Bartley Works

1-00 Title

THE EARLY RELIGIOUS LIFE OF ELDER DAVID BARTLEY, Minister of the Gospel.

This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all Nations - Jesus.

Frank H. Smith, Printer, Indianapolis. 1896.

1-000 Early Religious Life of Elder David Bartley

1-001 Introduction

INTRODUCTION.

THE GENTLE READER may want to know the motive and aim of the author in offering this humble tribute to the brotherhood; therefore I may briefly say, the motive is neither ambitious nor selfish, but to glorify God; and the aim is, to both admonish and encourage His dear and loving children, especially the young soldiers of the Cross.

I have been moved to write this outline of my early life in testimony of the righteousness, mercifulness and faithfulness of God. His long-suffering and goodness both in Providence and Grace, in His hand-dealings with me, will be plainly seen by the spiritual and observant reader.

Above all, the events herein narrated clearly show that THERE IS A GOD -the true and living God; they also show that, "if we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself."

We may go astray and wander far out of the way, yet never beyond the limit and power of the Most High. "Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me." Truly did I find it so in my lost estate, and in my wanderings from the footsteps of the good Shepherd; for He went after me, and brought me back to His fold.

The young minister of the Gospel, who may be tempted to flee from the cross, should learn from my painful afflictions and merited chastisements, that "to obey is better than sacrifice," and in keeping the Lord's loving commandments there is a blessed reward of comfort and peace and rest to the soul.

Finally, I desire to leave behind me this Ebenezer of praise to the precious Savior and loving Master, as a testimony to my dear family and brethren all, that He is abundantly able and willing and faithful to save them to the uttermost - even from sin and death and the lowest hell-that come unto God by Him; yea, that the Lord Jesus, the faithful and almighty Shepherd, will never suffer one of His little ones to perish, but will in the end bring us all off more than conquerors over the last enemy, and raise us up to His blessed and holy Heaven.

DAVID BARTLEY.

Crawfordsville, Ind., September, 1896.

1-01 Chapter 1 Early Impressions

CHAPTER I.

EARLY IMPRESSIONS.

This is the forty-second return of my spiritual birthday, which gracious and blessed event was on the 25th of April, 1854; therefore, my mind is moved to begin a relation of my early religious life on this memorable anniversary of the happy day when my spirit first rejoiced in God my Savior, who then reconciled me to Himself in Jesus Christ, His beloved Son and my loving Redeemer.

The next day was my twenty-seventh natural birthday. Both events were in the state of Ohio, and near the beautiful Ohio River.

My beloved parents were Elder John P. and Charity Bartley, and I was their ninth child, and sixth son, born unto them the 26 th of April, 1826, in their farm home, about eighty miles above the city of Cincinnati. My father was then, and until his departure, a highly esteemed Primitive Baptist Elder or minister, and my amiable mother a faithful member. When I was about three years old, my parents moved, with their large family of children, to their new farm home in central Indiana, where I grew to manhood.

My beloved mother, so much like her name (Charity), was taken home to her Father in heaven, after a lingering illness of six months, when I was a little lad. In her sickness I was her daily waiting-boy, as I was too small to work on the farm; and I remember how kind and gentle, affectionate and patient she was in it all.

In my early boyhood days my budding mind was often seriously impressed with thoughts of my future destiny, of God and eternity; and I was wont to look up into the starry heavens with wonder and awe; for even then I felt that I was a stranger, in a strange and mysterious world.

One harvest time, at about the age of ten, I fell very sick, and seemed to be gliding down a steep and black mountain, with nothing beneath my feet but moving gravel, carrying me slowly down - down into a yawning abyss as black as night. This would startle and alarm me, for I feared it was an omen of my death, and that I must sink down into the bottomless pit. But as I grew on in years, I regarded death as far in the distance, and flattered myself that I should prepare to meet it and make my peace with God when I grew up and had enjoyed the pleasures of life. My idea was that I was quite a good, moral boy, having a good heart, and only a few outward sins, of small moment, which I could and should leave off before I came up with death, and then God would be pleased with me. As time went on I became somewhat religious - yet let no one else know it. With some small exceptions, I really thought that I was pleasing God. Being subject to occasional headaches, I thought it was a punishment for some little wrong; therefore, I would silently ask Him to let me know when I displeased Him by causing me to have a headache as a warning to me, so that I might do right.

Father taught us children to read the Bible of Sundays and nights, and he would read with us, when not away preaching. It was his wont, too, to read a chapter to the family and pray before retiring for the night. On those occasions he would talk reverently to us of God our Maker, of our accountability to Him, and of judgement. This deeply impressed my young mind, and imbued me with a feeling of awe and reverence for the Creator - a feeling of fear and dread, I may say, rather than of love. In this way, too, I became somewhat familiar with the letter of the Scriptures, for which I have ever felt grateful. I regarded my father as the best man on earth, and I also had a reverential regard for his fellow-preachers, who often visited our home, and many of them preached there. I believed then, as now, that they were the servants of the Lord. Moreover, from my Scripture reading, as well as from hearing their conversation and preaching I fully believed (as I thought) the doctrine they held, as to the way of salvation - that it is of the Lord and by His grace.

In my early youth my eldest brother, Mordecai, left the parental roof and settled in Jasper county, Illinois, and after some time he come near dying with typhus fever, but was raised up to health again. He then wrote our father a long letter, giving his deep religious experience and telling of the sweet forgiveness of his sins and the peace and joy of his heart, at a time when his young wife and others were weeping around his bed, and thought he was dying - telling, too, that he was then so happy in the Lord that he longed to depart and be with his blessed Savior.

In this letter he said to father: "Tell Carleton and Sophia, Universalism may do to live by, but it will not do to die by." (They were our eldest sister and her husband, Mr. Carleton Avery.) After receiving this letter, dear father called all the family in at night and read it aloud with deep and joyful emotion, for we had all sorrowfully expected to hear of Mordecai's death.

After retiring that night I could not sleep for some time, for I knew that the Lord had saved and blessed dear Mordecai; but I knew just as well that I had no Christian experience, and that the Lord only could make me a Christian. 0, how I wished I were saved, like Mordecai! But alas! I then felt that I was only a natural boy.

Let me here speak of my sainted sister. With father and mother, she was a member of the dear old home church Conn's Creek; also her husband. But he and his father's family had been carried off by the Universalists; and, after long persuasion, my sister also went with them. Still she and her husband would attend father's meetings, and then go home with him. Mr. Avery was a quiet man; but she became a zealous advocate of Universalism, and this had gone on a few years, until father was so tired with her that he seldom visited their home, wishing to avoid any further controversy with her.

As was usual, they were both at our house at the Baptist meeting time, with quite a company of Baptists. On Sunday morning all were having a good religious conversation in the large sitting-room. The boy David was in the rear listening, and near me were Carleton and Sophia. She was turning the pages of Wilson Thompson's hymn book, and her anxiety to talk attracted my attention. As soon as there was a pause in the conversation she spoke to father, who sat near, and read to him a verse on free grace. She then said: "Free, indeed! If it was free, it would be for everybody." For some minutes she went on with her argument, but no one replied, and she ceased. Then father, his voice tremulous with deep feeling, said: "Sophia, we all used to believe you was a subject of grace. I remember how you told your experience to the church, and I baptized you, and how you used to encourage me to go on and preach the doctrine of grace, even stronger that I did, telling me that it was the truth. But now, you have opposed it so long, I have become discouraged, and fear that we were all deceived in you, Sophia, and that you are a stranger to grace. You know that I have almost quit going to your house, for I have been so tried with your opposition and contention, that I have resolved to talk with you no more on the subject."

All were astonished at the touching effect of this, for she began and penitently said to father that she could not harden her heart and hold out against the truth any longer; for she loved them all

as the Lord's people, envied them their happiness, and wanted them to forgive her if they could. She said: "You know, papa, that I have gone to the meetings of the church all along, and have come home with you, for I could not resist the desire to go. And I have often told Mr. Avery that there is more love among the Old Baptists than any other people. it touches my heart to hear old father Jones there say: 'My dear brethren.1I have tried to believe Universalism, but I can't hold out any longer."

She was calm and tender while she made this good confession, but father and his dear brethren were in tears of joy. Although I was nothing more than a natural boy then, yet I shall never forget that very pathetic and touching scene. Mr. Avery sat mute and with a downcast look. He never returned to the church.

The church gladly restored my sister to fellowship, and she never again wavered in her faith, but was ever after a true and faithful member, until the God of all grace called her to the church on high, where I trust to see her again and with her wear the crown of life, which the Lord will give unto all that love Him.

1-02 Chapter 2 Found Guilty

CHAPTER II.

FOUND GUILTY.

The second Sunday of November, 1844, was the solemn day of my awakening and conviction. As was my custom, I had gone to the old church. The old hewed-log meeting house stood on an eminence near the present town of Saint Paul. I had walked there with a light heart, and life was very bright and inviting to my view. While I respected religious worship, my motive in going was to see my young friends and pass away the day pleasantly.

Sitting there alone in the front and middle tier of seats I was an indifferent listener to my father's sermon until near the close, when he quoted the words of Jesus: "The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner. Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken, but on whomsoever it shall fall it will grind him to powder." Father said that stone was Christ, and the sinner that fell upon Him was broken-hearted and broken off from the law; but if we were not built on Christ we were yet in our sins and enemies to God. A silent voice echoed the words in my inmost being: "You are not built upon Christ; you are yet in your sins and an enemy to God."

As by the vivid flash of the consuming lightning, I saw and felt and knew this awful truth, and wondered how I had been so blind that I had not seen it before. My sinful and guilty soul was fearfully exposed to my own view, and, as I thought, to the view of my father and all in the house. I sat there woefully smitten and blasted under the wrath of the just and holy law of God. My head sank upon my chest and the tears unbidden fell fast from my eyes. I wanted to arise and leave the house, but could not. My condemnation and the anguish of my spirit were fearful. I thought of the wicked company in the camp of the Israelites whom the earth swallowed up, and feared that I should thus sink down into perdition in the sight of all the congregation; for I felt that God was about to cut me off in my sins and that His just vengeance was burning against me. But He has ever been better than my fears.

The meeting ended and I went out with the rest, but could not raise my head nor speak to any one. As I stood there alone Miss Charlotte Avery laughingly said to a group of your friends: "Just look at David! I do believe he is trying to be religious." Many years afterward she told me that she remembered that event, and how she regretted speaking in jest.

That night I sought the woods, and for the first time in my young life knelt down in prayer, and with many tears implored God to have mercy upon me and pardon my sins. This was only the beginning of soul-trouble and sorrow; for many weeks and months slowly passed, until year after year was numbered, yet I was not pardoned and saved.

Not many days after the Lord thus opened my blind eyes I tried to persuade myself that it was all the work of Satan, and not the work of the Lord. Thus did I reason: "I am quite young and have not been a bad boy; therefore, why should I feel so deeply troubled and miserable? I will banish these gloomy forebodings, be cheerful and light-hearted, as before, and enjoy myself with my young associates again." For I thought that if this was the Lord's work of conversion, I should be made to feel better and that I was getting good instead of so wretched and bad. But I found it impossible for me to be as before that solemn Sunday; for I would forget my surroundings and my work, and would be aroused and startled by the involuntary outcry of my suffering heart: "Oh, my sins! My cruel sins!"

Finding that it was impossible for me to be mirthful and happy again, or to escape from my heavy burden of sin and guilt, I then besought the Lord more earnestly in prayer, going off to myself at every opportunity, both day and night, to pour out my sorrowful complaints in His ears, weepingly confess my sins, and implore his forgiveness and mercy. Yet all my effort brought no relief. As time thus went mournfully on, and God seemed not to hear me nor answer my heart-breaking cries for mercy, it occurred to me, when in the woods and on my knees, that I had not abased myself sufficiently before Him, and that if I would prostrate my body upon the earth He might hear my prayer and forgive my sins. Then I cast myself on the leaves, wept and prayed in the bitter anguish of my soul, but this gave me no relief. I could not see that in all my efforts I was still trusting in something that I must do, and expecting the God of salvation to reward me for it. How ignorant I was of grace! At times there would be some abatement of my deep trouble and mourning for a season, but only to return, and then I would feel worse, because I had been careless about my lost condition.

My father took the Signs of the Times, in which I often read of others finding pardon and peace, after a short time of sorrow and mourning, and this led me to think there was no forgiveness for me, or God would have heard my cries. Still, I could not help going off alone to weep, lament and pray, for this was the only way that I could give vent to the oppressive burden and sorrow of my heart. Sometimes I would take the Testament with me in the lonely woods on Sundays, and in deep sympathy sit and read the life of the innocent Son of God, and weep over His cruel persecutions and death, and I wondered why it should have been so.

At last it was awfully certain to me that I was hopelessly lost forever, and was a reprobate, for whom there was no salvation. So terrible was this conviction, I would wander away to myself, walk to and fro, wring my hands and lament aloud under the anguish of despair, fearing reason would forsake me. It seemed to me that my time was short, and

then to endless woe I must go. I would piteously plead with God to grant me a place there away from the wicked, where I should not hear His holy name blasphemed. For 0, 1 was sick of sin, and loathed it and myself! I wished that I had never been born, or had died in infancy. But all my regrets were unavailing, and it was impossible for me to escape from myself, or change my state.

I wish to go back to the autumn of 1846 and speak of a dangerous attack of a malignant fever, which came near carrying me off. The terror of my mind was so intense that I could not conceal it, and my father noticed it and kindly chided me, saying: "David, if you have to die, meet death with fortitude." This only added to my alarm and dismay, for it convinced me that father despaired of my recovery; and to die unprepared, sinful, guilty and condemned as I was, overwhelmed my soul in horror, and I could have no fortitude to meet a doom so appalling, for the black despair of my soul was unutterable, and piteous my terror. Yet I could not bear the thought of telling my father or any one of the awful state

I was in; for it seemed too horrible for anyone to know of it. one evening, during my convalescence, my older brother John and my step-sister Jane sat in the open door of my room and sang:

"Awaked by Sinai's awful sound,
My soul in guilt and thrall I found," etc.

This hymn seemed to seal my awful state, and I most keenly felt the fearful truth of the last lines of each stanza:

"The sinner must be born again,
Or sink to endless woe."

My soul shuddered at these solemn words, for I well knew that I was not born again, but my brother and sister knew nothing of the torture they innocently inflicted upon me.

My dear brother John peacefully departed in the triumphant faith of Jesus years ago. It was my sadly sweet privilege to preach on the occasion of his funeral, by his request. Before he fell asleep in Jesus, the resurrection and the life, he told our brother Joseph of his abiding faith and hope in the precious Christ, and that he was peacefully reconciled and willing to depart, only he regretted that his feeling of great unworthiness had hindered him from following his Lord and Master in gospel baptism, which he had long desired to do.

1-03 Chapter 3 Lost

CHAPTER III. LOST.

As I grew older and my mind was more matured, I became deeply exercised about the way of salvation, or how a man can be just with God. For I could see no possible way for the salvation of a guilty sinner, without dishonoring the law and justice of God-and this could not be, I knew. My mind most seriously dwelt upon this about three years, I think. Finally, as I could not understand how it was possible for me to be saved, I wrote a long letter to Elder Wilson Thompson, telling him my troubles (and I think this was the first time I ever told any one of my woeful condition) I told him that I well understood how God, my Creator, Lawgiver and Judge, was just in my everlasting condemnation, for I was sinful, wicked and guilty in His sight, and also in my own eyes, but how the same God, sitting in judgment upon my case and trying me by His holy law, which I had violated, could pardon and save me and yet remain just, was impossible for me to understand. Therefore, I asked him to tell me how this could be; for I had the greatest confidence in him. That God is holy, just and good, I believed, and His law also holy, therefore, I could not ask nor hope to be saved at the injury of justice.

Dear Elder Thompson sent me a long letter in answer, tenderly and ably setting forth the glorious mystery of man's redemption from the law of God and salvation from sin through the Man Jesus Christ, our Mediator. Years later I had this very instructive and comforting letter published in the Signs of the Times, for the benefit of others; but when I received and read it, over and over, the mystery was as dark to me as before; for I could not understand his letter, nor receive the least relief nor comfort from it. How was it possible for the life and death of the sinless Jesus to apply to me, or make me anything else than the vile sinner I was?

It was now more than ever apparent that mine was an outside and hopeless case, and my soul was filled with an awful sense of separation from the presence of God, and for me there was no forgiveness. How could He forgive me without injustice to Himself and dishonor to His law? The holy God would not do this great wrong, neither could I ask it.

Even then I believed the Lord had a people, whom He would save, thought I could not tell how; but I was not one of them, and for me there was no salvation, but I should die in my sins and be forever lost. Alas! I was already lost. I felt it and knew it. God would have forgiven my sins long before, if it had been possible, I verily believed. For since that long-ago when an awful conviction fell upon me as I sat under my father's ministry, my sin-burdened heart had sent up its piteous pleadings and cries to Him hundreds and hundreds of times, with many tears of sorrow and penitence, begging for mercy; but all was vain. Still, I could not help praying, neither could I cease mourning over my sins; for I must pour out the troubles of my lost soul in confessions, supplications and tears; and this was the only solace I had.

Having married in January, 1850, we were living in Jasper County, Illinois, and my father nearly all the family were there also. The crisis in my most forlorn life was drawing near and it seemed that I could not endure and live very much longer; for my awful state of sinful wretchedness was growing more and more grievous, so that it was ever uppermost in my heart and mind, and for me there was no peace. often in the late hours of night would I get up and go away in the darkness and weep and pray, not thinking that any one save God heard me. But I learned from my brother Mordecai long afterward that our father was so much troubled for me that he often arose and followed me out. But I was trying to hide all my troubles from him and all, and had no idea that he had heard my bitter mourning. It was after father's departure that my brother told me this.

One afternoon in April 1850, 1 was fearfully impressed that I must die before the sun went down; so I took Elder Thompson's letter and went out to try to find a ray of comfort from reading it again, but so awful was my gloom the lines became blurred and I could not read it. Believing that the hour of my doom had come, I felt that I must return to the house and confess to my wife that God was just in cutting me off and ask her not to murmur against Him. As I walked from the door to the bed on which she was asleep I felt that if I took another step toward her I should fall dead and this would greatly alarm her, therefore I turned and rested my arms and head on the mantle and groaned aloud. She quickly came to me and asked in alarm what was the matter. I told her that I was about to die, for I was too wicked a sinner for God to suffer to live any longer, and asked her to not complain against Him. She took my arm and asked me to sit down in the door with her, in view of the setting sun, and then tried to comfort me (for she was a Baptist and a Christian); but her words fell upon dear ears. While we sat there and she talked to me a sudden transition came over me - not for the better, but for the worse. The deep mourning and fear of impending death passed away in a moment, but instead of pardon and peace filling my heart with joy and gladness the hardened indifference of sullen despair and reprobation took possession of me, and I soon felt that I had passed into the hands of Satan, to be buffeted and tormented. Instantly the most horrid and blasphemous thoughts were injected into my mind with the rapidity of lightning, and I was powerless to prevent it. Not for the world would I have told my wife of the dreadful change in my state, and I could not say a word, but soon arose under the awful conviction that I was a vile and hardened reprobate, for whom there was no hope, nor pardon, nor mercy.

1-04 Chapter 4 Temptations

CHAPTER IV. TEMPTATIONS.

Now I went forth into life again, but worse than before - alas! Into a living torment, worse than death. True, I had ceased to weep and mourn and pray, but so far from being filled with love and peace and praise, my heart was hardened, my life was more bitter than death, and my lips would utter vile curses, for which I would immediately loathe myself.

The former years of deep mourning, heart-penitence and tearful supplications were blessed, when measured by the following months and years of horrible temptations and hardened despair. For now I was doubly sure God had cast me off forever, and that I was a Satan-abandoned reprobate, or given over to him to be tormented, "having no hope, and without God in the world." This was fearful.

Never before had I used profane words, but would have been shocked at the thought of profanity, but now the most horrid curses were darted through my mind, and when vexed, they would break out in words, in spite of my efforts to prevent it, and this caused me to hate myself and my wretched life. Oh! How could I be otherwise than most hateful in the sight of Him who is infinitely holy?

In the time of my mourning over my lost condition I had tried to solace myself with the fact that I had lived a moral life, but now I realized that my very nature was a fountain of iniquity, and this overwhelmed me in the deepest self -abhorrence. For I was made to understand that, by lineal descent from the corrupted head of the human race, there had come down to me a corrupt existence, as a poisoned fountain, so that in every fiber of my being I was vile.

Now all this so embittered my blighted life that I felt it would be better to die, because I was only adding sin to sin and making my deplorable case worse and worse; and my idea was that I should sin no more after being released from mortality; therefore, I was fearfully tempted to seek death. Indeed, on one occasion Satan drove me to the verge of self-destruction. I was plowing in a field of corn, and, becoming fretted at the horse, cursed it bitterly, and then the anguish of my spirit seemed unendurable. So, leaving the f ield, I entered a grove in a state of distraction, wanting to seek relief in some way; and there I verily felt the presence of Satan at my right hand, and that I was in his hateful power. I piteously asked him to release me from his horrid grasp, and audibly said: "Oh! have you not tormented me long enough?" I shudder to relate that the next moment I was impelled to cast myself on the ground, place the point of my dirk-knife over my heart, with my right hand on the handle, and the thought ran through my mind: "How quick I could end this miserable existence." But at that moment my hand became passive and powerless, as if arrested, and I said: "I cannot now, but I will soon." Never again was I so fearfully tempted. The Lord would suffer the tempter to go no further, but made a way for my escape.

As in the time of my mourning I sought to hide my troubles from those about me, so now I could not bear the thought of any one knowing what a profane and miserable reprobate I was; therefore, only when alone would I utter the tormenting thoughts of vile profanity which were darted through my tortured mind. So I was greatly mortified on learning from my wife that she had been shocked by overhearing me once. Yet I knew the Omniscient One saw me as I was. At this time my father preached in the settlement every alternate Sunday, and I usually attended. But I have a vivid remembrance of only one sermon. It was upon God's election and predestination of His people unto holiness and divine sonship. I felt within me a spirit of bitter irreconcilation and anger against this doctrine, and mentally saying, "I cannot and will not hear it," I left the house; for I felt that it was against me and cut me off. My intention was to go home, but while still within hearing of my father's voice my angry spirit gave way, a strong desire to return filled my heart. I halted and listened; I stood irresolute and trembling, but soon felt subdued, and contritely walked back in the house and heard the close of the sermon. From that time I felt this opposition and hatred to God's righteous will no more; for I knew that He was infinitely wise and holy. But this rebellion in my heart at that time prepared me to ever after bear with and pity those who may feel as I then did, rather than condemn them; for, as Jesus said on the cross, "They know not what they do." By nature we were all the children of wrath, and God only can reconcile the poor, rebellious sinner to Himself, and give him the spirit of peace and a heart to love Him. Jesus alone can say to the angry waves: "Peace, be still." At last those horrid and fiery temptations were taken away from me at times, and then my hard heart would become tender under a feeling sense of the goodness of God, and my despairing and bitter spirit would be filled with sweet contrition. At such times my soul began again to cry out to God in prayer, and tears once more came to my relief. This was as the breaking of day to my darkened, chilled and famishing soul, after a long and fearful night in a horrible wilderness. 0, the day-dawn and the day-start did indeed begin to arise in my hopeless heart! But, like the murmuring children of Israel, I wandered back and forth in the great and terrible wilderness a long time, until my soul was deeply humbled and shown that there was no goodness in me, before the merciful God of salvation delivered me out of the hand of my fierce tormentor, and brought me out of black despair into the light of His sweet and soul-cheering countenance, I can most truly say that my soul longed for His mercy, and I was led to feel that His favor was better than life. Therefore, with my whole heart I again sought the Lord in earnest, fervent, supplication and prayer.

1-05 Chapter 5 The Morning Cometh

CHAPTER V.

"THE MORNING COMETH."

At times, when riding alone over the beautiful, wild prairies of Illinois, and beholding the wonderful works of God, as evidences of His Being and power and goodness, my adoring spirit would implore Him aloud to be pleased to mercifully deliver me from the fowler's snare, from the power of the devil, and from the chains of darkness and bonds of sin and guilt, and give me a heart to love Him; that I might spend the rest of my time in His service and the service of His people. And, blessed be His holy name! the Lord out of His holy heaven heard my plaintive cries, pitied my forlorn state, my anguish and groans, rebuked my fierce accuser, and mercifully gave me freedom and rest from my long captivity and bitter temptations.

Yet, for a long time after this, I knew nothing of the way of life and salvation, for I was as ignorant and helpless as an infant, and indeed, very much like a passive child, conscious only that it exists. The years of my mourning and the time of my captivity to Satan had passed away, still I was not saved, and had no evidence that God loved me. It is true that I now had a feeling sense of His goodness to me as His unworthy creature, but that I either was or ever should be His child seemed impossible; for while He was infinitely holy, my past terrible experience had convinced me that I was woefully destitute of the least bit of righteousness or goodness. I felt the truth of the Scripture that says, "without holiness no man can see the Lord," therefore I could not hope to ever dwell in His holy presence. The time had been when I vainly hoped to become better by repentance and prayer and ceasing from sin, but all this had fearfully failed me and I had now ceased from my own works, yet was utterly empty, destitute and poor. This I knew and felt. How, then, could I hope to ever dwell with God in holy heaven? Although this was the all-absorbing desire of my heart and dearer than life, yet it seemed impossible to me.

At this time the awful sense and weight of sin and guilt and the fear of torment were gone from me, it is true, although I knew not when or why or how, and instead a spirit and feeling of quiet submission to the will of God filled my heart. If saved, I knew not how; if lost, I felt that it was just. Although I had no hope, yet I was not in the black despair of the fearful past. I may truly say, I wanted to sin no more. My sincere desire was to please and serve God, but I knew not how to do this; neither had I any power. All was mysterious to me, and even myself was a mystery.

With earnest wish to honor God and be useful to my fellow-creatures while I lived, I was led to engage in the study of medicine, and had finally entered a medical college in Cincinnati. While there I wrote a letter to my widowed sister Sophia, relating to her some of my religious exercises and troubles. She read my letter to her pastor, Elder McQueary of the Conn's Creek church, and each of them wrote to me. On our way to the college Tuesday morning, April 25, 1854, 1 and my room-mates called at the postoffice and these letters were received. I felt that I must return to my room and read them alone, and sent in my excuse to the faculty by the others. The letters revived all my past experience and were read with many tears. Elder McQueary advised and exhorted me in a fatherly way to come home to the church, do my duty and let it have my usefulness. He said that I was trying to place my mind and studies upon a vocation that the Lord had not intended me for, but He had another work for me. This came as a prophecy to me, and it deeply affected me; for I was ardently devoted to the healing art, and could not bear the thought of giving it up. I wept and prayed over these things until noon. The students urged me to return with them after dinner, but again sent in my excuse, for I felt that I must be alone and commune with God. So I turned to the Bible for guidance and help; then knelt in earnest and tearful prayer to Him, beseeching Him to teach me His will. I felt to lie passive in His arms, and was willing to be anything or nothing, just as He would have me. There was nothing else I so desired as that I might be saved, and then be in the church with the Lord's blessed people. Long had I believed that He had a saved people and church in the world; but alas! I also felt that I was far, far away from them, as one alone on earth - an outcast.

So, after much heart-searching, I felt that it was impossible for me to go to the church and ask it to receive and baptize me. Jesus said: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." This shut me out, because I was not a believer in the Lord Jesus; for I was as ignorant of the way of salvation through Him as the benighted heathen, and did not understand how I could be saved. Therefore, along in the afternoon, I took up a pen to write to Elder McQueary to tell him that I could not comply with his kind request, and why I could not, although it would be to me the most blessed and happy privilege if I were entitled to it; but I had learned from the blessed Bible that believers in Jesus only had the divine right to this sacred ordinance and membership in the gospel church, and that it was not given me to believe in Him.

1-06 Chapter 6 Saved

CHAPTER VI. SAVED!

0, how shall I fully set forth the wonderful revelation that the loving Father was pleased to give me just then? For when I was about to write that I could not go to the church because I was not a believer, that moment I did believe! Yea, Jesus was revealed to me, the Lord, MY righteousness! And with the eyes of my understanding I beheld Him in His holiness and exaltation as my altogether lovely Savior! Sweet peace then filled my entire being and my heart went out in love to God, my adored Father in heaven! 0, it was so unlooked for, and so wondrous strange and new and heavenly! God, in Christ, had reconciled me to Himself, and MY peace was perfect. Unto me the Sun of righteousness had risen with healing in His wings of life and light, and the long night of darkness was past. His perfect love had cast out all fear. The chief One among ten thousand was my Beloved, and He had loved me and owned me as His. How blessed! Jesus had died on the cross for me, and now He lived in me and I in Him. The salvation that was of Him was complete and glorious.

My loving heart at once went out to His brethren, the dear children of God, and the church that Christ loved and gave Himself for. And so I soon went on with my letter and told my now dear Brother McQueary of this divinely-given faith in Jesus, and that in Him I was justified and saved, for He had covered me with the robe of righteousness and clothed me with the garments of salvation. So I told him that I was now more than willing to comply with his kind appeal to come home to the church, and would be at the May meeting, if it was the will of the Lord. Then I also wrote to my sister and wife of my sweet peace and joy in the Lord, who had saved me from the horrible pit of everlasting destruction. I now felt as a little child in my Father's kingdom, and that it would be my delight to do His righteous will. To Elder McQueary I said, "I am humble enough and willing to be anything or nothing, just as God will."

The ensuing Thursday night, as we were all silently occupied with our class work, Dr. Bland (a student came in with an old man, and to my glad surprise Elder McQueary stood before me! It had been years since I had seen him - and, 0, what years they had been to me! He was on his way to a church some miles from the city, and had sought me out. The next morning we found the business place of Brother Howell, and in the evening we rode out home with him to attend the meetings on Saturday and Sunday. As Elder McQueary had not received my letter, I told him of my happy faith in Jesus, and he rejoiced with me.

This was the first time I had been in the country since spring had adorned nature in beauty and loveliness, and when I walked out the next morning at sunrise it seemed that I was in a bright, new world of charming beauty and praise, and my spirit was in a transport of delight and love. Under the preaching that day and the next, my faith in the Lord Jesus was made to abound, and my heart was full of comfort, for it was the first time I had ever known the joyful sound of the gospel, the glad tidings of salvation.

But the dear old Elder cast a shadow over the sunlight of my soul by saying to a company of Baptists at Brother Howell1s: "I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, yet mark my words, the next time you hear of our young friend David he will be preaching the gospel."

When I returned to the college on Monday and tried to resume my studies it soon became evident to me that my mind and heart and interests were no longer there; that "old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." In vain I tried to keep up with my class as before, for I could not. The Bible had now become my text-book and the word of God was my meat and drink. So, after a few days' trial and failure, I gave it up and returned home to Illinois. My controlling desire now was to go home to my friends and tell them what great things the Lord had done for me, and how He had had compassion on me when I was ready to perish. But on account of the overflowed Wabash river we could not go until late in May, when I and my wife and little daughter Mary arrived at the home of my sister Sophia, near the dear old home of our departed parents and the church that they loved so well, which our father served as minister many, many years.

Elder McQueary came to see us soon; and he arranged to take me with him in his carriage to the Fayette church the first Saturday in June to attend the ordination of four ministers - brethren Wright, Millspaugh, Carter and Conner. At that wonderful meeting I again met the eminent Elders Wilson Thompson, Benjamin Jones and others, my father's companions in the gospel, whom I had known in my boyhood. The meeting was large and was held in a pleasant grove or woodland. One after another the young preachers were called to go upon the platform and relate their religious experience, ministerial call, and views of the doctrine of the gospel. In doing so Brother Millspaugh (long since called to his blessed reward) , who was the third speaker, said that he had been much perplexed about faith, as in some sense a condition, or having saving merit; and, notwithstanding the brethren had labored to get him to see it more clearly, as the gift of God and a fruit of the Spirit, and as embracing Christ as our only righteousness and salvation ' in whom faith found all its merit and glory; yet, so dull was his mind and hard his heart, he had told them that, unless it pleased the Lord to open it to his understanding, he could not see it as they did. When he said this, I at once felt that he had expressed the state of my own mind relative to the mysterious union between Christ and the church - about which Elder McQueary had talked much to me since we had been together. I not only had no understanding of it, but no special interest in it; but now my mind was so impressed with the earnest desire to understand this sacred union that I could not think of anything else and my heart was burdened with the unspoken prayer that the Lord might show it to me. While the last of the four, Brother Harvey Wright, talked to us, it was given me to see this blessed union between the heavenly Bridegroom and His bride - Jesus the Holy Head and the church His redeemed and sanctified body. My spirit now rejoiced in this enrapturing covenant-union, which had its rise in the everlasting love of God, and the dear Redeemer was more precious to me than ever.

The large Council of Elders and Deacons soon withdrew some distance, leaving a large congregation at the stand. My soul was so filled with the precious name of Jesus and my hear so burned with love to Him that I wondered why some one was not left at the stand to talk to us of Him; and it was with difficulty that I resisted the strong impression to go upon the stand and talk to them of the preciousness and glory of the beloved Son of God as our Savior; but as I was not a member of the church and a youthful stranger I thought it would not do to yield, and fearing to trust myself there, I walked away and sat down on a log, my heart feeling as if it would almost burst with its pent up emotions. Presently a still voice in my soul said: "Go, preach Jesus and His righteousness." This word was with such power that I could no longer remain silent, so I arose and went up a little valley, behind a hill, where I praised the Lord aloud, and the green trees and blue skies seemed to help me praise Him.

At sunrise the next morning I walked down to the river (Whitewater) at Brother Millspaugh's and stood in sweet awe beholding the beauties and wonders of nature, when the words of Paul came into my soul with power: "Unto me who am less than the least of all saints is this grace given that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ."

1-07 Chapter 7 Added To The Church

CHAPTER VII.

ADDED TO THE CHURCH.

The second Saturday in June, 1854, 1 was gathered with the Conn's Creek Regular Baptist church in a full meeting house. When Elder McQueary arose in the pulpit to preach, old Mr. Jacob Creek stood on the floor just in front of him, because he was hard of hearing, and while the minister preached the gospel in power the tears flowed from the aged man's eyes, the eloquent witnesses of his faith in Jesus and His power to save. He had been a near neighbor to us in my boyhood, an honest farmer, believing in conditional salvation. However, disliking the ways in the Methodist class he quit them, then went to hear my father preach for a time, but quit going. Not long af ter he came to our house one noontime, while we sat in the shade resting from the farm-work, and said to father: "Mr. Bartley, you know that I went to hear you preach for some time, but have quit going," "Yes," said father. "Well, I have come to tell you why I don't go to hear you any more, f or I f eared you might think it was because I have something against you as a neighbor, but I have not, for I like you as a neighbor and respect you." Father said: "No, I did not think so, Mr. Creek, f or we have always been good neighbors." He then said: "The fact is, Mr. Bartley, your preaching does sap my foundation, and that is the reason why I do not go to hear you preach any more." At that time I was a light-hearted boy and felt no interest in gospel preaching, which this neighbor thought was against him and cut him off from his foundation. My father was now called home, and after many years I thus met his old neighbor again; but oh how changed we both were! For now we both stood on Christ, the sure foundation, and rejoiced together in the same glad tidings of salvation that my father had faithfully preached.

After the sermon it was my long-wished-for privilege to stand in front of the pulpit and freely tell the church of all the way I had been led since; that Sunday in November, 1844 when it was shown me that I was not built on Christ, until the present happy day, and how my heart was drawn to them in love. My tears flowed while I talked, and I think all in the house were in tears, but they were tears of comfort. When I sat down a dear sister told the church her experience of saving grace; then we were both gladly and warmly received into the congregation of the Lord, to be baptized the next day. With my folks and others I went to Brother McQueary's for the night; and before I sat down to the sumptuous dinner my soul was overwhelmed in darkness, doubts and fears, for the first time since that blessed revelation of Jesus to me in the upper room in Cincinnati, and I could not eat. I asked dear old Brother Caudell, a beloved companion of my father and a pillar in the church, to walk out with me, and we sat on the grass in the shade of a tree while I told him how greatly I feared that I had been deceived, and deceived the church; therefore I entreated him to lay my case before the church on Sunday and ask it to release me, because I was not f it or worthy to be baptized. I said that if I had such an experience as Sister Harlow told the church that day I would feel satisfied. He tried to relieve me, but my case seemed to become worse, and I felt that my situation was desperate, for he refused to submit my case to the church for reconsideration, assuring me that they were all satisfied and felt that I had done only my duty. We both wept and talked, but my deep gloom and trouble remained. On Sunday the congregation was large and the preaching was in power, but for me there was no comfort, for my darkness was fearful, and I wondered why I had been so presumptuous as to offer myself to the church - a step which I had no power to undo. When the people all started to the river, a half-mile northward, I fell behind, turned aside and knelt behind a tree, entreating the Lord to show me what He would have me to do, and not suffer me to dishonor Him, but received no relief. Oh! I felt that this was the worst thing I had ever done, for it would be an unpardonable sin and an awful mockery for me to be baptized, feeling that I had no evidence of the Lord's approval, or that I was a proper subject, and I feared that I should feel condemned forever after. But, alas! It was too late - there was no help for me and I must submit - like one going to his execution. Having asked Elder McQueary some days before to sing at the river -

"Jesus, and shall it ever be,
A mortal man ashamed of Thee,"

I arrived too late to hear this touching hymn, and he was praying. I stood trembling and my spirit fervently asked the Lord to give me the evidence in my baptism, if, indeed, it was well-pleasing to Him. The venerable minister led me out quite a distance in the beautiful river (Flatrock), then softly laid me under the water in this solemn burial * That moment all darkness, doubt and fear fled! Heavenly light and peace filled my soul, and it was the most blessed place I had ever been in! It was where Jesus Himself was laid, and when He arose heaven was opened unto Him! It was even so with me, for my whole being was full of divine light, love and gladness, and never had I known such perfect happiness as was mine when I walked up out of the water. The company of saints, too, looked so lovely and happy and the glory of God shone upon us all. I now beheld such an infinite fullness of salvation in the most blessed and lovely Savior that I wanted to speak forth His praises aloud, and could scarcely hold my peace, but as the sister was to be baptized, I did. 0, sacred, blessed baptism! Divine emblem of the resurrection of the holy Son of God and of all the redeemed children of God!

Dear Brother Caudell went with me to assist in changing my clothing, and as we went he said: "Brother David, didn't you feel happy as you came up out of the water?" I answered: "Yes, Brother Caudell; very happy." He rejoined, "I thought so, for I never saw as happy a look as there was on your face. Didn't you feel like talking?" "Yes, Brother Caudell, I could hardly keep from talking." "I thought so," he gladly responded. Having witnessed my awful gloom and distress, he now rejoiced with me in my happiness in the Lord. Surely this was a sweet foretaste of the bright resurrection -glory and the joy of heaven, when death shall be swallowed up in victory.

1-08 Chapter 8 What Is My Duty?

CHAPTER VIII.

WHAT IS MY DUTY?

Now my troubles, conflicts and unrest seemed to be at an end, and as we rode home to my sister's my peace was perfect; but when nearly there a still voice within me said: "Now you are in the church, what is your duty; for every one has a place to fill, and what is your place?" This checked my restful peace; but I quickly resolved that as soon as I entered the house I would take up the Bible, close my eyes, and ask the Lord to direct me to a Scripture that would show me the place He designed me to fill in the church. But it opened between the Old Testament and the New, and I felt rebuked, for an inward voice said: "See how forward and presumptuous you are in thinking the Lord had anything for you to do!" Yet I was impressed with a desire to know the Lord's will; so I turned to the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles and read it, and on to the fifth, yearning for something to relieve and comfort me; but nothing had any interest for me until I read verse 20: "Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life." I could read no farther, nor take my eyes from these words of solemn command, but read them over and over; for it seemed that they were spoken to me, and they deeply affected me. Closing the book, I left the house and walked the yard, mentally saying: "This was spoken by the angel of the Lord to the apostles Peter and John, not to you, and why should you be so exercised about it?" But I could not prevent the angelic words from reverberating with power through the chambers of my soul: "Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life." This was the beginning of a new experience and trial, and it came upon me so unlooked for; for I had expected to find the dear church a home of only tranquility, peace and rest of soul. How little did I know of the way!

The next day I walked on an errand beyond Brother McQueary's and called in to see him on the way and while there a rain set in. He took advantage of this and asked me if I was not exercised about speaking in the name of the Lord. I tried to evade an answer, but he told me that as I was now a member of the church he had a right to ask me and said it was my duty to tell him, either yes or no. So I briefly told him of MY exercises on the day of the ordination and the day of my baptism. As I returned from the errand, again I called in to see him, asked him to walk out with me and entreated him with tears to say nothing of what he had required me to tell him, but he said he should make no rash promise and tried to comfort me. Supper being ready, he said: "Brother Bartley, ask a blessing," and I tried to do so, but the effort spoiled my appetite for I felt that he and the family were ashamed of me as I was of myself. As soon as I was on my way home the tempter said to me: "Now look at yourself! You think about preaching, yet you can't ask a blessing without feeling ashamed of it!" As I plodded along, night soon set in, but the darkness within was greater and I was very wretched. For on the way home the conviction took possession of my mind that the church would give me license to preach at the next meeting, but my feeling was that I could not submit to this. That night I slept but little. The next two days my conflict and trouble seemed greater than I had ever endured, and I felt that I could scarcely live without relief. I wandered about day and night - tried to search the Scriptures - piteously tried to implore the Lord for relief and release, but my cries were shut out, because my spirit was rebellious against the will of the Lord and the church. For while I fully believed the church would license me to preach the gospel at the next conference meeting, my mind was, that rather than submit, I would prefer exclusion; therefore I implored the Lord to release me from such an ordeal, relieve me from my crushing trouble and give me peace again. For not only did I feel utterly unfit and insufficient for the gospel ministry, but I also greatly desired to be a successful physician. During this fearful mental conflict I vowed that I would die before I would try to preach, but instantly a silent voice within said: "You shall have to suffer in this body for preaching this doctrine."

On Wednesday afternoon, while lying under a shade tree in the yard, my wife sat down by me and asked me what was the matter. I told her that the church would license me to preach at the next meeting, and I felt as if it would almost kill me. She tried to relieve my distressed mind by assuring me that the church would not do so premature a thing, but I told her it would, and asked her if she thought I could preach. She said, "No, I don't." At this I wept aloud, for I could no longer control the storm of conflicting emotions, yet I felt that she was right, and that I could not preach. But why, then, must I be so troubled about preaching?

That night I went from place to place, first in the orchard, then away in the woods, seeking access to the Lord in prayer, and fearing some one might hear me, but no relief could I find, for my prayers were shut out. The trouble was, I wanted relief in my own way, and my stubborn will would not yield. At last, almost exhausted, I came to an inviting log and sat down to rest.

Just then a new train of thought and feeling possessed me, and my unyielding will gave way to a meek spirit of peace and childlike trust, and the fierce struggle ceased! The dear Master so gently gave me to see that the church was His and that my rebellion against it was against Him. Now I was overcome in sweet contrition, and every thought was brought into obedience unto Christ. I then felt a true spirit of prayer, and kneeling, realized blessed access in the presence of the Lord, for He was very near and precious. In implicit trust I asked him to bless the church with His mind and wisdom, guide it to do that which would honor and please Him, and give me grace and strength to obediently do His will. It was now late in the night, and my natural strength was nearly exhausted, but I went home so changed and peaceful, retired and slept, and my sleep was as when Jacob said, "The Lord is in this place!" For in a heavenly vision the lovely Savior stood over me in heavenly radiance, and in a moment we were standing before the congregation at the church. He stood at my right hand, placed the open New Testament in my hands, and enabled me to minister to the comfort of His people. While I spoke their faces expressed sympathy, gladness and love. He then gave me to understand that thus it should be and I should go and preach the gospel of salvation; that while I should meet with trials, He would be with me and put it into the hearts of His people to sympathize with and encourage me. That the Lord Jesus gave me this true vision I have had abundant assurance through my ministry of forty-two years.

At the next church-meeting, the second Saturday in July, 1854, the church voted that I should relate my exercises about peaking in the name of the Lord, and the pastor called me forward. I complied, but sat down and wept. Then, with some composure, I related what I have here written. Dear old Elder Nay was present, and on being asked for counsel, said he could witness to what I had related, and that he believed the Lord had called me to preach the gospel. Elder McQueary asked me one question: "Brother Bartley, have you ever seen anything in yourself that looked like a preacher or made you think you could preach?" The answer was in my heart and I said : "No, Brother McQueary, unless the Lord enables me, I know I cannot preach." With a smile he replied: "Well, Brother Bartley, we Old Baptists are a strange sort of people, for if we have a man among us that thinks he can preach and must preach, we will not let him preach; but if we have one who feels that he can't preach we make him preach." 1), The church then liberated me to preach the gospel wherever God in His providence might cast my lot.

At the close of the Sunday meeting the pastor said: "Brethren Bartley and Jackson, two young preachers, will preach here next Sunday at 4 o'clock." This was a great shock to me, for no one had spoken to me about it and it troubled me all the week. But as brother Jackson had been speaking in the church a few months I consoled myself with the thought that I should refuse, and he would speak to the people. At eleven the next Sunday we all went to hear Brother McQueary preach at a meeting house near us, and some of the brethren went home with us for dinner. To my dismay they told me Brother Jackson had gone on a visit to another church. At first I felt that I could not go to the appointment, but they kindly urged me, saying that it would hurt Brother McQueary's feelings if I refused, yet they expressed much sympathy for me. At last they got me started, but we arrived an hour late, and then I went away and tried to pray before going in the well-filled house. Brother McQueary told me to go in the pulpit as the people were waiting. I begged him to preach and let me off, but he refused. Taking me up with him he handed me the Bible and told me to select a text while he introduced for me. He was a man of God, full of earnest and deep feeling, though stern, and he fervently prayed for me. Then I arose and read: "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting Joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." Isa. xxxv: 10. This text, so full of the gospel, had been in my mind all the week, and my thought was that if I had to speak to the congregation I might say something upon it in an experimental way, for its meaning seemed very clear.

First, I stated that the appointment was made without my knowledge; that I feared it was not of the Lord, but fleshly and wrong; that if it was not according to His will for me to speak in His name my desire was the He might seal my lips and not suffer me to his honor His holy name before them; but, if it was His will, I believed He could enable even me to speak in His praise.

Turning to the subject to begin, I again read, "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return," and was about to tell the meaning of "ransomed," when, as quick as one can put out a light, my mind was in awful darkness, and I could not utter a word, but stood dumb and confounded before all! Horror and shame overwhelmed me, for I felt that the Lord had rebuked me before them, according to my word. Oh, why had I thus presumptuously gone into that sacred place, and made myself such a fearful example and warning? I felt that death would have been preferable to this, and the intensity of my dismay was so crushing it seemed that I must fall, unless I sat down, for it appeared a long time that I had stood there in that mute agony, knowing that all eyes were upon me, beholding how the Lord had condemned me before them. I turned my head over my shoulder, to see the seat and drop back on it - when, lo! The horror of darkness fled, and the Sun of righteousness arose unto me with healing in His wings. In an instant all was light and peace in my soul, my thoughts were liberated, my tongue was loosened, and I was enabled to speak about an hour upon the text with freedom and comfort. And as I entered into the divine meaning and blessedness of my text, tears filled the eyes of the brethren, expressive of their relief and comfort of heart, for they had seen my distress, and had felt and prayed for me, as the pastor told me. When I sat down, it was with the quiet peace of a comforted child, and a trusting faith that the Lord was with me.

Looking back through my extended ministerial life and travels and labors, from now until that first sermon, I may truly say that it was a faithful earnest and pattern of all the way in which the Lord has led me, in fulfillment of the heavenly vision He gave me. For in waiting on my ministering, in a large measure light had been sown to me in darkness, and in me the words of the Lord Jesus have been fulfilled: "What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light." This has had the effect to teach me my entire insufficiency for so great a work and to abase me before the Most High, that I might have a humble spirit. Indeed, from the time I knew the altogether lovely One as my Savior I have earnestly desired to be meek and lowly in heart as He is, and He has given me this desire through many afflictions and trials, which have bowed my spirit in deep sorrow and caused me to cry unto the Lord for grace to help me in time of need.

1-09 Chapter 9 Ordained

CHAPTER IX. ORDAINED.

In September, 1854, we left the kind home of my dear sister and returned to Jasper county, Illinois, where my father had been called to put off his Christian armor about three years before. My membership remained in the old home church by my request. Perhaps twenty or more brethren and sisters were holding church letters, who had emigrated from Indiana, and they would importune me to speak at their frequent meetings, but I refused because of my long distance from the watch care of the home church. Moreover, my fleshly mind again resisted my impressions to speak to the people in the name of the Lord, and I had stoutly resolved to resume the study of medicine. For I had persuaded myself that the Lord had not called me to preach the gospel, so incompetent and unfit was I, and so I had laid aside the Bible and taken up the medical text-books.

Thus time went on, and I seemed to be making satisfactory progress in the way of my own choosing and flattered myself that I should succeed. I had reasoned with myself that it was only a waste of time for me to study the Scriptures with the idea of expounding them, because I could do no good in the ministry, while as a physician I might be useful. I did not see then how ambitious, self-willed and stubborn I was, nor how short-sighted and faithless.

But one evening, near the approach of winter, I took up of f the center table the medical book which I was so perseveringly reviewing and turned to sit down, when my eyes were riveted to the Bible on the table; conflicting emotions filled my heart and I stood irresolute and trembling; but the conflict was short, for the power of the Word asserted itself in my heart, and as a subdued child I laid down the coveted book, took up the dear Book of books, which was the more precious now for having been neglected. Thus ended my medical reading for all that winter, for the Bible had become my dearest text-book. So I learned, with Jeremiah, "that the way of man is not in himself."

The spring of 1855, it was in the hearts of ten of us to send to our home churches in Indiana, and ask them to send their Elders and Deacons to constitute us into a gospel church. Accordingly, a goodly number of our beloved ministers and brethren came, among them Elders Asa Nay and Ransom Riggs, and the Conn's Creek church sent to me by her messengers a letter in full fellowship to enter into the new church. But dear Elder McQueary came not with them, for the Lord had taken him to Himself.

On Saturday, May 18, 1855, we submitted to the faithful Council our church letters, articles and rules, and they cordially received us as a gospel church, known as "The History Creek Regular Baptist Church of Christ," and gave us the right hand of fellowship.

Of those ten, seven have fallen asleep, and of all the dear messengers of the churches who thus received and comforted us, not one remains. They had been the beloved companions of my father, and with him they rest from their labors; and, also, nearly all the ministers whom I knew in the beginning of my ministry.

My trials in the ministry now began anew and in earnest, of which I cannot speak at length, only to say that they were measured to me in the infinite wisdom and mercy of God, and that trials and afflictions are the common heritage of the Lord's servants. "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." This is the Divine plan and end, and it is to the glory of God.

The first year of the infant church was a time of severe trial, and no one was added to it. But after the night of weeping, then cometh joy in the morning; for the Master came and said: "Peace be unto you." He gave us joy and gladness, and greatly revived and built us up in the power and comfort of His grace. The second year fifteen, I think, were added by baptism and numbers by letter; the presence of the Lord was often felt in our worshiping assemblies, and we grew in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior.

The brethren now became urgent for my ordination to the full work of the gospel ministry, but I felt that it would be premature, and plead with them against it. For I could not yet feel satisfied that the Lord had put me in the ministry, and it seemed too great and sacred a work for me; therefore I looked for the time to come in the near future when I could and should quit trying to preach. Moreover, I feared the brethren wanted me ordained as a matter of convenience, as we had to frequently send to Indiana for a minister to come and baptize our added members; but they kindly assured me that they were satisfied the Lord had called me to the work and felt it their duty to have me ordained to it, or set apart. And so, with fear and trembling, I yielded; for I could not obstinately resist the church. Accordingly, nearly the same Elders and Deacons who pronounced us the church of Christ again convened in solemn Council with the church the second day of January 1857, and by laying on of hands and prayer ordained me to the full work of the gospel ministry. The ministers officiating were Elders Riggs, Nay, and Jackson, who had himself been recently ordained.

The Lord's good work of grace still went on in our midst, and there was much comfort in the church; for believers in Jesus were frequently baptized and added to it. Many of them were heads of families, influential and worthy; some of their children were also gathered into the fold. My eldest brother, Mordecai, was received on his letter from our old home church (Conn's Creek), and his wife by baptism. The wives of my brothers John, Amos, Johnson and Joseph, and my last named three brothers were all baptized and added to our company in process of time. At the time of my ordination dear Elder Nay baptized sisters Sophia Broderick and Rachel Bartley (John's wife) and our brother Joseph. The thermometer was below zero, and after cutting away the thick ice the water had to be stirred to prevent its freezing; yet there was no harm. This showed strong faith and warm hearts. Later on it was my privilege to baptize my brother John's eldest son, James, the second wife of my brother Amos, my brother Joseph's wife and her sister, and a sister of my brother Mordecai's wife, besides many other. Still later I baptized for this church also the eldest son of my brother Johnson, Marion and his wife and her two sisters.

Many, very many, of all those loved ones have gone on before me to appear with Christ in His glory at the resurrection of all the redeemed of which gospel baptism is the type and pledge - when death shall be swallowed up in victory. of my brothers and their wives, Joseph and wife and the wife of Amos only are left, and my nephew, Jimmy, long since fell asleep in Jesus - two, also, of my own little family of four; first our sunny baby boy, when nearly twenty-one, Willett Tyler, and two days later his mother. That they all died in the Lord and live with Him, I have the comforting assurance; and, in the same cemetery with my father, they rest his brother, Gilbert, asked him: "Tyler, do you feel that Jesus is with from their labors. A little while before our noble son closed his eyes you?" He raised and clapped his hands, a heavenly smile lighted up his face and he said, "Yes, and that is why I am so happy."

1-10 Chapter 10 Fleeing, Jonah-Like

CHAPTER X.

FLEEING, JONAH-LIKE.

It has been said that we are creatures of circumstances; and the force of circumstances, with our environments, certainly do operate upon us as causes and influences in shaping and directing our course in life.

Having spent my means as a medical student, the necessities of my family pressed upon me, and receiving no aid from the brethren and churches to whom I ministered in the gospel, my lot seemed trying and hard. Thus burdened and discouraged, I was tempted to think that if the Lord had really put me in the ministry and made it my work to preach the gospel of the kingdom, He would also have put it in the hearts and minds of His loving disciples, the children of the kingdom, to loosen my hands, by helping me bear this heavy double burden, and that my circumstances would not be so bitterly trying. Trying to make my dubious way under such clouds and darkness, fears and temptations, it often seemed to me scarcely possible that the Lord had put me in the ministry; therefore, much of the time I was strongly tempted to turn away from it and quit trying to preach. In my spirit I chafed and suffered, repined and mourned, and my heart was bowed under its heavy cross. I was doing some practice, but not enough to keep us out of debt and comfortable; for the country was generally healthy and the practice was divided among several doctors. The abiding conviction was in my mind that the brethren should cheerfully supply the lack in our necessitates out of their abundance; but they did not seem to feel so, and I was too timid and cowardly to instruct them in this duty of mutual ministration and service; therefore I was really as remiss as were they. But all my life I had heard our ministers preach against the bishop or shepherd being supported by the flock, and I knew that our people were prejudiced against helping their preachers. Therefore I kept all these things to myself and pondered them in my heart, and my soul was pressed down as a cart beneath its sheaves.

It is due that I say of the brethren of the two churches I served, one about forty miles west of us, that they manifested warm appreciation of my ministry in every way, except this failure to minister to my necessities - and I was at fault in this, in not having the faithful courage to teach them the gospel rule: "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." I should have impressed this "reasonable service" upon them, not more for my sake than theirs, but especially in faithfulness and honor to the Lord, who servants we are. But I was young and inexperienced in the full work of the gospel minister, and there was no father in the ministry near to counsel and help me.

The conflict between preaching and practicing medicine would rise again and again, and truly necessity was laid upon me to do both.

Yet I felt that I should finally have to give up one or the other. It had seemed to me that if I could go away from the Baptists I might then lay down the ministry, devote myself to the sick and get along better, and I would occasionally talk to some of the home brethren about doing this, but they would laugh at me, and had no idea that I would do such a thing.

Well, after struggling on thus in this unequal warfare about five years, from my ordination until the fall of 1861, the Lord then gave me up to have my own way, and I went away into the hospital service of the federal army as a nurse.

The Sunday before I started we had a blessed meeting, and we all felt the comforting presence of the Lord, causing our hearts to overflow in love to one another, and I felt that, it would be so hard for me to leave all that were dear and beloved, I would draw back if I had not already enlisted. For I was leaving the church without a preacher, a flock without a shepherd, and some of the aged sisters wept when I left them.

Before we had been in camp two months a dear neighbor youth died in the hospital, and I was detailed to take him home for burial. After my arrival home his family (who were Baptists) sent a request for me to preach in our church house at his funeral. This I could not refuse, although it seemed impossible; for the spirit of the ministry was gone from me and I had become as indifferent as any natural person. when the time came, as I walked down the aisle of the crowded house, shaking hands with my neighbors and brethren on the right and left, I was shocked to find that my love for the brethren had grown cold, so that I felt only the same natural regard for them as for the other friends. This made me feel that I was not a Christian, after all, and that it would be hypocrisy and a mockery for me to go in the pulpit and try to preach. But on reaching the front, dear old Brother Jerry Ferguson grasped my hand and wept. My cold indifference was gone the next moment, the love of the brethren rushed in and filled my whole being and I dropped in a seat, overcome with emotion. It was a relief and comfort to me then to preach, and the Lord gave me liberty.

But alas! How could I ever bear to go away and leave the dear children of God again? For, with a poet, I now deeply felt:

"Here my best friends, my kindred, dwell;
Here Christ, my Savior, reigns."

The next day I had to leave for Camp Butler, and sorrowful indeed was the parting with my little family and all. At midnight, I re-entered the hospital, crushed and broken in spirit, and from that time on I was a suffering invalid - sick in mind and body. A complication of ailments set in and became chronic, induced by exposure and soul-trouble. For now I sorrowfully felt that I had fled from the commandment of the Lord, as much so as did Jonah, and had rebelled against Him and grieved the Holy Spirit. The loving Son of God, the Father, had meekly and obediently endured all things and laid down His righteous life for me; but now because of some sacrifices and trials, I had forsaken Him and His blessed service, in the delusive hope of making the way better and my cross lighter. How terribly deceived by Satan and the flesh! Instead, my troubles were dreadfully increased; for I now endured the hidings of the Lord's countenance, and felt that I had sinned against light and knowledge and forsaken my own mercies.

If the South had rebelled against earthly authority, I against Heaven. I had tried to satisfy my conscience with the plea that it was a worthy cause and good work for me to enter the army to minister to the suffering soldiers; but He who saved me from perdition had said to me: "Go, preach Jesus and His righteousness;" therefore, I was disobedient, and had denied my Redeemer and Lord. Seeing and feeling this, I was filled with anguish of spirit and deep repentance. My soul was solitary, utterly desolate and comfortless. I preferred to be alone in my cold and dismal tent, where I could read the sorrowful psalms of David of old, so expressive of the troubles of my own heart - and I could not read any other part of the Bible. For the Lord had taken His Spirit and the light of His countenance from me and left me to my own wretched self. Yet I dared not complain or murmur at this fearful affliction and suffering; for I had willfully turned away from the blessed work of the gospel ministry, forsaken the brethren, and brought all this calamity upon myself. I remembered how good they had been to attend upon my ministry, their Christian confidence in me and loving fellowship for me, so that great had been our mutual comfort and joy in our meetings, for the Lord had blessed us with His heavenly presence. And as all this came back to me in my forlorn camp-life, I most painfully felt that those were heavenly places, when contrasted with these. For, instead of the society of home and spiritual kindred, I was in the midst of the most ungodly and profane men and deprived of almost every comfort. Hence, as the winter slowly advanced, my maladies grew worse, until it was evident that, without a change and relief, death must soon take me out of the army.

To die thus was a thought that I could not bear, for I earnestly desired that the Lord might first mercifully heal my back-slidings and restore unto me the joy of His salvation, before my departure, and for this blessing my broken and humbled spirit fervently prayed. Yet my prayers seemed shut out from His holy heaven, and I sadly feared that I had too grievously gone astray from Him to hope for the return of His presence and blessing on earth, and must die in this deep affliction and darkness. Still, my trust and hope in God abided with me, and I firmly believed that, though He might suffer me to die in this most wretched state, yet He would raise me up to His holy heaven to suffer, sorrow and weep no more, and to die no more. This was the balm of my heart and solace of my soul - and it was all there was left me. In February, 1862, we were encamped at Ft. Henry, Tenn., where Gen. Grant marshaled all the forces under his command, preparatory to transporting them up the river to Pittsburg Landing; therefore the regimental hospitals were abandoned, and the sick and disabled were sent away to the general hospitals, upon the orders of the senior surgeons of the respective regiments, without which no one could have leave of absence. On this account I had to share a wretched little tent with two soldiers, without fire, lying on a thin mattress and it on the wet ground. The season was very rainy, with sleet and snow, and at times the water would run in under my bedding until my garments would be wet, and the only way to either dry or warm was to stand out in the inclement weather before a smoky fire of green timber. Then, the food we had to subsist on was unfit for a sick person, and, moreover, I was suffering greatly from chronic indigestion and dysentery, so that my food was often thrown up, and I was literally both starving and freezing. Our senior surgeon was Dr. Edgar, a stranger to me, who, at the time of my enlistment in the hospital service with him had promised me leave of absence in March, to go home and settle an estate as administrator, on which condition I had enlisted; but he was deaf to both his promise and my almost dying condition, for he coldly refused every appeal to grant me a sick furlough, and would not let me go home. Although he knew my extreme disabilities, which should have moved him to compassion, yet he rudely told me that I should rather leave my bones bleaching on the field of battle than to want to go home before the rebellion was put down. Turning from him, I then applied to the commander of the regiment, Col. Ross, a humane man and a Christian, I trust, who kindly did all in his power to have me sent away where I could be cared for; but every effort failed for Gen. Grant's order was rigid that no one should be permitted to pass through the lines on leave of absence, except he had a sick furlough from the regimental surgeon. As a last effort, the noble Col. Ross sent a written appeal in my behalf to Gen. Grant himself, but received no answer. Hope now died in my heart, and I sorrowfully felt that I should not be permitted to see my family and kindred, brethren and friends again. While this was painfully trying, I felt that I had brought it all upon myself and could not murmur against the Lord for it. As the hard-hearted Pharaoh would not let the children of Israel go, so did my case appear as deplorable as theirs, and there was no escape from my bitter afflictions and cruel bondage - only death.

1-11 Chapter 11 Delivered

CHAPTER XI. DELIVERED.

On a cold and rainy day an order came that we should put up three days rations in our haversacks, and be ready to strike our tents and embark late that evening to sail up the river; but later a second order came that we could retire and sleep about two hours, and that we would be called up to go on board the boats about midnight to run up to Pittsburg Landing, where a great battle was to be fought. To me this was a summons unto my speedy death.

In the evening the rain was succeeded by a heavy snow storm, which continued until late in the night. I was so much debilitated that I would become sick and faint at times, and have to lie down on the wet ground to rest. About 8 o'clock at night, while slowly making my way back to my dismal tent, and meditating the fearful perils which shut me in, a peaceful feeling of resignation and quiet trust filled my heart, and in mind I took a tender leave of all at home, confident that I should not live to return and see them; but was comforted with the heavenly assurance that, although I must die thus painfully, yet the Lord would receive me to Himself, and all my sufferings and sorrows should be ended forever.

But before reaching my tent my mind was impressed with a desire to go beyond it to Col. Ross's office-tent, and see if it was possible for him to send me away that night; but my second thought was that it could avail nothing and would annoy him, and I tried to repress this desire; yet it had taken such possession of my mind that I passively walked on, and the guard passed me in the tent. The colonel kindly saluted me, asked me to be seated and warm myself before the cheerful fireplace, and inquired how I felt. His kindness gave me courage to say: "Colonel, I am worse and growing weaker. If I have to go up on this campaign, and be exposed to the weather and the hardships of the camp, I could be of no service, but would only be in the way, and could not survive long." "I know it, doctor," he replied. "You should have been sent away to a hospital some time ago, but you know every effort has failed." I answered, "Colonel, can't you think of any possible way to send me away?" He paused, then said: "I this moment think of one way; if it fails, there is no chance. This afternoon three sick soldiers were sent from our regiment on board the steamer Tigress, to go down to a general hospital in Paducah. If you could get Dr. Edgar to detail you as a nurse for them, you could there get a sick furlough to go home." I quickly asked, "Colonel, can't you do it? It would be useless for me to appeal to Dr. Edgar, and I can't do so." He answered: "You know the army regulations and that it would be against the rules, for this authority belongs to him." "Yes, I know, Colonel; but then, you are the higher in authority than he is, and will you not take the responsibility?" Dropping his head a moment, he raised it and smilingly said: "I will. If I can't give you a sick furlough to go home, I will do the next best thing - send you where you can get one." He quickly wrote the order, detailing me as a nurse for the three sick soldiers from our regiment on board the Tigress; also stating that I was sick and should be sent home - and he laughed at the idea of sending me as a nurse, remarking that I needed a nurse more than they, no doubt. He told me to take the order to the adjutant's tent and have it recorded, saying that I would have to hurry or I might be too late, as it would soon be time for the Tigress to start.

Inspired with renewed spirit and hope, I did hurry; for the possibility of returning to home and life again quickened my movements, and lifted me above my suffering and weakness. Hastily making ready my valise and roll of bedding, the good-bys were quickly taken, and I set out for the river, a half-mile or more away, the darkness lighted only by the fast-falling snow, which had covered the ground with a white sheet-wondering the while whether there would be any one at that late hour to set me across the first great bayou, a fourth of a mile wide, perhaps. Just as I reached its bank, lo! John Bartley, a soldier from Alton, Ill., whose division was camped on the island beyond was pushing off his skiff from shore. By the light of his lantern I knew him-having met him before and ascertained that we were fourth cousins. He gladly took me in, saying that I would have been left in a minute more. This seemed a fortunate hap, but it did not then occur to me that the good hand of God was in it; for I had long felt that He had abandoned me to my own way. On the other shore we shook hand, and I hurried on as best I could, on top of the breastworks thrown up across the island. The snow flakes fell thick and fast, adding to my burden, so that I would stop and shake it from my hat and overcoat, wishing that it did not snow so, because it hindered my speed, and I feared my failing strength would not hold out, or that I might be too late; yet but for the light of the snow I could scarcely have made my way for the darkness. Near the river was a narrow but deep bayou, and just as I reached it three or four noisy soldiers walked out on the lower deck of the guard-steamer to put out the lights for the night (about 10 o'clock), and I hailed them with all the voice I could command, but almost despaired of making them hear me, for they were all talking and laughing loudly, and my voice was weak. At last one said, "Hush, boys, isn't some one calling?" Another said, "No; I guess it is the noise of the wind." Then I made a desperate effort, and succeeded, to my great relief, for I was in much fear. They crossed the narrow strip of land and came over to me in a flatboat, into which I climbed, and as I did so, one said, "Well, comrade, if you had been a minute later you would have been left, for we had come out to put out the lights."

They directed me along a line of gangways from one steamer to another (for the river was full of them to carry the entire army up it that night), until I reached the longed-for Tigress, far out and down. At last that most trying march of my life - and for my life - was ended, the goal was reached and I was rescued - mercifully delivered from that awful thraldom. Shaking off the wet snow and ascending to a commodious cabin, I laid down valise and bundle, overcoat and hat, and sank in an arm chair before a red-hot stove, almost completely exhausted, feeling that I could not have held out but little longer.

In a few minutes two well-dressed men can in and sat down on the other side of the large stove, not seeming to notice, me and one said to the other: "Captain, how soon will you pull out of here?" "Just as soon as this snowstorm blows over a little, so we can see to pilot the boat. If it had not been for the snowstorm we should have been gone two hours ago." Never were words spoken more wonderful to me; for they told me that the merciful God, who rules the storm, had sent down that snow and held the boat, and that He had not forsaken me, as I supposed, but was yet with me and had thus delivered me from so great a peril and death.

0 how precious the assurance that the Lord cared for me still, and that my life and well-being were precious in His sight! My sweet emotions of love and gratitude to Him who had thus marvelously saved me were too full for utterance in words, and the place seemed a very heaven to me; for I comfortably felt the presence of the Lord, and my meditations of Him were sweet all that night - for I did not lie down to sleep, being on duty as a nurse, but rest in that chair. I soon found my three patients and told them I was there to wait on them until we reached a hospital in Paducah - but they needed very little attention.

About sunrise we landed at this city, and an ambulance carried us to a comfortable hospital, where each of us were taken to neat beds, and I saw the three no more. A kind citizen physician soon came to me, examined me and said, "My friend, I would advise you to go home; for you can't get well here, but with good water and kind attention at home, you might recover. I will give you a sixty days' furlough if you will go home." As I did not like to seem too anxious, I said that I had no money to pay my way home. But he kindly assured me that there would be some way for me to get there; so it was soon settled that I should go, greatly to my joy. That afternoon I was able to walk down to a near store, where I offered a revolver for sale - which a prisoner after the surrender at Ft. Donaldson had begged me to give him a dollar for, and I did so to favor him, having no use for it myself - the only firearm I ever owned. To my glad surprise, a clerk in the store kindly gave me $10 for it, and I heartily thanked him; for this would pay my way home, and I felt wonderfully helped.

The next morning I set out, homeward bound; but as it was Saturday, and the trains did not run on Sunday, I stopped at Jonesboro, Ill., having learned that my friend and brother, Col. True, was there with a new regiment. He very generously lodged me at his headquarters until Monday, and then gave me a free pass on the cars as far as I could go toward home to Effingham, Ill. He did more; he transferred me to his regiment, and appointed me on his regimental staff as hospital steward, thus rescuing me from the cruel power of Dr. Edgar, who had been bent on sacrificing me - only because he once overheard me condemn the cruelties which some of our soldiers inflicted upon peaceable old men, women and children in the South. Through the merciful hand of God, I was now free from him and saw him no more. Whether he learned that our humane Col. Ross sent me away from his merciless tyranny, I know not; but I hope that God had mercy upon him, as He was merciful to me.

After my return home I seemed to improve a little at first; so that I made a business trip to central Indiana, near our old home, in the settlement of and estate as administrator - alluded to before. But my diseases again grew worse and brought me very low, insomuch that my recovery was almost despaired of by my friends; and at the end of the sixty days I was barely able to be propped up in bed while I wrote a few lines to Col. True, telling him that I would report in person as soon as able; for I believed the Lord would raise me up again to "preach the preaching that He had bidden me," which I was then willing to cheerfully do.

In the time of this long sickness at home, when the kind neighbors and brethren would come in to visit and sit up with me, they often grieved my spirit by their complaints at the weather and the backward spring, expressing fears about raising a crop; for this sounded to me like murmuring against the Lord, who was so merciful, kind and good. And for this I would kindly chide them, and remind them how good he was to us all for which we should thankfully trust in Him, knowing that He would provide and care for us.

As soon as able to ride on a bed in a wagon to Olney, twenty-five miles, where I took a train, I reported to Col. True, then encamped at Paducah, who was gladly surprised on seeing me; for he told me that, after getting my letter, he had expected to hear of my death. I at once made application for a discharge from the army, which he kindly assisted me in obtaining. At the same time he generously offered me a position of a second surgeon if I would stay; but I declined it, fearing to go into disobedience again, "lest a worse thing come unto me." I did not tell him this, however, not knowing that he could sympathize with me. But after many years, when he had grown gray, it was my privilege to meet with him as a fellow-preacher, when he told me that he not only under-stood my troubles in the army and felt a sympathy for me, but that he himself was also troubled then about preaching the gospel, and had been before entering the army, and that he had resisted it for twenty years before yielding. His great kindness and brotherly interest while in the army endeared him to me for life, and I rejoice that the Captain of Salvation and Prince of Peace has made him a true soldier of the cross, to proclaim "on earth peace."

In seeking for a discharge from the war, it was necessary that I should hunt up my former regiment and obtain an official paper from my captain; therefore, I boarded a steamer for Pittsburg Landing, and from there rode on horseback over the fearful battle-ground on the way to Corinth, where Grant's mighty army was again ready for battle, and there, after a long search, I found the regiment and Capt. English, in whose company was my enrollment. It was Sunday afternoon when I found his division and quarters, and as I slowly walked down the long line of tents, fronting westward, they were opened out to the warm sunshine, and it was a sad sight to see the small remnant of soldiers, looking so dejected, as they reclined in their tents, their ranks terribly thinned by the ravages of war and pestilence. The companies were sorrowfully cut down, one having only about thirty left. At the head of the row was the tent of Capt. English, who kindly received me, and as we talked my eyes fell on the noble saddle horse of Col. Ross among others in a grove a little way from us, and I said, "Captain, where is Col. Ross?" With emotion, he told me that he was mortally wounded in the recent battle at Pittsburg Landing, and died three days after. 0, how sad! Humane, generous, noble Ross! Me he saved from such a fearful peril and death, but himself he could not save. I believe he was a Christian (he was a Methodist), and that the Lord took him to Himself, where the inhabitants shall no more say, "I am sick," "neither shall they learn war any more."

At last the time came, when, with many tender regrets, I took a final leave of the army, at Kenton Station, Tenn., in July, 1862, bade adieu to Brig. Gen. True and my old friends with him, and, with a full and honorable discharge from the army, set out once more for home, now the Lord's freeman, henceforth to serve as a willing soldier in the army of the Captain of Salvation, the all-conquering Prince Immanuel, the triumphant and most glorious King Jesus, until He shall bid me put off my armor, lay down the cross, give me a full and blessed discharge from the good fight of faith, and graciously bestow upon me the blissful and everlasting crown of immortality and eternal life.

2-000 Articles & Correspondence of David Bartley

ARTICLES & CORRESPONDENCE

OF DAVID BARTLEY

2-01 In Christ Shall All Be Made Alive

“IN CHRIST SHALL ALL BE MADE ALIVE.”

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” – {1Co 15:22}.

Inspiration reveals the truth and the work of God. Not one word of all that he has declared shall fail. The reason is, the Holy One is the I AM, the Almighty. Both in wisdom and power the Most High is unlimited. With him is absolute sovereignty. In all his attributes God is limitless, perfect and sovereign. To deny this is a denial of both his sovereignty and his Godhead.

It is an absolute truth, therefore, that the omnipotence of the Almighty is equal to and co-extensive with his omniscience. So not one thing of all that God hath spoken shall fail to come to pass. For his power is infinitely above and greater than all other powers. His kingdom ruleth over all, and his dominion subjects all beings and things to his “eternal purpose.” This was fully proved in the person of his incarnate Son, whose voice at once subdued and controlled all creatures and things to whom he spoke, whether animate or inanimate, raving devils and men, warring seas and winds, hopeless maladies and remorseless death, all yielded at once to his simple word. Jesus spoke but once, the Lord makes no efforts – never tries. Of himself he says, “I will.” To his people he says, “You shall.” “He speaks, and it is done; he commands, and it stands fast.” “The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass: and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.” This is our God, the God of Israel his people, the Lord God omnipotent. He is the Rock, his work is perfect. He is our refuge, our salvation, our defense. O how safe and good it is to be sheltered under his almighty wing!

How fearful and woeful to us is our relationship in Adam! Our whole lifetime in the flesh is but the realization and experience of the solemn fact that we are in Adam. Here we sow in tears. Thorns and thistles abound. All the mighty works of merciful power which Jesus wrought, blessedly healing all the afflicted and raising up the dead, were overcoming and removing the ruin that is ours in Adam. So all these gracious miracles of the second man are typical of his mighty work of redemption. To his wondering disciples he said, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” “And thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from then sins.”

Salvation, therefore, is the work of Jesus – the salvation of his people. They are his people in every dear and sacred relation and meaning of the term “his people; “yet they are sinners. The text shows that their sins and death are because they are in Adam. Therefore they are born of the flesh, and are flesh. So Jesus taught. All in Adam die. Hero none are exempt. “By man came death.” “Death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” All sinned in the one man Adam. “By one man’s disobedience many were made sinners.” “For the wages of sin is death.” “That as sin hath reigned unto death.” All this solemn fact is positive and absolute, unconditional and irresistible. This is the dominion of sin by man and in Adam. “There is no discharge in that war.” “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

Whence, then, cometh obedience and righteousness, salvation and life! Not from Adam, nor from any who are in Adam, nor from the flesh; for in the flesh dwelleth no good thing, said Paul. Jesus, who spake as no other man, makes a clear distinction between “that which is born of the flesh,” and “that which is born of the Spirit;” for he says the one “is flesh,” and the other “is spirit.” Therefore, that we may have life and obedience, righteousness and salvation, we must be in Christ. It is a divine mystery, not known to the wise of the world, that we who now dwell in the flesh are in Christ Jesus and he lives in us. Paul thus states this truth: “But of him are ye in Christ .Jesus, who of God is. made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” All this we need, and need it because “in Adam all die;” but this is all we need and shall receive. Our God has made his and our Christ all this to us, and it is of the Father that we tare in Christ. Chosen in him before the foundation of the world, and blessed in him with all spiritual blessings according as we were chosen in him. This choice and these blessings are positive and sure, therefore, because they were vouchsafed to all the chosen of God in Christ before the world was. This blessed fact places all spiritual blessings infinitely above every conditional principle and basis, and secures them to us, “not according to our works” or obedience, but according to God’s choice. And since all spiritual blessings were given us in Christ according as God hath chosen us in him, these blessings are no more conditional or contingent on our part than the choice itself. And more than all spiritual blessings we do not need nor shall ever receive. Where, then, is there any place or need for conditional spiritual blessings! And since all spiritual blessings are ours in Christ according to the will and choice of God, why should it be thought that God bestows them upon us according to our will and choice! In this connection Paul goes on and says, “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, in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” In all this way of life and salvation unto sinners, the sovereign choice and pleasure and power of God supremely prevail, and all “according to the riches of his grace.” In the wisdom and love of God he ordained it thus, because “so it seemed good in his sight,” and he saw that there was no other way that would glorify him and bring them into the blessing of life.

“In Christ shall all be made alive.” But every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.” The clause “in Christ,” qualifies and limits the “all” that shall be made alive. It is because they are in Christ that they shall be made alive. None who are not in Christ shall be made alive. All die in Adam because they are in him. They could not die in Adam unless they first lived or had their being in him. When a living tree dies, all in it die, because the life of the tree is the life of all its members. So it is with all in Adam. “Even so shall all in Christ be made alive.” In Christ is perfect obedience, holiness and life. So all in him shall be made righteous by his obedience. All sin and death shall be separated from them, and they shall be perfected in the holiness and life of Christ. His unfailing word to them is, “Because I live, ye shall live also.” “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” “He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” This one falls asleep in Christ, but is not dead. For in Christ is no sin nor unrighteousness nor death, but righteousness and life and peace. The sin and curse and death are in Adam – in our mortal flesh. So for the sins of his people Christ was put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit, to die no more. Thus our risen Lord made an end of sin, and abolished death, for his people.

In his resurrection Christ was the first born from the dead among many brethren. “Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept.” He was “declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Now, all that Christ is in holiness and life and power, he is all this to all in him, and they shall know the power of his resurrection, shall be perfectly conformed to his divine image, and shall know the glory of his ascension into heaven. All this is by the power of the Lord God Almighty and the riches of his grace.

The death of all in Adam is the lime present – ”all die;” but the text and its connection show clearly that the resurrection unto the life in Christ, of all who sleep in him, is in the future time – ”shall all be made alive.”

“We know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” In our mortal flesh we cannot thus see the glorified man Christ Jesus. John was given a glimpse of him in his glory; but he said, “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.” Paul said, “Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. * * * For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” For this the holy Son of God prayed, saying, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” “Afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.” When they die in Adam, at the dissolution of their mortal man or body, they fall asleep in Christ, and in him they shall be made alive when he shall come the second time without sin unto salvation. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” This will be the perfect fulfillment of the Lord’s prayer for us, and we shall be with him where he is and behold his glory. “And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” “Have borne,” is past, “shall also bear,” is to come. We now bear the image of Adam after the outward man, and the image of Jesus after the inward man; so we now, in part, bear the image of the two heads, the earthy and the heavenly. Bat God has predestinated his foreknown and chosen people to be entirely conformed to the image of his Son, whom he raised up from the dead. This good work of grace in us shall be gloriously finished in us when we shall receive the adoption, for which we now wait in hope, “to wit, the redemption of our body.” This will be our change, of which Paul says, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory! The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Then, O then! ”in Christ shall all be made alive.” “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” The infinite and almighty wisdom and power of God in Christ Jesus our risen and glorified Redeemer shall gloriously triumph in the fulfillment of all this great and wonderful mystery of godliness, according to his own will, notwithstanding the opposition of all the wicked, who hate God and his sovereign power, and the unbelief of some of his own people. “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” Paul again says, “For our conversation” (our citizenship and inheritance) “is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” In the divine assurance of this faith and hope, afflicted .Job said, “All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.” And David said, “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness.” So shall we all.

