," "biology," etc. In the field of science and research many things have been discovered since I was a lad going to school. Many things have been broken down to find their place in conquering disease, in machinery, weapons of war, and countless other things. The most of which have been discovered and put to use in the last few decades. The young student in the institution of learning can easily be thrown off the road of facts by speculative theories, rather than knowledge resting on self-evident truth, founded upon the nature of things which can be proven. There are entirely too many who deny, or become negative to the Genesis account of creation, and the origin of life. Life is by reason of antecedent life, and then like begets like, or in the perpetuation of a given kind of life it brings forth of its kind. This I maintain has not been contradicted by true scientific research, and will not be. Although our Bible may not by some be considered a book of science, yet it can safely be said it is a scientific book. If not, and God is not what it claims, then who built up before the scientific mind that which he has not yet been able to break down as he looks upon the very small thing he finds by use of the microscope, or the test tube? The germ of life has always, so far as we know, become what it is by antecedent life. The acorn from the great oak produces another of its kind. So in the resurrection of the natural body, as well as the work of God in quickening the sinner into spiritual life. "I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish." Joh 10:27. "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise." Isa 26:19. "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: 0 death I will be thy plagues; 0 grave I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.'' Ho 13:14. The new song that the redeemed shall sing saying: "Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." Re 5:9. The new birth takes place, and this redemption brings them all the way to God, and the redeemed are out of every kindred, and every tongue, and people, and nation. The new birth brings them into union and relation, in so much their lives are hid with Christ in God. This union is so real they are said to be in Christ, and new creatures (2Co 5:17).
I know of no place where it is stated that at a certain age we are born again. Man is man regardless of the age, or years. A little boy is a little man, a baby is a mere baby man. Some times the word means both man and woman. "Jesus answered and said unto him. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Joh 3:3, Here it simply means "man" in a generic sense, or any of mankind, a man, a woman, any of mankind young or old, must be born again to see the kingdom of God. The body of the sleeping saints must be raised out of a state of death, and given a new, or an immortal life to live in heaven. The resurrection will embrace the elect, the family of God, old or young, and in all nations of the earth; and the bodies of all will be changed, from natural to spiritual. The wicked dead will also be raised from the dead, but we have no record where their bodies, or their spirits will be made spiritual, or that they have had a probation period as some have said. This is mere speculation. They will be raised from the dead, but it will be a resurrection to damnation. (See Joh 5:29.) "The abode of the wicked will be a place of darkness, a place prepared for the devil and his angels, to whom it will be said, Depart from Me ye cursed, into everlasting fire." Mt 25:41. "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." Verse 46. They are compared to natural brute beasts made to be taken and destroyed. A people who shall utterly perish in their own corruption (2Pe 2:12). They are those who die in their sins. A people of whom it is said: "My word hath no place in you.'' They will be judged at the second coming of Christ, and according to their works, and cast into a lake of fire. This is the second death, and whosoever name was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire. (See Re 20:13; 14:15.)
It is not for me to go beyond and speculate as to how hot the place is, how long the duration of punishment may be. There is not one single place in the Bible where we have a clear lesson of good people being cast into the lake of fire. The pure in heart shall see God. Those who fear the Lord, and think upon His name, are the Lord's. "They shall be Mine saith the Lord, in that day when I make up My jewels: I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him." Mal 3:16-17. Not one place where the lesson sets forth the wicked and the righteous, like the destruction of Pharaoh and his army destroyed in the sea. This is an analogy of the overthrow of the wicked. The deliverance of Israel is an analogy of saving His people. While it was men of war on the one side, and not one infant, on the other with Israel it was all of them, the infants in the mother's arm, and all were delivered safely on the other side of the sea; and all of Pharaoh's army were destroyed. Again, a wicked Herod, when he saw that he was defeated in his wicked design to kill the little babe born in Bethlehem, sent out his wicked decree to kill all the babies in Bethlehem and Judea, seeking the young child's life. Every one of those babies were depicted as Rachel's children, and she weeping for her children because they were not, and because Herod had killed them. Nowhere do we find the words, "All infants dying in infancy will be saved." But we certainly have it here implied, as in other places, as in Mr 10:15, and Lu 18:17. The charge that Primitive Baptists preach infants to hell is the devil's lie, and when you hear it charged, it is always because the party so doing is not settled on his own theory, because it does not reach the infant. There is but one plain and scriptural way, to approach the subject, namely, the great family of God are those who are born again, and receive the kingdom of God by birth. "Verily, I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein." Mr 10:15. Well the little child received it, else the others could not receive it as a little child. The pain in the neck for the critic is resultant of Primitive Baptists holding the only system which reaches the little babies taught in the Bible. If the adult receives the kingdom of God by performing certain conditions to be born into it, and the children do not, then the one does not receive it as the other. But the plain Bible expression is: If you do not receive it as a little child, you just don't receive it. Now if we do not hold a scriptural position on the subject, then let the critic present his and prove it by the Bible. I maintain it has not yet been done, and therefore will not be done. The grand old doctrine is salvation by sovereign, efficacious grace, by the rich and reigning Christ, full of mercy, full of grace and truth, perfect in all His works. God has spoken through the mouth of His prophets, apostles, by angels, and by His Son since the. world began. So deep and profound is the interest He has shown, and the everlasting love He has bestowed upon His great family in all the ages. In the language of David: "O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; He gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south." Ps 107:1-3. I am thoroughly convinced it will be the haters of God and His truth, those who love sin who live and die in the pleasure of sins, the mockers and persecutors of the poor, depressed, misrepresented and hated people of God who shall be finally separated from God and cast down to the pit of eternal misery. What mercy that God has so condescended to His own, and prepares them for the place prepared for them in heaven. They have been so highly favored as to be called the children of God, and prepared to praise, and honor their heavenly King. May we all by His grace follow Him in the path of afflictions, yet in the joys of these wonderful blessings.