Hoping to “attain unto the resurrection of the dead,” yours in Jesus,

D. BARTLEY.

Crawfordsville, Ind., March 27, 1901.

2-02 Adam-Life: Christ-Life

Signs Of The Times
Volume 69, No. 13
July 1, 1901

ADAM-LIFE: CHRIST-LIFE.

My Brethren In Christ: – Christ is our life. So, naturally, Adam is our life. We were born with his breath of life. This is natural existence only. But the word says, “God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” God did not give it to us in Adam. In him God gave us natural life or existence only, from which we grow up into our natural being, and derive all our natural capabilities and powers. “The first man is of the earth, earthy. “As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy.” They are types and copies of Adam, they are born with his earthly being and nature, and they breathe his breath of life. So, also, they die his death; for the reason that when he sinned, and sinning, died, their vital being was in him. “In Adam all die.” “Dying, thou shalt die.” A sinful existence and being, although it may continue a hundred or a thousand years, is not life. “He that hath not the Son of God, hath not life.” Wonderfully endowed in nature, and highly cultured he may be, yet he hath not life. The seal of death is impressed upon him; he is born under the law, born in sin, and born unto death, because of sin. “I am carnal, sold under sin.” All in Adam are thus. “There is none righteous, no, not one.” “They are all under sin.” “Death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” “The wages of sin is death.” “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” “That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” “By one man’s disobedience many were made sinners.” “Sin hath reigned unto death.” This reign of sin is over all.

The above is the common inheritance of all who are in and of Adam, or of all earthy or natural people. Their natural life and being, which is now also sinful and corrupted, produces after its own kind. Every faculty and power of the natural man, in his whole being, springs from a corrupted life and nature, an unholy source, as unclean water from a polluted fountain, or as bad fruit from a corrupt tree. “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Our perfect Teacher says again, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.” The word “that “is a pronoun, and it does not refer to a property or faculty of man, but to man himself. So the nest sentence says, ‘-Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” The primary truth here taught is, “Except a man be born ag.iin, he cannot see the kingdom of God. “ Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” The kingdom of God is spiritual, heavenly and holy, as is God himself, and it is in unity and harmony with him. But not so is man as he is born of the flesh, as proven above. “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption,” said inspired Paul. “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. “ So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” This is a very strong denial, and shows an impossibility. The man who is born of the flesh is flesh, is in the flesh, he has not life, but only a fleshly and sinful existence; therefore he knows not God, neither does he love him, nor can he please him. “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.” Being only natural, he has no spiritual discernment. The very highest and best that he is capable of is still natural, for it is a product of his natural life or being. All the religion and service and worship possible to the one who is born only of the flesh, is like himself, fleshly and natural. He may have a great zeal for God, and do many wonderful works in the name of Christ, and pride himself on his obedience to all gospel commandments, yet it is not according to spiritual knowledge, but all is fleshly, selfish and in the letter only. Neither he nor all his offerings and works can please God, because he is in the flesh, and all he is and does is fleshly and legal. All men who are of Adam are born in sin, and therefore born under the law; “For sin is the transgression of the law.” Hence, all fleshly or natural religion and religious works and worship are legal, because they arise out of the Adamic life and nature, but not out of the Christ-life. Therefore, all the religion and service that man is capable of, naturally and morally, is tried and judged by the law of God, which, Paul says, “is holy, and just, and good.” Now, the Scripture says, “There is not a just man upon the earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” “By the law is the knowledge of sin.” So the holy law condemns and rejects all religious worship and work which have their source in the natural life of man, because of their fleshly and unholy nature. “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” Every one that is quickened by the Spirit and taught of God, experiences the truth of all this, and will confess with Paul, “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing.” Paul wrote by inspiration, therefore the words, “my flesh,” agree with the words of the Lord Jesus: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh.” It is the fruit of a fleshly or natural life, which is also carnal, sold under sin. Nothing holy and good, therefore, can arise from the flesh. Everything partakes of the nature of the life of which it is the offspring, and cannot be different nor more holy than the parent-life, but is like it in kind and quality. This is a universal law, ordained of God, the Creator and Law-maker.

The life of man endows him with a spirit and soul and body, mind and intellect and heart; therefore he has a moral nature and is accountable to God, being under the law of God. But yet no attribute or faculty of a natural man can possibly arise higher than his life, nor become more holy, by any effort of his, nor by any cultivation it may receive. At his highest and best he “is flesh.” So said the holy Son of God. Moses said, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Paul said, “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.” Behold, how infinite the difference between the first man and the second man, the earthy and the heavenly, the natural and the spiritual. For the first is only a creature, a living soul; the second is the Lord, a quickening Spirit. The first man received natural life; the second Man gives spiritual life. The first man is corruptible; the second Man is immortal. By the first man came sin and death to all men in him; by the second Man comes righteousness and life to all men in him. By the first man came weakness and dishonor to his people; by the second Man comes power and glory to his people. Now, wherein is the secret of this wonderful difference between the two men! It is found in the life of each one. The first man was given the breath of life only, as a creature of God; the second Man inherited eternal life, as “the only begotten Son of God.” Out of the life of Adam, and out of the life of Jesus, springs forth all the amazing developments and results alluded to above, as manifested unto and in all who are related to Adam, on the one hand, and unto and in all who are related to “the Lord from heaven,” on the other hand. This relationship, both to the first man and to the second Man, is in the life of Adam, and in the life of Christ. As born of the flesh, we are in death union with Adam, because his is a sinful and forfeited existence; as born of the Spirit, we are in life union with Christ, because his is a righteous and eternal life. Therefore, his word to u.5 is, “Because I live, ye shall live also.” “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” This is the true life; it is the union of holiness and immortality. The Lord of life and glory, the Son of God, the second Adam, alone possesses it by inheritance from the eternal Father in its infinite fullness and power. To all the children of men who shall inherit it in Christ, it is the free gift of God, and is the expression of his everlasting love to his people, whom he hath chosen and blessed with all spiritual blessings in his beloved Son.

The creature-ship of all the chosen people of God is in the life (the breath of life) of Adam. As partakers of this natural life, they are born of the flesh, and are the children and heirs of Adam, in whom they die. The sonship of all the redeemed of the Lord is in the life of Christ. As given this holy and eternal life, they are born of the Spirit, and are the children and heirs of God in Christ Jesus, in whom they live. The Scriptures fully reveal that in “the eternal purpose,” God foreordained that the people of the new covenant should, at his appointed time, be born of the flesh, and should also be born of the Spirit, as Christ taught Nicodemus. The first birth manifests them as the Lord’s sinful people under the law; the second birth manifests them as the children of God under grace. In both relations, therefore, they are the Lord’s. The holy Son of God is not ashamed to call them “brethren.” For as the Son of man, Jesus was verily their Brother in the flesh, and as born of God, they are as truly his brethren in the Spirit. Of Jesus and his members and brethren, Paul therefore says, “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” This is a very mysterious, solemn and wonderful way of life unto holiness, for it is a continual experience of the suffering and death of Jesus unto sin in our mortal flesh, that his righteous life also might be manifested in its power over sin and death in our body, and that we should thus live unto God in Christ Jesus. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

Thus both the way and the end are feelingly presented to us, “that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope “in our tribulations in the flesh. We are taught the solemn truth of God in our twofold experience of death in Adam, and life in Christ, that we must suffer and die unto sin in the flesh, that we might rejoice and live unto righteousness in the Spirit. “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” The law of sin and death was upon the man in Adam, but Paul had become dead to this law by the crucified body of Christ, and therefore he was a new man in the risen Christ, in whom he lived a new life. He thus relates his experience of death and life: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” This is a profound and solemn way of righteousness unto life. It shows that all the life and righteousness of Paul was by the grace of God, and in the life of Christ, who lived in Paul. This is also true in all who are Christ’s, and who live in him. Their faith embraces him as their life and righteousness, and in their experience they are made to know the truth that, “Neither is there salvation in any other.” The life of Christ is holy, immortal and eternal; it is spiritual, divine and of God the Father; therefore all its attributes, powers and operations are according to holiness, and are well pleasing unto God, who is infinitely holy. And it has been fully proven, and is confirmed in the experience of the children of God, that all the fruits of righteousness in them grow up out of the Christ-life in them, but never out of the Adam-life. The faith and hope and love of the children of God are in Christ, and spring forth out of his life. Of God the Father “are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” Christians, therefore, are forbidden to glory in Adam or man, or in themselves or the flesh. For out of the life of Adam in us, and out of the spirit of the flesh or natural spirit, there cannot possibly arise any goodness or righteousness superior to or better than the corrupt fountain of the Adamic life and nature, which cannot please God, hat all of which is rejected by his holy law. When we are given the mind that was in Christ, then we experience the truth of this, and desire with Paul to be found in Christ, “not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” This truly is dying, that we may live; sowing in tears, that we may reap in joy. Yet it is the way that our meek and lowly Redeemer went.

Let us consider him in the days of his flesh, lie was verily a man, and the Son of man, for he was made of a woman, and made under the law, “for the suffering of death.” “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.” Thus and in this way only does he bring us to God; that is, in the way that he went to God before us and for us, through his death in the flesh for our sins, and by his quickening life in us. As a man in the flesh and under the law, Christ died. His death in the body of his flesh was the end of sin, and the fulfillment of the law. Likewise must we die with Christ before we shall live with him, and thus must we suffer with him before we shall reign with him. For it was in his resurrection from the dead that Christ abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, not through the law.

Therefore, dear brethren, our life and righteousness and salvation is in Christ, the risen Christ, and in his life. “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.” How by his life! In answer, hear Paul again: “God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved:) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” So we are quickened together with Christ in his risen life, and are raised up with him above the flesh and the law into heavenly places and heavenly service. Thus and in this way shall we be saved by Christ’s life. With him we “pass from death unto life,” and arise to “walk in newness of life,” and serve God “in newness of spirit.” Gospel baptism is the figure of this truth. In his new gospel kingdom, into which Christ was raised up out of death, he was a spiritual and new man, and no longer served under the law nor lived in the flesh, but in .the Spirit. In his gospel kingdom, which is new, grace reigns, and all the service and worship in this kingdom is spiritual and by the grace of God. The only throne herein is the throne of grace. All the fruits herein are “the fruit of the Spirit.” No works of the flesh, nor legal service, nor anything that is a fruit or product of the life of Adam, can be admitted in our risen Lord’s new kingdom. For it is a holy and spiritual temple, the house of mercy, and it all goes up, even to the head-stone thereof, “with shoutings of, Grace, grace unto it.” In all this wonderful way that Christ our forerunner went unto God, must we also follow him, and be made like him, both in his death and in his life. “He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more “(after the flesh). Most clearly does Paul thus show that in entering into the kingdom of Christ, we are cut off from the fleshly life in Adam, to be henceforth known and accepted only in Christ Jesus. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Thus it is in Christ and his new kingdom. Paul again affirms this truth, saying, “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”

Baptism solemnly represents a rising up out of death in Adam, into life in Christ. So the Lord’s supper shows that Christ is our meat indeed, and our drink indeed; that Christ, who gives us eternal life, is also our bread of life, and our water of salvation, and than we live in him and by him, even as he liveth by the Father. All spiritual life, and all spiritual service and worship, with all righteousness and acceptable obedience unto the holy Father, arise only from the Christ-life in us, for in his life only are we righteous and obedient in the sight of God; but never do the fruits of righteousness and loving obedience to the Father in heaven spiring forth from the life and spirit of Adam in us, or from our natural spirit and volition, for all that is of Adam is fleshly and legal, selfish and sinful, and all this ends in death. “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Such is the impassable gulf between the flesh and the Spirit.

Our life, our obedience, our righteousness, our acceptance, our love, our faith, our hope, our peace, our rejoicing, our worship, our praise, our glorying, our conquering, our triumphing, our prevalence in prayer, all our spiritual blessings, our salvation, our resurrection unto glory, our adoption unto the Father in heaven – all, all are in Christ and by him, to the praise of grace and the glory of God, who hath made us accepted in the Beloved.” “The one thing needful, dearest Lord, is to be one with thee.”

In the faith and hope and love of Christ, our life, your brother,

D. BARTLEY.

Crawfordsville, Ind.

2-03 Worship and Reward

Signs Of The Times
Volume 69, No. 9
May 1, 1901

WORSHIP AND REWARD.

Worshipers Of God: – In the light of revealed truth, let us prayerfully consider what it is to acceptably worship him. His beloved Son says, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth.” No carnal or fleshly service is worship, therefore, but that only which is spiritual; neither any form of worship or service which is unreal, untrue or false; for God must be worshiped in truth, or it is mockery and an offense to him. He is the perfection of holiness and truth, and nothing that is false can enter into his worship or endure in his presence. “for our God is a consuming fire,” and everything false and corrupt shall be consumed as chaff and dross. All mere creature, fleshly, selfish worship, is of this nature or kind, for it is lacking in perfection and truth. Therefore, all worship that is in spirit and in truth, must have its source in God himself, who is a Spirit and in Truth. His son said, “There is none good but one, that is God.” And so all goodness and holiness is from God. Jesus was good and holy, because he “came forth from the Father,” and he said, “I am in the Father, and the Father in me.” Jesus, therefore, though a man in the flesh, as born of woman, was a true worshiper, and worshiped the Father in Spirit and in truth. To his disciples his word is, “I am the Vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.” He again says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Therefore, whoever worships the Father truly, and comes unto him, must live in Christ, and Christ in him; and this worship in spirit and in truth must be in the life and Spirit of Christ, or else it is not in truth. Indeed, it is only in the Spirit of God’s dear Son, sent forth into our hearts, that we can truly call God our Father, and cry to him in worship, as shown in Romans viii. and Gal. iv. “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us,” says Paul. He also says, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” It is evident then, that all true worship arises from the Spirit and love of God in the heart, as the source and effectual cause of all spiritual worship and acceptable service to God. This is the more evident, because “God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” “Love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that, loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love,” is the record by John. Therefore, it is only through the love of God in our hearts that we can know and worship him. The holy Jesus is the full manifestation of the God of love, and the love of God, and also the express image of the Father’s person or nature, and “We love him, because he first loved us.” Knowing him, we love him, and loving him, we serve him. John therefore says, “And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.” Now, then, it is his abiding in us by the Spirit that we know and love, serve and worship God, but not in any other way, or by any other power. In this truest and highest sense, “In him we live, and move, and have our being,” as said Paul. All true goodness and holiness, spiritual perfection and beauty, are of him and from him; therefore all that spirituality and truth in which we worship the Father, we first receive from him, that we may be sanctified through his truth, even as his dear Son prayed. {Joh 17}. Not only in spirit and in truth and in love must we worship God, but in faith also. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Now, a knowledge of God, faith in him and love to him, are the essential qualifications which only will cause and move us to diligently seek him, to seek him with our whole heart. “The Christian loves the God he knows, and serves the God he loves.” So this knowledge and love in the soul, are the efficient Cause and pure Motive of our seeking and serving God. No one can or will truly seek and worship God, who does not know him, neither do any love him who do not truly know him. “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true; and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ,” wrote John “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent,” prayed Jesus to the Father. In the same prayer the Son said to the Father, and of his disciples, “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one.” In this union only is all our perfection and acceptance, now or ever; and it is Because we are in the holy Son of God, and he in us, and the Father in him, that we worship God in spirit and in truth, and believe in and love him. Hence, every spiritual emotion in the heart, with every act of true devotion, and all acceptable service, – all these arise and spring directly from the indwelling of the quickening and enabling Spirit, and divine love and faith, without which none can approach unto God in true worship. All REAL OBEDIENCE IS FROM THIS DIVINE SOURCE.” The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, He Doeth The Works,” is the true revelation of this mystery by the holy Son of God. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure,” wrote his faithful servant Paul by inspiration. All other pretended worship and service to God is but a form without the power, and is not in spirit and in truth, but a selfish, fleshly will-worship, pleasing to the creature, but an offense unto the Holy One. The service and worship of Cain was of this sort, as also that of the Pharisee who prayed in the temple: and no mere voluntary creature worship can be any better, because it is of man, and has regard only to the happiness and good of self. Behind and underneath all such religious worship and service is the aim of Reward – I shall receive honor and good by this service. This feature necessarily underlies all phases of contingent or conditional service and worship, because an expected good as a conditional reward is connected with all such service, offered to God as formal worship and obedience, and prompts it as a secret and selfish motive. It is impossible that it should be otherwise according to a conditional basis of religious service and worship, because the conditional promise is always before the conditional worshiper as a motive and selfish influence, and he cannot escape it. But, indeed, he does not want to, for when he does the conditional service, he expects God to bestow upon him the conditional reward, and it is for the reward that he serves. All conditional religious service, therefore, centers upon the conditional server and worshiper; for his religious devotions are rendered in the belief and with the view of receiving conditional blessings as rewards. Satan was just such a conditionalist when he said, “Doth Job fear God for naught?” Wickedly selfish himself, he could not understand that Job feared God in love, and worshiped him in spirit and in truth, as feebly shown in this writing.

It is true that the Lord speaks of rewards, both to the righteous and the wicked, and Jesus said, “For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels, and then shall he reward every man according to his works.” And since they receive according to their works, only those in whom God has performed the good work of salvation, and by the Spirit hath wrought in them the righteousness of Christ, who is our righteousness, shall receive the reward of righteousness, for the saints are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, that they should offer up unto God spiritual sacrifices. These are the true worshipers, and they receive a sure and blessed reward. What, then, is the reward of the righteous? It Is THEIR SUPREME BLISS IN GLORIFYING God. Having revealed his beloved Son in them in his saving power, and in the beauties of holiness and perfect love, casting out all their fears, they find a holy delight and supreme blessedness in the heart-given love and worship and praise of their blessed God and Father; and in this is the fullness of reward to them. Having freely received of God the fullness of salvation in the finished and perfect work of the Lord Jesus, their loving services and devotions and worship are also freely given to him, as the pure incense of their souls. And in this out flowing service of love from their adoring hearts, as a divine fountain of living water spontaneously springing up to God who has bestowed his love upon them, there is not in them the low and selfish motive or thought that they shall receive his blessing or reward in return for serving him. O no! But the heavenly reward is theirs already in the riches of his mercy and grace and glory in thus raising them up into Holy Communion with the Father and the Son, so that they now joy in God, and worship him in spirit. Their reward is that they are thus washed, and sanctified, and justified, and exalted in the righteousness of Christ and the salvation of God, as the people whom he hath formed for himself, to show forth his praise, and worship him in the beauty of holiness. Not in order that they may be rewarded with the spiritual and heavenly blessings of God, no no! But because he has so divinely and graciously blessed them in Christ, and filled their hearts with his everlasting love, and their quickened souls with his joyful praise. Does any one vainly say or think that the souls who thus worship God in spirit and in truth, because all this worship springs pure and fresh from the ever-living unction of the quickening and enabling Spirit in them, that they are not active in serving the Lord, but as involuntary and passive as lifeless machines! Why do any, then, so uncharitably charge this absurdity upon others, who attribute all true worship and acceptable obedience and service to the Spirit and love and grace of God in the heart of the true worshiper! Would any dare thus reproach the obedient and righteous Son of God, because he said, “I can of mine own self do nothing;” and, “The Father that dwelleth in me, He Doeth The Works!” If none would have the awful presumption to say that this teaching made the blessed Jesus an involuntary, passive and irresponsible machine, then they should be ashamed, and feel condemned for saying it against his humble servants for confessing and teaching the same truth. Paul, who closely followed his Master, said, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is Of God.” And for all his brethren in Christ he prayed, saying, “Now the God of peace make you perfect in every good work to do his will, Working In you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ.” The inspired psalmist says to the Lord, “I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart. Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes, and I shall keep it unto the end. “ Quicken me after, thy loving-kindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.” How true and excellent! Here we see the efficient Cause, and springing out of it the active and blessed effect, to the glory of God. And herein is the full reward. “This man shall be blessed in his deed.” The thought of serving God to the end that he might bless him with a reward, he would disdain as selfish, and a reflection upon the infinite goodness of God, whom he loves and delights to serve. This one prays, “Order my steps in thy word; and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. Deliver me from the oppression of man; so will I keep thy precepts. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes. “I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord; and thy law is my delight. Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” How entirely dependent upon the God of his salvation the psalmist was. It was this that led him to thus call upon the Lord in prayer and praise for his salvation and help; and thus quickened, strengthened and helped, his soul ascended to God in loving and active devotion and joyful praise. And this active service was not offered up to God conditionally, that he might receive a reward of blessings in return, but because of God’s free and abundant blessing in bringing him into this sacred communion and heavenly worship, in which was his great reward. For in truth God himself is the full reward and blessing unto all who truly worship him, and they are satisfied with this blessedness. Paul prayed for his brethren in Christ, that God would grant them, according to the riches of his glory, “To be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” And the precious Christ says, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” “Blessed Are They.” They do not thus hunger conditionally, in order that they may be blessed, but out of the divine life that God has given them, the spiritual hunger arises freely and without any creature effort, and the Father freely satisfies them with the perfect righteousness and fullness of salvation in Christ, “Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” Thus they are blessed. What more could they desire, or God give! “I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward,” is the word of the Lord to Abraham; and therefore he said to him, “Fear not.” God is this also to all who have the faith of Abraham, and who worship in spirit and in truth, faith and love, as he did. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also Freely Give Us All Things?” Will any presume to answer in the negative! If not, then our salvation and divine blessings in time cannot come to us as conditional rewards, depending upon ourselves, in consideration of our works of obedience. “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.” Hear Paul again: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed US WITH ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS in heavenly places in Christ.” None of these, therefore, are conditional rewards, depending upon our works, for then it could not be said that God had already thus blessed us, according to his choice before the world was, because they would not then be ours at all, until we had performed the conditions upon which the blessings depend. But as none will say the blessings of salvation which we receive in time are not spiritual blessings, knowing that they are, and it would be absurd to deny it, and since it is true that our covenant God “hath blessed us with All spiritual blessings 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;” and since God the Father hath given us his Son, and “with him also will freely give us all things;” and since God does not change nor repent, as man, and his choice and blessings cannot be revoked, but are positive and sure, therefore no spiritual blessing is bestowed upon any of the chosen in Christ as a conditional reward, dependent upon their good works as the consideration. Such a thing is simply impossible, according to the gift and choice and blessing of God, as proven above; therefore he who urges this principle of conditional spiritual blessings, as an incentive and motive to induce any one to engage in religions worship, as the price or consideration of divine rewards that they shall thereby receive from God, is grossly deceived, and deceiving others, for he thus degrades the spiritual and divine blessings to the mercenary plane of bargain and sale, as goods in the market, to be obtained by rendering to the Lord certain services, but not until the price is paid. If this principle of conditional salvation, claimed as the reward of worship and service to the Lord, and depending upon ourselves, is not putting heaven in the market of men, as the Pope of Rome does, it does put the blessings of heaven in the religions market, as the stipulated rewards in consideration of professed good works and service done for the Lord. It is a reproach upon the God of love and mercy and grace, the God of salvation, who freely gave us his beloved Son, chose us and blessed us with all spiritual blessings in him, and with him freely gives us all things. “His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.” While obedience becomes the children of our Father in heaven, and all gospel instruction and exhortation in the sacred oracles are unto this end, and in all this way of holiness they are willing and active, yet their service is not servile or slavish or selfish, rendered in order to receive reward or payment, nor does the Father thus bribe or hire his children to worship and serve him, but he says, “Son give me thine heart;” and, “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” This, then, is the heart-given obedience and service of loving children, whose delight is to do the will of their holy Father, who has loved them infinitely, and hath done great things for them, whereof they are glad and grateful, and desire to freely make some returns in love and praise to him who has so richly and freely blessed them. And so the motive that prompts their obedience and service is, not self-happiness, but the love of God in their hearts, which causes them to delight in his word and truth, and their purpose and aim in all their service is his praise and glory. In these sacrifices God is well pleased, and in glorifying him the true worshipers are blessed. Saints on earth and angels in heaven are supremely blessed in the love and worship and glory of God. In this happy service of praise, self is lost sight of, conditional rewards are banished, and God in Christ, is All In All. O, that one and all could thus know and see and feel.

D. BARTLEY.

CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind., Jan. 13, 1899.

2-04 Work Out Your Own Salvation

Signs Of The Times
Volume 67, No. 3.
FEBRUARY 1, 1899.

WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION.

“Wherefore, my beloved, seeing ye have always obeyed, not am in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling: for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” – {Php 2:12-13}.

My Beloved Brethren: – This text shows that the saints in Christ Jesus are the possessors of salvation, not as having worked for it and thus obtained it, but as their inheritance in Christ, in whom their Father and God freely gave them all things, as freely as he gave them his beloved Son. God is love, and he loved all his chosen people in Christ with everlasting love, even as he loved him; therefore with loving kindness he draws them to him, and sheds his love abroad in their hearts by the holy Spirit. So they are taught of God to love one another, for they are his own dear children in his well beloved Son, and Paul was endeared to them as his beloved brethren. He commends them for their obedience of faith and love in Christ from the first, since God had given them in the behalf of Christ to believe on him, and also to suffer for his sake. Christ was so precious to them, and his love so blessedly and powerfully constrained them in their self-denying work of faith and labor of love and patience of hope, that they were even much more obedient in the absence of their beloved Paul than they had been in his presence with them, to the comfort and joy of his heart. And so he inspires them to thus continue on in the commendable manifestation of their salvation, which God had so mercifully bestowed upon them.

“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” The beginning of their salvation, as wrought in them, had been with fear and trembling, as in the experience of the jailer, and in every one who knows the blessing and joy of salvation. And so they were to continue on in witnessing, experiencing, testifying of and making known their salvation, oven as it had been begun in them. The good tree works out the life and nature given it, as is evidenced by its growth, its leaves, blossoms and fruit. “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” The child of God neither grows nor bears divine fruit by any free will or voluntary effort of its own, but always by the power of the divine life within. This mysterious life-force is unseen and silent, yet mighty and wonderful, as shown in the natural world, and much more in the spiritual. The Lord says of his, “I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” This living water possesses the power of an endless life, and therefore it can never be successfully resisted nor suppressed, though the flesh of its possessor will struggle, complain and oppose, but grace much more abounds than sin, and life is more mighty than death, for Christ, who is our life, swallowed up death in victory, and the life of Jesus is made manifest in our mortal flesh. “For greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.” The Spirit prevails over the flesh. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Free from their enslavement and cruel bondage, their dominion and sting. But still there is an antagonism and conflict in every heir of salvation; therefore our salvation is necessarily worked out or made manifest with fear and trembling, and there is much wrestling in the soul, with strong crying and tears unto God. His children are sojourners, pilgrims and strangers in this sin-blighted world, encompassed with infirmity and mortal weakness, the world and the flesh and the devil being against them, so that they are made to cry out, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death!” Thus it is with fear and trembling that they even claim the promise of eternal life and the hope of salvation, and can seldom “read their title clear to mansions in the skies.” The words, “your own salvation,” clearly express the precious truth that salvation is a glorious possession, our own inheritance, our Father’s gift to us as his children. And because it is ours, we are to work it out, not neglect it, but abide and walk in it, for in it is our life and joy, and in its heavenly fruitfulness in us the beauties of holiness and salvation are manifested, and our Father is glorified in us. This is the blessed and holy purpose of God in the salvation of his people in Christ Jesus, and unto this end he chose them and blessed them with all spiritual blessings, that they should be without blame before him in love and show forth his praise. Our God and Savior will not be disappointed in this divine purpose, but all his chosen and predestinated people shall be to the praise of the glory of his grace; therefore the inspired psalmist David said, “All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; to make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.” It is in their hearts to do all this, for the Lord writes his laws in their hearts, and so with delight do they talk of his power and his mighty acts in their salvation, joyfully telling what great things the Lord has done for them, whereof they are glad. The humble in spirit bear these things, and they are glad. So far, then, from the dear children of God doing religious works in order to obtain some sort of salvation as a recompense for their works, the text shows that they work out the salvation which is already their own, and theirs by inheritance, “not of works.” It is eminently proper that a son who inherits a farm or vineyard from his father should appreciate it with grateful affection, be interested in it and work it out, or be occupied with it. Moreover, the loving and faithful father will so bring up his son and teach him that it will be his delight to do his father’s will, and thus please and honor him. This is blessedly true of our Father in heaven and his children, for lie bestows his love upon them, and their meat and drink and blessed reward is in doing his will; therefore all their service is the work of love, the devotion of gratitude and praise, and not done that they may obtain salvation as a reward. This last is the motive or incentive of all legal religion, and it is always selfish, for it asks, “What shall we have therefore!” and expects or demands salvation for the works of service. Whether the salvation worked for be in time only or unto eternity, the principle is the same – it is salvation of works.

“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Salvation is a good work, the work of righteousness, the merciful deliverance from sin, the justification unto holiness, and this is the work of the Father and Son and Spirit. Salvation is the most glorious and blessed work in all the universe of God, and in it he is more infinitely magnified and glorified than in all his works of creation and providence. “God hath in the person of his Son all his mightiest works outdone.” For in all his other works, God spoke the word only, and they were done; but his work of salvation cost him the sacrifice of his darling Son, in whom was all his delight and glory. Of this Son Simeon said, “Mine eyes have seen thy salvation.”

The work of salvation is two-fold in its manifestation: it is wrought for us, and also wrought in us. In both respects it is our own salvation. The text presents salvation as it is wrought in us, and as we are made the blessed partakers of it. In this connection Paul calls it a good work, saying, “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” A good work is the work of righteousness, and its fruit is salvation. Of the Lord it is written, “His work is perfect.” Jesus said, “There is none good, but One; that is, God.” “Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.”

Of the good pleasure of God he worketh in his children. He not only begins the good work of salvation in them, but he also performs it, even until the day of Jesus Christ, the day of his fall revelation in eternal glory, when all his saints shall be perfected in his righteousness and bear his heavenly image. This is salvation begun in them in time, and ended in blest eternity. There is no opposing power that can prevent or hinder when God “worketh,” for he is omnipotent in all his work, and says, “I will do all my pleasure.” The Lord God Almighty never tries to work and fails, neither does he ever want anything that he cannot obtain, for then he would be fallible, like man; but “what his soul desireth, even that he doeth,” and he will perform the good work in us which he has begun. In this divine assurance was Paul’s coniidence for his brethren in Christ. And upon this solid rock he inspired the beloved children of God with the full assurance of faith in Christ Jesus that salvation is their own blissful heritage and possession, and has the blessed God for its Author, who also worketh in them both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Therefore, seeing that the God of salvation and comfort had begun the good work in them, giving them repentance towards him, and rejoicing faith in the Lord Jesus, “the resurrection and the life,” they had from the first yielded the fruits of loving obedience in their believing hearts; but the apostle was thus enabled to encourage them to continue on in the good begun work of salvation, and work it out, make it manifest and rejoice in it. For their salvation is of God, who will surely perform the good work in them, working in them both the good will and the good work of his good pleasure. All this divine assurance Paul gives his beloved brethren, both then and now. And because of this solemn truth that their God wrought in them, this faithful servant knew that the work of God in their hearts would inspire them with fear and trembling, and that thus they should be the manifest witnesses of their own salvation, showing it forth with fear and trembling. It would be trifling with sacred things to say that we can at our will be filled with fear and trembling, or that we can bid these solemn emotions to leave us at our pleasure. Yet the only way that we do or can work out our own salvation is with fear and trembling, which are not voluntary on our part, but are always manifest in us when God’s power is wrought in us, subduing our rebellious will, making us willing for his will to be done, and giving us strength in our weakness to do his will. When the Lord so worketh in us, then there always will be fear and trembling in our soul. So when the glory of the Lord shone round about the shepherds, they were sore afraid. And Paul preached the gospel of Christ, which is the power of God unto salvation, in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling, yet it was in demonstration of the Spirit and in power, that their faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. God’s work and power will always bring every one in whom he works into fear and trembling before him, for that one is made to realize the great solemnity of the work of salvation, and his entire unworthiness of this great salvation, to either possess it or testify of it; therefore he will do so with fear and trembling, and will ascribe salvation to the Lord, but never to his own works, saying, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory.”

It is both passing strange and lamentable, when any who have known the power of God in salvation, will contend that the children of God, in whom he works both to will and to do of his good pleasure, may yet be unwilling and refuse to do what he has wrought in them. This would be to defeat and disappoint the Lord God omnipotent who reigneth, and who said to our Savior, by whom grace reigns, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness.” To take such a position as this, is “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” To say that those who realize their great need of salvation, and that it is worth more to them than all the world, in whom God worketh both the willing mind and the power to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, that they may still refuse to do that which they are most willing to do, which God wants them to do and they want to do, is a very ridiculous and absurd notion. But, my beloved brethren, we rejoice that our God of wisdom and power and love does not thus trifle with his dear people, nor so teach them, for his word is in power, saying, “I will,” and “they shall.” But now, because this is true, the carnal and fault-finding objection of old is being made, that this takes away our responsibility, our sacred obligations in the gospel of salvation, and reduces us to mere passive machines; that it is Antinomianism, do-nothingism and fatalism. Legalism has from of old till now thus replied against God, and exposed its spirit of rebellion against the sovereign power and way and work of God in the salvation of his people, and the Scriptures testify that it shall ever be so till our Lord shall come again. Therefore the people whom God graciously reconciles unto himself in Christ Jesus, who say with him, “Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight,” must be reproached and spoken against, as he was. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” And all the hard speeches, reproaches and epithets against the Lord and his reconciled people, from all faultfinders, arise from the carnal mind, and he rebukes them all, saying, “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God?”

That we may see how unfounded and untrue are all such replies, we need only consider that all life and its activities of whatever nature are from God; that to his people he gave eternal life and all spiritual blessings in his Son, and so every heavenly emotion and spiritual function or activity in us and by us is from the life of Christ, but not from natural life; that the Lord ordains peace for his saints, and has wrought all their good works in them; that not only does God begin the good work of grace and salvation in his beloved people, but he worketh in them both to will and to do of his good pleasure, and will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. And thus it is fully shown in the sacred oracles of God that all the spiritual wisdom and understanding and knowledge of his believing children, with all their faith and hope and love, their work of faith’ and labor of love, and all their willing and active service and obedience and sacrifice, in doing and in suffering the will of God, is because he thus worketh in them of his good pleasure, so that his good pleasure becomes also theirs. “Now the God of peace make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen,” says Paul again, He also says, “Whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.” Our Leader and perfect Teacher himself said, “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” Much more dependent are we upon the Father that dwelleth in us to do the good works, and perform the work of righteousness unto salvation in us until the day or revelation of Christ. Shall it now also be said that his own precious doctrine makes him as passive as a lifeless machine? O shame! where is thy blush?

So far from this blessed doctrine of God our Savior justifying such slanderous reports against it, just the opposite is true; for all the spiritual devotions and mighty activities of the saints of all ages, their loving and willing sacrifices in the service of their God, their patient endurance in tribulation and persecution for his sake, their abiding steadfast in the faith of the Son of God, who loved them and gave himself for them, and their overcoming through the blood of the Lamb – all, all is from this God-honoring and glorious truth: “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

D. BARTLEY.

Montgomery, Ala., April 16,1902.

2-05 Patient In Tribulation

Signs Of The Times
Volume 70, No. 11
June 1, 1902

PATIENT IN TRIBULATION.

“and not only so, but we glory in tribulations 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 5:3-5}.

Paul, the inspired, wrote wonderful truths relating to our salvation, in the fifth chapter of Romans, as also in {1Co 15}, the two embracing the same central truths of sin and salvation, death and life, by Adam and by Christ, as representing sinners justly condemned in Adam, and the same sinners freely justified in Christ. Herein is revealed the whole fullness of the gospel of salvation. In this gospel the man Adam is embraced as the sinner saved, and the man Christ as the Savior. “By man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” Sin brought death to men; righteousness brings life to men. Sin and death are by the one man Adam, unto all men in him; righteousness and life are by the one man Christ Jesus, unto all men in him. All who are in Adam were created in him; all who are in Christ were chosen in him, and through him foreordained to be conformed to his perfect and holy likeness. “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous.” Each result follows the one disobedience, and the one obedience, with absolute certainty, unto the sinfulness of the many related to Adam, and unto the righteousness of the many related to Christ. For in both cases, the sinfulness of many, and the righteousness of many, are because of previous relationship; relationship so close and vital that all in Adam die, and all in Christ shall be made alive. To his own Christ said, “Because I live, ye shall live also.” So, on the other hand, because Adam sinned and died, all his people shall sin and die also, because they are in him and of him. “As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy.”

Thus it is true that sin and death, with all their woe and curse, come unto the children of men through Adam; so is it alike true that righteousness and life, with all their joy and blessing, come unto the children of men through Christ. The Holy Spirit revealed it to Paul, that as all men in Adam die, even so all men in Christ shall be made alive. He speaks of the dissolution of man who is mortal, and of his resurrection out of death unto immortality. For it is a blessed mystery of godliness, that the children of men, who are only the creatures of God in Adam, were predestinated unto the adoption of children by our Lord Jesus unto God himself, and they are therefore the children of God as born again, born of the Spirit, having received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Thus, though we were the servants of sin under the law and its curse, yet now in Christ Jesus are we no more servants, but sons; and if sons, then heirs of God through Christ.

It is as thus made and manifested that “we glory in tribulations also.” In no other way could we do this. So Paul states what is true in our own experience when he says, “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” This is a mysterious union of complex natures in the people and children of God, who are both the members of Adam and the members of Christ; yet so has the God and Father of his people and children foreordained them and put them forth. Sin reigns in them unto death, therefore, and they are brought into great tribulation, distress, affliction and sorrow, and the cry is made to go up from their burdened and suffering hearts, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death!” Then, in the depth of this tribulation, they joyfully exclaim, “I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” It is in view of all this truth, or because of it, and in this way that “tribulation worketh patience “in those who are thus moulded and taught. Their God is thus refining them, but not with silver or riches, for he hath chosen them in the furnace of affliction, and forms them for himself, that they should show forth his praise in their salvation from all their conflicts and woes. The Lord is the refiner and purifier of his people and children, that they may bear the perfect image of the heavenly Man, and be the sons of God in the life and nature of the holy Son Jesus, who was both the Son of man and the Son of God. From having borne the image of the earthy man only, they shall bear the image of the heavenly Man only. In thus saving his people from their sins, and all that sin brings upon them, they must through much tribulation enter the kingdom of grace and glory. In this way did Christ himself go before them, through tribulation, suffering and death unto sin in the flesh, and enter the kingdom of his Father. So must they follow him in his steps, as a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, drink of his bitter cup, offer up unto God their prayers, with strong crying and tears, and be made conformable unto his death. For the suffering Christ says to his followers, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the rather, but by me.” So they must be made like him in his sufferings in their flesh for their sins, and die indeed unto sin, that they may live unto God in the life of Jesus. So Paul says, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (together with him).

Now, in this hope of his glory, we rejoice in tribulations also; for it is in this consecrated way unto God the Father, the way our dear dying Redeemer went, that we are brought into patience, or submissive endurance, and experience of our need of mercy and grace, and into the abiding hope in Christ, the good hope through grace that maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

In all this way of weeping and supplications, tribulations many, and deep afflictions, grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Therefore in his infinite love and rich mercy unto his afflicted and poor people, whom he hath appointed unto these afflictions, Paul says, God graciously sanctifies their manifold temptations and great tribulations through his Spirit of love and truth, the Comforter. In this way of holiness the Father brings his dear children into the faith; and hope in Christ his dear Son, in whom, believing, they rejoice on their way, and are meekly reconciled unto God, whom they love and serve in sweet submission. “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” In this divine work and way of the Lord with his people, his word of truth is fulfilled in their experience, which says, “They that Bow in tears shall reap in joy.” “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so oar consolation also aboundeth by Christ. “And our hope of you is steadfast, knowing that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.” To his sorrowing disciples Jesus says, “These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world.” For us he has overcome the world, and every foe, and death, the last enemy. So to his people Jesus is the resurrection and the life; he is their redemption unto full salvation. All this way unto the Father of glory his people are made to walk in, because they are all taught of God in their experience of this way of salvation unto holiness, and therefore every one of them comes unto Christ, in whom they shall be made righteous and perfect by his obedience and through his sufferings, into which they shall be brought. So they are, as he was, in this world, and they shall also be as he is in the world to come. His sufferings unto death in the flesh shall be fulfilled in every one of his members, which brings them into tribulation and sorrow, even the exceeding sorrow of death for sin and unto sin in their flesh, and then also his resurrection unto life and holiness and glory shall be fulfilled in them and to them through him and with him, and they shall behold his glory and be like him. This shall be the full consummation of the choice and predestination of God in them, as he revealed it to his servant Paul. This is most solemnly a sorrowful way of salvation to the saved from their sins, as they find, in their personal experience, causing them to cry to God in their helpless weakness, when the waves of affliction go over them and they sink in deep waters; but they are only following their dear Forerunner, and to them he blessedly says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” “And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” These are precious truths to us in our tribulation and sorrow. The sorrow and mourning, as the clouds and rain, are before the Sun of righteousness arises unto us with healing beams of peace and joy. This is the experience of the dear children of God, who are called into the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings, to whom it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. Their sufferings and trials often sorely perplex them, and they fear that they are alone, and that surely none of the children of God are ever brought into such depths of affliction as they are made to experience. This was the bitter experience of my dear daughter, after the Lord called to himself her mother and youngest brother, within three days. In one of her sorrowful letters to me, about a month after this great sorrow came to us, dated May 26th, 1880, she said: “My dear father, you said in your letter, ‘The hand that wounds can heal.’ Unless that hand gives comfort and peace, no earthly hand can do so. I know that ‘Whom he loveth he chasteneth.’ But are his children not chastened with one hand, and comforted with the other! If I am a child of God, why can I not trust! He has promised his children strength for any trial. I sometimes come to the conclusion that for the past nine years I have been deceived. Can it be possible that God would permit such a thing? I try to be submissive and resigned, but it seems to me that I never can be. It is an utter impossibility for me to tell my feelings. I have suffered agony almost beyond endurance. You spoke of my sorely tried faith.’ I have thought often, that surely no one was ever tried as I have been. For I have suffered till I felt that it would be a relief if my mind could become a blank.” That was a time of overwhelming affliction to us; but the dear suffering Christ said, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you,” so did he fulfill his blessed word to us in our sorrow, and my daughter was again comforted in her faith and hope in the Lord, so that her troubled questionings were answered with peace, and she did sweetly trust in him, as in the time of her first rejoicing in Christ as her Redeemer. It has never been my privilege to behold such sweet and perfect patience as was given to her in her last long affliction, so that her peaceful and lovely face looked Christlike and heavenly. So true is it that “tribulation worketh patience,” and has its heavenly fruitage in the “hope that maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us.” In tribulation and hope,

D. BARTLEY.

2-06 Time Salvation

Signs of The Times
Volume 69, No.5
March 1, 1901

TIME SALVATION.

Beloved: – The Old Baptist people have long been troubled with the confusing doctrines of “means of salvation,” “means of grace,” and such like; but not until the present young generation rose up, who assume to be wise above all the fathers, has the confusing and uncertain Sound of “conditional time salvation “been trumpeted forth in almost all the camps of Israel. The last ten years this strange and startling blast of trumpets has echoed and reechoed with exciting and bewildering effect, and great has been the widespread confusion and division, where peace and good will prevailed before. This dividing of salvation, and subdividing it into fragments and parts, partly eternal salvation, and partly time salvation, (as the teachers of this yea and nay gospel call it,) they boast i ugly claim, is “rightly dividing the word.” It certainly has a dividing quality, for it has scattered the flock. Yea, it has brought bitter strife and alienation into the rank and file of the conditional Baptists themselves. Thus has God confounded their language, and they cannot understand one another. And, as did the confused Midianites, they are now falling upon one another in deadly strife. But the remnant according to the election of grace, the little band with their spiritual Gideon, break their earthen pitchers that the light may shine out, and should, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon.” By this they conquer, for the Lord fights for them and gives them the victory.

Let us now consider salvation in the light of the Lord as revealed in the word. “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.” “Salvation” is a Bible term, and it runs all through the divine book, being used very many times, yet it is always the one single, simple word, never plural, complex or compounded. “Salvation.” The plural word, “salvations,” is not in the holy Bible. This term, “salvations,” so common and popular now, belongs to the literature of a yea and nay gospel, but it is not in the gospel of Christ. This late word, “salvations,” is incomplete without another word, “conditional,” joined to it. For the recent salvations, so much talked of, which depend upon creature obedience, are necessarily conditional. Any conditional salvation is legal, yea and nay, and most uncertain. There is no grace at all in any conditional salvation, because the grace of God is free, unconditional, never sold and never bought. “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.” “And if by grace, then it is no more of works.” All conditional salvation calls for works to obtain it, for something must be done. So grace is entirely excluded from the yea and nay doctrine of conditional salvations. The teachers of conditional salvation have not yet presumed to say the grace of God is conditional, and so all conditionalism is a denial of salvation by grace.

Conditional Baptists, however, seem to think that they take away the objectionable feature of Arminianism or conditional salvation, by confining it to time, and so they qualify this legal doctrine of salvation by works by inserting the word “time” between the two words, conditional salvation, and make it read, “Conditional time salvation;” that is to say, salvation in time is conditional. If so, then salvation in time is not by grace, nor of the Lord.

Now it behooves us to know what salvation is, when it is, and who it is to. Salvation is redemption, deliverance; it is always in time, and it is always to the lost. No one who is not lost can be saved. The one who knows what to do, and can do it, is not lost. So doing conditions is not salvation at all, but merely working for a reward. We never go to salvation, because salvation is righteousness and justification, and we are sinful; but salvation must and does always come to us as lost. Salvation has no meaning to the one who is not lost, but claims ability to do and obtain the desired good. It is hypocritical to call that which is within our own power salvation. So long as Peter stood on the water, he did not pray, “Lord save me.” Such a cry would have been false then; but when he had no power left, then the prayer was one of need, and salvation came to him.

When is salvation? Does it take place in eternity? or in time? It is important that we understand when salvation is. While the Bible clearly shows that God’s purpose to save his chosen and predestinated people in Christ is eternal, the divine testimony is abundant and clear, that all the work of their full and glorious salvation unto holiness and a blissful immortality is begun and ended in time. This triple work of the Father, Son and Spirit, three in One, consists in redemption, regeneration and resurrection. The resurrection of all the redeemed and heaven-born people of God shall take place at the last day of time. And so Christ said of all the church, that the Father’s will is that “I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” And of every believer in him he says, “And I will raise him up at the last day.” The last day is a part of time. The resurrection of all the dead, who sleep in Christ, is the completion and crowning glory of their salvation. This is in time. Redemption from the law of sin and death, by the death of the Son of God, is in time. So is salvation by his risen life in time. Paul says, “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then 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, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” This salvation by his life includes being born again, and passing from death unto life. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” All this is wrought in time. Paul therefore says, “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” That is, until the full revelation of Christ in you in his resurrection, power and glory. Until that glorious day, God will perform the good work of salvation in you. O this is assuring and blessed, my beloved! In this faith Paul said, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” This is the full glory of our ascended Lord Jesus Christ. God, who exalted him at his own right hand of power, will perform his blessed work of salvation in us until the redemption of the purchased possession. “Then we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

All the work of salvation is fulfilled in time. But the adjective, the long and dangerous handle, “conditional,” is not found in the Bible as belonging to our time salvation. But this is true: “Salvation is of the Lord,” and salvation is in time. All the redeemed of the Lord shall be saved in time. “Who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord!”

All legal teachers, who strive to burden the salvation of the Lord’s people with conditions, are putting a yoke upon their necks which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear, but which is a curse and snare to the people, and a reproach upon salvation. But when they think that they have improved upon Arminian conditional salvation by inserting the word “time” in it, they are deceiving and being deceived, for this is the day of salvation. “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation.)” So any one who is not saved in time has no salvation. Therefore, the modern term, “conditional time salvation,” means no more nor less than conditional salvation. To prove this, they must first prove that Jesus is a conditional Savior. This they dare not attempt to do. Salvation is of the Lord and in Christ. Yea, he himself is Salvation. “Mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” “Neither is there salvation in any other.” Then there is no salvation in conditions nor in man. “For by grace are ye saved: “not of works.” “Truly my soul waiteth upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge is in God.” David here personified the man Christ and every member of Christ. As this was true of David and Christ under the law, is it not equally true of us under the gospel of grace? Since God only was the rock and salvation of his people under the old covenant, which was conditional, is he any the less their only rock and salvation under the new covenant in Christ Jesus, which is free from all conditions!

The Lord said, “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” This is a perfect description of conditional salvation; for it can hold no water of salvation.

But blessed be the Lord of salvation, Jesus saves his people from their sins, gives them the water of life, and says, “The water that I shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” This is all my salvation and all my desire.

And now, brethren, I command you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

D BARTLEY

2-07 The Supremacy of God

Signs Of The Times
Volume 73, No. 7
April 1, 1905

THE SUPREMACY OF GOD.

Beloved Brethren: – A dear brother in Christ urges me to write for the SIGNS upon two statements of Paul, as follows:

“Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.” – {Ac 27:21}.

“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” – {Eph 1:11}.

We believe that the apostle Paul was an inspired servant of God; that the ways of God are just and equal, and do not conflict; that there is, therefore, no contradiction between these two statements of Paul, nor between the other inspired oracles of God. But we may sadly fail to rightly understand the Scriptures, because we are very finite, and so not perceive their harmony; hence there may be difficulties in our minds, and confliction in our views; but all things are known unto God, who saw the end from the beginning. This fact should teach us our dependence upon the Lord for a true understanding of the word of truth, and humble us, as well as teach us to be charitable toward one another.

In the first text for our consideration, Paul spoke to the master and owner of the ship, and to the Roman officer, whose prisoner he was, whom he had before warned of this shipwreck and danger, but against his prophetic warning they had sailed away from Crete, which was defiant and perverse in them, after this kind and faithful prophet of God had told them that it would be with hurt and much damage. This is according to God’s purpose and way. Before sin entered into the world, the Lord said to man, “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” But, like the master of the ship, Adam would not hearken. Yet God was not disappointed in either case, nor his purpose overthrown, for he foreknew the end, with all the consequences; therefore in his goodness and mercy, he made provision for the deliverance of the rebellious. His foreknown vessels of mercy were in Adam, so his servant Paul was in the endangered ship. In all the trangressions of rebellious man, he is left without excuse, for God has commanded and warned him, and the creature is under a supreme obligation to obey the supreme Creator. Therefore in every case, the sin and fault, violation and wrong are man’s, and the throne of the Most High is spotless and holy. Man is the author of his own sin. The supreme Ruler has the absolute right to command, warn and punish sinful man, or to have mercy upon him and send him deliverance. The Scriptures abundantly show all this, both by precept and example. The salvation of all in the ark of Noah, but the destruction of the wicked world by the flood, is a solemn instance. “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth,” and for this wickedness he sent the flood. The Most High has not left himself without witness in the righteous visitation of his judgments upon the earth, for holy men of God have been raised up and sent to foretell to men the fearful consequences of their persistent wickedness, which should come upon them. But both the Bible and the world’s history testify that “the heart of man is deceitful, and desperately wicked.”

Paul affirms, in the last text, that in Christ the saints have obtained an inheritance, “Being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” This is a very great and wonderful revelation of truth. Another like it is, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” –{(Ro 8:28}. All things work together for good to all those, for the reason that God worketh all things after the counsel of his own will, as says the inspired Paul. This applies to all events in all times and places relative to the called of God according to his purpose, because his dominion and power are unlimited and supreme. And so no event can possibly arise without the knowledge and leave of God. With him there can be neither surprises nor accidents. If such a thing could be, it would destroy the sovereignty or supremacy of God, because it would deny either his wisdom to foresee, or his power to prevent the chance event, or both. But the Scriptures abundantly teach the self-evident truth, that our God is infinite in wisdom, and omnipotent in power, and that he therefore both foreknew all things, and controls all things. To deny this is simply to undeify the Almighty, and deny his eternal Godhead. And to deny this universal supremacy of Jehovah, would be to admit chance and chaos into God’s universe, and so overturn his government, defeat his eternal purpose, and subject all to anarchy and ruin. But we rejoice that blind and ruinous chance cannot obtain in God’s universal dominion, and that the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Our dear Lord assures us that not a sparrow falls to the ground without the notice of our Father in heaven. The text connects all things with the infinite and eternal and immutable counsel of God’s will, therefore there cannot arise any device of men or devils, nor any wicked thing against his counsel, to defeat his purpose. If such a thing were possible, then some of the predestinated unto the adoption of children might fail to obtain the heavenly inheritance in Christ; then Paul and all in the storm-wrecked ship might have perished; then some mishap in the long chain of calamitous events in the afflictions of Joseph, or in the afflictions of Moses and the children of Israel in Egypt, might have changed all, and defeated the divine mercy, goodness and blessing there was in it all. Yet the envious brethren of Joseph wickedly sold him into slavery, but God sent him into Egypt. And most cruelly and wickedly did the Egyptians and Pharaoh oppress the enslaved chosen people of God, yet the Lord said to Pharaoh, “ Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.” Truly then God’s counsel was in all those great and mighty things, and his wisdom and power brought great and lasting good to his people, and glory to his name through those trying things. Therefore “the sweet psalmist of Israel,” who understood all those things, would exultingly exclaim in praise to God, “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.” Surely then it was according to the eternal purpose of God that the wrath of man should praise him, and that he should restrain the remainder of wrath. So in the purpose and counsel of God, he has limited and bounded the wrath of mankind, just as truly as he has fixed a limit to the seas, saying, “Thus far shalt thou come, and here shalt thy proud waves be staid.” With David we may rejoice that it is so. The psalmist says, “Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear assunder: he burneth the chariot in the fire. 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. O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. For the Lord most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah.” David says again, “For the kingdom is the Lord’s; and he is the Governor among the nations.” And so a great heathen king was humbled and made to say, “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine ryes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me; and I blessed the Most High; and I praised and honored him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation; and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.” – Daniel iv. Well did this king know this, for God had abased him, and taught him to thus confess the supremacy of the Most High. In this is the safety of God’s people. His dominion is over all worlds and beings and things. Therefore, says Paul, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”

As a most momentous and solemn instance of this truth, and the truth of the text, let me refer to the ancient prophecies of the life and persecutions, the cruel betrayal and mockings, scourging and crucifixion, of the meek and lamb-like Jesus of Nazareth, for every event of all this was determined and foretold hundreds of years before their awful fulfillment, and so were embraced in the counsel of God. The very persons engaged in this most wicked of all wicked murders, were also foretold, as Judas and the high priest, Pilate and Herod, the mocking and smiting soldiers, the one who offered the blessed sufferer the vinegar, and the other who thrust a spear in his side and heart, and also the two thieves on the right and left of Jesus, yea, the darkness and earthquake, the rending rocks and rent vail, the opening graves and rising dead, all were foreordained and foretold. Of all this crime of crimes, the apostle Peter by inspiration said, “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel, and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.” Not long after Peter thus spoke, being assembled with the other apostles, “They lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is; who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 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 whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.” Words could not be plainer, nor stronger; and these are divinely inspired words. “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.” Thus did the Lord hear and bless them in this prayer. O Lord, this is enough for us to know, and here we may rest, trusting in thee.

The counsel and purpose of God so determined the fearful storm and shipwreck, in bringing all on board safely to the island of Melita, that by his servant Paul he greatly blessed the people of the island, who not only healed their sick, but also made known to them the gospel of our Savior. So the two texts that the dear, distant brother gave me, are in unison with the divine counsel and purpose, and yet the accountability of man and secondary causes are established. All worlds and creatures are under law to the Lord God omnipotent, and all are subjected to his sovereignty, and held within the determined limit of his eternal purpose. Both the Bible and the book of nature teach and prove this. Were it not so, then we could have no assurance of anything good, but uncertainty, peril and awful destruction should run riot everywhere throughout the universe. Why this would be nothing less than to wrest the crown of dominion from the great white throne of God, and leave us as a ship turned loose to drift upon a storm-tossed sea, or it would be virtually saying, with the fool, “There is no God.” When the spiritual poet, Cowper, driven by gloomy mental affliction, sought to go and drown himself, but God held him back by a singular providence, he returned home, and wrote the inspired song:

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

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will.”

Jehovah himself afirms this truth, saying, “I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; that frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; that confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof; that saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers; that saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure; even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.” – {Isa 44}: This was more than a hundred years before Cyrus, the Persian king, was born. Please read on through the next chapter, in which the Lord says of Cyrus, “For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none else. “ Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” The things here foretold, which God said he would bring to pass, involved wars, the overthrow of peoples and nations, the return of the Jews to Judea, from their seventy years’ captivity, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple, through great suffering and perils.

Yet God had purposed to bring to pass all those great and mighty events, “And it was so.”

In the histories of nations, their rise and fall, recorded in the Bible, the careful reader cannot but be impressed with the fact that the Almighty determined, directed and controlled their great battles, all of which were connected with his chosen people, either directly or indirectly. Elihu testified to Job of God and his ways and works, and of clouds and stormy winds he says, “He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth. “ God thundereth marvelously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend. “ He scattereth his bright cloud. And it is turned round about by his counsels; that they may do whatsoever he commandeth them upon the face of the world in the earth. He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy. “ With God is terrible majesty. Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict.” Then the Lord said to Job, “Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him! he that reproveth God, let him answer it. “ Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous? Hast – thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? “ Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee. “ Then Job answered the Lord, and said, I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.”

It would be well for us all to meekly receive these divine rebukes and lessons of truth, and make the contrite and submissive confession that Job did in the end of his trial. Before we presume to either criticise the Almighty, or apologize for him, as he has revealed himself in the Bible, let us remember these two positive attributes: God is holy; God is love. Then let us remember also, God is infinite, omnipotent, supreme. Remembering these, and our unholiness, ignorance, weakness and dependence, we shall be impressed with a spirit of awe and reverence before his majesty, and should shudder at the blasphemous and horrid thought of charging sin or wickedness to God, or of saying that his ways are unequal, or he is unjust. God himself says, “Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker!” And his servant Paul says, “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God!” Poor, sinful, ignorant man. Yet he vaunteth himself as wiser and holier than the Holy One. How shocking for. any sinful creature, whose very breath is from the Almighty, to jeeringly talk about the holy Jehovah being the author of sin, if he would dare to comprehend all things in his eternal purpose and almighty control. Yet the very being, preservation and salvation of those who thus rant is bound up in this dominion and supremacy of the ever blessed and holy Lord God Almighty. His word is, “Be still, and know that I am God.” O, with his suffering Son, let us meekly say, “Father, thy will be done.” Man’s accountability is bound up in God’s sovereignty.

Trusting in God omnipotent, farewell.

D. BARTLEY.

Crawfordsville, Ind., Fell. 25, 1898.

2-08 Suffering With Christ

Signs Of The Times
Volume 66., No. 17.
SEPTEMBER 1, 1898.

SUFFERING WITH CHRIST.

Beloved Brethren In Christ: – In mind and heart I have been much exercised recently upon the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings, and to-day am impressed to write to the members of Christ upon this heart-touching theme, with the hope that they may be comforted with the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God, and that their confidence in him may be strengthened, and their love abound. As a text, let me use the brief words of Paul the inspired: “If so be that we suffer with him.” – {Ro 8:17}. May it please the Spirit of truth, the Comforter, to quicken and illuminate my spirit, and guide my mind and thoughts while I dwell upon these expressive and wonderful words of this suffering servant of Christ. He is writing to the “beloved of God, called to be saints,” of the evidences of their filial relation to God in an everlasting and ever blessed sonship, first telling them wherein this divine sonship exists, saying, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Their sonship therefore is in the Spirit of God, but not in the flesh of man. He next assures them that they “have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” So Paul, as well as they, had received this Spirit, and now it was by this blessed Spirit that they were the children of God, and he was their Father. Their Father in the new and everlasting covenant of life and peace, and their Father in the holy and blessed eternal life in Christ Jesus. So then their sonship to (Sod the Father is in the Lord Jesus Christ, in his sonship and name, life and nature; for Jesus is “declared to be the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell,” writes Paul. Hence to the children of God, “Christ is all in all.” “And ye are complete in him, which is the Head of all principality and power.” “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Thus are all the children of our God connected with his beloved Son, in and with whom they have eternal life, and all other spiritual blessings, and are his brethren and members. Paul declares this oneness with our living Head, in sublimely simple and wonderful words, saying, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved,) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” And as we are and shall ever be thus one in and with Christ, as we have been regenerated, and shall be resurrected, so truly was and is he also one with us in his incarnation, as both the Son of God, and Son of man. So it is written, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same,” &c. “Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that lie might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” – Heb. ii. For this cause, and in this way, was Jesus joined with his brethren in suffering, even unto death; yet he suffered for us, and for our sins, “The just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.” We thus learn that the brethren of the meek and lowly Jesus, the children of God, are the children of men, partakers of flesh and blood, and are therefore sinners in their fleshly nature and existence, subject to affliction and suffering, disease and death. In all this the man Christ partook with them, as their Brother, Mediator and High Priest, that he might redeem them from all iniquity, save them from their sins, and present them to God a holy priesthood. Jesus was therefore a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, not only in coming in close touch with the woes of others, but also in his own sinless person. So he was touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and knew how to succor the distressed and tempted, in that he was tempted. He was even made to be sin for us, although he knew no sin, and did no sin, that he might put away our sins, and make us partakers of his holiness. Now unto this end God has chosen his beloved people in Christ, who died for them, and rose again, that he might wash them from all their guilty stains of sin in his own atoning blood, purify them unto himself a holy people, and raise them up unto God and glory, in immortality, in the power of an endless life, to evermore be with him. The beginning of this work of righteousness in the heirs of eternal glory, is their regeneration by the quickening and sanctifying power and operation of the Spirit of the God and Father of our Lord .Jesus Christ, who raised him up from the dead to heaven, and gave him glory. This life-giving Spirit in them, is to them “the Spirit of adoption,” and it seals them in their hearts as the heirs of salvation, and gives them character as the children of God, because they are now in living union with his Son Jesus. Thus are they quickened together with Christ, and raised up together with him in his righteous life above the law of sin and death, and shall forever live, because he lives in them, and they live in him. Before they were thus quickened, and raised up from under the law and its curse, they were dead in their sins, and in the uncircumcision of their flesh, having no hope, and without God in the world. But now they are made nigh unto him in Christ Jesus, and cry to him, “Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” They have passed from death unto life, and now live in the Son of God, who loved them, and gave himself for them. Yet this life they now live in the flesh; therefore they are the children of God by the Spirit of adoption; for they have not yet received the adoption itself unto God their Father, but wait for it in hope, namely, the redemption of their bodies from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the Son of God. Hence now, from the time when they are quickened together with Christ, they also begin to have fellowship with him in his sufferings in the days of his flesh; for now they die indeed unto sin, but live unto righteousness through our Lord Jesus Christ. He is their Leader, and in all the way they must follow him, and walk in his footsteps. From the manger to the cross, every “new-born babe” in Christ must go after him, and be made conformable unto his death, that they may also know the power of his resurrection unto life, and unto God. They must drink of his cup, and be baptized with his baptism. As he was afflicted in all their afflictions for their salvation, so in coming into this salvation, they must come into his afflictions. Thus and in this way they personally know the preciousness of Christ in his sufferings for their sins, and the joy of his salvation, in all of which they are joint-heirs with him. Tribulation, suffering and sorrow filled the cup of the meek and lowly Son of God on earth; and his baptism, in which he fulfilled all righteousness, was into death. Thus it must be with all his members, because they are joint-heirs with Christ. “In the days of his flesh, he offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” And it is in him, and through his sufferings fulfilled in us, that we shall be made perfect; for it is by his obedience that many shall be made righteous, and obtain eternal redemption and salvation. All this shall be fulfilled in them that are Christ’s, as well as for them. “For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: if we suffer, we shall also reign with him.” “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.” “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake,” says Paul. Hence not the faith only is God’s gift to us for Jesus’ sake, but the suffering as well.

“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; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Suffering with Christ, therefore, is itself the blessed evidence given us by the Spirit that we are the heaven-born children and heirs of God; that he is our Father and our blessed God, and that his now glorified Son is our Brother, while we are also his brethren and joint-heirs, both in his sufferings, and in his victory and glory. O how consecrated and sanctified then are the sufferings of the children of God in the days of their flesh! For as the loving Father appointed the sufferings of his dear Son, so has he in his love and faithfulness appointed unto his dear children their afflictions and sufferings in all their sojourn on earth, from the cradle to the grave. It was in view of this truth that Paul wrote to the dear, suffering kindred in Christ, saying, “That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know. “ Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith; for now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.” Their distresses and reproaches for Jesus’ sake not only tried their faith in him, but purified and strengthened it; and not only so, but their afflictions likewise brought them nearer together in Christ, and nearer to him. So in a time of sore distress and persecution in Jerusalem, the disciples lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and fervently called upon the name of their now glorified Lord in strong assurance of faith in him. “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.” They now suffered with Christ, and for his name’s sake, and he was near and precious to them. It was as when Jesus endured the dreadful temptations in the wilderness, and the awful suffering in the garden, and (Sod sent his ministering angel to succor, strengthen and comfort his beloved Son, and so he the mere preciously manifested his watchcare and love. It is so in all the varied and many afflictions of God’s suffering and dependent children on earth; for having loved them with an everlasting love, it is in this way that with loving-kindness he draws them to his mercy-seat, and to their precious Christ, and away from an arm of flesh, and all mertal power and dependence. And so he prepares them to say, “Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.” This discipline teaches them their need of being bound up and healed, and that it is the Lord that does this. Hence what a blessed experience this is! So must we all be emptied of self, and all confidence in the flesh, before we are prepared as earthen vessels to be tilled with the fullness of God, and reflect the image of our precious Redeemer, who through suffering manifested that our perfection is in him. We come into his perfection only through his sufferings; and in no other way can we know the love of God for us. Remember, dear child of God, that in your first experience, and heartfelt burden of sin and sorrow unto death, the sowing in tears of deep repentance and contrition, and your unutterable soul-anguish, prepared you to feel your absolute need of God’s rich mercy and infinite love; then he shed his love abroad in your heart, and gave you to reap in joy. It is thus in all our pilgrimage from earth to heaven, for our Father and God, in his love in Christ towards his dear people and children, “Worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” This divine truth moved Paul to say, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” “All things,” include all the afflictions and sufferings of all who are Christ’s, of whatever nature and kind; for just as this was true in all the temptations, persecutions and sufferings of the beloved Son of God in the days of his flesh, so is it true of all the brethren and joint-heirs of Christ, because the Father “loved them, as thou hast loved me,” said Jesus in his prayer. “The everlasting Father,” in the infiniteness of his wisdom and love, and the omnipotence of his power, will not permit any affliction or suffering to any of the dear objects of his love, only as be please; hence it is all for their salvation and good, and his glory, and the glory of his grace. The love and power and glory of God shone mere brightly in the three Hebrew children, when in the fiery furnace, than ever before. It is so when the “beloved of God “encounter all perils and enemies, even “the last enemy, which is death.” So when it was told Jesus, “he whom thou lovest is sick,” he said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” Yet he knew it all, all the suffering and bodily death of his friend Lazarus, all the heart-anguish and bitter sorrow and weeping of the stricken sisters; still it was in this way that the loving Father, and loving and dying Son, should be glorified. This covers the whole ground in all the sufferings of all the friends of Jesus, the now glorified Son of God. He lovingly eluded his two complaining disciples, and said, “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to have entered into his glory?” This applies to all who are his, and who come after him, that they may be glorified with him.

Let us follow the weeping Son of God and his fearful disciples to the tomb of Lazarus, and with solemn wonder behold sorrow and weeping, suffering and death, turned into joy and gladness, glory and life, at the coming of the Master, the Physician, the Resurrect ion and the Life, that we may understand how the Son of God was glorified thereby; and his beloved disciples were with him, and beheld his glory. So it will be in the consummation of all things, when “death is swallowed up in victory.” In assurance of this, Paul could say, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” And Peter also says that the prophets spoke of the grace that should come unto the children of God, and that the Spirit in them “testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” The sufferings of Christ in us then go before the glory, as the night before the day, and the law of penalty, before the gospel of victory. So Paul would thus comfort us, saying, “And whether we, be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is steadfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of the trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life; but we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us.” Paul here brings out the divine purpose and goodness in all these fearful trials, “That we should not trust in ourselves, but in God.” They are needful, and sanctified unto this end. Blessed God! and blessed trust.

Many years ago, with brother Chick, I visited a precious brother in Baltimore, greatly emaciated, and fearfully suffering from cancer of the face, insomuch that my mind murmured at such a distressing providence when we first entered his room, and I never felt to mere deeply pity and commiserate any poor sufferer; but as we sat and listened to the gracious words with which he spoke to us, expressing the sweetest reconciliation to the will of God, so that in spirit he was happy, and full of divine light and peace, entirely cut loose from the world, and raised above all its sorrow, full of heavenly mindedness, and rejoicing in the consolations of Christ, I felt and realized that he was in the very door of heaven, and inexpressibly blessed, while I myself was far beneath him in spiritual blessedness. Then I pitied myself, rather than him, and when he asked me to read in the Bible and pray for him, with tears I said, “Dear brother, I feel that I have need to ask you to pray for me.”

“That we may be glorified together with him.” Our suffering in the flesh is sanctified of God unto this end. lie gives to the children of his perfect love the cross of Christ first, then the crown of glory. We ourselves shall be his brethren in his infinite bliss and glory, as we were in his sufferings in the flesh, and shall bear his heavenly image, and be like him. This is the Father’s glory of perfect holiness and love, immortality and eternal life, in all their infinite fullness and everlasting blessedness and joyfulness, thrilling the enraptured “children of the resurrection “with heavenly transports of divinest bliss, adoration and praise. In the full assurance of this coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in triumph and glory, when he shall have put all things under his feet, and destroyed the last enemy, “our beloved brother Paul” comforts us with these words, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far mere exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” A glory which infinitely exceeds all our affliction, and shall never fade away. This is the inheritance of the children of God, who is blessed for evermore. It inspired Paul with the earnest “desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.”

My beloved brethren, these heavenly promises and prospects comfort me now in the midst of many distresses, suffering and sorrow, and may your Father in heaven thus comfort you, and give us all patience in tribulation, knowing that the time is short, and that the day of our full redemption draweth nigh, when we shall follow Christ into his glory. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no mere death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any mere pain; for the former things are passed away.”

In this hope of glory and immortality through our Lord Jesus, your brother in tribulation,

D. BARTLEY.

CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind., August 2, 1897.

2-09 They Were Strangers And Pilgrims On The Earth

Signs Of The Times
Volume 65., No.21.
NOVEMBER 1, 1897.

“THEY WERE STRANGERS AND PILGRIMS ON THE EARTH.”

Beloved Brethren: – These expressive words are said of the people of God, to whom he gave the blessing of faith, as written in Heb. xi, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” The promises to which their faith pointed, embraced the Messiah, “the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth,” the gospel of salvation and the gift of eternal life. In faith and hope they waited for these better things to come. In these things was their life and their inheritance; therefore they were not at home nor satisfied with their present environments, but were pilgrims. It is much this way now with the inheritors of the faith of God’s elect, for as the called and chosen and faithful of God then waited for the Beloved to come into his vineyard and garden and gather his pleasant fruits, and say to them, “Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved;” so we now to whom Jesus has come in the grace of the gospel, who yet walk by faith and are saved by hope, confess with them that we are not at home in the body, but are strangers and pilgrims on the earth, waiting for the glorious coming of our Lord to bring us home. The fact that I have been a sojourner among my Master’s brethren in Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee and Kentucky, the present spring and summer, through weariness and sickness of the body, has led my mind to these reflections. Added to this is the repeated requests to write of my travels for the Signs, which I now do.

My first visit this spring was at the yearly meeting of the Bethlehem church, with Elder Tharp, the beloved pastor, not far from Oxford, Ohio, but in Indiana, which was a pleasant meeting. Next, I went to Nashville, Tenn., at the request of the University Street church, where the pastor, Elder J. K. Womack, was with me. There was much comfort in this meeting, as made manifest by those present. Brother Womack “speaks the word of the Lord faithfully.” By request of the pastor of the College Street church, in Nashville, Elder J. B. Stephens, and other members, I held service there several times, and he warmly approved the gospel as the Lord enabled me to preach it.

In the country south of Nashville, it was my privilege to visit and speak for four other churches: Beasleys, Providence, Big Harpeth and Wilson’s Creek, and then again at Big Harpeth, where I met and heard with comfort Elder Phillips; and at all the gospel of Christ was heartily received and rejoiced in.

By request of our dear brother, Elder P. W. Sawin, pastor of the Bethel church, Shelby Co., Ky., I was with him and dear brother D. G. Johnson at the very pleasant yearly meeting there, the first Sunday in June and two preceding days. The following Saturday and Sunday, after visiting my only daughter, in Olney, Ill., and her family, including my grandson and great-grandson, it was my privilege to speak for the Hickory Creek church, of Illinois, where I was ordained to the work of the gospel ministry Jan. 2d, 1857, and to visit my brother Joseph. On my return home on Tuesday after, a letter awaited me from Elder Sawin, asking me to return to Kentucky, and be with him the last of that week, at the Beech Creek yearly meeting in Shelby County. So I again bade farewell to my wife, and was with him and brother Ritter and the church on Saturday and Sunday, and the presence of the Lord and comfort of the Spirit was with us, and we rejoiced in Christ Jesus. The kindness and liberality of the dear kindred in Christ at this little flock, both to their pastor and myself, was fruit that abounded to their account, and it filled our hearts with thanksgiving and with the comfort of love.

Until the next Saturday I rested in the pleasant homes of sister and Mr. George Wright, and brethren Heddin and Herndon, and on the last Saturday and Sunday in June the Lord permitted me to be with Little Flock, and in great weakness I tried to minister to this church each day, for the intense heat had seriously affected me, my appetite had failed, and I was suffering from vital prostration. This church deeply feels its loss in the departure of dear brother B. Farmer, and our patient and submissive sister Farmer has the tender sympathy of all in her deep bereavement and loneliness. This church is without a pastor, but it has two worthy gifts, the young brethren Bond and Johnson, who are characterized by commendable humility and meekness.

On Monday afternoon I arrived home, finding my wife well, but greatly prostrated myself, so that I can be up but little, and can write but little at a time. My departure may be at hand. The will of the Lord in this is mine.

Jesus, the risen Christ, is the resurrection and the life, my only salvation. “He will swallow up death in victory.” His victory is ours.

The churches that I visited abide in the truth that “salvation is of the Lord,” and by the grace of God alone, that bringeth salvation and leads to obedience. Therefore, they do not want to encourage the disturbing and confusing legal teaching of “conditionalism,” so contradictory to the grace that reigns through righteousness by our Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood alone cleanseth us from all sin, and of whose “fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” Not grace or blessing for works. They believe in gospel exhortation unto obedience, which is hindered only by the sinful weakness of the flesh, and that all true obedience and every good work are the fruit of the Spirit and the result of grace, which much more abounds than sin. They understand that all good works in the sight of God are wrought in faith, which is not our act or work, and does not depend upon ourselves, but it is the gift of God, and without faith it is impossible to please him. They have witnessed with sorrow the confusion, discord and divisions which have been made by the ambitious contention for a principle of doctrine different from and antagonistic to this “obedience of faith.” I was impressed with the fact that, in every church where the membership and ministry read the Signs Of The Times, there is no controversy or speculation nor any “hobby” in doctrine, but unity, peace and love, and the simple, solemn preaching of the cross of Christ, and rejoicing in him.

To all the churches of the saints among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, and who so kindly received me as his servant and bade me Godspeed, I would express heartfelt thanks and fellowship in the truth of Christ, and to the bereaved and sorrowing, who asked to be remembered at the throne of grace, my assurance of brotherly sympathy and prayer for the comfort of the Spirit is given. The thought is with me that I may see you all no more in the flesh, but in the image of the heavenly Man, the firstborn from the dead among the many brethren, when we shall be like him and see him as he is, we shall then see one another and know even as also we are known. This likeness and knowledge is not after the flesh, for it is heavenly and spiritual, as the One altogether holy and lovely, in whose likeness we shall be satisfied and perfect.

“And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”

With love to all, an affectionate farewell.

D. BARTLEY.

Crawfordsville, Ind., June 30, 1899.

2-10 What The Lord Hath Spoken

Signs Of The Times
Volume 67, No. 15.
AUGUST 1, 1899.

WHAT THE LORD HATH SPOKEN. #1

Beloved Editors And Brethren: – The testimony of the holy prophets of God, whom he called and inspired, is not merely the word of men, but as really the word of the Lord, which cannot be broken. All who admit the truth of revelation must admit this. For the Lord spoke by the prophets: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners, spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son.” – Heb. i. 1,2. Therefore Jesus said, “The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” This was true also of the words spoken by the prophets of God. For this cause it was usual for them to preface their messages with, “Thus saith the Lord.” This testimony of the divine prophets is therefore infallible, as were the words of the holy Son of God, who said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away.” Concerning the faithful fulfillment of his word, the Lord says it is as the rain and snow, which make the earth fruitful: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void; but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” The “shalls” of the Lord God omnipotent cannot fail, because he is the Almighty and reigneth. This must be admitted.

With this established, let us now turn to the words of the “holy men of God (who) spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,” which the apostle says is “a more sure word of prophecy;” more sure than oven the heavenly vision of Christ’s transfiguration upon the sacred mount, which only three of his disciples were witnesses to; but the truth of the infallible prophecies all his people shall witness to.

The testimony of the prophets of the Most High related to future events. Let us keep this fact in mind; for thus we must see that they spoke by revelation, and declared the infallible word of the Lord, whose faithfulness and omnipotence would surely fulfill all that he had thus spoken. To say any prophecy or foretold event might possibly fail to come to pass, would be a denial of God’s revealed truth, as the so-called “higher critics “now deny it, and desecrating the inspired oracles of God to the mere word of man. But with the inspiration of the prophecies admitted, we then must see that the holy prophets declared the things which God had before ordained should come to pass, just as he himself had thus revealed them to his servants, whom he had called for this very purpose. Surely none will call the truth of this in question, for it is certain that future events must have been unalterably fixed or determined, either by the Lord, who revealed them to the prophets, or by some other determining power, or else they must all have failed to come to pass. To see that it must be thus, we need only consider that all things which are dependent upon the wisdom and power of men are liable to fail, and that many of the mighty and far-reaching events of prophecy were hundreds of years in the future when the prophets were moved to write them. Therefore between the time of the prophecies and the times of their fulfillment, many generations of men were born and died, and countless events and changes took place, some of them involving and affecting unborn generations, and even including the rise and fall of nations and governments on earth. All this made it absolutely necessary that all the intervening circumstances and every event between the word spoken by the prophets of God and the fulfillment thereof must not only have been certainly foreknown by the Lord God, but as well determined by him. For if one link in the chain of successive events had been broken or subject to failure, all else connected with it would likewise have been liable to fail, and the purpose and end foretold must have been defeated. Hence either God or some other shaping or determining and controlling power, a power and intelligence mightier than all intervening powers and things, did sovereignly determine the end foretold from the beginning, when the prophet wrote, “Thus saith the Lord.” What power is it then that subjects and controls all events and things, great and small, so definitely that they all so certainly link together and combine in the exact accomplishment of the word spoken generations and ages before! Will the candid reader candidly answer, as unto the Lord! If it is admitted that all prophetic events, with all things else, were infallibly seen and foreknown by the omniscient One, yet denied that they were also determined by him in his infinite wisdom and according to his eternal purpose. then will the reader please answer the question, What controlling wisdom and power does establish the unfailing certainty of all prophetic events, and all other things certainly foreknown unto the Lord! For just as the omniscience of the omnipresent God foresaw all creatures and things, so must they be, or else the foreknowledge of God is denied. There is then an absolute certainty in the exact fulfillment of all foretold events and foreknown things, although hundreds and thousands of years may intervene between the foreknowledge and its accomplishment, with millions of interposing people and events; yet all those must be subordinated to the performance of the far distant thing foreknown and foretold precisely at the time and place and in the way the prophets of the Most High declared that thus it shall be.

Now, therefore, it is absolutely certain that some superintending wisdom and controlling power does sovereignly preside over all creatures and things in all the universe, so that all do in the end result in the very things which God eternally foresaw and foreknew should come to pass, according to his infallible word by his inspired servants the prophets, to whom he revealed those far off and momentous events. The prophets spoke and wrote them with an absolute certainty, as the historian records actual history, as though the things foretold were already done. This fact is truly wonderful. Upon the certain fulfillment of the prophecies rests the authenticity of the holy Scriptures and the infallibility of the holy One, who spake by the prophets. A sacred reverence and humility becomes us, therefore, when we speak of God and his oracles. So now shall we meekly confess that the omnipotent One holds the reins of universal dominion and controls all things, to the certain accomplishment of his eternal foreknowledge of them? or will we deny him this prerogative and controlling jurisdiction, according to his infinite wisdom and almighty power, and attribute this certain control of all things to some other being or power? For certain it is that some overruling power does control and subject all things in the universe to the accomplishment of God’s absolute foreknowledge of them. Then which is wisest, safest and best, to ascribe this wisdom, dominion and controlling power to the holy God, or to wicked men and devils? But should we attribute the certainty of all things, just as God foreknew them, and as the prophets foretold many of them, to certain fixed natural forces and laws, as combining causes to produce the certain results, the question then remains to be answered, Who ordained or established and supports the fixed laws in the universe, so that they are thus unfailing in bringing to pass every foreknown event! God himself is the Lawmaker, and all his laws in his limitless dominion are ordained and maintained by his almighty power. This we must admit, or deny the God above us, and make him subject to some extraneous power and control. But his inspired prophets and apostles, who testify of him, as he revealed himself to them, ascribe to the Almighty all dominion and power, and abundantly declare that he is the omnipotent One, and all worlds, creatures and things are put under his feet, or subjected to his dominion and control. “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Thus God is over all and controls all.

With these primary truths thus clearly established, we may now turn to a few of the very many solemn declarations of the Lord by his ordained prophets, by which let us be meekly instructed, while we are awed before the righteous majesty of our God:

“And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” {Hab 2:2-3}. This is equally true of all the visions which the Lord gave to his prophets. They are “for an appointed time, but at the end they shall speak, and not lie.” “Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, and the Lord have removed them far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.” – {Isa 6:11-12}. This was fulfilled against the people and land of Israel, by their ungodly and warring enemies, yet the Lord declared that he would remove them far away. For their sins he did it. (Let it be understood once for all, that all the righteous judgments of God upon the world are for the sins of men, justly meted out for their transgressions, in all of which God is holy, and justice and judgment are the habitation of his throne, and mercy and truth go before his face.) “The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. For though my people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. For the Lord God of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land.” – {Isa 10}. (Please read the chapter.) “I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness. The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle. They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land. Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. “ Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. “ And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.” – Isa. xiii. (Read this solemn chapter.) “Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. “ The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken his word.” – {Isa 24}. “Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. “ And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.” – {Isa 24}. “Thus saith the Lord, Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard, wherewith the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumor, and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land. “ Then the angel of the Lord went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and live thousand.” – Isaiah xxxvii. “Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his Redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the First; and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people! And the things are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.” {Isa 44}. Here the Lord says that he appointed the ancient people, and the things that are coming, and shall come. All the quoted words of the Lord are plain. “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.” {Isa 45}. “I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass. Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass; I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them.” – {Isa 48}. The Lord declared this to his people Israel. How it should rebuke and humble us before him.

The prophet foretold the Lord’s glorious work of salvation in his reign of righteousness and mercy among the nations, saying, “So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord.” – {Isa 59}. “For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” – {Isa 61}. “And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.” – {Isa 63}. Thus did the Lord speak about seven hundred years before Christ came and redeemed his people, trod down the rebellious nation of the Jews, and then the cruel Roman nation, and caused righteousness and praise to spring forth from the Gentiles. The prophets, and they that feared the Lord in Israel, and that thought upon his name, waited long, yet in the fullness of the time appointed, and just as the Most High had decreed and declared, the vision spake, and did not tarry, for the word of the Lord cannot be broken. True, unbelieving and wicked men, actuated by the flesh and the devil, combined to defeat the accomplishment of this great and glorious work and purpose of the Lord; but he had them in derision, laughed when their fear came, and mocked at their calamity. “And when ye see this, jour heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the Lord shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies. For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many. “For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory. “ And they shall declare my name among the Gentiles. And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations. “ For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. “ And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.” – {Isa 66}. These are the last words of the Lord by this great prophet. How full of majesty, glory and wonder they are! For just as the Lord hath spoken, so shall it come to pass. All worlds and beings cannot hinder it nor hasten it. This is the Lord God of the holy prophets. We may well adore this Jehovah of the Bible with humble reverence, while we take refuge under his almighty wing, for in him is everlasting strength, safety and salvation, and he is able to save us unto the uttermost.

“Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that I have yet to speak on God’s behalf.” “Behold, God exalteth by his power; who teacheth like him! Who hath enjoined him his way! or who can say, Thou hast wrought iniquity! Remember that thou magnify his work, which men behold. Every man may see it: man may behold it afar off. Behold, God is great, and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out. “ Touching the Almighty, we canuot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict.” This is the testimony of Elihu to Job. Of cloud and wind and storm he says, God turneth them about by his counsels, “that they may do whatsoever he commandeth them upon the face of the world in the earth. He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy. Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.” Elihu thus speaks to us, too. “Then said the Lord unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth. And it shall come to pass, if they say unto thee, Whither shall we go forth! then shalt thou answer them, Thus saith the Lord; Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity. And I will appoint them four kinds, saith the Lord: the sword to slay, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the earth, to devour and destroy. And I will cause them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah king of Judah, for that which he did in Jerusalem.” – {Jer 15}. “Thus saith the Lord God of Israel; Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, wherewith ye light against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans, which besiege you without the walls, and I will assemble them in the midst of this city. And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath. And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast: they shall die of a great pestilence.” – {Jer 21}. “Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off! Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him, saith the Lord! Do not I fill heaven and earth! saith the Lord.” – {Jer 23}. “And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations. And I will bring upon that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations.” – {Jer 25}. The righteous God declared that he himself would bring those fearful but just judgments upon all those guilty nations, including his own people of Israel, who were guilty of the grossest idolatries and backslidings. Yet he would in mercy restore his people, and bring them again to Zion and bless them for his own glory.

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that lime, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness.” {Jer 33}. The Lord Jesus was the Branch or Son of David, and be reigns in righteousness upon his throne, doing the will of God, having obtained eternal redemption for his people, and ascended on high.

All those prophetic mighty events, involving the destinies of many peoples, and nations not a few, relating to wars and famines, plagues and pestilences, no less than the peaceful reign of Immanuel in the salvation of his redeemed among all nations, most solemnly declare that “the Lord God omnipotent reigneth “in it all, and accomplished his sovereign and righteous purpose in all those awful calamities and great national events, which his mouth foretold should so come to pass, even saying that he would bring them to pass. Because the Holy One has sovereignly thus foretold those mighty events, and fulfilled them in his judgments upon the sinful nations, shall we be so foolhardy and daring in presumption as to impiously say, If God thus purposed and determined all the atrocities and cruelties of those warring and life-destroying nations, then he himself is the author and doer of all the monstrous cruelty of those wicked nations, and is responsible for it! God forbid. Are we in God’s stead? Shall finite, sinful and ignorant creatures, whose very being and breath are dependent upon the infinite and holy and almighty Creator, rise up in judgment against him! What blind and stupid folly. Let vain man say what he will, the word of the almighty by the prophets most positively declared that thus it should be, and that he would surely execute those calamitous judgments, both upon his own people and the surrounding heathen nations. It is time to call a halt, and that men professing to be the servants of God should cease from replying against the holy Lord God Almighty, as he has declared himself by his faithful prophets. For such railing against the Lord God of the prophets, as to say that if he determined such wicked acts of men and nations, as the prophesies cited clearly show and plainly declare, makes the Holy One the author of all that sin and wickedness, and responsible for it, is blaspheming and profaning the name of the Most High, and it betrays a shocking degree of vain arrogance and conceited presumption and bigoted ignorance, or else a sinful creature would not thus speak against the holy Creator.

(Concluded in next number.) D. BARTLEY

2-11 What The Lord Hath Spoken #2

Signs Of The Times
Volume 69, No. 1.
JANUARY 1, 1901.

WHAT THE LORD HATH SPOKEN. #2

“Thus with your mouth ye have boasted against me, and have multiplied your words against me: I have heard them. Thus saith the Lord God; When the whole earth rejoiceth, I will make thee desolate.” – {Eze 35}. “I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses. “ I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord. Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.” – {Am 4}. “For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. And the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.” – {Am 9}. “The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord had his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. “ The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. “ The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” – {Na 1}. “Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord my God, mine Holy One! we shall not die. O Lord, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction.” – {Hab 1}. “The Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.” – {Hab 2}. “For, behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings.” – {Mal 4}. Just as the Lord thus declared that it should come to pass, both as to the wicked, and they that fear his name, so it was, and so it shall be.

Coming to the New Testament, the holy Son of God said, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. “ And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” – Matt. xxiv. Paul also foretold what should be, saying, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” – {Ac 20}. He again prophesied, to the brethren and said, “That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.” – {1Th 3}. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” – {1Ti 4}. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” – {2Ti 4}. Peter likewise prophesied, saying, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” – {2Pe 2}. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” – {2Pe 3}. “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ,” said, “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. “But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.”

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him,” will worthily conclude these very solemn and wonderful prophetic revelations from God. Of the two witnesses the angel said, ‘And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.” (xi.) Of the beast John says, “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written, in the book of life of the Lamb slain, from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear.” (xiii.) “Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.” (xvi.) Concerning the judgment of God against Babylon, John heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.” (xviii.) “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up ou the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the Faints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (xx.) The beloved John was then shown “a new heaven and a new earth,” and he “saw the holy city, new Jerusalem. “ And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” (xxi.) “And they shall reign for ever and ever. And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.” (xxii.)

“What shall we I then say to these things?” For all the prophetic words and sayings, truly;” given in this article, are alike faithful and true, the righteous judgments of God, no less than his gracious blessings, all of which were spoken with a divine positiveness, as the revealed word of God, showing that all those great and marvelous things “must” and “shall “come to pass, because God, “who cannot lie,” hath spoken all those words. For if one word of all the revelation which the Lord declared by his prophets could be defeated and fail, it would impeach all his testimony. But, blessed be his holy name, this can never be; for his word is as eternal as his holy throne, and all things which his word has spoken must take place. “The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Sorely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.” – {Isa 14:24}.

Surely it cannot be thought by us that the prophetic words of the Lord were either distinct from or opposed to his thought and purpose, for this would involve a conflict between the thought of the Lord and his prophetic word, which he inspired his prophets to write. It is infallibly certain, therefore, that all the word of the Lord by his prophets is supported by his solemn oath, that it shall thus come to pass and stand, as he hath thought and purposed and revealed. And this establishes the certain fulfillment of all the things which holy men of old, who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, have foretold in the Bible, as unfailingly as could the decree of the Almighty, who changes not. Every fair and candid mind will see and admit this. Let the dear reader search the prophetic Scriptures, and it will amaze and awe you to find that prophecy embraced all history, including the rise and fall of nations, their wars and awful calamities, famines and plagues, as the fearful visitations of God’s righteous judgments, and that the history of the Hebrew people, and the many surrounding wicked nations, which is largely a history of wars and calamities the most appalling – that history is prophecy fulfilled.

Now, therefore, the holy Lord God Almighty, who declared the end from the beginning, and from ancient limes the things which were not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure, who is in one mind, and none can turn him, certainly had a wise and holy purpose in the accomplishment of all those mighty events of peoples and nations, events both of judgment and mercy, which he called and moved the holy men of old to write, from his servant Moses to his Son Jesus. The infinite wisdom and omnipotent power and perfect holiness and rich mercy of our majestic and ever blessed God, are proclaimed and made known thus to the children of men. Shall we say, “Even so, Lord God Almighty!”

Yours to serve,

D. BARTLEY.

Crawfordsville, Ind.

2-12 Ye Shall Lie Down In Sorrow

Signs Of The Times
Volume 69, No. 2.
JANUARY 15, 1901.

“YE SHALL LIE DOWN IN SORROW.”

“Who is among you licit feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks; walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye hare of mine hand, ye shall lie down in sorrow.” {Isa 50:10-11}.

The Lord himself speaks in each verse above to his chosen people Israel, yet how differently he speaks to the two classes of his people! For to the one the Lord addresses good words of peace and comfort, saying, “Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God;” but to the other class his unfailing word is, “This shall ye have of mine hand, ye shall lie down in sorrow.” Now this not only applied to the people of God then, but it also as truly applies to them now and always; for in this short and very instructive fiftieth chapter, the inspired prophet personated Christ, and spoke of his sufferings and glorious success and kingdom. Let the reader please read the chapter. Isaiah was in a large measure the prophet of Christ – the gospel prophet. So here at the sixth verse the Spirit of Christ in him says, “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: “ and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth me. “ Behold, the Lord God will help me; who is he that shall condemn me?” Thus it is shown that the dear suffering Son of man himself trusted in God, knowing that God his Father would help him and justify him, and that his adversaries should not condemn him, but he should overcome them and triumph in God. The holy man Christ having thus spoken, as the Captain and Leader of God’s people, and as their Brother in adversity and their example, he then in the tenth verse speaks to those of his suffering saints who fear and tremble before the Lord their God, who in their hearts reverently obey the voice of his servant Jesus, and yet who walk in darkness, and have no light, and cheeringly bids them to possess their souls in patience, and trust in the name of the Lord. For the name of the Lord is a strong tower, and the righteous (not the self-righteous) runneth into it, and are safe. Yea, let this poor and helpless one, who mourneth in darkness, “stay upon his God.” What a strong refuge and consolation this one has! The poor soul is sweetly told by the sympathizing and merciful High Priest, to stay or lean or rest upon God. Ah, this poor one needs this strong defense and safe resting place. Here he finds both safety and rest, and though he is in darkness, and has no light, yet his soul makes her boast in the precious name of the Lord. O, give me the lowly and trying lot of this blessed one, to fear the Lord my God, and obey the voice of his righteous and justifying servant Jesus, though it is to walk in dark trials, and to feel that the clouds of affliction shut out the light, and bow my spirit in awe and fear before the Lord; for then it is my blessed privilege to receive the divine comfort of the text. But how remarkable this is, that those who both fear God, and obey the voice of Jesus, should walk in darkness, and have no light! Can there be any mistake about this? No; for the Lord makes no mistakes. Well, then, some who lay claim to remarkable gospel advancement and light are mistaken, for their word is, that the people of God walk in darkness, and have no light, only when they are disobedient, and that the Lord’s obedient people do not thus have to complain of having no light, but they may always have a good time and be happy. For the teaching now is, that it is only the poor sort of the Lord’s people, those who do not fear the Lord, nor obey the voice of the good Shepherd, that go bowed down under clouds of affliction, and are left without light. It is held that the good and obedient always are rewarded with the light of the Lord’s countenance, and that this light and joy of salvation, with all our spiritual blessings in the time of our sojourn on earth, are conditional on our part, and dependent upon ourselves. Those who so hold and contend should be accorded sincerity, and the right of their convictions; but the plain testimony of the Lord, not only in the text, but in the volume of revealed truth, and also in the lives of God’s holy servant Jesus, and the apostles and prophets, do not support this plausible and man-pleasing position or theory.

Now, dear reader, come with me, and let us hastily follow in the footsteps of the people of the living and true God, who filially feared him, and in faith obeyed the voice of their Redeemer and King. Look at the life of Job, of whom God himself said, “There is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil.” Yet of this eminent servant of God it could truly be said, in the touching words of the text, that he walked in darkness, and had no light, for no other God-fearing servant, except Jesus of Nazareth, ever suffered a darker or longer night of trial and affliction, insomuch that it is heart-touching to read his life. Look at the meek Moses, and who except he was divinely sustained and staid upon God, could have endured all the terrible darkness and perils that he walked through! And Paul said of Moses, that he “was verily faithful in all his house, as a servant” of God. Follow the wandering and darksome pilgrimage of Abraham, “the friend of God.” David, too, “a man after God’s own heart,” for long years was in the midst of darkest perils and trials, as vividly told in his mournful psalms. His soul was often shut up as in a dungeon, and the waves and billows of affliction went over him, so that he was a pathetic type of our spiritual David. Go after the great prophet Elijah, and behold his awful trials, and hear his piteous plaints and cries to God. Bead the lamentations of Jeremiah, a faithful servant of God. Then read the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, which recounts a long list of the true followers of God, and how deeply they were baptized in suffering and affliction; yet in all this walking in darkness, and through deep waters of tribulation, these all trusted in the name of the Lord. And now follow with bowed head from the manger to the cross, the man of sorrows, who always pleased God; behold him in the terrible wilderness with the wild beasts, fiercely tempted of the devil; hear his all night prayers to God in a dark, chilly mountain, with strong crying and tears, and was heard in that he feared; witness his groaning and weeping at the tomb; hear him say, “Now is my soul troubled;” hear the heartbreaking cry in the garden, “O, my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me except I drink it, thy will be done.” In all this great company of God’s afflicted and poor people, we have a faithful and touching fulfillment of the text; for through all the dark trials and sufferings of these obedient and persecuted servants of God, they trusted in and staid upon him, and he saved them out of all their distresses and darkness.

Let us now come to our own time, and here as well we shall find that the most God-fearing, faithful and spiritual of the Lord’s people have been those who have walked most in the lowly and dark valley of tribulation and affliction; who have had a painful realization of their own insufficiency, sinful unworthiness, weakness and felt dependence upon the Lord and his grace. These are little and lowly in their own esteem, and one will hear them complain of their own coldness and darkness, doubts and fears, and of the hidings of the dear Lord’s countenance. These are the broken in heart on account of their sinful flesh, and the contrite in spirit, to whom the Lord says he will look. David says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and that trembleth at my word,” saith the Lord. “Blessed are the poor in spirit: blessed are they that mourn: blessed are the meek,” are the precious words of our Lord. Not they that were thus in the past, but they that are thus in the present. Standing in the midst of the vast assemblage of the Jews, at the great feast of tabernacles, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.” So in the text, the Lord calls out the poor and needy from among the people of Israel, those who were in darkness and affliction, and spoke words of comfort to them, bidding them trust in him, their everlasting salvation, strength and light. For God “hath respect unto the lowly; but the proud he knoweth afar off.” So to the others of Israel the Lord says, “Behold,” that is, consider it, “all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks; walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled.” The Lord here gave them up to their own hearts’ lusts, to have their own way, and to do their own religious service and work. They had become impatient and tired of the old way of walking in lowly paths of darkness, and of trusting in and waiting upon the Lord; and so they resolved in their boasted free will and ability to move up on higher ground, that they might be more prosperous, and have a popular revival and a good time, like their worshiping neighbors around them. Yes, and they succeeded to their hearts’ content, for they were so zealous in their worship that they ascended up to the high hills of Judea, where they built altars or places of worship, and there they kindled fires, from which the sparks went up in the sight of their worshiping neighbors, and they walked rejoicingly in the light of their fires, and gloried in their works. What a big revival they did have, to be sure, and how they could then jeer and gibe their lowly brethren, who contritely feared and served the Lord, but were in affliction and darkness, and could only hope and trust and stay on him, longing, watching and praying for him to come and drive back the darkness, bid the Sun of righteousness arise unto them with healing beams, revive and bless them. But those on the high places, who in their fervor were kindling fires and rejoicing in this great religious prosperity, doubtless blamed them for the darkness and affliction they were in, and taunted them for trusting wholly in the name of the Lord, and staying simply on the God of Israel, like dependent little children. They would be disposed to say to them, “Why do you grieve and afflict your souls on account of what we are doing? Why don’t you join with us, and get up out of the low and dark places you are in? You are too particular, close and peculiar, and quite too old fashioned. Look up at us, and see the light of our fires, and then kindle fires in yourselves, as we are doing, and have a happy and good time. We are the children of Abraham, as well as yourselves, but we think it is high time to get out of the old ruts of our fathers, and accept the good things and more congenial ways of our neighbors’ religion and worship, And in doing so, we are far more influential and popular with them, and are gaining proselytes from them, for not a few of their sons and daughters are joining in with us, and walking in the light of our fires.” It is a true saying, “History repeats itself.” For the above two sorts of worshipers are among the people of Israel today, and the two verses of the text at the head of this humble sermon are very appropriate to the two classes. But whether those Israelites that kindled fires of their own, and were so zealous and active in walking in the light of their own fires, derisively called their poor brethren who trusted in the name of the Lord, “Can’t help its,” does not appear, but the strong probability is that there is a more modern Ashdod term of reproach. I have a very distinct recollection of often hearing it spoken against all the Old Baptists in my youth, but the religious people who thus derided our people then were known as conditionalists, as opposed to our salvation from beginning to finish being all of the Lord, and by grace alone. So they believed that, as salvation is partly of the Lord, and partly of man, the thing for them to do was to kindle up religious lires of their own, and compass themselves about with showers of sparks, and walk in the light of their own works. And they did it, much to their own glorification, and heralded abroad through their publications their grand success in gathering in large numbers to the help of the Lord. That they might better kindle their fires to a great flame, they got up protracted meetings, and to blow up the sparks, much loud and excited and sympathetic singing was indulged in, and when the fires thus kindled flamed high, many would run over with zeal, and not a few would fairly dance and shout. O, how different this is from the old way of walking in darkness, “faint, yet persuing,” and trusting in the name of the Lord. Here are the two ways, and these are all. Let us see how they each end.

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” And to stay on God is blessed; for, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” How shall it be with the other religious people, who do so much for themselves and the Lord, to dispel the darkness? Shall he not bestow upon them a full reward? For all those religious workers, who claim that so much “depends upon themselves,” believe that the Lord will bless and reward them for their religious service, and they serve for “the pay there is in it,” or for the reward. This is a very selfish motive, to say the least, but it holds good as applied to the religious world the world around. It is cause for grief and mourning that any of our Old Baptist people should join in with the religious world in this claim. For to those of Israel who are thus kindling fires, and depending upon themselves, and promising themselves a large reward for all this zeal and service, the Lord himself fixes their certain reward, saying, “ This shall ye have of mine hand, ye shall lie down in sorrow.” There is no escaping this. One or the other of the two verses of the text applies to the whole house of Israel.

D. BARTLEY.

Crawfordsville, Ind., March 1, 1898.

2-13 Sanctified Afflictions

Signs Of The Times
Volume 66., No. 12.
JUNE 15, 1898.

SANCTIFIED AFFLICTIONS.

Dear Brother Chick: – Your letter came as a comfort to my chastened spirit, and I am grateful that such helpful words were in-your heart. Our King says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

Let me speak to you of my experience in this affliction, hoping it will minister to your spirit. Two hours before my hurt, in closing a letter to brother Hite, of Nashville, Tenn., I said, “Cast down, but not destroyed.” This word seemed so prophetic and true in the extreme suffering that so soon came upon me. When the doctors told me that my case was serious, and that I could never have good use of the arm again, it seemed that such restraint must cause me much impatience and worry, for I had been quite active till then, and had thought to so continue. How quickly and painfully all was changed with me. Was it a sad accident, which should have been avoided by greater caution, or was it in the purpose of God, “who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will”? Faith in him led me to believe the latter. This soothed and quieted me, and it was not in my heart to murmur or fret. Trust and hopes in God sustained me. His goodness and mercy through all my long life passed in review before me, and I was often moved to tears of peace and solace. Even through the many nights of great pain, so un-restful, a spirit of peace was given me, and with the early dawn the birds of song would cheer me, and my spirit would join them in praising God. To comfort and help me the more, the mails brought to us letters full of faith and love. These my wife would read to me, while I would try to keep back the tears of gratitude and comfort. So, my dear brother, I was sweetly constrained to both fee] and believe that all this affliction, and its results, were in the counsel and loves of God. To suppose I might haves escaped injury would have changed all this experience that has come to me through the hurt. My deliverance from a violent death was a little less than miraculous, as a train of cars was near when f arose’. But if I had been killed, then again the results must have been different we know, yet, unless the counsel and purpose of God established the certainty of all things, then all might have been different. Let me mention a few things to show you this. My son wrote: “If father could only have been a little more careful, how much better it would have been.” But I was frying to be careful, and the thought in my mine! (with my sight on the rails) was, “I must step carefully, and not stumble and fall before the onrushing train. Just then my right foot struck an unseen wire, and the force of the fall was fearful, and for the moment I was stunned. The next thought in my mind was, The train is near, I must get up quick. I do not know how I arose, but found myself on my feet, out of the way of the train, and badly hurt, but felt that the Lord had delivered me from so terrible a death. My right arm hung powerless at my side, and with my left hand I felt that it was partially dislocated at the shoulder, and I hoped that was the worst, though a long gash was cut in the bridge of my nose, in which the doctors took seven stitches to close the wound. They found the arm broken at the shoulder, and set it, but would not admit the dislocation, to which I called their attention. O how grateful I felt, even then, that my life was precious in the sight of God. Dr. Wilcox, who attended me, said the arm could not be put in place unless I took chloroform which at my age would be at the risk of my life. We then decided to leave St. Paul, Ind., and see Dr. Bedford, of Indianapolis, and did so June 18th. He called Dr. Haggard, Professor of Surgery, in consultation. They said there would be no risk in the chloroform, but the risk would be of breaking the arm again, or of rupturing a blood vessel. So they declined to operate on me, advised me to let well enough alone, and told me I had come off well at my age. The next day we went to Olney, Ill., to visit my granddaughters, and to consult Dr. Webber at his sanitarium, for he had sent me word to come there and he would put my arm in place, He did this safely on June 21st. Trusting in the Lord and without fear I laid down on the operating table and inhaled chloroform. The nest thing I knew I found myself lying on a sofa in another room, with acute pain in my shoulder. Soon Dr. Webber came in and asked how I felt. I told him, and said, “Doctor, you haven’t put my arm in place, have you?” With a smile he answered, “Yes, my friend, your arm is all right.” O, brother Chick, the relief and gratitude I felt was too deep for utterance. About forty days my suffering had been severe, in which time the broken arm had firmly united and my lacerated nose was nicely healed, and most admiringly and thankfully had I watched this good physician which the all-wise and beneficent One had placed within me, and now, by the skill of a kind surgeon, my helpless arm would again help its fellow arm. O how wonderful are the provisions of God in nature! How could I have realized all this goodness of mercy and comfort of love in the absence of the attendant suffering and need! How otherwise could the Head of the church perfect his body, and enter into his glory, only through suffering? He must first drink the bitter cup his Father gave him, and be baptized into death. He thus fulfilled all righteousness for his members, and is in oneness with them. So likewise must we be made partakers of his sufferings in the flesh, that we may also be glorified together with him; and so the reproaches and sufferings of Christ have been my consolation in affliction. God is rich in mercy, but only through suffering do we need his mercy and bless him for it. He ordained both the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we die, we shall also live with him. Surely then these are sanctified afflictions. I would not have chosen them, but God hath chosen us in the furnace of affliction, and in his Son, and thus through the sufferings of Christ He refines us.

“Deep in unfathomable mine’s
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will.”

My spirit rejoices in him that it is so, and that none can stay his hand. Now I am in his hand, waiting his will, and praying, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” I have wanted to write to you and the beloved in the Lord of these trials and consolations, and testify that “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble.” To his suffering and buffeted servant Paul he said, “My grace is sufficient for thee,” &c. This is true of us also; it is Christ’s strength in our weakness.

Now, with love to all the saints, farewell.

D. BARTLEY.

Willow Hill, Ill., July 18, 1904.

2-14 Salvation

Signs Of The Times
Volume 72., No. 23.
DECEMBER 1, 1904.

SALVATION.

Trusting in the Spirit of truth to guide me into the truth as it is in Jesus, my heart is moved to write to the saved in Christ, of salvation. In doing so, the Bible alone must decide everything pertaining to salvation, but when this is done, then the testimony of godly and eminent writers among the saved, may be taken as confirmatory of this salvation in its power and comfort. Notwithstanding the overwhelming testimony of the holy Scriptures, that beside God there is no Savior, and that according to his mercy and by his grace he saves us, yet there has ever been a dispute in the world about salvation, and the principle and way of salvation.

So it is well that we look into this subject, both scripturally and experimentally, according to our experience of salvation. For only as we are taught the doctrine of God our Savior, and the truth of the Scriptures, in our experience of the power of salvation, have we any true knowledge and understanding thereof. Many Bible texts affirm this. He who denies it, thereby denies revealed religion, or Christianity, and affirms the ability of man. All religious schools are based upon this denial of man’s entire dependence upon God’s revelation and divine power. And so it is hotly contended that man’s works obtain in his salvation, more or less, as well as the divine power of God. This teaching and belief has formulated the paradoxical and contradictory creeds that salvation is both of God and of men, both unconditional and conditional, both of grace and of works. How inconsistent and strange! Two principles at war with each other, and cannot be reconciled, yet salvation depends upon both. Could anything be more absurd! One of three things is true: salvation is either of the Lord, or of man, or else it is of neither alone, but partly of both. If it is of man in part, then it is by works in part. If this is true at all, then to the extent that it is true, man is a partner with the Lord in salvation, and to that extent man is entitled to a part of the praise and glory of salvation. There is no escaping this. For if salvation is of the Lord, then the glory of salvation is his; but if any part of salvation is of works, and not by grace, then that part depends upon man, and to man justly belongs that part of the glory of salvation. But the mere statement of this doctrine exposes its falsity and condemns it. The Bible strongly condemns it. “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work,” is the clear cut doctrine of the Bible. So then, but two ways or principles of salvation are left for us to consider: salvation is either by grace, or of works; the grace is of God; the works are of man. The grace of God is unconditional, the works of man are conditional, and depend upon himself. When and where did any one ever read in the Bible of conditional grace? But if salvation is conditional in part, that is, in time, then salvation in time is not by grace at all, because there is no such thing as conditional grace. No one is so foolhardy as to contend for conditional grace; therefore none should contend that salvation in time is conditional either, unless they also deny that time salvation is of the Lord and by grace. But whoever denies this, also arrays himself against the Bible.

The Bible doctrine is: “Salvation is of the Lord.” “By grace are ye saved: not of works, lest any man should boast.” This is present salvation, and this salvation of the Lord, and by grace, is the united teaching of the holy Bible, for it does not contradict itself. It says of Jesus, “He shall save his people from their sins.” “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Salvation from all sin, then is from sin, and Jesus thus saves. “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” This is salvation from first to last, to the uttermost need of salvation; and this is the work of Jesus, the only Savior of sinners. And since Jesus saves to the uttermost, and from all sin, which includes sins of commission and sins of omission, that is, all transgression and disobedience, the salvation is by grace from its beginning to its end; “Not of works.” This settles it as to who it is that saves any sinner from any and all sin, and as to what it is: Jesus and the grace of God. “The grace of God that bringeth salvation.” The word “bringeth “is present time; so the grace of God bringeth salvation now and always; for grace now reigns in salvation, reigns through righteousness, reigns unto eternal life, reigns by our Lord Jesus Christ, who alone saves sinners, and saves from all sin, past, present and to come. There is no other Savior of sinners, no other who can and shall save them from their sins. The Bible reveals no other. And the Bible reveals no other principle and way of salvation than the grace of God. So far from the principle of “conditions” and “works” being taught in the Bible as saving us, either in part or in whole, in time or in eternity, its strong and positive doctrine is: “Not according to our works;” “Not by works of righteousness which we have done.” And when the Bible mentions an apostle’s laborious gospel ministry and good works, even though more abundant than all the apostles, so far from the admission that all this was “conditional” on the part of Paul, and “depended upon himself,” it directly attributes it all to the grace of God that was with Paul, and says, “not I.” Paul would sound it out loud and clear, “not of works.” Yet he commanded the children of God to be the followers of Christ and of God, as dear children, and to be careful to maintain good works, for necessary uses, and as good and profitable unto men. But so far from Paul, or the Bible, teaching that our salvation now in time being conditional upon our part, and the blessings of salvation depending upon ourselves, and being bestowed upon us as a reward of merit, or in consideration of our personal obedience and good works, the plain doctrine of the Bible is, that the grace of God that bringeth salvation and saves us, itself teaches us that we “Should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” And so then, we thus do live only because the grace that saves us thus teaches us, and our living in this godly way is clearly the effect of grace. Grace does not merely try to teach us, and then leave it to depend upon ourselves as conditional on our part, but grace really teaches us so to do. It seems very strange that those who know the grace of God in truth, do not see and know this power and sufficiency of abounding, reigning, saving, teaching grace, and attribute all the power in us that brings forth the fruits of righteousness, and the praise and glory to grace. The atonement in the blood of Christ, the anointed Redeemer, for all the sins of all his people, was the abounding grace of God, without which there could be no salvation of his people from their sins; for “Without shedding of blood is no remission,” says the Bible. Well, all the disobedience of the redeemed is sin, and all was atoned for by the suffering Redeemer, so that “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound;” therefore our present salvation from every nature and kind of sin, including all our backslidings and disobedience, is by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; and when we are thus saved, it is unto obedience and good works. It is clear, then, that grace saves us from disobedience and bad works, and saves us unto obedience and good works. Therefore, as the good reason for his saying that we are saved by grace, but not of works, Paul adds: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” It is saving grace, then, that makes us new creatures in Christ; and it is because we are thus in him and he in us, that we are prepared unto good works, and we walk in them only because God before ordained or appointed that we should. The good works are of God’s appointment, and so is our walking in them. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure,” is the prime and sufficient reason for the command to “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” And since God, who will do all his pleasure, works salvation in us so effectually that we are willing in the day of Christ’s power, and are strengthened with might by his Spirit, we shall surely walk in, testify of, show forth or work out our salvation. To deny this is equal to denying that God works in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure, or else it charges failure and disappointment to him, and that his work in us is in vain. Who will dare do this? It is true, then, t hat God himself is the author, the beginner and the finisher of salvation, of our own salvation, in all that salvation means and is. To him, therefore, is all the power and honor, praise and glory of salvation due, both now and forever. “For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” Who would pray that it might be different? In the prayers of even Arminian teachers, is the confession of man’s inability and dependence at all times, upon the Spirit and grace of God; and this is the daily experience of every sinner saved by grace. To his chosen and inspired apostles Jesus said, “For without me, ye can do nothing.” This was true in them in all their after experience; then it is certainly just as true in us. “My strength is made perfect in weakness,” is the testimony of Jesus. His strength is manifested in our weakness, not our strength in his weakness; for his is the strength, but the weakness is ours; ours is the sin and unrighteousness; but his is the salvation and righteousness; and there is no time in which salvation is manifested unto us in our deliverance from any danger or trouble, but that the salvation is of the Lord. Therefore, it is his favor or grace that saves us in all the way of salvation. The prophet Jonah experienced this truth when he was in the depths of the sea, and so does every one, when concerted from self-confidence, and taught that “the way of man is not in himself.” So also the prophet Jeremiah confessed that, “It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” In this entire and continual dependence upon the Lord, is the ever present need of coming to the throne of grace. The fact that we should from necessity come to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need, is itself divine testimony, not only that we are wretched and poor and needy, but also that every qualification and all strength to love and serve God, with every blessing and joy of salvation, flow down upon us from the mercy-seat and the throne of grace, and are the unbought and unmerited gifts of the God of mercy and grace. And so, then, our salvation always and at all times, is salvation by grace, for the good reason that it is of the Lord, Who hath delivered us, who doth deliver us, and in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us. It is clear, then, that our salvation, whether in the past, the present, or the future, is of the Lord. “Neither is there salvation in any other.” This is the voice of God; and this settles it as to salvation now in time, and forever. It is a strange infatuation that any one, knowing the need and the divine and infinite value and blessing of salvation, should want to have it otherwise, by contending that our salvation now in time, and the blessing and joys of salvation, depend upon ourselves, and are “conditional,” depending upon our self-poised or voluntary obedience. If this is admitted, then at once self-boasting comes in and prevails. Therefore, says inspired Paul, “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” And he was speaking of our present salvation, saying, “For by grace are ye saved.” The simple fact that he adds, “through faith,” confirms this; for all know that faith is a property of salvation now in the present time, and that the God of grace and salvation saves us now through faith. And Paul, speaking of justification through faith unto salvation, says, “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.” This is the inevitable result of every phase of conditional salvation; for the performance of conditions are our works, and they “depend upon ourselves,” and so grace has nothing to do with us in bestowing the blessing, but we are left to the reward of our works as a debt which we have earned, and to which we are entitled by the terms of “conditional salvation.” This is the decision of the inspired Judge in the kingdom of grace, from which there is no appeal. Those who thus deny that we are saved all the time by grace, and claim, “conditional” rewards, instead of rewards, or gifts of grace, thus doing despite to the Spirit of grace, “are fallen from grace,” and have gone back to the covenant or law of works, and can claim nothing from grace, nor consistently ask for any blessing from the God of salvation, only as they have paid him for it by their conditional salvation, which “depends upon themselves,” and their obedience and good works. It may seriously be asked, how much reward should any one receive from the God of salvation, if the reward is thus reckoned, not of grace, but of works, as “conditional time salvation” claims! Should that man receive anything of the Lord, as the payment for his conditional works, but judgment! Will the Lord, who seeth the heart and its selfish motive, bless that one with the blessing of his grace and the joy of his salvation, seeing that such an one is claiming this very salvation conditionally, in consideration of his service? No; for grace and the God of grace are infinitely above this mean and selfish principle of serving God in order that he may reward us with his salvation, for our works. Satan taught this principle, when he promised the Son of God great rewards upon certain conditions. Again, Satan taught and said, “Doth Job fear God for naught?” He had no higher view than that this eminent servant of God feared and worshiped the Most High from no higher motive than the mercenary or selfish and base principle that he should receive blessing and honor from God as the reward of his religious life and service. This is conditionalism, pure and simple. And so the reward that the devil offered to Eve and Adam, for doing certain things as conditions, was, “Your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” This was the origin of conditionalism, and from this root-principle all conditional service and works for reward have sprung; and they all alike look to self-seeking, self-happiness, and the salvation and praise of self. The service of love and praise and glory to God is not in this principle and doctrine of conditional salvation, or salvation depending upon man; for its nature and motive and aim begin and end with self. It destroys grace, and robs God of his glory. And this is the very motive and aim of Satan in it all. All conditionalism has this feature of self-glorification in it, and appeals to the low and mean motive of serving God for reward. But the blessed God does not bestow his salvation upon us in this way; no, not now, nor ever; for one moment of his salvation experienced in the soul of the humbled sinner, is of infinite worth, and all our works are mixed with sin, and are nothing-worth in his sight. Oar only true and acceptable service and worship arises from “The love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” And so our service and work of love and faith is, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow,” and ascribe to him thanksgiving, honor and glory, not in order that he may bless us with his salvation, but because he “Hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, and hath given us his Spirit in our hearts to bear witness with our spirit, that he is our Father, and we are his children. This is the blessed service of love. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.”

A great teacher has said, “When the supreme love once comes into the heart of man, his mind will continuously think of God and remember nothing else. “ Wherever there is any seeking for something in return, there can be no real love; it becomes a mere matter of shop-keeping. As long as there is in us any idea of deriving this or that favor from God, in return for our respect and allegiance to him, so long there can be no true love growing in our hearts.

Those who worship God because they wish him to bestow favors on them, are sure not to worship him if those favors are not forthcoming.” These are forcible and true words, and should sink deep in our hearts. God is the God of salvation, and Jesus is the salvation of God unto his people. “Mine eyes have seen thy salvation,” said Simeon, when he held Jesus in his arms. Outside of Jesus there is no salvation from any sin or disobedience, on earth or in heaven. No man has ever yet received this salvation conditionally, nor ever can; for Jesus is God’s unspeakable gift, and with Jesus, God freely (not conditionally) gives us all things. “His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness,” is the word of inspiration. This leaves no spiritual blessing, nothing of all things that pertain unto life and godliness, therefore no part of salvation for us to obtain conditionally, as a reward of debt for our working for the Lord. How contemptible this!

May the Lord deliver his people from this snare of the tempter.

D. BARTLEY.

CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind., Oct. 25, 1898

2-15 Sacrifices Acceptable Unto God

Signs Of The Times
Volume 67, No. 1.
JANUARY 1, 1899.

SACRIFICES ACCEPTABLE UNTO GOD

2-15a Article One

Article One

The sacrifices which are acceptable unto God is a subject worthy of the earnest attention of the true worshippers; therefore I submit some thoughts upon it, trusting you will find them according to the testimony of the Lord.

The Bible is a wonderful Book in the history it gives of sacrifices. This is, indeed, one of its most prominent features. Both in the Old and New Testaments divine sacrifices stand out in bold relief, and enter very largely into the worship of God. Take them away, and the worshippers could have no access to Him. Yet how casually and lightly the general readers of the Bible pass over its sacrifices, as of minor importance and little interest. What a misapprehension! For sacrifices are the only way of approach unto God, and they underlie and support all worship, giving its acceptance and virtue. We cannot, therefore, too well understand their nature, design, and meaning.

In the infancy of our race sacrifices began, yet not until man had sinned. This is significant, and is an index to the need and design of sacrifices. They are needed because man is a sinner, and they are offered for his sins. If God accepts the sacrifice He also accepts the worshipper who makes the offering. This indicates that the sacrifice bears the sin and takes it away, and through it the sinner who brings the offering is justified and accepted with God as righteous. This is awe-inspiring and wonderful, and it is the only way of a sinner’s approach unto God. Thus is it seen how supremely important it is that we come to Him with an acceptable sacrifice with which He is well pleased.

The sacrifice that takes away and covers sin must be sinless, (without blemish) and must give its blood and life for the sinner. This done, it becomes a covering and robe of righteousness to the sinner. It has made him free from sin and death; therefore he lives a new life in righteousness, and thus worships God in holiness. In no other way can God be worshipped. Sacrifices for sin mean all this, and every true worshipper must approach unto God with a sacrifice that possesses all this infinite merit and efficacy in His sight.

From this we understand that every acceptable sacrifice must be of God’s own appointing, that He has ordained and sanctified. All other sacrifices will be rejected, as Cain’s, as unholy and unfit. This was the fatal error of Cain, the first-born, and the first to make a sacrifice unto God for his sins. He offered of the fruit of the ground, which was cursed for man’s sake after he sinned; it was of his own works, for he was a husbandman. His sacrifice carried in it no confession of sin and merited death, thus lacking the elements and nature of atonement or reconciliation for sin, and thereby denying the justice of God in requiring such a sacrifice and atonement to redeem him from sin and death. But his brother Abel offered in sacrifice the firstling of his flock, a far more excellent sacrifice than Cain’s, which God accepted – both it and Abel – because it was a lively symbol of a full and perfect atonement for his sin, removing sin and death from him; and by it he obtained witness that he was righteous. His lamb of sacrifice represented his earnest desire to be sinless, and was a touching confession of his merited death as a sinner, and expression of his faith in God’s mercy in ordaining for him a sacrifice to take away his sin.

The offerings of Cain and Abel fitly represent the opposite principles of all later sacrifices, by which the children of men seek to obtain the favor and blessing of God and be saved. Both admit the need of a sacrifice, while they differ as to what God righteously requires of those who approach unto Him, as sufficient unto their salvation in His holy presence. It behooves us, then, to carefully investigate our way of approach unto God as His worshippers, and know whether we bring the offering of Cain only, or the more excellent sacrifice of Abel, remembering that, while Abel and his offering were accepted, Cain and his were rejected. This should be of the greatest concern to each of us, and we should not be deceived or rest in an uncertainty, but examine and prove our own selves, whether we be in the faith with Abel, or reprobates with Cain. In the holy Scriptures we have the more sure word of prophecy, and they are a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.

It is both instructive and wonderful, that the first sacrifice of innocent life for sinful man God Himself made! He thus clothed our sinful parents by the death of the innocent for them. And this was because of their sin and shame. Must He not as well clothe us, their sinful children? Will any sacrifice less than that, that He provides for an offering for our sin, take away our guilty stains and clothe us in the garments of salvation? The strong faith of Abraham assured his questioning son that “God would provide Himself with a lamb for an offering – and it was so. No other offering will God accept at the hand of any, whoever may bring it. Though it were the consecrated priests of God, the sons of the favored high priest, yet they and their offering were rejected and they died before the Lord, because God had not appointed and sanctified it.

But because God provided the believing and trusting Abraham with a lamb for a burnt-offering, his son Isaac lived, as one received back from the dead. So it was, too, with the children of Abraham, as the stars for multitude, when they offered the lamb which the Lord provided in Egypt , and God accepted and saved them. In themselves they were sinners, as others; but they believed God and His servant Moses, and sacrificed the “lamb without blemish,” sanctified of God and He accepted and saved them.

The offering to God, in worship, of this Sacrificial Lamb was perpetuated and observed by this people of the covenant, as He ordained, until the awful night of its final fulfillment, when Jesus ate the last Passover with His disciples, and was then led away as a lamb to the slaughter to be crucified, and the next day “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.”

All other divine sacrifices but pointed to Him, and in Him they were all forever perfected and ended. Pointing to Him, John said, “Behold the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!” This is the Lamb that God provided for an offering, who gave Himself for our sins as a sacrifice and sweet smelling savor unto God. His death put away sins, as a debt which is paid and covered, and His bodily resurrection abolished death for all whose sins He atoned for. This is the one and only Sacrifice for our sins that God will accept, and every true worshipper must approach unto Him in the name and faith of Jesus the Crucified, and find pardon and salvation and life through Him and by His death.

Abel’s lamb represented his faith in the holy Lamb of God. And so did Abraham rejoice to see the day of God’s Anointed Son, when his own son was saved from death, and the ram which God provided was sacrificed instead of Isaac: It was so in all the offerings of all who sacrificed in faith in God – they all pointed and looked away to the One Sacrifice for sin, when our glorious High Priest should offer Himself without spot unto God, for all who shall ever come unto God by Him – Himself our righteousness, our salvation, our Life. God accepted us IN His Son. Blessed God!

2-15b Article Two

Article Two

The former article presented sacrifices in their general nature and significance; but the purpose in this article is to show particular sacrifices, with their several meanings, in the Divine service and worship. Let me suggest to all who may read this, you would find an investigation of divine instituted sacrifices highly interesting and helpful in understanding the great and most wonderful doctrine of Redemption, as delivering perishing sinners from guilt, bondage, and death. For a true knowledge of this one feature in the salvation of the elect children of fallen Adam, will itself show how impossible is the prevalent belief of conditional life and immortality, or conditional time salvation, as depending upon sinful man.

Why, the very fact of sacrifice in the acceptable worship of the Holy One, and that we cannot approach unto Him only through the offering of such a sacrifice, is itself a most awful evidence and confession that sin, guilt, and death stand in direful array between God and us, as the cherubim and flaming sword stood between our sinning first parents and the Tree of Life. This puts an everlasting veto upon all manism, or human conditions and creature efforts and performances, as admitting us into the Divine Presence, or in the least entitling us to salvation and its blessings and favors in time or eternity.

The Divine rejection of Cain and his offering is an example of this solemn fact. The Pharisee who thanked God for what he had done is another case in point. The elder son in our Lord’s parable is still another. The rich young ruler, who turned sorrowfully away from Jesus, is yet another. Finally, the whole house of Israel, who trusted in themselves and their works, are a fearful and everlasting warning to all peoples, who would approach unto God that He will accept and bless none who claim any works of righteousness of their own, or who do not bring and present them in spotless holiness. This awful but just Truth strips all men of the least vestige of worth or merit in the worship of the Holy God, lays the sinner low at His footstool, and shows that even His saints can receive His pardon, favor, and blessing only through the infinite holiness and for the sake of the acceptable sacrifice that they bring. That all-sufficient offering is Christ, “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!”

Let us now briefly consider sacrifices in particular, as the Covenant-God Himself instituted them.- {Le 8}. Shows us that these are of three kinds: sin-offerings, burnt-offerings, any peace-offerings. These three were so inseparably connected that they were interlaced or ran into one another, so to speak; yet they were not the same, but differed in design and meaning, and together they made one divine doctrine or system of worship – a worship both Scriptural and typical, literal and Spiritual. But many of the worshippers entered not into the Spiritual meaning and blessedness of that divine service; but looked to, and trusted in, its mere visible forms and literal observance, the legal and dark veil being upon their hearts; while the true worshippers (by the gift of faith) followed the High Priest into that within the veil, and saw the day of Christ and His one offering for sin, and were glad and rejoiced, as did their father Abraham, when his son Isaac was released, and the ram was offered instead. All the Divinely ordained sin-offerings had this wonderful meaning, and were as symbols and object-lessons to lift up the heart and nurture the faith of those who penitently drew near to God in supplication and soul-devotion, confessing their sins. For in all their heaven-appointed sacrifices for sin, the children of Israel beheld the death of the victim or offering, and then the consecrated priest offered its blood as an atonement for their sins. “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.”

Especially on the great Day of Atonement once every year was this fulfilled with awful solemnity before their eyes, when the sanctified High Priest of all Israel passed beyond the mysterious veil with the atoning blood of the slain offering for sin into the most holy place of God’s Temple, called the “Holy of Holies”, where he sprinkled the blood on the Mercy-seat and burnt the sweet incense in the Golden Censer in the presence of the Lord, who dwelt between the Cherubim. God accepted the Atonement and the holy incense at the hands of the High Priest, that he and his people died not, and heard in Holy Heaven the intercession on their behalf, because of the Atonement.

Let it be remembered that all the offerings by the Law were to be without spot or blemish, that is, perfect and clean animals only could be offered, thus showing that the only offering for our sins that God will accept for us, as bearing our sins and dying for us, that we might live before Him must be sinless and holy; and only by and through such a perfect sacrifice, and “by means of death,” as a complete atonement or satisfaction for our sins, can we come unto God and be accepted with Him. Such was the solemn significance of every sin-offering and trespass-offering. Only with and in virtue of such a perfect sacrifice for the sins of all His covenant people could the High Priest himself pass through the veil and appear before God in the Holy of Holies. Without this sacrifice for sin and its remission and removal, he must have died before the Lord, and with him all his kindred or people must have also perished in their sins.

The solemn and heart-moving lesson taught us in this is, that every part of our salvation, with all its benefits and joys, are vouchsafed to us through the full atonement for our sins, as covenant-blessings. The perfect sacrifice for sin thus made, and accepted of God in Heaven through the ordained High Priest, sin and death were (ceremonially and typically) removed; therefore the worshippers had access unto God, and they and their offerings and services were accepted with Him. This was vividly shown on the great atonement day, by the slain goat, and the living escape goat that bore away the sins of the people. For each goat bore their sins, and represented death for sin, and life through the putting away of all their sins. This wonderful fact was touchingly shown again, when Moses died in the wilderness upon the Mount in full view of the Land of Promise, and then, lo! Joshua, the Minister of Moses, led the children of the Covenant across the mystic River of Death into that good land of the living!

All this was blessedly fulfilled and made real and true and perpetual forever, when Jesus, the Christ of the Covenant, our dying and yet living “High Priest of things to come” passed into Heaven itself, to appear in the very presence of God for us.

Such is the meaning of the sacrifices offered continually for sins until Christ came, and “suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God; being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.”

Thus now, sin being ended and death taken out of the way, the true worshippers have personal acceptance with God, and He is well pleased with their sacrifices of burnt-offerings, and of peace-offerings.

In the death of the sinless victims offered in sacrifice for their sins and trespasses, the worshippers confess that they themselves deserve the penalty of death, and they indeed thus virtually died and paid the penalty for their sins; then received life from the dead and “passed from death unto life,” because the innocent lamb was their own and its death was theirs or for them. Not only did every spotless victim belong to them, as that which God had provided, as the firstling of Abel’s flock, and the first-born son of Abraham, and “the only begotten Son of God,” but the sacrifice was valuable and precious to them – the best that they had – the best that God Himself had provided for an offering for sin; and God accepted the sacrifice at the hands of the worshippers because it was both theirs and His. Had it not been their own, but stolen or borrowed, it could not have atoned for them. Thus Atonement for sin is personal and special, because there is a close and inseparable relation between the sacrificer and sacrifice. Hence, all that it is and does, he is and does, for it is this and does this for him. It is His sacrifice. This is the great mystery of the sinner’s acceptance with God. Salvation and all Spiritual and Gospel blessings, in time and eternity, flow to sinners through this medium and for this cause – because “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” So, as it is only in and through Him that we merit and receive any favor and blessing from God, every blessing is His free gift and favor or grace; therefore it cannot be for our sakes, or for what we do, but for “Jesus only.”

2-15c Third Article

Third Article

All sacrifices in the worship of God show man’s alienation and separation from Him, as we have seen, and that it is only by Divinely appointed sacrifices sinners are restored to communion with Him. Left to themselves, the separated sons of Adam and divided nations of the earth sought to restore themselves to the favor of God, or to propitiate their imaginary gods by means of their own sacrifices and works; and thus they wandered in ignorance before God proclaimed the Law of Sacrifices upon Mount Sinai by His servant Moses, and the Gospel of Service upon Mount Zion by His Son Jesus. But now behold both in the Law and in the Gospel, God is seen as coming down to the estranged and wandering children of men as their Covenant-God, Himself providing and making known the way for their restoration, return and access unto Him, that they may come and kneel before and worship God who created them. The first is the vain endeavor of men to build a mud-tower to heaven and raise themselves up to God (and they yet have “endeavor” organizations); the last is God’s effectual way of “bringing again that which was driven away, and binding up that which was broken,” and of raising up to Himself the elect but fallen children and people of the Covenant; that they may acceptably worship Him in the mountain of His holiness, and commune with Him and He with them.

The burnt-offerings of the people of the Old Covenant, which in the order of nature were subsequent to their sin-offerings, were self-dedicatory, representing that their sins were atoned for and put away, and so they themselves in their persons and services were accepted with God and were His consecrated worshippers, giving themselves freely and wholly to Him in entire devotion, because He had redeemed and saved them, and had separated them from the nations, from their sins and their idols. The burnt-offering, which was wholly burnt, was expressive of this sacred obligation of all the saved people, and was a symbol and pledge that they were the Lord’s, and that all they had and were belonged to Him. Joshua (type of Jesus) expressed this entire consecration and devotion to God when he said, “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; for the Lord our God, He it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.” And so Moses, their leader out of Egypt and bondage, taught them to sing, “Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help and the sword of thy excellency!” “Saved by the Lord!” Thus is set forth their absolute dependency upon Him who saved them, as also their supreme obligations to consecrate themselves entirely to the Lord their God, who had so graciously raised them up into holy communion with Himself, having put away their sins and blotted out as a thick cloud their transgressions which had separated them from Him. The burnt-offerings had this meaning, and impressed the saved people that the Lord was their all and they were His inheritance. All they were as the people of the living God, and all that they possessed, the Lord had made them and bestowed upon them. To Him they owed themselves and all their mercies and blessings; therefore, to Him belonged all their devotions, worship, and praise, so that it was just and right for them to be wholly consecrated to the service of the Lord, and that they should love Him with their whole heart and soul, mind, and strength, as a tribute of honor and glory to Him for what He had made them and done for them. In the light and view of this, the departures and idolatries of the Lord’s redeemed people were extremely hateful and displeasing, and brought upon them their worst calamities, as merited judgments, that so they might return to the Lord who had bought them.

Let us now apply all this solemn and wonderful meaning and lesson of the burnt-offerings to the people of the “New and better Testament,” that our minds and hearts may be suitably impressed with our most sacred and supreme obligations to be sincerely and entirely consecrated in humble devotion and service to the God and Father of our only Lord Jesus Christ, who has wrought so great salvation for us, and quickened us together with Christ, to the end that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him and behold His glory, that where He is there we shall be, and live because He lives.

These Scriptures will suffice to impress this at present: “He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again.” “Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” “Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” “Now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” “Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God, When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.” “Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me.” To be thus with the holy Son of God, they must first be transformed into His image of perfect holiness before God in love, and indeed consecrated unto the worship of the holy and blessed God, then His people gathered unto His holy sanctuary with their peace-offerings, which they freely offered up in devotional sacrifice and service, because God was their God and Savior, and had so greatly blessed them. Through their peace-offerings they said, “The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.” So these last offerings of the children of the Covenant were cheerfully given in the gratitude of their hearts, as so many offerings of thanksgiving and tributes of praise. Thus they were a kingdom of priests unto God, and He dwelt among them. They were His footstool, the place of His feet, which He made glorious. How wonderful that God should come down and dwell among men! “I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” So is the covenant that He makes with them.

Through the sin-offering their God has taken away their sins; through the burnt-offerings He has brought them into the bonds of the covenant as His “holy nation,” a people separated unto Himself from all other peoples and nations; and now, through the peace-offering, they make His praise glorious in His temple!

As applied to the New Testament people in their worship and service, the Supper of the Lord, which superseded the Passover, shows the suffering for sin unto death, as witnessed by all the sin-offerings until Christ died for our sins; then, Gospel baptism, in which is shown that our sins were burned up or consumed and we were cut off by death, as was Christ, and were also quickened and raised up together with Him, to live in newness of spirit and serve God in righteousness all the days of an endless life – baptism is the Spiritual realization of the whole burnt-offering. Thus it is seen through the sacrifices under the Law that the people saved by the Lord are a regenerated kingdom, a people separated from their sins and raised up out of death into a new life, a new and living and holy people! This is very wonderful, and it is the Lord’s doing. It is all fulfilled and realized in our Lord Jesus Christ, in and with whom we are complete and united.

And now, henceforth and forever, our peace-offerings of thanksgiving and praise unto the God of our salvation are offered up with love and joyfulness through our consecrated and glorified High Priest, who lives in the presence of God for us. “This people have I formed for Myself; they shall show forth My praise,” saith the Lord. It is indeed their delight and joy to do so, because His love is in their hearts, and they walk in the light of His countenance, which is heaven to their souls. This was beautifully represented by the last of the three great yearly feasts of Israel – the feast of Tabernacles in the end of the harvest-year, a time of great rejoicing among all the people of God. At this feast the happy Jubilee was proclaimed through the priests by the blowing of trumpets; and all the people were made free to return home to their inheritance in the good land. O, my soul, rise up and praise and bless God for all these great things!

One lesson more is taught us by the peace-offerings, and it is important, and will close this consideration of sacrifices. The peace-offering, like the burnt-offerings and the sin-offerings, were of the very best that the offerers had to bring in sacrifice to God; and when brought and offered as a tribute of homage and gratitude, a part of this offering was burned on the altar in devotion to God, and the remainder was shared between the priests and ministers of the sanctuary and the worshippers who brought the sacrifice. Thus is shown the close and sacred relationship between God and His servants and people, and that their interests and love and blessings are joined together and mutual. It is so in the Gospel kingdom and inheritance and service. Our adorable King Himself “came down from heaven,” and so God’s divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness; and in this fullness of salvation and heavenly riches and blessing every one of this holy priesthood is embraced together, as heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, to offer up Spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Thus all this divine service of ministration and grateful honor and praise comes down from God out of heaven to those who offer praise unto Him, and it is sanctified unto His glory and ascends up to Him again in supplication and thanksgiving, as the incense of loving hearts. “For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God.” “They which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple, and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar” (of the sacrifices and offerings of their brethren); “even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel;” that is, of the grateful peace-offerings of their brethren in the gospel. “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God; if any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it of the ability which God giveth; that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” Thus and in this manner the sacrifice of peace-offerings is fulfilled unto the glory of God by His worshipping people, as a royal priesthood, and His praise arises in His temple.

“But to do good, and communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, My brethren, ye have done it unto Me,” says the Lord. “I will offer to Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord.” “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness; and put your trust in the Lord.” “I will offer in His tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.” “The voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for His mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord.”

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor.”

“Now once in the end of the world hath He appeared, to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.... And unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation.” “And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; salvation, and glory and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God: for true and righteous are His judgments.”

“When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing His praise
Than when we first begun.”

David Bartley

Crawfordsville, Indiana,

March 29, 1897

2-16 Review Of Fulton Convention Work

REVIEW OF FULTON CONVENTION WORK.

After a close and careful comparison of the entire work of the Fulton “National Convention” with the text of the London Confession, as published in a booklet by the Elders Kirkland, in the spirit of godly sincerity and charity I wish to review it impartially with peace and goodwill to all lovers of truth.

As to authority: the confession was the work of “the ministers and messengers of upwards of one hundred baptized congregations,” and so it has the sanction and authority of all those churches of the saints. But the work of the Fulton meeting has no other authority than as thus expressed: “By request of the Fulton church, we met on November 11, 1000.” Hence, outside of the Fulton church, not one of those engaged in that work was an authorized messenger of his home church, but all were mere volunteers, having no authority whatever to represent and act for the general body of Old Baptist churches; therefore their work is entitled to no higher regard than their personal opinions as individuals, representing themselves only. How vast the difference! Thus it is an evident and potent fact, that the great brotherhood of Old Baptist churches of the United States neither felt the need of nor called for a “National Convention,” either to settle the orthodoxy of the old confession, or any other question touching faith and practice. So the Fulton meeting was a very load one indeed, instead of a “National Convention;” for the self-appointed persons who ran to Fulton without being sent, as did Ahimaaz, a good man, went from only ten of the nearly fifty States and Territories. Nor is this all, for so far from having the sanction and sympathy and prayers of the thousands of gospel churches and ministers of this vast Commonwealth to support them, it was the very opposite of this, for the general sentiment and feeling was against such a convention, and all concerned knew this. And well knowing this fact, it must have been apparent to all that such a mere local, voluntary and partial convention of Baptists could not promote the fellowship and unity of the general brotherhood of saints in Christ Jesus. What this local meeting did at Fulton, as published by those who called the meeting, is in sad evidence that they failed to restore the former peace which their new issues had disturbed. They could not have expected to restore that which they had taken, away. What, then, was the purpose of the convention! The answer is found in the published work of the Fulton meeting, as set forth in the general address, foot-notes, and appendix, to which special attention is kindly solicited. The main thing to be considered is, what the convention adopted upon the issues which had caused the “no small dissension and disputation” among the churches, where peace had prevailed before such issues were raised. Did they seek to heal the breaches in Zion, by pouring oil on the troubled waters, and extending the olive branch of peace! In sadness we fail to any effort in this way as peacemakers. So far from it, the one principal purpose and work of that convention was but a reaffirming and trying to thus sanction those confusing and disturbing new issues, as things to be saddled upon the Old Baptist people as doctrines which they must receive and fellowship, or else they must be declared out of fellowship by the edicts of that convention, as declared in the general address, section two, page nine. In this item it is said, “We “beseech all our churches and people that they raise no bars of fellowship against any Primitive Baptist with whom they are agreed on fundamental principles – such as the eternal salvation of sinners, wholly by grace and entirely unconditional on the sinner’s part, and who are sound and orderly in the ordinances of the church.” It was well known by those brethren that this statement does not touch the disturbing doctrine at issue, which doctrine they elsewhere adopt as that which must be received as sound doctrine. The churches that will not so fellowship the new doctrine are declared against on page nine, saying, “the only course for those who want to remain in this holy church union is to discard their actions and have no connection with them, until they withdraw such bars of fellowship.” Bars of fellowship against what doctrine? The foot-notes and the appendix show that the bars of fellowship spoken of were the result of the new issues raised among the Baptists, and that those disturbing doctrines were conditional salvation in time, as distinct from unconditional eternal salvation by grace, and the partial or limited sovereignty or predestination or decree of God.

So now, let us kindly consider this question of disturbance and compare the points at issue with the London Confession, which all claim to accept upon those points of difference. But why, then, the need or utility of the Fulton Convention? Why the address, the foot-notes and the appendix added to the good old Confession, which had been good enough for the Old Baptist people through the centuries, until this late upheaval? The plea for all this additional supplementary work of the recent convention has been stated in print frequently, and is thus given in the general address: “Language through the lapse of many years undergoes variations in applications and meanings, whereby certain classes become more or less obscure in meaning. Wherever, in the opinion of this assembly, the meaning of a section was not apparent, foot-notes were added to bring out the meaning.” But if such a change of meaning and obscurity of language is true of one section of the old Confession, it is also true of every section, and just as true of the whole Bible, which is older than the London Confession. In all candor, then, why were the foot-notes confined to a few sections, and these the very places which treat of the doctrines involved in this new issue! This is very strange indeed, if the old Confession has really become doubtful and dark in meaning because of its age! If this is a valid cause for calling a convention of Baptists, why not bring out in easy and plain words the meaning of the entire Confession, so that all the Baptists may now understand and unite upon its meaning? Then, if the plea is a real and valid one, why not also get up a Baptist Convention to “bring out the more or less obscure meaning “of the ancient Bible! But who were the leading and active workers in the work of the Fulton Convention! With all courtesy to them, were they eminent for great learning and wisdom! And as such, were they chosen and sent to Fulton by the Old Baptist people at large! “Why would they, then, take it upon themselves to put their own meaning or construction upon some of the chief doctrinal sections of the old Confession, and decree that those who want to remain in their union shall have no connection with other brethren and churches who cannot conscientiously fall in line with the new issues and decrees or work of the Fulton Convention! Brethren who deplore bars of fellowship being set up, do certainly err and far exceed their authority and right, in thus clothing this Fulton Convention with ecclesiastic authority to decide the terms of fellowship for all the Old Baptist family, then cast out all of them who cannot indorse their work, and say to all who will do so, “The only course for those who want to remain in this holy church union is, to discard their actions and have no connection with them.” This is in itself a sweeping and world-wide bar of fellowship, and it is both arbitrary and without charity. For it is binding a yoke upon the consciences of thousands of the loving disciples of Christ, humble, loving and God-fearing men and women, who devoutly believe that all their salvation is by God’s abounding grace in Christ Jesus, vouchsafed to them as ever sinful and unworthy in time; and who cannot believe otherwise than as simply stated in the London Confession upon “God’s decree,” which they accept in all its parts, without any words to explain it away. And upon these two things the issue is made, with all the resulting confusion and marring of fellowship.

The old Confession says, “God hath decreed in himself from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably, all things whatsoever come to pass; yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin nor hath fellowship with any therein, nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established, in which appears his wisdom in disposing all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing his decree.” This is as guarded as words can make a statement, yet most clear and plain. In this sublime belief in the dominion and sovereignty of God his servants and children have stood united from of old, and will yet ever so stand as the loyal and prevailing brotherhood in Christ, though ever reproached for it.

But the Fulton convention said, “We do not believe that God unconditionally, unlimitedly and equally predestinated righteousness and unrighteousness. It is our belief that God has positively and effectually predestinated the eternal salvation of his people, which were chosen in Christ before time.” This statement as a whole plainly denies the above statement of the Confession, and admits only that God predestinated or decreed the eternal salvation of his people, and to this it limits God’s decree of predestination. The long foot-note on page 36 is a similar statement, and not in accord with the Confession on God’s decree, to which there is no limit, but it includes the words “freely and unchangeably all things whatsoever come to pass.” The contradiction here is irreconcilable, and one or the other is erroneous. But when the convention says, “A failure to make this distinction [‘between God’s attitude to sin and his attitude and relation to holiness’] has been a fruitful source of division and distress of our holy cause, and a failure to so distinguish between God’s permissive and overruling decree of sin and his causative decree of holiness will ever cause distress and confusion among our people.” Again, page 99: “God’s purpose concerning sin does not sustain the same relation to sin that it does to holiness. While we think that God’s purpose concerning Bin is more than barely permissive, it is such as to exclude all chance and uncertainty, yet we hold that God is in no sense the cause of sin.” Again, page 100: “We insist that we should not use language implying that God’s attitude to sin is the same as his attitude to holiness, for this tends to destroy the distinction between right and wrong. The expression, ‘unlimited predestination of all things,’ seems to convey the idea that God’s purpose concerning sin is as unlimited and unrestricted as it is concerning holiness; and if so, then God’s decree concerning sin would be causative, since it is causative concerning holiness, and this view would destroy all distinction between right and wrong.” Now, sadly let me say, these statements and seeming inferences are unwarranted, uncharitable and prejudicial, calculated to mislead all who accept them as facts, for they assume that the Baptists who believe just what the old Confession most plainly and positively declares of God’s decree, (his unlimited predestination of all things) make no distinction between sin and holiness, but hold that God sustains the same relation and attitude to sin that he does to holiness, and that his relation to both is causative; that is, that “God is the author of sin,” if it be true that he decreed all things whatsoever come to pass. No Baptist so believes. No Baptist writer has ever written that God’s decree of all things makes no distinction between sin and holiness, but is alike the cause of all sin as well as holiness. This imputation is most hurtful and lamentable, because it is neither just nor true, but a very prejudicial inference, and a violation of Christian charity and brotherly kindness. For all Predestinarian Baptists have ever held on this point of doctrine, as did those ancient brethren of England and Wales, that, “yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin nor hath fellowship with any therein.” Therefore, in raising this mistaken cry of alarm against the unlimited decree of God, and charging that it makes all wickedness and sin the result of his decree, and destroys the distinction between right and wrong, the brethren of the Fulton Convention have grievously put a stumbling-block in the way of unity, fellowship and peace.

That convention likewise recognized and labored to establish another new issue in doctrine, which has caused much confusion and distress, where harmony and peace prevailed before it was foisted or sprung upon the Baptists of the Old School, but a few years ago. This new doctrine is called, “Conditional Salvation in Time.” And this has been the chief disturbing doctrine in the “no small dissension and disputation” which it has caused among the Baptist people. Knowing this as they did, it is sadly strange that the Fulton Convention of Baptists adopted it as an article of their faith, and required all other Baptists, who want to remain in their union, or who may want to come into it, to accept it. Lamentably strange this is, after saying in the preface to their work as a convention, “With an earnest desire to see union and harmony prevail among us everywhere,” &c. Again: “The Importance of Fellowship cannot be overestimated. “ Bars of Fellowship set up by our local churches have been the most destructive influences against the growth and progress of the church. Traditions of men and human customs, being regarded as authority, have often given rise to bars of fellowship and resulted in the destruction of the peace of the churches.” This statement will as well apply to the Fulton Convention and its work, and contains its own sentence. For here it was not even local churches making tests and setting up terms of fellowship for the Baptists at large, but only a few unauthorized brethren as individuals. Yet those brethren, when they speak of the good old doctrine of unconditional salvation of sinners being wholly by grace, they must qualify grace by saying, “eternal salvation,” as much as to say our salvation in time is not by grace, but of works, and is conditional upon our part. They therefore say, page 101: “We believe the Scriptures teach that there is a time salvation received by the heirs of God distinct from eternal salvation, which does depend upon their obedience. The people of God receive their rewards for obedience in this life only.” Again, page 102-3: “We hold that God’s government of his people is moral. We hold, too, that conditionality is an essential element of moral government.” And again, page 104: “We understand it to mean that men are capable of choosing things in harmony with their nature – things most agreeable to them. They are and must be capable of voluntary action, in order to their being accountable. Liberty of will in this sense is essential to moral government, as we believe.”

Now, kindly, sincerely and faithfully do I protest that this distinction in the salvation of sinners, as both of grace and works, unconditional in part and conditional in part, is a seriously confusing and disturbing element and doctrine; a distinction and division in our salvation not made in the Bible, nor in the London Confession, nor by our faithful fathers in the gospel of the grace of God; for all these ever use the singular noun, “salvation,” and never the plural, salvations; and they all attribute our entire salvation from all sin to God and Christ and grace. This gospel of full and complete salvation by grace, “not of works,” the Old Baptist people have ever cherished in their hearts as divinely true and sacred; and the remnant according to the election of grace will ever do so until time shall be no longer. And in blest eternity “the general assembly and church of the Firstborn “shall ever happily be “to the praise of the glory of his grace.”

Until very modernly, the principle and doctrine of conditions in salvation had no place or influence among the Old Baptists, but it prevailed among the Arminian orders, and many thousands of the children of God among them have been brought into bondage by it. It is also true of the other new and kindred issue, the mistaken and uncharitable outcry against the Predestinarian Baptists, that their doctrine makes God the author of all things whatsoever come to pass which he decreed from all eternity, as affirms the old Confession, that this charge was made only by the Arminian conditionalists until very modernly.

It should not be wondered at, therefore, that the introduction and pressure of these new issues among the Old Baptists met with opposition from many of them, whose hearts are established in the sacred belief of salvation by grace only, and in the unlimited sovereignty of God, just as declared in the London Confession; for the inevitable consequence of this innovation upon the gospel of the grace of God, by the new gospel (?) of conditional salvation in time, and of this recent war against God’s decree of all things, as held through the ages past, and solemnly set forth in the good old Confession, was confusion and division among the local churches, where these new issues sprung up and were urged. It was this opposition to sovereignty and grace that led to the disturbance and, in some local churches, the breaking of fellowship, all of which is lamentable and gives us all sorrow. The responsibility rests upon the new doctrines.

It was quite natural for the leading promoters of these new and disturbing elements and issues of limited decrees and limited grace, or part grace in salvation, to feel zealous for their greatest success, and so seek to draw all the Baptists with them as far as possible. And it was this fact that led them to make effort after effort to call a Baptist convention, in which they finally succeeded. What was its aim and scope! The work of the convention, as published by them, shows that their sole object was to have the disturbing doctrines engrafted upon the Baptist articles of faith, in which they succeeded so far as the Fulton Convention could give sanction and prestige to them. Therefore, so far from it being a “National Convention “of the Old Baptists, as claimed, it was so exclusive or partial and local that none others only those who would sympathize and come in line with them in their innovations upon the old and sacred doctrine of God’s sovereignty in his decree and grace was wanted or could have been an active member in that convention. For it was understood that all who could be welcomed there must fall in line. So all did who attended as volunteer messengers to that Fulton meeting. The leading spirits in the new movement virtually proclaimed abroad: We are in trouble; for we have enlisted in a war against the old doctrine of salvation only by grace, and God’s unlimited decree, and unfortunately we are meeting with strong opposition from many good brethren who will not fall in with our improved and less objectionable doctrines, which, if generally accepted, will greatly elevate and enlarge the Primitive Baptist churches, so that they will become far more influential and popular than they have been. Now, therefore, come to Fulton and join with us in a “National Convention,” which we intend shall eclipse the old London meeting, and help us to fix up this trouble and settle this controversy, in such a way that conditional salvation in time and limited predestination or decrees shall be made to harmonize with the long accepted London Confession of Faith and added to it as supplementary articles of the Baptist faith. This was done. Now the work of the Fulton convention is incorporated in a book with the time-honored London Confession, as a very important addition to it, explaining it and giving it prestige. And all the Old Baptists who accept the old are likewise expected and required to accept the new, or they shall be discarded as not “in this holy church union,” which, it is boastingly claimed, includes perhaps nine-tenths of all the Primitive Baptists. Now, permit me to sorrowfully and lovingly say, How very lamentable that all this has been done! For so far from taking up the stumbling-blocks out of the way of the Lord’s afflicted and poor people, in a work of peace, the effort has been thus made to divide them upon the line of eternal salvation only by grace, but salvation in time, of works, and limited predestination to holiness only. This gratified the few leaders in this new movement, who are pleased with their seeming success; but it is really lamentable for themselves in the end, no less than for the general peace and spiritual health and welfare of the dear Old Baptist brotherhood, who are thus unhappily made to suffer from those disturbing innovations upon the doctrine of God our Savior.

In conclusion, there is one alleviating and consoling fact in all this new and strange movement among Baptists; that is, the so-called “National Convention” was nothing more than a voluntary individual meeting, without any authority or jurisdiction whatever to decide upon any point of doctrine or fellowship, so none of the churches of the saints are bound by it; and the good old doctrine of the London Confession relative to the unlimited decree and universal providence of God and salvation by his sovereign grace only, remains unshaken, true and sacred as before, not in the least curtailed, modified or “explained away.” And this doctrine of our forefathers and of the apostles of the Lord will stand immovable as a bulwark of God’s eternal truth long after this new movement against it shall have passed away, and the people “saved by the Lord” shall on and on down through the coming ages, till the Lord shall come and bring all his saints with him, ever abide steadfastly in the unlimited sovereignty of God and the gospel of salvation by his grace.

“Grace all the work shall crown,
Through everlasting days:
It lays in heaven the topmost stone,
And well deserves the praise.”

This is submitted in brotherly kindness to all who in heart believe in Jesus as the salvation of God, as did Simeon, and for them I have fellowship and love, though they may be “entangled with the yoke of bondage,” as the Galatian brethren were, through conditional teaching. For no heart felt believer in Christ, the Redeemer and Savior of sinners, of whom the word says, “Neither is there salvation in any other,” do I declare non-fellowship, but it afflicts me to know that any of the dear redeemed people of the Lord, who is all their salvation, deny the sufficiency of his grace to save them in time, but they must fall back upon conditional works of their own now in time, yet admitting that their eternal salvation is unconditional and by sovereign grace alone. To me this is a strange paradox, an irreconcilable inconsistency and contradiction; for since grace alone has power to save with everlasting salvation from sin, and all sin, it alone has power to save from sin in time, from any and every sin, whether of commission or omission. For certainly since grace is sufficient unto the greater salvation, it is no less sufficient unto the lesser salvation. But none will presume to say that the salvation by grace is conditional, for grace has no conditions in it, but it reigns in salvation as the princess of heaven. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need,” says the word. And this is salvation by mercy and grace in time, and in every time of need.

O that we all, who daily need the grace of God, could thus humbly and contritely come unto the throne of grace, and be filled with grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of peace; for then there would be no controversy or contention about our daily salvation not being by grace, but of works and conditional on our part.

“Savior, visit thy plantation,
Grant us, Lord, a gracious rain!
All will come to desolation,
Unless thou return again:
Lord revive us,
All our help must come from thee!”

DAVID BARTLEY.

Crawfordsville, Ind., Aug. 22, 1901.

2-17 Providence And Grace #1

Signs Of The Times
Volume 69, No. 18.
SEPTEMBER 15, 1901.

PROVIDENCE AND GRACE. #1

My Beloved Brethren: – Our God is the God of Providence, as he is the God of grace. His revealed word of truth in the Bible abundantly shows this, and it is also fully confirmed and clearly seen in his works of creation. For in all the universe of created existence and being infinite intelligence presides and omnipotent power controls, subjecting all to decreed orbits and limits, and directing all to ordained ends – the glory of the Creator. Were it not so, then God should be defeated, disappointed and frustrated in his infinite design and eternal purpose in his handiworks in the universe. But this cannot be. “The heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor 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.” – {Ps 19:1-4}. God possessed this infinite knowledge from everlasting, before night unto night sheweth it, and his eternal power and Godhead are coequal with his unlimited knowledge and support it; so that he hath ordained the day and the night, fixed all revolving globes in their orbits, gave the sea its decree, appointed the seasons of the year, “set a tabernacle for the sun,” rules the stormy wind and tempest; “He directeth it [the noise of his voice] under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth;” “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou!” Let us read Elihu’s answer to. Job, and be instructed. “All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; to make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.” “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” All this divine truth shows the greatness and majesty, power and wisdom and glory of the God of providence, as the supreme Ruler of all worlds and creatures and things. It denies and excludes chance from the universe, and proves the universal control and dominion of the Almighty. With God there is neither accident nor chance. To say there is, denies his infinite foreknowledge and universal providence, and therefore limits him in both his wisdom and dominion. If chance obtains, providence ceases; both cannot exist. The primary definition of the noun providence in the Standard Dictionary is: “The care, control and guidance exercised by the supreme Being over the universe in all its parts and contents. In its widest sense providence includes (1) foreknowledge, (2) foreordination, and (3) efficacious administration, including preservation and continued government, the last element being all that in ordinary usage is thought of, as, ‘God’s providence in mine inheritance.’ Providence literally means foresight, and then a careful arrangement prepared beforehand for the accomplishment of predetermined ends.” In proof of this the Bible says, “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. “ For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited; I am the Lord, and there is none else.” “I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” This positively affirms the universal dominion of God’s providence, and shows that not anything can ever arise by blind chance, or exist beyond or outside of his unbounded providence.

In his Church History, pages (552-3), Elder Hassell says, “As for anything occurring ‘by chance,’ or without a cause, no human being can possibly believe such a thing, even if his very life depended upon it; for the human mind is so constituted by the Creator as to necessarily believe that every event has a cause; and the use of the expression by chance,’ simply means that the cause is unknown to the speaker or writer, and not at all that there is no cause. The belief in universal causation is a primitive and fundamental intuition of the human mind. All secondary causes point the thoughtful mind inevitably to the Great First Cause, Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent, and to his eternal, sovereign will, either efficient or permissive, in accordance with which all events occur.” He then quotes from Elder J. K. Respess, who said, “There is one thing we all know, and that is, that nothing has happened or can happen by chance, and that smacks so much of decree that it shuts my mouth.” On page 655 he quotes from Elder W. M. Mitchell, who said, “Predestination enters into every rational act of every intelligent creature, and puts them to work to carry out their predestinating plans, and it enters into every act of God, the great Fountain of intelligence. It's works in nature, providence and grace, are but the development and manifestation of his predestination.” On page 652 are these true remarks: “Much of the language of the inspired writers was designed to comfort and sustain the spirit of God’s people in the midst of the greatest trials, by teaching them that all events are perfectly foreseen by God, and, in a sense, predetermined by him, and will be overruled for good to his afflicted ones. His absolute and universal dominion was constantly present to the minds of the children of God in ancient days. Its effect upon the mind was solemn and impressive, and never suggested the faintest presumption of injustice in God, even when the acts that were sinful in his creatures were traced in another sense to his holy and awful will. The Scripture, accordingly, never hesitates for a moment to ascribe absolute holiness to God, and all the guilt of every sinful act to the sinner.” And just as much is the same truth of the Scriptures “designed to comfort and sustain the spirit of God’s people in the midst of the greatest trials “now, as well as then, and they still need the same “strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.” On page 651, Elder Hassell well says, “While God does not incite sinful thoughts in any heart, he is perfectly able to bend and control every sin to the furtherance of his own glory and his people’s good. His knowledge and purpose and power include all events, so that his children may, in one sense, see him in all things, and rejoice that he will make all things work together for their good.” This assurance is certainly a great stay and comfort to me now in the present trial of faith. The poets wrote truly when they declared that,

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

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.”

“Great God of Providence! thy ways
Are hid from mortal sight;
Wrapt in impenetrable shades,
Or cloth’d with dazzling light.”

God is revealed and known in his grace, and his power and glory declared, even more majestically and blessedly than in his all-wise and almighty providence. For in the manifestation of his sovereign grace, God is shown to be “rich in mercy,” no less than omnipotent in power. The grace and mercy of God, who is blessed for evermore, make known his infinite goodness. His inspired oracles abundantly testify that “The Lord is good.” They also reveal that he is not only the “God of love and peace,” and that his love is great and everlasting, but that “God is love.” The love of God is perfect, then, and this his essence or nature is perfect or infinite holiness. So inherent and immaculate is the holiness of God that he is not only the “holy One,” the “most holy,” but “without holiness no man shall see the Lord.” It is most irreverent and awful, then, when any unholy creature will presumptuously speak of the holy Lord God Almighty as “the author of sin” in any case, or if his controlling purpose and determinate counsel extends to and includes all events. The sinful man who thus presumes, thereby assumes to be more wise and more holy than “the only wise God,” who is immutably holy. God will maintain his own glorious holiness, and he needs no selfwise, sinful creature to sit in judgment against the conduct of his Maker, or lay down a line by which Jehovah should be governed in his providence and grace, neither does he need the apologies of vain and foolish man. His sentence is, “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God!” “Let God be true, but every man a liar.” “Be still, and know that I am God.”

(Concluded in next number.) D. BARTLEY

2-18 Providence and Grace #2

Signs Of The Times
Volume 68, No. 16.
AUGUST 15, 1900.

PROVIDENCE AND GRACE. #2

The holy oracles connect grace with God, and call him “The God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” Peter then says, “I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.” Paul calls it, “The grace of God that bringeth salvation.” Salvation embraces lost sinners, and they are saved from their sins. The angel said of Jesus, “he shall save his people from their sins.” This is absolute: “He shall save.” In what way? “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Grace is united to the reigning Christ, then, and he to the God of grace and providence. This is the glory of grace, therefore, and thus it is saving grace, and glorious grace, for the God of salvation and glory is its Author and Source, and by his all-conquering and righteous Son grace reigns. So there is neither weakness nor failure in the grace of God. “By grace are ye saved.”

Having seen that this royal princess that reigns unto eternal life is the free gift of the Holy God, unmerited and unbought, and that the King who reigns in righteousness supports grace by his victory over sin and death and the devil, and by his power over all flesh, we may join with Paul in his full ‘assurance of faith and say, “For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” And so not only does grace reign through righteousness unto and over all her favored subjects, but they shall also through the abundance of grace and righteousness reign in life eternal, by her and their Lord of glory. For although sin abounded in and over the people of grace, even unto death, and this monster had shut them up in his boasting prison-house, yet so invincible and mighty is grace that “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Yea, so much more that grace saves her people from sin and death and the grave, unto righteousness and life and immortality. This is grace, and this her power and success and glory. Grace, then, is synonymous with salvation and holiness and eternal life. Yea, grace is in everlasting union with God and Jesus and heaven. We do not wonder, therefore, that the inspired ministers of grace uniformly addressed their brethren in grace with the benediction: “Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” Neither do we feel any amazement that the victorious Christ, by whom grace reigns, assured and comforted his persecuted and buffeted servant with, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” Nor are we surprised that Paul, who, as a faithful servant of Christ, said, “By the grace of God I am what I am,” when writing to all the saints and faithful in Christ, and speaking of the holy purpose of God, in the blessing and choice and predestination of his people, “according to the good pleasure of his will,” should proclaim that all this salvation unto holiness is that the saved should be “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved.” That we should be thus in all the way of salvation, from its beginning in us to its consummation in eternal glory. Hence, says Paul, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Then it shall be perfectly performed, and the saved by grace shall “be holy and without blame before God in love.” In all this good work and way of full salvation much more abounding grace reigns, and reigns through righteousness. This is ordered and sure, for the Lord hath spoken it. This is our great need, but more we do not need, and cannot receive. All the divine record concerning the salvation of sinners is summed up, therefore, in the one confession, “Salvation is of the Lord.” And the way of it is, “The grace of God bringeth salvation.” “For by grace are ye saved.” This salvation is being manifested now, hero in time, and it is the Lord’s begun good work in us, by his much more abounding and reigning grace, but its fullness shall be on heaven’s side of the grave, when all the saved by grace shall joyfully say, “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” “And he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace, unto it.” “This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”

Now, forasmuch as the God of reigning grace supremely rules in providence, so that all worlds are subject to his almighty power and control, his providence and his grace are harmonious and concurrent in the accomplishment of his counsel, “according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.” Therefore to his people he says, “Fear not; for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; oven every one that is called by ray name; for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. “ Thus saith the Lord, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; which bringeth forth the chariot and the horse, the army and the power; They shall lie down together, they shall not rise; they are extinct, they are quenched as tow. “ I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field shall honor me, and dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.” Thus does the Lord declare his wondrous providence in ruling the nations, his power over the whole earth, and the conquests of his irresistible grace, in gathering together his people in Christ, and saving them out of all countries. “Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; that frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; that confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof.” Providence supreme controlled in all those wonderful and mighty events; and so it does in God’s limitless universe; and parallel with his providence runs the mercy of God to all the ends of the earth, so that his providence is made subservient to his grace in all times and places, and unto all the peoples of the earth, whom he hath from the beginning chosen unto salvation. So the Lord’s arm of supreme power rules for him in providence, as in grace. Knowing this, Paul wrote these wonderful words of faith: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” He knew this by revelation of the truth in the oracles of God, “who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will,” and who “doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth.” So true is this, the Son of God said of the little birds of the air, “Not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father.” This is the providence of God. Providence is universal then, and there is nothing outside of it, for God is omnipresent, is everywhere, and he is the God of providence in all places. Providence does not oppose grace, therefore, but goes hand in hand with it, and both grace and providence work together in the salvation of his people and for their good. If it were not so, then many things in providence, or rather beyond the control of providence, might perchance arise to hinder or obstruct or defeat the purpose of God in his grace, so that there might be disappointment or frustration or woeful failure in the reign of grace, and in the counsel and purpose and will and wish of the God of grace and salvation. But we rejoice that there is no such thing as frustration or defeat or want with the God of providence and grace, who speaks, and it is done, commands, and its stands fast, and who says, “I will do all my pleasure.”

In the manifestation and application of God’s providence in grace, and grace in providence, many instructive and remarkable instances are given in the Bible, a few of which let us notice. First, follow Abraham and his sons Isaac and Jacob and his family, in all their history, from Ur to Canaan, from Canaan to Egypt, and from Egypt up into Canaan again. Note all the mighty events in all this history, the righteous judgments of God upon the Egyptians, the nations of the wilderness, and the seven nations of Canaan; the consequent calamitous wars, until the youthful David, “a man after God’s own heart,” reigned upon the throne of Israel; then behold the wonderful wisdom and power, mercy and grace and love of God through it all, to the people whom he had formed for himself, that they should show forth his praise and glorify the God of their salvation, and with silent awe we must say, “Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.” Next, single out the persecuted little Joseph, the loved of his father, and trace him from his father’s bosom, on and on, till the son again wept in the father’s arms down in Egypt; then recount all the overflowing goodness and surpassing compassion of God as the outcome of all the long trial and afflictions of blessed Joseph, and, with David, we shall feelingly say, “The wrath of man shall praise thee, O Lord; and the remainder of wrath thou shalt restrain.” Again, from the son Joseph follow on to the Son Jesus, who was born in the city of David, where Jacob buried Rachel, the beloved mother of Prince Joseph, near where a multitude of the heavenly host sang praises to God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men;” and consider all the intervening providence of God in his dealings with the Hebrew nation and the nations about them, from Joseph to Jesus, and from the birth of Jesus to his death on the cross, and from his resurrection to his ascension from Olivet to the right hand of his Father in glory; mark the mighty events which were inseparably connected in the providence of God through many centuries with all this most glorious redemption and salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, then you will not say that the grace of God that bringeth salvation is not interwoven with his providence, neither that the providence of God does not embrace and control all events in the universe. You will not unless you dispute the Bible history, and object to the boundless dominion of the supreme Being, “who is God over all and blessed for evermore.”

The people of God’s grace are everywhere, in all nations, tongues, peoples, kindreds and families; for he said to Abraham that in him and his seed should all the families of the earth be blessed, therefore some of the Lord’s people are either directly or indirectly connected with all the events of time, and affected by all that transpires in the world; but wherever they are, there God is, and his hand of providence is over them. “For in him we live, and move, and have our being,” and his chosen are kept by his power. Behold the uniting lines of providence and grace in the Lord sending Jonah to Nineveh, and sparing that great city; also, in the sifting and conversion of Peter; also, in the Lord sending him to the house of the Gentile Cornelius; also, in his sending Philip away to the south, just at the moment to meet the returning Ethiopian, to whom he preached Jesus. For the Lord had said that Ethiopia also should stretch out her hands to him. The history of God’s people in the Bible abounds with such memorial cases, plainly showing the shaping and controlling of their lives by many combining events in his wonderful providence, which providential links unite with his grace in its glorious reign in their salvation, and in forming his people for his praise. Thus the Lord’s dominion and power is manifest in both his providence and grace in his glorious work of their salvation.

Turn now to your own lives, dear brethren, and you can but set up all along the way, here and there, an Ebenezer of praise to the God of your being, because his mercy and grace have been so richly bestowed upon you in his guiding and protecting providence through which he has held you up in your pilgrimage, so that you have not perished in your afflictions, but his mercy has held you up and his grace has been sufficient for you. “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.” O why should we want to limit the holy and blessed God, or deny his dominion and omnipotent control and infinitely wise purpose, either in his limitless providence or reigning grace? Do we fear that he will blunder and make mistakes if we ascribe to him universal and absolute sovereignty? Are we wiser and holier than the Holy Father Almighty? Reverend and holy is his name. Let us reverence and adore him.

D. BARTLEY.

Crawfordsville, Ind.

2-19 Predestination

Signs Of The Times
Volume 68, No. 17
SEPTEMBER 1, 1900.

PREDESTINATION.

Beloved Brethren: – Predestination is a prerogative of all intelligent beings, and God possesses it pre-eminently and infinitely, because he is infinite in all his perfections or attributes, while all others are finite and limited. But the Almighty is unlimited. These are primary and self-evident truths. It would be impious folly in a creature to try to limit the infinite Creator. Speak we of knowledge, wisdom, counsel, purpose, power, truth, holiness, goodness – God is infinite in all these, as in all else. “God is in one mind, and none can turn him.” “I am the Lord, I change not.” Immutability belongs to Jehovah only. This places him above and independent of all outside and creature influence and control. God knows no will except his own. The universal prayer is, “Thy will be done.” His will is eternal. Eternity is his. Every event of all time and of infinite eternity as well, is forever present with him, for he is omniscient and omnipresent; that is, everywhere and always present in all eternity and time, “beholding the evil and the good.” No creature or thing or event has ever been concealed in the least from the Omniscient Eyes. These are some of the perfections of the Lord God Almighty. To deny them is to deny that he is God, and to limit the Almighty. Atheists do this; God forbid that we should. To us he says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Never having written specially on the predestination of God, now I am moved to do so, in humility and reverence, fear and trembling, desiring only his honor and glory, and that his people may love and worship him.

The accurate Standard Dictionary gives these definitions: Foreknowledge. – The prescience of God, by which he foresees from all eternity every being that will exist and every event in his history, as well as all other events whatsoever. Counsel. – Purpose as the result of careful consideration; design; as, God’s counsel. Purpose. – Plan; design; aim; as, the eternal purpose of God. Decree. – The eternal purpose of God, whereby for his own glory he has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass; also, any specific purpose embraced in this one. Foreordain. – To ordain or appoint beforehand; predetermine; predestinate. Predestination. – The counsel of God concerning fallen men; the ordering of all things beforehand by the Creator; the eternal purpose of God.

All these defined words are Bible terms, and they are thus defined as God has revealed himself in his oracles. The definitions show that all these words of Scripture are very closely related in their meaning, so that the definition of one pervades the definition of each of the others, making the foreknowledge, counsel, purpose, decree, foreordination and predestination of God harmonious and inseparable, just as are all his attributes in all his works and ways. The counsel and purpose of the Lord run parallel with his prescience or foreknowledge, and all these are surely held firmly in his almighty decree or foreordination or predetermination or control, thereby forever excluding chance from the limitless dominion of God, and subjecting all creatures, things and events to his omnipotence or power, according to his eternal purpose so to do. The sovereignty of God means this, and in this is his sovereign power and control. If this limitless control and supreme majesty were not his, then chaotic chance would prevail in the universe, and destruction would run riot, defeating God’s eternal purpose and overthrowing his universal dominion. To limit the Almighty in the least in his sovereign control over all worlds and beings and things according to his eternal purpose, would certainly involve this awful result of ruinous chance, and would be equal to saying, “There is no God.” For to the everlasting God belongs infinite wisdom to purpose and determine, and omnipotent power to overrule and control all things in all his limitless universe. And so the word asks, “Who saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?”

What is God’s predestination of all things, more than his determinate counsel and foreknowledge as embracing and controlling all things? It means no more than his eternal purpose in all things, and that he supremely rules over all things in all his unlimited universe, subjecting all to his almighty control. Were it not so, there could be no security or safety for his people and saints, and no certainty that the worlds should stand and move in their ordained orbits and order, giving fruitful seasons, perpetuating life, health and comfort, for then chance would bring anarchy, disruption and utter ruin to all. But now the counsel of the Lord standeth, and the purpose of his heart extendeth to all generations, and he is in one mind, and none can turn him. In his eternal mind all things were embraced and perfectly known forever, and no new thought or purpose has ever arisen in his infinite mind. Therefore, all things determined by him to be as they are in time, were predetermined before time or purposed in eternity. Well, God’s predetermination according to his eternal purpose which be purposed in himself, as says Paul, is one and the same as his predestination, meaning only that whatever is, the infinite counsel and purpose of the omniscient and omnipotent God before determined to let it be so, because his almighty power would overrule and order it all to his own eternal glory and the good of all who love him, and are the called according to his purpose. Otherwise, not the least event could take place, because the almighty power of God could and would have prevented it, and be certainly would have done so, unless his wisdom and counsel determined beforehand to let it take place. This is predestination. God either so determined to let all things take place just as they do, or else his knowledge, wisdom, power and control are imperfect and limited, and they take place by chance, to the confusion, disappointment and defeat of God. For we cannot for a moment think that the infinitely wise God would let some things take place in which he has no purpose at all nor takes any notice of them, for this again would make them mere chance events. The Son of God teaches us that not a sparrow can fall on the ground without the Father, and that the very hairs of our heads are numbered by him. Thus is shown the truth that God’s wisdom, knowledge and controlling power extends to the smallest things, because the limitless Almighty is omnipresent: “For in him we live, and move, and have our being.” God is from eternity to eternity the same, and all things were forever known and determined by him, as he has abundantly revealed and taught in the word of truth, even the most wicked deeds which guilty men have committed on earth, the betrayal and murder of the holy Son of God, the lovely Redeemer. He said, “And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed!” In solemn prayer to God the apostles said, “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 whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.” This is simply the predestination or predetermination of God, his foreordained counsel and purpose, yet it embraced the blackest crime ever perpetrated, and the God-inspired Peter charged it upon those guilty men that they had been his murderers, paying, “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” He again said, “But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.” Yea, Christ himself said, “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day.” His apostles were likewise wickedly persecuted, imprisoned, and put to death, yet God appointed them unto this suffering for the truth’s sake, and Christ foretold them that those things should come upon them, and that the wicked who killed them should think that they did God service. But although the Lord has thus spoken of his determinate counsel relative to the wicked, whose murderous wrath he causes to praise him, restraining and preventing the remainder of their wrath, so that neither Satan nor the murderous sons of Jacob could go no farther than to accomplish the holy purpose of God with Job and Joseph, nor the Jews and Gentiles with Jesus, (for they could not break a bone of his body, but should look on him whom they had pierced,) yet the depraved reason and carnal mind of finite and sinful man will find fault with God, and dare object to his plainly revealed word of truth, saying, “Why doth he yet find fault! For who hath resisted his will! Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God! Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus!” This is just what all such objections mean, and is the substance of all such replies against the sovereignty of God, and thus God himself rebukes man and condemns him. To the cruel monarch Pharaoh God said, ”Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.” His power and name as the God of the whole earth are so declared through his mighty and righteous dealings with the wicked tyrant ruler of the oppressed children of Israel, and their merciful and wonderful deliverance out of Egypt.

In the case of Pharaoh, Joseph’s brethren, the betrayers and murderers of Jesus, though God’s purpose of wisdom and power, mercy and blessing, was accomplished through their wicked hands and cruel rage, yet he was holy as well as merciful in all his righteous purpose and sovereign power thus fulfilled, and he justly visited his righteous judgments upon those wicked men, for they were most guilty in thus persecuting the righteous Son and chosen people of God. Their rebellious purpose and wicked determination were to overthrow the dominion and defeat the counsel and purpose of God; but vain was their wrath, and righteous were their calamities which he visited upon them through his wise and almighty providence.

The holy Bible history abounds with many such instances, wherein God himself declared by his inspired prophets the cruel astrocities which individuals and nations should be guilty of, in the execution of his own determined purpose, all of which he would wisely and righteously overrule to his own glory and the good of his people in the end, and for which he would then righteously judge and punish those wicked individuals and cruel nations. The answer of the hated and persecuted Joseph to his guilty and fearing brethren as truly applies to the conduct of all the wicked, saying, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” Joseph thus spoke according to the wisdom and mind of the Lord. Finite and sin-blinded man seeth not as God seeth, and hence his judgment and reason are ever at fault, for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are God’s thoughts and ways above and out of the sight of man’s thoughts and ways. It would be well for us to read the inspired answer of Elihu to Job, and receive the truth, wherein he says, “Shall even he that hateth right govern? and wilt thou condemn him that is most just? Is it fit to say to a king, Thou art wicked, and to princes, Ye are ungodly? How much less to him that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor! for they all are the work of his hands. “With God is terrible majesty. Touching the Almighty we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict. Men do therefore fear him: he respecteth not any that are wise of heart.” The Lord also said to Job, “Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous? Hast thou an arm like God, or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? “ Then will I confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.” These divine rebukes should correct and humble us in mute abasement of vain self, before the Holy one.

A scriptural and reverential consideration of all replies against God, who has revealed the truth that his “dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou!” should cure us of all our sinful replies and complaints against the Almighty, who is infinitely holy.

To what is here written, as plainly declared in the Bible, perverted natural reason objects, that it makes the Almighty the author and doer of all the sin and wickedness of the world, while it frees guilty men from all responsibility and guilt, and makes the holy God unjust in punishing them. This is most monstrous and shocking for a sinful creature to dare say in any case or event against his holy Creator, and the objector will meet his just rebuke in the answers of Elihu and the Lord to complaining Job. We all have heard such irreverent complaints and criticisms against the sovereignty of God, as revealed in his electing grace and predestinating purpose, all our lives from the self-wise and self-righteous religious world, but only in these recent fast times have we been pained with hearing and reading such replies against God from men of our own household, some of whom outdo the most vehement Arminian objector in replying against God, as holy Paul declares him in the ninth chapter of Romans, and the Bible in many other places. This is truly alarming and afflicting, and it calls for deep humiliation and supplication before the Lord. It has even been tauntingly and mockingly said by brethren to brethren, “O you can’t help it, for God predestinated it.” Thus God and his predestination or counsel and purpose are reproached and condemned by such replies, and he is accused of being the abettor, author and doer of the blackest crimes of rebellious and guilty men and devils, and those enemies of God and righteousness are excused and justified on the plea that God ordained that the wrath of man should praise him.’ The sentence of the Lord against the Satan possessed Judas meets and condemns all those God-reviling replies and objections: “And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed!” Shall we therefore reply and say, “Judas was not responsible, for God was the author of his treachery, because he “determined “it? How shocking! When betrayed, and Peter drew his sword to prevent the arrest of the holy Lamb of God, the obedient Son said, “Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father giveth me, shall I not drink it?” How this should hush all our replies against what God hath determined and ordained in his sovereign will.

An objection to the unlimited sovereignty of God as embracing all things in his predetermining counsel and eternal purpose is, that this would make him the cause or mover and doer of all wickedness, and therefore responsible for it and its author. This is based upon the supposition that whatever God has foreordained or predestinated to be, he himself is the author and doer of by his own agency and power. This is certainly a wrong conclusion, because it is not true, as positively proven in the case of the betrayers and murderers of the Son of God, to whom Peter by the Holy Ghost said, “Ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” Their wicked hearts and carnal minds of enmity against God moved and impelled them to do this greatest of all crimes, and they were the responsible and guilty authors of it, yet Peter also said to them, “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands,” &c. So it is in all other cases, for while the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God is fulfilled in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, just as he purposed it to be, so that he is never surprised, disappointed, or the least turned or changed, yet God tempteth no man, nor compelleth any one to do wickedly, but man’s own lusts tempt and entice him in all his sinful ways and wicked works. It was so when by man sin entered into the world, and all wickedness and its punishment, suffering and death, as the result or wages of sin. While this is true, it is also true that the eternal purpose, determinate counsel and foreknowledge of the Lord God omnipotent and omniscient saw and determined and declared the end from the beginning, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.”

Of Christ and God and us Paul says, “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” Thus the Spirit of truth and revelation in Paul connects all things with the counsel and purpose and will of God, who worketh or ordereth and controlleth all things, and all this in subserviency to the inheritance of his saints in Christ, which they have obtained by his predestination of them thereunto according to his holy purpose. Thus all things are unchangeably foreknown, purposed and controlled in the infinite wisdom and omnipotent power of the Almighty, whoso dominion is over all worlds, beings and things, just because he is God, the omnipresent and omnipotent One, the Almighty. In this wonderful truth, that “The Lord God omnipotent reigneth,” is the salvation, preservation and perpetual welfare of all his people, “who are kept by his power through faith unto salvation.”

As to the mistaken inference, that whatever God has ordained or predetermined or predestinated, he is the cause and author or doer of and responsible for, the Bible instances above given positively show that it is not so, but that the righteous Judge of all the earth holds the wicked doers of crime as willfully guilty, and punishes them accordingly, notwithstanding they were gathered together with malice and guilt, “For to do whatsoever his hand and his counsel determined before to be done.” This is the inspired testimony and divine record that runs through the oracles of God.

The absolute foreknowledge of God is admitted by all who admit his eternal and immutable attributes or unchangeable perfections, even though they deny that he also foreordained all things, as well as foreknew them. But every objection which is made against the foreordination of God, may with equal force be made against his foreknowledge, for this as certainly establishes all things in the universe as does his predetermination of them. One is as positive and unalterable as the other. All things which God foreknew, cannot be otherwise, but must take place precisely as foreknown. A denial of this, is also a denial of the omniscience of God, and charges imperfection and ignorance to him. But no Baptist denies the foreknowledge of God, but all admit that he certainly foreknew all things whatsoever comes to pass. This establishes the certainty of all things with God as absolutely as would his eternal purpose and decree concerning the certainty of their fulfillment. Hence, the objection to the predestination of any wicked thing or act, that it makes the Holy One the author and cause of such predetermined act, will apply as well against his foreknowledge of such act, and charge him as being the cause and doer of it. But the criticism is not just or true, for the Holy One is not the author or doer of any sin or wickedness, neither is his determinate counsel and foreknowledge causative thereof, and such an inference and imputation is a slander upon the foreknowledge of God as well as upon his foreordination, for they alike make all things certain of fulfillment, just as God determined and foreknew them. It was foretold and determined that wicked Judas should betray the holy Son of God, yet God himself neither betrayed his Anointed nor caused Judas to do this great sin.

Peter said by inspiration, that God verily foreordained before the foundation of the world that Christ should be slain as a lamb for the redemption of his people, but so far from God being his slayer or the causative author of this crime of crimes, his persecuted servant Stephen boldly said to his own and Christ’s wicked murderers, “Of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers,” for which the fearful judgments and wrath of God fell upon them, both Jews and Romans, to the uttermost, and most righteously, too. Yet it has been so often asserted of late that all things which God predestinated or foreordained, (for the two words mean the same) he also either does or causes to be done, and so is the author of, that not a few brethren have come to believe and accept as true, without careful scriptural examination; hence the abhorrent saying has become so common now among Baptists, that if God predestinated all things, then he is the author of all the sinful things in the world; that is, he causes them to be. But if brethren would only consider how irreverent it is to charge sin and wickedness to God, whatever his ordained purpose may be in its extent, and would not be misled by this stale old charge of rationalists or Arminians ever since they thus slanderously reported of Paul, but would reverently “search the Scriptures,” to see what the Lord has said, they would learn that it is written concerning very many of the most calamitous events and enormous wickedness of men and nations, that God positively declared and decreed that they should take place, just as he foretold by his prophets, and accordingly the most wicked and ungodly men and nations were raised up and did commit all the great wickedness that God had said they should. Please take the pains to read the sacred history of the Israelites, from Moses to the end of the seventy years’ captivity in Babylon, end the books of the prophets, from Isaiah to Daniel, and you will be both instructed and awed at the many mighty events, including many national calamities, wars and the destruction of cities, countries and nations, which God righteously decreed should be, ages before they came to pass, and yet those wicked men and ungodly nations, the enemies of God and righteousness, were the foretold and ordained authors and doers of all those wicked things. They were arrogant, self-willed, implacable, sensual and devilish in their wicked course and works, neither knowing nor fearing God; but his. holy counsel and purpose embraced, bounded and controlled all those far-reaching and momentous events, which were to affect unborn generations and coming nations; and thus and in this way the Most High executed his firm decrees and righteous judgments in punishing the ungodly and wicked, and in chastising, correcting and bumbling his own people, that they should worship and glorify him as their God and King, their Father Almighty.

Gentle reader, please read now “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass,” and you will be impressed with awe and godly fear at the majestic and amazing things which the Almighty therein declares shall be fulfilled, for many of those mighty events are very calamitous, yet he in wisdom and holiness has purposed and ordained them, “And he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.” Let us join with the four and twenty elders, and say, “We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” “Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him.” Let us join Watts on sovereignty:

“Keep silence, all created things,
And wait your Maker’s nod;
My soul stands trembling while she sings,
The honors of her God.

Life, death and hell, and worlds unknown,
Hang on his firm decree;
He sits on no precarious throne,
Nor borrows leave to be.”

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” “Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” “The eternal God is thy [and my] refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”

Believing and trusting in the everlasting God and Father Almighty,

D. BARTLEY.

Crawfordsville, Ind., Oct. 14, 1900.

2-20 The Power of God – The Weakness of Man

Signs Of The Times
Volume 68, No. 22.
NOVEMBER 15, 1900.

THE POWER OF GOD – THE WEAKNESS OF MAN.

“For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” This is the central truth concerning God and all power, and he inspired and moved his chosen servant Paul to write it. With all Scripture it was written for our learning, for instruction in righteousness. This truth of God is absolute, unlimited and universal; it includes all power, authority and dominion in all places, all things and all creatures, in all the limitless universe of God. In all boundless space, wherever any being, creature or thing is, whether animate or inanimate, earth, sun, moon or stars, man or beast, spirit, angel or devil, God is there and everywhere, the omnipotent Creator of all. Nothing, either great or small, could exist without God.

“The powers that be are ordained of God.” Paul said this of the wicked and oppressive Roman powers or rulers. So Paul quotes what God said to the wicked ruler, Pharaoh: “Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.” This purpose of God in raising up this heathen king was fulfilled, and the just and awful majesty of God was declared. So it will be declared in his supreme power and dominion over all the world, and his righteous judgments against all ungodly and wicked rulers. The psalmist therefore says, “For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.” Solomon also said, “The Lord hath made all things for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” King David recognized this truth in his prayer, saying, “Arise, O Lord, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword: from men which are thy hand, O Lord, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life.” When Pilate threatened Jesus with his power to either crucify or release him, the God-honoring answer was, “Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above.” This establishes the text: “There is no power but of God.” In this truth is the protection and safety of every child of God. Satan could not kill Job, neither could Joseph’s brethren in their hate kill him. Were it possible for the wicked to go beyond the power of God, who restrains the remainder of their wrath, then they might obstruct, overthrow or defeat God in all his holy and eternal purpose, and the people of his love and choice could have no sure refuge anywhere. But in personifying Christ and all his member, David most truly says, “If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” More than once the disciples must have perished in the stormy sea, had not the right hand of the Lord been there to hold them up and save them. In all those instances, and in every event of God’s providence, both his absolute power is made known, and also the utter weakness of man, yea of all men; as well the weakness of his people to save themselves, as the weakness of their foes to destroy them. The almighty power of God is over all, and it limits, bounds and controls all, above, beneath, in all times and places. In full evidence of this immutable truth, when the Son of God walked among men, an humble youth, all creatures and things, men and devils, winds and seas, diseases and deaths, all were absolutely subject to the word of his power; yea, not a secret thought could arise in the mind of friend or foe, but what he knew it and restrained its outbreak. Until he said, “Go,” the devils could not go into the herd of swine. Until God, who sent his Son into the world, delivered him by his determinate counsel and foreknowledge, wicked hands could not take him and crucify him. When the hour of victory had come, and the buried Christ must be declared to be the Son of God with power, it was impossible that he should be holden of death. When he said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore,” neither the Jews nor the Romans, persecutions, prisons nor perils, could stop his servants from going nor defeat his word, for his people were willing in the day of his power. It has ever been so since. With men all this is impossible, but not with God, “For with God nothing shall be impossible,” said his holy child Jesus. But the sinful presumption of weak and foolish man is to limit the power of the Almighty, which they do in many ways. In their littleness men have the pride and arrogance to also assume to be wiser and more holy than God upon his throne of holiness, just because he is omnipotent in power. They would rob the Almighty of his almightiness, deny to him unlimited power and absolute dominion and control. On what pretense do they do this? Their pretext is, that it makes the just and holy One the author of all sin and wickedness. But who or what are they that they would put themselves in God’s stead, and sit upon his throne in judgment against him? “Who art thou that repliest against God?” Weak and sinful, blinded and ignorant are all they who do this. Those who love and fear God will not so reply against him. All who do so thereby manifest their non-reconciliation and enmity against the absolute or unlimited sovereignty of God. The deep depravity of the carnal mind of man radically consists in this enmity and non-reconciliation to the supreme One, Creator and Ruler of all, and out of this bitter fountain arises all the religions of the world that would limit God in his absolute attributes, and divide the power between the Almighty and men and devils. They would thus deny to God his eternal power and Godhead, and rob him of his Deity and crown of power. The only object men claim in this is, that in the dispensations of God’s government, both in his grace and providence, very much is left outside of his counsel and determined purpose, and is left to take place one way, or some other way, or not at all, according to the will and power of man, and that very many things are therefore uncertain, and are conditional on the part of man, both in temporal and spiritual things. Out of this claim springs all the doctrine of conditionalism and man’s agency in salvation, which are very popular and accepted in all the religious world. The small remnant who hold that “there is no power but of God,” and cling to the faith that “the Lord God omnipotent reigneth,” are rejected of men.

But let us again turn to the testimony of God, and first, his beloved Son: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do.” “The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” To Paul the Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” The weakness was in Paul, but the power was in the Lord and his grace; and what was true in Paul is also true in every servant of Christ. As a man Christ was crucified through weakness, but now he liveth by the power of God. “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell.” “For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” “And of his fullness shave all we received, and grace for grace.” This fullness includes all grace and salvation, might and majesty, dominion and power. The word therefore says, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.” “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshiped God, saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.” ‘And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen.” With the lour beasts all who truly worship God unite in saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” Thus all who worship the Father in spirit and in truth, with one joyful Amen ascribe all power and all holiness unto God and the Lamb forever. Let us now hear what God himself says, both of himself and of all mankind: “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in, that bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown; yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal! saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known, hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that hath no might he increaseth strength.” “Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor, hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and showed to him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balauce: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?” – {Isa 40:12-18}.

This majestic language of our holy Lord God Almighty should forever rebuke and silence all men who would find fault with the holy One, or limit him in power and might and dominion, or claim any power of themselves, when all the nations of earth are counted less than nothing in his sight. The patriarchs and prophets and holy men of old, who were taught of God, confessed to the truth of this judgment that he has placed upon all men, and testified to their own vileness and weakness and vanity. They said, “Man at his best state is altogether vanity.” Every truly humble, reverential, God-fearing one feels and confesses this truth. They all unitedly join with the heavenly host, who have the harps of God, “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.”

Submitted in the love and fear and honor of God.

D. BARTLEY.

August 9,1905.

2-21 The Ordinance of Baptism

Signs Of The Times
Volume 78., No. 23.
DECEMBER 1, 1905.

THE ORDINANCE OF BAPTISM.

Dear Brethren Editors: – Brother Gilbert Bird, of Burdette, W. Va., asks me, “What does it take to constitute valid baptism?” and to answer through the SIGNS. In the light of the New Testament and the love of its Testator, I will try to faithfully do so, seeking only the honor of Christ. The church is subject unto him, and he gave to her his doctrine and ordinances, which are two, namely, Baptism and the Supper. These our Lord set in the church. He also set the members, every one of them, in the church. Yea, Christ himself is in the church. To God he says, “In the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.” So all the ministerial gifts, from the first to the last, are in the church. These include the apostles and prophets, elders and deacons. Paul and Barnabas were ordained at Antioch, in and by the church, for the work whereunto the Lord had called them. This is the pattern. Only thus is any man qualified and authorized to minister in the gospel of Christ. To the church Paul said, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.” The apostles are next to Christ in the church, the gospel kingdom, and to them he delivered his doctrine and ordinances, and they delivered these to the church, to be faithfully kept in the church. So Paul himself, and all in the church, are to follow Christ. None may go before him nor depart from him. Christ alone is King in Zion. He is the Maker and Builder of the church. He said, “Upon this rock I will build my church.” “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” He adds no others to it, and the saved he adds to the church only, not to any other body of men. No others than the saved of the Lord are truly in the church, but all others are as wood, hay and stubble. Men may in a fleshly zeal gather in mere nominal members and immerse them, but this does not make them members of the church of Christ, neither is this the baptism of Christ.

“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.” “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” The Savior and crowned Head of the church thus gives the authority and command to his own servants, but to no others. And as the gospel is “of the kingdom,” so also are the ordinances and members and servants all “of the kingdom.” Christ said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” So he hath redeemed the subjects of his kingdom out of the world, and be calls them into his kingdom. The world, therefore, hath neither part nor lot in his kingdom, nor do its ordinances belong to the world. All this is clearly set forth in the New Testament.

Our brother Bird understands all this truth, which makes it fully evident that the immersion of a believer in Christ outside of the fellowship of the one church of Christ, is not the baptism of Christ; for he gave his ordinances to his church, and all his authority is in the church, over which he is the Head.

Another truth is here very clear: the saved in the Lord were first baptized and added to the church, before they ate the Lord’s Supper, and before any of the members, thus added, were ordained to minister in the gospel kingdom. If a true believer even should be immersed outside of the fellowship of the true church, and should afterward be received nominally into the church, without receiving gospel baptism, and should then be ordained as a minister of the gospel, he would still be un-baptized, therefore both his ordination and his work in the ministry, though sanctioned by such an erring church, would be without the authority of Christ, and a clear violation of it. He did not enter the church by the door, or rather the Lord had not added him to the church at all, and he is not truly a member in it, but both he and the church transgressed against Christ by thus taking him in, and then ordaining him. Both should repent of this sin, therefore, for the church cannot make valid and good that which Christ has not authorized and commanded. If it claims that it can, then the spurious decrees and acts of the Church of Rome might also be claimed as valid, because that church gave her sanction to such gross perversions of the gospel of Christ. Here let us with reverence say. “Let God be true, but every man a liar.” For this is consecrated ground, and these are sacred things, and we do a great wrong if we at all abuse, pervert and misuse them.

It is well known to all concerned that the New School Baptists are widely apart from the Old School Baptists, and long have been, and that there is a wide gulf between the two, and no fellowship or communion between them whatever, for the New School body has greatly perverted the gospel of Christ, not only in its doctrine and ordinances, but as well in its membership and ministry, insomuch that in all these respects it has become largely a worldly religious body. Now then, for a man who was immersed in the Missionary Baptist body to be allowed to creep into an Old School Baptist church un-baptized, and then to be imposed upon the church of Christ, and believers in Christ, as a divinely qualified servant of Christ, to thus officiate in administering the solemn and holy ordinances of the Lord’s house to penitent believers in Christ, when he has never himself obeyed Christ in his sacred ordinances, is a grievous perversion and sin. Can we wonder that confusion, trouble and division follows such a deplorable departure from the teachings of Christ as this! Departures from the doctrine of Christ, in whatever way they may be, are dishonoring to him, and dangerous to the spiritual health and growth and peace of the church of Christ, therefore in all cases they should be turned away from. “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.” This is infallibly true. “He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” This is the inspired test and the only true measure. “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, [the church] neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” Therefore, should the church do this, it thereby becomes a partaker with him of his evil deeds, and so far from the church thus making his evil deeds valid and good, she makes herself a transgressor with him. The doctrine or the teachings of Christ are positive and faithful and true, and admits of no sort of departure or compromise. All should remember this, and touch not, taste not, handle not any unclean thing. Here Christ is all in all. The Lord has said, “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.” Jesus said, “If a man love me, he will keep my words. “ He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings.” “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me.” Every other yoke must be given up, and Christ alone must be heard and followed by all who love him. The church has no more authority to depart from him in anything pertaining to his kingdom, and substitute something else, than any single member of his. To all who are Christ’s the Father says, “Hear ye him.”

To our faithful editors this is submitted first, then, if approved, to our dear brother Bird and all who are interested in “the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ.” In love these things are commended to you all, dear brethren, with the earnest desire that you may have them in remembrance after my departure from the flesh, to be with Christ, which is far better, and for which I wait in hope. May you all keep in memory and heed the words of the beloved apostle of the precious Christ: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” To thus walk is to walk in Christ, and to glorify him. He says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

I am your brother, I hope, and your companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ,

D. BARTLEY.

Crawfordsville, Ind.

2-22 The Omniscience of God

Signs Of The Times
Volume 69, No. 17
SEPTEMBER 1, 1901.

THE OMNISCIENCE OF GOD.

Omniscience – boundless knowledge. Omniscient – knowing all things. God only is omniscient, for he alone knoweth all things. All his intelligent creatures, whether men or angels, are greatly limited in knowledge, being finite in all their powers. Not so with God, who is unlimited in every perfection of his, for he is the infinite one. Infiniteness cannot be measured nor bounded, and therefore God is absolutely unlimited, both in his being and in all his faculties or powers. So his knowledge is as unbounded as his eternity, and omnipresence, and omnipotence, for these, with all his other perfections, ascend upward and downward and outward forever and forever, all filling infinite eternity, having no bound or limit. And in all these majestic and awe-inspiring attributes, our blessed God and Father has always been present in all his limitless or infinite universe, and now is,

AT ONCE AND EVER SEEING AND KNOWING ALL THINGS.

This is profoundly wonderful, and it overwhelms us, beloved, because we are so infinitely less than nothing, as compared with God, and we know nothing perfectly. But the omniscient One, who fills eternal space or limitless ether, sees and knows us and all things at a glance, perfectly and exactly as we are. For although his word says that all the nations are as the small dust of the balance, which is too small for us to notice, yet they are all so clearly seen in his omniscient eye that he watches the little bird, and numbers the very hairs of our heads. No wonder that David the king would say, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me: it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.” All this is as true of every child of God, as it was of David. How blessed for us that it is true!

Yet there are those who are so wise in their own eyes that they make light of all this, and even ridicule the belief that the infinite One takes notice of all little things, because they in their self-importance would not. And so they measure God by themselves, and think themselves so wise that they can judge of what the Almighty should be and do, and set limits for him. It is a rich mercy, however, that our omniscient God does see and care for the smallest particles of dust in his boundless dominion, because unless he did, those vaunting nothings, who reply against their Maker, would be left to their own reward, that is, to perish in their littleness.

EVIDENCE THAT GOD IS OMNISCIENT.

While Baptists and many others admit the omniscience of God, that he forever knew all things, still this does not prove that it is so, and we must therefore turn to the law and testimony of the Lord in proof of this, as also of every other attribute and truth of God. For, on the other hand, some Baptists and many others deny the omnipotence of God, his unlimited sovereignty, but their denial of this truth does not disprove it by any means, for if it did, then “his eternal power and Godhead” would be destroyed. The apostle Peter said to his Lord, “Thou knowest all things.” James said, “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” And as to the extent of his works, Solomon said, “The Lord hath made all things for himself; yea, oven the wicked for the day of evil.” David asks, “He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see? he that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct! he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know? The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.” Hannah said, “The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.” “Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard,” sang the sweet psalmist of Israel. “For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.” To his disciples the Lord said, “Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; nor hid, that shall not be known.” Of Christ, Paul says, “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” The wise man said, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” Paul said of him, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”

All this Scripture fully establishes the omniscience of God, and shows that all things were forever known unto him, so that his foreknowledge is perfect, unlimited or infinite. To deny this, is equal to saying that the Lord was both ignorant and changeable; for every increase in knowledge shows former ignorance, and change to more perfect knowledge. It follows also, that if God did not possess perfect knowledge from all eternity of all things that should ever be, then neither could he “work all things after the counsel of his own will,” nor could Paul have truly said, “And 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 both his counsel and his purpose would be at fault concerning everything which God did not perfectly see and know from the beginning. This is a self-evident truth. The most perfect man in knowledge, is yet ignorant of many things, both present and future, and so he cannot provide for or against anything or all things unknown to him, even if he has the power to do so. This absolute truth as certainly establishes another truth; that is,

GOD’S ATTRIBUTES ARE EQUAL.

His counsel and his purpose and his power are as unlimited as his knowledge, and all are alike infinite and changeless. To deny this, is to deny that God is, and say with the fool, “There is no God.” For as truly as the omniscience of God saw and knew all things from the beginning, or ever the earth was, so surely did his wisdom and counsel and purpose also determine all things; because either himself or some one else must determine all things, before they could be foreknown as certain to come to pass. This is a self-evident fact. For not God himself could foreknow anything, great or small, and yet that thing never exist or come to pass. To say he could, would be as absurd as to say that a lie is the truth. Therefore, beloved, all must admit, either that the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God “

ESTABLISH THE CERTAINTY OF ALL THINGS,

or else they must deny the certain foreknowledge of God, and limit him in knowledge, even as they limit him in his “determinate counsel “and purpose; for it is self-evident that the divine foreknowledge of all things, makes

ALL THINGS ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN.

And we know, beloved brethren, that when God knew all things in the beginning, there was no other being or power besides himself that could have determined the certainty of all things, nor of anything whatever. Therefore, the God of omniscience is equally the God of omnipotence, and his foreknowledge and foreordination are coextensive and coequal, for they are parallel and harmonious one with the other, as also with every divine attribute. To deny this, would be to say that God is divided against himself, and that while he is unlimited and infinite in some of his perfections, he is limited and finite in others. But our infinite God declares that his ways are equal; and we know that there is no weakness or defect or lack in him, but in all his divine nature he is a unit or one, and so he is

INFINITE PERFECTION.

O, beloved, how this divine truth fills us with supreme reverence and adoration in his holy presence; and inspires our spirit with confidence and trust in him, and the heart with the love that casteth out fear. And now, as God is omniscient, perfectly foreknowing all things in his unlimited universe, this fixes the absolute certainty of all things, and also makes it evident that God himself determined their certainty, because not anything yet existed, outside of himself, when he foreknow all things in eternity, before he had created heaven and earth,, with all the fullness of them. For unless the infinite Creator of the universe had before determined in his wisdom and counsel and purpose all things, his omnipotent power could and would have prevented them, and he in his infinite wisdom would have purposed and ordered differently. Certainly he would. To say otherwise, is to charge God with folly, and such folly that even an intelligent man would not knowingly be guilty of.

The self-evident troth, therefore, beloved children of God, is this: The infinite foreknowledge and the infinite foreordination of all things,

BOTH STAND OR FALL TOGETHER.

This is inevitable, because there is not the least discrepancy, conflict or opposition in the uniting and perfect attributes of him who is at once all knowledge, all wisdom and all power, and who says, “I will do all my pleasure.” It certainly follows, therefore, that the infinite and blessed and holy Lord God Almighty, who “declared the end from the beginning,”

BOTH DETERMINED AND FOREKNEW ALL THINGS.

For unless God had before determined all things, they could not possibly exist or come to pass; and unless all things are certain to come to pass, they could not exist in the foreknowledge of God. These are undeniable facts. So then, a denial of God’s determination of all things, is a virtual denial of his foreknowledge of all things, and there is no sensible escape from this fact. Hence, Arminians, who limit the Almighty in his foreknowledge, as they do in his other attributes, are more consistent than Baptists, who limit him in his “determinate counsel” and ”eternal purpose,” while they admit his unlimited foreknowledge. For the eternal and infinite Jehovah, whose presence fills all immensity and all eternity, is as almighty and unlimited in all his attributes as he is in any one of them. This is perfectly self-evident, and God has thus most infallibly and gloriously,

REVEALED HIMSELF IN THE BIBLE.

Therefore, beloved, a denial of any of the unlimited or infinite perfections of the everlasting God, who changes not, is a virtual or real denial of his “eternal power and Godhead,” and it leads to godless infidelity. While many brethren, who limit the holy One, do not so intend, and do not see that they are replying against God, or else they would not , tremble before the Majesty of heaven and beseech his forgiveness for their ignorant presumption and folly, and shrink with horror from this whirlpool of dark infidelity, which is fast swallowing up the faithless world; yet the fact is solemnly the same, that all the divine attributes are alike unlimited, and they all co-operate and join in unison as the mighty pillars of the grand and unbounded universe, which God upholds by his own power, and are

THE GLORIOUS HIGH THRONE FROM THE BEGINNING,

or else the kingdom, dominion and power of the Most High, all are denied and charged with weakness and fearful failure. We know, beloved brethren, that all the Arminian religions world, no less than open infidels, do thus charge the God of the Bible, whose attributes are all alike unlimited, with weakness and woeful failure, with “wanting” many things done in which he is defeated. Bat we know that the Almighty, who “doeth his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth,” has no “wants,” never “tries,” and knows no failure, but “worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” And this because omnipotence is as limitless as omniscience. And now, beloved, well may we be glad and rejoice in the Lord that it is so. If the Lord will, the closing attributes will be the truth of God.

D. BARTLEY.

2-23 The Two Olive Trees and Two Witnesses

Signs Of The Times
Volume 70., No. 23
DECEMBER 1, 1902.

THE TWO OLIVE TREES AND TWO WITNESSES. Southampton, Pa., March 5, 1898.

“What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick, and upon the left side thereof? “ What be these two olive branches, which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? * * These are the two anointed ones that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” – {Zec 4}.

“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three score days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.” – {Revelations. 11}.

It is by special request that I, with fear and trembling, am moved to write upon the meaning of these wonderful Scriptures. Unless the Lord Jesus is pleased to open my understanding, I must fail to write unto edification and instruction; therefore my prayer is for divine illumination.

The fact that godly men of ability have differed upon these Scriptures, and whose writings upon them have rather confused me, tends to make me the more fearful that I may only obscure their divine and precious meaning. Rather than this would I, as a child, be still. When the request came, it seemed impossible for me to comply; but the subject was impressed upon my attention with deep and prayerful interest, and also with comfort; so now my spirit moves me to write, trusting in the Lord to give me to see light in his light, and that the children of Light may rejoice in the light. It is true that the sacred Scriptures are their own best interpreters; therefore the inspired servants of the Lord “compared spiritual things with spiritual.” Following their divine example, and the Spirit taking the things of Jesus and showing them unto us, we may hope to understand the divine meaning of the texts.

The two olive trees and the two witnesses are the same, or they represent one and the same divinely glorious realities and personages. The divine angel so stated to the apostle John. Both the two olive trees and the two witnesses stood by the Lord God of the whole earth. The two olive trees were upon the right side and the left side of the candlestick of pure gold, with its golden howl upon the top of it, and its seven golden lamps. So it is seen that both the candlestick of gold and the holy God are between the two anointed ones, and these two anointed witnesses stand by the Almighty, both to execute the will of God and to testify of him. First, let us consider the beautiful and wonderful candlestick, with its bowl and seven lamps, all of gold, and seven golden pipes, uniting the lamps and bowl and candlestick, all in one. Yea, also the two olive trees were united with the candlestick of gold, by two golden pipes, and through these, the two olive trees and two olive branches, emptied the golden oil out of themselves, into the golden bowl, and thus supplied the seven lamps of this candlestick. The mere statement of these things suggests a fullness of beautiful meaning. The two olive branches show that the two olive trees are living, and sending forth life and light. How complete and wonderful was all this! Without might or power of man, here was perpetual and living light, united with durability and perfection. What, then, did this glorious vision represent? “This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. “ The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, his hands shall also finish it.” Thus spoke the angel of God to Zechariah, to whom was given this vision of spiritual realities. This candlestick of gold, then, represented the house of the Lord, the church; the golden bowl upon the top of the candlestick, ever filled with pure oil from the two living olive trees and branches, shows the abounding fullness of the new covenant of grace; and the seven golden lamps, all of which received the ever flowing golden oil from the golden bowl, and burned with the light of life, beautifully presented the fullness and glory of the completed church, the house and temple of the living God. “And he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace, unto it.” This was said of Zerubbabel, and he was a type of our only Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His hands laid the foundation of the ever-abiding spiritual house of our God, and his hands shall also finish it. His word is, “And upon this Rock I will build my church.” “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” “For through Christ Jesus we both [the Jewish and Gentile church] have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building, fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” – Eph. ii. Now these words of the Lord Jesus, and of his servant Paul, reveal the divine meaning and glory of the candlestick of gold, and its bowl and lamps, oil and light.

As in the heavenly visions shown to Zechariah and John, both the candlestick of gold and the glorious God were between the two olive trees, and the two witnesses and anointed ones, to whom the candlestick was united in living union of life and light, so is the church “in God the Father,” and it is his dwelling-place and temple. To the church Paul says, “For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” – {2Co 6}.

As the church is in sacred union with God the Father, so also is it united with both the Son and Spirit, from whom the entire church receives all its life and light. The two golden pipes made the candlestick one with the two olive trees; so the church of God is in everlasting union with the Son and Spirit in the two-fold golden bond of the everlasting covenant and life eternal; the covenant of life and peace. It is in virtue of this two-fold and sacred union that the church was redeemed and is sanctified by the two anointed Ones: the holy child Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

The golden oil, that flowed spontaneously and freely, lighting up the candlestick in all its seven lamps with living light, beautifully represents the freeness and preciousness of abounding grace. As the candlestick and its seven lamps had no power to supply themselves with oil and light, but were dependent upon the two olive trees for this unfailing supply, so likewise is the whole church dependent upon our Lord’s sufficient grace for all her spiritual life and light. For all spiritual blessings are in Christ, and they flow to the church from him only, and by the Spirit. Therefore, now and evermore, all the praise of salvation is “to the praise of the glory of his grace;” and it is in the grace of God only that the church is accepted in the Beloved, whether on earth or in heaven. To say and teach otherwise, is to ignore and deny all the meaning and force of the golden candlestick and the two olive trees. Its divine lesson is: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”

Now, coming to God’s two witnesses, to whom he gave power, he says, “These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.” How remarkable, that here two candlesticks are mentioned, and these two are identified with the two olive trees and the two witnesses of God. That the candlesticks represent the church there is no doubt, as already shown, and as is also expressly explained by our Lord in Revelation i. John here records that he saw seven golden candlesticks. These answer to the seven golden lamps of the one candlestick of gold: the one church in all her complete fullness. The two candlesticks may fitly represent the Jewish church, and the Gentile church, two, yet one, as the seven are one completed candlestick, all of gold. Of itself the candlestick has no light, yet its excellent use is to bear and shed forth the light that is bestowed upon it as the instrument or vessel of light. “Ye are the light of the world,” said Christ to the body of his chosen disciples.

Let us now specially consider the two witnesses, of whom God said he would give to them power, or authority, and they should prophesy twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. Let us remember that, in the two texts, the two witnesses of God are identified with the two olive trees, the two anointed ones, and the two candlesticks, and these two anointed ones shall prophesy. Here please read what more is said of them in Revelation xi. They have power to shut heaven, that it rained not in the days of their prophecy; power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. “And if any man will hurt them, fire proceeded out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies.” From this it is evident that the two witnesses are divine, and possess the power of God himself. Therefore, Christ, the Redeemer, and the Spirit, the Sanctifier and Comforter, are the two witnesses. They testify of God the Father; they have authority and power to execute and do the will of God: they are officially and pre-eminently God’s two witnesses, and by them he is revealed and made known to the church. This revelation is through the inspired prophets and apostles, as represented by the two golden pipes. For the apostles and prophets are next to Christ and the Spirit of anointing, and through them is ministered to the church and house of God the golden oil of grace and gospel light and peace. (For oil-olive is the symbol of light and peace, and it ministers healing and comfort.) The apostles and prophets are in and of the household of God, and they are also in the Lord Jesus and in the Holy Spirit. So the apostles and prophets and the entire church, Jewish and Gentile, are all united to Christ and the Spirit in one purified, anointed and living body, receiving and giving light, the holy, heavenly light from the Sun of righteousness, shining with divine glory in all the temple of God.

Two witnesses are required in both the law and the gospel. That the holy Son of God is one of his divine witnesses is plainly declared in the holy Scriptures. In Revelation i., Jesus is called “the faithful witness;” and in Revelation iii., “the faithful and true witness.” Malachi spoke of Christ as “the messenger of the covenant;” and he is called “the minister of the sanctuary,” and the Anointed. As the Anointed, Jesus is pre-eminently the Prophet, and God gave him power to open the seven-sealed book and reveal the wonderful things therein. He is on the right hand of God; and in this Jesus are all the treasures of divine wisdom and knowledge; yea, in him is the fullness of truth and grace and glory, and he is the Head of all principality and power, the Fountain of holiness and salvation, life and light, the Apostle and High Priest of our profession. As one of God’s two witnesses Jesus had power over all flesh, all power in heaven and earth, and power or authority to do all the great and mighty works ascribed to God’s two witnesses.

The Holy Spirit, too, has all this authority, power and glory. And the Spirit is also expressly mentioned as God’s witness. To each of the seven angels of the seven churches Jesus said, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” When the Son of God was baptized in Jordan, the Spirit abode upon him in bodily form as a dove (symbol of peace), anointed him with the fullness of the Holy Ghost, and thus witnessed that he is the Son of God. To the apostles Jesus said, “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. “ But the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” {Joh 14}. “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.” {Joh 15}.

“When he, the Spirit of troth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” {Joh 16}. Thus we see that the Spirit is equally with the Son, God’s witness, and that by these two the Father, and his truth, and power, and glory, are made known and witnessed to the church and in his people.

“And they [the apostles] were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Please read Acts ii. The apostles said, “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore, being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.” At this time great grace was upon the apostles, and all the church. Thus the oil or grace of life flowed freely from the two olive trees, and the holy light of heaven burned brightly in the candlestick of gold. And all this glorious work and testimony in the church was not by might, nor by power of men, but purely by the Lord’s Spirit. So the apostles testified of the Lord Jesus, saying, “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God,” says Paul. Again, speaking of Jesus, Paul says, “For through him we both (Jew and Gentile) have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” {Eph 4:4-5}. Our apostle here shows the fullness of the visions in the two texts at the head of this writing. The apostle John also says, “And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. “ He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself.” {1Jo 5}. So then the Son and the Spirit are essentially and pre-eminently the Father’s witnesses to the church and people of God. The power of the Almighty Father is in the Son and Spirit, and they execute and fulfill all the will of God. The power given to them, as recorded in Rev. xi., resides not in men; therefore in this primary and real sense, the prophets and apostles were not the two olive trees and two witnesses, neither were any of them, as Moses or Elijah, Peter or Paul, because they were not as the two olive trees, the two anointed ones, having life and light-giving power in themselves; neither did any of the servants of God inherently possess in themselves the authority that God gave to his two witnesses, to kill, and to make alive, “And to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.” If this divine power were vested in men, then they might send forth life and light, and be the efficient agents in salvation. Men may vainly claim such power, but the symbol of the two olive trees sending forth the golden oil out of their own life, to give light to all the candlestick, and the word of the Lord, saying, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,” forever veto the claim.

“These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth,” said the angel to John. Therefore, as we have seen, the church is blessedly united and identified with the two living and light-giving olive trees, the two life-testifying witnesses, the Son and Spirit; and their divine and saving-power of grace and truth are freely ministered in and made known to the church. Jesus and the Spirit are with the church and in it, for it is the body of Christ, and the temple of the Holy Spirit. So then the two candlesticks, (showing the Jewish and the Gentile church) the two olive trees, the two olive branches, and the two anointed ones, all represent and personate God’s two witnesses; and hence the two-fold church, as represented by the Old Testament prophets, and the New Testament apostles, embodies the two witnesses. For in truth Christ and the Spirit dwelt in the martyred prophets and apostles and saints; and the testimony of those who spoke in the name and faith of Jesus as the Spirit gave them utterance, was and is the testimony of the two witnesses.

It is certainly true that the candlestick of gold, the sons and daughters of Zion, comparable to fine gold, are one with Christ, who lives in them, and one with the Spirit, who quickens and comforts them; therefore whatever is done against the members and body of the Son and Spirit, is also done against God’s witnesses. Thus did those who killed Stephen resist the Holy Ghost; and so Jesus said to Saul, “Why persecutest thou me!” “Your bodies are the members of Christ,” wrote Paul to the church. Thus and in this way the two witnesses prophesy, clothed in sackcloth, until they finish their testimony, and thus are they put to death. “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.” This is done in making war against the saints, and in overcoming and killing the servants of God, in whom is manifested the sanctifying power of the Spirit and the life of Jesus. For whatever is done against the members and body of Christ, is done against himself. In the unity of the Godhead, Father, Son and Spirit, Paul did truly say to the ministry, “Feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” This was the blood of God’s covenant with his people, the blood of the crucified body of the man Christ, the Mediator of the New Testament. For by virtue of his personal unity with God, the words and works, the life and death of the suffering Man of sorrows, were truly attributable to God, and all that Jesus did and suffered in his body truly possessed all the divine dignity and excellence, authority and infinite merit of the only blessed God himself; for God sent forth his Son, and was with him and in him. And so Jesus said, “The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself; but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” In view of this truth John says, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us;” yet it was the body of Christ that died. So it is in this manner, as united with and personated by the two candlesticks, that the two witnesses shall be overcome and put to death, when they shall have finished their testimony. How precious the divine assurance that not until they have finished their testimony shall the beast overcome them, and kill them. Then, even after they have thus resisted unto death, and have sealed their testimony with their blood, how glorious shall their final triumph be! For the context says, “And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, [into their dead bodies] and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.” Thus did the anointed man Christ ascend up to heaven in his own quickened, risen, living body, “and become the first-fruits of them that slept,” “the first-born among many brethren.” “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.” (1 Peter iii.) Thus shall it be with all in whom dwells the Spirit of life, who “have an unction from the Holy One,” and who are put to death in the flesh “for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” For dying with him they shall also live with him; suffering with him they shall also reign with him.

It is certain that all those wonderful things prophesied of the two witnesses, have not yet been accomplished, but at the time appointed the vision will speak, and all things written shall be fulfilled; for God hath spoken. Vain is the power of the beast, which makes war against the witnesses of the living God; vain the rage of the heathen, and the strivings of the people against the camps of the saints; for the Lamb, who sitteth upon the glorious high throne, shall overcome them. “For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” “Then cometh the end.” Great and marvelous events shall yet be before the time of the end, which are sealed up to us now; but they shall be seen and known in their time. For many things written in the book of Revelation are prophetic, symbolic and future. And so after the witnesses shall have finished their testimony, and been killed, their dead bodies shall not be suffered to be put in graves. “And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet.” That is, entered into their dead bodies, and as thus made alive from the dead, “they ascended up to heaven in a cloud.” But when the three days and an half shall be fulfilled, is not given to us to know. Just before the risen and immortal Christ went up to heaven, he said to the apostles, whom he left as the witnesses of his resurrection, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.” John writes, “I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: and they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” {Revelations. 6}. These are solemn things, and true, although figurative, and the time when they shall be fulfilled is with God, and he will then righteously judge them that dwell on the earth, and avenge his own elect, who cry unto him, and his Spirit of life shall quicken, sanctify and glorify them. Until then the anointed Son and the anointing Spirit shall continue to give the light of life to the candlestick of gold, the precious body of Christ, and these two prophets shall prophesy in the ministers of the Word and the Spirit, clothed in sackcloth— clothed in affliction and mourning. So were the prophets of old, John the Baptist, Jesus and the apostles. “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves,” is the solemn word of the Master;” and, “He that loseth his life for my sake, shall find it.” His witnesses have ever found it thus. May we not learn from the wonderfully solemn text, that a time of fearful persecution and tribulation shall come upon the church in the close of the gospel dispensation, and that those who keep the faith of Jesus and the testimony of God shall be killed, as their brethren of old were!

“And they of the people, and kindreds, and tongues, and nations, shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.” It is hard to truly understand what is here intended or meant, and our writers have presented various opinions, yet like all the inspired prophesies, it has a definite and true meaning. But it is not really necessary that we should understand it before the time; but we are sure that the great Prophet knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, and that he as our Advocate with the Father maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. We are comforted in the blessed assurance that the time when the witnesses of God shall be overtime and killed is limited, and that all the wars and calamities which shall come upon the militant church, to try the saints as gold in the fire, shall come to an appointed end in the triumphant victory of the two witnesses and their dead bodies. The merry making of the peoples of the earth over these two prophets that tormented them shall be short, as signified by three days and an half. The dead bodies of these two prophets may mean that they are judicially or officially dead, dead as to the influence and weight of their testimony, so that they are no longer in the way of, nor a torment to the religious peoples of the earth, but are made a byword and jest. This is very much so in our own time. “But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world,” says the Lord’s Anointed.

Your brother in the kingdom and patience of Jesus, D. BARTLEY.

2-24 Ask For The Old Paths

Signs Of The Times
Volume 66., No. 7
April 1, 1898.

“ASK FOR THE OLD PATHS.”

“Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” –{ Jer 6:16}.

Beloved In The Lord: – It is well that we earnestly give heed to this command to Israel. First, let us be solemnly impressed that it is the Lord who thus speaks to his people, as their covenant and faithful God, and for their spiritual welfare, peace and rest.

Next, let us well consider that our best interests, safety and well being, is in asking for the old paths, and walking therein.

It was a divine command to Israel to remove not the ancient landmarks, which their fathers had set. “This is the way; walk ye in it.” “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” He says, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.” Prophets of old pointed to Jesus, and apostles followed him. The divine truths which they taught are the old paths, and in the footsteps of Christ is the good way. “Follow thou me,” is his word. “Created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” “This man shall be blessed in his deed.” “In me ye shall have peace,” says Jesus, who is our peace. He is the good way.

“God will not leave himself without witness,” and since the apostles he has called faithful men, who have earnestly contended for the faith of his elect, and kept it. Loving their Lord, they kept his commandments. These have walked in the old paths, and the good way, and the Lord was with them. It will refresh, strengthen and help us, by seeing how they lived and died in the faith. Hassell’s Church History is a store-house of knowledge; so let us see a few facts that he records. He says of Andrew Fuller, (page 338): “He confesses that he was ‘saved by mere grace, in spite of himself, by free grace from first to last.’ He declared that he ‘never had any predilection for Arminianism, which appeared to him to ascribe the difference between one sinner and another, not to the grace of God, but to the good improvement made of grace given us in common with others, and that his zeal for the doctrine of grace increased with his years;’ and his dying declarations are that ‘all he had done needed forgiveness; that he trusted alone in sovereign grace and mercy; that he was a poor, guilty creature, but Christ was an almighty Savior; that the doctrine of grace was all his salvation and all his desire; that he had no other hope than from salvation by mere sovereign, efficacious grace, through the atonement of his Lord and Savior; that with this hope he could go into eternity with composure.’” Elder Hassell says, “Mr. Fuller (is) the standard of the New School Baptists in England and the United States;” therefore it cannot be claimed that Mr. Fuller made too much of grace, nor too little of all that he had ever done, for this was his dying testimony. His solemn, dying words should be a warning to any of us who dwell more upon our works than upon “sovereign, efficacious grace.”

Elder Hassell says, (page 327): “Old School, Primitive, or Bible Baptists, believe and rejoice in the absolute sovereignty of God, their heavenly Father in the entire dependence of all his creatures upon him, both in nature and in grace; a doctrine that leads its adherents to abandon all confidence in creature power, and to exercise a living and a loving trust in the Most High.”

He says, (page 333): Christian predestination far surpasses Arminianism in its moral results, as history abundantly demonstrates. “ Predestinarianism is highly promotive of both civil and religious liberty. It represents God as absolute and supreme, and makes all men equal before him. It develops the power of self-government, and a manly spirit of independence, which fears no man, though seated on a throne, because it fears God, the only real Sovereign.” Again, he says, (page 485): “If God is omniscient and omnipotent, and existed alone from eternity, and created all things out of nothing, and disposed of all things in his providence, with all the surrounding circumstances, exactly foreknowing all the results, then, certainly, in one sense, his foreknowledge of all things is equivalent to his foreordination of all things, including the volitions of his creatures, yet without the slightest degree of sin on his part, as the Most Holy God tempts no one to sin. The sinful, carnal mind of fallen, darkened rationalism, paints this certain truth of nature and Scripture in the most revolting colors, preferring that senseless and heartless fate or chance should sit at the helm of the universe; but the regenerated, enlightened, spiritual mind of the child of God incomparably prefers that his holy and heavenly Father should sit at the helm, and direct and work all things according to the counsel of his own will. The foreknowledge of God is, in one sense, so evidently identical with his foreordination that some of the most able living conditionalists propose to revolutionize the Arminian theology, and make it consistent with itself by the denial of God’s foreknowledge of future contingent events.” Elder Hassell again says, (page 486): “For, if the will of fallen man is inevitably restrained from spiritual good by his innate depravity, he cannot be said to be truly free, (his fallen will always preferring evil) especially as Christ declares that the sinner is the servant (doulos, the born slave,) of sin, and must be made free by the Son, if he be free indeed.”

Upon the doctrine of salvation by grace alone, Elder Hassell says, (page 203): “These precious declarations are precisely equivalent to the comforting assurance of the apostle Paul, ‘that he who hath begun a good work in you will perform (epiteleo, bring to an end, accomplish, perfect,) it until the day of Jesus Christ,’{Php 1:6}, not only the day when he is manifested as the Sun of righteousness and the divine Savior of the trembling sinner, but as shown by the fourth verse below, (Php 1:10}, and by {1Th 5:2}, and {2Pe 3:10}, the day at the close of this dispensation, when Christ shall come in final judgment. This one verse, {Php 1:6}, like {Heb 12:2}, in which Jesus is called both ‘the author and finisher of our faith,’ and like {Isa 35:10}, in which it is declared that ‘the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads,’ and like many other verses of Scripture, cuts up the system of conditional salvation by the roots, and incontestably and eternally establishes the system of salvation by sovereign grace, beginning and consummating the good work in the sinner’s heart, so that all the glory, without the slightest reservation, shall be given by the saved to God. Every system of conditionalism represents the sinner as doing that which insures his salvation, and which should, therefore, entitle him to the chief glory. As for good works, they are, as we have shown by abundant scriptural quotations, but the fruit of divine grace implanted in the heart.”

How true! These are “the old paths,” and our fathers walked therein, as did “holy men of old.” They unitedly testified that “Salvation is of the Lord;” “not of works.” Our author states a strong truth in saying, “Every system of conditionalism represents the sinner as doing that which insures his salvation;” for this is just as true of “conditional salvation in time,” as it is of every other conditional salvation, and the entire system of conditionalism entitles the one who is thus saved “to the chief glory.” “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works! Nay; but by the law of faith.” – {Ro 3:27}. “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed.” – {Ro 4:16}. Nothing conditional can be sure, therefore conditional paths are both uncertain and unsafe to walk in.

D. BARTLEY.

Crawfordsville, Ind.

2-25 All Things New

Signs Of The Times
Volume 68, No. 1.
JANUARY 1, 1900.

ALL THINGS NEW.

Beloved in The Lord: – We are on the eve of a new year, which brings us nearer to the new heaven and new earth, nearer to our new home, of which the Maker of it says: “Behold, I make all things new,” and nearer to the hour when our bodies, which are now old, like the old year, shall be made new. This will be the fulfillment of the glorious new covenant, which is infinitely better than the old. How blessed for us that the old must give place to the new. Yet our nature is to cling to the old, not only to the old year, the old life, the old body, but the old law, the old covenant, the old heaven and the old earth. All these things are as natural to us as the old earth we dwell upon and the old atmosphere we breathe, for we are born to them, and they are our heritage in the first man, the old Adam. All these old things are our mother religion, and at this shrine we bow down and worship. Left to our old will, which we boast of as free, we would never give up the old for the new. And when the new Master comes to destroy the old master and take away from us the old religion, we verily think it is to our everlasting destruction. We therefore strive with all our might to keep alive the old, and when we must die to it we die hard, for of a truth we give up all that is old just because we “can’t help it.” This is the experience of all the people of the new covenant. When the Lord comes in his mercy to make a new covenant with us, we resist and fight against all his good work in us, because it all seems against us, for he is taking away from us all that we trusted in and held as dear and sacred as life itself. So do the little eagles cleave to their old nest when the mother so cruelly (it seems) takes it away from them, not knowing that it is to the end that they should mount up to the skies far, far above the old earthly nest.

Seeing, beloved, that all this is true, why do we so much wonder with sorrow that so many, even of these called by the name we bear, the name of the Lord, so zealously cling to the old covenant religion, and either strive to mix it in with the new, or else make war upon the new! For even Paul, the apostle of the new covenant, said, “The commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.” This was an experience of the loss of all things, and verily a bitter death, which his own will would never have chosen. It was Paul who said of the Maker of the new covenant, “He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.” This he does in our experience, and to us it is a continual and most painful taking away, even of life itself, a dying daily. The Lord killeth, and he maketh alive. This way of salvation no one, no child of the new kingdom, will ever voluntarily choose, and all men in the flesh fight against it. The old legal covenant, with its conditions, rewards and punishments, is the religion of the flesh and of the world. So the children of the old covenant have ever hated and persecuted the children of the new covenant, because the flesh wars against the Spirit. As of old, “He that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.” The wise and holy counsel of God is in all this, and it is unto his eternal glory and the bringing away of all his new covenant people from all that is old into the blissful possession of all that is new. “In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” Thus it is with the old year, with the old life, with the old world, with all that is legal and old. God himself has ordained it so; man would resist and reverse it, and perpetuate the old, but he cannot. The new subdues and takes the place of the old. When in the Spirit, we bless God that it is so; for death is in the old, but life is in the new. Terms, conditions, works, rewards, punishments, belong to the old; but promises, gifts, grace, mercy, forgiveness, belong to the new. Wrath and curses are in the old; love and blessings are in the new. Therefore, my beloved, let us glory in tribulations and give thanks to God that he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up to heaven; maketh poor, and maketh rich; takes away the old life of sin, and gives the new life of holiness. “And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done.” None can undo it or alter it; no conditions nor possibilities can add to it or take from it; it is ordered in all things and sure; it is not yea and nay, but yea and amen to the glory of God. The blessed children of the new covenant, the happy people saved by the Lord, are glad and rejoice that “It is done.”

Burdened and weary with the old, waiting and hoping for the new, your brother in the new life,

D. BARTLEY.

Lakeland, Fla., Dec. 28, 1904.

2-26 The Moral Relation of Man to God

Signs Of The Times
Volume 78., No. 3.
FEBRUARY 1, 1905.

THE MORAL RELATION OF MAN TO GOD.

“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying. Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good find evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” – {Gensis. 2: 16, 17}.

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” – {Mt 22:37-40}.

The Lord God created man, and gave him his heart, and soul, and mind, with his body, and all his faculties and powers. This fact shows his absolute dependence upon God, and his supreme obligation to worship and serve his Sovereign and Maker. All this is clearly presented in the two texts above, as declared by the Lord God and his Son. All revealed truth agrees with these divine texts. The natural and moral relation of man to God, as thus shown, is one of entire and perpetual and obedient service. So, then, man is not his own. He owes himself, and all his powers, to his Creator. God has commanded man what he may do, what he shall not do, and what he shall do. He may eat and partake of that which God has not forbidden, for this is for his sustenance and good, and his nature constrains him so to do, but he has no liberty or moral freedom to do more, go beyond, and transgress. To do so is sin, and sin is death. “Thou shalt surely die.” Man sinned. Jesus says, “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” Paul said, “I am carnal, sold under sin. “Sin hath reigned unto death.” A servant is not free. Sin reigns in the servant of sin. Wherein is the freedom of a slave? All men in nature are sinners, and it is their nature to sin. They love sinful things. They are taken captive by the devil at his will. Their mind and conscience are defiled. The will is a faculty or power of the mind; therefore the will is enslaved to sin, with all the mental powers. “Ye will not come unto me, that ye might have life,” said Jesus. “No man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.”

Let us consider the human will. All Arminians assert the freedom of the will, therefore they hold that all men are free moral agents. They claim that this freedom is in the will; that the will sits as a monarch upon the mental throne, and rules this empire or kingdom. It is held that this freedom of the will constitutes every one a free moral agent. But why it should be held that this one faculty of the mind is free, rather than that the mind itself is free, is strange, for the mind has other properties more than the will, as the preemption, the conscience, the understanding and the judgment. It must be then that if the will is free, it decides and controls all these other powers of the mind, and the mind itself. Now, is this true? Does the will govern in the mind? or is it governed! Any one may easily decide this by a little thought. When any object is presented to the mind, perception sees that it is either desirable, or it is unsuitable; the conscience says that such object is either good, or bad, worthy, or unworthy; the understanding either approves it, or disapproves it; the judgment then instructs the will to either accept it, or reject it, and the will accordingly acts; nor can the will act otherwise than as thus instructed and moved. This is true in all rational acts. In irrational and blindly impulsive acts, either the appetites or the passions impel and govern the will. The will always yields to the strongest and prevailing motive. Therefore, in all cases, the will is subservient, and so it is not free. It is impossible for the will to act contrary to the dictates of the other mental faculties, or against the strongest motive. The will then is not the master, but it is the servant.

Now, consider man in relation to the commands of God, as under a supreme and unceasing moral obligation to keep and do every divine command, and he is not a free agent or actor, but is limited and bound by the authority of his Sovereign. For the command and restriction upon him is, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. “ Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” So spoke the Son of God. When the Most High says, “Thou shalt,” man is not free or at liberty to say, I will not. And this sacred moral obligation is ever binding upon the heart and soul and mind of the creature man. The supreme commands of God are upon man. This authority binds him to not only love his God thus supremely with all his heart and soul and mind, but also to love his neighbor as himself. All this he must do as a servant, a moral agent, or else he must suffer for his failure. Man is not, therefore, a free moral agent. Nay, he is bound by bonds the most binding and solemn and unending, from which he cannot escape or free himself one moment. Not only the will, a single faculty of the mind, but the mind itself, and not the mind alone, but the soul, and not merely the will and mind and soul, but the heart as well; these are all morally bound to love the Lord God supremely, and to love the neighbor as the self. From this service there is no freedom. Man is under the law of God, therefore he must either do all things contained in the law, or endure its penalty. “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” Where then is there any place or any moment of time for the freedom of the will? Every divine command to man says, “Thou shalt,” or “Thou shalt not.” Man is a rational being, and therefore he is a moral agent; but he is not free, because he is accountable. A servant is not a free agent, because he serves another, and is subject to his orders. This fact applies to all accountable beings, who act under lawful authority, and are under restriction, and subject to this authority, and are responsible for every violation thereof. Therefore no man is a free moral agent. Even the holy Son of man himself claimed no such freedom of the will, but he said, “I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” He taught his disciples to pray, and say, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.” The truth is, then, God alone is a free moral agent, for his will only is free, and he says, “I will do all my pleasure.” In the fifty-second number of his hymn book, Elder Wilson Thompson strongly affirms these truths, and all would do well to read it. There is a sect called Freewill Baptists, who hold to the freedom of the human will, but the Old School Baptists have ever discarded and opposed, as a serious error, the popular Arminian doctrine of man’s free moral agency, and that this free agency consists in the freedom of the will. I have simply presented some of the reasons for the opposition of our people to this worldly doctrine or teaching; reasons which make it impossible for our people to ever become Freewill Baptists. For while free moral agency may seem to be consistent with the worldly and popular doctrine of Anninianism or conditionalism, it is utterly inconsistent with the unworldly and unpopular doctrine of the Bible – salvation by reigning grace alone, through God’s election and predestination. There is one way only that any one can be free: “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” Yet when thus made free from sin, and the law, and its curse, we are then the servants of God in Christ, but not the servants of sin under the law, as before. “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”

We still serve, therefore, and so are not free moral agents, because we are under law to Christ, our new Master. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” This new law of life makes the service blessed, and the new motive that sweetly constrains the will in this self-denying and obedient service is love, the love of God and Christ. “God worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” This is God’s good work of grace and salvation, and it is the work of perfect love. “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” So then God and his love inspire us both to will and do in working out or showing forth our own salvation. “The love of Christ constraineth us,” is the sentiment of Paul. This love constrains the heart, and the soul, and the mind, and therefore the will of the loving and obedient Christian in his or her loyal service to the loving Master. This then is not an automatic or self-acting service, neither is it the unintelligent, unloving, coerced and mechanical service of a machine, but is the willing, active, heart-given service of a living, loving child of God, and servant of the Lord Jesus.

This is submitted in meekness and love to all who love our only Lord Jesus Christ, with the earnest prayer that we may all know the truth, and that the truth shall make us free from error.

Your servant for Jesus’ sake, D. BARTLEY

2-27 The Meaning of Grace

Signs Of The Times
VOL.66., NO. 15.
AUGUST 1, 1898.

THE MEANING OF GRACE.

BELOVED BRETHREN: – Does it seem meaningless to you that one should write upon the meaning of the simple word “Grace!” Yet it may not be labor in vain. The fact that a word is very common and simple, may incline us to pass over it slightly, and thus we may miss its deep and rich meaning; its strength and comfort. Perhaps none of us have fully investigated and understood the divine fullness of the precious meaning of the grace of God. The writer feels that he has come short in this. Therefore, both for his own good and yours, let us together consider the divine meaning of the Bible term, grace.

The standard dictionary thus defines divine grace, as a noun: “(1) The unmerited love and favor of God in Christ: hence free gift. (2) The divine influence acting within the heart, to regenerate, sanctify, and keep it. (3) A state of reconciliation to God, of deliverance from the dominating power of sin, and of full participation in and enjoyment of God’s favor and free gifts on the ground of Christ’s merits. (4) The power or disposition to exercise saving faith, to live the Christian life, and to endure with patience the trials of the earthly state.” Hence, said an eminent writer, “The grace of God is the life of the soul, as the soul is the life of the body.” These renderings of God’s grace are definite, clear, and scriptural, and they plainly show that grace means this, and all this. The most eminent of the apostles, Paul, fully supports this meaning when he says, “By the grace of God I am what I am.” This sweeping statement embraces and covers his whole Christian life, his faith in Christ, and his ministry of faith and love in the gospel of grace. His Savior and Master expressed the same fullness of grace, saying, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” Sufficient against his weakness, the buffetings of Satan, and the thorn of sin in the flesh.

“On the ground of Christ’s merits.” This is eminently scriptural. For no truth is mere fully revealed than that all divine gifts and blessings to the children of men, including all spiritual blessings, are freely bestowed upon us, “On the ground of Christ’s merits.” This entirely excludes all our own supposed merit, and hence excludes all boasting, as that God will bless us for the good we do, because of our obedience to him; for all his gifts and blessings of salvation are in Christ, and for Christ’s sake. One text fully sustains this: “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things”

Such is the precious meaning of grace. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ himself is grace: the fullness of grace: the riches of grace: the glory of grace. His work of eternal redemption, his righteous life in our flesh, his atoning death for our sins, his burial, and victorious resurrection for our justification, his glorious ascension to the throne of God as our Advocate with the Father: grace means all this. Yea, mere! for the watchful and loving care of Jesus our good Shepherd over us, his leading us beside the still waters, and causing us to lie down in green pastures, his giving us peace and rest, and not leaving us comfortless, his Spirit and his love that he puts in our hearts, and his sweet words of faith, and cheer, and promise, which he puts in our mouths, this, all this, is grace!

Come with me, now, to the Bible, and let us notice some of the excellencies of the grace of God. And, first, its source. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” “And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by .Jesus Christ.” – {Joh 1:14,16-17}. Second, its character. It is free and undeserved. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” – {2Co 8}. “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness toward us, through Christ .Jesus. 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 2:7-9}. “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}. Third. It is justifying. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” – {Ro 2:5,24}. Fourth. It is saving. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved, us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved.)” – {Eph 2:1,5}. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation,” &c. – {Tit 2:12}. Fifth. It is purifying. “Teaching us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” – {Tit 2:12}. “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” – {Heb 12:28}, Sixth. It is strengthening and sufficient. “My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in mine infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” – {2Co 12:9}. “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” – {2Ti 2:1}. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” – {Heb 4:16}. Seventh. Its use and benefit. “For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might, through the thanksgiving of many, redound to the glory of God.” – {2Co 4:15}. “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much mere they which receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”

{Ro 5:17}. “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” – {Eph 3:8}. Eighth. Its victorious reign. “But where sin abounded, grace did much mere abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign, through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.” – {Ro 5:20-21}. “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” – {Ro 6:11}. Ninth. Who are its partakers? “Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.” – {Eph 6:21}. God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” – {Jas 4:6}. “Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” – {1Pe 5:5}. Tenth. Its consummation. “He shall bring forth the head-stone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace, unto it.” – {Zec 4:7}. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved.” – {Eph 1:3,6}.

Grace is thus shown to be an active principle in the hearts and lives of Christians or believers in Christ, divinely influencing and enabling them in all their spiritual exercises, and true and acceptable worship of God, and service in his kingdom of grace. The Scriptures following also express and show this: “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself mere highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.” – {Ro 12:3,6-8}. Grace, then, underlies and supports all this active walk and work in the divine life, this “obedience unto the faith.” And faith itself is a gift of grace, as Paul says: “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed.” – {Ro 4:16}. “I have written the mere boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, that I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.” – {Ro 15:15-16}. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” – {Col 3:16-17}.

“O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!”

In all the “oracles of God,” grace, as a divine principle, thus stands out preeminently with heavenly radiance and glory, rising infinitely superior to, and obscuring every other principle, of whatever nature or name, whether it be law, or conditions, or works, it matters not; for, as compared with glorious grace, they are weak and mean, and as nothing. For we have seen that in all the work of salvation, grace reigns; reigns through righteousness; reigns unto eternal life; reigns by our Lord Jesus Christ. No other principle in God’s universe has this power and success; nor to any other power is such boundless praise and glory ascribed in the Bible. As we have seen, the holy Scriptures magnify the grace of God in all the work and way of salvation from sin and its dominion unto death, from its beginning unto its ending in glory, and immortality, and eternal life. In the riches of grace, the Lord’s hand laid the foundation of his spiritual house, his heavenly and holy temple; and in the praise of the glory of his sovereign grace he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings of grace, grace unto it.

“Grace all the work shall crown,
In everlasting days;
It lays in heaven the topmost stone,
And well deserves the praise.”

The heart experienced confession of every saved sinner, must be in unison with all this divine testimony in the record, that God gave of his Son, not only when he began the good work of salvation in us, but in performing it unto perfection, in the full revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ in us, in his resurrection-life and holiness and glory. For by him grace thus reigns in us through righteousness; therefore all righteousness and good works in the saved in Christ Jesus, are the result of reigning grace in their hearts, and the praise is due to grace. What honored and blessed subject of grace should want it otherwise! Since it is with grace in our hearts, that any teach and admonish one another, and sing praise to the Lord, why should we claim part of the honor, by saying that all this reasonable service to the God of all grace, depends largely upon ourselves? It is infinitely mere befitting a weak, dependent sinner to say, with humble and yet noble Paul, after he had labored in the gospel work mere than all the apostles, “Yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” Take away the grace of God which is with any obedient child or servant of his, as a reigning principle and power in the heart, so that he would have to really “depend upon himself” in his obedience and service to God, and what a pitiable spectacle and miserable failure he would make! But the grace that reigns through righteousness and saves the sinner from his sins, is a never-failing, everspringing well-spring of life in the soul, like the love of Christ, that constraineth us, so “that the christian loves the God he knows, and serves the God he loves.” Jesus, by whom grace reigns, says, “The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” This is the grace that saves the blessed one in whom this water or life is a living well, springing up, and lifting the heart and soul, heavenward and to God. Jesus gives the true worshippers this living water, and, so far from its springing up in them being dependent upon themselves, they are dependent upon this fountain of grace, and blessing springing up in them, to inspire them with a spirit of true devotion and service. So all praise is due to the grace of God that is with us; and not only are we saved by grace, but it is the grace of God wherein we stand, and are obedient unto the faith. O that we mere perfectly understood and realized this in our hearts! for then should we be mere humble, reverent and prayerful, and mere to the praise of the glory of God’s grace.

The active effect, and heavenly sentiment of grace, is thus expressed:

“Keep, O keep me, Lord, from sinning,
Guide me in the way of peace
Make me walk in
All the paths of holiness.”
“Free grace only
Shall resound in heaven’s land.”

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

D. BARTLEY.

CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind., July 21,1897.

2-28 Love and Obedience

Signs Of The Times
Volume 65., No.18.
SEPTEMBER 15, 1897.

LOVE AND OBEDIENCE.

Brethren Beloved: – It is in my heart to write to you of love and obedience, that we may see the relation between them, and so the better appreciate the love of God in Christ, and magnify his holy name for his love bestowed upon us.

Text: “If a man love me, he will keep my words.” – {Joh 14:23}. The Son of God, who loved us, and gave himself for us, thus spoke to the apostles. It was when they were separated from all the multitudes of men, the dark night of his betrayal, in his last discourse with his loving disciples before his death on the Roman cross for their sins the next day. He had just given them his new commandment of love to one another, and had said to them, “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.”

Our blessed Lord in these brief words (the Father’s word) which they heard or received, blessedly enlightens and instructs his disciples; and that they might understand the true and spiritual meaning of this word, he adds, “But the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” This should be fulfilled to them in and “at that day,” after the Lord should come up out of the legal night, the dark wilderness of sin and death, with his bride leaning upon him. Hence, says the beloved John, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.” In this “glorious day “the resurrected Son of God is “the Sun of righteousness,” “the life and the light” of all his disciples, in whom he is, and they are in him. This is a most sacred union, holy and everlasting and blessed. The Son, now risen from the dead, to die no more, is in the Father, and the living and loving disciples are in the Son, and he is in them. Herein is the source, the origin and fountain of all divine life and love and obedience to the commandments of Jesus. In this is found the nature and the fulfillment of his new commandment to his disciples. Divine love is the foundation, the springing fountain, the “good ground,” the constraining power and holy motive, which underlies and prepares the obedient heart and active life unto keeping the commandments of Jesus. Nothing else is pleasing to God, nor accepted of him, but is only “a form of godliness, but denies the power thereof.” It is drawing nigh unto God with the mouth, and honoring him with the lips, while the heart is far from him. Such professed service and formal obedience is selfish, self-honoring and self-pleasing, and its prompting motive and incentive is the reward to be received for such work and service. Jesus says of all such workers, “Verily, they have their reward.” For they serve for the reward, the pay, the good they shall receive for their good service. This reward or pay they call “time salvation,” which, they say, is a conditional reward for conditional obedience or service, which they either voluntarily perform, or let alone. Who cannot see that all this is of self, and for self? Remove this actuating motive of conditional reward, and deny this selfish, legal principle, and those who hold to it will at once say that your doctrine leads to saying, “Let us do evil, that good may come;” and, “Let us sin, that grace may abound.” For they seem to see and feel no sufficient motive and incentive in the grace of God’s love shed abroad in the heart, the powerful motive that Paul felt, saying, “For the love of Christ constraineth us,” to constrain them to obey from the heart, or keep the commandments of Jesus because they love him. So they labor to establish another principle as a motive to prompt to religious service, and this thing they have named, “conditional time salvation,” which “depends upon themselves,” and which salvation consists in “conditional rewards,” or payment for conditional works of obedience. That this is the underlying principle and actuating motive of the entire religious world in their professed service and formal obedience to God, from the pope of Rome to Brigham Young and the Mormons, there can be no question; but for any of the Old Baptists to teach and try to enforce this slavish or servile, legal and selfish principle, is passing strange, and its very nature and only tendency is to undervalue and deny the power and sufficiency of the grace of God, and the efficiency of the constraining love of Christ. This legal principle of conditionalism in salvation, whether it be everlasting or time salvation, turns away from the divine love and grace as not sufficiently powerful to save and lead to righteous and godly living in this present world, and substitutes the creature-pleasing motive of conditional rewards, and the creature-terrorizing goad or spur of punishments, as more successful in “winning souls to Christ,” or causing Christians to keep his commandments. It is a snare and a cheating delusion, which, while it may honor and please the self-serving sinner, dishonors the Savior and his grace and love. His true and precious word is, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Thus he teaches that keeping his commandments springs out of love to him, as the pure water from its living fountain, and the good fruit from the good tree. This is the principle and law of God in grace as in nature. “God is love.” “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God: for God is love. “ We love him, because he first loved us.” {1Jo 4}. Our love, then, is of God, and he is the fullness and cause of our divine love: “Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” {Ro 5}. So then, any religious work or service which does not spring from this divine love, as the manifest effect and fruit of love, is not obedience to the commandments of our loving Lord, though it may be immersion and joining a church, praying and preaching. On the other hand, Jesus says, “If a man love me, he will keep my words.” This is the certain fruit of love to him; this love inspires and moves that man or one to keep his words, and this willing keeping of his words is the active power and expression of love to the Lord Jesus. How shameful and slanderous to charge that this heart-given obedience and service of love, which is the reigning grace of God, reduces the loving servant of Christ to a mere irresponsible and passive machine. So far from it, the most sacred responsibility, the dearest obligations and the most self-sacrificing, consecrated and devoted obedience known to angels or men, in heaven or on earth, arise from and exist in Love. Without this, all religious sacrifice, service and work is merely a heartless, hollow form, a mocking hypocrisy, and so far from being pleasing to the Lord and rewarded by him, he says, “He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings.” However zealous he may be in religious work, he does not keep the commandments of Jesus, only as he yields the self-denying and true obedience of love. And this unbribed, unbought service of love finds its blessed and full recompense and reward in thus laying the heart’s best devotions upon the altar of love. And with such sacrifices God is well pleased. The sacrifice of a broken heart and contrite spirit is honoring to him, and to this one he hath respect.

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous,” says the loving John. This is like the word of Jesus in the text, showing that keeping his commandments cannot be separated from the love of God, and they bear the close relation to each other of cause and effect.

It is regarded by all good people naturally and morally, that the self-sacrificing service of human love, which makes willing martyrs of thousands of mothers especially, and of fathers and children, wives and husbands, who do all and suffer all for love’s sake, is the most beautiful and potent and sacred sentiment and motive in human life, compared with which any service or obedience which is prompted by the hope of self-reward, or the fear of punishment, is unworthy, sordid and mean. A service that is bought, or done for hire or reward, is servile and selfish, for the one who performs such service does so for the benefit he shall receive, and the reward is the motive and impelling cause. This principle makes the world extremely selfish and sordid. It has corrupted and blighted the best governments of men, and it has vitiated all the religions of the entire religious world. It entered the temple of God itself, polluted and debased it, so that his holy Son told this very religious people, who professed to be serving God in their devotions, that they had made his Father’s house a den of thieves. More lamentable still, this principle and motive for religious service and formal obedience to the Lord’s commandments has crept into the church of God. So that even here, where the new commandment of love should be the only law, the one sweetly constraining motive, wherein the loving voice of him who “loved the church and gave himself for it,” should be lovingly heeded, saying, “If ye love me, keep my commandments;” alas! in this sacred sanctuary of loving worship to the God of love, this corrupting principle of serving for reward has entered, and makes its appeals to the selfishness of man, saying, Come and join the church and serve the Lord, for the reward you shall receive. The fruit of this is, just as it was in the church at Antioch, and the churches of Galatia, confusion and trouble. It is nothing more nor less than sowing to the flesh, and of the flesh reaping corruption. This principle of conditional rewards for conditional obedience and service, as a motive and incentive in religious service and worship, is displeasing to the holy God, who looks not at the outward appearance, but sees the heart as it is, and it is corrupting to those who thus serve. They serve not the Lord, but themselves. The children of the loving Father in heaven should never be tempted by this flesh-pleasing motive, as the devil thus tempted the holy Son of God, holding out to him a big reward. It is an appeal to selfishness and self love; therefore it is worldly and legal in its nature, and it is the motive principle in all worldly or carnal religion and service.

“If a man love me, he will keep my words,” is the infallible doctrine of the loving and obedient Son of God. Love to the adored Savior gives the loving soul the good will to keep his words, and it is the divine power and pure motive which causes him to believe in the Lord with the heart, and to obey him from the heart. By the Holy Ghost is the love of God shed abroad in our hearts, and out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh, and so with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Thus and in this way do the loving and willing and obedient children of God worship him in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. There is nothing in true worship and service which love will not sweetly move the loving heart to do; no sacrifice too hard or great for pure love to make. Even “faith worketh by love and purifieth the heart.” Remember, “love is of God,” and the love of God is the most holy and powerful and active of all powers and principles and motives. The faith that is born of love is the only principle and motive by which it is possible to truly obey and please God. It is this that is dearer than life, and stronger than death. It made Abraham willing to quit his kindred and become a stranger in a strange land. It led his willing feet up Mount Moriah, to offer up his Son, whom he loved more than his own life. It led the obedient feet of the suffering Son of God up Mount Calvary, to give himself a willing and all-sufficient sacrifice of compassionate and devoted love. O blessed obedience of all-consuming, holy, deathless love! May I thus love and obey, serve and please God. The meek and lowly service of one such loving heart, though it be given in tears and self-sacrifice and suffering, is infinitely more pleasing and glorifying to God, who is rich in mercy and great in love, than all that has ever been offered in formal worship to him by countless human souls from any other principle or motive.

In conclusion, then, if we keep the commandments of God, it is his love in our hearts as the single and sacred cause and motive by which we do so. If any other principle or persuasion actuates our obedience or service, we are not keeping the commandments of God, which can only be kept in the singleness of the pure love of God in the heart. The hope of reward as an incentive to keeping his commandments, has no place in the service of love. Neither is the fear of punishment an incentive in keeping the loving Father’s commandments, and such a notion is slavish and a reproach to love. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love,” is the lovely sentiment of the loving John. The love of the Father and Son and Spirit is the blessed and infinite motive and active cause of all the great and infinite sacrifice and obedience and service of the holy Three One for us; and all the blessings and joys of salvation which we receive, on earth and in heaven, are the unmerited and unbought rewards of the love of God, the riches of his grace.

Now, the love of God is not conditional love, neither is his grace conditional. So, then, salvation from sin, from any sin or all sin, is not conditional, for the blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin, and his atoning blood is not conditional. It is grace, then, that saves us from all sin. Our entire service of obedience is the service of love, and “love is of God;” it is the gift or grace of God, and he has bestowed it upon us so richly as to call us his children. So our obedience is neither the bought service of a hired servant, nor the coerced service of a slave, but it is the heart-given service of a loving child. The motive in keeping the Lord’s commandments, therefore, is neither the hope of reward, nor the fear of punishment, but because we love him. This, dear brethren, is like his obedient and self-sacrificing service for us, for it was because he loved us that he gave his obedient life of suffering for us.

“If a man love me, he will keep my words.” “Love is the fulfilling of the law.” “Love is the fountain whence all true obedience flows.” “The Christian loves the God he knows, and serves the God he loves.” Love sanctifies and beautifies all devotional service, and makes it acceptable, honoring and pleasing. No other principle or motive can. God will accept no other. “If ye love me,” is the only fitting or qualifying principle, the only “wedding garment” in which we can enter into our Lord’s holy service and keep his commandments. Unless his love is the consecrating motive and prompting principle or sentiment in the heart of the worshiper, he does not, be cannot enter here, but is an intruder in this sacred place, and has no right to the holy commandments of the blessed Lord. His commandments are kept and done in love to him. Nothing else but love will keep them. O, that we all more perfectly knew and realized this sacred truth.

“Do not I love thee, O my Lord?
Behold my heart and see,
And turn each cursed idol out
That dares to rival thee.”

D. BARTLEY.

Crawfordsville, Ind., July 28, 1899.

2-29 The London Confession of Faith

Signs Of The Times
Volume 67, No. 17
SEPTEMBER 1, 1899.

THE LONDON CONFESSION OF FAITH.

Dear Brethren In The Faith Of God: – As the plea has been made that the meaning of English words, though plain and clear when used, yet becomes dark and obscure in later times, so it is with the declaration of the religious belief of the Baptists of the seventeenth century, in the year of our Lord, 1651), and published in the London Confession. And as this doubtful meaning of this ancient declaration of what the holy Scriptures teach was made the plea for holding what was called a “National Convention “of “leading Baptists “of the United States, last November, at Fulton, Ky., for the purpose of adding a supplement to the London Confession, to make plain and clear the meaning of some of its obscure parts, therefore it is well that we read for ourselves the words of our faithful brethren of more than two hundred years ago, upon some of the chief points said to be obscure and uncertain in meaning. So the following correct extracts from the Confession are given. In their address to the reader they say, “In those things wherein we differ from others, we have expressed ourselves with all candor and plainness. “ We have also taken care to affix texts of Scripture for the confirmation of each article in our confession, in which work we have studiously endeavored to select such as are most clear and pertinent for the proof of what is asserted by to.” How does this agree with the recent pretext that those devout servants of God failed to make their meaning plain to the intelligence of Baptists of this time? This is casting reproach upon those faithful men of God, as well as charging ignorance and stupidity to the Baptists of our time, for it is virtually saying that the common reader now cannot understand the real meaning of candid and plain words. It is a vaunting assumption on the part of a few self-styled “leading Baptists,” and it betrays a lack of “candor and plainness “before God and men.

In chapter two, speaking of God, the Confession says, “Who is immutable, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, every way infinite, most holy, most wise, most free, most absolute, working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will, for his own glory. “ He is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom and to whom are all things; and he hath most sovereign dominion over all creatures, to do by them, for them or upon them whatsoever himself pleaseth. In his sight all things are open and manifest. His knowledge is infinite, infallible and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to him contingent or uncertain. He is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works and in all his commands.” All these statements are very candid and plain, and they need no master to explain them.

In chapter three those candid and plain men of God speak of God’s decree, saying, “God hath decreed in himself from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably, all things whatsoever come to pass; yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin, nor hath fellowship with any therein; nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, bat rather established, in which appears his wisdom in disposing all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing his decree.” The simple meaning of this sentence is so frank, candid and plain to the mind of every reader, that it will stand against the efforts of every modern convention of “leading Baptists “to doctor and obscure it to suit modern theology. Every child in the kingdom of God’s grace as well knows the clear sense of this declaration of faith in the sovereign power and wisdom and holiness of the omnipotent and unchangeable God as does any teacher in Israel, so that no recent footnotes added to it can explain it away or disguise the plain meaning of those solemn words of wisdom. They are based upon Scripture proofs, which are omitted here for brevity; and in this one sentence on the holy decree of God is most plainly declared just the candid belief of all who humbly and devoutly revere God as at once almighty and holy. These simple words of those godly men of old do most clearly repel the false accusation, that this solemn and scriptural belief in the complete sovereignty of the Holy One makes him the author of sin, and his holy decree the cause of the wicked acts of ungodly men. Arminian opposers of God’s sovereignty have ever made this slanderous charge, which is nothing but replying against God and condemning the Almighty, but not till recently have professed Predestinarian Baptists joined in this slanderous report against the unlimited decree of God, that it makes him the author of and responsible for all the things he has embraced in his changeless counsel, purpose and decree. Faithful Paul has met all such false inferences when he says, “Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault! For who hath resisted his will!” He refutes the slander and rebukes the false accuser when he adds, “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus!” This is just what all such “things “do say when they speak thus against God. Who are men who thus rail against the Most High? Hear the answer of God: “All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.”

In chapter five of the London Confession, upon Divine Providence, it says, “God, the Creator of all things, in his infinite power and wisdom, doth hold, direct, dispose and govern all creatures and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, to the end for which they were created, according unto his infallible foreknowledge and the free and immutable counsel of his own will; to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, infinite goodness and mercy.

“Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly, so that there is not anything befalls any by chance or without his providence; yet by the same providence he ordereth them to fall out according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely or contingently.

“The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in his providence, that his determinate counsel extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sinful actions both of angels and men (and that not by a bare permission); which also he most wisely and powerfully boundeth, and otherwise ordereth and governeth, in a manifold dispensation to his most holy ends; yet so as the sinfulness of their acts proceedeth only from the creatures, and not from God, who being most holy and righteous, neither is or can be the author or approver of sin.”

These candid and plain words are easy to be understood, and their simple meaning is so clear and open to every fair and candid reader, that it would require several conventions to so doctor their evident teaching as to make them seem to mean something else. So far from any of the words quoted from this old Confession being obsolete or out of use, or their meaning then being different from what the same words mean now, no writer of this time could use plainer or easier words to express what he believes in regard to God. But we suspect that the real objection to these simple and strong words is not that their meaning is dark or obscure to any fair and candid mind, but that the doctrine thus clearly declared by those ancient Baptists is too strong for the appetite of some modern Baptists, who yet are not ready to come out candidly and plainly and say they do not accept the doctrine of the London Confession, but they will therefore labor to place a meaning on it to suit themselves, like doctors will sugarcoat their bitter pills to deceive the weak stomach of the patient. But why would some Baptists, who profess to accept the London Confession upon the sovereignty of God, as quoted above, yet persist in charging upon other Baptists, who do sincerely accept and believe it, that therefore they represent the Holy One as at once the author and cause and doer of all wickedness, and that all sin is the result of his decree? For in charging this result upon all who truly believe this doctrine set forth so carefully and plainly in the London Confession relative to the attributes of the omnipotent and immutable God, they likewise cast the same reproach upon all the Baptists who wrote and believed that Confession. Is this honest and just and of good report! Is it brotherly and kind and the way of “Peace on earth and good will toward men!” Our brethren all along the passing generations, ever since Paul said, “(As we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come,” have been thus slanderously reported, because, with Paul, they have believed in the Lord God Omnipotent, “who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” It was to meet and refute this “slanderous report” of them, and to show that their adoring belief in the Holy One did not make him the author of sin, that his humble and true servants of old put forth their true belief in the London Confession. Until latterly such uncharitable and reproachful accusations have come from the multiform hosts of Arminian will-worshipers, who limit the Almighty in his attributes and power, and it was not so strange that they would thus slander the doctrine of God as proclaimed by his true servants; but now, alas, Baptists themselves join in this “railing accusation “against the servants of the Most High, and flaunt forth the unblushing outcry, that to believe he predestinated all things, makes him the author of all sin, and that all wickedness is the “result “of God’s unlimited decree. Yet they say they stand on the London Confession! That Confession honors God in his “eternal power and Godhead,” as having “Decreed in himself from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably, ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER COME TO PASS; yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin, nor hath fellowship with any therein.” But such most unfair criticisms and slanderous reports against the unlimited decree of God do dishonor him and falsely accuse his worthy servants of old. The Lord will rebuke those who “speak evil of dignities,” and despise the dominion of God, bringing railing accusation against his true and faithful servants of old, among whom was Elder Gilbert Beebe, a valiant man of God in Israel, who gave his long life in defense of the truth as it is in Christ Jesus, yet he is assailed and his doctrine aspersed, long after the Lord, whom he loved and served, took him to himself, and he is charged with having proclaimed a doctrine so abominable that it made our Holy God the author and doer of all the abhorrent crimes of all wicked men, because he believed just what is declared above by those holy men of old, who adopted the London Confession. When it comes to this, dear brethren, it may well be asked, “Is there not a cause? O, how deplorable, when Baptists will profess to publicly adopt and stand on the London Confession of Faith, then publicly reproach and denounce the very doctrine that it most solemnly and plainly sets forth pertaining to God and his holy counsel and decree. That Confession is not binding on the consciences of any, as it is only a synopsis of what the Baptists then believed the Scriptures to teach, while they accepted the Bible alone as the standard of their faith; but why should any claim to accept this Confession, when they are at war against its teaching on the Decree and Providence of God, and cruelly reproach the brethren who do honestly believe it, with making God the author and responsible cause of all wickedness and crime? Is this “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace?”

For one, I do most truly believe every word here copied from that good Confession, and I accept it as a clear, just and full refutation of the untrue charge that the Baptists who thus believe make God the author of any sin, for we revere him as most holy, and believe he will judge all liars, who reproach his holy name and slander his sovereignty and truth, with righteous judgment.

In the filial fear of God and love of his truth, yours to serve,

D. BARTLEY.

Crawfordsville, Ind.

2-30 The Sign of Jonah

Signs Of The Times
Volume 69, No. 16.
AUGUST 15, 1901.

THE SIGN OF JONAH.

Dear Brethren Editors: – Sister Utterback, of Virginia, requests me to write for the Signs, on these words of our Lord: “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” – {Mt 12:40}.

“Jesus, the Prophet of Nazareth,” here teaches that the prophet Jonah was a sign or type of the Son of man and the Son of God; and the solemn and wonderful lesson of this figure or sign is, that the “wonderful “antitype of Jonah must of necessity die, be buried, and the third day rise again. Therefore, as a sign to the Hebrew nation, the people of the covenant, the Hebrew prophet Jonah was a very wonderful person, showing the infinite wisdom and immutable purpose of our covenant God, and the glorious redemption and deliverance that should be accomplished in the delivering up of both Jonah and Jesus, to which let us turn our attention.

First, the sign of Jonah. He was on hoard a ship, against which a great storm arose, which threatened the destruction of all on board. In the inspired history of this event we read, “But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them.” They thus put forth their best efforts to save themselves and the ship from being lost, but it all failed. This shows the inability of men to deliver themselves from the storms of God’s wrath or judgments, and it proves that his purpose shall be accomplished in his darkest providence, and his mercy shall be made known and his holy name glorified. In this fearful storm and peril Jonah said, “Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not.” Let us lay this solemn lesson to our hearts. The impotent man at the pool had no man to help him, and was himself helpless, when Jesus rescued him. So deliverance to all in the ship from the fury of the storm which was about to engulf them, should come to them through Jonah only, and this servant of God must go down into the depths of the storm-tossed sea and perish, (as it seemed to them) to give them life and peace. As they would have saved Jonah, so would the little band with Jesus have held him back from going down into the depths of death; but vain and futile were the wisdom and best efforts of men to turn away the cup which God had given, or to devise means of escape.

“Wherefore they cried unto the Lord, and said, We beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O Lord, hast done as it pleased thee. So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea; and the sea ceased from her raging.” How wonderful! The sacrifice of this servant of God stilled the fury of the sea, and saved the lives of all in the ship! Is it not strange that the Bible-taught Jews, who said to Jesus, “What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee!” did not see this sign, receive this lesson, and believe! Is it not even more strange that millions of professed Christians, taught in the letter of the Now Testament and the Old, do not see and believe the lesson of this sign!

Now see the result: “Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows.” Thus they were not only saved through the sacrifice of Jonah from going down with him into the depths of the sea to perish, but they were also saved from idolatry, and brought to know and worship the true God, who had thus manifested his rich mercy toward them. And all this came upon them for Jonah’s sake.

“Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” “And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.” This is the completion of the sign of Jonah, as a type of the Son of man, and, as do all of God’s lessons, it teaches a wonderful truth, showing his omnipotence and mercy in salvation.

Second, “The Son of man,” of whom Jonah was the “sign.” “So shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” The holy Son of God spoke this long before its accomplishment, but yet he said it imperatively: “So shall the Son of man be.” From this awful baptism there was no escape for him. It was God’s purpose and appointment. As Jonah must be rejected and sink into the depths, that all in the storm-engulfed ship perish not, “so” must the “greater than Jonas” be delivered up and go down, down, Down into “the belly of hell,” “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” As the lot fell upon Jonah, not by chance, but by the decree of the Holy One, and he said to all who were in the same peril with him, “Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you;” so did the unresisting Son of man say, “I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way.” “I am the good Shepherd: the good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” For as all in the ship were saved by casting out Jonah into the deep, deep sea, so all who were in the covenant with the Son of man were delivered from so great a wrath, and from the storm of destruction, when the devoted servant of God went down into the heart of the earth. There was no other way; hence for him there was no escape. The lot fell on Jonah; so the decree had gone forth upon the Deliverer of Zion, saying, “In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off: for the Lord hath spoken it.” Yes, the storm ceased; the burden of sin and guilt and awful fear were cut off, and fell into oblivion, when Christ was taken down from the cross, and laid in the heart of the earth. Then were the redeemed delivered from going down into the pit, for the Lord had provided a ransom. How strange now that, after Jesus of Nazareth, “a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people,” was laid in the tomb, none of the Jews, not even his disciples, remembered this “sign” of Jonas. Therefore they were as greatly astonished when the buried Redeemer came up out of the heart of the earth, “after three days,” as they were overwhelmed with awe when he was “brought as a lamb to the slaughter,” “and went down into death.” The chosen apostles could not understand what the rising from the dead should mean, of which the devoted Jesus spoke to them, “and they were afraid to ask him.” O how fearful, dark and solemn, was this time! It seemed as if all must perish. The fearful disciples lost all hope. Two of them sadly said to the now risen and living Son of man, “But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel.” This shows how utterly at fault are the wisdom and judgment of men, even godly men, in reference to the purpose and way and power of God. “The Lord answered Job, and said, Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it. Then Job answered the Lord, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay my hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.” We should all do well to receive the Lord’s reproof of Job, and then manifest the humility and godly reverence of Job. The trial of Job was a very dark and painful providence, it is true; so was the trial of Jonah and all in the ship with him; and greater still was the trial of the Son of man and his fearful disciples, when he was “despised and rejected of men,” and the rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and crucified him. For there was a fearful convulsion of nature; darkness covered the earth from midday three hours, the mountains and earth were shaken, the rocks were rent, and the graves were opened, as if the final doom had fallen upon them; yet it was all controlled by the omnipotent hand of God, and was ordained of him for the destruction of sin and death, that his people should be saved from their sins and idolatries, and death itself. For the Redeemer had said, “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction.” In fulfillment of this, the blessed Lord said to his sorrowing disciples, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away.” But O, how dreadful and dark the trial! It was expedient for those in the engulfed ship that Jonah should be cast out, to go down three days and nights in the depths of the sea. It was expedient that Joseph should be sent down into Egypt, “to save much people alive;” yet the trial and consequent sorrow, humiliation and deep repentance, were very great. The wisdom and power, goodness and mercy of God were in all these fearful and wonderful events, and in them all his name was made known and glorified. Stormy winds and roaring tempests, warring nations and devils, yea, all creatures and things, sin, death and hell, can do no more than our God has purposed and gives them leave. His holy Son said as much to Pilate: “Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above.” Were it not so, all things would be uncertain, liable to failure, and there could be no safety anywhere, in anything, for any one.

“Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” It was with these glorious words the angels of God greeted the devout, sorrowing women, who hastened to the sepulchre of Jesus early the third morning after he cried, “It is finished.” Finished, the storm of wrath, the powers of darkness; finished, the transgression, the warfare; finished, the cup of woe, the baptism of death; finished, the redemption-price, the justification; finished, the sting of death, the victory of the grave; finished, the captivity, the legal bondage; finished, “the sign of the prophet Jonas,” the short triumph of “the last enemy.” Now, to those that sat in the region and shadow of death, light is sprung up. Jesus says, “I am the Resurrection, and the Life.” “Because I live, ye shall live also.” Sorrow and mourning flee away. O, with what great joy the believing women now hasten to tell the glad tidings: “Now is Christ risen from the dead!”

D. BARTLEY.

CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind.

2-31 Jesus Wept

Signs Of The Times
Volume 67, No. 11
June 1, 1899

“JESUS WEPT.”

Dear Brethren: – This verse {Joh 11:35}, is the shortest and most expressive in the Bible. There is a volume of meaning in it. That the bereaved sisters of Lazarus wept, is not remarkable, nor that the Jews wept in sympathy, for it is human to weep when death severs loving kindred and friends; but the touching words, “Jesus wept,” fill us with solemn wonder, for he says, “I came down from heaven.” He is Jehovah, Lord of heaven and earth, the God of the holy prophets, the Almighty. Yet this Holy One wept! “He groaned in the Spirit, and was troubled.” How strangely awe-inspiring is this! For this weeper was separate from sinners, and higher than the heavens. Isaiah said of him, “He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.” But the prophet again beheld him stricken with grief, as at the tomb of Lazarus, and in the garden, when he prayed with strong crying and tears, and says of him, “His visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the souls of men.” The Son of God in tears! Let us bow low our heads in sorrow and surprise. Well might the prophet ask, “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah! this that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength”? The answer is, “I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” This is Jesus, who wept. His mighty power to save was beheld when he said, “Lazarus, come forth,” and in every word of his saving power. For in his word there was and is all power, both to make alive and heal. Why, then, should this Holy One weep? The answer is found in these words, “For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” So, then, God’s “holy child Jesus,” is a man, and the Son of man, as truly as he is “the Son of the Highest.” Therefore John says, “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, “ full of grace and truth.” It was this God-man that wept. As a man, and as our Brother, Jesus wept. For us he wept. Our sins made him weep. He came to save his people from their sins, and to put away their sins by the sacrifice of himself. Therefore he must needs suffer and die for his brethren who were in the world, and so deliver them from this present evil world. “Having loved his own that were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” As the Son of man, Jesus the Son of God, was our Brother in the flesh, as we are his brethren in the Spirit as born of God. Therefore he is not ashamed to call us brethren, and he loved us even as the Father loved him. In this mutual kindredship and oneness in brotherhood, Jesus was the “Brother born for adversity,” and was touched with the feeling of our infirmities; for God anointed his Son Jesus to be the Apostle and High Priest of our profession. Hence Jesus Christ the righteous suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might put away our sins and bring us to God. So he was and is one with his people and brethren, and their cause is his cause, and in all their afflictions he was afflicted. Lazarus was dead. Jesus had gone to him. The sisters were in great sorrow. Jesus saw and knew and felt it all. Their sin and suffering, death and sorrow, were his with them. So with them he wept. They were under the law, and he was one with them under the law; they were in the flesh, and he came to them in the flesh; they were sinners, and he was made to be sin for them, that he might take away their sins; the sorrow of death was upon them, and he sorrowed with them unto death. “In all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might he a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” In this oneness and fellowship with his brethren, Jesus was tempted in all points like as they are, yet without sin, for he knew no sin; yet he bore the sicknesses and sorrows of his people, and the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. How touchingly was this manifested in the sickness and death of Lazarus, and the consequent sorrow and weeping of Martha and Mary and Jesus; for while he weeps with them as their sympathizing Brother and suffering Redeemer, he banishes sickness and death, and they and Lazarus rejoice with him in his life and glory. Jesus came to them as their sorrowing Brother on the earthly side of the boasting grave, that with them he might weep, and for them die; but anon they rise up out of sickness, sorrow and death, and go to him on heaven’s side of the grave, and lo, Jesus is to them the Resurrection and the Life! Sorrow and weeping flee away, and now, behold, both he and they are glorified together, and their joy is full! Thus shall the prophecy of John be fulfilled which says, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.” Blessed Jesus, how we love thee! because thou didst first love us.

D. BARTLEY.

2-32 Influence

Signs Of The Times
Volume 66., No. 2.
JANUARY 15, 1898.

INFLUENCE.

BELOVED: – We do well to consider and understand why we do anything, or one thing instead of something else, and what it is that inclines and moves us to action in all we think and fee], say and do. For no finite or creature action is self-caused, or un-derived, but it is induced by something else. Creatures are not self-produced, but they are caused to be, and for the same reason no act of theirs is self-existent, but is caused.

We may set it down as an axiom, then, that all finite beings and things are caused. So there is not any creature or thing that arises spontaneously, whether animate or inanimate, ideal or material, thought, word or deed. This needs no proof, being self-evident, because non-existence cannot give itself existence, or something cannot arise out of nothing. I see the green leaves move, but something else moves them. This is true of all motion and of every movement of things created. Anterior to everything that takes place under the sun, there was something else as the cause. This is as true of mind as it is of matter, and applies as well to man as to animal and bird and mineral.

What is it that thus underlies all motion and action in the universe? It is influence. Everything that is done is the result of influence; that is, everything among creatures. All, all are subjected to influence. Man and beast, bird and tree, all things, are placed within certain environments or existing circumstances, and within this radius, circle or sphere, all are influenced in every motion and emotion, in all growth and change, in every action and all that is done. Nothing is done by any creature without influence. Almost countless influences enter into the formation of every life, many of them antedating the individual life, while many others arise day by day. No one is exempt from influence. Let proud and vain man boast as he may, yet no living man can rise above, turn away or free himself from the dominion of influence.

There is a resistless potency in influence, so universal and strong that it sways and controls all finite beings. The word means, to affect, to sway. Influential means, powerful. So whatever affects and sways us in any way is influence, and the extent to which we are affected and moved is the power of influence. Therefore all action is the effect of influence. Change the influence, and the action would be changed, or the conduct different. And so opposite influences will lead to opposite results.

Influence is of two kinds-good and bad or holy and wicked. These two have their source in the holy One, and the wicked one. All holiness is of God, who only is good, but all wickedness is of Satan, who is a murderer, and sinneth from the beginning. "There is none good, but One, that is, God," said his holy Son.

All goodness, therefore, has its source in God, and this includes all natural goodness and every blessing, both earthly and heavenly. When the Lord God finished his whole work of creation, he said all was good and very good. This included the heaven and the earth, with all the host of them. Paul said, "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshiped with men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things: “ for in him we live, and move, and have our being." And James says, "Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."

This Scripture clearly proves two truths. First. All things good and perfect cometh down from above, and they are the gifts of God; therefore not bought. Second. God neither varies, changes nor turns in the least; therefore he alone is never moved by influence, but is highly exalted, infinitely and forever above and independent, of all influence whatever. This is both wonderful and blessed, for in this immutability of God is the perpetuity of the universe, and the safety of his people. "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." The meaning of this is, if the sins of his people could possibly influence the Lord and change him, he would consume them in their sins; but because he changes not, he consumes their sins only.

Let us dwell a little upon the changelessness of the God of the whole earth, that we may the more revere him, as well as for our profit and comfort. For according to our view of the Lord, so will we either confide and trust in him, or in ourselves; for all either trust and hope in the Lord, or in man. His word is, "I change not." His reason is, "I am the LORD." He is Jehovah, the self-existing, eternal One, the Almighty. He is infinitely high above all other beings, and above the heavens. All others, and the whole unbounded universe, are forever absolutely dependent upon him. "He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things." It is impossible, therefore, that the unchangeable God should in the least be influenced by men, or angels, or anything outside of himself. "How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen." This sweeping challenge and universal affirmation of Paul forever establishes the entire and absolute supremacy and omnipotence and independence of God over all worlds and beings, causes and influences whatsoever, and shows that all, all are under him and subjected to him. His power is almighty, his dominion is universal, and "his kingdom ruleth over all."

God above is forever free, because he is unspeakly high above all influence. His will is his only law or rule of action. "He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?" Daniel had said to the wicked and exalted king of Babylon, that he should "know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will." But he was lifted up with pride, and said, "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty. While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men," &c. "The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon the king."

Many men are like that haughty king, and flatter themselves that they have done much, and will yet do much more, "by the might of their power, and for the honor of their majesty." Daniel extolled the power of God, but Nebuchadnezzar represented boastful man, and praised his own ability, until the hand of God touched him, then he was deeply abased, and said, "Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase." Yes, praise and adore his holy name. Well did the king know this, for he spoke from his own experience of the truth and power of God.

So it is with those who know the Lord, for they have been taught of God, and have fled to Christ for refuge. They have ceased from man, and have no confidence in the flesh. Now they are willingly under the power of the Lord, and are moved and led by the hand of the Almighty, drawn heavenward with loving-kindness, and constrained by the love of Christ.

O, this is a perfect gift and hallowed influence! It cometh down from above, and it raiseth its blessed subjects upward to the Father of lights. The power of this influence is effectual, and it is divinely sanctifying. Its happy effect upon the life is thus expressed: "When thou saidst, Seek ye my face, my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek." The voice of the Lord is full of majesty, and he speaks never in vain, but his word stands fast. He says, that as the rain and snow shall make the earth fruitful, "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." No opposing word, or resisting effort or influence, can possibly prevent this, for "God speaks, and it is done; he commands, and it stands fast" because almighty power attends his word. He abundantly thus reveals himself in the Bible, as also in his work of creation and providence.

Now, as the sins and rebellion of the Lord's people could not influence or move him to hate them, so neither is he moved or influenced by their repentance and obedience to love them. In either case they Would change him. The very opposite of this is true, for they are changed by him, and the sanctifying and holy influence of his divine power upon them mightily moves and controls them, causing them to repent and turn away from their sins and ungodliness, and bringing them into obedience unto Christ. "I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right." "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness."

The Lord reigns, as well in the spiritual kingdom as in the natural, and on earth as in heaven. He is unlimited in his dominion. "For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God," wrote Paul. God's counsel and purpose, dominion and power, are as unlimited as the worlds or the universe. And hence there is not a creature or being or thing outside of the power of God. The sun and stars, earth and moon, are not more subservient to his determined purpose, or dependent upon "his eternal power and Godhead," in their appointed course, than are all their trains of inhabitants. For none, whether in heaven or on earth, or under the earth, Seraphim or Cherubim, Gabriel or Lucifer, king or subject, saint or sinner, can defeat the counsel of the Almighty, or go beyond his power, but all are chained to his eternal throne. This is the overwhelming testimony of the word. The wisdom of the world denies this, and it affirms that men can and do act upon and influence their Maker, either to hate or love them, and to curse or bless them, just as they will. The worldly wise teach the religious world that in this way only, that is, upon this condition, are they responsible or accountable to God. But this assumption and dogma really reverses accountability from the creature to the Creator, for it holds God accountable to man, to reward him for his optional works, either of merit or demerit. The religion of the world is therefore essentially and necessarily conditional, because it is based upon the assumed claim that conditionality is essential to accountability, and that man is a free moral agent. But this, with every notion of conditional salvation, carries in it the idea that the religious man acts upon the Lord, and influences him to reward him with the salvation which is conditional upon the conduct of the man. It is impossible, therefore, for salvation to be conditional in any sense or part upon the works of man, unless man influences and moves and controls the Lord by his conditional works which the worker may do or not as he will. For if there is a condition in any part of salvation, and the condition is the act or work of man, which he must do in order to obtain such salvation, then the man by his act and work does act upon and move the Lord to bestow time salvation.

O, how shocking this doctrine is! For it represents that the Lord does change, often change, and that he moves towards man, because man moves towards him. Not only does all conditional accountability and salvation deny God's immutability, but it also represents him as subject to the influence amid will of man, and controlled by him. This is monstrous. But it is not so, for it is basely absurd and utterly false.

"The Lord God omnipotent reigneth." The Father hath put all things under the feet of his dear Son, whose arm of power rules for him, and he is "King of kings, and Lord of lords." He reigns in heaven upon his holy Father's great white throne, and he as well reigns in Zion and in the hearts of his people. Every holy emotion of love to God in their hearts, every prayer and thanksgiving, every act of obedient service in his kingdom of grace, all, all are from him as his good and perfect gifts to us. These, with ten thousand other gifts of his love, above all, the mm speakable gift of his dear Son, with whom the Father shall also freely give us all things, these all inspire our songs of praise, move us to loving and willing obedience, and in this work of faith and labor of love there is a blessed reward, but it is the reward of grace. Therefore, beloved people of God, it is only because we are acted upon, moved and led by his Spirit of life and love, and enabled and influenced thereby, that we come unto the Lord and the throne of grace, and into the obedience of faith, and worship God in the beauty of holiness. All else than this is carnal, legal and formal, and is no better than mocking hypocrisy. From the corrupted, fleshly mind arises all sinful and wicked works, all rebellion against God, and as well' all legal or conditional religion, carnal and false worship, which are not of God. O, may he move upon our hearts! then shall the sweet incense thereof flow out in the devotion of adoration and songs of praise to him. "Awake, O north wind; and come thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out." The church is the garden of the Lord, who says, "A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed." He only can open this sealed fountain, and water the plants in his garden, that their divine fragrance and sweet influences may flow out. So the Lord, in the trial of Job, said to him, "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?" When Job could reach up to these groups of stars, bind and loose them, and many such mighty works, "Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee," said the Lord to him. God alone, who made all the heavenly bodies, can bind their influences, or loose their bands, as he please. "These things saith he that is holy, line that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth."

Therefore, beloved, the conclusion is, all holy and sanctifying influences, with which the Most high is well pleased, are of his own perfect nature and divine power, and these beautify and sweetly perfume and enrich all the garden of grace, so that the Beloved comes into his garden and eats his pleasant fruits, and rejoices in his saints. "And their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord." "will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me within the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness."

"Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens." "The Lord that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion."

D. BARTLEY.

LENANON, Ohio, June 8, 1903.

2-33 God is Omnipotent and Active

Signs of the Times

Vol.71, No.21 November 1, 1903

G0D IS OMNIPOTENT AND ACTIVE.

GOD reveals himself as both omnipresent and omnipotent, the almighty, who tills immensity and inhabits eternity. So there is no fleeing from his presence or going beyond his power. His dominion is unlimited and from everlasting to everlasting. God is the supreme One. No other power is supreme. Therefore, all powers, beings and things are subject to the Almighty. If not, then God is not the supreme ruler, and there is no sovereign power in the boundless universe. How terrible this would be! But we rejoice that our God “sits upon no precarious throne, nor borrows leave to be.” He declares that what his soul desireth, even that he doeth. His wisdom, knowledge and understanding are as all comprehensive and infinite as his purpose, dominion and control are unlimited and omnipotent. God is neither subject to influence nor to change. If he could be influenced, to that extent he would be controlled and changed. But his word says, “I am the Lord: I change not.” With him there is not the shadow of turning, says James. The word again says, “He is in one mind, and none can turn him.”

These are primary or first truths relative to the Most High. They enter into his very being, are essential to his infinite attributes, to the eternal qualities and perfections of his adorable Godhead. The Bible faithfully and largely records and proclaims this infinite and absolute supremacy of Jehovah. The sun and moon and stars, with all his handiworks in creation, and the fixed laws in nature, also show forth the omnipotence and overactive power of God. To no other being, whether archangel or seraphim, cherubim or saint, prophet or apostle, belongs these crowning perfections of the eternal and Holy One. We may be awed in the presence of Moses and Elijah, Gabriel and Michael, Daniel and John, who went before Jesus; yet they were but the servants of God, and all that made them good and great was his free gift to them.

“With God is terrible majesty,” said Elihu to Job. At best our thoughts of “his eternal power and Godhead” fall infinitely below his high and holy throne; and he himself says, that as heaven is higher than the earth, so are his thoughts and ways above our thoughts and ways.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.” All these are the creatures of God, whether animate or inanimate. His omnipotent power ruleth over and controlled them all, and they are all subjected to his universal dominion. God has set the bounds of all, so that no creature can go beyond or escape his almighty power. Were this possible, the sovereignty of God would be destroyed, and himself hurled from his eternal throne. The Bible overflows with the record of these sublime truths concerning the Almighty. What do they teach us! That God is highly exalted in heaven infinitely above all the universe, and that the earth and all it contains is his footstool; yea, more, that all nations are as grasshoppers, as the small dust of the balances, and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as less than nothing, before the Most High. How stupid the thought, then, that creatures thus insignificant can and do influence and move, control and defeat the Almighty; that man, who is himself “less than nothing and vanity,” can and does prevent, hinder and disappoint the Lord God omnipotent. O how weak and absurd is this insolent presumption! Yet the worldly wise and all worldly religionists thus dishonor God, and they vainly imagine that he is subject to creature influences, insomuch that he can be moved even by their prayers. The Lord says, “Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself.” In a sermon an aged preacher once said in my hearing, “Prayer is the lever that moves the arm that moves the world.” All worldly religious teachers thus regard the relation of God toward men. They hold that he is acted upon and moved by his creatures; that he is subject to them, and may be largely influenced and moved in his conduct towards them and other sinners by their prayers and zeal and works for him in his service, as they suppose. The professed christianity of the world, no less than the Jew’s religion, is based and built upon this belief. Because we serve God he is moved to reward us. Thus stands the world’s religion.

But the religion of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the true worship of God, is just the opposite of this. Our perfect Teacher thus states it: “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” This cometh down from God out of heaven; the fountain of eternal life is its source; it raises up its blessed recipient into everlasting life, and all his love to God and holiness, his spiritual devotion, worship and service, are the free and fervent springing up in him of this water of life. Thus his soul is as the garden of the Lord, spontaneously sending up the incense of love and praise, saying to the Lord in prayer, “Come into thy garden and eat thy pleasant fruits.” This, our Lord says, “I shall give him.” When given, it shall be in him a fountain of life, and shall spring up to the glory of the Giver. What moves him to give it! Hear him in prayer to the eternal Father: “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” What moved the Father to give them to the Son? Jesus tells us in his prayer, saying, “Thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedest me before the foundation of the world.” Therefore, the everlasting love of God the Father for his Son, and for all his people, whom he gave the Son, and chose and blessed in him, moved him to send his Son into the world, to die for them, and to give unto them eternal life. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins,” testifies the beloved John.

Love is the greatest of all, Paul says, and John says, “God is love.” “Love is strong as death,” said Solomon. Says Paul again, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Love, therefore, the love of God, is the strongest and most active power in the universe, and he bestows his love upon his people in its divine freeness and active potency. Yea, the love of God infolds them in Christ Jesus, his well beloved Son, in whom the Father has blessed them with all spiritual blessings, unto the end that they should be holy and without blame before him in love, “to the praise of the glory of his grace.” “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” And so “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” It is the divine power of the love of God in the hearts of his dear children that savingly and blessedly influences and moves and controls them in all their emotions and devotions God ward. The sentiment and language of their hearts therefore is, “For the love of Christ constraineth us.” “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.” Now, to be thus constrained by the love of Christ springing up in the heart, and divinely drawn with the loving-kindness of the Lord to run after him in the paths of holiness, is as far removed from a cold, faithless, legal, heartless, selfish and machine-like service as heaven is above earth, or as the love of God is more holy and powerful than the love of self.

In religious service and professed divine worship, there are but these two incentives or prompting motive powers: the love of God, or the love of self, and all who are religious at all, are actuated and moved by either the one or the other. They are either moved by the power of God, or they think to move him by their own power. For it must be that man is either subjected to the power of the Lord and made subservient to his will, or else the Lord is subservient to man and moved by his will and works. The enabling motive and power to desire and do, must either descend from God to man, constraining him God ward, or else it must ascend from man to God, constraining him man ward. On which side are we! Shall we believe that God is omnipotent toward us, bringing us into obedience to his power of love in our hearts! or shall we hold that we are potent toward him, and that our obedience moves him toward us in bestowing his love upon us! One of these two ways it must be. Either God moves upon man, or man moves upon God. Either man or God must yield in will and power, and be brought into the passive voice or state, and say, “Not as I will, but as thou wilt,” or there can be no reconciliation and communion between them. Now, therefore, who should yield and be subservient and passive, be as nothing, and let the other be all in all! For in the matter of will and power, either man or the Lord Jehovah must surrender and yield, for the controlling power and influence of one or the other must prevail, and he must be placed upon the throne and reign supreme, but the other must be made submissive and be acted upon. This is an evident truth, and it pervades the Bible. God is in heaven, man is upon earth; God is infinite, man is finite; God is the Creator, man is the creature; God bestows all, man receives all. “For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God,” declares faithful Paul.

“The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness.” Thus the Lord reveals to us and in us the place of power, and how it is that his people are made willing to serve him in the beauties of holiness – not their own wrought holiness, but his holiness wrought in them by his divine power. “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” This is the way of it, and thus do we receive it, my dear brethren in the Lord. “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”

Much has been published in Baptist papers in opposition to the sovereign power of God towards his people, as manifested in their obedience of faith and love in Christ Jesus, wrought in their hearts by the Spirit and grace of God; and this has been treated with derision and ridiculed, as reducing the obedient children of God to mere machines, which have neither life nor love, and they are reproached as “Can’t help its,” and the meek and lowly Christ is jeered as doing all the obeying for his obedient followers, who love him, and therefore keep his commandments. All this is charged against the sovereign will and power of God as wrought in his redeemed and new-born children, by the subduing, controlling and leading power of his Spirit and love in their hearts, “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” that this makes them irresponsible, destroys their obligation unto loving obedience, and makes them as passive as unliving stones. That many dear brethren in Christ, who desire to know the truth as it is in him and walk in it, have been thus prejudiced and misled, there is no doubt, but that this opposition and accusation is either a misconception or misrepresentation of the sovereign power of God and the reign of his grace in the hearts of his dear children, is certainly true. All such captions railing and disputing is divinely met and rebuked by the word of the Lord in the ninth chapter of Romans, for all this caviling is replying against God and doing despite to his sacred truth. Brethren should pause, und solemnly consider whence they are tending and drifting, as in the presence of God, “who will by no means clear the guilty.”

So far from this reigning power of the God of salvation lessening the sacred obligations of his people, whom he hath called with an holy calling, or weakening the utility of loving and faithful exhortation to their meek submission unto the will of God in a loving and heart-given service to him, it gives to these their sacred and binding force, and is the soul and essence of all holy obligation and loving obedience; and nothing else than the true and loving service of the pure in heart will God accept. And all this is the fruit of his Spirit, the springing up of his love shed abroad in the heart. The Lord never speaks in vain to his people. “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” It is so in every case. Omnipotence never tries. “His arm shall rule for him.” When he speaks, the mad persecuter tremblingly prays, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” The will of the Lord is at once supreme.

Now, as to the objection to the omnipotent sovereignty of the Almighty over all the universe, and the active reign of his grace in the hearts and lives of his redeemed, quickened and called-out people in saving them from the dominion of sin; that this subjects their will and brings them into a passive state to the will of the Lord; in mind and heart I have been led into a prayerful and scriptural consideration of this prevailing and fault-finding complaint, and will kindly meet it in the light of revealed truth.

First, then, there is but the Lord and man, the Spirit and the flesh, the will of God and the will of man, the mind of Christ and the mind of the flesh or carnal mind. These are opposite and contrary the one to the other; therefore, before there can be harmony and peace, nearness and communion between God and man, the will of man must be subdued and brought into passive or unresisting submission to the will of God, and God must be absolutely supreme in the mind and heart of man, and his heart-given prayer to his Sovereign must be, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” In no other way than this entire surrender of man can he truly worship God. Second, the holy Son of God taught this way and truth to his followers, and he himself perfectly lived it in all his life in the flesh, never once asserting his own will as a man, but always making the will of God his Father supreme. So when he speaks of the discrimination of God’s sovereign will and grace, in hiding the blessings and glories of salvation from the wise and prudent, and revealing them to babes, who know but little, and are receptive and passive, Jesus said, “Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.” This was enough for the loving and submissive “man Christ Jesus.” His own will was entirely subdued or surrendered and swallowed up in the supreme will of God. Therefore Jesus himself was passive, and God was active. Let us hear and heed his touching prayer, saying, “O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.” This is entire and absolute surrender. “He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter.” So he was passive, submissive and yielding. Shall we therefore deride him as a “Can’t help it,” and as a mere machine! O for shame! Is it any better to thus stigmatize his humble followers! Hear him say again, “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me! the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” “The Son can do nothing? of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” “I can of mine own self do nothing; as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” This is enough, and it is pointed and positive, showing the entire abnegation or renunciation of the will of the holy Son of man, and the absolute control of the will of God in him, and that he of himself could do nothing, but the Father who dwelt in him did the works.

Third, in all things Christ is the leader, example and pattern of all who follow him, and they must follow in his steps, and be as he was. He taught his disciples that except a man deny himself, take up his cross and follow him, he cannot be his disciple. Self-denial is the sacrifice of self and of man’s own will, and being made like Christ and as he was. So then to follow Christ is to have the mind of Christ, to be child-like and moulded into the will and way of God, and to say, as our Master said, “I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father.” “I can of mine own self do nothing: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” And while this work is manifested in us and by us, as the dear children of God who walk in love, and we work out this good work of salvation with fear and trembling, which the Lord hath begun in us, yet it will be in our hearts to ascribe to him the kingdom and the power and the glory, as did Christ and Paul, meekly saving, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Here is the enabling and moving power, and it is nothing less than the will and power of God prevailing in us, “of his good pleasure,” subverting our own will, turning us unto the Lord in the day of his power, constraining us in heart and spirit to submissively and meekly pray, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

Thus Jesus taught and felt. The will of God is absolute and supreme in heaven, and we here surrender that it shall be so done in us. We should not seek to be above the meek and lowly Master, but esteem it an honor to be as he was, and his prayer was, “Not as I will, but as thou wilt.” So then every one in whom Christ is formed the hope of glory, must thus yield submission to the supreme will of God, for Paul says, “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. {Ga 2:20}. ” “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.” This is true in every one who is Christ’s. “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the Mesh with the affections and lusts.”

Thus clearly does the truth shine out, that in all the true worship and service of God by his children, their own will is surrendered, their fleshly powers are crucified, and the Spirit and life of the Lord Jesus moves and enables them and prevails in them; “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,” says the humbled Paul. And so the Christian loses himself in Christ, or is hidden behind the cross of Christ, becomes as a cipher or naught, and Christ is all in all to him. Set down a thousand million ciphers, and they count as nothing, but let one be placed before them, when, lo, they are as a strong nation, an innumerable company. So it is with Christ and “the general assembly and church of the first-born.” All life and authority, might and dominion, wisdom and understanding, righteousness and sanctification, will and power, grace and glory, perfection and love, are in the Head, and descend from him to all the members of his body, the church, the bride. “And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” God raised Christ from the dead, “and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the Head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.” So the church is in Christ and is his fullness, and Christ is in the church and is her fullness. The church has the mind of Christ, says Paul. “So then with the mind I myself servo the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” It is thus with us all. The flesh is denied and crucified, and the mind and Spirit of Christ prevail in us, in the worship of God. “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” It is a very flesh-abasing and suffering experience to be led to thus worship God, and rejoice in Christ Jesus alone as our life and salvation.

One very solemn and wonderful truth more, in closing, as written by Paul, of the completion of Christ’s reign upon his Father’s throne, saying, “Then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” This overwhelms me with awe and deep abasement, to be told that the all-conquering Son of the Highest, who “must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet,” “the King of kings, and Lord of lords,” shall then himself deliver up the kingdom and the do minion and the throne to his and our Father and God, and again make himself of no reputation, be as one with his brethren, and himself he subject to God. O, may I then fall down at his sacred feet, and in lowest humility be as he is! O behold! and be humbled at the lowly condescension of the highly exalted and dear Son of God, that he shall himself be subject unto him that put all things under him. O, how much more should we ourselves be subject unto God, and unto his meek and lowly Son.

“That God may be all in all.” This shall be the end and crowning glory of all the dear and reigning Redeemer’s work. Entire or absolute subjection unto God, whose will and power are supreme, is the sublime doctrine and truth of the Bible, and the very crowning purpose and work unto which he sent his Son into the world, and has now seated him at his own right hand in power and glory. And shall we not, therefore, as followers of Christ, meekly and humbly surrender our own will and way, and esteem it our highest honor to “be subject unto him!” “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” All our self-will, opposition and enmity to the absolute dominion and reign of our God and his Christ, therefore, must be subdued and put down, for all authority and power must be put under his feet. “The Lord God omnipotent reigneth,” not only in heaven, but upon the earth, and all things shall be subdued unto him, and God shall be all in all.

D. BARTLEY.

Crawfordsville, Ind.

2-34 Good Works

Signs Of The Times
VOL. 69. NO. 12.
JUNE 15, 1901.

GOOD WORKS

With your permission, beloved Editor, I feel moved to offer some thoughts to the household of faith upon good works, their nature, extent and use.

First. Their nature. Three things are essential to a good work. First, it must be done from a right principle; secondly, it must be performed according to a right rule; and thirdly, it must be directed into a right end. This principle is love; this rule is the divine command; and this end is the glory of God. These are the essential properties of every good work, and in the absence of either of them no work can be truly a good work, and therefore can not be pleasing in the sight of God; not acceptable to him. Let us consider them separately in their order.

First, Love. Every good work must be wrought in God, and must therefore spring from love; "for God is love." "God is love, and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him." Therefore, "Love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God." But "He that loveth not, knoweth not God." So love is the evidence that we have passed from death unto life; {1Jo 3:14}, and it is also the first fruit of the Spirit. {Ga 5:22} Hence the divine Master said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments." Therefore without the love of God it is impossible to keep his commandments; for "love is the fulfilling of the law." Now suppose a mere natural man, whose carnal mind (the only mind he has) is enmity against God, and whose heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, should endeavor to do good works, it must be apparent to all that it would be impossible for his works to have their existence in love to God. How vain and absurd then, to call upon such to engage in a religious life and observe the commandments of Christ.

Secondly, The divine command. No work can be good, unless it has this holy sanction, and is performed according to this righteous rule. "If ye love me, keep MY commandments," says our only Law giver. This absolutely forbids us to keep the commandments of any other, while it lays us under binding and solemn obligations to keep, or strictly obey every commandment of his. "Teaching them (Christ's disciples) to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you," (the apostles). So that not even the apostles themselves, though sitting upon thrones as princes and judges in the kingdom of Christ, are permitted to depart in the least from the "all things" commanded them by the adorable King of saints. How is it, then, that so many things are taught and observed professedly in the name of Christ, which are clearly outside of all things in the apostolic commission, as they who teach and observe them will themselves admit? The apostles have solemnly affirmed that "they gave them no such commandment." {Ac 15:24}.

The Lord Jesus himself decides the question, saying, "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." All such vain oblations and dead works the Lord abhors and rejects as reprobate silver, saying, "Who hath required these things at your hands?" The commandments of Jesus are positive enactments; and where there is a positive law, it must be observed according to its provisions. Now suppose a true believer should have a little water sprinkled upon him, or be immersed by one who is outside of Christ's visible kingdom, and hence who has no authority according to the law of Christ's visible kingdom, and hence who has no authority according to the law of Christ to administer his ordinances; or suppose an unbeliever, who has not the love of God in his heart, should be "buried in baptism" by a true servant of Jesus, and received into the gospel church; in either case the act cannot be a good work, because it would not have been performed according to the divine command.

Thirdly, The glory of God. This is the end of every good work. "Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do al to the glory of God." {1Co 10:31}. "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples." {Joh 15:8}.

The apostle Paul shows that the end of our salvation in Christ is, that we should be "To the praise of the glory of God's grace." {Eph 1:1-6}. And the apostle Peter says, that God hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light, "that we should show forth his praise."

Therefore, as to love God and delight in him is the chief good, so to glorify him is the highest and noblest end to which saints and angels can aim in all that they do. This is an aim worthy of the glorious God himself, for the manifestation of his glory is the design of God in all his glorious works, and especially in his most glorious work of salvation, as we have seen. Therefore, the royal psalmist says, "All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee." {Ps 145:10}. Good works, therefore, have their foundation, existence and end in God, and he is their author, working in his children both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Hence a prophet of God's people says, "Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us." {Isa 26:12}.

Now suppose a man is religious and engages in religious works, but with some other end than the glory of God in view, as, for instance, that he may escape hell and go to heaven; this is only a selfish aim, and his works cannot therefore be good.

Second, Their extent. Good works belong to the household of faith; for they cannot be produced in carnal nature's barren soil. They are the fruits of the tree of life, but cannot be found upon the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Or, they are the fruits of the Spirit, and not the works of the flesh. {Ga 5:19-23}. Therefore, those only who are born of the Spirit can perform good works. "These things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they who have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works." {Tit 3:8}, Good works are defined in the scriptures to be the "work of faith and labor of love." {1Th 1:3; Heb 6:10}, and are therefore limited to those who believe in and love God. Hence the unbeliever, who is an enemy in his mind by wicked works, {Col 1:21}, has no part in good works, and cannot possibly participate in them or perform them.

"First make the tree good, and its fruit will be good," says Jesus, who was a perfect model of good works, and who asks, "How can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruits?" That is not a good work which is not done in obedience to a divine command; and that is no obedience which springs not from love; for attempted obedience without love must arise from selfish, servile fear, and is nothing but abject slavery. But true obedience is that of the heart, and is the filial service of a loving child. "If ye love me, keep my commandments." "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children, and walk in love."

Third, Their use. "I will shew thee my faith by my works." {Jas 2:18}, "Ye shall know them by their fruits." {Mt 7:16}, "If a man love me, he will keep my words." {Joh 14:23}, "And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful." "These things are good and profitable unto men." {Tit 3:8,14}. "For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." {2Pe 1:8-11}, "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." {Revelations. 22:14}.

"If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." {Joh 15:10}, "For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister." {Heb 6:10}, "Lord, my goodness extendeth not to thee; but to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight." {Ps 16:2-3}. "For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; while by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ." {2Co 9:12-13}.

Now these texts very clearly and connectedly show the use and importance of good works, without which we can neither receive to ourselves nor give to others the assurance of our calling and election. Good works are, therefore, the test of our character, the proof of our love, and the fruit of our vital union with Christ the living Vine. For this reason the Lord says, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was a hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me." (For,) "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." But, he says again, "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me." {Mt 25:34-36,40,45}.

Therefore, as that is no obedience which does not spring from love, so that it is not love which does not produce obedience; for if the former is only slavery, the latter is mere hypocrisy. Because the Lord says, "He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings." {Joh 14:24}. For "This is love, that we walk after his commandments." {2Jo 6}. "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him." "And whatsoever we ask we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things which are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him." {1Jo 3:18-24}. How eminently useful, then, are good works! and how very important it is that they who have believed in God might be careful to maintain them. For it is only in this way that they can glorify God. "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit." And it is in this way also that the body of Christ, the church, is edified. "Charity edifieth." {1Co 8:1}. "Follow after charity." {1Co 14:1}, "Let all things be done unto edifying." (Verse 26) "We do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying." {2Co 12:19}, "According to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." {Eph 4:16}.

Finally, we are elected "unto obedience," {1Pe 1:2}, and "created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." {Eph 2:10}. Therefore good works are to the believer in Jesus what good fruit is to the tree – the husbandman selects, plants and nurtures the tree, to the end that it may bear him good fruit. And that tree which bears much good fruit, brings more delight and honor to the husbandman, than the unfruitful tree. So Christ says, "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he (the Husbandman) taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." {Joh 15:2}.

Therefore, with the apostle let us pray that God would "Make us perfect in every good work to do his will, working in us that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." {Heb 13:21}.

I send this, brother Beebe, as I wrote it, without copying. It is imperfect, but I hope it may be useful in stirring up the pure minds of the dear saints. Yours in the good hope through grace.

Elder David Bartley

1869

2-35 The Fullness of the Divine Blessing #1

A Second Feast: pgs. 79-87

THE FULLNESS OF THE DIVINE BLESSING. #1

“BLESSED be the God and Father of our Lord Jeans 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: 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: in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” – {Eph 1:3-7}.

Beloved In Christ: – The words of Scripture are right and true and wonderful, and none more wonderful in their all comprehensive fullness than this text, addressed to the saints at Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ. In this one sentence almost every part of the doctrine of Christ and the fullness of salvation is included. Blessed with this wonderful revelation to his faith, Paul blessed God for what he is in himself, and for his unspeakable gift and blessing to his chosen people, and mentions the chief of the infinite blessings. Let us follow the inspired apostle. Our blessed God is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is as well our God and Father, in the sacred relationship that the Lord Jesus is ours, and ours in all that he is to God and in all that he does. At the conquered grave he said to Mary: “Go unto my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” The night before the holy Son of God died on the cross, he prayed to God for his people, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.” In the text Paul testifies how all this shall be accomplished. It is a blessed and sacred truth, then, that the God of his covenant people is as well their everlasting Father. Both these ever-enduring relations exist in our Lord Jesus Christ; for in him only are we the blessed people of God, and his beloved children. Every sacred and holy tie that binds and endears us to God is in his well beloved Son. We cannot too well understand this fact, nor too humbly and gratefully cherish it, lest we forget and think of ourselves more highly than we ought. The holy child Jesus is the only begotten Son of God; therefore our sonship to God and his Fatherhood to us is in our Lord Jesus Christ. It is in his life manifested in us that we are the children of God, and in his obedience only shall we be made righteous.

Let us observe that a right spirit and a true conception of God ever leads us to bless, adore and extol his holy name, and banishes the thought that would say, “Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?” The childlike, meek and true spirit will ever say, “Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” “Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.” The spirit of sonship is to thank the Father, the Lord of heaven and earth, for all that he is, and for all that he does, though he is sovereignly discriminating in hiding himself and the things of his kingdom from the wise and prudent, and revealing them unto babes. But the spirit of the flesh and of worldly wisdom is to cavil, object to and find fault with God, because he is the Lord God Almighty, and does not conform to the will and ways and works of men.

“Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” What God doeth is forever. He changes not; but from eternity to eternity he is the same. “For the gifts and callings of God are without repentance.” That is, he does not turn from them or recall them. “For all the promises of God in Christ Jesus are yea, and amen, to the glory of God by us.” The blessing of God is done, is eternal and unchangeable. “Hath blessed us.” This is in the perfect tense. The people whom he hath thus blessed did nothing to move him thereunto, nothing to obtain his blessing; neither can they do anything to turn this blessing of God into a curse, or to cause him to change and revoke the blessing. It is positively unconditional on their part, and it is forever. The full measure of the divine blessing of our blessed God is, “all spiritual blessings.” This is infinite fullness, and riches of blessing. Nothing can be taken from it, nor anything added to it. It is unsearchable, incomprehensible, and as enduring as eternity. It is impossible to conceive of the smallest heavenly blessing outside of or more than “all spiritual blessing.” No enlightened mind will presume to say that our God has conditionally blessed us with any of the all spiritual blessings. For all the boundless fullness of this everlasting blessing of the Almighty Father is “in heavenly places in Christ.” Therefore, they are as sovereignly unfailing and free as is our Lord Jesus Christ himself. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” Paul thus shows, for the assurance of our faith and hope in God, that as we had done, nothing to move him to deliver up his holy Son for us all, as his unspeakable gift to his people, so with him he will likewise freely give us all other blessings of his love and grace. It is written of Jesus, “And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” And he says, “I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

Words could not more clearly and fully express the entire freeness of all spiritual blessings, the inexhaustible treasury of heavenly grace. All, all as freely and surely given to us as the blessed Son of the holy Father’s love. The infinite gift of his Son secured to us all things else, “all spiritual blessings.” They are all in Christ. The Father is in Christ. “For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” So the blessed Christ is the fullness of heaven. We are in Christ. The innumerable brotherhood of saints is in Christ. In Christ his God and Father hath blessed us. Christ is oar wisdom and righteousness, our sanctification and redemption, our resurrection and our life. We have salvation only in Christ. “He shall save his people from their sins.” They have received of the Lord’s hand double for all their sins. The double is eternal redemption, and “all spiritual blessings in Christ.” The redeemed of the Lord shall go up into immortality and eternal glory, and find their Father and God, their heaven and blessed all in Christ. Blessed Christ! “Do not I love thee, O my Lord? Behold my heart and see, and turn each cursed idol out, that dares to rival thee.” If I make my salvation, either for time or eternity, depend upon myself, my obedience or works of righteousness which I have done, and expect any of the spiritual blessings of God for what I have done in his service, is not this an idol and a rival of Christ! For it is attributing some of the blessings and gifts of salvation to myself and my works, instead of to Christ and for his sake. Even when we have served the best we are enabled to do, our Lord teaches his disciples to say, “We are unprofitable servants.”

“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.” Paul said this of all the faithful in Christ, with the saints at Ephesus. They are all in Christ, and in him they are faithful, or have full faith in him, not in themselves; for in themselves they are not faithful. By the choice of God they are in Christ. God looked upon them or viewed them in Christ even then, when he chose them in him, and vouchsafed to them all spiritual blessings, both for time and eternity. To the brotherhood in Christ Paul therefore says, “Of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” For we and all our blessings of salvation are in the Lord. We are blessed with them all, not only in Christ, but also according as God hath chosen us in him. So then, all the blessed of God and saved in Christ were in him by the choice of God before the foundation of the world. Not in him in their persons, but in him in their life, with all their spiritual blessings. “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” “Your life is hid with Christ in God.” This life God gave us when he gave us his Son. Therefore, Christ is our life. “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” And he hath not any spiritual blessing. Our identity and being is in our life. This is true of all animal and human beings, as the creatures of the Creator; it is also true of us as the brethren of Christ and the children of God. The life and head of the church is Christ, and the life and head of Christ is God. Paul says, “All are yours; and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.” “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.”

All who live and believe in Christ, as their righteousness and salvation, have faith to understand that they are now the children of God in Christ Jesus, and only because Christ lives in them, their hope of glory, and they live in him. Without Christ, they would yet be dead in their sins, and without God in the world. Thus it is true that our sonship unto God was not in the life of Adam, nor is it now in our fleshly being as born of the flesh, but it was in the life of Christ, and is manifested in us as born of the Spirit of God. So as truly as Adam was and is our natural head and life, as the creatures of God, our Lord Jesus Christ was and is our spiritual head and life as the children of God. So it’ is only because we are Christ’s, his people and brethren, and Christ is ours, that we receive eternal life and all spiritual blessings, now in time and unto blissful eternity. God hath now revealed these blessed things unto us by his Spirit, and they are true in us who are full of faith in Christ Jesus, our head, our life, our salvation, our all in all. But all this that is true in us and blessed to us now in time, causing us to rejoice in Christ, was just as true with God before time was born, when he chose us and blessed us in Christ. Every believer in Christ in all lime was both chosen in Christ and given all spiritual blessings in him before the foundation of the world. Christ and all spiritual blessings, to help them on earth and to crown them in heaven, are the gifts of God’s eternal love to them. And every one of the countless millions of redeemed and saved sinners are the people and children of God’s love. So all spiritual blessings are the gifts of his love. They were unconditionally given us in Christ Jesus. Faith and hope and love in Christ, in whom we believe and rejoice, are to us now the Spirit’s witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. These three now abide in us to whom they are given, and they are a precious foretaste of “all spiritual blessings,” a three-fold chord that cannot be broken, and a sure promise of the full possession of the heavenly inheritance unto God in Christ, when time shall be no longer.

“That we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” This is the blessed and holy purpose and end of God in his chosen people. They are a peculiar people, both to themselves and the world, a spectacle to men and to angels; for every one of them is a Shulamite, in whom is seen the company of two armies. For the children of God are partakers of flesh and blood, as well as partakers of the divine nature, and are those who are twice born or born again. The first birth is of the flesh, the last is of the Spirit. In the flesh they were unholy and condemned under the just and holy law of God, so that their salvation is according to the rich mercy and abounding grace of God in Christ Jesus alone. But as born again, born of God, they are freely justified through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, and are the beloved children of God, his heirs and the joint-heirs with Christ to the heavenly inheritance and all spiritual blessings. The eternal purpose of God regarded them as sinners, unholy, guilty and righteously condemned under the law of God; for he chose and blessed them in Jesus Christ the righteous unto the end that they should be cleansed from all unrighteousness, washed from all their sins, made spotless and holy, and perfected in the love of God and conformed to the image of his beloved and altogether lovely Son. The omnipotent power of the Father’s everlasting love, graciously and sovereignly bestowed upon his chosen people in Christ, their Mediator and immortal Head, and shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us, will thus purify all the sons of God and wholly sanctify them, until their whole spirit and soul and body shall be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, when he shall bring all his saints with him in glory and present them faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.

Chosen of God before time that they should be blessedly and divinely lovely as perfected in holiness, a choice supremely worthy of and glorifying to God in the highest, in due time he calls them with a holy calling, and they run after him, love him, because he first loved them, show forth his praise and find their supreme bliss in his loving service and praise. As new born babes, they desire the sincere milk of the word, that they may grow thereby, having tasted that the Lord is gracious. “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” Behold, all the fullness of blessings in Christ Jesus are spiritual, all the chosen people of the Father’s love are “a spiritual house,” and all their offerings and devotions to the God of their salvation and worship, as “a holy priesthood,” are “spiritual sacrifices,” and all this spiritual house, and all their spiritual sacrifices offered up to God, are acceptable to him by our Lord Jesus Christ, our ever-living and glorious High Priest. All this glorious power of God in the salvation of his chosen people “he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come; and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the Head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.”

How infinitely wonderful, glorious and blessed is all this! “My soul stands trembling, while she sings the honors of her God.” O the precious name of Jesus! Aged, afflicted, reproached, persecuted, poor, weak and helpless, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.” Yea, I rejoice that I am counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: if we suffer, we shall also reign with him.”

And now, my dearly beloved kindred in Christ, my earnest desire to God the loving and holy Father for you all is, “that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

In the faith and hope and love of Christ I am your brother companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ,

D. BARTLEY.

Montgomery, Ala., Feb. 3, 1902.

2-36 Foreknowledge: Permission

Signs Of The Times
Volume 70., No. 7.
APRIL 1, 1902.

FOREKNOWLEDGE: PERMISSION.

Beloved Editors And Brethren: – A reverential and scriptural inquiry into the revealed attributes and purposes of the eternal God, who is at once infinitely holy and wise and almighty, is commendable, and should glorify him in our view. Unto this end, therefore, let me kindly ask a serious consideration of these solemn things, always remembering when we speak of God, that “reverend and holy is his name.” That there exists a failure of a right understanding of the eternal and unchangeable perfections of the Almighty, is painfully evident from published Baptist writings, which should call for deep heart-searching’s, humility and supplications before the Lord, that he will mercifully turn unto his erring people a pure language, heal their backslidings, give them the humble and contrite spirit of holy awe before him, and cause them to ever feel and adoringly say, “Hallowed be thy name.” For then we should be spared the trial of seeing and hearing the shocking reproaches against the name of the Holy Lord God Almighty, because he is the Almighty Sovereign, the Controller of all things in the universe.

The foreknowledge of God is admitted by all kinds of Baptists, and many others who profess to believe in him. It is so evidently true of him who is infinitely perfect, that to deny it would be to charge ignorance and imperfection to the holy One, in whom are all the infinite treasures of wisdom and knowledge and power. Therefore as yet few among religious writers have the irreverence to do this. We know that the Bible abounds with inspired testimony to the everlasting foreknowledge of the unlimited God, who is omniscient and omnipresent, filling all eternity and time, “beholding the evil and the good,” with whom all things and times and beings ever were and are present. The holy book reveals him thus. There is no lack, no ignorance, no weakness, no failure in God. In wisdom and knowledge, holiness and power, he is the unlimited and infinite One, who inhabiteth and filleth eternity. Not the least thing in unlimited space, from eternity to eternity, was ever hidden from his all-seeing eye, but all things are naked and open unto him with whom we have to do. And while known unto God are all things from the beginning, so that his knowledge is limitless and eternal, so also are all his perfections, his attributes, his very essence and being, his counsel and “eternal purpose,” his justice and truth, his wisdom and holiness, “his eternal power and Godhead.” In all these God is as unlimited and perfect as in his boundless foreknowledge. To deny this is a denial of his infinite perfections and of the Bible. It is at once self-evident that any single perfection of the. Almighty is no more infinitely perfect than every other perfection; therefore the wisdom and counsel, purpose and power, truth and holiness of our blessed God, are equally commensurate and extensive and limitless with his foreknowledge, so that there is not the least discrepancies, confusion, conflict or lack of infinite unity in any of the changeless perfections of the Godhead. “He is in one mind, and none can turn him, and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.” God is from everlasting to everlasting the same, and changes not. Any one who would dispute this, and all this, would say, “There is no God.” But those who know God, and knowing him, revere and love him, will believe that he is thus perfect in all his attributes, and holy in all his way and work.

Then the foreknowledge of the Almighty is presided over by his perfect wisdom and counsel, and is harmonious with his infinite purpose, and all this according to his omnipotent power and unto his eternal glory.

Either the power and wisdom and purpose of the Lord thus stand, and are the support of his foreknowledge, and he “worketh all things after the counsel of his own will,” as inspiration declares, or else the wisdom and power of the Lord are less than his knowledge, and too deficient to control all things. For, admitting that the everlasting God is absolutely perfect in wisdom, and almighty in power, and foreknew all things, “Declaring the end from the beginning, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure,” then it is certain that his counsel and purpose and power are equal to his foreknowledge of all things, and that he purposed them no less than he foreknew them. For his wisdom and power certainly would have prevented anything and everything which was not according to his infinite purpose. The text which says that the wrath of man shall surely praise the Lord, and the remainder of wrath he shalt restrain, proves this truth, which is also self-evident.

It is true, then, that with the Almighty there is no such thing as chance, but all things are known to him, and subjected to his counsel and purpose, power and control. He whose word of creative power spoke all things into existence, said of all things foreknown, Let it be so. His infinite and eternal purpose bounded and ran through all his foreknowledge of all things, any and all of which he had the power to prevent, but in his perfect wisdom he saw through it all to the end, to the last thing, the last enemy, which is death, the wages of sin, and he sovereignly determined that in all things his power should be made known, in subduing all under the feet of his Son, and that his name should be declared throughout all the earth, and God himself should be glorified in the highest in his holiness and power for ever and ever.

“Foreknowledge is an act of the infinite intelligence of God, knowing from all eternity, without change, the certain futurity of all events of every class whatsoever that ever will come to pass.”

“Foreordination is an act of the infinitely intelligent, foreknowing, righteous and benevolent will of God, from all eternity determining the certain futurition of all events of every class whatsoever that come to pass. Foreknowledge recognizes the certain futurition of events, while foreordination makes them certainly future.”

“Permission. The act of permitting or allowing; license or liberty granted; authorization; consent.”

These correct definitions are given in the accurate Standard Dictionary. They show the perfect concurrence between the foreknowledge and the foreordination of God, and that between these there is no collision, but harmony. And certainly there is consistency and harmony, wisdom and counsel in all the purpose and acts of the perfect and holy Almighty, in whom there is no darkness at all.

But the word permission is believed to better qualify and guard the foreordination or predestination, decree or determination (which mean the same) of God, relating to his “eternal purpose” in all things foreknown to him. It is admitted that the all-wise and all-powerful Jehovah was pleased to permit all things to be just as he foreknew them, for he had the power to prevent them, but it was according to his counsel and purpose to let them take place. It is thought that the idea of God’s permissive decrees, or that he purposed in himself not to hinder or prevent anything from taking place which he foreknew, frees his predestination from censure, reproach and blame among men; that this view does not make his predestination of all things the responsible cause of all things, yet it admits that all things whatsoever come to pass are so certainly embraced in his permissive decree that with God there is no chance event.

Giving every advantage to this word that it is entitled to, yet to say that God foreordained to permit all things to come to pass, according to his eternal foreknowledge of them, equally establishes the certainty of all things, just as he foreknew them and consented to allow them to be. And since it is admitted that the permission of God suffers all things to take place, it must likewise be admitted that he forever purposed and determined to permit them to come to pass, for he is in one mind, and with him is not the shadow of turning. But to say that God consents to and permits all things to come to pass, yet to deny that he eternally predestinated or determined to permit them, is to impute change to the immutable One, which is not true of him. But if to escape this it should be held that the counsel, purpose and decree of the Lord do not extend to, include and control all things which are foreknown to him, then his sovereignty is impeached, his wisdom to compass and order all things, and his power to subdue and control them, are denied, and the consequence is involved that the counsel, purpose and power of the Lord God omnipotent are not equal to his knowledge, which is terribly dishonoring and untrue. Surely none who truly believe that God is, will also hold that there is either antagonism or inequality between the foreknowledge and foreordination of God, or between any of all his eternal perfections, nor affirm that his permission of all things is without his “eternal purpose “that thus should all things come to pass even as he foreknew them. For unless the infinitely wise and omnipotent Lord God of the holy prophets had eternally purposed and determined to let all things come to pass, according to his immutable counsel, just as embraced in his infallible foreknowledge of them, they could not possibly exist and take place, because his wisdom and power would have ordered otherwise and prevented them. Therefore his word says, “Who saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not!” “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made: and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to naught; he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.” – {Ps 33}. This inspired and precious testimony proves all that has here been said of the infinite and holy perfections of the Most High, whose wisdom directs and whose power controls all worlds and all things.

Now, though the permissive predestination of all things be insisted upon, yet the predestination of all things in any sense whatever, makes all things absolutely certain, because everything that God has at all foreordained or determined is thereby made infallibly sure. If this be denied, then the Lord himself is virtually charged with fallibility and weakness, and that many things which come to pass are entirely beyond the counsel and purpose and power of the Almighty. But the holy Bible fully reveals the omnipotence, sovereignty and dominion of the Lord over all beings and things in all places. Therefore, with him there is no such thing as accident and chance, nor the least frustration, disappointment, turning about, and never an effort. “I blessed the Most High; and I praised and honored him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”

The fact that God has determined anything whatever that comes to pass, does not necessarily make him the actor or doer of all things before determined by him, neither is he the responsible author of any wicked act or sinful thing. Isaiah saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train tilled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory. His people should reverently ever say the same, and will when they see him sitting upon his high throne, nor presume in their littleness and weakness to cavil at his infinite sovereignty, but adore the majesty of his power. Jesus said, “And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed!” “And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.” “Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above; therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.” To Peter he said again, “The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it!” Of the death of Christ on the cross, Peter said that we were redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,” &c. The apostles “lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is. “ The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 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 whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.” All these words of the betrayed Lamb of God and his inspired apostles, most positively prove that the acts of those wicked men, in the betrayal and death of the holy Son of God, were by him before determined, according as God foreordained before the foundation of the world. Yet this was the most astounding and wicked crime of all time, and God upon his holy throne has so judged it, and visited his righteous and awful judgments upon its guilty perpetrators. How base and horrible would be the imputation of all this great wickedness and chiefest of all crimes to the holy throne of heaven and earth! May God in his rich mercy forgive such an abhorrent thought against his infinite holiness and majesty. While he before determined that Judas should betray his holy and darling Son and Lamb, whom he verily foreordained to die on the Roman cross, for the redemption of his foreordained people, and his hand and his counsel before determined whatsoever was done by the earthly kings and rulers, the high priest, Herod, Pilate, the Gentiles, and the Jews, yet they were impelled only by their own wicked hearts and Satan in doing all this monstrous crime; for God did not incite nor prompt their wickedness, neither did his ordained and holy purpose influence or cause them to betray and crucify the Lamb of God. And this is equally true in every other species of sin and all wicked works, for they neither emanate from the holy Lord God Almighty, nor are they influenced at all by his “eternal purpose “in ordaining them. The unlimited foreknowledge of God, beyond which not the least thing can ever possibly take place, just as unfailingly establishes the absolute certainty of all things, in all places of his universal dominion, as does his before determined purpose concerning all things, known as predestination or foreordination. Therefore all the objections and replies which are made against the foreordination of God, as embracing and controlling all things, may also be made against the foreknowledge of God, which equally bounds and controls all things. If this is denied, then the foreknowledge of God as including all things is also denied; for if anything may either be or not be, it is not foreknown, but a mere chance event. The admission of this denies the perfection of God’s knowledge, and at once imputes ignorance to him.

Of the universal and unlimited knowledge of God, the Scriptures plainly testify, as in the following texts: “Known unto God are all his works, from the beginning of the world.” “God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.” “Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men.” “Now we are sure that thou knowest all things.” “Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee.” “He that is perfect in knowledge is with thee.” “O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising; thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” How all this truth should both humble and comfort us. “Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee: but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” From eternity to eternity the Most High was thus infinite in knowledge, as in goodness and wisdom and power. O fear him, ye saints. We have seen that all the perfections of God are coextensive with his eternal knowledge, and run parallel with it, and cannot conflict with it. And so Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said of Christ, “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” They did this wickedly, and were the betrayers and murderers of the Lord of life and glory, and they alone were the guilty and responsible authors and doers of this crime of crimes. But we are told by the Holy Spirit that in all this most momentous event of the world, the determined counsel of the holy One united with his foreknowledge in delivering his lamb-like Son into their wicked hands. And the words of wisdom and truth place the determinate counsel of God before his foreknowledge. This is their true order, therefore, and it reveals the wisdom of the Lord in making his foreknowledge harmonious with and subservient to his foreordination, or his “determinate counsel,” according to which all things are determined, and cannot be overthrown. For if they could be, then not his foreknowledge only, but his dominion, sovereignty, counsel, power and throne as well might be overthrown. But almighty majesty and eternal power belong to the infinitely wise and holy and blessed God, whose arm rules for him, and “who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” His foreknowledge includes all things, and according to the counsel of his own will he worketh all things; and so his counsel and unchangeable will or “eternal purpose “are as extensive and limitless as his eternal knowledge, and all are unfailingly established and upheld by “his eternal power and Godhead.” The clause, “worketh all things after the counsel of his own will,” affirms that God directs, determines and controls all things according to his counsel and the purpose of his sovereign will. And the word “worketh,” makes it evident that the Almighty actively and sovereignly governs and controls all things. O thou infinite and blessed majesty! who that knoweth thy power and glory would not stand in awe of thee, and devoutly adore and worship thee? “Lord, thou has been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”

O, brethren, that we might all meekly and reverently ascribe all power and holiness unto the Most High. God is in! heaven; we are upon the earth. We should never reply against God, nor charge unrighteousness to him. His holiness is as supreme as his omnipotence “His kingdom ruleth over all.” “The Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” Let us trust in his power, and rejoice in his goodness. He is the God of salvation, the Savior of all who love him. O, who that knows anything of his power and holiness and glory, would not supremely love and praise him? “Bless the Lord, O my soul.” “The Lord shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the Lord.” “Grace be with you all. Amen.”

D. BARTLEY.

Crawfordsville, Ind., July 13, 1901.

2-37 The Footsteps of the Flock

Signs Of The Times
Volume 69, No. 23.
DECEMBER 1, 1901.

THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE FLOCK.

“IF thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds’ tents.” – {Song 1:8}.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the heavenly Bridegroom of the queen of heaven, the fairest among women. He loved the church and gave himself for it, that he might present it to himself a glorious church. Of him John the Baptist said, “He that hath the bride is the Bridegroom.” It is as his bride, sanctified, adorned and beautified by him, that she is the fairest among women, and to her he says, “Thou art fair, my love.” He rejoices over her; she is compared to a beautiful city, the heavenly Jerusalem, spotless and holy, and is the mother of all the children of promise. Isaac was a lovely type of every one of them. Their home is in this holy city, and its perfection of beauty draws them to it in their hearts’ sweet devotion.

But now, in another relation and view, they were lost sheep of “the flock of slaughter.” In this relation the Bridegroom is “the good Shepherd,” and says, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” “The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” He gives them pastors also, as shepherds under him, saying, “And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” To one of the pastors the Master of assemblies said, “Feed my lambs. Feed my sheep.” And he in turn said to other bishops, “Feed the flock of God which is among you.” Paul, the apostle of the Lord, also said to the elders “to feed the church of God.”

In the Song one is seeking and praying, saying, “Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I he as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?” This one is isolated and desolate, earnestly desiring companionship, food and rest with the heavenly flocks of her companions, yet for the time she is as one turned aside. These are companion flocks of the one heavenly fold. A kindred nature and interest and feeling endears and hinds them together, as all belonging to the good Shepherd. How touching therefore the appeal, “If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds’ tents.” How safe and good this fervent appeal and exhortation! The kids or lambs need the sincere milk of the word, pure and unmixed, and so this fairest one must needs walk in the footsteps of the flock, and not turn aside, but keep beside or near the tents of the shepherds. These are always in the fold and with the flock. Here is where the lambs and sheep are fed. The chief Shepherd himself is here, and his sheep follow him, so his steps are the footsteps of the flock.

Now then, the one in the text is a desolate little flock, a companion flock of the one fold. But till late this one has been held back, fettered and hindered, yet longing to be joined with her companions, who worship the Father in spirit and in truth. For there is a uniting bond in the truth as it is in Christ more powerful and precious than all the doctrines and commandments of men. Those who are united in the girdle of truth will seek to walk in the truth of God, and their companions are God’s elect people, who abide in the footsteps of the flock. Like Ruth they will say, “Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” This faith and love triumph over all opposition, and motives of policy for the gain of numbers and influence are as nothing. For God’s dwelling-place is in Zion, with his people, and there he commanded the blessing, even life for evermore, and I must go and be numbered with them, says the heart of the humble one.

Such is the experience of the little flock, the Old School Baptist Church, in Nashville, Tennessee. Through the Signs Of The Times, which its members love as containing the faith of God’s elect, they gladly learned of the united and firm standing of the flock of God, the faithful and true Old School Baptists of j North America, upon the truth of God in his sovereign and eternal purpose of election, predestination and grace, unconditional and immutable as his eternal Godhead and throne of omnipotent power, and they most earnestly desired identity and companionship with this people saved by the Lord. With this sacred love of the truth in their hearts they are constrained to go forth unto Jesus without, the camp, bearing his reproach, and go: to their own company, who keep the, faith of Jesus and abide in the footsteps of the flock. They therefore published in the Signs some time ago their faith as the Old School Baptist Church in Nashville. It has been my privilege to visit them in their church services, which have been to our mutual edification in faith and love in Christ Jesus. They enjoy much comfort and peace in their meetings, standing fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made them free. They have several useful, spiritual gifts in singing, prayer and exhortation, and their pastor and fellow-member, Elder M. Hood, is loving, humble, devoted and blessed with a good gift. It was the privilege of myself and wife to go with him and their worthy deacon, brother Watkins, to the West Tennessee Old School Baptist Association. This little flock was unanimously and joyfully received into the number as a sister church. The entire body of churches and corresponding associations, Bethel, Obion, Soldier Creek, Original Little River and a list of others in correspondence with these are unconditional Grace Baptists, and not entangled with the yoke of bondage. The attendance at this association was good and attentive. About ten ministers were present, and all the preaching was according to the christian watchword: “Salvation is of the Lord.” Each day was good and comforting, but the last day was a wonderful refreshing from the presence of the Lord, who was joyfully realized to be in our midst. While dear brother F. P. Chandler preached upon the words of Paul, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified,” the Lord gave him the unction of the Spirit, and the word was in great power and comfort, as well as in the clearest demonstration of the truth of salvation by grace alone in Christ Jesus as it is experienced in the hearts of all whose glorious Savior he is. I have witnessed many blessed associational meetings, where the hearts of many were made glad, but never have I seen a large congregation of the Lord’s people so deeply and solemnly wrought upon under the power of the gospel of Christ, and never have I heard the fullness of Christ and his power to save more blessedly set forth. All felt that there was no room in their hearts for anything else “save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” All else was seen and felt to be as chaff and nothing, and that Christ is all in all. we all felt as good old Simeon said, “Mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” All was spiritual, heavenly and solemn, for the power and glory of Christ was felt to rest upon the preacher and the solemn assembly, filling all hearts with the unspeakable joy of salvation, and melting all eyes to tears of comfort, yet there was no noisy outcry. “‘Twas a heaven below, the Redeemer to know.” We all felt the sufficiency and exceeding preciousness of Christ as the altogether lovely One, as we shall do more perfectly when we awake with his likeness and see him as he is.

C. BARTLEY. Nashville, Tenn.

2-38 Exhortation

Signs Of The Times
Volume74., No. 4.
FEBRUARY 15, 1906.

EXHORTATION.

“I Charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their oars from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” – {2Ti 4:1-4}.

In the gospel of Christ, which is “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth,” exhortation occupies an important and large place; therefore let ns consider it in the light of revelation, meekly and prayerfully. To do so understandingly and profitably, and to the glory of “Christ, we should see the scriptural relation and place of exhortation in the gospel of salvation, that we may neither undervalue nor overvalue it, and that we may see the need and true use of it. The text plainly reveals the need and use or purpose of exhortation with all long-suffering and doctrine or teaching. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine. “It was for this cause that Paul thus solemnly charged Timothy, and further commanded him: “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” For all this was needful, because the time would come when they would not endure sound doctrine; and from them Timothy should suffer afflictions and reproaches. That time soon came, and it has ever been coming.

“They” who would not endure sound doctrine, but should “turn away their ears from the truth,” were the professed disciples of Christ, who had itching ears for something more than “the word” and “sound doctrine,” and desired “some new thing,” something philosophical and pleasing to the mind and reason of men, as taught and accepted by scholars and doctors of theology, but called “fables” by Paul, who says that “God hath made foolish the wisdom of this world.”

The text shows that the first and most important part in fulfilling the gospel ministry is to “Preach the word.” This is the foundation of all exhortation in the gospel. And so Paul was “determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” And Peter says, “But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” Thus did he preach the first gospel sermon after the ascension of the risen Christ, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost; for he preached Christ, and him crucified, and risen from the dead, the only Savior. And not until the people heard the word, and cried out, “What shall we do!” were they either commanded or exhorted to do anything; but then “did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” That is, having “gladly received the word” preached, he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, in whom they believed, and thus separate themselves from the impenitent and unbelieving generation of the Jews. So the text shows the same order later on in the gospel, when Timothy should preach the word; reprove, rebuke and exhort, for the purpose stated. Therefore the faithful preaching of the word of truth, with gospel exhortation, is the Lord’s ordained way of calling out and separating his believing followers from the unbelieving world, and of maintaining the true church and the truth as it is in Christ. The recorded words of Jesus clearly establish this fact, and it is fully confirmed by the inspired writings of his chosen apostles.

Let us then turn to their testimony, that we may see the relation of exhortation to the fundamental troth of the gospel of salvation, for there is a divine unity and harmony in the New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and this is carried out in the gospel of his grace, as one complete and perfect system of divine truth and salvation, to the praise and glory of God in his Son Jesus Christ. And so the word says, “And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” This tells it all. Let us pause here, and dwell a little on this wonderful revelation, for our instruction and reproof, exhortation and comfort. It was John the Baptist that bore this testimony of Jesus, of whom he said, “He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.” And so Jesus was before Moses, and the prophets, and the apostles, and all the ministry and church; therefore the words, “And of his fullness have all we received,” apply to all these, to all the children and servants of God, and they clearly show that “all we” have received only of the fullness of Christ, and not all his fullness, but only “of his fullness.” This fullness of which all we have received certainly includes all the fullness of the gospel, all the spiritual and ministerial gifts and qualifications as the members of Christ and of his gospel church, for all this is in him and of him. Hence we have nothing whatever pertaining to the gospel of salvation outside “of his fullness.” And not only so, but it is just as true that all the gospel fullness of blessing and salvation that all we have received, is “grace for grace.” Not grace for work, but “for grace;” that is, because of grace given us in Christ Jesus we receive grace. This then is the only gospel principle upon which “all we” receive “all spiritual blessings,” and “every good gift and every perfect gift;” for God the Father gives them; they are all of Christ’s fullness, “and grace for grace.”

Now it will be well for us to see how this gospel doctrine and truth is carried out in the ministration of the gospel of grace, and in the churches of the saints, by the inspired apostles of the Lord Jesus, who have set in their proper place and order the things that pertain to the kingdom of God. In the epistle to the saints at Rome, Paul first very fully shows the awful guilt and condemnation of all the children of the flesh, by the disobedience of the first man, and the consequent dominion or reign of sin unto death over all the race of man, which is unconditional and absolute. He then presents the perfect obedience of Christ, the second Man, and his everlasting righteousness, as the Head of the new covenant, showing that by his obedience shall his many people be made righteous; that unto them and in them shall grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. Of Christ and us he says, “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.” One surely follows the other, as cause and effect. “For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” This is the doctrine of Christ and his reigning and saving grace, the doctrine of the gospel, the sure foundation of salvation unto eternal glory, upon which the church and the ordinances of the gospel rest. Upon this doctrine of grace reigning by our Lord Jesus Christ, and much more abounding, where sin abounded, reigning in the hearts of all who are dead with Christ unto sin, reigning through righteousness unto eternal life, – upon this doctrine of Christ is based all gospel ordinances, commandments and exhortations unto the obedience of faith and love in the gospel kingdom. “Our beloved brother Paul,” therefore, goes right on and exhorts, saying, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” What is the constraining incentive thus to do f Hear Paul tell us, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then, shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” This is the sentiment of grace, and this its effect. What a blessed foundation is this grace to base all gospel exhortation upon, for grace secures its subjects from the dominion of sin; it qualifies them to live righteously and godly in the world, to adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things, and it is sufficient for them in their weakness to support them against the buffetings of the wicked one. There is no other foundation-principle to build gospel exhortation upon than the doctrine of God’s grace that bringeth salvation; for the gospel kingdom is the kingdom of grace, and the children of the kingdom are under grace, and in this kingdom grace is the only power that reigns, for grace has no rival. The law of works has no place here, for the people of grace are not under the law; therefore exhortation in the kingdom of Christ, by whom grace reigns, cannot be upon any legal principle, which is necessarily conditional, and therefore defective and attended with failure. Not so with grace, the governing principle in the new covenant, which is unconditional, is rich in mercy, full of grace and truth, has Jesus, not Moses, for its Mediator, “who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption;” and this new and better testament is ministered by the Spirit of the living and true God, who says of the people of the covenant, “I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.” Nothing doubtful, contingent “upon ourselves,” conditional, uncertain here, for all the promises of God in Jesus Christ are yea, and in him amen, unto the glory of God by us, declares Paul. O, what a blessed ground of assurance is here furnished us in the gospel of the new covenant to build all exhortation upon unto the obedience of faith, and the work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in Christ Jesus! For thus furnished and supported, in the full assurance of faith and hope, we can with comfort take up Paul’s cheering exhortation and say, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

Now then it is evident that all gospel obligations flow from grace, and partake of the nature of grace; therefore every gospel exhortation is of grace, and grace gives it its force and sanction, for the gospel itself is “the gospel of the grace of God,” so termed by Paul, so all that the gospel is, all that belongs to it, is of grace; its faith and hope and love; its ordinances and commandments and exhortations; its ministration and obedience and good works; its promises and salvation and blessing – all, all are of grace, for all the fullness of the gospel of Christ is the free, unmerited, unbought bestowment and gracious gift of the “God of all grace and comfort.” “To them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” All this goes before, and is the groundwork of the exhortation which follows: “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – {2Pe 1} In {Ga 5}. Paul shows that these christian virtues and graces are the fruit of the Spirit; not the works of the flesh, but their opposite. And he there says, “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” Paul therefore prayed to the Father for the brethren, “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith: that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” – {Eph 3}. This has no reference to the power of the Holy Spirit in the impartation of spiritual life in Christ Jesus, but to the needed ministration of daily bread and strength, that the brethren might be enabled through the Lord’s sufficient grace to “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called “of God, and to fulfill the work of faith in love. And so Paul said to another gospel church, “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” – {Php 1}. And to still another church Paul says, “We [Paul and Timothy] give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, for the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth. “ For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.” {Col 1}.

Let us now pause, and behold how continually dependent are the saints in Christ upon the Father and Son and Spirit for spiritual understanding, wisdom and strength, both to prepare and enable them to “walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing,” and to be “fruitful in every good work.” And here we are taught, too, the great and continual necessity that is upon us to “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Yea, also, here we have strong encouragement to come to this heavenly throne. The precious Scriptures quoted point us to the blessed and only source of mercy and grace, knowledge and ability, fitness and acceptance, faith and love, that we may walk obediently as the dear children of God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is most evident, therefore, that all gospel commandments, exhortations, admonitions and reproofs have their source and strength in the continual supply of the Spirit and grace of God in the heart, and that every obedient act of faith in Christ Jesus is wrought only through this supply, and is the fruit thereof. No truth is more clearly and fully revealed in the holy Scriptures than this. This is God’s most gracious work, and his blessed truth. Underlying and giving authority and efficacy to all commandment and exhortation in the gospel to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” is the all-sufficient cause; “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” So then at all times whenever we have the will and the power to thus obey, God gives both to us, and he “worketh” in us. Paul’s true testimony is, “Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” He therefore says, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” All this is true of all others, in whom Christ lives. “Christ is our life.” All the fruits of righteousness in us are by him, unto the praise and glory of God. This is a sure foundation for all gospel obedience, and all good works, and for all commandments and exhortations thereunto, for herein (in Zion) “the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” The Lord said of Zion, “All my springs are in thee.” Both the pure river of water of life and the tree of life are in the Zion of God, and all the streams of salvation flow from the river of life. The Lord gives both grace and glory, and he freely gives them. “I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” Thus it is positively established that all the bestowments of rewards and blessings in the kingdom of grace are not rewards of debt or for service, but of grace; for all service and obedience have their source in abounding grace, and flow out freely from the heart in which grace reigns; therefore to grace is all the praise due. It should not be thought, then, that any divine blessing in Zion, any comfort or joy of salvation, is a conditional reward, dependent upon our obedience to the Lord, for then “the reward is not reckoned of grace, but of debt.” Grace itself is not conditional, but free, and it “much more abounds “than sin; therefore all the rewards and blessings of grace are both unconditional and free, like grace itself, for they are of grace. This applies to all gospel salvation; yea, it applies to all service in the gospel, all its ministration, its exhortation unto good works, and its obedience of faith in Christ Jesus; for the gospel itself, and all that the gospel means and is, is “the gospel of the grace of God.” So, but for grace there would be no gospel of salvation, no gospel exhortation and service, no comfort of love, no joy of salvation, no reward of grace. Hence, as obedient servants of the Lord, in the fulfillment of all gospel service, we ourselves are entirely dependent upon the “sufficient” grace of Christ, “the grace of God that bringeth salvation.” For this cause Paul says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” This is equally true of all gospel labor in the service of the Lord, therefore every subject of grace would do well to disclaim any sufficiency of his own to perform any conditions of salvation, and thus to obtain any reward, but be lowly enough to confess with Paul, It was not I that did the service and labored, “but the grace of God which was with me.” Were all thus like Paul, the effect would be unity, quietness and peace, and each would meekly endeavor to be “to the praise of the glory of God’s grace.” “A chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” Contention would then cease about this, and that, and the other salvation; one by grace, others of works; one unconditional, others conditional; one dependent upon the Lord, others dependent upon ourselves; for all the saved in Christ Jesus would then happily unite in thankfully ascribing all salvation from all sin, and from all the sinfulness and weakness of the flesh, and unto all loving obedience in the faith of Christ, to God and his grace. Unto this end is all exhortation unto gospel obedience directed in the New Testament, wherein exhortation abounds, under which blessed obligations of loving service grace has brought the dear children of God; therefore the holy and blessed obligations of unmerited grace should not be prostituted to selfish aims and ends by degrading them to the principle of conditions of salvation, by doing which we obtain many salvations in time as conditional rewards. For this is both selfish and legal in its nature, and is antagonistic to grace, and a reproach upon it, and as different from grace as law is from gospel, or Adam from Christ, or flesh from Spirit.

“This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. And he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.”

D. BARTLEY.

CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind.

2-39 The Eternal Purpose

Signs Of The Times
Volume 68, No. 4
FEBRUARY 15, 1900.

“THE ETERNAL PURPOSE.”

Beloved Brethren In Christ: – The only true God is the God of purpose, as he has so fully revealed in the Scriptures, and it is impressed upon me to write to you upon this sublime theme, in humble dependence upon him.

Text: “The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.” – {Isa 14:24}. Now, the fulfillment of this solemn oath of Jehovah depends upon his attributes of omniscience, omnipotence and immutability, all of which are fully declared in his sacred oracles, and to deny these absolute attributes is to deny his Godhead, which is open infidelity. The Almighty cannot be limited in any attribute or perfection of his divine nature or Being, but he is infinite in them all, as abundantly revealed in the Holy Bible. His omniscience includes absolute knowledge of all things and infinite wisdom; his omnipotence includes universal authority and dominion and almighty power; and his immutability includes his “eternal purpose,” and crowns him with eternity. These are self-evident truths, and no believer in God will have the presumption to deny them. “With God is no variableness, neither shadow of turning,” says the Scripture. This is not true of any other being. Therefore, if angel or man had “sworn,” as in the text, it might fail to come to pass, or stand, as is true in the purposes of the best men. “I am the Lord, (Jehovah) I change not,” is the voice of the Almighty. This makes it evident that there is nothing new and nothing old with him; that all creatures, things and events are ever present before him and known unto him, from everlasting to everlasting, as the Scriptures fully declare. The four and twenty elders cast their crowns before his holy throne, saying, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” – {Revelations. 4: 11}. The Lord’s dominion is universal and unlimited, then, and his government and control is over all things, because he alone is the Creator and supreme Ruler of all worlds and things, and they are all known unto him and subject to his omnipotent power. “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” – {Col 1:16-17}.

Now then, it is most clear that “the only blessed God,” is not only the God of purpose, but that his purpose is eternal, like himself, and that his “eternal purpose “is at once immutable or cannot change, and it extends to and embraces all things which he has created. For God did not create anything in vain, or without a wise purpose. To say he did, is to impeach his wisdom and deny his Godhead; and to say that his eternal purpose does not include all things that exist, is to both deny and frustrate his purpose, and to disappoint him and overthrow his government and control of all things, or dethrone and un-deify him. Or to say that God has more than one purpose, involves the same awful consequence; for to impute purposes to him, is to say that he has changed his purpose, just as imperfect men change from one purpose to other purposes; therefore there cannot be an eternal purpose with any creature. This infinite perfection belongs to God only, “whose name alone is Jehovah,” whose thought is one, and his purpose one, reaching from everlasting to everlasting, extending to all things in heaven and in earth, who speaks and it is done, who commands and it stands fast, This is the God of the Bible, the Creator of all things, the God of “the eternal purpose,” and the Bible declares this of him. “The Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.”

Purpose means, a fixed determination to do or attain an end or object; to intend, resolve, design, as the eternal purpose of God. – Standard Dictionary. Hence, every intelligent being has a purpose in all things he does, or in everything subject to his control, or else folly would be charged to him. Outside of purpose, then, there could be nothing but blind fate, or uncertain chance in the universe, and this would be ruinous and destructive. How good and excellent, therefore, that the Lord of hosts, in his infinite compassion to his people, “hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.” In his thought and purpose there is an absolute certainty, and according thereto everything shall so come to pass and stand. If not so, then both his wisdom and power would be at fault and fail, and he would be disappointed and defeated. What a dreadful consequence! From this every rational mind must shrink with horror. For then it would be as “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”

But one thing now remains to be known: Is there any creature and event and thing in all the universe beyond and outside of the thought and purpose of God? To say there is, at once limits the omnipresent One, and wrests the crown of universal dominion and sovereignty from him. It is worse than folly to limit his thought and purpose, therefore, because it denies his infiniteness and eternity, and puts a limit upon his omniscience and omnipotence and omnipresence. These are the essential attributes of his essence and nature or being and Godhead, and to deny them is to deny God. Holy Scripture abounds with testimony to all these perfections of our holy God, and they also show that in these very perfections of the everlasting and unlimited and unchangeable Almighty Father, is the security and salvation and blessedness of all his chosen, called and justified people.

“I am God, and there is none else: I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country; Yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. Hearken unto me, ye stout-hearted, that are far from righteousness: I bring near my righteousness; It shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry; and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.” – {Isa 46:9-13}. The execution of this purpose of God included the awful calamity of war and the overthrow of a powerful nation, by other nations. All this was true also of the long bondage of Israel in Egypt, the final destruction of Pharaoh and his hosts, and of the warring nations in the wilderness and in the land of Canaan; for God had purposed and foretold all those awful calamities and righteous judgments, concerning the afflictions and deliverance of Israel his people.

Now, as to the thought and purpose of God in the text, if the kind reader will please read both the thirteenth and fourteenth chapters of Isaiah, that he may see the entire connection of the text, it will he understood that this was determined in regard to the utter downfall of Babylon, and the deliverance of the children of Israel from their long captivity in Babylon, of which the prophet herein gives a grand and awful history. “The Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle. They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land. Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. “ Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it. “ For I will rise up against them, saith the Lord of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and Son, and nephew, saith the Lord. I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water; and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the Lord of hosts. The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: that I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him underfoot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders. This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back? Who can read all these solemn declarations of the Lord of hosts, and then say that his purpose does not cover the whole universe, and extend to all nations, peoples and things! Why, all history is but a fulfillment of the word of the Lord by his inspired prophets, as the text and context and the whole Bible show; and the counsel, thought and purpose of the Lord of hosts run through it all, and chain every event to his eternal throne, so that nothing can frustrate his counsel and thought, or overthrow and defeat his “eternal purpose.” We should be glad and rejoice that it is so, my dear brethren, for herein (in the eternal God) is our refuge and strength, and our everlasting safety. It was this divine assurance that enabled Paul to say, “And 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 Paul had been made to understand that God, “who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were,” had, “according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord,” ordained his people unto eternal life, through the redemption that is in him; and he therefore says, “In whom we also have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated [foreordained] according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” – {Eph 1:11}. Paul again says of God, “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}. All this Scripture testimony, and much more, clearly establish the fact that the foreknown and foreordained people of God in all ages and places are connected with the nations of the earth, and history of the world, and with all things in time, either directly or indirectly; that therefore, “for the elect’s sake,” he “worketh all things after the counsel of his own will,” and for” the ultimate good of “the called according to his purpose.” Thus it is shown in the divine record that the counsel, thought and purpose of the Lord of hosts comprehends, reaches to and controls all nations, creatures and things, and fixes limits and bounds to them, which they cannot pass. For this cause the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church, nor any creature separate his people from his love in Christ. Knowing this, David said to God, “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath thou shalt restrain.” It requires omniscience, omnipotence and “eternal purpose” to accomplish all this, but our God has these and is this, for he is God alone, the Almighty. “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal; neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live forever. “ There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, [Israel] who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky. The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them. Israel then shall dwell in safety alone. “ Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord.” These wonderful words did God declare to his people by his servant Moses. But the Lord again says, “Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.” – {Isa 54:15-17}. O Lord, thou Most High, my spirit rejoices in thee for this, and I adore thy Majesty, power and glory; for thou canst do all things, and cause me to triumph in thy might and salvation. Glory be unto thy holy name. The Lord’s own declaration here to his people is, first, that he has created the smith, the fire, and the waster to destroy; and, second, that, according to his unchanging purpose, he has laid his restraining hand upon every weapon of destruction, and has put a bridle upon every accusing tongue, so that wicked men, warring nations, persecuting foes, false friends and raving devils are firmly held in and controlled by his almighty hand of power. It is in this fact alone, my brethren, that Job did not curse God, perish in his affliction, and die; that the hosts of Israel did not perish in Egypt, nor in the Red Sea, nor in the terrible wilderness, nor at the fiery Sinai, nor in cruel Babylon; that neither the fiery furnace nor the den of lions could destroy the tried servants of God who were thrown in them, but did devour their enemies. It was for this cause that Joseph (type of Jesus) did not perish in the pit, nor in the prison; that his father’s house (the people of the covenant, according to the purpose of God,) did not perish by the famine; “For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it! and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” Omniscience directs his purpose in all things unto eternal ages, and Omnipotence executes his unlimited, “eternal purpose,” so there is never a failure – “So shall it stand.” O, brethren, let us trust in the Lord of hosts, and give him the glory due to his name. It is the most awful presumption for a poor creature, sin (?) to prescribe (?) and set (?) for the eternal one, “the only wise God,” or to try to beg the question, apologize and make excuses for him, of whom Jesus said, “There is none good, but one, that is God.” For a sinful man, therefore, to be so puffed up in his vain and fleshly mind as to assert that he is both wiser and better than the Holy One, is very wickedness and a dreadful sin. Therefore, every one should put his shoes off his feet when he treads upon this holy ground, and speaks of God, for deep reverence and lowly humility should fill us with solemn awe, and we should say, with the meek Moses, “I exceedingly fear and tremble.” It is exceedingly presuming and shocking when any poor mortal, whose very breath God gives him, will flippantly fly in the face of the Lord God Omnipotent, whose name is holiness, deny his very perfections and essential attributes, by limiting him by the finite line of his own little mind, and say, if God goes beyond or does more than this, he would be unjust, rob his creature man of his accountability, and himself be the author or perpetrator of all the sin and wickedness in his universe. This is the most revolting and blasphemous folly, than which the blatant and disgusting Ingersol has not uttered worse, and God will rebuke it. He said to Job, “Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him! he that reproveth God, let him answer it. “ Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous!” – See {Job 40}.

“And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him [Moses] there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.” {Ex 34:5-7}. Thus does our holy and blessed God declare that he will maintain the purity and righteousness of his own “great white throne,” and that his holiness will vindicate his judgments and his mercy.

Now, let us a little further consider the unfailing purpose of God. “The Lord of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth.” – {Isa 23:9}. Having purposed this, he will certainly bring it to pass; “and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble.” – {Mal 4:1}. “For every purpose of the Lord shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant.” – {Jer 51:29}. This is also true of the purpose of the Lord as it regards all lauds and peoples and nations and kingdoms of the world, as declared above, “to stain the pride of all glory.” “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” – {Da 4:35}. For the Lord had sent Daniel the prophet to declare his purpose to the proud king, to whom he said, “This is the decree of the Most High, which is come upon my lord the king: That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” We, as well as this king, should know this, and give honor and glory to God, as he then did. “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 other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. “ The great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter.” – {Da 2:44-45}. These are most wonderful declarations, spoken with absolute certainty, and they clearly show the immutable purpose of God, not only as it regards his own kingdom and people, but also concerning “all these kingdoms,” which should be broken in pieces and destroyed, as a potter’s vessel is dashed in pieces, and his people should be separated from the kingdoms of the world. In this the infinite purpose and omnipotent power of God are made known. All came to pass, just as decreed and foretold. There is a positiveness in the purpose of the Lord of hosts which will not admit of contingency or conditions; therefore, “the kingdom shall not be left to other people.” It is folly, then, to try to bring “other people “into the kingdom. The kingdoms that should be broken in pieces are no more, but the people of the Most High were gathered out of them by his own right hand, and his kingdom still stands, as the house built on the rock, and it is given to his saints. And now, because his people are to be redeemed “out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation,” among whom they are scattered as sheep gone astray, therefore “the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth,” reaches also to “every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation,” under heaven, as certainly as it did to Egypt, and Babylon, and Persia, and Asia, and Home, and all the ancient kingdoms which the Lord of hosts judged, punished and overthrew. For some of his people are connected in some sense to all the peoples and events and kingdoms of the earth; therefore the inheritance of the saints in Christ is “according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” If it were not thus, but the purpose and counsel of the Lord were limited, then his decree and control would also be limited to the extent of his purpose and counsel, because his controlling power cannot go beyond his purpose and act without purpose, and there could be no security or safety for his people, who are surrounded by “all things,” not merely by all good things, but often by the worst things. Read of the dreadful things, dangers and perils by land and sea, which Paul recounts that he was in, out of which the Lord delivered him. Surely the counsel and purpose of God extended to all these things, and equally, therefore, to all other things; for the Cod of purpose does not put forth his hand of power without any design or counsel or purpose. A fool might do so, but not the only wise God our Savior.” Among the many all things which are subjected to the purpose or decree of God, “who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will,” Paul names “tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword; death, life, angels, principalities, powers, things present, things to come, height, depth, nor any other creature.” Many of these things are the most terrible, and all “who are the called according to his purpose,” certainly have to encounter some of these all things, as did Paul and thousands of his martyred brethren, and all the called of God have to antagonize a sinful life, and the monster death. If the purpose and decree of God had not included all these direful things, and destroyed them, then they must have destroyed all his foreordained people. But how could his people be ordained to eternal life, and yet these destructive things not also be ordained to be put under their feet and destroyed? For the almighty power of our God is never exerted only according to his “eternal purpose,” and his purpose places an absolute limit upon sin and death and all other things, as positively as does his ordination or decree; for nothing whatever can take place outside of the infinite foreknowledge of God, and his immutable and “eternal purpose” is certainly as unlimited as is his foreknowledge. To say it is not, is to put some things outside of God’s wisdom, counsel and purpose, and so outside of or beyond his power and control, unless it is said that he controls some things without any purpose, which is to charge him with weakness and folly. In fact, a denial of the unlimited purpose of God, is to deny his unlimited foreknowledge, which is equal to a denial of his perfections or infinite fullness and changeless attributes. The purpose of God, then, is defined by his infinite wisdom, and both run parallel with his prescience or foreknowledge of all things, and all three are sanctified by his absolute holiness, and sustained by his omnipotent and eternal power and Godhead.

A reverential and solemn awe has possessed my spirit while I have thus written upon these most sublime realities, for such they are, and I verily realize that the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, and moved me to thus write. It will glorify God, therefore, and he will sanctify it to his humble children, who have grace whereby they serve him with reverence and godly fear. In this divine assurance it is sent forth to all to whom it may come, with the prayer that all may speak and write of the God of all goodness and holiness and power with the sacred reverence and honor that should characterize all who believe in God and worship him.

It will not be long, dear brethren, till many of us shall enter into that within the veil, and appear in the holy presence of God; so we should no more presume to speak a word against his infinite perfections now, nor criticize his acts, than we would then. This sorrowful admonition is needful, and it is given in love.

“And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace.”

D. BARTLEY.

Crawfordsville, Ind., July 11, 1899.

2-40 The Election of Grace

Signs Of The Times
Volume 67, No. 16.
AUGUST 15, 1899.

THE ELECTION OF GRACE.

Beloved In Christ: – We are called upon to look to the Rock from whence we were hewn, as well as to the hole of the pit from whence we were digged, showing that we are from both earth and heaven. So the song of the redeemed is, “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a Rock, and established my goings.” Christ is this living and everlasting Rock, and upon this abiding foundation stone the Lord Jehovah builds his church. “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.”The apostle goes on and says. “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” – {1Pe 2}. These Scriptures not only clearly show that Christ and all his members are the chosen of God, but they also beautifully present the purpose and wisdom and goodness of the infinite Father in election; that the chosen generation should not be confounded, but should show forth his praise. Therefore, whenever any people truly praise the Holy One in Sion, it is only because he hath chosen them unto holiness and salvation; for the high praises from the saints is the blessed purpose of God in their election, and the glorious end of their salvation. This is worthy of the glorious and blessed God.

In the brief text which I have chosen for this paper, the chosen and inspired Paul declares a wonderful truth of God, namely, that election is of grace, and is the grace of God. Let us hear him: “But what saith the answer of God unto him [Elijah]? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according Io the, election of grace.” – {Ro 11:4-5}. A remnant of the people of Israel who truly worshiped God, but refused to bow down to idols, in the time of the apostles, as also in the times of the prophets. The apostle goes on and says, “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 work is no more work.” Works, then, are excluded from salvation, for it is “the election of grace” only that hath obtained salvation, and both the election and grace are of God. Paul, therefore, continues, “What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” So then, it is only through God’s electing grace that any are saved, both of the Jews, and also of the Gentiles. Now this salvation is from all sin and death, unto perfect holiness and life eternal. This is the glory of grace and election. Through these is the God of electing grace glorified forever and ever. Sin, as a destructive monster, hath reigned unto death, even in the chosen people of God; “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign, through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.” The very thought of continuing in sin is, therefore, abhorrent to the election of grace, for this heavenly way of salvation is through righteousness and holiness, and this royal princess of heaven reigns in and over her chosen and blessed subjects by the holy Son of God, the King of righteousness. It is a slanderous and base imputation, then, to say that, “Because God hath from the beginning chosen you unto salvation,” in a way of abounding and sovereign grace, the sacred incentive unto holiness and devout obedience is taken away or denied; nay, rather, it is established. For the King of glory, by whom grace reigns unto all the chosen of God, says, “For ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain.” “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” It must be apparent to all spiritual minds that, since salvation from sin is through the election of grace, and grace reigns by our Lord Jesus, in whom God is well pleased, therefore grace is uplifting, heavenly and well pleasing to God in all its influence or effects and power, leading her subjects to praise and bless God and honor Christ, by whom grace reigns. And since the inspired servant of our Lord affirms that grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life, it is irreverent and sacrilegous to cast any reflections or reproaches upon the power and sufficiency of “the election of grace,” abounding, reigning grace, “the grace of God that bringeth salvation.” For there is not another way or principle, revealed from God to men, which brings salvation from sin, and the deserts of sin. Why, then, should any sinner rail against grace, or talk of another principle of salvation than grace? For salvation is always from sin, and the dire consequences of sin, and it is unto righteousness in God’s sight and acceptance with him. Can anything besides “the election of grace” thus save us, and present us holy and without blame before God in love? Whether we speak of salvation in time, or in eternity, yet it is salvation from sin in some of its countless forms, and salvation by grace through God’s election. Paul therefore says, “Blessed be the God and leather 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.” Such, then, is the glorious purpose of our God in the choice of all the people and members of Christ, the elect and precious Head of his body, the church. Accordingly the earnest desire of all the “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ,” is, with David, “Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me.” “Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness.” All righteousness, therefore, has its source in “the election of grace,” through Jesus Christ the righteous, and the sanctification of the Spirit. Hence all divine excellence and true goodness in the chosen people, saved by the Lord, as “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance,” are “the fruit of the Spirit,” by whom we are quickened, of whom we are born, as “born again,” and by whom we truly say, “Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” Thus and in this way only do any worship God in spirit and in truth, for all others are will worshipers, and worship and serve for reward, claiming salvation and its blessings conditionally for their works. Here are two opposite principles, and likewise two opposite classes of religious worshipers, one resulting from “the election of grace,” according as God hath chosen and blessed us in Christ, and hath now also created us in him unto good works, which he hath before ordained that we should walk in them; the other is according to a covenant which is legal and conditional, and which says, “The man that doeth these things, he shall live by them.” There is only two ways of salvation, neither can there be any other way, for there is no middle ground between grace and works, or between Jesus and man. “For man is a fallen sinner still, and grace shall reign alone.”

Let us now more specially notice that grace embraces divine election, and election embraces Jesus, the elect Head, and all the many members of the elect body of Christ, as the bride of the King’s Son, and as the children and heirs of God the Father, and joint-heirs with Christ, the first-born from the dead among many brethren. This, and all this, is the abounding grace of God.

“Grace first ordained the way
To save rebellions man,
And all the steps that grace display,
Which drew the wondrous plan.”

This wondrous plan is, as says a poet, “Sons we are through God’s election, who in Jesus Christ believe.” Or as God the Father says, which is better, “I will put my laws info their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.” And as Jesus the Son says, “Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” And to Mary he said, “Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend to my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” Thus the risen and glorified Son of God still owns his lowly disciples in brotherhood with himself on the Father’s side, while he is equally their Brother on the mother’s side. This wonderful and ever blessed relationship exists in the election of God’s grace. This is truly glorious grace. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God!” And since the Father calls us his sons, this holy relationship exists and abides in us. What “amazing grace,” that children of earth, creatures of a day, should be the sons and daughters of “the mighty God, the everlasting Father,” and brethren of “the Prince of peace.” This is God’s new covenant with his chosen people, whom he foreknew, in which he takes away their sins, and is merciful to their unrighteousness; and this covenant of life and peace is in “the grace of God that bringeth salvation “to dying sinners, to the aged men and aged women, to the young women and young men, to the servants and to the masters. Its heaven-inspired and heart-responding sentiment is, that all the chosen and blessed, predestinated and called, justified and glorified people of the living God, should be forever “to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved.”

Yours in Jesus, D. BARTLEY.

2-41 The Comfort of the Scriptures in the Trial of Faith

Signs Of The Times
Volume 66., No. 19.
OCTOBER 1, 1898.

THE COMFORT OF THE SCRIPTURES IN THE TRIAL OF FAITH.

Dear Children Of God: – The holy Scriptures are a divine store-house of heavenly treasures and a pure fountain of spiritual health and peace, but the Prince of the house of David has the keys, and he must set before us an open door. But he first prepares the Souls of his saints for the things which God hath prepared for them that love him, and then he opens to them the sealed fountain of his love. The Lord does this in the way that nature would not choose, and that man’s wisdom would refuse as impossible. For the way of the Lord of life and peace is through fiery trials and great tribulations. His word to us is, “I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” In this furnace of suffering he purifies and refines his chosen ones, whom he loves, that they may know the power and preciousness of his perfect love and worship him in the beauty of holiness. This love casteth out the fear which hath torment, and it uplifts the children of God’s love above the rage of their enemies, who reproach and persecute them, Through such tribulations and afflictions, unto which God has appointed us, as Paul affirms, he ministers to us patience, experience and hope, which maketh not ashamed, because he sheds abroad his love in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us. Thus the sufferings of Christ are fulfilled in his members, his brethren, who are baptized with him into his death, and also quickened and raised up together with him, made partakers of his divine nature, saved by his fife, and serve God in newness of spirit.

The carnal and legal religionist would condemn all who are thus exercised, afflicted and tried as suffering the displeasure of God, as the legal and false friends of Job condemned him, and would say, If you will live as you should, and be obedient to the commandments of God, you may be at peace with him and enjoy his smiles. All worldly wisdom and legal religion says, Serve God, and he will then reward you with salvation. This way that seemeth right unto man, passes by the poor and suffering, the needy and helpless, the sick and lame, who are without goodness and strength, and who bemoan their leanness; but it flatters and pleases him who thanks God that he is keeping his commandments, doing much good, and so receiving the rewards for his obedience. This one is without chastisement. He is a stranger to the truth that the true child of God, who in heart both fears and obeys him, yet is called to walk in darkness and have no light, and that the loving voice of the Father bids this tried child to trust in the name of the Lord and stay upon his God. It is a strange doctrine to the self-righteous religionist, who pleases himself, to be told that the only way of perfection and obedience is through suffering and loss of all things, and the only way of life is through death. In this way the holy Son of God himself learned obedience, and entered into the perfection and power of endless life and eternal glory. Thus, too, must we follow him in his steps, die his death, and rise up with him in his holy life.

Now, my dear brethren, in him and in his righteous life is all true obedience, righteousness and salvation; nothing else is salvation; nothing else will God accept. This, this only fulfills the holy law of the holy God. We must be in Christ, and he in us, and his suffering obedience for our sins unto death, and resurrection unto life for our justification unto righteousness, must be wrought in us and be ours, or else we have no obedience, no righteousness, no salvation, no life; nothing but sin and death.

To be brought into this oneness with Christ and fullness in him, we must suffer with him and bear his reproaches; we must drink of his cup of sorrow and woe, and be baptized with his baptism of death. There is no other way into the perfection of God in Christ Jesus. God has ordained this way, and predestinated his chosen people to be conformed to the image of his suffering and dying Son, that he might be the Firstborn among many brethren. “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” The Spirit’s witnessing evidence with our spirit that we are the children and heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, is, “If so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” To every one of us, my dear brethren in Christ, God gives to believe on him, and also to suffer for his sake, for the trial of our faith, that it may be found unto the praise and glory of God. Through such revilings and persecutions for the sake of Christ and his doctrine, which many brethren, with myself, have been called to suffer in these latter times, Christ has been made exceedingly precious to me, and he has thus prepared me to understand and with deeper comfort than ever before enter into the precious Scriptures, which faithfully record the reproaches and persecutions which the dear Son of God and his devoted followers were called to endure for the truth’s sake. With new and warm interest have I just read the Acts of the apostles, and my heart is more tenderly united with them in their persecutions and sufferings, doctrine and fellowship in the gospel of Christ. And with sorrowing love and clinging faith I have followed in the sacred footsteps of Jesus from the manger to the cross. In all his life, and in all the lives of his true disciples, there came continual reproaches, false accusations and deadly persecutions, for the purpose of destroying them. All this was brought against them, not because they were dangerous or bad men, but for the doctrine they taught – the truth of God. For they were all men of God, whom he sent, and they spoke the words of God, and he was with them. To God they ascribed the kingdom, the power and the glory.

The one startling and most prominent fact in the fearful persecutions against the Son of God and his church, as plainly shown in the Scriptures, is, legal religionists were their persecutors. Never before had this fact so deeply impressed me as now. Persecutions against me from the same legal spirit made me go and tell Jesus, and turn to the sacred oracles for comfort, and he opened my eyes to see that I am brought into the fellowship of his sufferings for the truth’s sake, and he tells me to “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

In spirit I have been drawn near to Jesus when he was falsely accused in the temple, and in Pilate’s hall, and on the cross, and legal religion incited and led to it all. With deep emotion have I heard the dying sermon of the faithful Stephen before the priestly council, who gnashed on him in their legal rage and stoned him to death. I have followed Peter and John, when brought before their persecutors, and heard the charges and threatenings against them. At Antioch I have witnessed the controversy between Paul and the legal preachers, and in Jerusalem have I rejoicingly heard the final decision of the apostles and church upon the doctrine in dispute.

With deep sympathy and intense anxiety I have journeyed with Paul in his gospel ministry, persecutions and perils, until he was dragged out of the temple, fearfully abused, and forced to appeal to Caesar to escape death. And to my amazement, it was shown me that all this raging and death-dealing persecution against Christ and his brethren arose from the self-sufficient spirit of legal religion, and was relentlessly waged by the most strict and zealous religious people, who were the professed moral worshipers of God. They expected to obtain salvation by their obedience and good works. But the doctrine of Christ and the apostles was, that salvation is by the mercy and grace of God alone. This greatly offended the legal and self-righteous worshipers, and for this doctrine of God’s sufficient and sovereign grace (not of works) in salvation, the legal religionists hated and persecuted Christ and his church, as we have seen.

As it was then, so it is now. Principles never change. There are only the two principles: law and gospel, works and grace. Salvation is of one, to the exclusion of the other. My beloved Lord gives me the comforting assurance that I am made to suffer persecution and be spoken against for his sake. If I could have fallen from grace into conditional rewards for works, and so divided salvation into parts, and held that it is both by grace and of works, as all do who hold to conditional salvation in part, then I would have been approved and spoken well of by them. But the reproaches of Christ are far more precious to me, and my choice is to suffer for his sake. Paul says, “But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.” All persecution against the children of God arises from the legal religion of the flesh, for all fleshly religion is legal; it is based upon rewards and punishments; the love of God is not in it; the exaltation of Christ and the glory of God is not its purpose; but its highest aim and supreme end is the self-happiness and self-glory of the religious man. Take this away and he would not worship or be religious, for there would be no active incentive or prompting motive to his morality and religion. His is strictly a religion of works and rewards. His religious works are all performed to obtain salvation. “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.” This the legal religionist accepts; to him this only seems rational and good; his religion consigns the grace of God in salvation to eternity, and sets up instead the works of man for salvation in time. Works honor and glorify man, and this is quite suitable and self-pleasing. It is therefore very popular, for it comes near to man’s strong love of self, and presents to him a powerful motive to join the so-called church and be religious. It will pay him to do this, he will be happier, more respected and honored, and so multitudes embrace this religion. There is no offense in it, but the world esteems it and is pleased with it, for it is the pride and glory of man.

The gospel of the grace of God is not so; in it man is cut down and abased as less than nothing, but the Lord alone is exalted, and his is all the power and glory. Salvation by free grace only is therefore a religion of suffering, of cross-bearing and of the loss of life. Here man is nothing, that Christ may be all in all. The cross of Christ is an offense therefore, and the legal religionist can never love it nor embrace it, and so the religion of grace is very unpopular, has but few friends, “a small remnant,” a “little flock,” “a sect everywhere spoken against” They are called “Antinominians,” “Extremists,” “Fatalists,” “Let us continue in sin, that grace may abound,” and many other hard speeches, by legal religionists. So the prime object of all legal and flesh-pleasing religion is, that the offense of the cross might cease, and ceased it has among all conditional religionists; for conditional salvation, salvation by works, has ever been a popular religion in the world, both among the Jews and the Gentiles; therefore if Christ and his apostles had taught this doctrine, the Jews would not have crucified him, neither would they have persecuted his suffering followers. And so at this present time it is solely because the remnant according to the election of grace ascribe all dominion and power, salvation and glory, to God and his grace, to Christ and his death and life, that we are falsely accused, reproached and persecuted, and our names are cast out as evil. It is in this way that our God sifts and tries his people, and separates his own elect from false and carnal religionists, who are of the world, brings his dear children through suffering into a peculiar and blessed nearness to himself in the risen Christ, and keeps them by his power through faith unto salvation, that they should show forth his praise. “Trials make the promise sweet.” Therefore, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part be is glorified.” O how preciously true this is! We bless and glorify God for his eternal power and Godhead, his sovereign purpose and grace, but for this he is evil spoken of on their part, his sacred truth is slandered, and his reverend and holy name is reproached by them. “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God!”

In the deepest trials and sufferings of the obedient Son of God in the wilderness, and in the garden, God sent his angels to minister to him. So when Stephen was cruelly abused and being killed for the testimony of Jesus, his face shone as an angel’s, and the Lord opened the door of heaven to his tortured servant, and he saw Jesus in his glory standing on the right hand of his Father. So it is in all the evil that men think to do against the Lord’s Christ and his church. And Joseph’s words to his humbled brethren are the divine key to open and reveal the holy purpose of God in all the afflictions, trials and persecutions that shall come against the children of his love: “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good.” Nothing great or small can escape his notice. “Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?” “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear! The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.” In this God reveals his power and love to his chosen, “to the praise of the glory of his grace.” Bless his holy name.

In the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings, yours,

D. BARTLEY.

April 12, 1904.

2-42 Born Again

Signs Of The Times
Volume 73., No. 2.
JANUARY 15, 1905.

BORN AGAIN.

Fifty years ago this afternoon the holy Father gave me faith in leans, and revealed him to me as The Lord my Righteousness. This revelation banished all fear, and filled my soul, with perfect love and peace. It was a, new world to me, and the darkness was past. It was the Lord’s day, in which there was no shadow and not a cloud; sin was ended, and death had lied away. Life and light, joy and gladness filled me with triumphant faith in Jesus, and overflowing love to God for his unspeakable gift. My heart went out in fervent love to the church, the brethren in Christ Jesus, and I longed to go and tell them of the preciousness of the Savior to my believing heart, and what great things he had done for me. He had saved me from deep soul anguish, black despair and death. I joyfully understood for the first time that the Lord was my life and light and salvation. To me this was a new experience, and a most wonderful revelation. Old things had passed away, and behold, all things had become new to me. Blessedly I realized that I was in Christ Jesus, and that in him was all fullness of salvation. My soul was satisfied, and I desired no more. “My Beloved is mine, and I am his.” This was my new birthday; I was now a. new creature; my life was new, my heart and spirit, faith and love, peace and comfort, all were new. The Lord had opened my blind eyes and showed me my lost condition almost ten years before, on the second Sunday in November, 1844, and long and deep had been the anguish of my sorrowing soul for my sins, and fearfully crushing my burden of guilt. I verily believed the just wrath of God in his holy law was burning against me, and felt that I was condemned forever. All my sorrow and mourning, crying and praying for mercy and pardon, with all that I could do to bring myself into the favor of God, had utterly failed me, and I felt that I was a miserable reprobate, for whom there was no salvation nor peace.

When the time of my deliverance drew nigh I was a student in a medical college in Cincinnati, with the view of trying to do good while God spared my sinful life. On Tuesday morning, April 25th, 1854, two letters came, one from my eldest sister, the other from her pastor, both relating to my sorrowful experience as a guilty and perishing sinner, (for I had written to her) and he exhorted me to come home to the church. I was too deeply troubled to go to the school that day, but remained alone in my upper room, read the Bible in search of light and comfort, wept and prayed; but all failed, hope had fled and I was lost. This I knew was just, and I was brought to a standstill, helpless as an infant, and not knowing how it was possible; for me to be saved. So at last I took up a pen to tell Elder McQueary that, it was impossible for me to go to the church, for none but believers in Christ had right to the solemn ordinance of baptism, and I was in the darkness of unbelief. But bless the Lord, before; I could write the sentence against myself, God, who is rich in mercy, gave; me faith in his beloved Son, who was now my adorable Redeemer and my salvation. Then I wrote to the pastor and told him of my faith and hope in Christ, the firstborn from the dead, and that I would gladly come home to the household of faith, for God had clothed me in the righteousness of his holy Son, who had loved me and died for me, and had taken away both sin and death from me. And so the second Sunday in .June, 1854, I was buried with Christ in baptism and raised to walk in newness of life, and to serve God in newness of spirit.

Fifty years in the faith of Jesus, the Son of God, with all the trials of faith, have, made him only the more precious to me, and confirmed me in that first revelation of him to my rejoicing eyes, The Lord my Righteousness. From that happy day till now Jesus is all my salvation and all my desire. O how I long to awake with his heavenly likeness, see him in his glory and He satisfied.

My first birthday was seventy-seven years ago to-morrow, yet I am active, my hearing perfect, and I read without glasses. My address is Lebanon, Ohio.

In the new life your brother,

D. BARTLEY.

Nashville, Tenn., April 25, 1904.

2-43 Born of Water and the Spirit

Signs Of The Times
Volume 72, No. 11.
June 1, 1904

BORN OF WATER AND THE SPIRIT.

“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, He cannot, enter into the kingdom of God.” – {Joh 3:5}.

A friend in Canada who desires spiritual light, asks me to write soon on this text for the SIGNS, especially what it is to be “born of water.”

Jesus is the life and the true light. O may he give us all the light of life, that we may know the truth as it is in him.

He first said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus asked, “How can a man be born when he is old?” Jesus answers and tells how, in the words of the text. A man (any one of the race of man) must thus be born again, or he cannot see and enter into the kingdom of God. For God is a Spirit, and his kingdom is spiritual. His Son says, “My kingdom is not of this world.” But man, as born of the flesh, is of this world. This world is distinct from “the world to come.” A man is born into this world, this is a natural birth and is of the flesh; so a man is born into the kingdom of God when he is born again. This last birth is spiritual, and is of the Spirit. So Jesus further explains and defines these two births, saying, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Thus our Lord plainly teaches that there are two births, and only two; and that a man is born first, and he is born again. A man who is born of the flesh has natural life, (“the breath of life,”) and he sees and enters into the world. So also, a man who is born again, born of water and the Spirit, has spiritual life, life itself, and he sees and enters into the kingdom of God. As born again, the life of Jesus is made manifest in his mortal flesh. As born of the flesh, man is one with Adam and is earthly; and as born of the Spirit, man is one with Jesus and is heavenly.

“Born of water,” refers to the water of life, pure and holy, the life of Jesus, which he gives in the birth of the Spirit.

“The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life,” is the blessed word of our Lord. “I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” The letter of our inquiring friend shows me that he thus thirsts. Again Jesus says, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” Christ is the holy fountain of life, he is the well of salvation, he gives eternal life to as many as the Father gave him. When he gives it to a man, that one is then “born of water and of the Spirit.” (The last “of “is a supplied word, and so marked in italics.) Born of water and the Spirit are one, and cannot be separated. A man thus born, is passed from death unto life, and he is a new creature hi Christ, and is in the kingdom of God. This one is saved by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost. “And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her; and the Highest himself shall establish her.” – {Ps 87:5}. O how blessed the man who is born in Zion, the holy city of our God. “For there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.”

D. BARTLEY. June 14, 1904.

2-44 Born of Water

Signs Of The Times
Volume 72., No. 20.
OCTOBER 15, 1904.

BORN OF WATER.

DEAR BRETHREN BEEBE: – Having noticed the views of other dear brethren on the words, “Born of water,” I will, with your kind permission, present a few reflections on this subject for the consideration of the brotherhood.

The first thing I would remark is, that the clause, “born of water,” should be considered, not alone, but in connection with the entire subject of which it is a part. Nicodemus, as a devout Jew, doubtless expected to enter into the kingdom of God through his moral excellence and obedience to the law; therefore Jesus, who knew his heart, said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” This is the prime point, or truth, and it runs through the whole subject, from the third verse to the eighth. All else bears, explains and confirms this. Now Nicodemus had been born once, and so he had entered into this world, but as such he was natural, and had entered a natural world only. But the kingdom of God is spiritual, therefore, except a man be born again he cannot see it. But Nicodemus supposed one could be born again in no other way only as at first, and therefore he marveled and questioned. Then Jesus answered, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Here are two births, of water and of the Spirit, each distinct, as in the first and main proposition; and in this, as in that, the first is natural, but the second is spiritual. And to show that this is so, and is the meaning, Jesus immediately adds, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” Therefore it is clear that but two births are spoken of in all this discourse; one is of the flesh, the other is of the Spirit; for the first and last propositions present only these two, and all the discourse was bearing upon and expounding these. The only conclusion, therefore, that I can come to is, that the middle proposition, contained in the words, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,” precisely agrees in meaning with the first and last propositions, as shown at the third, sixth and seventh verses. This is the most evident, apparent and simple interpretation of this mooted scripture, and therefore the most likely to be the correct one. Do the scriptures anywhere duplicate the new birth, or divide it into two distinct parts and processes? Not at all. But this would have to be if the words “born of water and of the Spirit” all apply to being born again, instead of to the two births, the fleshly and the spiritual.

Dear editor, I have watched with interest the commencement of your labors as second editor of the SIGNS, and I must say I am highly pleased. I think I may safely say that no one appreciated your father’s editorial writings in general more than I did; but now that he rests from his labors, I believe that the good hand of the Lord is manifest in putting you in his place. May he sustain and bless you, dear brother.

In fervent love to all the saints, your afflicted and poor brother, D. BARTLEY.

2-45 Bless the Lord, O My Soul

Signs of the Times,
Volume 49, No. 21,
November 1, 1881.

“BLESS THE LORD, O MY SOUL!”

Unto thee, O God, I look; upon thee I call; thou art the refuge of my soul, and in thee alone my soul makes her boast and trusts. Thou art the strength of my life and my hope, from my youth till my old age; for thou didst have mercy upon me, and pardon all my sins, and reveal thy Son in me as thy salvation unto his people and my Redeemer, my life, my righteousness and my glory. Thou, O God, hast given me to rejoice in his name, and he is become my salvation. Yea, I am complete in him in whom all fullness dwells, and with him thou hast freely given me all things. O, my Father, I bless thy holy name for the unspeakable gift of thy beloved Son, whom saints and angels joyfully praise, and upon whom they ascend and descend. He is the brightness of thy glory, and the express image of thy person, and he is the glory of all thy saints. My rejoicing spirit boasts in Jesus, and glorifies thee, my Father, that thou hast given me to him, and him to me, and that thou art my God and Father in him, and hast made me thy son. O goodly heritage! How infinitely blessed and holy my relation to thee, and glorious my inheritance and estate! The heirs of earth and children of pride are poor and mean in comparison, O my blessed Father. For, “My Beloved is mine, and I am his.” Thy holiness, thy heaven, thy eternity of perfect beauty, glory and bliss, are mine – mine in Jesus, who is thine and mine. Holy father, I come to thee in him, I plead his righteousness as mine; his suffering and death, his rejoicing and life, his love and obedience, are mine, mine in him and with him. All he is in thy holy sight, I am this in him. Thou, my Father, hast made thy blessed and holy Son unto me wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption; therefore I glory in the Lord Jesus, and glorify thee in him. I love thee with my whole heart in him, and loving thee, I serve thee in him. He is my well of living water, springing up in my heart and adoring spirit into everlasting life. O, I praise and bless thee for him. Because he lives, I shall live also. Yea, my Father, I now live and believe in Jesus, and I shall never die. Dead indeed I am unto sin, but alive unto righteousness through my Lord Jesus Christ, who is my life, and I now live in him. My life is hid with him in thee, O God. Yet a little while, and Christ shall appear unto me in glory, and then I shall appear with him in thy presence and glory, and being conformed to his image in my whole spirit and soul and body, when I shall awake with his likeness, I shall be satisfied. Unto this inheritance of life and immortality, holiness and glory in Christ, thy firstborn from the dead, my resurrection and my life, thou hast predestinated me, my Father and God, who worketh all things after the counsel of thine own will, and for the good of them that love thee; therefore my soul makes her boast in thee, and would joyfully triumph in Christ, saying, “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name.”

Beloved brethren, children of the true and living God, I commit the above adoration of my soul to you as a tribute of praise to our God, so that, when I depart to be with Christ, you may be comforted in the divine assurance of faith and hope and love that through Jesus our God hath given me the victory over the last enemy and every foe, and that you may rejoice in hope and say, “Blessed are the dead, which die in the Lord.” Clouds are over the sun this morning, yet the Sun of righteousness shines in my soul, and is my life and light, and I am light in the Lord.

All who have written and spoken against me reproachfully, because of the doctrine of Christ, or for any cause, may God forgive them for Christ’s sake, and bless them, as he has blessed me.

Farewell.

D. BARTLEY.

Crawfordsville, Ind.

2-46 The Atonement

Signs Of The Times
Volume 67, No. 12.
JUNE 15, 1899.

THE ATONEMENT.

Atone means to make reparation, satisfaction and reconciliation. When this is done, the injury is atoned for. Atonement applies to sin or wrong doing. Sin is violation of law, either divine or human. To every transgression of law there is a penalty. The laws of God are so strong and perfect that every sin must receive its just penalty. God is holy and he will never pardon the least sin, unless it is atoned for. To do this, the broken law must he fulfilled. Perfect obedience only will fulfill and satisfy the law. No sinner can do this, because he is already imperfect and disabled or weak. Sin entails guilt, condemnation and death. The whole world is guilty before God, because all have sinned. “The wages of sin is death,” and every sinner must die. God is just and holy, therefore, in the condemnation of all men under his holy law. Right here is where the truth of salvation by free grace alone comes in, and every mouth is stopped, because there is none good, no, not one. None have any claim upon God for justification, or any blessing. “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight.” All men in the flesh are forever condemned by the law, and are under its curse. Mercy and grace only can save any sinner. Yet all men in the flesh depend upon their works to obtain salvation, and they claim the blessings of God as rewards for religious service. They make salvation conditional in part upon their supposed obedience to the holy commandments of God. Thus thy must either hold that their obedience is perfect, or that the divine commandments are imperfect and will accept of faulty obedience. This was the fatal blindness of the Jewish Pharisees, who trusted in themselves and their self-righteousness. They therefore did not believe in Christ as the Savior of sinners, nor trust in his atoning blood to cleanse them from all sin. Nay, but they depended upon their boasted ability and good works to make atonement or satisfaction to the law of God, which is holy. Just so does every doctrine and principle of conditional salvation on man’s part virtually deny both the complete fullness and sufficiency of Christ’s atonement and the need of it; for every feature and sort of conditional salvation necessarily claims to save us from some sin and its punishment or wages. This is nothing else but making atonement in part for ourselves, by our works of conditional salvation. It is evident, therefore, that the doctrine of conditional salvation, in any part, is a denial of the perfection and fullness of Christ’s atonement for all the sins of his people. For a full and complete atonement for all our sins, is full redemption, free justification and perfect salvation. Conditional salvation from any sin, either of commission or omission, contradicts this full and perfect salvation through the atonement of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and charges imperfection and failure in part to his perfect work of obedience unto righteousness and full justification and salvation. Conditional salvation denies that all salvation and its joys and blessings come to us through Christ’s atoning suffering unto death for our sins, but claims that salvation in part comes to us because of our own obedience; that is, the atonement for our sins of disobedience is in part conditional, and depends upon our good works of obedience. There is no escape from this fatal consequence of conditional salvation, for all salvation is from sin and death, and that which brings salvation is an atonement for sin; if this is our works, then it is not the blood of Christ that obtains our salvation and God’s blessing. Unitarians deny the divinity, vicarious sufferings and atonement of our only Lord Jesus Christ; therefore they depend upon their own works of supposed obedience to the commandments of God to atone for their sins and obtain salvation for themselves; that is, they hold to personal atonement by works of obedience, and to conditional salvation either present or future; for it all depends upon works, and is not by grace.

With thanks to God for his unspeakable gift, we turn away from this bloodless atonement and faithless salvation, to the “fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins, and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains,” and in joyful faith and praise we say, “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

Let us notice, 1st. The necessity of the atonement. We read, “Without shedding of blood is no remission.” “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” “There is none righteous, no, not one.” “And so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” “For the wages of sin is death.” The Savior of shiners, therefore, must give his life-blood and die for their sins, as the atoning sacrifice and price of their redemption. Christ thus gave himself for all his people, and made this perfect offering and sacrifice of himself. “By his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

2nd. The completeness of Christ’s atonement. Atonement must cover all sin, pay all the debt, redeem from all iniquity, remove all guilt and every curse, and justify from all things, in order to fulfill the law and satisfy justice. Should the least stain of sin remain upon the body of Christ, the church, then both he and his people for whom he died must have remained forever under the curse of the law, and the dominion of sin and death. Paul shows this in 1 Cor. xv. But blessed be God, the obedience and death of his holy Son possessed this perfection and infinite merit and saving power. So we read, “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

3rd. Since the atonement of Christ removes all guilt and cleanses from all sin, it freely justifies us from all things, and none can condemn or lay anything to the charge of God’s elect. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” “For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.”

4th. Paul testifies that God raised Christ from the dead for our justification, and that whom God justifies he also glorifies. “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” This full and free justification not only makes us forever free from all sin and guilt and condemnation, but it also brings us into righteousness and salvation and eternal life, as heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. “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.”

5th. The atonement of Christ, then, makes an end of sin, destroys death, and brings in life and immortality for all who are his. This is the holy and blessed estate of all for whoso sins Christ died. Their sins are all blotted out forever for Jesus’ sake, and they have free and full and everlasting forgiveness from God their Father. Yea, they are born of God, have passed from death unto life, and shall live for evermore, because Christ lives in them. His fullness of grace and glory is theirs in him, and in him is their full salvation and all spiritual blessings, both for time and eternity. “If Christ is mine, then present things and things to come are mine.” When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory.

D. BARTLEY.

2-47 Correspondence Feb. 6, 1880

Signs Of The Times
Volume 73., No. 13.
JULY 1, 1905.

CORRESPONDENCE FEB. 6, 1880

JASPER, Fla., Feb. 6, 1880

DEAR BROTHER BEEBE & SON: – As under the mercy of God, I am still sojourning in the South, and laboring among the churches here and there, it may interest some of the your many dear readers to hear something from me concerning my travels and our meetings. And since not a few have asked me to write something for the SIGNS, I will try to do so occasionally, if the Lord will, and submit it to you. But I must now be brief. During the month of December, I tried to preach for most of the many churches of the Ocklocknee Association, of south Georgia. Many of those churches have had severe trials in the recent past, but they now have cheering evidences of the gracious power of the Lord, and that he is about to gather them together and build them up. In many of their meetings, the comfort of the spirit and the power of the truth were deeply felt, and the thoughts of many hearts were made manifest. Believers in the Lord were edified, united and strengthened in the truth of the gospel of Christ, mourners in Zion were comforted, some penitent sinners “hearing, believed and were baptized,” and the dear brethren in the ministry, who serve the churches, were encouraged and “pressed in spirit to testify that Jesus is the Christ,” as they had already done. Our faith and hope and love in Christ, and our joy and gladness in the gospel, and in beholding the good work of the Lord, were mutual. We all entered into the preciousness of the truth, that, “There is one body, and one spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and though all, and in you all.”

And indeed this has been true among all the churches of the saints, with whom I have been in the South.

The united testimony of all has been that, “SALVATION IS OF THE LORD,” and “by grace.” All preach and believe that the death of Christ is the means of redemption, and that we shall be saved by his life.

Many, who were not yet added to the church, gave us tearful evidences that the Holy Ghost had begun the good work of salvation in them; and their deep and solemn interest in the meetings and preaching, told that they hunger and thirst after righteousness, and shall be filled.

At the close of one of the meetings, at the house of Eld. John Maxwell, Misses Sarah and Mary Maxwell, sisters and his nieces, were delivered from the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son; and their dear old parents and the rest of us both wept and rejoiced with them.

A few days after, brother Maxwell buried them in baptism, and they went on their way rejoicing.

The last Saturday in December, it was my comforting privilege to be present at the ordination of Eld. J. V. Tipton, who is a worthy and good minister of Christ, and also to hear a sister relate to the church the reason of her hope.

Eld. Tipton, and several others in his locality, came to us lately from the modern Missionary Baptists; and others are expected to follow them soon.

So the good Shepherd is still not only calling his own sheep by name, and leading them out, but he is also giving his flock pastors according to his heart, who shall feed them with knowledge and understanding.

To my many home brethren and friends, who know and feel interested in me, let me say, my weak lung is improving, my general health is good, I am kindly cared for in my sorrowful sojourn and arduous labors; for I am traveling and trying to preach almost daily. If not providentially called home sooner, I hope to return again when the weather becomes warm. The Lord bless you all. In love to all the saints, your brother I hope,

D. BARTLEY.

2-48 Correspondence Feb. 3, 1897

Signs of the Times
Volume 48, No. 5
March 1, 1880

CORRESPONDENCE FEB. 3, 1897

CRAWFORDSVILLE, IND., Feb. 3, 1897.

ELDER P. A. Chick – MY DEAR BROTHER: – The inclosed from sister Minnie B. Matthew will interest you, and it is at your disposal, by her leave. Most fully do I concur with her in reference to the unlimited meaning of Paul’s strong and comforting statement, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” It must be so, for Paul again says that God “worketh all things after the counsel of his own will;” and all who love God are the beloved of him, we know. Then will he not control and overrule all things to the ultimate good of his foreknown and beloved people, “To them who are the called according to his purpose?” Assuredly he will. It were unbelief to say otherwise, and would be limiting the power of the Most High. Following right on in the strong assurance of faith in God, Paul boldly asks, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ! shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword!” He repels such a thought, saying, “Nay, in all these things we are mere than conquerors, through him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Does not this enumeration include “all things?” Does not Paul’s divine Master assure his disciples of the same faithful love and care of God the Father, telling them that not a sparrow shall fall to the ground without his notice, and that the very hairs of their heads are numbered! And does not his servant Peter assure his brethren that they “are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation?” How then can anything arise against them outside of the “all things” that work together for their good! Hear Paul’s sweeping challenge, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect!”

“If God be for us, who can be against us?” All this comfortingly assures my faith that when Paul says, “All things work together for good to them that love God,” he means all things, and that there is not anything outside of all things, which shall not so work for their good. If such a thing were possible, it would be a mere chance event, and would deny the omnipotence of God. We rejoice that such a thing cannot be. It does not follow from this that the children of God’s love are either neutral, or passive, in their loving obedience to him, but the rather that this knowledge of this strong consolation brings them under the mest sacred and endearing obligations to be his followers as dear children, running with patience the race that is set before them. How blessed the divine assurance that the Lord encampeth round about his saints, and that their everlasting Father worketh in them, both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Thus they are willing in the day of his power, in the beauties of holiness, and their delight is in the law of the Lord; they run, and are not weary in well doing, and walk in paths of holiness, and faint not. Therefore, brother Chick, it is a matter of sorrow and surprise to me, that any of our dear kindred in Christ could find it in their heart to even want to deny that God’s sweetly reigning grace in the hearts of his children is the true source of all their willing and loving obedience. Why any one should insist, and even contend, that our salvation from sin and disobedience in time is a legal transaction, conditional, and not of grace, but depending upon ourselves, as a reward of merit, or as wages paid for our obedience – why any, who at all believes in salvation by grace, will contend for this legal transaction, is passing strange to me. For both revelation, and experience, teach us that nothing but the love of God abiding in the heart, and his grace sweetly reigning therein unto righteousness, will subdue the sinfulness of the flesh, the enmity of the carnal mind, and both teach and sweetly constrain any man or woman “to live soberly, righteously and godly, in this present world.” Paul was not ashamed to say, “For the love of Christ constraineth us.” Nor to say again, “Put by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace, which was bestowed upon me, was not in vain; but I labored mere abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” He would have been grieved, had any minister of the gospel of grace charged upon his doctrine or teaching that it denied the accountability of the children of God to him, and reduced them to mere stocks or stones, or that his doctrine of grace charged all the meanness and bad acts of men upon God. To me it seems passing strange that any who are “saved by grace,” should want to deny that this grace saves them to the uttermost, from all their sins, meanness, unrighteousness and disobedience, in time, and unto blest eternity; for if grace docs not save us from all these things, then will any one please tell me what does? “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” Was the poet in error when he sang,

“’Twas glace that kept me to this day,
And will not let me go?”

There is, there can be, but two principles or systems of salvation. One is grace, the other is works; one is unconditional, the other is conditional; one is of the Lord, the other is of man; one depends upon the Holy Spirit, the other “depends upon ourselves.” There is no such thing as blending, or mixing these two principles, for they are contrary the one to the other, and where one obtains, the other ceases. One bestows all the blessings received, as God’s free and unbought gift, the other deals them out as a debt paid for the good works done. One leads the seeking soul who desires salvation from every sin to cry, “God, be merciful to me a sinner,” the other disposes the sinner to say, “God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are.” This radical difference runs throughout these two principles of salvation, and there is no escaping from these opposite effects, for every tree bears fruit after its own kind. Now then, if we apply the principle of unconditional salvation, or salvation by grace, to our everlasting salvation, but apply the principle of conditional salvation, or salvation of works, to our “time salvation,” we then have two principles and ways of salvation at war against each other, absolutely irreconcilable and contradictory, and make ourselves mere inconsistent than Arminians.

The address of Paul to the saints at Ephesus, also embraces all the chosen and predestinated people of the covenant God and Father, of whom he says, “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: 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.” Here we have in Christ all spiritual blessings vouchsafed to us, even unto perfect love and holiness, and full adoption, or redemption, in the everlasting presence of the Father and Son; and this, all this, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved. Paul here covers the entire period of this blessed people’s salvation, from the choice in Christ before the world was, to their entrance into God’s presence as his glorified children; and through it all, from first to last, their only acceptance and approval is in the Beloved, and all to the praise of the glory of his grace. It is therefore true that every heavenly blessing we receive in time, as also in eternity, is a blessing of grace, and each sweet reward connected with our salvation, is a reward of grace, all given and treasured in the Lord Jesus, the spiritual head of the body, and freely bestowed upon the heirs of salvation for his righteousness’ sake, and in his name. This is God the Father’s will. O, what unspeakable and heavenly obligations all this salvation and blessing brings us under to be the followers of God as dear children, walking in love, and in loving and delightful obedience to the precious and beloved Savior. What child’s heart can resist the grateful incense of praise for blessings so infinite? or harden his heart against obligations and metives so heavenly and divine? What else than this heavenly fullness of abounding and saving grace, reigning through righteousness, will subdue our sins, fit us to walk in all the paths of holiness, and bring every thought into sweet obedience unto Christ? So grace well deserves the praise. And when the glorious, heavenly temple is completed, and the Headstone is brought forth, it will be with shoutings of grace, grace unto it. Even now my soul would join in this heavenly acclaim. Your brother in bonds of grace,

D. BARTLEY.

2-49 Correspondence Nov. 1, 1899

Signs Of The Times
Volume 65., No.16.
AUGUST 15, 1897.

CORRESPONDENCE NOV. 1, 1899

Crawfordsville, Ind., Nov. 1,1899.

Beloved Editors: – In compliance with numerous requests to send a report to the Signs of my recent visit to churches in Ohio and West Virginia, this is written. By request of Elder J. G. Ford and other members of the Sugar Greek church in Ohio, to attend their meeting on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 7th and 8th, it was my privilege to be with them, and to participate with them in the blessed spiritual feast that the Lord gave us the two days and nights. Monday morning the company of believers in Christ repaired to the river side, and by the requests of sister Post and her father, Elder Ford, it was my sacred privilege to bury her with Christ in baptism, she having given a touching evidence of her saving faith in him. After an early dinner, she and brother and sister Ford and old brother Rymer went with me to Celina, Ohio, forty miles, where we were pleasantly met by a goodly band of the followers of Jesus at the commodious home of Elder Henry and sister Hole, near the town, including the church in their house, (for the church meets in it) Elder Newton Peters, their pastor, with them; and that night and Tuesday morning we had truly heavenly meetings, and realized that the Lord was in our midst, so that our joy was full. That afternoon Elders Hole and Peters, brother Rymer and myself, went twenty miles in buggies, to the home of old brother and sister York, and had meeting in their village at night. The next day our company drove on through rain twelve miles to the home of dear old Elder John Peters, who resides with brother and sister Light, (his daughter) where we had a double happy surprise and a night meeting, for just at dark a company of brethren whom we did not expect, came in, among them dear Elder Ford and sisters Post and Hole, and after the preaching by myself and brother Ford, brother Henry Peters talked to the church, and was joyfully received, and baptized by brother Hole the next morning. His dear wife, a sister, was almost overcome with joy, and his aged father, with all of us, rejoiced to receive his last child into the church, so that his is a believing household.

The next morning (Thursday) I left for Grafton, W. Va., by request of Elder J. S. Corder and the brethren with him, to be with them at their two three days meetings, ending with the third and fourth Sundays in October, where I arrived at break of day Friday, and he came up on a train from Philippi at nine o’clock that morning, and we rode out in a carriage five miles to the Amnon church-house, on top of a high hill, for the convenience of the membership, who reside on each side of the high divide. This meeting of three days was largely attended, and deep was the interest, for the presence and power of the Lord were joyfully realized. Elders Bartlett, Gainer and Cross, and brother Cleavenger, a licentiate, were with Elder Corder and myself, and took a part in the ministry. An aged sister, eighty-one, and two brothers, gave a relation of their hope in Christ, and brother Cross baptized them.

Monday, brother Corder took me to his pleasant valley home, a hospitable Virginia home, and dear sister Corder and their daughter at home, sister Semma Corder, are meek and excellent Baptists. Wednesday night Elder Corder and I held a meeting in the Philippi courthouse, and were warmly entertained by the two brethren Thompson and the dear family of Deacon Thompson.

The next Friday to Sunday night a host of dear Old School Baptists were gathered with the Clear Creek church, far up the Tygart’s Valley River, which was like another associational meeting in numbers, and the blessed Lord again poured out the spirit of grace and love and gladness upon us. Here dear Elder Murphy, the pastor, Elders Corder, Bartlett, Cole and brother Cleavenger were with me, and very many visiting brethren and sisters, and we all felt that it was good to be there, and to join in praising him who saved us and called us with an holy calling, that we should glorify the riches of his grace. Elder Bartlett is Elder Corder’s son-in-law, and the youthful Elder Cole is his grandson, and the beloved old Elder is blessed in these two sons in the ministry, as fellow-helpers.

Our last meeting was with the home church of brother Corder, Mt. Olive, on the next Wednesday, near his home, where brethren Bartlett and Cleavenger again met us, sister Bartlett and her dear mother and sister, with many of the Corder family, including a younger and older brother of the old Elder, the elder one eighty-six, who rode nine miles on horseback, making a triplet of good old soldiers of the cross, and a goodly company of dear kindred in Christ besides, with Christ in our midst, who came down and blessed us, and we rejoiced in his salvation. Here we all bade each other farewell, hoping to meet again. At all those three churches the members and visitors and friends, with the ministers, are sound in the faith of God’s elect, and they rejoice in Christ and in the truth as it is in him. They are very hospitable, sincere and kind, and their liberality abounded. While it was my first visit to them, and not one of them had I ever met, it was among the dearest and best in all my extended ministry, and they all are very dear to me in the Lord, and with tender love and sadness I left.

The next evening I arrived again at the home of dear brother and sister Hole, on the western side of Ohio, where I enjoyed a needed rest. On Friday the visiting brethren and sisters began to arrive, not a few from long distances, from Ohio and Indiana, among them Elder and sisters Ford and Post, brother Rymer, brother and sister Benjamin Ford and her father, brother Myers, and more came on Saturday, including Elder Newton Peters. And in this dear Baptist home we had good and pleasant meetings Friday night, twice Saturday and three times Sunday, and comfort and love and peace abounded. The interest here in the cause of Christ is very comforting, and believers will be added to the church, no doubt. These also are kind and liberal and good Baptists, as in Virginia, and I was closely drawn to them in love. Our meetings were seasoned with very much singing of spiritual songs, and making melody in our hearts unto the Lord.

Sunset Monday, Oct. 30th, I was thankful to be at home again, finding my lonely wife well and glad for my safe return. She joins in love to all our dear, loving kindred in Christ in Ohio, and Virginia, and everywhere.

The sufficient grace of the precious Christ be with you all. D. BARTLEY.

2-50 Correspondence Nov. 19, 1899

Signs Of The Times
Volume 67, No. 24.
DECEMBER 15, 1899.

CORRESPONDENCE NOV. 19, 1899

Crawfordsville, Ind., Nov. 19, 1899.

Elder F. A. Chick – Very Dear Brother In Christ: – The shadow of night is upon our part of the earth, and also a dark mantle of sorrow has fallen upon my spirit to-night, and my heart is troubled, without my scarcely knowing why; for I still realize “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble: and he knoweth them that trust in him,” and truly my soul does trust in him. “He is my soul’s sweet morning star, and be my rising sun. “And my sad heart would make this humble appeal to him:

“Do not I love thee, O my Lord?
Behold my heart and see,
And turn each cursed idol out,
That dares to rival thee.”

I cannot believe that it is always for some known or willful neglect or disobedience that we are sorrowful and afflicted in spirit, or that felt darkness of soul is the Father’s rod of chastisement, necessarily; for many other things may cause this, as so often spoken of in the experience of “holy men of old,” as also in the perfectly obedient life of the holy Son of man, while in the days of his flesh. His sufferings in the flesh touch my own sorrowful heart now with a deep and tender sympathy, and with solace, as balm to my burdened spirit, while the thought arises, O! have I fellowship with Christ in his sufferings! and am I worthy to suffer for his sake? If so, then my sufferings and sorrows are sanctified of God, and I am blessed in them. This brings touchingly before me the expressive words of Jesus: “Blessed are they that mourn.” To-night my heart mourns, not on account of any fleshly trouble, or natural sorrow, but because of so much imperfection and infirmity in myself, and all around me, so that my very soul cries out, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” In this sorrowful state that I am in now, the deep and true meaning of the excellent editorial of brother B. L. Beebe in the last issue of the Signs comes with greater power and comfort to my mind than when I read it, though I felt its solemn truth then. But there are times in our experience of salvation, of salvation from all that we need to be saved from, when the dear Lord is pleased to show us our utmost weakness and greatest need, and then are we truly humbled and brought into the very realization of the words of Christ: “For without me, ye can do nothing.” When Jonah confessed that “Salvation is of the Lord,” his state and environment made him both know and feel this truth, even before the Lord saved him. And so in our realization of salvation in all its manifestations, we are first brought into the helplessness and utter need that Jonah felt, and then we have the certain knowledge that personal experience only can bring, that the Lord alone can raise ns up out of the pit, the deep water, the darkness, sorrow and trial, and save us. I feel this truth now, because it is brought home to my heart; and I have no power to save myself, to bid the darkness flee, to say to my soul,” Rejoice in the Lord.” O that I could be glad and rejoice, as in other times, when the Lord lifted upon me the light of his countenance.

Jesus knew perfectly the sinfulness of the flesh, the weakness of man, for he was in the flesh, and to his three chief apostles he said, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” And of himself as a man he said, “I can of mine own self do nothing.” Then, O how much more true this is of weak and sinful me! It is not as a dry doctrine, a mere theory, that I confess this, for I am down in the depths, and sadly, painfully do I feel its deep reality. Yea, God has caused me to feel it many times before to-night, very many; but I am so dull and weak that I forget, and seem to be walking safely and pleasantly on, above the shadows, as if my mountain stood firm and strong, when, lo it is night, and I am in trouble.

Dear brother Chick, I will now try to complete my present message to you, twenty-four hours having elapsed since I wrote last night. I hope that it was not “love’s labor lost,” but may meet a response in your heart, “As face answereth to face in water,” and be to you a little comfort. It presents my experience by far the larger part of the time, for my spiritual walk is largely in “the valley of the shadow of death,” and it is a low valley, as you yourself know; so low and so dense the shadow that from very necessity the pilgrim who sojourns in it walks by faith, not by sight At times there are indeed rifts in the shadowy clouds, because to the trembling, weak and fearing wayfaring ones the Sun of righteousness arises with healing in his wings of light and love, and then there is peace and gladness in the soul, and thus revived and inspired we each say, “I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” The staff of the good Shepherd is to lean upon, while the rod or crook is to guide the sheep through the valley and the wilderness, that they lose not the safe and good way, up to the green pastures on the mountain sides, where they lie down and find rest. The Lord, the Shepherd, leads the sheep of his pasture in all this way in which the redeemed walk, and he will neither leave nor forsake them. How rich the divine mercy that we shall not always walk in the deep valley of the dismal shadow of death, but shall safely walk through it, and leave the valley, the shadow, the gloom and the sorrow, for the life and light immortal, where there is no need of any earthly light, for the glory of God shining in the face of the Lamb, who is the life and the light, giveth light to all the blest inhabitants of the holy Mount Sion. So, my brother, as certainly as we walk in the valley of the shadow of death, we shall also walk through it, and its farthest border terminates upon the “heavenly country,” where there is not the fear of even the shadow of death. But how precious the divine assurance that it is only the shadow of death that pilgrims to the “better country “now walk in, and that death itself is behind them, and they have been “brought up out of this horrible pit,” “quickened and raised up together with Christ; but death, the conquered monster, casts its grim shadow across this low valley where pilgrims now walk. Plainly, my brother, we now talk in the flesh, which is as a dark vail, so dark that its chilling gloom hangs over the spirit of the sojourning child of our Father in heaven as the very shadow of death. Yet this is the way the patriarchs and prophets walked; yea, my brother, all the redeemed unto God and the Lamb, who have gone on before us, have walked down in this lowly vale, and this heavy shadow has hung over them, and it has fallen upon them “as the horror of a great darkness,” causing them to mourn in sorrow and weakness, and to go tremblingly and softly on. “The children are partakers of flesh and blood;” therefore the days of the life of their pilgrimage are few and full of trouble, and to them it is given to “sow in tears,” before they shall reap in joy. This is the way our God has foreordained; therefore it is through much tribulation that we must enter the heavenly and holy kingdom of God our Father. The experience of the apostle Paul, as told by himself in {Ro 7}, is likewise the experience of every one “saved by the Lord,” an experience of utmost inability or weakness, and of sorrow and wretchedness, so that all thanksgiving to God is “through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Paul would have had it otherwise, and so would we, but the Lord said to him, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” This, and only this, prepared Paul to attribute all the power and glory of his eminent service in the work of the gospel ministry to the Lord Jesus, and his sufficient grace. It is an humbling but needful lesson of experience that we be taught to rather glory in our infirmities and confess our weakness, to the end that the power of Christ may rest upon us also than to trust in man, or depend upon ourselves in the spiritual service of our God. O, so sorrowfully do I realize the force of this in myself; therefore all that I have thus written is out of a heartfelt and sad realization that it is so, but not in the way of controversy at all. For I have the same tendencies, of the fleshly mind that other brethren have, and this is ever a legal tendency, because all that pertains to ourselves as born of the flesh is legal, and ever leads us to trust in and depend upon ourselves. I find this principle in myself continually, in all my devotions, and services in the gospel ministry; and I humbly confess to you, my brother, that it has been and yet is only through a very sorrowful and suffering experience, which deeply abases me, that I am afraid to trust in myself, or rely upon any ability that I already have to obey and worship and serve God; for try as I may, I utterly fail, disappoint myself, and feel that I have deep cause for self shame at my own presuming ignorance and weakness, in supposing that I was something, and could accomplish something good and worthy, when I was nothing. Therefore I cannot believe that any moment of salvation, or any spiritual blessing, is in our own hands, or depends upon ourselves, for we ourselves are certainly as utterly without the ability to do the good that we would as Paul was, and are absolutely dependent upon the power of God to keep us unto salvation; and he does this through the faith which is his gift. So, then, we are continually dependent upon God and his grace in every act of true obedience and acceptable service to him. God has taught me this in my sorrowful and heartfelt experience, and is teaching it to me more and more, and it is my solemn understanding of what his prophets and apostles have recorded in his holy oracles, if he has taught me any divine truth at all, and I do verily believe he has. God has taught me to realize and feel the depth of my undeservings, and that in my entire being of spirit and soul and body, I am infinitely indebted to his rich mercy and abounding grace for salvation and blessing in all their fullness and amplification, both now and forever. So, my precious brother in Christ our only Savior, should all our people believe and teach otherwise, and affirm that our salvation in time is conditional, and that our gospel or spiritual blessings depend upon ourselves, and are received as conditional rewards because of or for our obedience to God, it would not be possible for me to believe it, because the Scriptures and my own suffering experience, from November, 1846, till now, teach me that it is not true; and because it contradicts the new covenant of grace, which is unconditional, and depends entirely upon the Lord to perform and fulfill it. The perfectly obedient and holy Son of man himself said, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” “I am in the Father, and the Father in me: the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. “In harmony with this, his servant Paul says, “For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified; but he that judgeth me is the Lord.” “And such trust have we through Christ to Godward: not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” These are creature-humbling truths, but they exalt God, and glorify his Son and Spirit. Deeply do I feel in my spirit the divine force of the words of Jesus: “I can of mine own self do nothing;” and thus taught, I confess my entire and unceasing dependence upon the Father Almighty for wisdom and strength to both suffer and do his will.

I remain as ever, your poor brother, D. BARTLEY.

2-51 Correspondence Nov. 18, 1900

Signs Of The Times
Volume 68, No. 2.
JANUARY 15, 1900.

CORRESPONDENCE NOV. 18, 1900

Crawfordsville, Ind., Nov. 18, 1900.

Dear Brother Beebe: – Ever since reading your timely and excellent editorial on “Striving about words to no profit,” the desire has been in my heart to express to you my satisfaction and comfort in it, and my gratitude to the Lord and you for it, for it will do much good, and was a word spoken in season. My wife also very much enjoyed it, and we do not think anything could be more effective and suitable for the time. The Lord says, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” This Scripture is being fulfilled among us. It does seem to me that the SIGNS was never more needed and useful than at this time, nor more true and faithful, and the Lord is certainly with you in conducting it to his honor and glory, in faithful maintenance of his revealed truth in the salvation of his people, and in instructing and edifying them in the truth as it is in Christ. How very sad and afflicting it would be for the friends of truth and welfare of the Old School Baptist cause, if they did not have the faithful SIGNS. Yet many of the so-called Primitive Baptists would feel a fleshly triumph in seeing it fail, no doubt, and some of them near here. But may the Lord sustain both you and it, dear brother, and my faith is that he will. Brother Chick is a capable and faithful co-editor with you, and his writings are excellent and appropriate. That on Worship was truly good. Then your father’s editorial on Absolute Predestination, in the same number, was as good as could be, and I am thankful it was republished just at that time.

I am thankful to see the defense of Elder Chandler in the present number of the SIGNS. I know him personally, and he is an humble, worthy and true minister of the gospel, but has been persecuted for the truth’s sake.

With thankfulness I tell you that orders for Priesthood have come in very encouragingly, with frequent expressions of approval of the work from those who have read it. So that I feel assured the cost of publication will be met in a reasonable time.

I hope you are in comfortable health now, and that the health of Elder William has been restored. In loving fellowship your brother,

D. BARTLEY.

2-52 Correspondence Feb. 11, 1901

Signs Of The Times
Volume 68, No. 23.
DECEMBER 1, 1900.

CORRESPONDENCE FEB. 11, 1901

Crawfordsville, Ind., Feb. 11, 1901.

Beloved Brother Beebe: – My heart prompts me to thank you for your dear letter of the 8th, received this morning, bringing words of blessed comfort in my sorrow, and they have done me much good. Dear brother Chick also sent me helpful words of comfort yesterday. As I write you now, in tears of mingled sorrow and comfort, I think of the angels of God who were sent and ministered to his Son in his trial and great sorrow, and it melts my heart that the Father thus ministers to one so poor and unworthy as myself in this time of heavy sorrow and sore trial. O, my dear brother, I cannot now tell you how deeply I am tried. The Lord knoweth it all, and he knoweth how to succor me. The blessed words of the suffering Redeemer come to me, spoken to his troubled disciples in their sorrow: “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” When the sisters of the sleeping Lazarus were in heart-breaking sorrow, and there was nothing in the law or the Jew’s religion that could comfort them, Jesus himself went tothem and by his word and power he relieved and comforted them, so that their mourning was turned into joy. “The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life,” he says, and we find it true. To the sisters he said, “And whosoever liveth, and believeth in me, shall never die.” Their brother lived and believed in him. Therefore, Jesus said, “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth.” Lazarus was not dead, then; for Christ was his life, and he slept in Jesus. O how comforting! This truth consoles me in this great sorrow for my own loss. The divine assurance abides with me that my daughter, who was so lovely in spirit, lives with her Savior within the veil, and that his precious word is true of her: “Weep not; for she is not dead, but sleepeth.” O, brother Beebe! in such an hour as this, how exceedingly precious is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and how empty and puerile is all else.

For the relief of my sorrowing and burdened heart, I have just finished a paper on Sin and Redemption and Salvation, which is submitted to you, and which gave me comfort as my wife read it to me. If you find comfort in it as the truth of God, you will please give it to the precious brotherhood in Christ, that they may be comforted with the same comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. It has strengthened and cheered me in my trials of faith, that many have written me of the solid comfort the SIGNS is to them, and my poor writings also – poor as compared with the riches of our Lord’s grace and truth. My own spirit has so often thanked and blessed the gracious Giver of every good and perfect gift for the perpetuation and abiding faithfulness of the precious SIGNS OF THE TIMES. The Lord richly bless you and yours, my dear brother Beebe, in all your tribulations and afflictions in the gospel of his grace, and all your dear readers also, with our meek and faithful brother Chick, whom I have known and loved from his youth.

Now in closing, I am impressed that the measure of my affliction is nearly filled up, and that “I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.” I would not have it otherwise; for to depart, and be with Christ, is far better. It is only by the grace of God and in sorrowful humility that I may further say, with Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” The name of the Lord be praised, for his grace and glory. Please say to all the beloved in Christ for me, Be faithful unto death, and the Lord will give you the crown of life.

In fervent love and fellowship in Christ, your sorrowful brother, D. BARTLEY.

2-53 Correspondence Aug. 20, 1901

Signs Of The Times
Volume 69, No. 6
MARCH 15, 1901.

CORRESPONDENCE AUG. 20, 1901

Crawfordsville, Ind., August 20, 1901.

Dear Brother Beebe: – The SIGNS for Sept. 1st came yesterday, and we have read it all and found much comfort in it. I greatly appreciate your father’s editorial; also Elder Durand’s article, as it is a clear presentation of the creature made subject to vanity, unwillingly, but in hope of deliverance. Many have applied this to Adam, strange to say; for he sinned willingly, and so do all his posterity in nature, neither are they subjected by the Lord in hope, but his dear children on earth are. I am thankful that brother Durand has showed this.

My wish is, that the brethren may liberally respond to your very liberal offer, to send the SIGNS to five persons for one dollar to the end of the year. There are many to whom the precious SIGNS would thus come as a rich favor, freighted with the truth as it is in Christ, and they would thereby be instructed, edified and confirmed in the truth as it is in Christ, and know how unfalteringly the dear old SIGNS maintains the doctrine of God our Savior, ascribing to him the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Of this I am sure, dear brother, that, could every Baptist everywhere, who is born of God, read the SIGNS one year, it would be greatly to their good, and to the promotion among them of unity in the Spirit, and the glorifying of God and his grace in their hearts. This would be a work of righteousness, and the effect would be peace and assurance in the faith and hope and love of the Lord.

Believing this, cheerfully do I hand you one dollar, to send the SIGNS to the five persons named, who do not take it, with the request and hope that they will then subscribe for it. I wish I could have you send it to ten or twenty persons, as you propose, and that I could persuade every one of your patrons and friends in the truth, who are able, to do likewise, for they would thus do a good work. Many of them will gladly do so.

The Lord, whom you serve in his truth, sustain and bless you, in this noble cause, so that in ministering to his “little flock,” you may also be ministered unto and your hands be held up. My heart assures me that it will be so. Blessed be his dear and holy name! Moreover, my heart moves me to say this to you for your cheer, my dear brother, that in all this world of sin, error and sorrow, there is not another band of dear spiritual kindred in Christ so blessedly, and truly united in heart and soul in the truth as it is in him as the loving family of God that reads the SIGNS. This is not said in any boast, nor do I guess it is so, for having traveled extensively among them, and seeing nearly all the Baptist periodicals, it has long been a joy to my heart to find that all the Baptists who read and receive the SIGNS are well established in the faith of God’s elect, trusting in the Lord Jesus alone for salvation, praising his reigning grace for it all, and dwelling together in unity, love and peace. This is the very best evidence that the blessing of God rests upon the faithful and precious SIGNS, and its best vindication from all that has been said and done against it. The SIGNS is on the Lord’s side. Its watchword is, “THE SWORD OF THE LORD AND OF GIDEON.” It makes mention of the Lord’s righteousness, even of his only. It ascribes salvation to our God, according to the riches of his grace in Christ Jesus. It teaches the sacred obligations of the saved in Christ to “walk in love as the dear children of God.” It advocates no yea and nay gospel, but the gospel of full salvation in Christ, the Mediator of the new covenant, through his abounding grace to sinners, to the praise of the glory of his grace only, now and forever.

So, my precious kindred in our most precious Christ, let us with loving hearts and willing hands help our dear brethren Beebe and Chick to send the SIGNS into the homes of many of the poor in spirit, whom God hath chosen rich in faith, and it will help them after a godly sort to the joy of their hearts. “But to do good and to communicate forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” God bless The SIGNS OF THE TIMES.

In fervent love to its loving friends, yours to serve in the truth, D. BARTLEY.

2-54 Correspondence Dec. 3, 1901

Signs Of The Times
Volume 69, No. 22
NOVEMBER 15, 1901.

CORRESPONDENCE DEC. 3, 1901

Crawfordsville, Ind., Dec. 3, 1901.

Elder J. K. Womack – My Dear Brother: – When your last brotherly letter came I was very busy, and now I am bad off with bronchitis, so that I am too weary and dull to write, but will tell you that I was glad to get yours. You write sadly, much as I feel, and would give an unpromising answer if asked, “Watchman, what of the night? what of the night?” But Peter said, “Though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” Is not this true in your experience? The Lord says, “I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” What a rich mercy that he hath chosen us at all! and how divine the blessing that he hath refined us, even though it be in the fiery furnace. Would those who would limit the Holy One in his counsel and purpose, admit that he foreordained the furnace of affliction in which he chose his people? If they admit this, then they must admit as well that his predetermined purpose embraced the ungodly conduct of the persecutors of his people, for they largely make up the furnace of affliction. So it is written, “The Lord hath commanded concerning Jacob, that his adversaries should be round about him.” The Lord hath commanded it so. There is no escape from it, therefore. How gladly we would have it different, dear brother, for we find it very trying and humiliating to be thus surrounded, and to find ourselves in such a heated furnace. But should any deny that the God of the eternal purpose, who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will, has thus foreordained and commanded that our adversaries should be round about us as a furnace of affliction, for the trial of our faith, then they must also deny that the Lord hath chosen his people at all, because as certainly as he chose them it was in the furnace. Not a pleasant place, is it, to be in? Then how about always walking in the light and escaping affliction by good works of obedience? What saint has ever done so on earth! It will not do, my brother, because revelation and experience alike contradict it. This teaching is phariseeism, and it agrees with the mocking words and teachings of poor, afflicted

Job’s miserable comforters. The good Physician says, “For the whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” So here is hope for you, and for all the poor in spirit and contrite in heart, who have no righteousness to plead, nor merit wherewith to buy the Lord’s mercies and blessing, which they so much need. These must come to the throne of grace, that they may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need, which is all the time, for they can never claim the least crumb of favor and blessing as a reward for their good works in serving the Lord. But they must humbly confess with Paul and say, “For the good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do. “ O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? Here is promise and hope for you, dear brother, for you can say again with Paul, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

“In the world ye shall have tribulation,” says the Prince of peace. But to offset this he also says, “But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” He overcame it for us, and his victory is ours in him. Yea, dear brother, “So by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Therefore, the obedience which God accepts and blesses us for is the perfect work of Christ, his beloved Son, for us. No other obedience under the shining sun is at all meritorious in God’s account, but the “finished “work of the suffering and obedient Lamb of God possesses infinite merit; yea, more valuable and precious in God’s esteem than all the glories and riches of the boundless universe.

O, then, why should the saints not be always swallowed up in the contemplation of our Lord’s perfect work of finished redemption, and say, with a poet, “We only wish to speak of him who lived, and died, and reigns for us! We’ll talk of all he did and said and suffered for us here below; the path he marked for us to tread, and what he’s doing for us now.” For if our souls were thus inspired with his love, and satisfied with his grace, there would be no desire or room in our minds and hearts to make a blowinghorn of, or sound a trumpet before us to herald what we are doing for the Lord. Far more honoring is it to him, and in line with the primitive saints, to ever be testifying, “The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.” Thus moved and filled with the mercy and grace of God toward us, we should be “to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved, in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” Thus grace is all in this full salvation of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Hence, speak we of obedience to our Lord, it is the obedience of faith and love, and these are the fruit of the Spirit, and the gift of God’s grace. So, after Paul labored more abundantly than all the apostles of Christ in preaching the gospel, he disclaimed the least ability or merit of himself, and said, “Yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” If all the preachers in your country had thus taught and preached, and ever magnified the grace of God, as did Paul, think you, brother Womack, that there would have been such a contention and distress in all that country as has confused and scattered the sheep of the good Shepherd? I tell you, nay; for it would have comforted and united in fellowship all the poor sinners saved by grace. This simple truth cannot be disguised, or denied, for all know that the gospel of the grace of God, when believed and preached and walked in, has never yet made a contention and division among the Lord’s people who are saved by grace, and it never will. What, then, has made all the confusion, mourning and sorrow among you all? Read Acts xv., and Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia, and you shall plainly see that then and there the doctrine and principle of conditions was first introduced among the believers in Christ, as an addition to the grace of Christ; and it was the propagation and insistence of this principle, which denied the sufficiency of the grace of God in Christ, that made all the trouble in those churches then. In proof of this the apostles in counsel said, “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved.” Not the least intimation then about two ways or principles of salvation, or two salvations; one by grace, the other of works; one everlasting, the other in time; but the only dispute was the doctrine and principle of salvation; and the decision of all the apostles and the church was, as above. The other party were the advocates of conditional salvation in part for believers in Christ. This is the contention and the source of the trouble now, as it was then, and has been all through the history of the church. It is simply a covert denial of our dear Lord’s word to his servant Paul: “My grace is sufficient for thee.” For as certainly as it was sufficient for Paul in his perils, persecutions, temptations and unparalleled labors, sacrifices and hardships, so it is ever sufficient for all who are saved by his grace. Nothing else is sufficient.

Believing that through the grace of Christ we shall be saved, yours in love, D. BARTLEY.

2-55 Correspondence Feb. 8, 1903

Signs Of The Times
Volume 70., No. 2.
JANUARY 15, 1902.

CORRESPONDENCE FEB. 8, 1903

Lebanon, Ohio, Feb. 8, 1903.

DEAR SISTER CROSS: – Yesterday afternoon and this morning we held meetings in the large, old brick church-house, with small attendance, mostly sisters, as the church is it “little flock,” yet it is their Father’s good pleasure to give his kingdom to the little flock of the good Shepherd, who laid down his precious life for the sheep. Is it any Wonder, then, the good pleasure of his loving Father to give them the kingdom, since his Son loved them, and gave himself for them? No, but the wonder would be if it were not his good pleasure to thus freely give them all things with his Son. This remark leads me to tell you of the subjects spoken upon yesterday. I read {Ro 5}, then spoke on verses {Ro 5:8-10}. The subject was specially the love of God to his people, commended toward them in the death of Christ, while they were yet in their sins. It was shown that for the everlasting Father, whose love for his darling and only Son was infinite, to sacrifice his lovely Lamb for ungodly and unloving sinners, was the hardest and most difficult part in all the wonderful work and way of salvation, and that if anything had been too hard for the Lord, or impossible with God, this would have been the one impossibility. With men it is impossible, for no loving parent could sacrifice a well beloved son for his enemies. God could far easier have sacrificed the whole universe, all worlds and men and angels, and have created other worlds and peopled them, but that would never have taken away our sins, nor reconciled us to God, nor saved us from the curse of the law and from death. Christ, his anointed, spotless, guileless and loving Son, must die. He did die, not because his holy Father was displeased in him; O no, but because “God is love,” and loved his sinful and perishing people, even as he loved his darling Son. Therefore, God the Father, in his infinite and changeless perfections, verily foreordained his altogether lovely and holy child Jesus before the foundation of the world, or the creation of his people in Adam, their earthly head and life, that in the fullness of time he should be manifested in the flesh, the near kinsman and very brother of all his people, and as their atoning High Priest unto God offer up himself in sacrifice as the spotless Lamb of God, and by the infinite price of his own precious blood, his holy life in the flesh, redeem unto God all the countless people of the Father’s love. God’s love was sufficient in its infinite omnipotence to make this sacrifice; and his unresisting, suffering and obedient Son, meekly went forth as a lamb to the slaughter, even hearing his own cross, because he loved his Father and his people, and delighted to do the will of God. O amazing love that could make this sacrifice! It surpasses angelic and finite thought. None but God could do this, and he only because he is infinite in love and omnipotent in power, as also changeless and eternal in his all-comprehensive purpose. O is it not most surprising and wonderful to contemplate? Pau1 shows what this infinite gift and sacrifice and commendation of the Father’s love has accomplished and secures to all for whom Christ died, in the strong words of his overcoming faith in God and Christ, saying, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Being freely justified by his blood and his grace, there is no foe or power that can ever condemn the covenant people of God’s everlasting The tenth verse amplifies and glorifies this prime truth in the gospel of salvation, saying, “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.” How very plain and simple, so that the. babes in the Father’s kingdom can see it and rejoice in it, yet how divinely wonderful, challenging the highest praise of prophets and apostles, saints and angels. Atoned for, redeemed, justified by his blood, salvation is ours, salvation from the law and its curse and wrath, salvation full and free and forever. Yea, the death of the redeeming Son of God slew all the power of all the foes of God, made peace by the blood of his cross, and is so infinite in its merit and power that it overcomes and removes the enmity of all his redeemed, conquers and reconciles them unto God as his dear and loving children by the invincible and resistless power of his all-conquering love in their hearts. This done, they now cry, Abba, Father, and in heart and spirit say, “Thy will be done.” Reconciliation, then, is the evidence and assurance of our personal salvation, salvation from sin and guilt, weakness and ungodliness, enmity and death, salvation now, henceforth and forever, full and personal salvation. “We shall be saved by his life.” We ourselves shall be saved. This is all we need, all we desire, all we can receive. This, all this, began in death, but ends in life. Strange, is it not? We must die in order to live. Atonement or reconciliation to God by death, salvation unto him by life, by the life of his Son. The world does not understand it, cannot believe nor receive it. The reason is, it discredits and repudiates their works, for they hold that our works must come in and obtain, somewhere in our salvation, and it will never do to ignore the value and merit of good works in our salvation. Baptists even are carried away with this way that seemeth right unto man, and insist upon it, to the extent of confusion and division among themselves, that certainly salvation is conditional, in some sort or part, and does depend upon our works of obedience. But all this is the doctrine and way of the world, for the way of God’s love is the death and the life of Christ. For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him.

To-day, after reading the first chapter of Philippians, the sixth verse was spoken upon with the ability that the Lord gave me. It was first shown that the confidence of Paul, which amounted to divine fullness and assurance, was not in himself, nor in the church, to whom he wrote, but in the faithfulness and immutability and omnipotent power of God, who had begun the good work of righteousness and salvation in them, working in them their repentance and faith,love and obedience, making them perfect in Christ Jesus, and making them sweetly willing and obedient in the day of their Lord’s power. it was shown that the life of Jesus is made manifest in their mortal bodies and flesh, that they are made to die with Christ unto sin, and also to live with him unto righteousness and unto God. Special attention was called to the clear and strong truth of the text, that God is good, and to the words of his Son, “None is good, save one, that is God;” that he himself by his Spirit and reigning grace not only begins the good work of salvation in his people, but he carries it on, performs it, and will finish it. It was shown that the Lord’s work alone is a perfect work, but that all our works are very imperfect and faulty, that sin and fleshly infirmity is mixed with all we do, and’ that the eminent gospel prophet Isaiah confessed that we are all as an unclean thing, and that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Some of the many objections to the truth of the text that our entire righteousness and salvation, with all goodness and good works in the saved, are the good Work of God performed in us, were spoken of, such as that this doctrine means an unwilling and arbitrary power on our part, in which we are but indifferent and idle spectators, as passive as stones, or as lifeless ma chines, having no heartfelt desire for righteousness, no sweet emotion of love toward God, no springing in our souls of faith and hope in Christ, no mourning over our sins and sinful weakness, no hungering and thirsting after righteousness and no panting after the true and living God, as the hart panteth after the waterbrooks. So far from these stale objections against the sovereign power and grace of God in all the work and way of salvation, as he begins his good work and performs it in his people, being the true tendency and effect of this perfect work of the Lord in his saints, it was shown that the very opposite is the blessed truth, for when the Lord begins his good work of salvation from their sins in his redeemed, quickened and newborn people, then carries it on and performs it in them, they are made to realize and deeply feel its power, and all their quickened powers are actively enlisted and fervently engaged in the mighty work that is going on in them, until they are most willingly brought into the perfect obedience and finished righteousness of Christ, who of God is made unto them wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, and they are made the righteousness of God in his Son. Texts were given in confirmation of the doctrine of the text, which shows that we work out, or manifest our salvation, for the grand and sufficient underlying cause, that it is God who worketh in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure; that we give thanks unto the Father, who hath made us meet, or prepared us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son, in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; that all this good work of God in his saints is unto the end that they should show forth the praise of him who hath called them out of darkness into his marvelous light. Paul’s strong words were quoted, giving his reason for saying, “Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” The experience of salvation by his grace was mentioned, showing that when the Lord begins and performs his good work in us, his life and light in us reveal in and to us our sins and all the latent or hidden evils of our lives in the flesh, so that there rises up in our hearts an irrepressible godly sorrow for sin, which worketh repentance unto salvation, therefore we were led to turn unto the Lord our God, and call upon him to be merciful to us sinners. We then lost confidence in the flesh, and in self-loathing turned away from all our own works to the perfect work of the Lord. So all goodness in us, and good works done by us, are those heavenly fruits of the Spirit of God wrought in us by himself. No other work is good. The blessed consummation of this good work of God was touched upon, and the day of the full revelation of Jesus Christ, when he shall come in his glory, and bring all his saints with him. It was shown that he hath chosen his people in the furnace of affliction, in which heated furnace he will refine and purify them as the burnished gold, and so in the fiery trials of the Lord’s servant Job, which were not for his destruction, but for his salvation, and that of God, his faith in God moved him to say, “When he hath tried me, 1 shall come forth as gold.” So the fires of God’s holiness shall burn up and consume all the alloy and dross of his people, all their own works, which are not good, for he will perform his good work in them until the day of the Lord Jesus in the full revelation of his life and righteousness in us, in the power and glory of his resurrection, when we shall be perfectly conformed to his heavenly image, unto which God hath predestinated all his chosen and blessed people, and they shall be like his glorified Son, and shall appear with him in glory. Unto this end Paul prayed, saying, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”

Pardon me, dear sister, for writing all this. As the subject was dwelling in my mind, and knowing your situation at your home, with our dear brother Secor upon the bed of bodily suffering and languishing, while dear brother Gross and yourself are anxiously nursing him, it occurred to me that these views, though feebly set forth, of the love of God, and his good work in his dear dying Son, and in all his people whom he loved and chose and blessed in his Son, might be made a little comfort to you three in your present trial and affliction.

Your sad, yet comforting, letter came yesterday, and we were thankful to hear, thankful especially that our suffering brother is so reconciled and peaceful in Christ Jesus, his resurrection and his life. God hath given him this perfect peace. It is the life of Christ made manifest in his mortal flesh; yea, the Lord’s sufficient grace, and his strength made perfect in our languishing brother’s weakness. Yes, it is true, “Jesus can make a dying bed feel soft as downy pillows are.” We tenderly sympathize with you all, dear friends and kindred, yet feeling that you are all blessed, because of the presence and power and love of the Lord with you, who is conforming you to the image of his dear Son, who himself was made perfect through suffering. The close of the chapter in which the text was to-day says, “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” How good and blessed are both of these: to believe on him, and to suffer for his sake. So be comforted in all your tribulations. O may it be the good pleasure of the Father to restore brother Secor, that he may still help you all who through grace have believed in Jesus, yet let us meekly accept the touching words of our precious Elder Brother, in the fearful night of his deepest anguish, when he knew that his sorrow was unto death, saying, “Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done.” The Comforter, even the Spirit of truth, abide with you all. Farewell.

Our love not only to your own household, but also to all the church and friends of Jesus, who meet with you, and with whom we met. Next Sunday will be your meeting again, the second one since we were with you. How time speeds away. May it be to you all a good meeting. If the Lord is present with you it will be. We shall be anxious to hear soon again, if you can write. As ever, your poor and most unworthy brother, saved by the Lord,

D. BARTLEY

2-56 Correspondence Feb. 26, 1903

Signs of the Times
Volume 82, No. 20
October 14, 1914

CORRESPONDENCE FEB. 26, 1903

LEBANON, Ohio, Feb. 26, 1903.

DEAR SISTER AND BROTHER CROSS: – Your most welcome, yet sorrowful, letter of the 24th came to-day, and every word of it touched my heart with tender sorrow and sympathy, and I feel to be bereaved with you all, yet we know that the dear departed brother is far better with Christ than to be left longer in the suffering body of flesh, and we are all comforted in knowing that he was so entirely reconciled, trustful and peaceful, and also in the fact that you had taken him to your comfortable home, where his closing days were made as pleasant as possible. We feel truly thankful for this favor to him. Now he is infinitely blessed. “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.” “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” “Even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” In these divine assurances our brother trusted and fell asleep, to awake with the likeness of the risen and glorified firstborn Brother from the dead, and he satisfied. This is the bliss that the infinite love and omnipotent power of the blessed Father will bestow upon him, and all who die in the Lord. Therefore Paul wrote for our comfort, saying, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others, which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” O that will be the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity. How this should comfort or console us in our lonely sorrow, my dear friends, and yet I myself am afflicted and desolate in heart and spirit, and deeply realize that I am not at home in the world, nor satisfied, but am a pilgrim and a stranger, destitute, poor and not comforted. The forty-second and forty-third Psalms are the language of my soul most the time, and I read them to give expression to my plaintive cries to God. But I should not speak of myself in this time of sorrow, and you will pardon me, please, and pray for me. Dear sister Barker wrote us very feelingly, just after the funeral, and a few days ago dear brother Purris sent us a good letter. He is a true brother. As I have often thought of it since the peaceful sleep of our dear departed, dear brother and sister, how touchingly l was affected and impressed by the devotion and spiritual-mindedness and conversations of brother Secor from the first, and on until my leave taking, which was so remarkable and wonderful, for he was filled to overflowing with the Spirit of adoption and the love of God in his heart, as you know. I now wonder that I did not, even then, perceive that he was a sheaf ripe for the heavenly harvest, and that he would be with us but a little while. Indeed, this feeling, or fear, would then steal upon me, but it was not in my thought that that blessed Sunday and night at your home would be his last meeting on earth. We could scarcely have borne it had we known it then, and l am thankful now that we did not suspect it. For his dear sake O how thankful I feel that he had the comfort and joy of hearing brother Gross talk to us all so freely and comfortingly. The Lord knew it all then, just how it would be, and in his love he thus favored his tried and purified servant, whom he was about to call home to himself. How peculiarly suitable and touching and precious it all looks to me now, and how solemn and sacred and heavenly was the place. The Lord was there. Unbidden tears fill my eyes as it all comes back to me, while I write of it to you both, who were deeply interested witnesses to the Lords presence and partakers of his grace, and of the comfort of his love. Just such a gracious and precious meeting and visitation from the Lord will never again be given us, my precious kindred in Christ, and therefore it seems the more blessed and heavenly to me. My wife just now said to me, that the Lord sent me there, as surely as he ever sent me anywhere, and I said, Yes. Truly the Lord is good, and he doeth all things well. So, dear, sorrowing kindred, let us be humbled under the mighty hand of God, and not repine while we weep, for yet a little while and our God will lift us up, and his hand of love will wipe away our tears, then to us shall be fulfilled his faithful promise: “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” O how blessed we shall all be then. The Comforter, the Spirit of truth, abide with you all now, and give you peace. You surely have my heartfelt sympathies, for 1 am a partaker of your sorrow, and feel bereft with you all. No one was ever more tenderly endeared to my heart in so short a time as was our chastened and delicate brother Secor. How infinitely blessed and glorified shall we all he, dear sister and brother, when with him and all the redeemed we shall meet the Lord in the air, and ever be with the Lord.

Now bidding you be of good comfort, in love, farewell. D. BARTLEY.

2-57 Correspondence April 13, 1906

Signs of the Times
Volume 82, No. 20
October 14, 1914

CORRESPONDENCE APRIL 13, 1906

Montgomery, Ala., April 13, 1906.

My Beloved Brother Chick: – Propped up in an easy chair, I will write you again, if the Lord will. Your last letter was very comforting, and I felt that the Lord is good to me in my afflictions. You do not know how very weak and low I am. but my kind wife is a good nurse and does all in her power for my comfort, and the Lord mercifully makes my bed in all my disease; he gives me much comfort and peace in mind and body while lying so weak and helpless upon my bed. My wakeful hours of nights are sweetened with meditations upon his holy character, wonderful works and goodness, and my soul silently adores him. O how I long and pray for greater nearness and fuller communion with him, to be more like his well beloved Son, who dwells in his holy presence. Deeply do I realize my own sinful weakness, helplessness and unworthiness. O how rich in mercy God is to me! My prayer is for perfect reconciliation to his will, yet I often adopt the prayer of David: “O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.” I am constantly asking and seeking to know his will concerning me, wondering whether he will restore me and leave me yet awhile to his dear people and with my family, and make my last days my best days.

We are very desirous to go to the home of my son, Gilbert Beebe, at Carthage, Mo., and make our home with him and his good wife, Ida, whom we have never met, and it has been more than three years since I saw Gilbert. They are both more than anxious to have us with them, and we hope to go in May, yet, my dear brother, I realize that my work is done, and truly I am waiting – waiting for the Lord to come. The last words of our precious Redeemer are much in my thoughts: “It is finished,” and my mind dwells on the future glory. My last meeting, and sermon, was here, the third Sunday in December, my subject was the everlasting covenant, the text, “The last words of David.” – {2Sa 23:1}. The Lord was with us and our hearts were comforted in the covenant ordered in all things and sure. I spoke an hour, though scarcely able to stand on the floor. Then I did not think it was my last discourse, but I am content if the will of the Lord be so.

I am writing these things specially to you, as they may be my last words, and I want to tell you of my late experience, as in my farewell. You know I desire that you write charitably of me after I tall asleep in Jesus, so I want to tell you how it is with me. Like Paid, I have been in perils among false brethren, and have suffered, as you know, but I am so humbly and deeply thankful that now the Lord has enabled me to freely forgive them from my heart. In the midst of all the errors and departures, I bless the Lord that he has kept me by his power through faith, and through grace has enabled me to say with Paul, “I have kept the faith.” It cheers me greatly to see the opposition to God’s sovereign purpose and grace failing and dying, as it must. “The Lord alone shall be exalted.” “God is our refuge and strength.”

Now, my pleasant, dear brother and companion in tribulation, with sorrow to me our very helpful and harmonious correspondence of thirty years is closing. I remember it with comfort, how good it has been; to me you have been as Timothy and Titus were to Paul.

One mention let me make: Your “Remarks” in the Signs, upon the point that the resurrected body has never been seen by mortal eyes, proves the fact you said, that as long as our dying, mortal bodies can be seen, they have not been resurrected. This is unanswerable, and it rejoiced me. Warm is my fellowship for you and fervent my love; I could fall upon your neck and weep on saying, Farewell, my dear brother. But our loving Lord says to us,

“I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” If his will, I will write you again. Most gladly would I hear from you in my lingering afflictions; your letters comfort us both. What I have written you would fill my wife with sorrow, as she hopes for my recovery, and I would not have her know it now.

Since I began this letter I laid down and rested; now I am weary. Our love to you and all.

The Father comfort all our hearts. In your trials for the truth, the dear Lord says, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” that fadeth not away.

In the faith and love of Christ your brother, D. BARTLEY.

[THE above letter was the last written to us by our dear aged brother Bartley. This was as he thought. Now that he has passed away, it seems to us that all who knew him should know of his faith and hope, and peaceful submission to the will of God in his last days. For our self we can but say that it was at the time it came, and is now as we have just read it again, inexpressibly touching, and yet most strengthening to us. We do hope for the same faith that is expressed in this letter when the end shall come to our self; it is the same faith that was with Paul and strengthened him when the time for him to be offered was at hand. Brother Bartley has written much and reached much in all his long life, but be has never written more comforting, cheering words than these, written when just upon the confines of the better (?). We can but be sorrowful when the aged servants pass away, and yet for them we can but rejoice that all at last is well. – C]

Signs Of The Times Volume 74., No. 17. SEPTEMBER 1, 1906.

3-000 Man Redeemed From Sin And Death

MAN REDEEMED

FROM SIN

AND DEATH

THE

DOCTRINE

OF THE

RESURREECTION OF THE DEAD

BY THE HOLY SON OF MAN "I

am the Resurrection, and the

Life."

BY

DAVID BARTLEY

1887 D. H. GOBLE PUBLISHER

GREENFIELD IND.

3-001 Dedication

DEDICATION.

To them who are on pilgrimage to the better country; " to them who desire to be delivered from this present evil world; to them who hope to obtain a better resurrection to them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality and to them who live and believe in Jesus, the Resurrection, and the Life," this work is affectionately inscribed, and the blessing of the Father and the Son and the Spirit invoked upon them and it, by their fellow-pilgrim

THE AUTHOR.

3-002 Introduction

INTRODUCTION.

AS BORN WITH LIFE, BUT BORN TO DIE, the reader will go with me, while we take a view of "the valley of the shadow of death," and speak of the certainty of the "better country" beyond, and, with me, feel a deep personal interest in the contemplation of these solemn and wonderful realities. For life and death are as certain to each of us as the rising and setting of the sun, or as summer and winter.

Life dawns upon us as the spring-time morning, full of promise, and we develop into youthful bloom like sweet and lovely summer blossoms and fruits, beautiful and goodly to behold; but as spring and summer give place to autumn frosts and winter snows, putting an end to the harvesting of grain and fruits, so will the winter-time of life find us all gathered in by the reaper, Death. " And the doors shall be shut in the streets, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low, and desire shall fail; because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets. Then shall the dust' return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." So says the Preacher. .

Death, then, is a separation between the spirit and the body of man; and the body is the earthly house in which the spirit dwells on earth. The body and the spirit together constitute man a living soul. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul;" {Ge 2:7}.

Now, is death everlasting? or, in other words, is the separation between the spirit and the body of mortal man, when one shall return to God and the other to the earth, forever and ever? To living and dying men and women, whom the great Creator thus mysteriously formed and wonderfully endowed with a body and spirit as a living soul or being, this question is all-important; because, if the body were lost by death, then man loses himself. There fore this little work is devoted to a careful, prayerful and scriptural examination into the truth of the final resurrection of the God-given body of man, after it shall have returned to the earth. And, so far as the Lord may graciously enable me, it shall be, on my part, a work of faith and labor of love to the household of faith every-where, to whom it is sent forth, and also to every one who may give it favor enough to read it. May God, who made man, bless both the writer and reader, and endue us with wisdom and understanding, that we may glorify him in the truth, and be made free from error.

That a work plainly setting forth, maintaining, and proving the Bible doctrine of the resurrection of the dead is needful, and may be divinely sent to the good of many, is evident; and my mind has been moved to write upon this sublime doctrine, and put it in a book. For, while the friends of God's revealed truth have written many good books upon various other important themes of the holy Scriptures, I know of not one book devoted to a defense of the truth of the resurrection. Only incidentally and partially has it been presented and dwelt upon, either by pen or tongue, outside the testimony of patriarchs and prophets, Jesus, apostles and evangelists. Consequently its great and vital importance has been either dimmed, or quite lost, sight of, in the view of many professing Christians. Not only this, but unbelief has so far prevailed, that many have spoken, and others have written against the resurrection of the dead, either denying it altogether, or saying it is past already; thereby overthrowing the faith of many. This latter form of unbelief, that the resurrection is past already with all the children of the regeneration and that our mortal and dead body shall never be quickened and made a living, spiritual body, is widely and alarmingly prevailing, until it is accepted generally by some orders who admit the truth of Christianity, and by many of our Baptist people, as the true doctrine of the resurrection. With this large and increasing class of professing Christians, who believe that only the spirit of man shall be saved in glory, or lost in perdition, the good old time doctrine of our fathers, that the graves shall be opened, and the bodies of the saints which are asleep shall arise, and come out of the graves, and enter into the New Jerusalem, is an exploded belief, and quite out of date. But this new theology was introduced into the churches of the saints in the times of the holy apostles, and they, as princes and judges in the gospel kingdom, vetoed it.

In this is seen the wisdom and good ness of the great Head of the church, by thus arming his true and faithful followers and soldiers with the weapons of divine truth, that they may be able to stand in the evil day against the wiles of Satan. For, every device of Satan, and all false doctrines with which the church of Christ has been attacked and troubled since the days of the apostles, came up and were tried while they were yet on the earth and were met and defeated by them, through Christ, who gave them the victory. This victory is for the church, and is ours. Therefore we may with bold confidence and meek courage withstand the armies of the aliens, as valiant soldiers for the truth of the gospel of salvation.

Then let us turn to the stronghold of Zion, the more sure word of prophecy, the word and testimony of the Lord; for this can not fail, and herein we may safely trust. How thankful we should be that God our Father has been pleased to make known unto his children his blessed word and holy will, that we might have strong comfort and good hope. For without this we should grope in darkness and dismay, doubt and despair. But God has graciously given us the holy Scriptures, which are able to make us wise unto salvation; Where-unto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts."

In this work the divine testimony, as found throughout the grandly sublime volume of God's revealed truth, touching the resurrection of the dead, is faithfully bound up and presented to the disciples of the Lord Jesus, with the single desire that they may be established, strengthened, and comforted in the assurance of The Resurrection From Death.

3-01 Chapter 1 Man

CHAPTER 1. MAN.

MAN DIES! He comes forth as a flower, and is cut down as the grass. He returns unto dust, and dwells on the earth no more. Shall he arise, and live again? Job asked this great question. None but God could answer it. Atheists, deists, and infidels deny it. To man it is impossible, and his unbelief says, “There is no resurrection of the dead." There is therefore no hope in man for man. He has sold himself to Death; and the grave, as a strong prison, holds him fast. Man has no power against death. He is lost. If the angelic hosts in glory might pity our lost race, they could not save a sinner from death. Then, how vain for sinful man to talk of doing any thing to save himself or his fellows from death. Can the dead do any thing by which they may arise, and live again? Impossible.

This must be done, however, if salvation is of works, or conditional on the part of man. But, is there no hope? Must sinful man die, and rise no more? What says the answer of God? Come with me, reader, and let us hear the word of the Lord, "and be not faithless, but believing." For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth ; and he has power over sin and Satan, death and the grave. And the Lord is good and merciful; he is able to save us from the last enemy. Hannah rejoiced in his salvation, and said, "There is none holy as the Lord; for there is none beside thee; neither is there any, rock like our God”. “The Lord killeth and maketh alive; he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up; “{1Sa 2}.

Death, therefore, is before the resurrection life; and the bringing up of man is from the grave. This was Hannah's song of praise to the Lord, and to him she ascribed this power. Noah Webster gives the following definition: "Resurrection; 1, A rising again; the resumption of vigor. 2, Especially, the rising again from the dead; the resumption of life. 3, The period following a general rising from the dead; "the future state." This is the correct meaning of this word, as it is used in the Scriptures. It simply declares that "the dead are raised up;" so Jesus said to the messengers of John. And it was Jesus who raised the dead, the dead bodies of the children of men.

Do we see any thing in God's Book of Nature analogous to a resurrection of the dead, and typifying it? In answer, walk with me in garden and orchard, field and forest. We are charmed with the beauty of earth's fair and delicate plants and flowers; our appetite is sharpened by the sight of the ripening fruits; sweet fields of living green, and waving harvests of golden grain, ready for the reaper, fill our minds with admiration and delight; we seem little in our own eyes, as we stop in the mighty forest of centuries, and gaze upward, and our souls are inspired with awe and wonder while we contemplate all this beauty, munificence, and mightiness of the beneficent and Almighty Maker of all things.

Yet all this animated nature, now so lovely, fruitful, and grand with the mightiness of life, sprang up out of death at the touch of God's hand! There fell into the earth, from the hand of the Infinite Sower, the seeds of the forest and fruit tree, grain and grass, plant and flower. All this living seed died; but behold, it now lives!

Is not this a mysterious and wonderful resurrection? Without it the earth would be an uninhabited and desert waste without life, and disrobed of all beauty. As the years and centuries go on, and the generations and ages of plants and trees die off the earth, this rising again, in new and beauteous forms of life, is repeated. And so, God's beautiful book of nature teaches man a sublime lesson that the dead shall arise and live again in the world to come. Job was instructed in this truth, and he therefore poetically says, "For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof Wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant. But man dieth, and wasteth away; yea, man giveth up the ghost and where is he? As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up; so man lieth down, and riseth not; till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. 0 that Thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a man die, Shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands;" {Job, 14}.

So Job, through faith, answered his own question, that though a man die, yet he shall live again; for he says at the time appointed, his change shall come. And though he asked the Lord to hide him in the grave, yet he desired him to appoint a set time, and remember him; and his faith looked to the end of the heavens, when men, who lie down in death, shall awake and be raised out of their sleep. Job therefore believed in the resurrection of man; yea, of the very man who falls asleep in death, and lies down in the grave. This is mortal man, the body for there is hope of a tree," he says, "if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branches thereof will not cease." Then, truly, there is hope for a man; for Job, though he die. Thus assured in his hope, he would endure his great afflictions, and patiently wait all the days of his appointed time, till his change come from death unto life, and from suffering and dishonor unto rejoicing and glory.

How beautiful is the earth, adorned with all its living vegetable kingdom, its grand forests, its grassy plains and meadows, its fruitful fields, orchards and vineyards; and its crown of flowers of surpassing loveliness, formed by the hand of God, exhaling their delicate fragrance as a sweet incense of praise to their Infinite Author! These myriad’s of animated being, the world around, are witnesses to a resurrection of the dead; and they rebuke the infidelity and unbelief of God's creature man. As you behold and admire the pretty flowers at your feet, they look up in your face, and with silent, potent voice, say, “Behold what God hath wrought! Once we died, and were corrupt in the ground; but lo, we live again!" "Consider the lilies how they grow: they toll not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which, is today in the field, and to-morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, 0 ye of little faith? “{Lu 12}. So speaks the Son of God to his disciples, to enlarge and strengthen their weak faith. God will clothe them with a greater life-beauty and glory than he has given to the beautiful white lilies, and they shall glorify him for all his wonderful works. For if God would so adorn and bless the earth with living beauty, gladness, and glory, by quickening the countless seeds which fall into the ground and die, and causing them to arise in all their wondrous forms of life ; shall he not much more quicken and raise up from the dead the countless millions of his redeemed sons and daughters; "clothe them with the beautiful white robes of salvation, holiness, and immortality; and make heaven transportingly glorious and rapturous, by peopling it with all his saints, and filling its happy mansions with their songs of praise? " Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?"

Certainly he has the power to do this. "For with God nothing shall be impossible," said his angel to the mother of our Lord. And it is as plainly God the Father's holy will to raise up the dead. For said his blessed Son, I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath. sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son and believeth on him, may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day; " John.,6: 38-40. So the Son will do the will of the Father. This authority and power the Father gave him. Then said he, "I delight to do thy will, 0 my God; yea, thy law is within my heart;” {Ps 40:8}. Then, who or what shall prevent Jesus from raising every one of them up again at the last day? For when he had conquered death, and Satan, and the grave, Jesus, the risen Son of God said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth; " {Mt 28:8}. Yea, he says again, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: as thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him; " {Joh 17:1-2}.

Now, if the Son of God gives eternal life to them, can death and the grave hold them? Not unless mortality is stronger than immortality. But who were they whom the Father gave the Son? Were they angels? Were they spirits, having nobodies? Nay, verily. Were they the sons and daughters of Adam? People? sinners? So said the angel Gabriel: "For he shall save his people from their sins." This is the united testimony of Moses and the prophets, Jesus and the apostles. Why, almost all the vast volume of holy Scripture testifies of God, and Christ, and man. And Christ is a man, the middleman between God and men, the mediator. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” {1Ti 2:5}. Behold God's infinite love toward man, in thus sending forth his only and well-beloved Son in the flesh, to suffer and die as man, and for the children of men, that they should not perish and be lost in sin and death, but live again.

Then, since man is the object of God's love, and also the subject of resurrection and salvation, let us consider him as God made him, and as the Scriptures present him. And first, God made man for his own glory, that his holy name should be praised in the highest forever and ever. The simple statement of this truth carries with it the conviction that man shall be carried over death, beyond the grave, and be perpetuated forever; for if he, as man, drops out of existence in death, and shall not be raised up again out of death, then. only in time, but never in eternity, may he honor and glorify God. Then the joyful song of everlasting praise, the transporting anthem of redemption and salvation would be missing in vast eternity, and the glory, of heaven would be incomplete. This would be one of the doleful results, if the dead do not arise. But God has prepared some better things for us; that we shall dwell in his blissful presence, world without end, and be to the praise and glory of his grace. For the psalmist David says, “All thy works shall praise thee, 0 Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; to make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; “{Ps 145}.”

Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?" {Jas 2:5}. The poor of this world, and them that love God, are the children of men, and to them he has promised the everlasting kingdom of his Son; for they are his chosen people. For our God and Father has connected his own glory with the everlasting salvation and happiness of the people of his love.

And now we may notice man and his essential attributes, as God made and endowed him.

Moses says, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created lie him; male and female created he them;" {Ge 1:26-27}. "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a help meet for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he Sleep : and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof : and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man;" {Ge 2}. "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, "saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living; " Genesis., 3. So this sentence from God upon man included Eve and all her children; and the sentence is, Unto dust shalt thou return." Therefore God speaks of man as taken out of the ground, and as dust; and as returning to the ground, and to dust. This is man himself; for so God says; and " God can not lie." And so also says Paul: “The first man is of the earth, earthy. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy {1Co 15:47-48}. Yet this earthy part is not all of man, though an essential part; for God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

This is not said of any other creature, that it became a living soul; but of man alone. In this is man's superiority and preeminence over the beasts; for God made man in his own image. Such, then, is man in his constitution, or nature, as God made him, and these are his inherent and essential properties and attributes, without which he would not be man.

This is the man whom God made, of whom the Bible speaks, and on whom he passed sentence of death. This sentence falls upon the earthy part or nature of man, the body, yet man dies. "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground." To this man he said, “And unto dust Shalt thou return." Of this man Moses says, "And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died; {Ge 5:5}. It will not do, then, to say the earthy and formed body is not man, or that the body may perish and man still continue as man without the body; for this would deny the word of God, as shown above; because man, as man, was formed of the dust of the ground; and only thus, as God made him, is he man. So when the earthy body dies, man dies; but when this body is raised up out of death, man lives again. Therefore man is joined to, and essentially identified with his body, and can not properly be man without it. For God thus created Adam, the first man, and endowed him with the breath of life; and these two, body and spirit, are his original and essential parts, without which he can not be man. Because God did not create man an angel, or a spirit, but he made him a bodily being. It seemed good in the sight of God to so make his creature, man. “Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet;" {Heb 2:7-8}. Why, even the high and holy Son of God, when the Father sent him forth, was " made of a woman," and found in fashion as a man; "' was a man, and the Son of man. " 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; “{Heb 2:9}. And so the Son of God himself was manifested in a body of flesh and blood as a man, and not as the highest angel or spirit from heaven, and in a mortal or dying body, too.

Therefore the body is not just a minor auxiliary or appendage of man, a transient covering to be cast off and lost forever, while man himself still lives on; but rather, the body is the base, or real foundation of man, without which he were not, and with which, if it be lost, he perishes. Paul thus affirms this: " Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished; " {1 Corinthians, 15:19}. That is, if their sleeping bodies rise not, but perish. I would impress this divine View of the origin and being of man as God created him, that the real necessity and importance of the resurrection of the dead body may be perceived by the reader; or else man dies and perishes as the beast. But to admit this would deny the Bible, and establish infidelity. And infidels, who wage war against the Bible, most vehement attack the doctrine of the resurrection of the bodies of the dead, as one of the chief objections to the Bible. Now, if the dead, or sleeping bodies of the saints shall not awake and arise in a new life, then Paul admits the awful claim of every infidel teacher that Christianity is false, and they who died in the faith were deluded, and are perished.

This shows that the doctrine of the resurrection of the body of man, who dies, is all-important; because upon its truth rests the reality and blessed promise of Christianity, the bright and divine glory of the gospel, and every believer's hope of glory and immortality in the world to come.

Man's body was first formed, before God breathed into him the breath of life; and the union of the two constituted man a living soul, a living being, having an erect body of wonderful form, and a rational spirit of grand powers. With the name MAN we always associate these ideas: a human form and spirit united in one, interrelated and mutually dependent. "For as the body without the spirit is dead," as says James, so the spirit without the body is imperceptible and inoperative. I speak of the spirit of man, but not of God or angels. Man is an earthly being, made lower than the angels, yet higher than the most superior beast; and made for God's unending glory, and to be as the angels in the world to come, the eternal home of all the redeemed.

3-02 Chapter 2 The Son of Man

CHAPTER 2. THE SON OF MAN.

MAN SINNIED. Yet God made him upright, and very good. "Sin is the transgression of the law" of God. "The law is just, and holy, and good." "The wages of sin is death." " Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law; that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may become guilty before God; " {Ro 3:19}. "There is none righteous; no, not one." "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned;" {Ro 5:12}. This is the woeful state of man. The whole race must die. As well the infant of a day, as the old man of a century. This is fearful, and it fills the world with lamentation. And great sorrow; but the sin of man brought all this desolation, destruction, and death upon himself. God remaineth righteous and just. His law, too, is the same. The change, the wrong, the fall, is in man. He is become guilty. Alas, his glory is departed. God placed him in the pure and sweet bowers of lovely Eden. Man was innocent and happy then. God made him so. Yea, God exalted him, put him in authority, and gave him dominion' over all the earth. “And God blessed them." But now, lo, man is fallen, is fallen! Satan, Sin, and Death entered Eden, and man yielded himself a willing victim to their monstrous dominion, and destructive power. For this, man was turned out of Eden, and is lost. “Thou shalt die," is the sentence of the righteous Judge. “By man came death." “In Adam all die." The whole history of man from the creation till now, witnesses, to the divine authenticity and truth of these Bible statements, and is a vindication of the oracles of God. Infidelity may Jeer and laugh at the Bible; but death comes with awful warning and terror to every mocker, blanches his hardened cheeks, and strikes him dumb. Thus God, and the Bible, and Truth are vindicated. The whole race of man, having sinned, lie down in the dust of death; and the grave is the common end of all men.

Now, if there be no resurrection of the dead, then how horrible it must be to die. For then. all the nations and families of ,earth would perish in the black gulf of sin and death, and a universal wail of hopeless sorrow and dismal despair would fill all the world. Paul presents this dreadful consequence, which follows a denial of the resurrection of the dead, when he says, "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 not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ-are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable; {1Co 15:13-19}. All these horrible things must follow, if the dead rise not. Christians, who believe in Jesus as the Christ, the resurrection and the life, so far from being the most blessed of all men, would be the most wretched and deluded; because all their sacrifices and sufferings as Christians would be in vain. For then Christ, who died, is yet in the grave; and the preaching of the apostles, that God raised up Jesus again, is false. Consequently the curse of the law, the dominion of sin, the power of death, and the victory of the grave would still remain in full force over all who believe in Jesus, as over all other men; and all the dead are perished; so also shall all the living. If such an appalling and hopeless doctrine be true, then, Says Paul, “Let us eat and drink; for to-morrow we may die." And if the dead shall not be resurrected, then we are as beasts that perish, and may live only to gratify our fleshly appetites, as the only good we may expect; as do wicked men, and as do the beasts.

But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak." For, turning away from the shocking results of this monstrous heresy of the Sadducees, as embraced by some in the church at Corinth, Paul, with the relief of joyful assurance, proclaims, "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept!" {1Co 15:20}. This is the key-note in the rapturous song of salvation. CHRIST is the Redeemer and Savior, the Resurrection and the Life, of the dying children of men. He is the sure foundation, which God laid in Zion; and upon him rests the eternal redemption and glory of all his Father’s children. It was of him that God spake when he passed the sentence of death upon Adam, saying to the serpent, I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel; “{Ge 3:15}. In this is a promise of the Deliverer, and of final victory to the guilty and conscience-smitten Adam and Eve, and her penitent children.

The accomplishment of this victorious and glorious warfare is sublimely presented in {Heb 2}; “Behold, I, and the children which God hath given me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver them, who, through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved him, to be made like unto his brethren; that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people." So then, the children of God, the brethren of Jesus, are people who have sins; for they are partakers of flesh and blood; therefore they were subject to the cruel bondage of sin and death. But God gave them to Jesus his Son, who partook of the same flesh and blood, and in all things was made like unto them, that he might die for them as their merciful and faithful brother High Priest, to make atonement or reconciliation for their sins, and so, through his own death, and by his glorious resurrection, destroy both death and the devil, and deliver them from the last enemy.

Thus our Lord Jesus Christ is shown to be related to and identified with his people and brethren in flesh and blood, as one with them, and therefore as rightfully representing and acting for them, in all he did and suffered, as their near and divine kinsman, their brother mediator. In this sacred and wonderful relationship of Jesus to us in our flesh, and of us to him in his divine nature, is our only ground and hope, dear reader, of redemption and deliverance from sin, death, and the grave; and of entrance into glory, immortality, and eternal life.

Paul clearly and forcibly presents this truth, saying, "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one," (man,) "shall many be made righteous “{Ro 5:19}. "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming; “{1Co 15:21-23}. How Strong and assuring this is! They that are Christ's shall be made righteous, though they were sinners; and shall be made alive, though they were dead. And this, because his obedience and death were for them, and are theirs through him; and his righteousness, resurrection, and life are theirs in him. For as we were made sinners by the disobedience of Adam, the first man, and thereby 'brought down into death and the grave through him; so by the obedience and righteousness of Christ, the second man, we shall be made righteous, and be raised up out of death and the grave by him.

Now this participation with Adam in his Sin and death, and with Christ in his righteousness and resurrection, is because of real and vital relationship, without which we should neither die in Adam, nor be made alive in Christ. Because, if we were not in Adam, we certainly could not die in him; and unless we are in Christ, and fall asleep in him, we shall not be, made alive in him. This is evident. Paul not only teaches that death came by the first man, and the resurrection of the dead by the second man; but also that death is in Adam, and life is in Christ. Therefore, we must be in Adam if we die; and so we must be in Christ if we, shall be made alive, or raised up out of death in the resurrection unto life. This is evident and clear. If a tree dies, all its offshoots, branches, and members die also, because they are in that one tree, and of it, and do belong to it. For if they were not of that tree, but had their life in another tree, and belonged to it, a living tree, then they might still live, though the first tree die. They stand or fall in and with the tree to which they are related, and of which they are a part. The same is true of the vine and its branches. And this interesting principle of life and death relationships established throughout the whole realm of nature, and no living creature can escape its far-reaching power and operation. The consumptive and scrofulous taints are a family inheritance, and are imparted in the life of the offspring. So sin and death on one hand, and righteousness and life on the other, are an inheritance to the children of men; and they come to us, and are received by us upon the principle and in virtue of relationship; and this relationship is in the life. This principle and truth are shown and taught in these words of Christ; "Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit: but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree can not bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.' Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye Shall know them; “{Mt 7:16-20}.

Now man, the first man Adam, by sinning became as a corrupt tree, that can, not bring forth good fruit; consequently all his offspring are corrupt, sinful, and dying, like himself. Of Adam and his entire offspring Paul says, “As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy." His life and nature, his estate and condition, his mortality and death, are theirs. How theirs? Because he is theirs, and they are his; therefore theirs by him, through him, and in him. For, "In Adam all die;" "By man came death;" “Through the offense of one many be dead;” "By one man's offense death reigned by one;" “By the offense of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; “See {Ro 5}. We may not relish this awfully solemn truth, but we can not escape its force. Dying, we shall die. This is relationship with Adam in his life; aye! in his inherited sin. mortality, and death. From this there is no possible escape for the children of men. Paradise was lost by Adam, and we who are his can never enter it again by him. 0 never! God put his good creature man in happy Eden; but for his willful disobedience, “God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man, and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim’s, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." So the flaming sword of God's broken law will surely cut off every man upon whom sin is found, who attempts to come to the tree of life, and take of it. Yet, unless man can do this, "and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever," he can not save himself from death.

Therefore as related to Adam, all must die, and be lost. God of his own rich mercy, must provide a ransom for man, and send forth a Redeemer to atone for sin, and save from death, and raise up out of the grave or else all must perish. But as it is man who is lost and the children of men who die, and not angels or spirits; therefore, the Savior of men must himself be a child, and a man. And as a man he must die for the sins of the lost, whom he came to save, and be buried, and be raised up again. For he must redeem them from the curse of the broken law, encounter and turn away the flaming sword, and so open the way to the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. He must grapple with the monster Death, go down into the strong prison-house of this last enemy-the boasting grave-which holds fast kings, princes, and all men as helpless victims; and then, rising up in the majesty of omnipotent strength, he must quit the tomb, destroy sin and Satan, death and the grave, and open the gates of Paradise, that his people may enter in and be saved. And all this great and mighty warfare,' and complete and glorious victory, the Savior of sinners must accomplish as a man, and for the children of men.

"For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead." And as death comes to men, so the resurrection shall also come to men-not to spirits. We therefore turn to Christ, the Man of God's right band whom he made strong for himself as our great Deliverer, the Captain of our salvation, and our only hope of victory over death. Let us consider him. " Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house;" {Heb 3:1-2}. The angel said Of Mary and Jesus, " And she shall bring forth a son, and thou Shall call his name JESUS: for he Shall save his people from their sins." And they shall call his name Emmanuel God with us; " {Mt 1:21-23}. "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever;, and of his kingdom there shall be no end; " {Lu 1:32-33}. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth; “{ Joh 1:14}. His name Jesus expresses a union of God and man in the wonderful person of our EMMANUEL. Jesus is verily God and man, possessing in himself all the fullness of both; the nature and attributes of the holy Godhead, and the nature and attributes of spotless manhood. He is the brightness of God's glory, and the express image of his person." “Being in the form of God," he " thought it not robbery to be, equal with God." Unto the Son the Father saith, “Thy throne, 0 God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy-kingdom." Yet, "Jesus was made a little lower-than the angels," (just as man was made,) "for the suffering of death." He " made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Behold the unspeakable condescension of Jesus! “The high and lofty One, who inhabiteth eternity," is an humble man, meek and lowly in heart, and in the form of a servant. 0 surely, such a personage has come to earth upon a mighty and glorious work, which no other being could perform.

Come with me, reader, and we will still consider this holy Jesus. Philip said to Nathanael. “We have found him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth." “The next day. John," (the Baptist,) " seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world I This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me; for he was be fore me." Andrew said to his brother Simon. We have found the Messias the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus." Paul calls Jesus, the last Adam, a quickening Spirit, and, the second man, the Lord from heaven; {1Co 15:45-47}. We have seen that Gabriel, God's angel, spoke of him to his favored mother Mary, as both the Son of the Highest, and the son of David. For Mary, the mother of Jesus, was by lineage a daughter of King David. Therefore Paul testifies, that “Jesus Christ, our Lord, was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; “{Ro 1:3}. So then, Jesus was born KING, both as the Son of God, and the son of Mary; and he was righteously entitled to sit upon the throne of his father David, and his Father God. This royal authority, exaltation, honor, and glory has Jesus by inheritance; for he was born King on earth, and King in heaven. “And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."

Now it is highly interesting to us, as sinners of the Gentiles," to examine the fleshly lineage of Jesus, who was a Jew, and "born King of the Jews," and who, said to the woman at the well, “Salvation If the Jews." Now if salvation comes to the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, and there is salvation in no other, then he must be related to them in the flesh, as well as to the Jews. Luke traces the fleshly lineage and ancestry of Jesus from his mother Mary up to Adam; while Matthew traces it down from Abraham to Jesus. And the Jewish genealogy shows, that David the king was descended from Judah, one of the twelve sons of Jacob, through Tamar, a Gentile woman of the land of Canaan.

But coming down still nearer, Ruth, another Gentile, leaves her native land of Moab with Naomi, goes to Bethlehem, is married to the rich and noble Boaz, and becomes the renowned great-grandmother of King David. Then, ascending one remove, behold, the grand father of Jesse, the honorable

Boaz, was the son of Rahab, the harlot of Jericho, a Gentile, yet a woman of illustrious faith. Coming back again, between David and. Christ, behold the mother of King Solomon, Bathsheba, doubtless a Gentile woman. And so Perez, the son of Judah, Boaz, the son of Salmon, Obed, the son of Boaz, and Solomon, the son of David, all had Gentile mothers, namely, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bath-sheba.

The scepter of Israel was in the tribe of Judah, the grandson of Isaac, the son and heir of Abraham, the friend of God. Therefore, in the direct line of Judah, and among the mothers of the patriarchs and kings of Israel, we find those four Gentile women, whose blood united with the blood of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in Mary and Jesus her son, the Son of God, and the last King of Israel, who shall sit upon the throne of David forever. And so, as a man, Jesus in his body, his real and immaculate flesh, was as truly and nearly related to the world of Gentile sinners, as to the Jewish house of Israel. And in this we behold the wonderful wisdom and purpose, condescension and mercy of God in providing redemption for the Gentiles, as well as for the Jews. And the fact of those Gentile mothers in the family of David, Mary, and Jesus is the more remarkable, when we consider how religiously and rigidly the Jews were opposed to mingling with the Gentiles. Yet, in his covenant God had promised Abraham, that in him and his seed, (Christ,) should all nations and families be blessed; and his promise can not fail.

Concerning this Paul says, " For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel Shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins; {Ro 11:25-27}.

When Simeon saw Mary and the child Jesus in the temple, he took him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, " Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel; " {Lu 2:28-32}. Again, when Jesus was born, God sent his angel to announce the glad tidings to the shepherds: "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which Shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord;" {Lu 2:10-11}.

Now all this divine testimony plainly shows both the Godhead and manhood of Jesus; and that, as man, he was alike related to both Jews and Gentiles in the flesh; and that he, as the God-man, the Mediator, is the Savior of men. And he himself says, “I am the resurrection, and the life." That is, he raises up the dead, and gives them life. Now to accomplish this he must needs die; and then revive and arise out of the grave, and so swallow up death in victory; for his people go into the grave. Then let us follow him from his baptism in bold Jordan's waters to his baptism in the overflowing waters of death. Between these two sublimely solemn and momentous events, our blessed Jesus was known as, The Son of man," and so spake of himself; but as the Son of God he was not known, except to his blessed disciples, to whom it pleased the Father to reveal this divine mystery. And this is true yet; and it is true also of us, as the sons of God; for the world knoweth us not, only as the sons of men. But the words which the Son of man spake, and the works which he did, and the life which he lived in the flesh, witnessed that God was his Father, and that he was given the Spirit of God without measure; for God was with him. His doctrine or teaching was not of men, but of God. He was holy and harmless; God was well pleased in him, for he did always those things which pleased the Father. He learned obedience. To the messengers of John, Jesus said, "Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. “{Mt 11:4-6}. The Son of man wrought all these great and marvelous works, and so showed forth his power and glory, as the Christ and Savior.

Now, all those multitudes of helpless and hopeless men, women, and children, whom Jesus saved and blessed, were typical persons; and they truly show the lost condition of his people, whom he shall save from their sins, and deliver from death. For, as to spiritual blessings and eternal life, his people were in all this helpless ruin, woe, and misery; blind, and deaf, and lame; poor, and sick, and dead. But Jesus and his gospel of salvation bring to them a perfect cure, and a full release from all this frightful evil; and they axe the happy people, saved by the Lord. But when Jesus had finished the work which his Father gave him to do in the flesh and under the law, then he must suffer on the cross, and lay down his life for the sins of his people.

"And Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again;" {Mt 20:17-19}.

How remarkable, that both the Jews and the Gentiles united in putting the innocent Jesus to death! He was related to both, and came as their Redeemer; yet they rejected and crucified him, in order to defeat and destroy him. This was the most diabolic deed and damning crime ever perpetrated by hardened and wicked men. But the holy Lamb of God resisted them not; and when daring Peter would have defended him, he meekly told him to put up his sword. He is brought as a, lamb to the slaughter." In his death, as in his life, Jesus was divinely sublime and great. His death was the most solemn, important, and wonderful event of all time; and it will be the wondrous and everlasting theme of blessed eternity. We should ever speak of it with deepest veneration, and tenderest emotion, and profoundest gratitude. “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us;” {Ro 5}: Truly, this was infinite and wondrous love. It was for the suffering of death that the blessed Savior was made a little lower than the angels, partook of flesh and blood, and came into the world; therefore he became obedient unto death, even the cruel death of the cross.

The night of his betrayal he went with the apostles to the retired garden of olive trees, at the foot of Mount Olivet, and said to them, " My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, 0 my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt. "And being in an agony, he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was, as it were great drops of blood falling down to the, ground." 0, how amazing and infinite were the sorrow and Suffering of this holy One! He suffered for all the sins and guilt of untold millions of the children of men. and encountered all the powers of darkness. 0, it was a most fearful conflict! And at first his enemies seemed to triumph; for they led him away, out of the city to Mount Calvary, where they nailed him to the accursed Roman cross, and raised him up on it between two guilty men. Let us sorrowfully follow him with his grief-smitten mother and disciples, to see what the end will be. The blood-thirsty rabble of sanctimonious Jewish priests and scribes, with the heathen Roman soldiers, are excitedly moving about the crosses, defiantly wagging their heads, and rending the air with their mingling hellish laughs, taunts, jeers, horrid imprecations and curses. For three awful hours this mocking scene goes on, when, lo! At noonday the sun is draped in deep mourning, and a pall of great darkness suddenly falls upon Jerusalem, Calvary, and all the land, and continues three fearful hours! And to add to the awfulness of the most solemn scene, the earth quakes and moans fearfully, and the mighty rocks cry out in appalling thunders, as if struck by angry thunderbolts from the blackened heaven! And it seems that the very dead, the old Jewish patriarchs, prophets, and buried saints are about to rise up and witness against this blackest crime of wicked men; for, behold! in all the burying-places about Jerusalem the graves are opened by a power more than mortal! And, lo! the vail of the temple, between the holy sanctuary and the most holy, so strong that it would have resisted the combined strength of many men, is torn in two from top to bottom! It seemed as if God was about to smite and crush the whole world with his just wrath; and the hardened murderers of his holy Son were greatly affrighted, doubtless; but from the cross is heard a pathetic voice, saying, Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." And then, near the close, a tender, painful cry is heard from the dying Jesus, saying, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" 0, this was the hardest and the last of all his infinite agony and sorrow! Which he could not survive; for, thus forsaken, the holy man again cried with a loud voice, " Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit." He then peacefully said It Is Finished" bowed his head, and “gave up the ghost”.

The awful battle was fought; the dreadful conflict was ended; the earth was still again; the darkness was past, and the sun shone out upon the lifeless body of Jesus. He was dead! 0, sorrowful event! The little band of weeping disciples smote upon their groaning breasts, and hopelessly turned away. A cruel sword bad pierced the yearning mother's soul. The deep and solemn sorrow of death was upon them all, and their hope was lost.

To them it seemed that the enemy had triumphed, and that they must perish. Sin had reigned unto death, and the boasting grave was still victorious. But here was the end of sin, and death, and the grave; for sin and death could go no farther, and do no more; and this prisoner, whom the grave has received, shall prove its destruction, and the conqueror of death. Even the Roman officer, in command of the soldiers who crucified Jesus, having witnessed all the wonderful events of his death, was convinced that he was the one he claimed to be, and said of him, "Truly this man was the Son of God." Joseph and Nicodemus honorably buried the body of Jesus in Joseph's own new tomb, hewn in a solid rock, wherein no one had ever been buried. And therefore free from corruption; and they laid a great stone upon the door of the sepulchre.

But after the appalling events of the crucifixion had passed away, the blinded and self-righteous chief priests and Pharisees hardened their hearts, and "came together unto Pilate, saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead; so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, and make it as sure as ye can. So they went and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch." Now it shall soon be shown who were the deceivers, and teaching error, whether Jesus, or his enemies. He had openly taught that he should arise from the dead; and that he would also quicken and raise the dead. But his enemies now have him securely locked up in a vault of solid stone, with a great Stone for a door,., and the king's seal upon it, and a strong guard of soldiers to keep it safe. Therefore there was no possible chance for the weak, fearful, and mourning disciples of the imprisoned Son of man to come and steal him away in the darkness of night, which they had no wish to do; and the leaders of the Jews were satisfied that Jesus could not be delivered from the sealed tomb, and the watching soldiers who guarded it. And truly there was no hope of help from man, and no escape from death for the children of men by any thing that the despairing apostles and disciples could do. For he in whom they trusted, the second man, the LAST ADAM, was both dead and buried; and Satan, sin, and death seemed again successful and triumphant, as at first, in the Garden of Eden. Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of man, is the last hope for man: but he is crucified and buried, and he seemed as weak and helpless in death as any other man, therefore neither his friends nor foes expected him to arise out of the tomb.

But yet, the only hope now for the world is in the resurrection of this Jesus; and unless he has power to take up his life again, and thus break the black seal of death, and come forth out of the grave, a righteous, living, IMMORTAL MAN, the resurrection and the life; then all mankind must perish in death. Therefore the truth of Christianity, the reality of the gospel, the hope of salvation, and the promise of eternal life rest upon the resurrection of the man Christ Jesus, as the sure foundation of all. Then, doubtless, holy angels, as well as wicked men, we're watching the tomb of Jesus; yea, the God of battles himself was near. And so Jesus, spake by the mouth of David, and said, " I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy: at thy right hand there are pleasure's for evermore;" {Ps 16:11}. In this assurance Jesus had died. The' children of Israel in the Red Sea, the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace, and Daniel in the den of lions, were not more securely kept by the power of God than was Jesus in death and the grave. And this is equally true of all the people whom God gave his Son.

Lo, the third morning from the crucifixion dawns upon Jerusalem, and it is the first day of the week, the resurrection day of the Lord. The eye-witnesses will tell us of this glorious rising of the Sun of Righteousness, with life and healing in his wings. " In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning and his raiment white as snow. And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: FOR HE IS RISEN, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead, and behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him; lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre, with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came, and held him by the feet, and worshiped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren, that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and showed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, saying, Say ye, his disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if. this come' to the Governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day {Mt 28}.

0 how transporting was the triumph and joy of the now happy disciples of Jesus! But how crushing the defeat and terror of his wicked enemies! How infamous the absurd falsehood, that the disciples of Jesus stole his body out of the tomb, while the soldiers on duty slept! This deserves no notice. Why, the disciples themselves were so profoundly astonished at the resurrection of their dear Master, that they could scarcely believe it, so great was the joy. Two of them walked to Emmaus the day he arose, and Jesus walked and talked with them and then revealed himself to them. So great was their surprise that they hastened back to Jerusalem to tell the joyful news to their fellow-disciples ; and they found the apostles and others gathered together, and talking of the risen Lord, who had also appeared to Simon.

And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your hearts?" "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?

And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of a honey-comb. And he took it, and did eat before them. And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. And he led them out as far as to Bethany: and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God;" {Lu 24}.

Now let us take the testimony of the apostles of Jesus, the chosen witnesses of his resurrection, who both saw and heard him after he arose from the dead, and beheld him as he went up into heaven. For to them “be showed himself alive after his passion, by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God." And ten days after the ascension of Jesus into heaven, on the memorable day of Pentecost, the apostles and disciples were with one accord in one place, when suddenly they were all baptized with the Holy Spirit and spake with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. At this the multitude came together, when Peter standing up with the eleven, preached the gospel of Christ to them. And of the crucified Jesus he said, " Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it." And quoting the words of David, he said, That God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne." “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear." “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus whom ye crucified, both Lord and Christ; “{Ac 2}. God has made the resurrected Jesus strong for himself, the man of his right hand, and his fellow or equal. And thus exalted, Jesus, the risen and glorified MAN, sent down the Holy Spirit, by which Peter thus spake; and he gave great power unto his apostles.

Soon after this, Peter and John found a poor man who had never walked, a beggar, at the gate of the temple, and said to him, "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk. And he, leaping up, stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God." At this all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering." Then Peter said, "The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One, and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. And his name, through faith in his name, hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know." Then, after preaching Jesus to them, and exhorting them to repent, he said, "Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first, God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. "And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now even-tide. Howbeit, many of them which heard the word, believed I and the number of the men was about five thousand.

"And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, and Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them," (Peter and John,) "in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name have ye done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, if we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole." "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem, and we can not deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly," (strictly,)” threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name;" (Acts, third and fourth chapters).

Peter and John here stood before and boldly confronted the imposing Jewish Council or Sanhedrim, the very men who had bribed the soldiers to report, that they had all gone to sleep on duty, and the few ,crushed disciples of Jesus had come and stolen away his body out of the strong tomb! But not a word of such accusation dared they to bring against these two most prominent disciples, because they knew it was false; but the two humble disciples boldly charged their wickedly religious rulers with having murdered the long-promised Christ, the Son of God, whom he had raised up from the dead. And the fact that, in the name and faith of Jesus, the apostles wrought miracles, and thousands of the people in Jerusalem, who knew of these things, believed in the risen Jesus, as the Son of God and Savior, is proof positive that the apostles were neither deceived, nor deceiving the people, and that Jesus was not hidden away in some tomb.

That his very body was made alive again, and left the grave, and was glorified in heaven, has been shown; but it is all important to establish this blessed truth abundantly, and beyond overthrow; for upon it rests the resurrection of all the dead, and the glory and immortality of all the redeemed. So, now, let us again visit Joseph's new tomb, in the garden near to Calvary, 'with the disciples on the resurrection morning, and hear their evidence. "Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? (And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away,) for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young, man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him." "And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled, and were amazed;" {Mr 16}.

In his record of the same event, Luke says, "And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. And as they were afraid, and bowed their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen. Remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words, and returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre, and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass; "{Lu 24}.

The testimony of John is, that Mary Magdalene went first to the sepulchre, and finding the stone rolled away from the door, and the body of Jesus gone, she ran and told Peter and " the disciple whom Jesus loved," saying, "They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him." They both then ran to the sepulchre, and Mary followed them. The loved disciple, John, outran Peter, and reached the Sepulchre first, "And looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie; and the napkin that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as She wept she stooped down and looked into the sepulchre, and seeth two angels in white, sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni, which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not: for I am not yet ascended unto my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her. "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut-where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord." “But Thomas, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then said he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed;" {Joh 20}.

Now we have before us all this abundant testimony of the apostles, and other witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus, as related by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; and it all shows that, so far from there being any collusion among the disciples, or prearranged agreement as to what they should report, in order to deceive the people, they themselves were slow to believe, and did not believe one another, and even doubted their own senses, when they saw Jesus, after he arose from the dead. And while there is variety in their testimony, yet there is harmony and unity in the one most solemn and sublime truth. And never were candor, simplicity, sincerity, and honest truth more plainly stamped upon the statements of true men and women. Such a cloud of witnesses, and such a bundle of faithful testimony, would be fully accepted in any court, as sufficient to establish any fact or truth. No historical facts have come down to us better authenticated, and not And the fact of the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth has never been refuted, and can not be; for it is too abundantly established. While the eye-witnesses of his resurrection, the twelve apostles, the faithful women, and other disciples, a harmless and godly company, were still living, and ready to answer for their beloved Lord, and for themselves, their persecuting enemies, the murderers of Jesus, who tried hard to destroy his doctrine, did not once meet them face to face, like true and honest men, and dispute the resurrection of Christ, and accuse the disciples of having stolen his dead body out of the sepulchre. Ah, they dared not! for they themselves had prevented such a possibility, as they well knew, by having the king's seal affixed to the massive door of the sepulchre in which Jesus laid, and a strong guard of Roman soldiers appointed to keep it. Thus Satan overreached and defeated himself; and the wrath of man was made to praise the Lord.

By the pen of David God spake of 'all this, and said, “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his Anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee;” {Ps 2}. This was fulfilled in the resurrection and glorious exaltation of Jesus, who ascended up to heaven, and sat down on the throne of God. "And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee; {Ac 13:32-33}.

In his resurrection, therefore, Jesus is the first-born Son of God from the dead among many brethren "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;" {Col 1:18-19}. John says, “Jesus Christ is the faithful Witness, and the First-begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth; “{Re 1:5}. God spake of Jesus as David, and said, " I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him: with whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him." He shall cry unto me, Thou art my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation. Also I will make him my first-born, higher than the kings of the earth. My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven; “{Ps 89:28-29}.

Now let us for a moment view Jesus upon the throne of glory. Stephen was the first Christian martyr, and when about to be stoned to death, "he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God;" {Ac 7:55-56}. The beloved disciple John was favored also with a view of Jesus in his personal glory, which he describes as overpoweringly majestic and glorious : " I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man," etc. " And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last; I am he that liveth and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death; {Re 1:18}.

This was the meek and lowly son of Mary, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of David, and yet David's Lord, the King of saints! To Timothy Paul said, "Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead, according to my gospel;" {2Ti 2:8}. Let every gospel minister and believer remember this. Paul again testifies of Jesus Christ our Lord, that he “was made of the seed of David according to the flesh ; and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead {Ro 1:3-4}. And so, as risen from the dead, the man Christ Jesus is THE SON OF GOD WITH POWER. Yea, he is "the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto: whom no man hath seen, nor can see; to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen;" {1Ti 6:15-16}. No natural man, and no man of him self, can see either the kingdom or the Son of God; but the Father must reveal them. To his loved disciples Jesus said, just before his death, "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also {Joh 14:18-19}. And we have seen that he is entered into his glory in heaven, and lives for evermore.

Now Paul, the last of the apostles, and one of the chosen and inspired witnesses of the resurrection of Christ Jesus, will sum up, and show us how completely and triumphantly the resurrection of the dead is confirmed forever. "Brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all, that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures: and that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: after that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am; and his grace which was bestowed upon me, was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed;" {1Co 15:1-11}.

And so we, too, believe, Christian reader. 0 how joyfully we believe that our adored Lord is risen from the dead ! and that he will raise up us by his own power. He has swallowed up death in victory. The everlasting doors of heaven were opened wide, and the King of glory entered in. "And let all the angels of God worship him." So spake the righteous Father. And, let us join in the worship, and adore and extol the name of JESUS. Blessed name! “My Lord, and my God." Well might doubting Thomas believe! And though we have not seen the precious Christ with our eyes, as Thomas did, yet we believe. And Jesus said they are blessed, who so believe. 0 how our faith in him is confirmed by all this sublime and touching testimony of so many of his dear and sorrowing disciples! who followed him to the cross; and then saw and knew him, and heard his blessed words of comfort, after he rose from the dead. With them, our faith and hope in their risen Lord are full of joyful assurance. Jesus is now our hope, our life, our joy, and crown. We glory in his cross; and we triumph in his resurrection. He is our salvation. Living and believing in him WE SHALL NEVER DIE.

3-03 Chapter 3 Jesus Is The Resurrection

CHAPTER 3. JESUS IS THE RESURRECTION.

I AM THE RESURRECTION, AND THE LIFE." So spake Jesus. He was a man, and the Son of man. As a man he died, and his dead body was buried; as a man he arose from the dead, and his living body came up out of the grave. God gave him this power. And so he destroyed sin and Satan, death and the grave, and triumphed over them; for he “spoiled principalities and powers," and is “more than conqueror over all enemies. Therefore he has power to resurrect all the dead, and to call them out of the graves; for all things are made subject unto him. "For" God “hath put all things under his feet;” {1Co 15:27}, Now, upon this authority and power of the man Christ depends the resurrection of all the dead, “both of the just and unjust." For "by man came the resurrection of the dead." But if he himself had been held fast in the grave, under the power of death, he could have no power over death, to raise the dead; and therefore there could be no resurrection of the dead. Paul has shown this conclusively, as we have seen. He affirms and proves the death, burial, and resurrection of the man Christ, as the very gospel or glad tidings which he preached; and then, upon this sure foundation of the gospel, this rock of salvation, he boldly proclaims, that the dead in Christ shall be resurrected at his second coming.

"Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?" We may well ask the same question. For Paul absolutely declares, that, "If there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen." He therefore connects the resurrection of the dead with the resurrection of Christ, in the certain relation of effect and cause ; and shows that, because Christ is risen, the dead shall also be raised up.

For Christ and his brethren are one and inseparable, whether in defeat or victory, death or life, the grave or heaven. They were dead in their sins, and so he died for their sins; they go down into the grave, and so he was buried. But in his death he made a full and complete atonement and reconciliation for all their sins by the shedding of his blood, and by the righteous obedience of his life on their behalf; therefore they were all adjudged as dead with him to sin and the law, "Because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead;" {2Co 5:14}. So, then, by the obedience and death of Jesus for his people in the flesh and under the law, sin lost its strength and death its sting, both against him and them; therefore it was not and is not possible, that either he or they should be holden of death. So Jesus the dead revived, arose, and lives again to die no more; and all his redeemed people have part in his resurrection, and shall arise out of the graves, and live for evermore, because he lives; for on them "the second death hath no power." Christ hath redeemed them to himself and to God, and they are his forever. It was in union with them and for them, that "our Savior Jesus Christ abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." And as he was one with his brethren in the flesh, in suffering and sorrow, death and the grave; so shall they be, one with him in the quickening Spirit, in glory and rejoicing, and in the resurrection unto life. "In Christ shall all be made alive." “In him was life; and the life was the light of men;" {Joh 1:4}. Christ is the life of all his redeemed people; for he gives them eternal life, and they shall never perish; John, 10:28. Paul says of him, "For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you; “{2Co 13:4}. The apostle thus shows how indissoluble Christ and Christians are joined together, as head, and body, and members; so that he partook of their weakness in the flesh, and was crucified for them, to redeem and free them from death; and they shall therefore know the power of his resurrection, partake of his life and holiness, and live with him by the power of God.

Paul again strongly expresses this fundamental truth of the gospel of salvation in these words: "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit;" {Ro 8:2-4}. Sin and death shall therefore be purged out of the bodies of all who are joined to Christ, and they shall be made free from both by the, quickening and sanctifying power of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus; and so they Shall be one with him in his holy life, which shall quicken and spiritualize their mortal bodies; and his righteousness shall be fulfilled in them. “So by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

His obedience was for the “many brethren;” and so he is their righteousness, because of his unity with them in their flesh, and of their unity with him in his Spirit of life and holiness. And because of this unity and identity of the Son of man with his brethren, in God the Father's covenant of life and peace, their sins and consequent death were imputed to Jesus, as one with his people; and just so, his obedience and righteousness, and consequent resurrection-life, shall be imputed to them, as one with him. And as their sins and death were his personally, so that he himself suffered and died in the flesh, as a man; so also shall his righteousness and resurrection unto life be theirs personally, insomuch that they themselves shall suffer and die with him in the flesh, as the children of men, and then be resurrected in his personal likeness. The following scriptures agree with this, and show it: " For " God " hath made " Christ " to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him; {2Co 5:21}. "For even here unto were ye called:" (to suffer:) "because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 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;" {1 Peter, 2:21,22,24}. When the body of Christ was cut off from the living for our sins, by the sacrificial offering of himself without spot unto God, then our sins were cut off and removed forever, and shall no more be imputed to either him or us. Therefore we ourselves, whose sins he bore in his own body, shall also both die unto sins, and live unto righteousness, in our own body. For if not, then the sufferings and death of Christ for our sins, in his body on the cross, and the burial and resurrection of his body, had no relation to us, or connection with us, and were without design or force, and of no avail. Why did he bear our sins in his own body unto the death of the cross, and then arise out of the tomb in his own body, if it was not to put away our sins from us, and redeem and raise up us in our own body, that we should live unto righteousness? Can any one tell?

"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit; " {1Pe 3:18}. Certainly it was in the flesh of his dead body that Christ was quickened by the Spirit. None can refute this; because the testimony of the apostles and other disciples, who saw and handled him after he arose, is too abundant and plain to be denied. Well, in. our resurrection from the dead, we shall follow him; for we shall be raised up in the likeness of his resurrection, and bear his image. “For," says Paul, “if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection."

“Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him; {Ro 6:5,8}. We have seen what the likeness of Christ's death was; for he died for sin, and unto sin; under the law, and unto the law; and in his flesh, or body. Then, after he died, he was taken down to the tomb, and buried. The same Jesus who died on the cross was buried. His body was laid in the grave. In all this we follow him, and shall be as he was. We die unto sin, and because of sin; we die in the flesh, and our dead bodies are buried. And so we are joined to Jesus our Lord in his death. We are joint-heirs with him in suffering and death. “We shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection." The word of the Lord says we shall; and his word can not be broken.

I need not tell you, reader, what that likeness is; but let us speak of the divine power and excellent glory of the resurrection of our precious Redeemer, that our faith and hope in him may abound unto joy and praise. Then let me once more go with you, in the footsteps of Jesus, the man of sorrow, to the garden, of anguish, the cross of death, and the house of burial. Let us bow our heads and weep here, with sorrowing Mary, " because they have taken away my Lord." She looks into the opened grave again; when, lo, the bright angels of heaven were there! but the dear body of Jesus, which rested so blessedly after the pangs of death were ended, was not there; for it was indeed taken away. Behold the grave, where only death dwelt and reigned, is now become a place of life, triumph, and joy; yea, the very gate of heaven! For, not only the shining angels are there to shed a radiance of glory, and dispel the darkness and mourning from the sacred place; but, turning her face from the tomb, she again looks upon the divine form of the living Jesus, who is also there with the happy angels and joyful Mary, 0, what a hallowed place, and blessed company! We rejoice to be counted worthy to be with them. The bitterness of sin, the shameful cross, the sorrow of death, the dismal tomb, the mourning and weeping, all, are forgotten; and "death is swallowed up in victory." 0, glorious resurrection, and victorious Jesus! 0, blessed Mary, and disciples! It is worth dying to obtain such a victory.

Let us now follow on after the risen Jesus to the room where the disciples were gathered, when he showed them his body, his hands, and his feet, and said, "Handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." Now let him lead us out with the dear company of his disciples to Bethany, that with them we may receive his blessing, while his hands are extended over us; then let our eyes follow his living body up into heaven, where Stephen, and John, and Paul saw him in his glory; the same Jesus, the Son of man. We shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."

I considered it of the first importance to show, according to the Scriptures, the absolute oneness or unity between Christ and his brethren, whom God gave him, as concerning his and their state and inheritance, both on earth and in heaven. Because it is upon this principle and truth, as a strong and sure foundation, that Paul, in {1Co 15}, bases and maintains the certainty of the final resurrection unto life and immortality of all the people and brethren of Jesus our Lord.

In the church at Corinth were some who said, “that there is no resurrection of the dead;" and who unbelievingly asked, “How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?" And therefore Paul, who was set for the defense of the gospel, knowing the blighting and fatal consequences, to the church, of this delusive doctrine of the Sadducees, and that if it could indeed be established as true, then the whole gospel of Christ would be overthrown and proven to be delusive, unreal, and false, boldly and faithfully defended the truth of the resurrection of the dead. He is a pattern for the gospel ministry, worthy to be followed, as he followed Christ. He first declared and proved the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, as a man, having a personal and real body; he called the witnesses of his resurrection, the twelve apostles, and more than five hundred brethren, all of whom saw Jesus after he was risen from the dead, and knew him; most of whom were still living, and could bear witness to the truth of Paul's gospel. And he was also a witness that God had raised up Christ from the dead ; for he had seen and heard Jesus, and believed on him.

Having established the glorious resurrection of Jesus, the Prophet of Nazareth, the crucified Son of man, the one Mediator between God and men, as the precious and sure foundation of the kingdom of Zion, and as the very soul and fullness and glory of the gospel of salvation; Paul then builds upon this living stone and foundation, and with all the assurance of infallibility he triumphantly proclaims the future resurrection of all the dead in Christ, and the translation of all the living saints at his Second coming, and their glorious and everlasting victory over sin, death, and the grave.

This was Paul's gospel; and so he preached, and so the brethren believed. The resurrection of Christ from the dead, and the resurrection of all the dead in Christ, and their eternal glory with Christ, was the very marrow and fatness of the glorious gospel of salvation, which Paul and the other inspired apostles preached. From valley to mountain top, in city and country, in courts of kings and prison cells, wherever they went, and to 'whoever they preached, Jew and Gentile, bond and. free, Paul and his fellow ambassadors in the new kingdom preached Christ and him crucified, and Christ and him risen from the dead, and " through Jesus the resurrection from the dead." And it is no wonder that Paul believed that Jesus was risen from the dead, and preached Jesus and the resurrection of the dead; for the ascended and glorified man Christ had made himself known to him, and said " I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest; " {Ac 22:8}.

And when violently taken by a mob of the Jews in Jerusalem for preaching the crucified Christ, Paul said, “Of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question." And in his defense before King Agrippa, Paul asked him, “Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?” Then he said to him, " Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say Should come: that Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should Show light unto the people, and to the Gentiles;" {Ac 26}.

When Peter first preached the gospel of Christ to the Gentiles he said, " God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did, both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets Witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins; {Ac 10:38-43}.

Then, when Paul was sent to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, and stood in the midst of Mars-hill, before the learned and great of Athens, he said to them, "Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every-where to repent: 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; " {Ac 17:30-31}. How solemn and wonderful is this declaration. The resurrection of the man Jesus from the dead is God's testimony and assurance unto all men, that he hath ordained him to be the Judge of quick and dead; and that he hath appointed a great judgment-day, and will judge the world in righteousness.

Therefore God the Father has committed all judgment unto his Son Jesus, and has exalted him from the cross and the tomb to the glorious high throne of heaven, and ordained and anointed him with the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and with power and authority, to raise the dead, and judge the world. " But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men;" {2Pe 3:7}. In his defense before Felix Paul affirmed, “That there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust;" {Ac 24:15}.

Now let us hear the testimony of Jesus himself on this point, for he is the Prophet whom God raised up unto his people, and the Preacher of righteousness in the great congregation. He said, " 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. For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation; “{John, 5:25-29}.

Now this testimony of Jesus and his servants certainly establishes the doctrine of a general resurrection; that is, of all the dead of mankind, both of the just and unjust all that are in the graves. And the power and honor to resurrect all the dead, and to judge the whole world, the righteous and the wicked, is given unto the holy child Jesus, the Son of man, the Son of God. His name is," KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." After he died, and arose from the grave, and destroyed both death and the devil, he said to his chosen apostles, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." This expresses universal dominion, and omnipotent power. Therefore Jesus has absolute power over death and the grave; and he is abundantly able to call forth the dead out of the graves, either to the judgment of life, or condemnation. And since he declares that they shall hear his voice, and shall come forth, who or what shall prevent it? Behold, while he was yet in the flesh on the earth, all diseases and maladies, wicked men and devils, furious winds and angry seas, sin and death, corruption and the grave, all, all were subject to his power, and, obeyed his word. And shall it be thought that this glorious man, who spake as never man spake, has less power now, since he has gone up to heaven, and sat down on the throne of God? 0 no I but we believe that he can do all things, and that there is nothing too hard for the Lord.

But more amazing still than all this power that I have named, Jesus said, Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father; “{Joh 10:7,18}. Never were other words so wonderful as these uttered, and the fullness of their sublime and glorious meaning is unsearchable and unspeakable. It was a man who thus spake, the meek and lowly son of Mary! And God his Father loved him because he laid down his life, that he might take it again. He had power to do both. That is, he had the legal, just, and righteous authority to lay down his holy life, and to take it again. It was the commandment of his righteous Father. It was a power that Jesus had as the COVENANT HEAD of God's people. If it is asked, Why and for whom did he lay down his life? he says, "I lay down my life for the sheep." For he is the good Shepherd of the lost sheep, and they were under the power of death; but he said, I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

Now, since the dear, suffering Son of man had power to lay down his own righteous life, and power to take it again, and arise from the dead, victorious over the grave and all the powers of darkness; then, verily, he more abundantly has power to call forth and raise all the dead, and to execute the righteous sentence and just judgment of God upon them.

Moreover, his word shows that he also has the authority to divide the nations, and to separate the good from the evil, the righteous from the wicked; and that he will do this in the resurrection of all that are in the graves. The angel of the Lord said to Daniel, "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt;" {Da 12:2}. And our Lord said, " When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal; {Mt 25:31-34,41,46}.

3-04 Chapter 4 Resurrection of the Unjust

CHAPTER IV. RESURRECTION OF THE UNJUST.

"DEPART, YE CURSED." Awful sentence I Let us consider it. The unjust, who have done evil, shall come forth out of the graves, resurrected unto condemnation and the perdition of ungodly men. This is the righteous judgment of the enthroned King, whose word is holy, and shall be fulfilled. Let us not think that it is a hard or cruel sentence; for never -was any other man so full of tender pity, compassion, and mercy, as the meek and lamb-like Son of man, who relieved all the woes of all the afflicted and tormented children of men, who in their helpless need called upon him. He came into the. world to save sinners, to save the lives of men; but not to destroy them. His very name is Savior; and he is full of grace, and delighteth in mercy. To his disciples he said, "I have compassion on the multitudes." To the Jews who persecuted him he said, "Think not that I will accuse you unto the Father." So let us be persuaded that the King of glory is the Holy One, full of love and pity, and rich in mercy; who saves to the uttermost them that come unto God by him, and says, " Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."

Therefore, none but the unbelieving and wicked, his enemies, who have both despised and rejected him, shall be rejected, and depart from him. They would not have him to reign over them, but desired only to be left to their own will; and his word was true of them: "And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life." All his unbelieving enemies would say of him, "He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him." They have neither faith in him, nor union with him.

To them he says, “My word hath no place in you." In his divine nature, his Spirit and life, his holiness and love, the wicked and unbelieving have no part with the beloved Son of God; neither do they desire to be found in him, nor to be clothed with his freely imputed righteousness ; but they esteem and prefer themselves and their own righteousness. Therefore the unrighteous or wicked have no fellowship with the man of sorrow in his suffering for sins in the flesh , neither are they made conformable unto his death to sin and the law; nor do they know him, nor the power of his resurrection unto righteousness and life. And so, as they are not united with Jesus in his resurrected and holy life, they are not therefore justified by him, because he is not their life, and they have no life unity with him, as the vitalized branches of the living and true Vine. So they die out of Christ, and shall not be made alive in him at the last day. To such unbelieving sinners, Jesus said, " Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he," (the Savior,) ye shall die in your sins; John., 8:23,24. And therefore he said unto them, "Whither Igo, ye can not come."

Now it is for this cause, that the highly exalted and glorified Son of man shall separate all nations one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats, and shall say to the unholy, “Depart from me, ye cursed." For they have died in their sins and unbelief, under the dominion of sin, and the curse of the law, having no hope in Christ, and without God in the world. They have ever been strangers to heart repentance toward God for their sins, and heart faith toward the Son of God, as dying and atoning for their sins, and rising from the dead for their justification. So then, they were not baptized into the death of Christ, nor washed from their sins in his blood; neither have they died indeed unto sins, nor been quickened together with Christ, and made alive unto God and holiness.

The obedient and suffering death, and the righteous and saving life of the redeeming and justifying Jesus, who died and rose again, have not been wrought and fulfilled in unbelieving Jews and Gentiles; who, therefore, have no part in the first resurrection. So, when they die in their bodies, and go into the grave, they are still in their sins, and under the condemnation of the holy law. Nor have they desired that it should be otherwise; for instead of casting themselves at the feet of Jesus, as did the perishing leper, they have appealed to Moses and the law, as Paul appealed from the Jews to Ceasar. And as Ceasar condemned Paul to death, so does the law condemn, under a perpetual curse, as many as are of the works of the law; {Ga 3:292}. Consequently, the unrighteous and unbelieving, who have no faith in the, Son of God, and have not been justified from all their sinful and evil works in the flesh, shall die in their sins; and they shall hear the voice of the Son of God, calling them to judgment, and Shall come forth out of the graves, unto the resurrection of damnation, and go away to dwell with Satan and his angels.

It may be said by some, that this is a severe judgment against the children of men, who have done evil; but it is the sentence of the holy child Jesus, who wept at the grave of Lazarus, and over Jerusalem, and cried out on the cross, saying, " Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." This should convince all that Jesus the Judge of quick and dead, is both merciful and just; and that he judges righteously, and in infinite wisdom. Therefore the resurrection of the unjust, and their everlasting separation from all the justified, and banishment to the abode of all the wicked, are for the glory of God, the honor of his Son, the joy of the saints, and according to the nature and state of the condemned. For they shall have received only that which their own will chose, and which accords with their sinful nature and carnal mind, and far better suits them than would the abode of the saints and holy angels in heaven. Indeed, the glorious and holy presence of God and the Lamb, and of all the hosts in heaven, would be the most intolerable place of torment to all who do not, love God and holiness, but have pleasure in unrighteousness; and they would desire only to flee away to the place prepared for them in the kingdom of darkness, where their far more suitable kindred spirits dwell.

So then, it is infinitely better for both the righteous and the wicked, that the Son of man, upon the throne of his glory, should separate them from one another, and adjudge them to the far different kingdoms prepared for them; that they may both go to their own habitation. And the goodness and mercy of God, no less than his justice and holiness, will justify the separation and banishment of the wicked from the righteous, where they shall no more trouble and persecute the loving friends of Jesus, who delight in goodness and mercy, and love peace and truth; but they shall dwell with only like envious, malicious, wicked beings to themselves. Truly the Lord is just and holy in all his ways, and righteous in all his works; and all creatures in all places of his dominion Shall honor and glorify him.

As far back as Cain and Abel, the wicked have been found upon the earth with the righteous ; but there has been a radical difference ever existing between them, and a separation in spirit, belief, and worship, insomuch that the one has been hated and persecuted by the other. And this has continued so from the beginning, even until now; and it shall so continue until the last great day, when the King shall say to all the unjust and evil, “Depart from me."

Not withstanding the whole family of man have one common parentage, Adam and Eve, yet how vast the difference which the grace and faith of the Son of God make between them; as seen in Abel and Cain, Jacob and Esau, David and Saul, John and Judas, Mary and Herodias, and the penitent on the cross and his fellow. The unbelieving have enmity against the believing, which causes the first to oppose, reproach, and persecute the last, because they love the Lord and his righteousness, and have faith and hope in him. This is strange and unreasonable; and it shows the corrupting and hardening effects of man's disobedience and sin, and proves that." the carnal mind is enmity against God." {Ro 8:7-8}.

When man sinned and fell from his exalted state of created natural goodness and innocence, and was turned out of Eden, he not only forfeited and lost communion with his holy Creator, but he also received a spirit of bondage and guilty fear, and became the willing bond-servant of Satan, the enemy, of God and righteousness; and this cruel enmity took possession of man, and enslaved his soul. And in this respect, the unbelieving and self-righteous children of men are of their father the devil, whose lusts they will do, as said Jesus to them. And he says the devil “was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth; because there is no truth in him." This is also more or less the nature, and spirit of his enslaved children and servants. Therefore Jesus said to them, "I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father." "And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God, heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honor my Father, and ye do dishonor me. And I seek not mine own glory : there is One that seeketh and judgeth. Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil; “{Joh 8}. Now this conversation between the holy Jesus and the unbelieving Jews, presents in a Clear and strong light the wide difference there is between the believing children of God and the unbelieving children of men, which is so radical and great that the wicked hate the righteous, and seek to destroy them. Paul clearly expresses this difference between the two classes of men: For they that are after the flesh, do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." So then they that are in the flesh can not please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God; {Ro 8}. So it is the Spirit of God in Christ, dwelling in, quickening, and leading us, that identifies us as the children of God, and Separates us from the world.

The apostle John also clearly presents the striking difference there is between the children of the kingdom and the children of this world, saying, " In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous {1 John, 3: 10-12}.

And the lovely Jesus, the Preacher of righteousness, faithfully shows how this distinctive difference among the nations of men is manifested in their lives, and by their fruits Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then Shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then Shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not unto one of the least of these," my brethren, " ye did it not to me."

Now this sadly proves that such unloving persons, who love not our Lord, but love themselves, and live to themselves, are not joined to Christ, in the fellowship of his life and sufferings in his brethren and members ; for if they were they would love them, and esteem it a privilege and labor of love to minister to them in their afflictions and necessities. But, since they have no real, vital, heart-union with Christ and his brethren, they therefore take pleasure in speaking evil of them, and persecuting them; though they may even be called by his name, and have a name among his brethren. For one of the many afflictions of Paul was, he was in perils among false brethren; and many since his time have suffered similar perils. But the Lord will avenge his own elect who cry unto him, and save them from their enemies, and from the hand of all that hate them.

“Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.. Hereby we perceive the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels, of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him;" {1Jo 3:15-19}. To be thus assured in our hearts, is indeed a favor and blessing; and this we receive in truly loving and helping the brethren in Christ. The Lord said to his disciples, "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you; {Mt 5:11-12}. So then, though the believing children of our God are poor and afflicted in this world, yet they are the highly favored of the Lord; “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." And they shall not always be reviled and persecuted by false accusers; for they shall be carried up to heaven; but the wicked shall be cast down to hell.

How good and merciful the Lord is, therefore, in making this final and everlasting separation among all the nations of the earth, that all the unjust may go to their own place to receive their just reward, and revel in wickedness, and torment one another; and that all who love our Lord and rejoice in his salvation may evermore be with him in his kingdom of holiness and glory. "There the wicked shall cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest." "How long, 0 Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they Should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled;" {Re 6:10-11}.

Now it is manifest that the righteous judgments of the Lord against wicked men are because of their transgressions and unrighteousness, which they have wickedly committed against him and his saints; and that their own sins are the only cause of the reprobation and condemnation of all the impenitent and unbelieving of man kind. They are the enemies of the Lord, and of his holy apostles, prophets, and saints, and enemies to righteousness, truth, and holiness; and the righteous sentence of the holy law of God stands against them; therefore God will by no means clear them, as thus guilty in his sight. And so they shall be called forth out of the graves in their sins and under the curse of the law, unto the resurrection of condemnation, to receive the deeds done in their bodies. Having done evil and not good, they are thus judged.

The life or being with which they shall come forth, is not the holy life of Jesus but the corrupted and sinful existence of Adam, whose they are, and whose fallen and spoiled image they bear. The mind which presides in their vicious bodies will not be the heavenly mind of the loving Son of God; but the carnal mind of the guilty creature Adam, which is enmity against God. Then it should not be thought and contended, that such impenitent and ungodly sinners, the enemies and haters of God and his Son Jesus, should dwell in heaven with just men made perfect, who love and serve God. No! but they, like Judas, "by transgression fell, that they might go to their own place." And it is the best and only place for them in all the boundless universe of the infinite Creator. Their existence and being is dear to them, and God has given it to them; hence we should not question his wisdom, goodness, and power; for he is in heaven, but we are on the earth; and just, holy, and righteous is he. “GOD IS LOVE!"

“Thou art righteous, 0 Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments;" {Re 16:5-7}. "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and be which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city;` {Re 22:11-14}.

3-05 Chapter 5 Man In Brotherhood With Christ

CHAPTER V. MAN IN BROTHERHOOD WITH CHRIST.

"My FATHER AND YOUR FATHER." Divine brotherhood with the glorified Son of God is the most exalted honor and blessing ever bestowed upon the sons and daughters of Adam. God alone could confer this royal dignity. He only could give us being as his rational creatures, endowed and exalted above all the beasts of the earth, and made only a little lower than the angels. And this is the relationship of angels to God; they are exalted creatures, honored and favored above all other creatures. God made them happy, ministering spirits, to live forever; but they are not sons; and sonship is a closer and dearer relationship to God than creatureship. The people considered in the last chapter are God's creatures; but the people to be considered in this are both creatures and sons of God.

Truly this is a double honor, and Such a people are richly blessed. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons, of God!” It is a great honor to be his favored and trusted servants; but to be his sons is unspeakable favor. This honor have all his redeemed people. They are sons of God in Christ, his only begotten and well-beloved Son, in whom he is well pleased. Therefore the Father is also well pleased with all his children in his Son He loved them with love everlasting; and with loving-kindness he draws them to himself; {Jer 31:3}. He gave them eternal life and all spiritual blessings in his Son; {1Jo 5:11}; {Eph 1:3}. Yea, the Father gave them his Son; {Ro 8:32}. And with him he will also freely give them all things, and bring them to heaven.

Their sonship to the everlasting Father is in the life of his holy child Jesus. As he is one with them in their, flesh and his perfected manhood, so are they one with him in his life and immortality. And as he was sent forth as the son of man when born of the flesh, so are they sent forth as the sons of God when born of the Spirit. His personal union with them in their flesh took place when he was begotten of God; and their personal union with him in his Spirit takes place when they are begotten of God. Before he was made in the likeness of men he was in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God; and before they were quickened by the Spirit, they were dead in their sins and the uncircumcision of their flesh; {Php 2:6-7}; {Col 2:13}. But even then, they were Christ's, as the people whom God gave him; yea, his from everlasting; and he was also theirs, as foreordained of God to be their Redeemer. Therefore, in this everlasting covenant of God in Christ with his people, he and they are in everlasting union with each other; {Isa 42:6-7; 63:8-9}; {Mal 2:4-6}.

But, though they were the Lord's foreknown and chosen people forever in his holy covenant of life and peace, yet they had no personal union with the Son of God in his Spirit of life, and could not be called the children of God until they were personally quickened by the Spirit, and born again. For there is a real difference in the meaning of the words people and children; yet both are true, as applied to the brethren of our holy Redeemer; for they sustain this two-fold relation to our God and Father, who is the covenant-God of his chosen people, and the loving Father ,of his living children. As his people, they were dead in trespasses and sins ; but as, his children, they have passed from death unto life, and shall never die or perish ; for Christ lives in them to die no more. And to them he says, "Because I live, ye shall live also." For he is their eternal life, and they live in him; and he is their bread of life, and they live by him. "My Beloved is mine, and I am his." He said to them, “I ascend to my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God; " {Joh 20:17}. Holy and blessed brotherhood! "For both he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee." "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be." No; for we have not yet been glorified.

But to be thus called and owned by the Father and Son, as sons and brethren, may well inspire us to expect and hope for some wonderful and glorious things to be done for us and in us, and revealed to us; nor in this shall we be disappointed, only the blessing and glory shall be infinitely more than we are able to ask or think. For the children of God are his heirs, and the brethren of Christ are his joint-heirs; therefore the glory of God and the riches of Christ are ours with him, and we shall enter into the glory and bliss of heaven.

We! Is this true? Shall we be glorified with Jesus in heaven? Yes, verily; for the word of the Lord so testifies, and this is the promise of God to us. Indeed it is true, that the children of men are the sons and daughter, of the Almighty Father, and the brethren of the holy child Jesus; and they shall therefore be raised, up from the dead, and be received up into glory, to be with him and like him, and behold all his bright glory. "As God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you; and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty;'.' {2Co 6:16-18}.

Now, this divine sonship, and consequent heavenly heirship of God's beloved people is two-fold, as regarding them as predestinated unto the adoption of children by our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father, and as now the sons of God in the life and sonship of Jesus as born again. "Now are we the sons of God." "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God;” {Ro 8:16}. Paul said this to his brethren in Christ, who were men and women, Jews and Gentiles. He does not say the children of God are spirits dwelling in us, but we are the children of God; men and women are his sons and daughters, and he is a Father unto them. Now men and women are not spirits, nor angels, but people, earthly and fleshly beings, having a spirit, soul, and body. But they are Christ's, as Paul says, "For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God's;” {1Co 3:21-23}. So they are also God's, his people, and children, and heirs.

How wonderful that all things are theirs, including both life and death! With his Son God freely gives them all things, and makes them his in Christ. And since death is theirs, 'they must therefore die; for if they did not die, they could not know the power of Christ's resurrection, nor be glorified together with him. And if they did not die, they could not be joint-heirs with Christ; for he both died and arose to die no more. In this they shall be made like him; for God predestinated them to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born, (from the dead,) among many brethren. But if their mortal bodies shall not be resurrected, they could not be conformed to the divine image of the risen Jesus, their first-born brother; for his buried body was quickened by the Spirit, and raised up from the dead by the power and glory of the Father. And, as they are joint-heirs with Christ, and “shall be like him," their buried bodies shall be quickened by his Spirit of life, and come forth out of the graves, living, spiritual, and immortal bodies, in the divinely beautiful and glorified image of the heavenly MAN.

In testimony of this, the infallible word of the Lord says, “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead;" {Isa 26:19}. "And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you;" {Ro 8:10-11}. That Paul here speaks of the resurrection of our body from death is certain; because, first, it is dead because of sin; second, it is our mortal body; third, it is not a present, but future quickening; fourth, it is connected with the resurrection of the body of Jesus from the dead, as cause and effect; and last, our mortal body has not yet been quickened by the Spirit, or it would be a spiritual and living body, as it Shall be when resurrected, as also is Christ.

Again, if our now sinful, dying bodies shall not be quickened and raised up from the dead, as was the body of Jesus, then the resurrection is past already, with all who live and believe in Christ; because the spirit is life and can not die. Only that which shall die, can be resurrected; and the spirit of the child of God can not die, because of righteousness; but our mortal bodies shall die, because of sin. And the primary meaning of quicken is, to give life; to make alive that which was dead. Therefore Jesus said, "For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will."

And so our mortal bodies, being dead because of sin, shall be quickened, as Paul said. "For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself ; {Php 3:20-21}. Our vile body has not yet been thus changed and fashioned, we know; therefore our glorious change is still future; but it shall come; for our risen and ascended Lord is able to subdue all things, (mortality, corruption, and death,) unto himself; and he shall change our vile body. Who or what shall hinder him from fashioning my vile body, and yours, like unto his heavenly and glorious body? Did all that death and wicked men and devils could do, prevent the buried Jesus from swallowing up death and the grave in victory? Or did the determined unbelief of Thomas overthrow the truth, that the body of Jesus was risen and alive? So, neither can the unbelief of the Christian, nor the blasphemy of the infidel, hinder the fulfillment of the word and work of the Lord in us.

Paul says, "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." The last is just as certain as the first, and we already know the first to be true; for as is the earthy Adam, such also are we; and as is the heavenly Adam, such also shall we be, when our resurrection-change shall come. Divine Adoption embraces the sons and daughters of men, as children unto God, whom he hath blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ, by whom he will deliver them from the bondage of corruption, and bring them into his presence, where there is fullness of joy. And the consummation of this adoption is nothing less than the deliverance of the bodies of his children from sin, corruption, and death, in their resurrection unto life and immortality.

Adoption unto God the Father consists in three parts, as follows: first, the gracious appointment or predestination unto the adoption of children; second, the Spirit of adoption, sent forth into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father, which is the infallible earnest or pledge of our eternal inheritance in heaven; and last, the perfected adoption, that is, the redemption of our body from death. The following testimony of Paul establishes this:

" 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: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ unto 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: in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; " {Eph 1:3-7}. " 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 him;" {1Th 5:9-10}. “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren;" {Ro 8:28}. These are true and wonderful words of inspiration; and they clearly show the previous determination, way, and end of God in adoption.

The people thus foreknown, chosen, predestinated, and appointed to obtain salvation, redemption, forgiveness of sins, likeness to the beloved Son of God, all spiritual blessings in heaven, and everlasting sonship to God the Father in his blissful presence, were sinners of the Jews and Gentiles, and subject to death; " and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." Therefore, all this blessing of divine adoption is by the beloved Son of God, and according to the riches of his grace, that he might be glorified.

Then, in the second place, this good pleasure of the Father in appointing us to obtain eternal redemption, and the gracious work of his dear Son in redeeming us, and the love of the Father and the Son, are mercifully made known unto us in our hearts by the Spirit of adoption, which is the faithful testimony and assurance of the Father unto us who believe that he will surely adopt us unto himself in glory.

In testimony of this the Scriptures say, But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ; “{Ga 4:4-7}. This is a sweet wonder, as John writes, “that we," who were under the law and its curse, servants of sin and children of wrath, “should be called the sons of God!” This is by the Spirit of adoption; for without adoption we were not the children of God, but only the children of Adam; yet, "now are we the sons of God.” Thou art no more a servant," as formerly,” but a son." This is the testimony of the Spirit to us; and it is good and true. “Ye have received the Spirit adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father; {Ro 8:15}. He does not say, that the Spirit of adoption, or the Spirit of God's Son, sent forth into our heart, is a son and heir of God; but, thou art a son.

Yet these children of God, who dwell on earth, are partakers of flesh and blood; and as such they are dying sinners, who need a savior, and redemption; for death and the grave stand between them and their Father and home in heaven. In their bodies they are corruptible and mortal, and must pass through the dark valley of the shadow of death, and undergo a final and entire change, before they shall be glorified.

Now this last change, so mysterious and wonderful, for which Job said he would wait, is the end and glory of God's predestination,-"the adoption of children." And what is it? Will one who denies the resurrection of the dead body believe it? If not, our unbelief can not change the truth of God into a lie. But hear it, be glad and rejoice, Ye Prisoners of hope; for the day of your redemption draweth nigh, when you shall receive the adoption: “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves; groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of OUR BODY; " {Ro 8:18-23}. The redemption of our body from what? Certainly from the bondage of corruption, sin, and death, from which the creature itself shall be delivered, Paul says, into the glorious liberty of the children of God. This shall be accomplished in the future resurrection of the bodies of all the chosen people of God, whom he predestinated unto the adoption of children to himself.

Therefore, a denial of the resurrection of our dying body is equal to a denial of both predestination and adoption; because the end of both is, that the bodies of all the foreknown children of God shall be redeemed from all that fetters and binds them, and be conformed to the perfect image of his firstborn Son. For the divine assurance is, “We know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." "As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness;" {Ps 17:15}. Thus did King David, the inspired sweet psalmist of Israel sing; and he by faith looked forward to the glorious resurrection unto holiness, when he should awake out of the sleep in, death, free from all sin and imperfection, with the divine likeness of the Son of God, behold his beauteous face, and be satisfied forever.

But, unless the body of the royal prophet should awake out of its last sleep, then his prophecy and hope were delusive; for the divine nature, or spirit of David did not fall asleep in death. So, then, the resurrection of the bodies of the saints unto holiness is necessary to the accomplishment of their redemption from mortality; and this redemption is necessary to the manifestation of the many sons of God, and their entrance into glory. In close connection with our waiting for the redemption of our body, Paul says, “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God; {Ro 8:19}. " For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings;" {Heb 2:10}. That is, through his sufferings for their sins unto death. For the risen Son of God said, Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into his glory?" Therefore Jesus had to suffer and die, and then arise from the tomb, before he could be glorified. Speaking of this, Peter said, “The God of our fathers hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up; whom God hath raised from the dead."

And it was by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, that he was manifested and declared to be the Son of God with power. Before his death in the flesh, he was known as the Son of man. And all this is true also of his brethren, the children of God; therefore they must first suffer and die in the flesh, and then receive the adoption, at the resurrection of their bodies, and so be manifested as the sons of God, before they shall be glorified With the exalted Jesus, their elder brother; for otherwise, they could not follow him, nor be joint-heirs with him, as his brethren.

Jesus himself taught this truth when he refuted the Sadducees, " who deny that there is any resurrection," and said unto them, "The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection {Lu 20:34-36}. This wonderful teaching of the Lord most clearly establishes the fact, that the children of God die, and Shall be resurrected, and obtain the world to come; and that, being the children, of the resurrection, they are the children of God. And so, unless the dead shall be raised up, the children of God shall not be manifested and glorified, and predestination and adoption shall fail to be fulfilled.

But there is no failure in the purpose and counsel of the Lord; for his work is perfect, and it shall be forever. Therefore the Scripture speaks as if predestination were already finished, and adoption consummated, and the brethren of Jesus glorified; and thus God views it. "Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom lie justified, them he also glorified; " {Ro 8:30}. Behold, I, and the children which God hath given me;" {Heb 2:13}. So speaks the Savior of God's covenant-people. Millions Of them may yet be unborn; but the Lord beholds them; and they shall come from the east and west, north and south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of their Father with the patriarchs and prophets, apostles and saints, and with all the children of God that were scattered abroad throughout the whole world. Then they may all rapturously say, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called THE SONS OF GOD.

3-06 Chapter 6 Redemption Secures Resurrection

CHAPTER 6. REDEMPTION SECURES RESURRECTION.

WILL REDEEM THEM FROM DEATH." Our Lord will do this. Any other man might say, I will do this, or that, but fail, not having power to perform his promise; but our gracious Redeemer has triumphed gloriously over death, and every foe; and he is omnipotent to save. “Thy right hand, 0 Lord, is 0 become glorious in power." “Who is like unto thee, 0 Lord, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders." “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save." “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth." Therefore, say not, “How are the dead raised up?” for the. Lord will redeem us from death. Happy is that people, whose God is the Lord." Therefore, Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities."

Then, let us speak of the redemption of the Lord's people, and see what it is, and what it does for the redeemed; that we may rejoice in it, and rest and hope in our Redeemer. To redeem is, "To purchase back; to regain possession of by payment of a stipulated price; to ransom, liberate, or rescue from captivity or bondage, or from any obligation or liability to suffer or to be forfeited, by paying an equivalent. I Redeem Israel, 0 God, out of all his troubles; {Ps 25:22}." Hence, to rescue and deliver from the bondage of sin and the penalties of God's violated law; “Webster.” Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; “{Ga 3:13}. Paul and the members of the churches of Galatia were men and women, and transgressors of the law of God; and their Redeemer was Christ the Son of man.

As the near-kinsman of all his Father's people, the surety of the better testament, the mediator of the new covenant, Jesus had the lawful and just right to redeem them from all things which stood against them; because the Father gave them to him, that he might be glorified in them, and they with him. Therefore, for them he obeyed and satisfied the violated law of God, both in its active precepts, and penal curse; so that his people are as free from its just claims and fearful death-penalty as though they had never violated it; and it has no power over them to curse them. For as the woman, whose husband is dead, is free from him; so are the redeemed of the Lord made free from the law. " Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God; " {Ro 7:4}.

So this is a life union with the resurrected Son of God in his glorified body; and therefore the resurrection of our body is necessary to the glorious consummation of our marriage with him, when he shall come in his glory. For the church must be raised up at the last day, and so be made meet and ready for him, as his glorious bride, when he shall come as the bridegroom, that they may be like him. For how incongruous it would be, to suppose that we shall be married to our divine Husband in his risen and living body, while our body shall remain forever under death. How unlike him we would be! and how unfit for him! How little we would be prepared to appreciate his sublimely glorious victory over the boasting grave on his bright resurrection morning! How could we join in the song of his triumph. and say, " 0 death, where is thy sting? 0 grave, where is thy victory? “while death and the grave still held our bodies fast under their power? We could not look down upon the empty grave and vanquished death and say, “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!" 0 no! for these last enemies, so far from being destroyed, would still be victorious over us; and we would be very far from knowing the power of Christ's resurrection in our own body, or the glory of his ascension into heaven, or the bliss of joint-heirship with him unto the Father.

With a feeling of relief we turn away from this faithless and hopeless theory, thankful that the testimony of the Lord refutes it, and reveals to us, that, " Christ being come a High Priest of good things to come, by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us;" {Hebrews., 9:11,12}. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works; “{Tit 2:14}. And so the price which the holy Redeemer paid to the holy law of God for the redemption of his people was himself, his life, his body, and blood. “Once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." " How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God;" {Heb 9}. "Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, 0 God." "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified {Heb 10}.

The pen of inspiration here makes known the divine truth, that the anointed Jesus, our High Priest, Redeemer, and Savior, whom God sent forth in the flesh, sacrificed himself, his precious blood and sacred body, for the sins of his people, and offered himself without spot to God; and that, having taken up his body again, this MAN for ever sat down on the right hand of God. Now this gives us the full assurance that his atonement for all the sins of all his people, as, the price of their redemption, was full and complete, and that God will certainly accept and bless them in his beloved Son.

So let us see what is secured to them, now that their Redeemer has finished their redemption, and entered into his glory. "The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin;" {1Jo 1:7}. "As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water. Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to-day do I declare that I will render double unto thee; {Zec 9:11-12}. Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus;" {Ro 3:24}. This is written of all them that believe in him, showing that they are justified freely. "Through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by him all that believe are justified from all things;" {Ac 13:38-39}. "Much more then, 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, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life; “{Ro 5:9-10}. We shall be saved from wrath, and saved from death, by the life of the risen Son of God; because we are justified by his blood, and reconciled to God by his death. “Ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come; “{1Th 1:10}. Therefore we shall certainly be fully delivered.

“But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; “{2Co 1:9-10}. " If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness: then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom ; " {Job 33:23-24}. “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord; “{Ro 6}. Now, to whom should eternal life be given, but to sinners who die? for the living do not need it. And certainly the sons and daughters of mortal man shall die; and their mortal bodies shall be held in the icy grasp of death. And, as shown in the first chapter of this work, man is not a spiritual being, for God created him with a body, without which he would not be a complete man. And man in himself has become corrupt and mortal; that is, his body is mortal and dying; therefore he is the subject of redemption, and of resurrection from sin and death. This has plainly been shown and established.

The man Christ Jesus is the only Mediator between God and men, and for men. He died on the cross, was buried, and arose in his body, to redeem and save the children of men who die in Adam, and whose bodies die. He finished the work which his holy Father gave him to do; he finished the transgression, made an end of sin, made reconciliation for iniquity, and brought in everlasting righteousness, when he was delivered up to death for the offenses of his people, and was raised again for their justification. "Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation: even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous; “{Ro 5}. "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead."

Most clearly and positively does Paul here Show, that by the offense, disobedience, and death of the first man, sin, condemnation, and death comes to all men who are in relationship with him; and that by the righteousness, obedience, and resurrection-life of the second man, justification, righteousness, and resurrection unto life shall come to all men who are in relationship with him. Death came by man to men; so also the resurrection of the dead came by man to men. “Thy dead men shall live." The advent of the mighty Savior to the earth was for the redemption of his people, the children of men; and this shall be completed in them in the resurrection of their bodies from death; and so man himself shall be saved. Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away; {Isa 51:11}. "And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord; {Isa 62:12}. "And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the Mount Sion, and with him a hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: and they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth." “These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were. redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God; " {Re 14:1-5}. This holy and happy company were of the children of men, who were redeemed from all iniquity, and had washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. They were spotless and holy before the throne of God, and were redeemed from the earth, being the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb. "Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept." For he was the first that should arise from the dead. The first-fruits, then, to God and to the Lamb, are those who arose from the dead just after his resurrection, and were glorified with him. This solemn and sublime event is thus written for our instruction: "Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And behold, the vail of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom: and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints which slept, arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many; " {Mt 27:50-53}. These were the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb of his resurrection, and this glorified multitude John saw with him on the Mount Sion, and he heard them sing the new song before the throne of God.

It was a law in Israel, that this typical people of the Lord should keep three yearly feasts unto him ; namely, the feast of unleavened bread, or the Passover; the feast of harvest, or the first-fruits of their land; and the feast of ingathering, in the end of the year, when they had gathered in their crops out of the fields. The feast of harvest is thus delivered by Moses, the law-giver in Israel: "The first of the first-fruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the Lord thy God." "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest unto the priest: and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you : on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it; " {Le 23:9-11}. This offering unto the Lord of the first ripe fruit was the earnest of all the harvest of the land of Israel, which should be gathered in before the end of the year, when there should be a feast of ingathering, and rejoicing unto the Lord, by all the people, in the end of the harvest year.

All this was beautifully typical of the first-fruits of the resurrection, and of the resurrection of all the redeemed in the end of the gospel-harvest. The offering of the first-fruits was on the first day of the week, the resurrection day of the body of Christ, the first-fruits of them that slept; and also of the many bodies of the saints, the first-fruits of the resurrection unto God and to the Lamb. And as were the first-fruits, so also shall all the harvest be. His-death rent the vail of the temple from top to bottom, and opened the graves; the mighty angel of God came and rolled away the stone from his tomb, when his body arose; and the power of his resurrection as the Son of God abolished death, as witnessed by the resurrection of many bodies of the saints, who arose and came out of the graves, as the earnest and promise of the certain resurrection of all who sleep in Jesus.

Therefore the mortal bodies of the Lord's redeemed people are surely included in the redemption purchase; and they shall hear the voice of the Son of God, calling them forth out of the graves. If it should not be so, then the resurrection of the body of Jesus, as the first-fruits of them that slept, and the resurrection of many bodies of the saints, as first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb, would fail to be first-fruits and pledges of the resurrection of the dead, and would be without meaning or fulfillment. And this would be true also of the resurrection of Lazarus, and the widow's son, and the ruler's little daughter, whose dead bodies Christ made alive, as examples of his power to quicken and raise the dead, and as attesting the truth that he is the Redeemer and Savior of men. In evidence of this he returned the answer to John the Baptist, that “the dead are raised up."

And then, Enoch among the patriarchs, and Elijah among the prophets, who were no more on the earth, for God took them, are instances that men in their bodies shall be changed, and carried up into heaven, to be with the Lord. Not only so, but the word of the Lord plainly testifies that the bodies of the saints are included in the redemption of his purchased possession, and are the Lord's. To his brethren in Christ Paul said, “Ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory;" {Eph 1:13-14}. And so they themselves are the purchased possession, yet to be redeemed unto the heavenly inheritance, to the praise of the Lord's glory. Paul again exhorts them, saying, "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption;” {Eph 4:30}. That is, until the day of their redemption from death; for the Holy Spirit had already sealed them as heirs of salvation and inheritance in Christ, unto their final glorious adoption, for which they waited in hope.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time; " {1Pe 1:3-5}. Therefore, we ourselves shall be brought, into heaven, where our holy inheritance is in reserve for us, unto which we are begotten by the resurrection-life of our Savior, and most securely kept by the power of God. So, whether on the earth or in it, awake or asleep, living or dead, God's power keeps us unto salvation, and both it and we shall be fully revealed in the last time.

God the Father hath begotten us unto a lively hope of this salvation; and joined to our hope is faith in our blessed Savior; and both our faith and hope are joined with his resurrection from the dead; yea, our life as well. "For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen, is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for! But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it; “{Ro 8:24-25}. So then, we now hope and wait for the last time, the day of our redemption and full salvation. “Waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." Nor shall we hope and wait in vain; for Jesus, our first-born brother from the dead, is risen out of the grave, and become the first-fruits of all the resurrection-harvest, which shall be ripened and revealed in the last time, at the great and glorious ingathering of all the children of God. Yes, Jesus, who was made perfect through suffering and death, is the CAPTAIN OF SALVATION! and he will save us. Hear his blessed and infallible word: " 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}. Not only his own body should revive, and arise out of death and the grave, but he will also redeem and ransom them from both death and the grave, and destroy the grave. Somebody, then, shall be ransomed from the grave, and nobody shall be left in it, when our Lord shall be its destruction.

"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me;" {Ps 138:7-8}. " Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth;" {Ps 71:20}. So David, the prophet and king in Israel, believed that the Lord, who had quickened him once, should quicken and bring him up again out of the depths of the earth, and save him out of all trouble. And though he spake of Christ, yet this was his faith for himself also.

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him; {Ps 126:5-6}. This will be the great feast of ingathering and rejoicing in the end of the heavenly harvest, when Jesus shall bring all his ransomed brethren home to heaven. 0 that will be a glorious day of ingathering, and a feast of holy rejoicing I and Christ will then indeed enter into his glory. The cup of suffering and the baptism of death, being drank and finished, pass away forever, also sorrow and mourning; and. there shall be no more sowing in tears, but reaping in joy; no more bearing precious seed, and weeping, as at the grave of Lazarus; but the happy rejoicing of divine melody and thanksgiving, in the full and perfected heavenly harvest and sweet home. With this in view, the dear man of sorrow desired to eat the last Passover with his disciples before he suffered on the cross; and then die, arise from the dead, gather in all his redeemed, and with them enter into his glory. "And let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God; " {Heb 12:1-2}. In the assurance of this faith Paul would say, "For I reckon, that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Cast not away therefore your confidence," (in the Lord,) " which hath great recompense of reward." “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."

Divine redemption gives us this bold assurance of faith, hope, and love in our victorious Lord Jesus, who is our first-fruits unto God, the first ripe sheaf of the resurrection-harvest; and who has entered into heaven, to appear in the presence of God for us. His body and blood were the divinely precious redemption-price that he offered unto God for us; and God accepted the atonement of the dear Redeemer as fulfilling the law, raised him from the dead, and received him up into glory. And he that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by his Spirit that dwelleth in YOU."

"Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I Spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; knowing, that he which raised up the Lord Jesus, shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you; " {2Co 4:10-14}.

How certainly this testimony of Paul shows our inseparable connection with Christ, as his brethren and members, both in his death and life; our bodies with his body, and our resurrection with his resurrection; in the uniting relation of cause and effect, Redeemer and redeemed, first-fruits and perfected harvest; the complete redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones." "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Savior of the body; {Eph 5}. " For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members. one of an. other." For this cause Paul says, " I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living Sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service;" {Ro 12}. "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments, of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God: for sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace; {Ro 6:12-14}. Paul says this in reference to our bodies, showing that we are alive from the death in sin, and sin shall not have dominion over our mortal bodies, because we are under the reign of saving grace; and therefore we should yield our bodies and members unto the service of God.

But how very, differently lie speaks, when combating the base and dark doctrine of the Sadducees, that there is no resurrection of the bodies of all who sleep in Jesus; for, if the dead shall not be resurrected, he would then say, " Let us eat and drink; for to-morrow we die." And if we be as the beasts, we shall live no more, but shall be as the dust.

Paul had a far more glorious gospel than this to preach to both Jews and Gentiles; for he taught the sublime doctrine that God, who quickened and raised up the buried body of Jesus, shall also quicken our mortal bodies. And he says, “For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men;" {2Co 5:10-11}. He taught them good doctrine, saying, "Now the body is for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. Know ye not, that your bodies are the members of Christ?" “What! know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's;" {1Co 6}.

Language could not more clearly express any fact, than that our bodies, though now earthly, sinful, and mortal, are the purchased possession of Christ, and are his members; as truly as my hands and my feet are my members. The body and the spirit of every child of God are equally the Lord's, as Paul teaches; and therefore both are joined together in every child of, God, as the one vessel of mercy, one man or person, and are also joined to Christ in covenant and life. Hence, if my body can perish by sin and death, so can my spirit as well. But this is impossible; for, when speaking of those who believe in him, Jesus said to his disciples, Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish;" {Mt 18:14}. " 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; " {John, 3:16}.” Whosoever," embraces every believing man, woman, and child in all the world, through all time. Except for the love of God, and the atonement of his Son, they all must have died and perished in their sins; but their beloved Savior redeemed them by his atoning death, justified them in his righteousness, and shall save them by his risen life. “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him, up at the last day." None can deny the power of the risen and enthroned Son of God to do this. "I will raise him up." This means our body, which shall return to the earth; but not our spirit, which shall return unto God who gave it. For our mortal body shall die because of sin; but our divine spirit shall live because of righteousness. But in the beloved Son of God we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; and God hath made us accepted in the Beloved. His blood "cleanseth us from all sin." The atonement for our sins, and the redemption from our sins, certainly embraced us as we are, as sinners in the flesh of our mortal bodies; and the redemption from all iniquity, the justification unto righteousness, and the forgiveness of all our sins, includes our bodies, as the members of Christ; yea, our “whole spirit, and soul, and body."

Therefore Paul thus prayed for his brethren in Christ, Saying to them, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it ;"{ 1Th 5:23-24}. “Come now, and 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; {Isa 1:18}. "In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be Done; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve; {Jer 1:19}. And this is according to one of the tables of the new covenant, which the Lord makes with his people, saying," For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more {Heb 8:12}.

Now, in view of all this, how is it possible for our mortal bodies, the members of Christ, to remain forever under sin and death, and in the last prison-house? It were just as possible for the entombed body of our dear Redeemer to be holden of death ; for he gave his precious body for the redemption of our bodies; and with such a price he bought us, that our bodies should be made a fit temple for the Holy Spirit to dwell in. For what purpose did our Redeemer's body go down into the strong prison-house of the last enemy, and come forth again victorious, if the bodies of his brethren shall be held fast forever in the dungeon of death? And why was there such virtue and power in his death and resurrection, that " the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints which slept, arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection," as first-fruits of his resurrection, if the bodies of all the rest of the saints shall never awake, arise, and come out of the graves? Let us be not faithless, but believing.

"If he shed his precious blood
To bring me to his fold,
Can I think that meaner good
He ever will withhold?
Satan, vain is thy device!
Here my hope rests well assured,
In that great redemption-price,
I see the whole secured."

Yes, verily, the great redemption-price, which the great Surety of the better testament paid for the transgressions of his Father's children, secures their eternal redemption from every obligation; their complete justification unto righteousness and eternal life; their full, free, and everlasting pardon for all their sins; and their final, perfect, and happy freedom from sin, corruption, and mortality; Satan, death, and the grave. This is the blessing of redemption.

Redemption means: The debt paid, the law satisfied, the curse removed, the prison-door opened, the imprisoned debtor brought out, and made free. Full redemption secures this; and whatever is redeemed, whether property or persons, can not be held in bondage; but must be released, and set at liberty. Justice, equity, and law require this, even among men. Divine redemption, therefore, shall remove forever all the bonds, penalties, and losses of the redeemed people of God, and make them as free from sin and all its ruin as if they had never sinned at all. To say otherwise, would be a denial of the perfection, merit, and success of Christ's atonement and redemption; but to admit the truth of the last sentence is equal to admitting, that our corruptible and mortal bodies shall be redeemed from their corruption and mortality. For sin is the cause of the corruption, mortality, and dissolution of our God-given bodies ; and all these woeful effects of sin come upon our fallen and guilty race, because of our willful violations of the holy law of our Creator. But Jesus hath redeemed us from the curse of the law," which is death; "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth; {Ro 10:4}. So then, believers in Christ are not under the law, nor under its curse; for it is fulfilled and ended, as it concerns them; and Christ is their everlasting righteousness.

When a surety fully pays the debt for his indebted and poor friend, he is the end of the law to the redeemed debtor. Paul says, “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law." But Christ took away our sins, redeemed us who were under the law, abolished death, and destroyed the grave; therefore sin has lost its strength, death its sting, and the grave its victory over believing sinners, because the Son has made them free. Hence it is impossible for us to be holden of death and the grave; because we are the purchased possession of Christ, and our bodies are his members, and sin shall not have dominion over us. But if our mortal bodies could remain under death and in the grave forever, then sin would still have dominion over us, and the grave would have the lasting victory. It will not do to say, that Christ did not atone for the sins of our flesh, nor redeem our mortal bodies from sin and the law; but only our spirit and soul; for he redeemed "us from all iniquity;" and his blood CLEANSETH US FROM ALL SIN. Sin brings us down into the grave, but Christ put away our sins by the sacrifice of himself ; and in his resurrected body he destroyed death and the grave; therefore our redeemed bodies can not be held in the house of the dead.

To say our mortal bodies shall not be resurrected, but perish because of sin, involves the shocking consequence that Christ's atonement is not equal to our sins; that he did not pay all the debt we owe to the law; and that his blood does not cleanse us from all sin. What Christian heart does not detest a dogma so dishonoring to our all-sufficient Redeemer? With "our beloved brother Paul" we unite in his glad acclaim, and say, "But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord;" {Ro 5:20-21}. Now, it is in our mortal bodies where sin abounds and reigns unto death; but there grace much more abounds and reigns unto eternal life, by our risen and triumphant Redeemer. For the atonement of the Lamb of God for his people was full and complete, extending as far as their sins, effectually covering them, and blotting them out forever. “0 Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud, thy sins : return unto me: for I have redeemed thee.

Sing, 0 ye heavens; for the Lord hath done it; shout, ye lower parts of the earth; {Isa 44:21-23}. So then, our sinful, mortal bodies, being atoned for, shall be redeemed from death and the grave. To deny this, is to affirm that the payment was less than the debt; that our transgressions exceed the atonement; that sin more abounds than grace; and that he who is the Resurrection is less mighty than death, than which nothing could be more derogatory to the exalted and saving name of JESUS.

Hear the word of the Lord to our precious Christ: "I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house;" {Isa 42:6-7}.

And to his covenant people the Lord says, " But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, 0 Jacob, and he that formed thee, 0 Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, 1 have called thee by thy name; thou art mine." "Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from, the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from he ends of the earth; even everyone that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, have made him." "I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. This people have

Iformedfor myself; they shall show forth my praise;" {Isa 43}.

This language can not be applied to either angels or spirits; neither will it apply to the spirits or souls of the people of God, exclusive of their bodies; for they are people, whom God formed; and he formed man of the dust of the ground. Now, God formed his people for himself, to show forth his praise; not for death and the grave; but how could they praise him, if their bodies of divine form perish in death? But this shall not be; for, "Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, 0 my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, 0 my people, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord;" {Eze 37:12-14}.

Having this assurance of sublime faith in his Redeemer, Job, when in great affliction, could triumph and say, " 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}. Job fully admits the worst that death, decay, and corruption could do to him, and that his suffering body should become food for worms; yet he confidently trusted in his living Redeemer, who would bring him up again out of corruption and death, and in is quickened and redeemed body he should see God! Behold, how he maintains his future personal and conscious identity! and that he shall see God for himself, and his eyes shall behold him, and not the eyes of another. And this was no fanciful imagination of God's righteous servant Job, but the inspiration of faith in his Redeemer.

0 give me this overcoming, victorious faith in my Redeemer! who did come, as Job said he should, and stand upon the earth, a living, HOLY, MAN! who hung bleeding on Calvary for our sins, committed in our dying flesh; and whose pierced feet stood upon Olivet, whence be went up into heaven. And up into heaven all the redeemed, in their resurrected bodies, shall follow him and with Job, see him for them selves. " When he shall appear, we shall be like him; for WE SHALL SEE HIM AS HE IS!"

3-07 Chapter 7 Baptism Assures Resurrection

CHAPTER 7. BAPTISM ASSURES RESURRECTION.

"BURIED WITH HIM IN BAPTISM." JESUS, our King and Lawgiver, instituted and appointed BAPTISM and the SUPPER in his gospel kingdom, as ordinances, to be kept in the church, and administered by his ministers to his believing disciples, until he shall come again. Both these ordinances are figures, having a definite and clear meaning; for they are the form of the doctrine of Christ. “Ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine w1iich was delivered you; “{Ro 6:17}.

Now, what was the doctrine which Paul delivered to his brethren? He answers:" For I delivered unto you first of all, that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures;" {1Co 15:3-4}. In this doctrine of God our Savior three great facts are prominent; the death of Christ for our sins, his burial, and his resurrection. This is the glorious gospel, the glad tidings of salvation. It is our salvation, salvation from our sins. “Christ died for our sins," "and was raised again for our justification." This doctrine Paul preached; the brethren believed With their heart unto righteousness, confessed with their mouth unto salvation, and obeyed from the heart.

But they obeyed the form of this doctrine; that is, the type, symbol, or figure of it. A figure is a picture or shadow of a body or substance, but not the very thing itself. Yet, it must be a true pattern or copy of that which it represents, otherwise it is not a figure. Now, in this doctrine of the gospel we have, first, death; second, burial; third, resurrection. So then, the ordinances must truly represent these three solemn truths of the gospel of our salvation; and thus conform to the doctrine. Such a form of doctrine the brethren had obeyed. One of the ordinances must have in it the emblems of suffering and death for sin, and unto sin; the other must have in it the symbols of the burial, and the resurrection of the dead one. The two ordinances, which our Lord ordained and gave to his apostles for the church, have in them just this form; and in this we behold his divine goodness and wisdom. For, if the ordinances of the gospel were arbitrary appointments which did not symbolize our salvation; or, if they were uncertain and changeable in their form; their solemn and instructive meaning, divine comfort and promise would be lost to, us, because we would not know why they were given, nor for what given. But the Lord has ever taught the children of men by type, metaphor, and symbol; showing fact by figure, and clothing truth with a suitable and expressive form. And so he made man in his own image, after his likeness, to make known his wisdom, power, and glory in time and eternity.

God and truth are eternal; and before time was born, or the earth was formed, all worlds, beings, and things were complete in the foreknowledge of the infinite Creator and Former of all things. But God Was pleased to bring them into being, and manifest them in actual, visible form. His own glorious Son, who was in the form of God, took upon him the form of a servant, and was found in fashion as a man. The earth, sun, moon, and stars all appear in the forms which God gave them; and so of the tabernacle in the wilderness; the kingdom of David; and the kingdom of the Son of David. All things must be made according to the pattern formed by the infinite Hand.

The Lord's ordinances are plain and simple forms; yet full of meaning and instruction, unfolding, volumes of divine truth, love, and mercy. Let us consider them, as embodying death, burial, and resurrection. And as death is first, and necessary to burial and resurrection, the supper of the Lord will naturally come first before us. It is very touching and solemn. Our blessed Lord, the same night he was betrayed, just after eating the last Passover with his then sorrowing disciples, took a loaf of the unleavened bread of the Passover, blessed, and brake it; then gave it to his disciples, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me; " {Lu 22:19}. "And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is Shed for many for the remission of sins; {Mt 26:27-28}. Of the design and meaning of this ordinance Paul says to the church, " For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come; "{1Co 11:26}. The bread and wine are emblems of the body and blood of our suffering Redeemer; and this solemn supper is a commemoration of his death for our sins, and a pledge that he will come again.

It has also a secondary meaning, as including the true disciples of Jesus with him in the communion of his death. Paul presents this saying, " The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread;" {1Co 10:16-17}. How touchingly this teaches and shows that all the suffering members of Christ are united with him in his death! In the one bread or loaf there are many members, all once separate grains of living wheat; but now broken, and joined together in one body by the death of all. The same is true of the cup of wine, formed by the union of many bruised grapes; each one losing its separate, individual life, that all may be united in one new body. How endearing and touching this is! In view of it our dear Savior said at the supper, “I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." Through his death, and by his risen life, in both of which they should have apart, they were to be joined with him in one new body and sacred communion in his and their Father's kingdom. Paul beautifully presents this, saying, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead." {2Co 5:14}.

It is only in this fellowship of Christ's sufferings, and union with him in his death that there can be true communion among his disciples. When one comes and tells them of sorrow, suffering, and mourning for sin; and of death to all else except a hope in Jesus; how endearing is the fellowship of all with that one! This is the communion of the Lord's death. It is the death of all to the old life of sin under the law; that, as the many members of the one body of Christ, who died for them, they may be joined together with him in his new resurrection-life of righteousness under the gospel. Therefore the supper of the Lord is a very solemn, impressive, and blessed ordinance. It is a sorrowful memorial of death.

And 0 such a death! The death of the holy Son of God! Yea, of all his followers with him in his death! This solemn feast of the simple and pure bread and wine was instituted at the end of the last lawful Passover on earth, and superceded it. That legal and typical testament was then ended; and the New Testament in the blood of the holy Lamb of God was established. It was the night of his agony of soul in the garden; and the next day he died unto sin in the flesh to set his people free. “For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth; " {1Co 5:7-8}.

The solemn Passover was instituted by Moses, "type of Jesus," the same night that Israel, the Lord's typical people, were redeemed from their, cruel bondage in Egypt. A lamb of the first year, and without blemish, was slain for every family; its blood was sprinkled upon the doors of all their houses; they all ate its roasted flesh, with bitter herbs;. but not a bone of it was broken. That night the angel of death slew all the first-born of the Egyptians; but he passed over all the houses of the Israelites, and not one of them perished, because the atoning blood of the lamb, the blood of the covenant, was upon all their door-posts. Now, that was truly a great salvation, which the Lord wrought for all the children of Israel; for they all went up out of Egypt that night, a great army!

But how much greater was the deliverance, when Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us! for all whose hearts shall be sprinkled with his atoning blood. For that was salvation only from a long bondage under wicked men, who were destroyed, that the Lord's people might be free to go and worship him as his children in the better land that he gave them; but this is Salvation world without end from all wicked men and devils, and from the cruel bondage of sin and death, that his ransomed people might return home to the better country, the heavenly land, and worship him in the beauty of holiness in the new Jerusalem Thus the Lord's Passover to the Israelites, and the Lord's supper to the Christians, are solemn and impressive symbols of death, and memorials of deliverance from bondage and death.

Now, when Christ had drank the most bitter cup of woe, and his sufferings and redemptive work were finished in death, they then took him down from the cross, and laid him in the grave. Because of death, he was buried. And at his grave the two ordinances meet in unity, and one commences where the other ceases; and the two symbolize a finished salvation.

The supper is a symbol of his death, representing his sacrificial, atoning, and redeeming body and blood. Baptism is a symbol of his buried body, and also of the burial of the bodies of all his brethren and members; for they shall follow him, and be made like him. Some time before he suffered, Jesus said, " I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened," (or reduced to distress,) " till it be accomplished {Lu 12:59}. He spake of the baptism of death, which he accomplished; for his dear body was entombed in death, and all his infinite suffering was ended. This was the fulfillment of baptism in its first part. It is the burial of the dead. As a figure it has no other meaning, and can not be accomplished in any other way. There must be, first, death; then, burial. Standing in the river Jordan, Jesus said to John the Baptist, to whom he had come to be baptized, “Suffer it to be so for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him;" {Mt 3:15}. This was a type of his burial. This solemn ordinance of baptism is from heaven and of God. Jesus the Son of God established it as the first ordinance in his new kingdom of gospel grace; and it shall be obeyed and fulfilled until he shall come again.

When he thus accomplished his baptism of death, and his sacrificial and lifeless body was laid carefully in the grave, he had then fulfilled all righteousness. The avenging sword of Justice, slumbering since the Sin of Adam, had now awaked and cut him off as the good Shepherd, who laid down his life for the sheep. The law of God was magnified and made honorable, and the Father was well pleased for the righteousness' sake of his Son. Sin, death, and Satan had gone to their utmost extent, and could do no more; for the battle was fought, the conflict had ceased, and the baptism of the suffering Leader of his people was accomplished. Now, " Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for She hath received Of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins;" {Isa 40:2}. Such is the sublime meaning of baptism. Paul presents this whole subject of baptism as embracing Jesus the head, and the church his body, saying, "And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: buried With him in baptism {Col 2:10-12}. "How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death;" {Ro 6:2-4}. How clearly this shows that baptism is the burial of the dead. Therefore its first lesson to us is, that sin ends only in death.

But let us clearly understand who and what is buried. The Scriptures are clear upon this point, as before proven; for it was Christ the man, Jesus in the body of his flesh, who died for our sins, and was buried. Just before he expired in death he said, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit." And the dying Stephen said, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Therefore the mortal body of man is the subject of burial, not the departed spirit. "The body is dead because of Sin," is the word of inspiration. And the divine ordinance of baptism, which the Lord gave us, and to which he himself submitted, shows this in a figure, for our mortal body is buried in baptism; and the dear body of Jesus was baptized in Jordan, and then into death. And thus the supper and baptism both teach us that our mortal bodies are the subjects of resurrection from death; for they partake of the Lord's supper, are buried in baptism, and in death.

Then, let us see the second part, the completion of baptism, that we may be instructed and comforted by it, and have hope in the resurrection unto salvation and glory. "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased;" {Mt 3:16-17}. Out of the baptism of death the Son of God arose, heaven was opened unto him, and he was received up into glory! Such is the consummation and glory of baptism. And this, dear reader,, is the chief and crowning glory of the gospel. It shows our sins washed away, death abolished, the grave destroyed, our bodies raised up in life and immortality, heaven opened unto us, the Father well pleased with us in his Son, and we received up into glory! Gospel baptism teaches and declares this; for it symbolizes the resurrection of the bodies of the Lord's blood-bought and blood-washed people, unto holiness. And therefore Ananias said to the penitent and believing Saul, "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord;" {